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About Hypnotherapy

Most athletes appreciate the importance of mental as well as physical preparation - the need to be focussed, positive and 'in the zone'. While there's no alternative for fitness and technical training, it's often mental factors that separate a successful performance from an unsuccessful one. When you feel positive and confident you know you're likely to do well.

Many people regularly do well in practice, but, when the pressure's on in a competitive situation, nagging doubts, negative thoughts and even anxiety can inhibit their performance. Usually, the negative emotions and subsequent negative response patterns that create doubt and worry are stored away deep in our subconscious minds and only manifest themselves in stressful situations.

Hypnotherapy is a highly effective technique for dealing with this because it uses hypnosis to directly communicate with the subconscious mind, an immensely powerful inner resource that controls all our subconscious or 'automatic' behaviours. Hypnosis itself is really a state of focussed concentration that allows us to bypass conscious distractions and utilise our subconscious mind to do things like:

  • Replace negative emotions with positive responses
  • Change bad habits and unwanted behaviours
  • Find solutions to problems
  • Build confidence
  • Relieve stress

How can it do this?

Proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques allied with hypnosis allow fast and accurate identification of the negative thought processes that cause unhelpful emotions and behaviours. Once people appreciate how they are self-sabotaging their own performance by how they think new and more powerful positive thoughts and responses can be installed. Using hypnosis 'turbo charges' the process allowing changes to be achieved quickly and effectively.

How?

Experiments using brain scans show that brain patterns of people imagining doing something whilst hypnotised, are the same as when they actually do it. So, a person imagining running whilst hypnotised will exhibit exactly the same brain behaviour as they would if they were actually running. However, if that same person imagines (or visualises) running whilst in a non-hypnotic state, a completely different part of the brain is used.

This suggests that during hypnosis, the mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. So, if during hypnotherapy someone 'visualises' achieving a performance level that they believe they are capable of (even if they have never achieved it before), their subconscious mind will accept that new performance level as reality. Obviously it's not quite as simple as that and there's a fair bit of skill required to create vivid, realistic and acceptable images in people's minds, but that's the basic principle.

Reality Check

Please note hypnotherapy is not magic. It cannot make you achieve something you are not physically capable of. There is no substitute for training, hard work, dedication and good coaching. Hypnotherapy can help you fulfil your potential and be the best athlete you are capable of being.

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