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Settling into Hypnosis
Today's hypnotists are far from the stereotypes of the past


April 2015

Those who want to quit smoking, lose weight, overcome fears or create greater athletic and career success are wrapping their minds around hypnosis.

Local hypnotists are debunking stereotypes like being put into a trance by a swinging watch or crystal controlled by a master.

Hypnosis in the 21st century is a willing partnership, says practitioners Toni Greene of Brookfield-based Hypnosis and Healing Center and Rick Paddock of Milwaukee Hypnosis and Wellness Center in Hales Corners.

Their clients range in age from 5 to 70, with most being female.

Going to a hypnotist, they say, formalizes what most of us do every day when we use our subconscious to suspend disbelief while watching a movie or reading a book. We also use that part of our mind as we settle into sleep.

"Itís something we do together instead of something I do to you," says Paddock, who became a hypnotist seven years ago after a career in real estate. He says he has always been a "student of the mind." He is certified through International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy and uses hypnosis as his primary practice tool.

"No one can make you do something you donít want to do. This works on what you truly want to begin with," says Greene. Formerly working in marketing and the fitness/health care industry, she is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists. She utilizes hypnosis with energy meditation and channeling.

These hypnotists also deliver their services differently. Paddock works one-on-one and draws upon oneís sensory preferences. He says some people are able to visualize, others respond to hearing their own or other voices, and still others may be able to be taught to respond by feeling a part or parts of their bodies.

He considers himself a coach, teaching his clients those sensory tools so that they may deploy them when needed. Greene works in groups as well as one-on-one. She utilizes a Bio Pad, an FDA-approved device that clients lie or recline on to receive the benefits of amethyst crystals, far infrared light and negative ion technology. She also uses a CD of a heartbeat-like rhythm.

She often helps clients visualize a scene that they are entering as they achieve a desired relaxation.

Successful hypnosis, they say, is a comfortable relationship between client and hypnotist. "You really need to be comfortable with the therapistís certification and how they work," Paddock says.

Applying hypnotism to life's common issues

Smoking Cessation

Whether itís Rick Paddock helping his clients understand they lived their first 15 to 20 years without smoking or Toni Greene helping clients identify triggers that empower the habit, both tap into oneís desire to quit and explore what that might look and feel like. Both say hypnotism can have an immediate effect.

Weight Loss

Much like smoking, kick-starting a weight loss depends on identifying behavioral triggers and creating a picture/experience of success. Greene and Paddock say itís a tough task, given that food often punctuates a variety of emotions. Controlling oneís eating habits through hypnosis therapy, they say, is often a longer process.

Fears and Anxieties

This is a multifaceted category, from getting on elevators and flying to routine medical procedures and PTSD. Greene says it may require exploring oneís early life to identify a root cause. Paddock says an emerging hypnosis approach is to concentrate on looking forward. Repetitive behavior, including reaction to those stimuli, must be broken and replaced with positive images and feelings. It can be either a short or long process.

Career and Athletic Success

Most of this area is approached in an opposite way ó by reinforcing past or current habits. Like other issues, it requires seeing and feeling themselves as successful. For those in higher risk categories who could lose a job or position by poor performance, the hypnotistís job is to help clients see what that may look like and how that can be overcome.



This story ran in the April 2015 issue of: