Melanie Barnum a Certified Hypnotist and Intuitive Counselor and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Book of Psychic Symbols: How to Interpret and Apply Messages From the Other Side" joins the show.
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Melanie Barnum is a Certified Hypnotist with The National Guild of Hypnotists. She is a member of IACT, the International Association of Counselors and Therapists. Melanie is Certified in many modes of hypnotism including Weight Loss Hypnosis, Past Life Regression, Life Coaching and Hypno Coaching. Melanie is also certified in many additional and adjunct therapies including Intuitive Counseling, Coordinate Remote Viewing, Mediumship, Reiki and Reflexology.
Melanie teaches workshops and classes on hypnosis, intuitive counseling, symbolic meaning, life coaching and developing intuition. She has ongoing Teleclasses including Weight Loss Hypnosis, Manifesting Your True Desires, Psychic Symbols: What do they Mean, and Psychic Circles.
Melanie is the author of the upcoming book, “Psychic Symbols: How to Interpret and Apply Messages From the Other Side”. Melanie schedules in office sessions as well as group sessions and teleclasses and tele sessions.
Melanie works with clients to help them achieve whatever they desire. She is trained in many modalities including but not limited to everything from weight loss to past life regression, to sports performance, to increasing self confidence, to decreasing pain, to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), to NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming). Melanie uses her training to help adults and children alike.
Abbreviated Transcript of Interview with Melanie Barnum
Eric Michaels: Most people equate hypnosis with the comedic stage hypnotists. So what is hypnosis, really?
Melanie Barnum: Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility. It is a sometimes deeply relaxed state in which the hypnotist is able to introduce suggestions to the sub conscious part of the clients mind. Thus, the hypnotist has the ability to "re-program" the mind to create more favorable habits, allowing for positive changes desired by the client. Hypnosis is also a state we enter into daily. Take for example watching a suspenseful movie. We've all been "sucked into" movie plots. When we see the bad guy sneaking up behind the main character, many people talk to the screen! "Watch out! He's behind you!" They can't hear us, but we feel like we are part of it. Believe it or not, that, too, is hypnosis! Or, when we are driving on the thruway and miss our normal exit we take everyday because we are "in a trance". That is also a hypnotic state. Contrary to what some people believe, hypnosis is not scary! While in a hypnosis state or during hypnotic suggestions you will never lose control. A hypnotist can never make you do anything you don't want to do or wouldn't normally do. In all the years I have been a hypnotist I have never had anyone or even heard of anyone going so deeply into hypnosis that they weren't able to come out, and come out better off than when they began hypnosis! Hypnosis, although traditionally a non-traditional form of therapeutic help, is becoming more acceptable and more of a go-to method for people looking for assistance with all types of issues or concerns. Hypnosis essentially is a heightened state of awareness during which suggestions for positive change are given to the subconscious part of the mind. It is a much easier, painless and drug free way to make changes or reach goals than many other traditional plans that are on the market today. Knowing this, it seems to be an easy choice to make hypnosis a major part of any plan for everything from weight loss and smoking cessation to past life regression to increasing self confidence.
Eric Michaels: Okay, so now we know what hypnosis is, but does hypnosis really work for weight loss or smoking cessation and if so, how do you do it?
Melanie Barnum: Yes, it does! Hypnosis works because it addresses the subconscious desires; those learned behaviors and cravings we all have. Often, trying to use sheer will power alone will backfire. Willpower causes the body, mind and spirit stress which makes it incredibly difficult to lose weight and keep it off without help. Using willpower can help you lose that 5 pounds you need to lose to fit into a dress for the wedding next week, but it's not going to keep it off. In fact, more often than not you will gain the 5 pounds back and more! I am a Certified Hypnotist with the National Guild of Hypnotists. I regularly use hypnosis to help clients lose weight and stop smoking. The two, weight and smoking, are similar in that they both can be helped with hypnosis and that they can often be addressed by controlling cravings. That is where most of the similarities end. You can stop smoking. You can't stop eating. Both weight loss and smoking cessation have to be handled differently. With smoking, the client will come in and I will take him gently into a deep state of relaxation, and then use what we refer to as hypnotic deepeners to get their subconscious mind to the surface. After that, I will use negative suggestions as in "as you look at someone smoking you can actually see the smoke traveling through their mouth, turning their teeth brown, going down their throat, and you can see the black soot and tar left in their throat...as you watch them you feel that same thick, black coating on your throat...so much so that it makes your throat feel scratchy and swollen, like you have to cough."
Usually at this point the client will indeed cough. After all of the negative suggestions, and I will continue, I switch to positive.. Always ending the session on a positive note is key to having the hypnosis feel like they are empowered and in control. Positive suggestions for both smoking and weight loss tend to be very similar. No voodoo, no tricks, just good old fashioned health and vanity! "You feel clearer and more in control of your body and mind, you look fantastic, your skin is now glowing a beautiful healthy color," etc.
For weight loss, there are many ways to go including negative to positive. You can focus on one specific food they have an issue with. For instance, they eat too many bagels. "As you look at the bagel, browned perfectly, with a soft center you realize that the center is starting to move. There are maggots drilling holes and you can see them devouring the tan outside of the bagel. Those poppy seeds on the bagel are beginning to change....they have legs now! They are crawling and attacking the bagel. Ooh, look, they are planting their eggs inside so all of their spider babies can hatch. Won't that be great? If you bite into the maggot and spider infested bagel the babies will be born into your nice warm stomach!" etc, etc.
Then, of course, stress all of the benefits to losing extra, no longer useful weight, or quitting smoking... By making healthy choices they will create and possess a beautiful body, mind and spirit. Also, I will use everyday references such as being able to walk up the stairs without losing their breath or going on vacation and feeling comfortable with a bathing suit on. Imagine being able to shop for clothes at the stores in the mall without having to worry whether you'll be able to fit into them!
I had one client who to this day can no longer eat her favorite candy; Snickers bars! She actually turns her head in the other direction as she passes them in the grocery store! Initially, she had no idea why. Now, she knows, and even the knowing doesn't stop her from her Snickers avoidance!
Eric Michaels: Wow, that's a pretty good story! I know it would be hard for me to give up my favorite candy bar! So, how long does it usually take for hypnosis to actually work and produce results?
Melanie Barnum: That's a great question, and one I get asked quite often! I usually allow for an hour for each session. But, that will include, not only the hypnotism portion, it also includes getting to know the client and what their needs are. The actual hypnotism may be as little as 5 minutes or it could take the full hour. When facilitating regression therapy I usually take more time. First I relax the client, and then deepen their hypnotic state before regressing them back, whether doing current life or past life regression.
The number of actual hypnosis sessions needed depends upon each individual client. Quite often, only one is necessary for the client to experience results. As a general rule of thumb I usually let the client know that one session will begin the process. If they are coming for weight loss we also look at "recharging" their hypnotic batteries periodically. Just imagine your body like a car. Whether you take meticulous care of your car's appearance or performance or not, there are certain things you have to do to maintain it such as filling it with gas, getting a periodic oil change and changing the spark plugs. It's the same with weight loss hypnosis. Every once in a while you need a jump start to recharge your weight loss drive.
Eric Michaels: Why use hypnosis instead of a different type of weight loss or stop smoking aid?
Melanie Barnum: Most weight loss and stop smoking aids sold in stores either come in the form of drugs, shakes or patches. While these may work and accomplish what you are hoping they also contain different chemicals which you are then ingesting into your body. These chemicals can change your metabolism, affect your mood, and even cause serious problems as well as posing health risks. They can also create the yo-yo diet effect. This means you may very well lose weight or even quit smoking. But, more often than not, when you stop taking these drugs you will gain back what you've lost and then some!
Having said that, there is no reason hypnosis can not be combined with other modalities. For instance, for someone going to weekly meetings at weight watchers we can tailor their hypnotism session to include references so they can achieve their weight watchers goals easier, allowing them to be a part of a weight loss group and use hypnotic suggestion to increase their ability to create a whole new life for themselves. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. It can actually be a great and lasting partnership.
Luckily for everyone, we are evolving and shifting as a whole into a more aware society. We are becoming awakened to the idea of mind, body and spirit being connected in ways we never imagined before. This doesn't just pertain to the metaphysical aspect; it also helps on the hypnosis front. Hypnotism is a natural remedy for many ailments, not limited to weight loss or smoking. Because of our increased interest we are looking for these more natural aids which is helping to bring hypnosis to many more communities that were previously unaware hypnosis was even an option.
As someone who works with hypnosis as well as intuition and energy, I am able to bring this together to create a lasting change. By helping them tap into themselves I can open them up to a whole new world; something that is better for them and that can help them attain whatever they want in life, that can help them make lasting changes for the better.
That to me, is a far greater proposition than taking a pill which not only affects their chemical balance, but has very short term, non lasting results.
Eric Michaels: So hypnosis really does change lives! That's amazing! Do you have to go into a hypnotist's office in order to be hypnotized and have it work? Does it work in groups? Is it possible to practice self hypnosis? Or even hypnosis over the phone?
Melanie Barnum: I'm glad you asked! Hypnosis works really well one on one, in a professional office. However, with a good hypnotist, it can work anywhere! The average success rate for large weight loss groups, and I'm talking about really large audiences, is upwards of about 40%. Now, having said that, you have to remember what I said earlier. We need a bit of a recharge on occasion! It is also more difficult for us to relax when we are with 100 of our closest friends! Often we are more focused on the person up on the stage than we are on ourselves. Smaller groups generally have a higher success rate, plus if you get hypnotized with someone you know they can become your partner in achieving your goals which always helps!
Self hypnosis is a great way to get you started with hypnosis and to reinforce hypnotic suggestions! By simply repeating something over and over with the belief and intent that it will become an automatic part of your subconscious you are enabling yourself to achieve your goal. When I teach clients how to use self hypnosis I also teach them how to visualize what they want. They are able to create symbolic representations of what they want or what they want to be rid of in their lives which helps give them a focus point. What the mind believes, the body will achieve!
Tele classes are a great way to utilize hypnotism. Many people are too embarrassed or too busy to make a one on one appointment with a hypnotist. However, given the option, they are very willing to pick up the phone, anonymously, and dial in to their own personal hypnotic suggestions! I regularly do hypnosis teleclasses, which work well because clients are able to actually call in anytime during the week and get their session! This way they are able to make the call and lie down or even tape the session to use later when they are somewhere they can relax and focus on the voice! I offer weight loss hypnosis over the phone, and as I said, there are many people who would rather keep their weight loss endeavors private so it works out much better for them. It is also a cheap alternative to a one on one in office session! It also works well for people who can't physically come to the office, whether due to disabilities or geographical location.
All in all, hypnosis is a great, natural way to achieve whatever goals you have. What the mind believes, the body can achieve!
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