TEMPLE, Texas — This week, I'm getting a little personal.
I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life and tried everything from medication to meditation. But recently, I tried hypnosis at the Waco Hypnosis Center to see how it works and whether or not it can help with anxiety.
"Anxiety is my specialty, I would work with anxious clients, all day if I could because it responds beautifully to hypnosis," Dr. Melissa Rich said.
Rich and her brother Mike Green are consulting hypnotists who walked me through what hypnosis is really about.
"Hypnosis is just a state of deep relaxation that makes a person more open to suggestions that are made to them, and the suggestions though have to be ones that they want," Rich said.
She explained that it can help with all types of problems from anxiety to weight loss to quitting smoking, even improving your golf game.
According to Rich, "Anybody can be hypnotized. That's my stance because of the fact that we all go into trance states all the time. That trance state is like if you're in a meeting or in church and you suddenly realize you've missed the last 10 minutes, you were awake your eyes were open. You were off, you are in a trance state."
My session started by talking through some of the things that make me anxious. Then Rich and Green led me through a breathing exercise and suddenly, I was in that trance state.
I could hear the pair talking me through my anxieties and giving me suggestions to change my behavior. When I woke up 35 minutes later, I did feel instantly better.
"The only way this helps you is if it's something that you really want to do, then we can tap into that source within you," Rich said.
Rich and Green have each used hypnosis to lose weight and have dropped about 60 pounds between the two of them. But what sets their practice apart is their faith-based approach. It's something Green started incorporating based on his 25 years in the ministry.
Green said, "The more I got into it, the more I realized that hypnosis really blended well with Christianity."
Now, Green searches the Bible for scripture that pertains to a problem someone's facing, then uses God's word in the scripts he reads during client sessions.
"It does help you to calm down, and it helps you to live that scripture and it becomes part of who you are,” he explained.
So far, they're the only people around doing faith-based hypnosis and they admit, it's a hard sell.
"The problem is that there's a lot of churches that see this as woo-woo, but it's not. We're not doing anything weird and we're not doing anything out there, we're not doing anything to get people to do something they don't want to do. We want to help people that want to be helped. And when you're ready to be helped, when you're ready to change your life. Hypnosis is a great tool because it helps you do that," Green said.
So, has it helped me? Yes, I think it really has.
I feel calmer around some of the things that used to make me very anxious and I'm able to see the bigger picture instead of sinking into overwhelm.
If you'd like to try it out yourself contact Rich and Green at the Waco Hypnosis Center.