by ANTONY CLAY
TRYING to give up smoking proved an impossible task for John Goulding until he discovered first hand that hypnotherapy can achieve great results.
In fact, it is what inspired him to learn the skills for himself.
Now the West Melton man is helping others to overcome their problems using techniques that he believes can cure pretty much everything.
John, of Quarry Bank, qualified two years ago in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and has since helped people overcome pain, kick bad habits and boost attainment.
It is quite a change from his career in factory management but he said that the satisfaction gained from helping others is a great reward.
The 57-year-old offers consultations from his home and has already had clients from as far afield as York and Bridlington, though most come from Rotherham and Doncaster.
He said that even sceptical clients have seen the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in helping them.
John said: “I got interested in it years ago when I tried hypnotherapy to stop smoking.
“I was unable to stop smoking. I had read the books, gone through the NHS, used patches and it did not work.
“But hypnotherapy was completely successful after one session and I have now done the same thing myself to other people.
“After the treatment I did not even get a craving for a cigarette and have not had one since. That was 12 years ago.
“Until you have experienced it you don’t understand that hypnotherapy can be a life-changing experience.”
John said that the successes he has had with clients added to his belief in the efficacy of hypnotherapy.
He said that a lady who was a runner was having problems motivating herself to run the London Marathon.
But John said that after hypnotherapy she began to believe in her abilities much more to the extent that she finished the big run successfully.
Another client with lung cancer used hypnotherapy to help him give up smoking, and John’s wife Julie has used it to tackle pain and a fear of escalators.
John added: “One lady came to me who had booked a skydive but was scared of heights. I sorted her out for the fall.
“She said that since she had seen me it had changed her life.”
He said that hypnotherapy can work well with phobias.
John said it is a good feeling to know that he can help people.
He said: “It gives you confidence in the fact that you can influence somebody.”
Most people will have come across hypnosis through stage hypnotists who obviously tend towards entertainment rather than healing problems, though John said that the techniques used are the same ones.
John said: “People come to me to be helped but they go to a stage hypnotist for fun.”
Putting it simply, the idea of hypnotherapy is to bypass the conscious side of the brain and manipulate the subconscious to get results.
John said: “There are lots of different theories about how hypnosis works.
There are two separate areas of the brain, the conscious and subconscious.
The subconscious is running all the things we take for granted like breathing which is why if you can get into the subconscious you can carry out all sorts of actions to help people.”
John said that hypnosis can be a powerful tool, but it does prompt questions about how it can make people behave.
John said: “Some theories will say you cannot make people do what they don’t want to do because of their moral code.”
But he added that a person’s supposedly rigid moral code can be a lot more flexible that they might think which is how stage hypnotists can make people do outrageous things.
John said that people visiting a stage hypnotism show are well on the way to being hypnotised anyway by buying their tickets and agreeing to be a part of the proceedings by attending. They are in an accepting mindset. Putting them under is then fairly straightforward.
John said that hypnotherapy treatments change people’s perception of a problem such as pain or low self esteem because the mind can be manipulated to do that.
He said: “If someone comes in and they think their self worth is quite low and have had rejections, I have had them walk out and say they have had a weight lifted from them.”
But John admitted that the impact of hypnotherapy can vary between different people. Phobias can, he said, generally be cured permanently but pain can take longer and be more difficult to sort.
John said: “Your body can influence your mind and your mind can influence your body.”
He added: “I have never had anyone that hypnotherapy has not worked on. Some things work better for some people than other things.”
But John also believes that the very fact people are willing to pay for hypnotherapy treatment means there is also a definite placebo effect.
Basically, people can believe they will be made better and so improve. This has been proved in many branches of traditional medicine.
John said: “People walk in almost expecting to throw their crutches away.”
But he admitted that sometimes people do have concerns about using hypnosis.
John said: “People are suspicious about what you are going to do to them because they perceive they are going to lose all their power.
“The fears that some people may have is understandable. Fears such as are they going to stay hypnotised or am I going to make them sign a direct debit to me.
“But people are still in control and can walk out because they are in control.
“More people remember than forget the experience.
“It’s got to be on trust.”
But he said that when treated people become converts.
John said that hypnotherapy had interested him for some time prior to him signing up to train in the discipline.
He said: “I look at it as something that fascinated me.
“I bought a book and I read it and thought it cannot be that simple, but it was.
“It’s having the confidence to walk up to someone and eventually send them to sleep.
“So long as they believe that you believe you are halfway there.”
John said that hypnotic techniques can be seen in the big wide world. Salesman and politicians can use embedded messages to win over people and activities like meditation are a form of self-hypnosis.
John said that his motto is ‘helping you become the person you want to be’ and said that hypnotherapy can change lives for the better.
More and more people are investigating hypnotherapy and finding that it works for them.