VanDenBossche Hypnotherapy


Staff photo by Jim Evans

Staff photo by Jim Evans





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Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Hypnotherapist works at dispelling myths

Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

FAIRFIELD -- Hypnotism has come a long way from the hocus-pocus days of swinging pocket watches and spinning spirals.

In fact, said Ernest VanDenBossche, a certified hypnotherapist, the practice has gained acceptance as a healing treatment worldwide, associated with helping post-surgical cancer patients and those trying to quit smoking, losing weight and other concerns.

Today, he said, is the second annual World Hypnotism Day, celebrating the professionalism and skills of hypnotists everywhere.

"It's really about getting the word out about hypnotism and its advancements through time to the general public," said VanDenBossche, 55. "We're hearing a lot from TV talk shows about hypnotism and creative visualization for health -- hypnotism is a type of creative visualization, because this is what we're doing, we're going into the mind and creating something that we want for our future."

World Hypnotism Day is scheduled to be celebrated tonight beginning at 7 at the Universalist Unitarian Church on Silver Street, Waterville. VanDenBossche said he will address the gathering and hypnotize willing visitors in a group setting.

Recognizing the day is about dispelling the myths and misconceptions of hypnotism, while explaining the many benefits, according to VanDenBossche. He said features on hypnotism and the health benefits associated with it have appeared in such publications as NewsWeek, Good Housekeeping, Canadian Living, Shape and O Magazine.

He said the practice can help people accentuate positive thoughts for positive results. Health issues, professional goals and activities people want to improve, such as sports performance, can be achieved by mentally breaking bad habits, according to VanDenBossche.

"Smoking is a great example," he said. "Smoking and weight loss."

He said hypnotherapy can work well for people suffering from hypertension and can ease physical pain by decreasing brain activity associated with suffering. It also can help alleviate stress, anxiety and the pain of medical procedures including childbirth.

But, VanDenBossche said, results are all about the person being hypnotized, not the therapist doing the hypnotizing. Like going to a doctor for a broken arm, he said, the healing comes from inside the body, not from the doctor.

"Your mind sends the signal to your body to do the healing, so it's in your mind," VanDenBossche said. "So with hypnotherapy and health, again you plant those things in your mind, but the suggestions for change need to be positive.

"Your mind heals that."

VanDenBossche, with his part­ner Bonnie Lee Gibson, operate Wavelengths Hypnotherapy on Main Street in Fairfield. He said a person has to want to be hypnotized and has to want to implement the changes being suggested before the therapy can work.

The word hypnosis has its roots in the Greek word meaning "sleep," he said. When one is experiencing the effects of hypnosis, an alert stage of sleep -- similar to the state experienced in meditation -- is achieved.

During that time suggestions are made to the subconscious mind, bypassing the critical mind and going straight to the spot where habits are either controlled or allowed to go unattended.

"You have to be dedicated to that change," he said. "If your wife wants you to go in and quit smoking and you don't want to, it isn't going to work -- you have to want the change."

VanDenBossche said during the last century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage acts, in which people -- all of whom had been screened by the hypnotist -- clucked like chickens and took their clothing off on command to the delight of audiences.

Since then the medical and therapeutic benefits of hypnosis have come into prominence.

In 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice in medical school education. The American Medical Association followed suit three years later, recognizing hypnosis as a medical treatment, according to VanDenBossche.

Doug Harlow -- 861-9244



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