Grand Lake hynotherapist shows reporter – it’s not what you think
March 3, 2009
Stairs led me through a scrolled iron gate, into a courtyard filled with flowers, to a big balloon that launched my body afloat ” I felt incredibly relaxed.
It was my first introduction into the art of hynotherapy.
There was no giant revolving lollipop or swinging pendulum, nor were there any unsuspecting volunteers squawking and flapping their arms like chickens in front of a live audience.
Certified Hypnotherapist Jodi Choronzy is accustomed to such misconceptions of her craft.
Although stage hypnotism exists ” sending doers into a forgettable state with a finger snap ” her genre of therapy is much, much different.
In my visit to her office in Grand Lake, I discovered the only tool she uses is not a pendulum, but a very comfortable easy chair.
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I slid in, and Choronzy covered me with a blanket. Some people experience slightly lowered blood pressure while in their relaxed state, giving them the chills, she said.
She darkened the room, then started a mind exercise that dates back to 3,000 B.C., making suggestions on where mine should travel.
Partway into the session, she said some people experience tingly hands.
At that very moment, I realized mine were in-fact tingly.
The mild arm-chair journey continued as Choronzy talked about goals I can reach and bad habits I can shed.
Biting my nails came to mind, something to which I’ve been a slave since I was age 4.
Maybe I won’t bite my nails after this, I thought.
Never once did I move a muscle, and my brain stayed in a sort of squishy awareness. I found myself absorbed in her words, and I had absolutely no urge to squawk like a chicken ” nor was I ever asked to do so.
In hindsight, I remember the session well, challenging another common misnomer about hypnotism.
Accurately put, it’s a “mental massage,” Choronzy explained, often with sometimes powerful outcomes.
Trained at the Eastburn Institute of Hynotherapy in Westminster, Choronzy opened Still Waters Hypnotherapy in Grand Lake to offer the public a window to well-being.
Choronzy was turned on to the practice after having tried it herself. After just one session, she successfully quit smoking after 40 years of trying everything from gum, to patches to cold turkey.
She hasn’t craved a cigarette since, she said.
Hynotherapy can be applied to a long list of addictions, phobias and habits besides quitting smoking, such as alcohol dependency, weight gain, stress, fingernail chewing, decreased motivation, fear of heights, and asthma.
“It’s really not like what most people imagine,” Choronzy said. “You’re not totally out, but in a very relaxed state.”
She explained that all of us have experienced a hypnotic state in some form or another, such as that bendy place between sleep and awake, or arriving to a destination and realizing the last 10 miles are a blur.
“Most people are pleasantly surprised what a wonderful experience it is,” Choronzy said.
Hypnosis works by tapping into the mind’s subconscious crammed with things one accomplishes without thinking ” such as knowing how to breathe, fear-creating memories, or certain habits and addictions.
Choronzy uses the example of a child who is told at each meal to clean his or her plate before being excused from the dinner table. Later in life, those instructions may be so ingrained in the realm of the subconscious that obesity becomes a problem. By revisiting the origin of habit, one can associate why a pattern in life may be off balance.
Each hypnotic session involves a “safe place” to which the mind can quickly retreat if memory gets uncomfortable, Choronzy said, a place such as my flower-filled courtyard.
And people don’t say things in hypnosis they really don’t want to.
While hypnotized, “There’s nothing you do that you wouldn’t normally do in an awake state,” she said.
In Colorado, Hypnotherapists like Choronzy are registered with the Department of Regulatory Agencies in the category of psychotherapy.
The practice is gaining more popularity as more people subscribe to holistic and ancient medical practices.
As an example, membership in the National Guild of Hypnotists has grown by 6000 percent in the last six years.
Coming out of my relaxed state, Choronzy slowly counted back from ten, then clapped her hands. I opened my eyes and felt a wave of clarity.
As far as biting my nails, every once in a while, I still put a fingernail to my mouth, but I quickly remember I’ve chosen to quit.
Maybe I need one more session, intent only on that.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.