What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy should really be called relaxotherapy, because it simply involves relaxation. Clients are often surprised when they do not fall into a deep sleep. If people expect stage hypnotism, they can be very disappointed. During a hypnotherapy session, people remain in complete control of themselves. They could stand up and walk out at any time. They can say anything they would like to say. There are no magic spells. Clients are able to hear the traffic outside, and remain aware that they are in a room. They are aware of everything going on, and they are able to remember everything afterwards.

So how does hypnotherapy work, if people are not ‘asleep’?

Your subconscious is a part of your brain. It is responsible for all of the automatic systems of your body, and all of the storage of memories and experiences. Your subconscious can be accessed if you are completely relaxed, and your subconscious can hear the voice of the hypnotherapist. Most of the work included in the Migraine Resolution Program involves active hypnotherapy techniques. These are exercises for the subconscious that make the changes we want to happen occur very much more quickly than if we were to use a passive technique, such as telling a story while the subconscious listens.

Some people say that when they went to a hypnotherapist, they just went to sleep while the therapist was talking, and then woke up at the end.

Some hypnotherapy techniques are very passive. You may buy a CD and listen to a hypnotherapy technique that may build your confidence, for instance. You become so relaxed that your conscious falls asleep, while your subconscious passively listens to the story, and uses the lessons of the story to store away as a pattern for your subconscious feelings in future situations. Sometimes a passive message is included in therapy for the migraine Resolution Program, but this is only appropriate for certain people. Often this part would not be especially remembered afterwards, as there would be other, more active parts of the therapy that would be much more memorable.

I bought a CD once, and it did not help me very much

This is a ‘one-size fits all’ hypnotherapy message, and it is not designed to deal with your own particular situation. If you are unable to speak to strangers because a stranger frightened you when you were a baby, the CD will not have any affect on your confidence. However, if people have just a general feeling of low confidence, the CD may be just the boost they need. The Migraine Resolution Program uses hypnotherapy techniques in an active way to uncover your own individual subconscious rationale for the way it is behaving. There are many different techniques to deal with the huge variety of subconscious problems.

Do I have to face all of my problems?

In hypnotherapy, your subconscious is shown how to deal with the problems it has stored away, and this is done without your having to endure the full force of any traumatic times again. There are many ways of cushioning the impact of the experience, and these cushions are left in place to act as continual softeners to the effect of those experiences.

Let me give you an example of how hypnotherapy ‘cushions’ helped someone with a problem at work. Here is Martin’s story :-

Martin’s story

Martin wanted to do his job well, but he did not enjoy having to stand up and present the sales figures at the end of each quarter to his sales team. Although he was not afraid to stand up, he hated the way his body reacted while he was waiting to speak. His hands would go clammy. His heart would begin to race. His throat would go dry, and his knees would literally shake. By the time he stood up, he felt as though he could not even think clearly, and he dreaded looking stupid if someone asked him a simple question because he might not be able to think of an answer. The night before the presentation, he would not sleep well because of the worry that these reactions were causing.

In the hypnotherapy session, the subconscious was relating this experience to his first experience of standing up in front of a group of people. At the age of six years old, he was asked to stand up and read out loud in front of the class. At six years old he thought that everyone would be able to see that he could not read very well. He thought that everyone would not be able to hear his voice, as it was so quiet. He was worried in case there was a word that he could not read.

It was not a pleasant experience. Using hypnotherapy techniques, changes were made to that original experience to make it feel more comfortable in Martin’s subconscious. When he spoke with a loud voice, like his father’s voice, then that was a bit better. When he was allowed to read his favorite story that he knew so well, then that was a lot better. When all of the children were turned into Teddy Bears, it felt a great deal better. All of these changes were made, and then Martin repeated his reading at school. This experience felt so much better.

This type of ‘cushioning’ is often used to change the feelings that the subconscious store about certain experiences. When asked, afterwards, “What was it like when you stood up to read out loud in the class when you were six years old?”, Martin remembered that he had not enjoyed the event. He did not think that he had read out loud to teddy bears, or replace reality with the subconscious changes, but the way his body reacted was very different. The next time Martin stood up to speak, his body reacted perfectly normally, and he soon forgot about how badly he used to feel when he had to give a presentation.

Migraine is a physical condition. How can hypnotherapy help?

Many people believe that physical conditions are permanent faults in our physical body. Some problems are very much of a permanent physical nature. A broken leg, or birth defects are permanent. Many conditions, such as heart problems, are developed through life, and often improve when there are changes in lifestyle. These include changes in exercise, diet, or stress.


Some problems are called conditions because they fall into a category of illnesses that come and go within a person’s lifetime. They are affected by what is happening in that person’s life at that time. Other conditions that are affected by what is happening to these people are : asthma, psoriasis, allergies, headaches, M.E, post-viral syndrome, arthritis, fybromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There are probably a few more. People who suffer these conditions know that they improve and deteriorate continuously.

Physical factors

Conditions like these can have many causative factors. Some of these factors are physical, like their intolerance to certain foods. Some people with arthritis have found that by avoiding certain foods, they have less of a problem. Similarly with many of the other conditions on the list, dietary influences can be seen. Migraine sufferers look for triggers in their diet.

Anxiety factors

Some causative factors are anxiety-based. When people have exams, they sometimes run to the loo. They have temporary symptoms of IBS. When people are being bullied at work, they may find their psoriasis or their asthma is worse. Any stressful influence can mean a flare up of a condition. Moving house, divorce, unhappiness, over-work, are common factors that make conditions worse. Some people react badly to very small amounts of stress, and these can be helped by hypnotherapy. If Martin had psoriasis, he may have had a flare-up a few days before his presentations. You can see how hypnotherapy could have helped Martin’s psoriasis to improve.

How can Hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy can help conditions in many ways. Firstly there are techniques to influence the subconscious NOT to react to certain food triggers. Secondly, hypnotherapy can remove the anxiety from certain situations so that there is no reason for the reaction to take place.

Why is it that traditional hypnotherapy has not been very successful in treating migraine?

Migraine is very complicated. There are more aspects to migraine that just triggers or reactions. People with migraine know that the migraine can change its triggers, and it can also change its reactions. Some people suffer migraine in a familiar pattern for a while, and then it changes. Where once, it used to react to certain foods, it then starts to react to even more foods. Where it used to appear once every six months, it can increase its frequency. Even when people retire and have no more anxiety in their life, their migraine continues. Even regular medicine recognizes the difficulty of treating migraine. Some people find that one drug is working fro them, for a while, and then, frustratingly, it becomes ineffective. Traditional hypnotherapy also finds that relief is often temporary.

What makes The Migraine Resolution Program Different?

Migraine is unlike any other condition. It requires a unique set of techniques to deal with it. The Migraine Resolution Program tackles specific attributes of migraine. Using new techniques, the migraine condition is challenged subconsciously and consciously. Clients play an important active role in their therapy. Unlike regular hypnotherapy, the program continues over weeks or even months, with telephone coaching to help and encourage clients. All clients are monitored, and they remain ‘on the system’ until they have reached the full potential of the program. For some people, this means that they become free from migraine. For others, they see a reduction in the frequency or the intensity of their migraine. Many women have seen complete reduction, whereas men have seen partial reduction.

What do other people say about the experience of having hypnotherapy?

Well, the nice thing about the Migraine Resolution Program is that many past clients volunteer to take telephone calls from prospective clients to answer questions like these. You can speak to them about their experiences while they have been on the program. They will tell you that they enjoyed the hypnotherapy session. They felt able to communicate all through. They did not feel as though they were out of control, and they were often surprised at how the session time of two hours just flew by.

I have some other things I would like to talk about. Can I have therapy for other things at the same time?

Your therapist will be keen to know about every aspect that concerns you physically and mentally, as this may have a bearing on your migraine. You may find there are many bonuses. Martin would probably have had his presentation nerves sorted out if it was adding to his stress factors and triggering off a migraine! There may be some therapy that would not be included in the cost of the program. Your therapist would be able to deal with these a different appointment.