Most of the massage therapists I talk to are excited about HypnoMassage, and students love the class, but some also have some questions. I have written this to help answer some of those questions.
How does HypnoMassage work?
HypnoMassage uses the natural trance that massage produces regularly in clients. How many times have you had a client say to you, "That was a great massage. I just drifted away." That was a client who was in a light trance. Have you had clients snore on the table? That was a client who was in a medium level trance. Have you had a client who had difficulty moving and getting off the table after a massage? That was a client who was in a deep trance.
Massage therapists frequently produce a trance just by giving a good, relaxing massage. HypnoMassage uses that trance to deepen the relaxation on a mental and physical level and to give positive suggestions for the client's benefit.
Can massage clients be controlled by HypnoMassage?
The answer is a very clear, "No!" When you give positive suggestions or use visualization with clients, they have the same level of choice as they do when fully alert. Research shows that people in trance are fully capable of making choices and will not do anything against their fundamental values.
In trance people are able to connect with a greater range of abilities and can make lasting positive change. For example, in a light trance state, a client can relax muscles that are normally tense and in pain so you can cleanse the muscles more deeply. Then that client can respond to suggestions for continuing relaxation so those muscles can heal, especially while asleep at night. in trance people can do many things that are difficult in the highly alert state, but that is hardly the same as being controlled.
Is HypnoMassage the same as hypnosis?
HypnoMassage is different from hypnosis. In hypnosis the therapist produces a trance by giving a series of suggestions specifically to get the client into a trance state. In HypnoMassage the massage therapist produces a trance simply by giving a relaxing massage. Then, while the client is in a trance state, the therapist gives positive suggestions and visualizations to produce deep, lasting change. This can be introduced by questions such as:
Would it be all right if I use a guided relaxation to help you release those tight muscles?
Now, while you are deeply relaxed, is it all right to use some positive, healing suggestions?
These are accurate descriptions of what you are doing and, since you are not using hypnosis, you are being completely honest with your clients. HypnoMassage uses the trance that massage naturally produces and then employs techniques such as suggestion and visualization that many massage therapists are already using. But, because you know how to recognize trance and help your clients use its power, suggestions delivered during a HypnoMassage session are more effective and lasting.
Thank you and I look forward to helping you,
Lee Overholser, PhD