Portishead mum teaches healing power of hypnosis
By Prue_Reid | Monday, December 31, 2012, 15:59
World-reknown hypnotherapist Paul McKenna is the inspiration for two North Somerset women who are running a course at Backwell in the new year.
Friends Katherine Membery, of Portishead, and Hazel Newton, who lives near Nailsea, want to teach others about the potential healing powers of hypnosis from Thursday to Sunday, January 17-20.
Below Katherine tells the story of her journey to becoming a qualified practioner and sets out to dispel the preception that hypnotise is just about people being put in an sleep-like trance to act like farmyard animals on television shows.
She said: "Even while hypnotised you can choose to remain in control of your choices, responses and reactions and those who 'cluck like chickens' do so because on some level they actually want to."
The course costs £550 and for more information on the training or therapy visit Hazel at www.radiantsouls.co.uk or Katherine at www.eternalsoultherapies.co.uk.
- Katherine is a 40-year-old mother of two who lives in Portishead. She first got involved with hypnosis back in 2008 shortly after leaving Allied Domecq where she worked in the marketing department. The former St Brendans student once ran a Sunday school, Failand Guides and Portishead Beavers and her husband Mike is a coach with Portishead Town Youth Football Club. Katherine is a keen gardener and has enjoyed growing a variety of veg in her allotment during the past five years. Katherine said she is an avid fan of alternative therapies and once met Cherie Lunghi at a fancy dress party! Her children William, 14. and Nicholas, 10, both attend Portishead schools and have often appeared on stage with Tickenham Drama Group.
- The daughter of a church minister Hazel is a former pupil of Nailsea School. She qualified as a staff nurse at the BRI before going on to work as a senior clinical specialist for a large pharmaceutical company, covering South West England and South Wales. Approximately 10 years ago in 2002 after a stress related illness, she discovered the healing potential of hypnosis and trained both in England and the US under well-known experts like Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler before going into private practice in Nailsea for a few years. She subsequently trained in regression therapy, which uses the trance state to take her clients back to the source of their problems. This is a very rapid way to heal most issues whether they are physical or emotional. She has since taught regression therapy for the past six years at the Regression Academy. Hazel has three children, two were educated at Nailsea School and her youngest is currently taking A-levels at Backwell. She now lives, see's clients and runs a variety of courses in Backwell. Her hobbies are skiing, walking, traveling and adventures!
She said: "I had grown up being fascinated by hypnotherapy.
"When I was at school I can remember dangling pendants in front of friends saying the words 'sleep' … of course it never worked.
"Growing into my adult years I watched certain television shows involving hypnosis and, along with my parents fear of the subject, I became a lot more wary.
"It made me nervous to think that someone could have the power to make me cluck like a chicken or eat an onion believing it was an apple.
"After I'd had my children I was at a playgroup when another mum caught my eye, I simply knew I had to talk to her.
"We instantly 'clicked' and I soon discovered that she was an alternative hypnotherapist.
"I asked her to give me an insight into how it all worked.
"She told me to lie on the sofa and close my eyes.
"Her voice seemed to transport me to another level and, before I knew it, I was able to imagine myself sitting under a tree with a pile of videos and a tv in front of me.
"She told me to choose a video and put it in the player.
"Incredibly I was able to do this and, in no time at all, I was watching a large ship, almost like the Titanic, sailing proudly thru the water.
"I kept watching until I saw a tiny little boat bobbing alongside and, within seconds, I understood why I was seeing this and quite simply burst into tears.
"My friend calmly asked me to explain why I had suddenly felt so much emotion. I told her that the Big Ship was my dad … so strong and proud and capable, and I was the little insignificant boat … stupid, irrelevant and would never be as 'good' as the big boat.
"The realization that these boats represented my relationship with my father was so very powerful .. and so very sad.
"Yet my friend very cleverly pointed out that I was in fact the Tug Boat and that the big boat needed me, and that I was very important to it.
"Thru many tears and realizations I truly was able to see my relationship with my dad in a totally different way.
"The following day he called in to see me and the dynamic between us was totally different, it was wonderful and I could actually feel the love between us.
"What a life changing gift that session was.
"Year's passed and after a series of events in my life I simply knew that I had to leave the corporate world and train as a regression therapist.
"In order to be accepted on the course I first had to train in hypnotherapy.
"To be honest this felt like something of a chore to me and I purely went along because I had to.
"I took my time choosing a course that 'felt' right to me.
"Then one day a training academy literally 'popped up' on my screen together with a picture of the teacher Hazel Newton.
"As soon as I saw her I once again simply 'knew' I had to meet her.
"The training was fantastic and Hazel was the most inspiring teacher I had ever met.
"I had never before been on a course quite like it.
"It was taught with such passion, love, respect, knowledge and fun. I instantly saw the potential and power in this therapy and just couldn't wait to get going.
"At the time I suffered with Raynauds Syndrome which had got to the point where my fingers were going black and felt like they were being hit with a hammer every time they got cold.
"I would literally have tears of pain every day.
"I even found picking the children up from school in the winter really difficult as standing in a cold playground waiting for them meant the raynauds would start and we often had to sit in the car afterwards for up to 30 minutes with my fingers in the heater slots so I could get feeling back in them in order to be able to hold the steering wheel and drive home.
"As part of the training we had to work with partners on an 'issue' and my fellow student wrote me a script aimed at helping my condition.
"After I had my session I went to the bathroom and washed my hand.
"There was only cold water so I prepared myself for the pain that would follow, but it didn't come and in fact my fingers stayed a healthy pink and more incredibly they stayed warm.
"To say I was shocked was an understatement.
"I ran into the room where Hazel was teaching and totally interrupted, I just couldn't hold back the intense excitement of the fact that my fingers were warm and still pink after being in cold water.
"I was beginning to truly grasp the power of this incredible therapy ..
"What I hadn't appreciated was that hypnosis is not sleep and it is not unconsciousness.
"Most people actually experience greater awareness while hypnotised and hear and remember most of the hypnosis session.
"I also hadn't truly understood before the difference between the conscious and the subconscious mind which both perform different tasks on our behalf and that hypnosis works best, and has the most lasting results, when both the conscious and subconscious minds are in agreement.
"Through hypnosis, the power of your imagination can be put to work to help you to heal and to succeed at manifesting your goals.
"As you imagine yourself healthy, your subconscious causes your physiology to spring into action to prompt desirable shifts in the functions of your body. This so called "mind-body connection" can be positively directed for miraculous change.
"The uses of hypnosis aren't just relevant to health though.
"In June 2011 my dad very unexpectedly passed away.
"I was away teaching at the time and after literally falling to the floor in shock I used self-hypnosis to give myself the strength to drive myself the three hours home to see him, before the ambulance took his body away.
"Within days our Canadian family had flown over to be with us and although it was such a sad sad time, it was very special to have all our 'living' family together.
"One day my cousin Judy was talking about her lack of ability to correctly 'do' the Dragon Boat paddle.
"She wanted to get into the team race and yet her coach only ever told her how badly she was doing it.
"She believed it was impossible to get it right as it was an 'impossibly difficult stroke' and it was really frustrating her.
"While the rest of the 24 family members ate lunch and we sat on the floor as we'd run out of chairs I asked her exactly how the stroke should be done.
"I then explained that most Olympic athletes used hypnosis before competing.
"They eat the right food, prepare their bodies with training, and mentally prepare themselves with visualisation and hypnosis.
"I'd got her interested so I offered to demonstrate.
"While still in the dining room with everyone else I used a little hypnosis to relax her and explained to her subconscious exactly how the stroke should be done and got her to visualise herself doing the stroke perfectly.
"It took less than 10 minutes and it was never mentioned again during her visit.
"The following month she contacted me.
"Her coach had congratulated her on her 'now perfect stroke' and wanted to fly me over to Canada to be the team hypnotherapist before the competed in the world championships and she was now doing the stroke so well that she had been chosen to be in the boat that carried Prince William during his trip to Canada that year.
"I've used hypnotherapy on myself to overcome many obstacles, including my fear of public speaking.
"I have helped my children with memory and learning and even running and swimming faster! In fact my son improved his personal swimming time by four seconds after a session and came home with four medals from a gala - he'd never got a medal before.
"I've also helped friends and clients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, stopping smoking, weightloss, overcoming traumas and phobias, metaphysical awareness .. the list could go on and on ..
"Even when you are not hypnotised it is important to monitor your thoughts.
"This is what helped Judy with her Dragon Boat Paddle, she kept visualising herself doing the stroke perfectly.
"It is always wise to keep positive, happy, healthy pictures and thoughts present in your mind to strengthen your health and to empower your goals."