When I first became a Hypnotherapist, there were a LOT of caveats and warnings from my instructors...some of them were wise and given from the voice of experience. For example: A Hypnotist is not a licensed mental health professional, and therefore should not be claiming that they diagnose, treat or cure any sort of mental health disorders. It’s important to have clear professional boundaries with clients, so probably don’t ask them out on dates or hire them to put a new roof on your house, in case it leaks later. There are even certain creepy scams out there that practitioners need to be aware of when potential clients call to book an appointment!
Others seemed a little silly and arbitrary…unnecessarily fear based if you will: “Don’t hypnotize anyone on a massage table because they might fall off! Don’t mix hypnosis and reiki. (WHY? Hypnosis and reiki are AWESOME! Can I get acupuncture at the same time TOO??) and the biggest warning of all was, “Don’t hypnotize people ONLINE.”
Obviously, this was all PRE-pandemic.
In March of 2020 when the whole world went into quarantine mode, and everyone was wondering what the future held, I was wondering too. I had been operating a multidisciplinary holistic clinic in the Boston area for years, and 3/4 of my patients in my busy practice were seeing me for acupuncture, something not easily delivered virtually. I knew I was going to have to do something radically different to keep the ship afloat.
Many of my colleagues in the hypnosis world were in a bit of a tizzy at the thought of how to proceed. You see, we gain as much information from looking at our client’s physical presence as we do from talking to them or from reading their intake forms, so how on EARTH could we possibly continue to work if we couldn’t be physically present with people, especially when people are just falling off massage tables left and right?!? (I kid, I kid! THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN.) In all seriousness, it really created something of a controversy in a few arenas, and with nothing else to do for a couple of weeks, I grabbed my popcorn and watched the debate unfold on the interwebs.
Not for long though, because…I’m a rule breaker.
Thaaat’s right. Hey, listen, I love my work, I love my clients, and I love my family too. I needed to find a way to continue doing what I love, which just so happens to also provide for my family and helps people overcome their problems and change their lives in the process. Was I nervous about how it would work at first? Sure. I really like to provide a DELICIOUS in-person experience for people, so I wasn’t sure about this online stuff, but once I got a few sessions under my belt, I was SOLD. What I began to notice was that my clients were so much more relaxed, so very comfortable in their own environments, that it was even easier for them to drift even deeper into hypnosis, just as quickly, just as easily, as they had been able to do in my office. In fact, since they hadn’t had to waste their valuable time driving through traffic, looking for parking…heck, let’s back up a bit…they didn’t have to waste time looking for PANTS, so they were SO much less stressed about arriving to their appointment on time, that they were able to share with me what was really going on in their hearts and minds so very easily, that change became truly effortless! All the barriers were simply removed, just like that.
Two years later, I am a Virtual Hypnotherapist, working primarily online, with people from all over the United States and beyond. I couldn’t be happier and I’m consistently blown away by how well this all works.
So, what do you need to know, as a client, about virtual hypnosis?
Make sure you have a comfortable, quiet place where you’ll be undisturbed for the duration of the session.
If sitting in a chair, recliner, or on a sofa, make sure your head can be supported. I’ll often see a client’s head start flopping around about 15 minutes into a session as they begin to deeply relax, and while their subconscious mind IS getting the full benefit of the session, I find that these are the clients that mysteriously, go looking for their massage therapists to help them with their newly acquired neck pain right afterward!
Headphones are strongly recommended for best sound quality, and if your WiFi connection is spotty, consider an ethernet cable to plug directly into your router.
Pets LOVE to snuggle with their owners during hypnosis, but you know your pet best. Please make sure they will not be a distraction to the session.
Your Hypnotherapist will want to be able to see you. It is not necessarily imperative that you see THEM, but please be prepared to have your camera on, and to be able to set your phone or laptop somewhere where you will be visible for the session.
If you are the North Pond Hermit or a magical unicorn who has made it to 2022 without using Zoom yet, it’s a very good idea to download Zoom and practice with it a bit before your session. Your appointment time has been reserved especially for you, and we’d hate to waste it on pesky tech challenges! If you are truly struggling with technology, please let us know in advance of your session whenever possible.
In short, Virtual / Online Hypnosis is AWESOME. I absolutely love it. It’s allowed me to connect with and change the lives of people all over the state, the country, and the world. It allows my clients to make permanent, profound, positive changes from the comfort and privacy of their own homes without having to struggle with traffic, parking, calculating travel times, brassieres, pants, or shoes. It saves energy, especially gasoline, which is at an all time high as I write this.
Why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose except your undesired habits and limiting beliefs.
Allison Blaisdell, MSTOM, Lic.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in private practice at Fitchburg Acupuncture, and also at Massachusetts General Hospital. She offers Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Nutritional Response Testing, and Frequency Specific Microcurrent, as well as online holistic health coaching and consultation. Her mission is to educate and empower her patients to achieve their best possible health.