Archive for Stress Reduction


Trichotillomania is a word that most people have no idea what it means, and have no idea even how to pronounce it. But for thousands of people who have this condition, the behavior can have devastating effects in their life.  Trichotillomania (TTM or Trich) is a disorder in which the person is compulsively pulling their hair. This can occur anywhere on the body. Some of the most common areas pulled are the eyelashes, eyebrows, and the scalp. Over the years it has been called a condition, an addiction, a habit, or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lately therapists are catagorizing it as a “body focused repetitive behavior”. No one knows what really causes Trich. It can occur at any age, although most of the time it starts in grade school. It appears that stress, anxiety, and feeling out of control can cause Trich to occur. It is also thought that the pulling reduces stress and can be soothing at the time, although the hair loss results in more stress and anxiety. Children who have Trich soon begin to feel afraid of what others will think, and fear being found out. They look for ways to cover the areas without hair with hats, scarves, glasses, wigs and long sleeves.  As the problem worsens they begin to feel guilt, shame, and of course different than the other kids, at a time when the child just wants to fit in. I have had clients that range from 8 years of age to clients in their 50’s (who were pulling since childhood). In each case traumatic or stressful events precipitated the pulling. I have found hypnosis to be extremely powerful in reducing and completely stopping the pulling. If you or someone you know has this problem that is controlling your life, consider hypnosis, it can be a life changing experience.


Recently my brother had to have extensive abdominal surgery. Three years ago he had an acute and critical episode of pancreatitis, at times life threatening. The surgery he had was to remove organs damaged at that time which continued to cause him severe pain, were only partially working and were continuing to cause severe inflammation in his abdomen. He was told to expect a long surgery, (7-8 hours) in which they would remove his gallbladder, spleen, part of his bowel and part of his pancreas. He was told he would be at least a week in the hospital without complications and would need several weeks recovering. I made him a hypnosis CD to prepare him for this surgery which included pre-surgery, surgery and recovery suggestions. He listened to the CD  a week before his surgery. His four doctors are  amazed at how well he did. He had very little bleeding during the surgery even with all the inflammation. He was discharged on the fifth day after surgery with just oral pain medication. Every system was working perfectly upon discharge. A week after his surgery he had taken a half mile walk with his dog. In less than a week and a half he had started driving again and running errands. Two and a half weeks after the surgery he was working part time again.  I have helped clients prepare for surgery for many years and in every case they did much better than anticipated by their doctors, they experienced less complications and their recovery was shorter. My brother’s experience is a prime example of  the power of hypnosis when used in conjunction with medical procedures.

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Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder. After medical testing has been completed and all tests are normal, then IBS is often listed as the cause of the gastrointestinal problem. It may present with mild to severe symptoms including abdominal pain, gas, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. The symptoms of IBS can be devastating and can occur at any time. Sometimes symptoms are related to food, alcohol, and stress. Stress can play a big role in IBS.  Some people have had IBS since childhood and it started during a time when they were unable to cope with situations around them. People can experience IBS just with present day stress, and even experience more stress based on the anxiety of the unpredictability of IBS. Many articles have been written on the benefits of hypnosis in IBS. Hypnosis can help in relaxation and stress reduction.Using visualization of normal functioning in the abdominal area can help create healing and health to the area of dysfunction. Remember our thoughts have tremendous power in self healing, what is in the mind is in the body. How we think affects how we are!


All of us experience fear at some time in our life, and usually this fear is something that can actually threaten our well being.  We are taught at an early age to be afraid of the hot burner, jumping off a roof, and things as simple as watching for cars crossing the street.  Most fears do not interfere with our daily lives.  But when a fear restricts and controls our actions during the day it has become a phobia.  Many phobias come from childhood, when we were unable to add logic or reasoning to what was happening around us.  Often times phobias are formed in adulthood after a very stressful situation in which the person felt out of control and not able to handle what was happening around them.  Many times the phobia results from months or years of stress and then an incident happens that pulls the rug out and phobias are formed.  Many of my clients that develop phobias in adulthood relate years or months of having to deal with high levels of stress, and feeling out of control in their life.  The stress has to go somewhere, and many times it will present itself in illness, anxieties or phobias. It is not always important for the reason for the phobia to be identified for healing to occur.  Although if the reason is known, logic, reasoning and re-framing is used in the hypnotherapy to change the way the experience is viewed.  Anxiety and panic are almost always part of the phobia and the symptoms may manifest in many ways.  We can have anxiety and panic attacks without phobias and I’ll talk about this later.  If you have a phobia that is taking control over your life or interfering in things you want to accomplish, remember in many cases hypnotherapy can really help!

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Previously I talked about hypnosis being a normal and natural part of your mind and that you go into unintentional hypnosis hundreds of times a day.  You can also go into hypnosis due to fear, stress, anxiety, even extreme happiness.  Any strong emotion can put you into hypnosis.  Stress can account for a high percentage of unintentional hypnosis.  The greater the stress, the deeper the hypnosis.  This can also be viewed as the flight or fight mode.  When you are in this place of fear, anxiety, high stress, you have lost the ability to think clearly and logically. You see, the conscious mind isn’t able to cope with what is happening, and opts out.  The subconscious mind then becomes the dominant mind.  At this point you have lost the ability to take charge of the situation around you and make logical decisions.  You are unable to stand your ground and take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.  This is known as the flight mode.  Some people are frequently in this type of unintentional hypnosis due to previous traumas, job stress, present situational conditions, and accumulated stresses over time.  It’s not so much the event itself, it is how you perceive it and react to it that causes you to be unhappy, unhealthy and anxious.  Each of you will react differently to any situation based on heredity and environment.  How often does stress, fear or anxiety affect your life each day?

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Karen Kleparek can be reached by calling:
(520) 292-2000 or