The Beginner’s Guide to Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

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Neuro-linguistic programming is a concept that you may or may not have heard of but learning more about it could change your life.  Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP is a system that explores the dynamics between mind, language, and behavior in human beings. It is a method of helping humans achieve their best self and is predicated on the fact that human experience is fully grounded in subjectivity. Let’s take a closer look at NLP to see exactly what it is all about and how it can be useful.

NLP was developed in the 1970’s by John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, a therapist and mathematician. Their goal was to demystify the relationship between the mind and language and their affect on human behavior in order to help humans achieve happier, more grounded and productive lives.  Grinder and Bandler believe that the neurological system regulates our bodies, language determines how we communicate with others in the world around us and our behavior is shaped by the interaction of our beliefs, neurological processes and communication. A main premise behind NLP is that if we can find positive ways to harness the power of the mind, language, and behavior we can not only shape better selves but also a better world.

NLP is at its core a holistic approach to understanding the human being. It acknowledges that each person experiences the world subjectively and thus each person has very unique requirements for finding their path and achieving their best self. The following are some of the main goals and objectives of NLP:

  • Finding and developing the models that gives people the necessary tools to heal, change and develop into a state of excellence
  • Helping people explore their identity and their unique purpose/mission in life
  • Helping people grapple with spirituality (the meta level of human experience) and allowing them to develop their wisdom, intuition and vision.

One method that NLP practitioners employ to fulfill the aforementioned goals and objectives is hypnosis. Since NLP is rooted in the belief that the mind and language are what program and shape our reality, hypnosis is an excellent method of helping people create new realities that are healthy and optimal for them as individuals. Hypnosis is a reprogramming of the mind to affect behavioral change and many hypnotherapists combine the practice with the fundamentals of NLP in order to help their patients make the necessary changes towards a happier and more fulfilling life, whether this means quitting smoking or rising out of a deep depression. A hypnotherapist with an NLP background can be the difference between being stuck in the muck of old, self-defeating habits and the discovery of new ways to perceive and be in the world in happiness.

There are many critics of the NLP model (and hypnotherapy for that matter) and they typically come in the form of mainstream medical and psychological practitioners. However, whether or not you believe in NLP or hypnotherapy as viable methods of treatment for various issues, they can never hurt you physically or mentally. Drugs, the method of treatment most frequently promoted in mainstream medicine, can have side effects and even be fatal. Thus, NLP and hypnotherapy are in the very least safe and this makes them worth checking out if you feel that you need to make some important changes in your life. Mainstream thinking doesn’t always have all the answers, and NLP is about finding the courage to acknowledge that and explore new ways of thinking and being and therefore it is worth a closer look.

Hypnosis As Weight Loss Management


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There are a plethora of weight loss management methods, but one that you might not know much about is hypnosis. There are many negative stereotypes surrounding hypnosis: that it is mind-control, a magic trance, or that is simply hodge-podge that doesn’t work. However, hypnosis is a genuine therapeutic practice that can be used to treat many mental health disorders and various addictions. Let’s take a brief look at what hypnosis is and then discuss how you can use it as weight loss management.

Hypnosis is a mental state of absorption and heightened focus that is brought on by hypnotic induction, which is a long series of questions and instructions given by a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis allows people to be more aware of their thoughts and feelings and gives them the ability to re-focus their habits and actions. It is not a form of sleep-walking or magic, contrary to the pervasive depictions in popular culture.

Hypnosis has become a popular method for weight loss management, particularly because it is so centered on re-shaping habits. Many hypnotists who help their patients lose weight use a two-fold process:

1. Understanding: The hypnotists first gets the patient to understand his or her behavior. For example, the hypnotist gets their patient to understand that they are overeating and the ways in which they are doing it. They also help patients identify the underlying reasons for their overeating: depression? Child abuse? There are many factors that play a role in excessive weight gain.

2. Suggestions: Once the hypnotists and patient have processed the habits and the underlying reasons for their formation, the hypnotist then uses hypnotic induction to suggest new habits. The hypnotist suggests that the patient, deeply ensconced in a state of heightened focus and awareness, change the way that they eat, replacing cakes with carrots and so forth. These suggestions become the basis for the foundation of new eating habits by the patient.

The steps above are just one way that hypnotists use to help their patients lose weight, but they provide a good example of how hypnotherapy identifies root causes and then re-shapes bad habits and behavior. Overeating is a bad habit, and unless you can get your habit under control, or create a new and healthier one, no amount of exercising and crash dieting can help you lose weight. Creating healthy eating habits in combination with exercise and implementing healthy eating practices is what leads you to health and fitness. Hypnotherapy can help you with weight loss management because it teaches you to take control of your actions and reinforces positive behaviors and habit creation.

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