Wouldn’t it be nice if you could directly communicate with your unconscious mind and ask it to change a habit, or engage your creative resources to resolve a sticky problem? Well, there is a time honored hypnosis technique that opens the door for doing just that.
In technical jargon, the hypnotherapist assists the client in establishing “ideomotor signals”. Ideomotor signals are answers coming in the form of physical movements directly from the unconscious mind to yes/no questions. Commonly, one finger will lift to indicate “yes”, and another to indicate “no”. Other types of signals may be used as well, for example, a head nod or leg twitch for “yes” and a head shake or a twitch of the other leg to indicate”no”.
One of my clients came to me with excessively dry eyes. Her doctors told her that the dryness was genetically caused, so they had no solutions other than eye drops. I guided her into hypnosis and arranged yes/no finger signals. I simply asked her unconscious mind if it would make more tears, and got a yes response. My clients eyes were bright, shiny, and moist as she left that day.
Simply requesting a solution may not be effective in some situations, and there are other more involved techniques. One such technique, a six step reframe, comes from NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP). It involves setting up ideomotor signals, and guiding the unconscious mind through a step by step process of creating superior new choices to replace the problem behaviors. Then the hypnotherapist makes sure that there is no internal conflict within the person over any of the new choices. Once complete internal agreement is secured, it’s simply a matter of getting a commitment from the unconscious mind to use the new choices instead of the old behaviors.
The six step reframe is useful for a great many issues, including smoking cessation, and weight control. When a number of behaviors need to be addressed, as with the case in weight control, it may be useful to do several six step re frames, one for each different aspect of the changes needed in eating and exercise behaviors. For example, snacking may be a different issue than preferring fried foods at meals, so I would guide a client through a six step reframe for each issue.