From The Haverhill Gazette: January 13, 2005 on Seminar Conducted at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital By Jean Mac-Dougall-Tattan Haverhill Gazette Staff
Whenever you have a thought, your body is eavesdropping. If you think something bad is going to happen, the body tenses. If you picture yourself vacationing on a warm tropical beach, the body relaxes. Any thoughts people have trigger a physical responses, said, Addie Kania, a Haverhill Certified hypnotherapist who mostly uses her skills to help people lose weight and beat addictions. “The number one drug of choice in the United States is food—it affects brain chemistry,” Kania.
Winter is a hard time to lose weight because lack of sunlight causes the serotonin level in the brain to drop, which can cause depression. Sunlight affects serotonin production, as does exercise, sugar and carbohydrates, therefore sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods can make people feel better, which makes them eat when they are lonely, angry, tired, and bored. “When you reach for food and you know you’re not physically hungry, you’re not reaching for food for hunger, you’re reaching for need,” said Kania who uses hypnosis to help change thought processes. “Your thoughts affect your body. When you think a thought your body is eavesdropping,” said Kania, who sees hypnosis as good tool to help people relax and reduce stress. Kania also uses hypnosis to help people with illness because 70 percent of the things patients see doctors for are stress-related like irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and heart disease.
In 1956 the American Medical Association validated hypnosis as a tool to treat many things, but recently, a study at the University of Connecticut showed that use of hypnosis in conjunction with support from programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, doubled the odds that clients would lose weight, said Kania. At the University of Utah another study was done on patients given hypnosis prior to surgery. The results were a more relaxed patients and optimum healing. Kania said so many people are overweight in the United States that obesity is considered an epidemic and obesity often causes diabetes. The connection between the two is so prevalent that a new name has been coined for it – diabesity. But besides the risk of diabetes, being overweigh also cause heart disease, some cancers, stroke and even pulmonary problems, said Kania, to a packed house at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital on Jan. 4 – World Hypnosis Day.
During the seminar at Whittier, Kania demonstrated how thought affects the body by asking people to take a deep breath, close their eyes and picture themselves in their kitchen. “Imagine yourself walking to the refrigerator. Open the door and find a large, yellow lemon. Take it out please, and place it on the counter. Get a sharp knife and cut it in half. Now bring the lemon to your face and smell it, now take a bite, said Kania as she watched people’s faces pucker and some even began to salivate in response to the sourness of the lemon. “I saw your faces. There was no lemon – only a thought,” said Kania. “Your mind is a bio-computer. The subconscious records thoughts and the computer totally runs you.”
Kania said many people fear hypnosis because when they hear the word they think of hypnotists on stage who make people quack like ducks or reveal deep, dark secrets. “That’s not what hypnosis is abut. Hypnosis does not take away your control, in fact, it enhances it,” said Kania, who said her clients some to her so they can have more control over their behavior. “Over the course of a day people say so many mean things to themselves – I’m not good enough; I’m stupid; I’m undeserving. If we change the way we think about ourselves we get different results. Plant good seeds. You can’t plant poison ivy and expect to get roses,” said Kania.
Hypnosis is a different experience for different people. “When a hypnotist tells people to picture themselves in a garden, an artist will see the garden, others will smell the flowers, come hear the birds and cricket, others will feel the relaxation they normally feel when they are in one,”, said Kania. Self-hypnosis is an option when people are alone. “Listen to your own breath, slow it down, and your heart rate will slow along with the chatter in your mind,” said Kania, who uses hypnosis for weight loss and addiction, but also for positive things. She does visualization exercises t help improve performance for athletes. And she helps people improve their work skill.
“The two things people fear most are death and public speaking,” said Kania who uses hypnosis t help people overcome fear. She said she does in-service training for health professionals, like nurses who use it along with massage and reiki to help patients relax. Kania rarely uses hypnosis as adverse therapy, for example, making people think of food as repulsive to get them to stop eating. “That’s not healthy. We have to eat to survive. That’s the last option. I think I’ve used it twice over the course of my career”, said Kania