This guest blog comes to BASE Tri Fitness from our lovely and talented friend, Sherri DeRhodes. Sherri is a hypnotherapist who has worked with LU and a variety of other athletes in Central Ohio. Enjoy her perspective on how hypnosis can help you achieve your best in your next race or in life!!!
What does it take to win a race? The usual things, right? Training, complementary workouts, diet, healthy sleep, massage therapy, and perhaps some supplements for additional support. That’s not all though. What about that mental component? Competitive athletes often use techniques such as visualization and positive self-talk, and without a doubt, it helps performance when you practice it consistently.
Take those techniques a step further now. Hypnotherapy helps you dig a little deeper into your unconscious mind, helping you uncover ingrained beliefs and attitudes that are no longer useful. Then you can use that higher self-awareness to remove blocks, enhance the aforementioned techniques, and improve performance dramatically.
But really? Hypnosis? How can you trust someone else with your thoughts? What if they plant a suggestion that makes you cluck like a chicken whenever you hear your cell phone ring? Sounds like a lot of woo woo. Not to worry. Hypnosis often gets a bad rap, when in fact, those notions are all myths.
You do not give over control of your mind to a hypnotherapist. Your unconscious mind is in charge, it knows your beliefs and values, and it will not let anyone “suggest” anything that violates those rules. In fact, reputable hypnotherapists are trained to understand that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and the therapist is a facilitator and guide who simply knows how to help you tap into your unconscious reservoir.
But what about being in a trance? It sounds sort of zombie-like. Not so – that’s another myth. Our brains operate using specific wave patterns. We naturally move into the various stages of trance or brain wave activity as a normal matter of course depending on what we are doing. Day dreaming is a light trance. Varying degrees of trance occur during meditation. Deeper brain wave activity is natural when we sleep. A hypnotherapist helps guide you into trance as a means to “distract” the conscious mind, thereby permitting more effective access to the unconscious mind where you have stored all the data of your life’s experience – those things that you don’t consciously remember. That’s the stuff that can potentially help you move past “mental blocks” and improve performance.
Maybe you still have reservations about hypnotherapy as a part of your training program, but maybe it will actually help. It’s safe, you’re in control at all times, it’s very relaxing, and many people have had success with this therapy. What have you got to lose? You just might win that race.
Note: When looking for a reputable hypnotherapist, do your homework. Certification and licensure varies by state. For example, Ohio doesn’t require licensure, so don’t hesitate to ask about training and experience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with “weekend certificates” that hang out a shingle and are not qualified to assess a client’s needs or choose appropriate treatment plans. You are your own best advocate.