I loved this book and am reading through it a second time so I can take notes. Elman shares his wisdom and advice for everything from somnambulism to the Elsdaile state. He also offers a chapter each on common health problems, ranging from allergies to phobias to sleep problems. It's funny to read a book written in the 60s, because you can see how far we've come as far as queer and women's liberation. Totally great book!
“With hypnosis, you might help someone stop smoking by suggesting the taste or smell of cigarettes is worse than it actually is. But a hypnotherapist can also use age regression to examine the impulse that fuels the client’s habit and discover old conclusions and behaviors. The healing will take place when the client creates new conclusions about old memories and chooses new behaviors rather than smoking.”
This might be a pretty good time to pause and call bullshit, particularly since, during the demonstration in the library, that's exactly what I was thinking myself. Hall himself tried a little of both techniques, telling us that we were ready to stop smoking, that this was something we wanted, but also told us horror stories about smoking. Not of cancer, which can be easy to ignore until it's too late, but of his trips to tobacco farms, where he'd seen all manner of disgusting things—rats and tree frogs and pesticides and pigeon shit falling into a tobacco shredder and so on. You're smoking tree frogs and pesticide, he said. To be honest, that didn't sound much worse than what I always sort of assumed I was smoking.
During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist will bring you into a state of deep relaxation in which the critical, conscious part of your brain recedes and the subconscious mind becomes alert and focused. The therapist will make suggestions, based on your intended goals, that will take root in your subconscious mind. These suggestions should affect your thinking in a positive way and empower you to make change.
It is used for a wide variety of applications, and studies into its efficacy are often of poor quality which makes it difficult to determine efficacy. Several recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the literature on various conditions have concluded that the efficacy of hypnotherapy is "not verified", that there is no evidence or insufficient evidence for efficacy.