Hypnotherapy and sport


Hypnotherapy - is that where the hypnotist clicks his fingers - you ‘go under’ then you’re made to cluck like a chicken? Actually that's a myth, but hypnotherapy can really help you acheive your goals.


Picture this. I’m running a very hilly 10 k; I’m feeling so tired and heavy. My form has gone completely - shoulders up round my ears, gasping for breath, head down, I can’t see any other runners and so the negative thoughts begin - that unhelpful internal dialogue that begins ‘why on earth are you doing this? Stop the pain now!’ And soon the grass verge looks very inviting. If I sat down in the sun they’d soon find me and someone could bring a car to drive me back to the start... But then I hear the faint sounds of the commentator calling people’s names as they cross the finish line, I hear music and clapping, I feel great, I’ve nearly done it, I lift my head, look at my watch and see my pace speed up, feel my shoulders relax and I can breathe more easily. I feel fantastic and see runners ahead who I thought must have finished hours ago. As the finish comes into sight I run faster and faster, finish with a PB and get a prize for being first in my age group!


What happened there? I heard sounds associated with finishing and succeeding. I could visualise crowds clapping, a lovely cool drink, a rest and huge sense of achievement - all in response to a trigger. Those sensory triggers initiated a spontaneous physical and emotional response in me that had little to do with conscious thought.


I was telling myself that I’d reached my limit, but I still had more left. If only I could tap into those reserves when I needed to - a sort of reservoir of energy that I could draw strength from when I wanted to go faster or keep going for longer.


Imagine being able to get all those good feelings whenever you need them. Hypnotherapy can help you to access those feelings through a variety of techniques. It allows you to recall a time when you had all the resources you needed and lets you choose your own trigger to access those resources in any situation.


Hypnotherapy is a combination of techniques - a tool kit or a chocolate box, whichever you prefer. It works by using hypnosis to address the subconscious mind. In this field the unconscious mind is considered to be the seat of our instincts, emotions, memories, learning and habits. A therapist will use a pleasant, relaxing dialogue to facilitate a trance like state. This is something we naturally slip in and out of throughout the day when we daydream. When trance is experienced, attention is focused inwardly and the conscious, rational mind takes a back seat. In this state the unconscious mind can be resourceful and creative in finding the solutions to problems. It is also very receptive to positive suggestions that your therapist will have created in collaboration with you. These can help you replace old habits and make positive changes to the way you think and act.


You will not ‘go under’ or be made to do anything that you don’t want to. Everything that’s said will be for your benefit. Hypnotherapy won’t work without the physical training and nutrition needed for peak performance but it could help you increase your motivation to follow your training plan and eat healthily.


Hypnotherapy is also used to reduce anxiety, increase confidence, improve sleep, control weight and change old patterns of behaviour.


For more information on Hypnotherapy and what to look for in a therapist: www.ghsc.co.uk (General Hypnotherapy Standards Council). For sports hypnosis information and research articles: www.sportshypnosis.org.uk

( copyright: Avril Charlton AC-Hypnotherapy.co.uk)




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