Listed below are some issues that can be treated with hypnosis and imagery. I invite you to call me to discuss any questions you might have.


"My bed is a magical place where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do" Anonymous

At times, everyone of us has experienced insomnia. Too often these days, we settle into bed with our smartphones, tablets and laptops. Poor sleep is near epic proportions because people are oblivious to before sleep behaviors. Not only can our electronics undermine sleep, but it is also about our before sleep behavior. There is an estimated 60 million people who struggle with insomnia.

Listed below are some suggestions for improving your sleep:

. Seek help for conditions that require medical attention or professional counseling such as alcohol and chemical dependency, depression, snoring and sleep apnea.

. Limit your screen usage.

. Learn tools and strategies to help your body adapt to stress, such as hypnosis, guided imagery, and breath work.

. Limit or eliminate the use of stimulants by stopping caffeine and cigarette consumption by noon. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to 8 hours. If you feel a little lull in the afternoon, take a break and get 20-30 minutes of sun

. Eliminate naps, even a five minute nap can sabotage your sleep.

. Come up with a bedtime routine. Not only is it good to have a routine for children but it is helpful for adults too. Having a regular schedule can give our body physiological responses which cues our body to feel sleepier. Plan five to six nighttime rituals prior to going to sleep, the last one being turning off the lights and ceasing all of your activities.

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Fears and Phobias

Fears and Phobias
"Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom" Marilyn Ferguson

One of the most common reasons people seek hypnotherapy is for a fear or phobia. Typically fears are rational, have their origin in childhood and are based on a real experience that you have had. A typical example might be a fear of dogs. Perhaps when you were a child you actually got bit by a dog and this fear would be a logical and realistic response. A fear can result in a fight/flight response and in physiological changes such as a change in breathing, trembling or shaking and perspiration. In contrast a phobia can have an unknown cause, be irrational, and most often start in adulthood. Some physical responses might be muscle tension, hyperventilation and tightening in the throat.

Fears and phobias can be life changing and cause people to alter how they live their lives. There is stress and anxiety around concealing these fears from others and can result in problems with friends and family, school situations and maintaining jobs.

Research by Web MD states, "Alcoholics can be up to 10 times more likely to suffer from a phobia than those who are not alcoholics. And phobic individuals can be twice as likely to be addicted to alcohol as those who have never been phobic."

Some common fears or phobias are:
Fear of flying, fear of public speaking, fear of animals, social phobias, fear of open spaces (agoraphobia) and fear of water.

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Pain Management

Pain Management
"Your pain is an opportunity for you to learn about yourself" Gary Zukav

What is pain?

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as, "An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." It is common to see people withdraw from their daily activities as a way to protect, repair and heal the body. Good pain is there to tell you there is an issue; for example if you are a runner and you have pain in a leg that has a bad knee, this is an indication that you need to seek medical treatment whereas bad pain serves no purpose. In 2007, after a review of 13 studies, "The International Journal of Clinical Hypnosis found evidence for the efficacy of hypnosis in the reduction of chronic pain in many conditions." Hypnosis and imagery can be helpful for headaches, back pain, cancer pain, fibromyalgia, surgery, labor and childbirth, and dental pain.

What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

Acute pain comes on suddenly without warning in emergency situations and may be the result of an accident or situation such as broken bones, cuts, burns, childbirth or dental issues. Chronic pain is ongoing whereby you have it now and quite possibly will have it in the future. Chronic pain can be the result of cancer, back pain, arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia or neurogenic pain.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis can help lower the threshold of pain, and manage the pain that you have to help you have a healthier lifestyle which can result in a dramatic change in one's life.

Note: Some medical conditions require a doctors referral.

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Pre and Post Surgical Preparation

Pre and Post Surgical Preparation
"Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care" Jerry Cantwell

Hypnosis can be a powerful tool prior to surgery, during surgery as well as the post operative phases. Before surgery, hypnosis can help to reduce stress, anxiety and fears by helping to achieve a more positive, comfortable state. Prior to surgery, it is important to maintain the health and well being of your physical and emotional body by working on healthy eating habits, smoking cessation, getting enough exercise and sleep. During surgery, hypnosis can be effective for reducing the amount of anesthesia, infections, bleeding, and complications and thus a quicker recovery. After surgery and In the recovery period hypnosis is helpful for wound healing, reducing discomfort from anesthesia and post operative procedures.

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Sports Performance and Hypnosis

Sports Performance and Hypnosis
"I always thought that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability" Bruce Jenner

How does hypnosis give you the mental edge in sports performance?

You can achieve a better performance by merging both the body and the mind to achieve harmony and help you reach your sports goals. Of course your physical workouts are vital but what gives you the advantage is using the three pounds of grey matter between your two ears. You can learn to conquer your fear, anxiety and improve your confidence by incorporating the tools and strategies to be the best athlete you can be.

What is the greatest challenge most athletes have?

Perhaps you have experienced what is known as, "Analysis paralysis" whereby you become overwhelmed with the task at hand and are overthinking each piece of your game. Sound familiar? Certified hypnotherapist Shelley Halpern can teach you to stop the, "Stinkin' thinkin' " and let your body do the job it was trained to do. Your body already knows what to do and by using the mental side of the game it can enhance the physical side.

How can imagery and visualization improve your sports performance?

By using imagery, you not only are able to see behind the mind's eye but you are able to use what is called, "Sensory recruitment" whereby you integrate all of your senses. It makes the experience much more rich and vivid and allows you to tap into the right hemisphere of the brain, the creative, intuitive side rather than being stuck in that left brain side of logic and analysis. Imagery allows you to link the two hemispheres of the brain thus enhancing your performance. By actually doing image rehearsal, you practice and condition your body to reduce the stress and anxiety, to increase concentration and put your body into homeostasis (balance).

How can parents best support their children in sports?

It is important that we allow children to keep the joy in their sport by not making practices and workouts seem like punishments. Allow your child to be well rounded and have them schedule time and activities away from their sport. Avoid over training which can result in injuries and emotional burnout. Parents, keep in mind that you can be your child's best ally or you can end up sabotaging their progress. Your children look to you and emulate your behavior. Keep things positive and support them in whatever way they need.

How can an athlete maintain a winning attitude? “If You do what you’ve always done you get what you’ve always gotten.” ~ Tony Robbins

Don't be afraid of making changes, don't get stuck in a rut. Change helps us grow and improve our performance. Focus more on improving yourself and your sport rather than on winning because what you focus on will follow. Remember, create a plan and make your goals attainable and stay positive because your mental attitude is 50% of your game!

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Test Preparation

Test Preparation

One of the most popular uses for hypnotherapy is for studying and test taking. Often clients relay having challenges with the stress and anxiety of taking exams and most often, forgetting the material that they know and have studied during the exam. Learn how to relax and concentrate at the same time. Change your old habits and replace and create positive changes and build new strategies for learning. If you would like to increase your focus, concentration, attention and recall and maximize your success at test taking, call Shelley Halpern, Certified Hypnotherapist in Los Angeles for more information.

LSAT, MCAT, SAT, ACT, MFT boards and much more

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Stop smoking

Stop smoking

Stop smoking is one of the most common reasons people seek hypnotherapy. There are two main types of smokers: the identification and replacement smoker. The identification smoker begins smoking because his or her friends smoked and they want to be part of this group. If they continue to identify with this group, smoking will become a deeply ingrained habit. The replacement smoker uses cigarettes to replace a habit such as eating, confidence, stress or anxiety and gets oral gratification from the cigarette. They receive pleasure from the ritual of smoking as well.

The steps I go through with clients to assist them to quit smoking include contacting them by phone and spending about 15 minutes discussing whether they are ready to stop smoking. If you are not ready (you are doing this for your doctor or spouse), it won't be effective. If that is the case, then we can work on motivation and when you are ready, then work on stop smoking. There are some people who aren't addicted and can stop smoking more easily. For others, it will require multiple sessions. Smoking is a chemical and psychological issue. People continue to have cravings because it's not just a physical addiction but a psychological issue. With hypnosis, we work on replacing and changing the habitual pattern.

Smoking is harmful to both the smoker and nonsmoker alike by causing various types of cancer. There are over 7,000 harmful chemicals in tobacco that can include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde and much more.

When you quit smoking, you can experience some of the following positive changes in your body:

  • Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette blood pressure adjusts to natural levels, pulse rate adjusts to a normal level and the body temperature of the hands and feet increase to normal.
  • In 8 Hours carbon monoxide level drops to normal.
  • In 24 Hours chance of a heart attack is significantly decreased.
  • 48 Hours nerve endings start to re-grow, the ability to smell and taste improves.
  • 72 Hours bronchial tubes begin relaxing and lung capacity begins to increase.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 months circulation in the body improves, walking becomes easier, lung function increases up to 30%.
  • 1 to 9 Months coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decreases. Cilia regrows in the lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, cleans the lungs and reduces infection.
  • 5 Years lung cancer death rate for the average smoker (one pack per day), decreases from 137 per 100,000 people to 72 per 100,000 people (after - 10 years, rate drops to 12 deaths per 100,000) or almost the rate of a person who never smoked.
  • 10 Years Pre-cancerous cilia are replaced. Other cancer such as those of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, kidney and pancreas decreases.

Make a firm promise and commitment to yourself and choose to live your life healthy, strong, vital, vibrant and powerfully alive by freeing yourself from the bonds of cigarettes.

Call or email Shelley Halpern, Los Angeles Hypnotherapist today to start the process of change. 818-205-7271
In person or phone sessions available.

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Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety

Everyone of us experience stress or anxiety. In fact, it is a normal human response that we all go through in our lives. We can look at stress in a positive, functional way; it gets us up for a speech or performance or it can by dysfunctional and toxic and can affect us physically, spiritually and emotionally and intellectually.

David Spiegel, Stanford University's associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences explains the difference between stress and anxiety as follows: "While there is definite overlap between stress and anxiety, ultimately the two emotions come from two different places. With stress, we know what’s worrying us but with anxiety you become less aware of what you’re anxious about [in the moment] and the reaction becomes the problem. You start to feel anxious about being anxious. The key difference [between the two] is the sense of helplessness. When it comes to stress, you can deal with things and master them. By rolling up your sleeves and tackling that stress, you can feel less helpless.”

How can hypnosis and imagery help? Shelley Halpern can teach you tools and strategies to help lower the stress and anxiety such as self hypnosis, mindfulness skills such as breathing, de-sensitization and EFT.

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Pediatric hypnosis

Pediatric hypnosis
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear" Jack Canfield

Adolescents today face extraordinary challenges and hypnosis and guided imagery can provide tools and strategies to enhance their lives. Hypnotherapist Shelley Halpern, provides a safe, warm space to learn, grow and move through transitions from the expected to the expected in life.

How can hypnosis help your child? Listed below are some of the ways:

Self esteem
Improve athletic performance
Performance anxiety
Coping with loss
Fears and phobias
Emotional self sufficiency and resilience
Increase confidence
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
Hair pulling (trichotillomania)

Hypnotherapy can empower your teen by using their rich and vivid imaginations to overcome obstacles and tap into the power of their own mind. If you live in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas or on the Westside in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, call or email Shelley Halpern, Certified Hypnotherapist for a phone consultation or email response within 24 hours.

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