STAUNTON In the conference room at Montgomery Hall Park, hypnotherapist Wallace Lossing a kindly, confident man in his 70s with a full head of white hair, a beard and a bright smile to match told his client to relax.
The client, who asked not to be named because she’s determined that no one find out she ever smoked, removed her ankle bracelet, leaned back in one of the high-backed leather chairs and put her feet up on another. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply.
She was the sole student to arrive for the second of a two-part Hypnotherapy: Stop Smoking class through Staunton Parks and Recreation. Lossing chalked the absences up to scheduling confusion the dates changed after registration began and proceeded to guide the client into a second state of hypnosis to help reinforce her smoking cessation.
Hypnosis is gaining credibility as a tool to treat various conditions in conjunction with other treatments. In 2001, the Scientific American reported 18 separate studies found patients receiving psychotherapy plus hypnosis for obesity, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other disorders showed greater improvement than 70 percent of patients receiving psychotherapy alone.
Lossing said hypnosis allows him to guide people into the recesses of their minds and uncover their usually emotional reasons for smoking or overeating.
“Hypnosis … is the most wonderful tool that I’ve discovered in treating a human being because it helps them to heal those hidden causes,” said Lossing, who said two or three visits is usually enough for a client who truly wants to quit smoking. “Weight loss is a different ball game. Usually there is a more emotional thing with obesity than smoking.”
Wallace W. Lossing