Tai Chi and Hypnotherapy: Complimentary Healing Modalities
By Michael Pekor

Tai Chi has long been recognized as a highly effective means of finding relief from tension, stress and anxiety. By bringing the attention down into the sensations of the body, we are temporarily removed from the chaos that we often experience in our minds. More commonly, people suffering from internal strife often turn to "talk therapy" in the hopes of achieving a sense of inner peace. Although some people do find relief from suffering through talk therapy, there are many others who have an entirely different experience. All too often I have heard the following story from people. It goes something like this... "Yeah, I've been in therapy for years... I have learned a lot about myself... I understand my own patterns of thought and behavior now, and I understand how they originated. It has been a great education so far. But the thing is this... I still feel stuck. I'm still in pain and I still suffer. My condition really hasn't improved much at all".

There is a very simple reason for this sad state of affairs. People suffering from stress, tension and anxiety are stuck in thought. We have been conditioned to believe that by "thinking things through" we can resolve all problems. However, thought will not bring us relief if the problem is thought itself. Our minds race at an incredible pace in an attempt to balance all of the responsibilities that we have. We are constantly split between what we are doing and what we know we have to get done. Life moves too fast and in too many different directions to allow us to feel at ease. We are anxious, tense and distressed because we are attempting to rectify the mistakes of the past and take action against future problems when all the while we actually live right here in the present.

There are other ways that this "misuse of the brain" creates suffering for us. We have become so invested in our "self images" (which exist only in our imaginations) that we are forced to spend a tremendous amount of time and energy preserving them. Any time that reality makes it difficult to see ourselves the way we "need" to, anxiety, panic and fear set in. Our self image is threatened and we fear losing everything that we are so heavily invested in.

All of this is a terrible mistake. We must learn to remove our attention and energy from our imaginations and return them to the present moment. Our minds are incredibly useful and powerful, but need to be used (did you catch that? There is SOMEONE behind the mind that USES it) judiciously. To be pushed and pulled by the currents of our minds can be a very unsettling way to exist. There are methods that are very effective at allowing us to OBSERVE these currents without being swept away by them. With practice, this gradually gives us back the sense of inner peace that we long for.

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic modality that utilizes the state of hypnosis as the major tool during the therapeutic process. Hypnosis provides an escape hatch out of the turbulent waters of our everyday minds, and direct access to the unconscious. The peaceful relaxation that accompanies the experience of hypnosis carries over into everyday living and allows us to feel a sense of mastery over our own experience of life. As opposed to traditional talk therapy, Hypnotherapy is goal oriented, short term and recharges your energy levels. Internal awareness of the activity of the mind and the feelings and sensations in the body are greatly enhanced through hypnotherapy, and attention is brought into the present. Instead of strengthening our tendency to get lost in thought, we are quickly retrained to be present and alive in the here and now.

Tai Chi and Hypnotherapy can provide an extremely potent and long lasting approach to healing. Both of these methods increase our awareness of the present and take us out of the illusory world of the imagination. Tai Chi and Hypnotherapy enhance our ability to handle stress, become aware of and work with feelings and emotions, and relate to ourselves and others in a more natural and peaceful way. Tai Chi and Hypnotherapy are both excellent means to a more rewarding life and are perfectly complimentary undertakings.

Michael R. Pekor MS, C.Ht. is a practicing Hypnotherapist and member of the Patience Tai Chi Association. His private practice is located in East Meadow Long Island. Anyone interested in finding out more about Hypnotherapy can call or email Long Island Hypnotherapy to arrange a free consultation. He also holds an M.S. in Sports Psychology and has won Gold Medals for form and push hands in international competition.

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