“There’s nothing much to photograph you know,” jokes Dr Vanit Nalwa, when asked if she could be photographed in the chamber where she conducts her hypnotherapy sessions. “No candles or swinging pendulums!”
Dr Nalwa, well-known Delhi-based hypnotherapist and neuropsychologist, isn’t far off the mark. For many people, the word hypnosis conjures images that have more to do with magic than medicine.
But the truth is that hypnotherapy is a scientifically-acknowledged discipline that can be used by itself or in combination with other types of therapies to help patients achieve their goals, says Reema Shah, Mumbai-based psychologist and hypnotherapist. Approved by the American and British Medical Associations, hypnosis is “scientifically researched and can even be seen on a brain scan,” claims Dr Dayal Mirchandani, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist.
Using the subconscious
According to Shah, hypnotherapy is very effective with anxiety disorders, phobias and traumas. Addictions like smoking and drinking and even kleptomania can also be cured effectively through hypnotherapy, though results may vary from person to person. Dr Nalwa, who trained in the UK and has had patients ranging in ages from six to 60, says that generally people come for various phobias as well as marital and work-related problems. She encourages people to try hypnotherapy only if they have an open mind about it and says that often, people approach hypnotherapy as a last resort due to lack of awareness.