We have all seen shows where a hypnotist calls people on stage and gets them to do weird things in a hypnotic trance.

So I have to admit that I had my reservations when my editor asked me to actually try a hypnotherapy session for this article.

But the experience turned out to be quite different from what I had imagined. Pavan Nihalani, from Dubai-based company Illuminations conducted what is known as an induction session for me.

In a quiet room I was asked to sit on a couch. He put on some soft music and asked me to close my eyes and relax. He then asked me to count backwards from 50.

At first I was tense, but slowly I began to relax. I was fully aware of everything around me, but felt far way.

I heard his voice softly telling me to imagine walking down a wide staircase.

Every step took me deeper and deeper into my own mind and I savoured the feeling of tranquillity and stillness.

When I opened my eyes, I felt as though nothing had happened. But I felt refreshed and peaceful.

Fear no more

Hypnotherapy uses the power of the human mind to heal itself. The induction session was a prelude to therapeutic treatment.

It helps people to get over the fear of being hypnotised. And it helps to build a rapport with the therapist, which is necessary for him to guide clients into the deeper layers of their mind.

In future sessions my therapist will help me explore my subconscious to trace the origin of my chronic knee pain; and hopefully that will help me deal with it better and maybe even eliminate it.

“Often people blame their boss, their spouse or their circumstances for their problems and failures. But the actual origin of our behaviour patterns is based in the experiences stored in our subconscious mind across time and space.

"And it is our own thoughts that manifest our reality. In hypnotherapy we access the subconscious mind of a willing patient by altering the state of the conscious mind.

"This enables the patient to understand the origin of his negative thoughts and behaviour patterns and to change them,'' explained Dr Yuvraj Kapadia, well known clinical hypnotherapist and trainer from India.

Kapadia was in Dubai on the invitation of Illuminations, to hold workshops in clinical hypnotherapy.

He is the founder of the International Academy of Life in India that conducts self empowerment workshops for individuals and corporates.

He also established the California Hypnosis Institute of India, the country's only professional school of hypnotherapy.

The school conducts clinical hypnotherapy courses certified by the Los Angeles based California Institute of Hypnotherapy and endorsed by the American Hypnosis Association.

Allaying my fears about losing control under hypnosis Kapadia said, “Clinical hypnotherapy is different from stage hypnosis. The techniques we use create a state where the body is sleeping but the mind is awake.

"So you are completely aware of what is happening. And you are in control and can stop your therapist from going in a direction that you do not wish to explore.''

Transform lives

He emphasised that hypnotherapy is the safest and most powerful tool available to transform our lives.

“It can be used to treat emotional and mental issues related to relationships, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders; as well as physical conditions that cannot be treated by modern medicine such as psoriasis, eczema, asthma, etc.

"It is also effective in treating children for bed wetting or to improve their memory,'' he said.

Perhaps it will cure my knee ache. And I also see hope in dealing with some behaviour patterns that I have not been able to change despite many New Year resolutions. But that is another story.

— Jyoti Kalsi is a UAE-based freelance writer

Hypnotherapy workshops

Dubai-based company, Illuminations regularly holds workshops on clinical hypnotherapy.

The company has been set up by Soniyaa Kiran Punjabi and Pavan Nihalani, both of whom are qualified clinical hypnotherapists.

“Our aim in establishing Illuminations is to spread awareness about the power of the self, mind and consciousness through talks, workshops and counselling sessions on self empowerment and stress management by well known healers for individuals, corporates and educational institutes in the UAE,'' says Nihalani.

Kapadia will hold workshops from January 30. These are open to all who are seeking knowledge of the mind, as well as healers in reiki, pranic, spa employees or those who wish to enhance their skills in the field of complementary healing.

For more information on the workshops or on individual counselling sessions, call 050 466 5849 or 050 645 2278 or e-mail info@illuminationsworld.com.

Corporate Training Programmes

In collaboration with the International Academy of Life, Illuminations also conducts training programmes for corporates based on the power of the subconscious mind.

These focus on helping each company find what activity it is most suited to do and helping individual employees to discover their true potential and unearth that streak of excellence within them.

For more information, contact Illuminations on 050 6452278 or e-mail pavan@illuminationsworld.com