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February 14th, 2010

After 27 years of teaching children in the Delaware school system, Ilona Lind says the high stress and fast pace had caught up with her. My body was a wreck because I had ignored it for so long, Lind says. Once she retired, things became quieter and she was able to listen to her body; she knew it was time to reconnect. Some ways she did this were by practicing yoga and meditation and receiving chiropractic and physical therapy treatments. It took her nearly five years to cultivate new habits of behavior and create a healthier lifestyle; but since she was retired, she had the time to start investing in herself, which ultimately led to an investment in her future career.

Life-altering seminar

Commited to taking care of her body, Lind needed to change some longstanding patterns. She had gained weight and was feeling sluggish, so she and her husband, Joe, attended a weight-reduction hypnosis seminar in Delaware ten years ago. With the aid of hypnosis, they each met their weight-loss goals within five months she lost 30 pounds, and he lost 50. We were both so motivated that it was easy to reach our goals, Lind says. There wasn t the internal mental chattering or fight that usually goes on in the mind, the voice that says, I can t do this, and that s where the hypnosis was helpful. It impressed me how easy it was, she says. When the subconscious mind gets tuned in with your goals at this deep level, anything is possible.

The journey to hypnotherapy

With her weight under control, Lind began looking for a new challenge. She has always been the happiest when she s helping others. Along with teaching, Lind volunteered on weekends for 15 years in the Alternatives to Violence Project, a program started by the Quakers in the 1970s that offers male and female prisoners techniques for dealing with anger. At Maris Grove, she has been giving back through the community s Environmental Committee since 2007, at one point serving as its chairperson. She continues to be involved in the group s many initiatives, including its tree-planting and battery recycling projects. Given her penchant for helping others and supporting the greater good, when Lind saw an ad for hypnosis certification last year, she decided to give it a try. Her attendance in the 12-week session certified her as a hypnosis consultant specializing in smoking cessation by the National Guild of Hypnotists. Many people want to stop smoking but struggle to release the habit, she says. This allows me to enable people to release cigarette smoking as a deadly habit and replace it with a new sense of freedom, higher self-esteem, and improved health.

Preparing people for hypnotherapy

When working with new clients, Lind follows a step-by-step process. The first step is to do a phone consultation. She also requires the client to listen to a hypnosis meditation/induction CD every day for 21 days (the time it takes to make or break a habit). This can be used either upon waking or before sleeping. The next step is a personal consultation so Lind can learn more about the person s background. This is where intention and goals are established, and a plan to quit smoking is designed. The third step requires the client to collaborate with his/her doctor to go on a nicotine replacement treatment program parallel with the hypnosis program. There is a high statistical success rate for doing both programs together. Following this, weekly appointments for hypnosis consultation can begin.

How hypnosis works

During each session, Lind uses relaxation techniques to guide the client into a state akin to meditation or deep relaxation. Critical thinking pathways in the mind are bypassed, leaving the mind open to suggestion, Lind explains. Once Lind guides a person into a hypnotic state, she helps him/her visualize ways to release the old behaviors, or image the future free of the habit. This means that a person has the opportunity to visualize and feel what his/her life would be like without smoking. Not only is it easy for someone to enter a hypnotic state, says Lind, but it is completely safe the trance-like experience can be terminated by either the practitioner or the client at any time. Hypnosis is all about working with the present, releasing the past, and imagining the future to live life fully and joyfully, Lind says. It is a tool that can help people who are on the verge of wanting to leave behind whatever bad habits or modes of thinking and behaviors they have that are holding them back from reaching their goals. Because many times clients don t remember what happened under hypnosis, Lind writes up an analysis after each session and gives it to them.

And the journey continues

Lind is currently working toward the completion of an advanced hypnosis certification. Her business, Illuminating Hypnosis, is located at Q Salon and Spa at Crossroads Shopping Center, 1102 Baltimore Pike, Suite 121, less than a quarter-mile from Maris Grove. She works on a by-appointment basis, putting in about eight to ten hours a week. At Maris Grove, Lind has hypnotized people for anxiety reduction, weight management, smoking cessation, and self-esteem. In addition, she regularly applies self-hypnosis and uses hypnosis on her husband.