The Magic Cure

Lindsay Bland

Lindsay Bland

“You’re getting very sleeeepy…your eyes are getting soooooo heavy…”

Most people think of hypnosis as a sideshow trick used at fairs and high school graduation parties. The image of a pocket watch swinging slowly in front of a person’s eyes as he starts to drift off into a peaceful slumber is quite familiar. However, hypnosis is gaining popularity as it helps people overcome phobias and addictions.

Norma MacArthur owns Hypnosis Therapy in Sioux Falls.

The retired social worker became interested in hypnotherapy after attending a presentation by a hypnotherapist when she was attending Sioux Falls College.

“I actually got hypnotized myself, if you can believe that,” MacArthur said. “That’s really where my interest got started.”

In addition to a degree in psychology and sociology, MacArthur has taken several classes on hypnotherapy to help her with her business.

To be considered a hyponotherapist, an individual must induce a hypnotic state in a client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns through hypnosis, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Directory of Occupational Titles. The hypnotherapist must also consult with the client to determine the nature of the problem and prepare the clients to enter the hypnotic state.

MacArthur treats people for all sorts of reasons. She said the most popular reason people seek hypnotherapy is to kick their addiction to smoking. But she also works with individuals on particular phobias and past-life regressions.

During a typical session, MacArthur talks for one solid hour and brings her patient into a deep state of relaxation. She encourages the patient to focus on deep breathing and tells the patient to get in-touch with himself as a small child. This helps the patient to pinpoint where his addiction may have started. Then he imagines the himself and the child going inside his body with a bucket of fresh water and a paintbrush and cleaning his black lungs.

If a person has a specific phobia, MacArthur will bring them face-to-face with their phobia and help him overcome his fear.

MacArthur said her patients tend to have a high success rate. But she doesn’t take just anyone.

“Before I will work on someone, they have to give me five good reasons why they should be hypnotized,” she said.

She said that desire fuels a patient’s success. If a person does not want to stop smoking, even after the hypnotherapy, they aren’t going to be able to quit.

MacArthur gives her patients a total of four sessions, each of which cost $40.

Hypnosis isn’t a magic cure. Patients are usually required to come for four sessions. According to MacArthur, a person can’t go through hypnotherapy once and be cured.

“It takes time,” she said.

MacArthur said that hypnosis is misunderstood. Most people use it therapeutically.

“It’s not what people think,” she said. “You don’t go under.”