GRAND ISLAND — When people think of hypnotism, proms, college events and a man dangling a watch in front of someone’s face are a few of the first things that probably come to mind.
But what about using hypnosis to treat illness, reverse trauma and lose weight?
This is what hypnotherapist Jan Amundson does at her clinic, Amundson Medical Hypnotherapy for Wellness at 2604 St. Patrick Ave. in Grand Island.
Amundson is a retired nurse practitioner who started practicing hypnotherapy five years ago, opening her clinic a year after starting.
“It (hypnosis) is a huge gift that we each have that is just untapped,” she said. “I believe hypnosis should be used in conjunction with a medical plan to help the patient reach their goal.”
Amundson said hypnosis does not replace medicine, but getting the mind on board with the treatment plan helps the healing go more smoothly.
She has used hypnosis in patients with fibromyalgia, overactive bladder syndrome and cancer, just to name a few health problems.
The treatments help patients dive into their subconscious to figure out their belief patterns and alleviate symptoms of some of these illnesses.
With cancer patients, hypnosis is used to help them change their mindset when going into chemotherapy and when fighting the disease in general.
“There is really not too much that we do in our world that doesn’t involve getting your head on straight first before you do it, and that’s why it really is an effective tool,” said Amundson.
A problem she faces is the misconception that hypnosis is about mind control.
Amundson said hypnosis is done by the patients themselves, She is only a guide.
“No one can make you go in hypnosis, period. That’s just the way it is,” she said.
A new program Amundson will be bringing to her clinic is WildFit, a long-term weight-loss program. It works by freeing people from certain foods and encourages them to eat healthy.
“A side effect of getting really, nutritionally healthy is that you lose weight,” said Amundson.
The program helps educate people about what foods they need to be eating, as well as helping them free themselves from unhealthy foods by getting to the roots of their psychological and emotional connections to food.
Amundson said the program does not use hypnosis but, if she sees someone struggling to let go of the connection to certain foods, she will suggest the possibility of using hypnosis.
“It’s different,” she said of WildFit. “I lost 32 pounds on it and I’m 61 ... I can walk by my favorite foods now and they really aren’t my favorite foods anymore.”
The first WildFit class, which is new to the area, will be Aug. 20 and will continue for three months.
The inaugural program costs $500, but the price will go up.
Amundson is excited to be able to add the weight-loss program to the list of services available at the clinic.
Overall, she wants people to take away that hypnotism isn’t scary, but a healing tool.
“If someone really wants to get really healthy and reach their goals and transform their lives, I’ve got the background to do all of that for them. I know where to go and where to take them,” Amundson said. “If they’re willing to spend the time and the money to do it, I can get them there.”