CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Research shows it can help with weight loss, breaking a bad habit, hot flashes, and even pain management. While many people think of hypnosis as a parlor trick, it's being used as a relaxation technique to change thoughts, feeling and behaviors.
In a cozy office on the 5th floor of the Maritime building, Hillary Evans uses hypnosis to change lives for the better.
"There's different methods at doing hypnosis but at the most basic, it is relaxing the mind," said Evans. "First relaxing the body, then relaxing the mind."
Evans is a certified clinical hypnotherapist who runs her own practice called TrueHypnosis. She guides her clients through a five-phase method of changing their thoughts, feelings, behaviors and some ailments.
"I see a lot of people for everything," said Evans. "I had a client come to me for an emergency tooth ache and they just couldn't get to the dentist right away. So, I helped them with pain management."
Carrie Montegomery is one of Evans'clients. She began hypnotherapy as a boost in confidence.
"Really, I just needed someone to amp up the other voice there that was saying, 'You can do this!' and turn down the voice telling me I couldn't," said Montegomery.
Montegomery says the hypnosis worked like a charm. From there, she began allowing Evans to help her with other things like memory loss and shoulder pain.
"She used a dial for me with numbers and she said, 'Where is your pain at?'" said Montegomery. "So, I was at a 6 or 7. So, I'm envisioning a dial with numbers and breathing into the pain and just turning it down to zero."
Evans says she's helped clients tackle things like stuttering, depression, and dealing with life changes like divorce and grief.
"It's really tapping into their own inner strength that they have. It's a natural way of making change," said Evans. "Really anything that the mind controls, hypnosis can work with."
Evans says hypnotherapy has the greatest impact on those who believe in the process.
"People often say, 'Well, can you hypnotize me?' And the answer is yes, if you want to participate. It's really something that-- it's not magic; it's not mind control," said Evans. "The client is always in control. Their conscious mind is always present. We're just dialing it down."
Evans says most of her clients are free of their ailments within five sessions of hypnotherapy.