Hypnotist Help Thyself….And Get Your Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do!

Can you imagine doing a jumping right foot side kick and breaking two neck high boards with your foot?  Well, if you are a hypnotist you’ll love reading this amazing story of triumph as  Jessica Karas tells us how she used hypnosis to do just that and get her black belt in Tae Kwon Do!  Please read this incredible story of subconscious and conscious mind working together to fulfill a very special dream.

Before we move into the story I just want to say that for some time, I’ve been impressed with Jessica.  Now, after her story I’m even more impressed.  Jessica “Jess” Karas is a 5-PATH Hypnotist in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Not only does Jess have her own Hypnosis practice, but she also gives freely of her time helping new hypnotists understand difficult concepts via our active message board.  In addition, Jess has 3 children (one with autism) and she is a mentor with Big Brothers/Sisters.   Now on to this incredible story!

How long have you been a hypnotist?    I became a hypnotist in February, 2005….so 5 1/2 years. 


What inspired you to get your certification?  As a last resort, I gave hypnosis a try for an issue I was struggling with.  The only thing I “knew” about hypnosis was the corny stuff I’d seen in movies—–you are getting verrrryyyy sssslllleeeeepppyyy—–but I was that desperate.  It helped in unexpected ways and I was intrigued by the process.  When my hypnotherapist, Roberta Worm, mentioned she would be teaching a course, I signed up.  It happened to be 5-PATH & 7th PATH, but I really didn’t know what that was until I took my training.

Wow!  You just happened to fall into some of the best training available in hypnosis.

Where’s your practice and what is is your practice like?  —— My practice is in Lincoln, Nebraska.  When I graduated, I looked for office space in a mini- mall (as we were encouraged to do in class) for the exposure and accessibility to walk-ins.  However, at the time, not much of this type of commercial space was available and the areas that held this sort of retail space were not in very desirable locations.  I looked at other office spaces that were part of medical or business complexes, but was put off by the price. I was very stressed about juggling the needs of my family, and this almost-getting-off-the-ground hypnosis business.

I finally realized (duh!) I didn’t have to be like anyone else, I could have a business model that suited me and the demands of my life.  So, I refinished a portion of my basement, doing the work myself, and set up a home office.  I designed my own business logo & cards, and I was off and running. I see clients on a part-time basis, which allows me the flexibility I need for the other areas of my life.

What kinds of clients/issues do you work with? —- I work with whatever comes through the door.   When I started my business, I thought it would be mostly smokers and weight loss people, but I don’t really seem to attract much of that.  Interestingly, clients’ issues seem to go through cycles or themes.  Sometimes the theme is traumatic abuse. Sometimes it’s limiting fears: fear of public speaking, or flying, for example.  The theme of the last 4-5 months has been clients whose sexuality goes against the religious beliefs they were brought up with.  It’s led to some really deep, wonderful discussions about God, church doctrine, tradition, faith, etc.    I love the variety.  You never know what you’re going to get. 

I can relate.  Kinda like a box of chocolates isn’t it?   Now for the big question, have you used hypnosis on yourself?  What methods did you use?  Originally, I had sessions in 5 & 7th PATH for my own issues relating to intimacy.  Since then, I’ve practiced 7th PATH quite a bit, often with my husband.  Most recently, I used a combination of techniques to prepare for my 2nd Degree Black Belt testing in Tae kwon do.  

A bit of back-story first:   a long time ago, a horse I was riding went through a jump, instead of over it.  She fell; I fell.  She was alright.  I broke bones (tailbone, sacrum, collarbone, and nose).  I went off the horse to the right, so the right side of my body was more affected. I’ve also had surgery on my right foot.  Add in being 45 years old, and I’m not the most agile person out there!

The black belt test involves, among other things, breaking 2 boards—-at neck height—with a jumping right foot side kick.  Since I jump like a rock, I found this to be very challenging.  So challenging, in fact, that in the 18 months I practiced it, I was never successful.  I was very frustrated and discouraged.  It was as if my mind knew what to do, but my body wasn’t listening.  It made me feel old, and stupid, and uncoordinated.  I even asked about alternatives, but I wasn’t successful with those kicks either.

Finally, I realized that I wanted to do the standard technique, partly out of pride, (I didn’t want to be the old lady who couldn’t do it) and partly because I didn’t like the way it had a hold over me.  I’ve broken plenty of boards, why should this be any different?

That’s when I went to work on myself through hypnosis.  I used self-regression and uncovered/released:  fear of injury, fear of failing, fear of looking stupid, fear of hurting the people holding the boards (which I’d done many times), fear that I’d always be a first degree, limiting beliefs about age/past injury/lack of flexibility, fear that I didn’t deserve to be a 2nd degree, the need to compare myself to others, the fear that I wasn’t working out hard enough, and more.  Then one day in class, I broke the boards!  Now I knew it was possible.  Game on!

Next I shifted to visualization.  I pictured the end result—-foot through boards and the distinctive sound it makes.  I visualized myself smiling, uninjured and triumphant, afterwards.  I also released myself from the need to over think this.  Also, since I had begun dreading going to class because of all the failed attempts I began a series of suggestions that I gave myself hundreds of times over the summer.  I began with: “I am loose, confident, and happy every time I step in to the gym”.  This evolved into: “My body knows what to do to break the boards”.    To: “I pass my test with flying colors.”   Somewhere along the way, the word “effortless” became important as well.  I never thought about/pictured the process, only the end result, trusting my body to do the rest.  

I went from never breaking the boards, to breaking them at least once a week.  In the week’s right before the test, I would walk around my (empty) house yelling:  “I am an awesome board breaker!”   I kept up the suggestions dozens of times a day, especially while driving in the car.  In addition, I put some of the broken boards near my bed so I could smell that fresh, piney fragrance all night—–weird, I know, but I wanted to stack the deck as much as possible.

 At testing, I mumbled suggestions to myself almost constantly while I breathed low & slow to maintain calm.  I set up my board holders, took several steps back, telling myself “my body knows what to do” and……..the boards broke…..first try.   I have no conscious recall of the jump, the kick, or the moment of impact.  All I heard was the distinctive sound they make when they break, and then I was aware that I was walking away.  I couldn’t even tell you which specific part of my body touched the boards.  It’s supposed to be the heel, and usually, even though it doesn’t usually hurt, you can feel the point on your foot that touched the boards.  To me, it was as if those boards broke themselves.   The neat thing?  Later on, several different people commented to me that it looked “effortless” : -). 


Amazing!  I LOVE that you put the broken boards by your bed so you could smell them!  That is so cool!  After this, for the record, I have to ask a stupid question.  Would you recommend that hypnotists use hypnosis for their own problems?  Absolutely.  I think it makes you a better provider if you have first hand knowledge of what the hypnosis process feels like, and what it can achieve.  It also makes you better able think on your feet if your client goes in an unexpected direction. 

Do you have any special techniques you use on yourself that you can share?  I do a lot of positive energy sort of stuff.  I visualize myself in a bubble of peaceful, white light and all the stress and ugliness of the day just splats on and slides off.  I especially use this around my autistic son.  He’s a great kid, but he struggles with a lot of anxiety and he’s a world-champion pessimist.   I have to stay on my toes not to get sucked in to all that drama.  Also, more and more, I’ve been using self-regression.  I observe my feelings and work back to the source, releasing the old, stuck energy along the way.


Jess, I just want to thank you for sharing your story.  I loved it and I just know our readers will be inspired to remember to use hypnosis on themselves because of it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them even get into martial arts after this!   You’re truly an inspiration in our field and I am so glad to have you in my professional circle.  See you on the message board Jess!

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Were You Born to Help Others?

To have a successful hypnosis practice, you have to not only do sessions, but also do office work.

To have a successful hypnosis practice, you have to not only do sessions, but also do office work.

Were you born to help others have happy fulfilling lives?  Are you looking for a new career or a way to bring in additional income?  Are you a therapist, nurse, or counselor who needs some new life breathed into your work?  If so, a career in hypnosis may be a good fit for you. 

Please read below an early article about what it was like for me when I began my journey as a hypnotist.  This article, though written about 3 years ago, still has a lot of validity.  If you have any questions, please contact me anytime.  To find out more go to www.DallasHypnosisCareerTraining.com

The Frugal but Professional Practice (Part 2)
By Celeste Hackett

In this article read about:


  • The Hairy Hypnotist of Houston.
  • How to Do a Sniff Test.
  • The Cheapest Malpractice Insurance You Can Get.
  • The Lagniappe Method.

In my last article I addressed several things which I think are important when starting your hypnosis practice without a lot of money. One was get good business training, so that you can organize your office and handle in-coming calls efficiently. Another I mentioned was to consider working from home (I work from an apartment in Dallas.)

Working from your home is a great way to get started right away for many people, so let’s explore this a bit more. There are ways to work from home no matter how little money you have. I only had about $2000.00, but you could begin with as little as the price of a used recliner, business cards and flyers.

Most of my initial working budget was spent on my website, (right at about $1000.00), brochures, business cards, video recording equipment, and a yellow pages ad. Before I actually set up my business I also got a good deal of training and training materials, so I am not counting education in my start up cost. This article assumes that you already have decent basic training as a hypnotist.

Now even though I say that working from home is great for many people I did not say ALL people. For instance, people who are not relatively decent house-keepers, and those who collect clutter are a couple of examples who should not work from home. But, my friend, opinions are just that, opinions.

The Hairy Hypnotist of Houston

I once knew a cat fur-covered man in Houston, a 65 year old bachelor, who worked from his old and decaying bachelor-like home (as a family counselor –often dabbling in waking hypnosis) and he loved to do it his way. He only charged $20.00 for an hour and ½ and he was very talented. So, for people like me who can over look tons of cat hair (and cats) and dust for the right price (and results) he was a God-send. In fact, he had people flying in from all over the country to see him! So keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule.

Now, Lets talk about your cute doggy, or is it your cute kitty? Do not work from a pet-centric home unless you can keep the noise, odor and friendliness under control. My husband and I would really like a cat, but lots of people are allergic to cats and those little four legged-furry people can be very neurotic. I once had a cat that would jump at any door and meow loudly until I would let him in no matter what room I was in.

I have to admit right here and now, though, that I LOVE going to shops that have a cat running around. It feels homey. So maybe it would be okay if you had one of those quiet independent cat types. If you really want to work from home and you can’t afford an office and you love your little Bowsers or meowsers, I guess you could give it a try. If it doesn’t work you will find out soon enough. Or you could consider becoming a niche hypnotist. You could put an ad in the local Pet Gazette and call yourself The Pet Lover’s Hypnotist. Personally, I don’t think you’ll really be able to make a living at it.

How to Do a Sniff Test

Thinking of pets brings me to another point, smells. Do you take out the garbage regularly? Do you cook a lot? Do you change the cat’s litter box every day? Do you even realize that your house smells like last night’s popcorn? Working from home you are more likely to have odors that you wouldn’t have in an outside office. So, I’ve made it a rule, at my apartment, to step outside on the balcony before clients come in and take a few breaths of fresh air. I then come back inside and do the sniff test. This may seem silly, but it’s very important because, let’s face it, once you have been inside with an odor you easily overlook it after a while.

Also, you should consider working outside of the home if you are in an unstable or emotionally explosive relationship. It’s important to be in a calming environment where you are supported and encouraged. When I first started learning hypnosis I was in a relationship with a “person” who was very critical. I actually tried seeing clients from our home in between bouts of arguing, and let me tell you, it was pretty hard to concentrate on hypnosis or my clients needs at those times. It didn’t help that I also was always afraid he might do something or say something that would embarrass me in some way. Luckily, I got the heck out of that relationship!

So, what about safety issues? Anytime you work from home you take on some amount of personal risk. Yes, there are bad people and bad things do happen to perfectly nice people every day. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to always be very honest and fair. I make sure that even if a client doesn’t get exactly what they came in for, they at least get some benefit and they leave feeling good about themselves and that causes them to like me. I also am very careful not to make false claims and I do not guarantee success.

The Cheapest Malpractice Insurance You Can Get

You may find it interesting to know that also, safety, in terms of being sued for malpractice, could boil down to how nice you are! In the book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, shares information showing that in analyses of malpractice lawsuits there are highly skilled doctors who get sued a lot and there are doctors who make lots of mistakes and never get sued. There are also an overwhelming number of people who suffer injury due to negligence of a doctor and never file a malpractice suit at all!

After further investigation Gladwell discovered that what comes up a lot in malpractice cases is that patients say they were rushed, ignored or treated poorly. He quotes a leading medical malpractice lawyer, Alice Burkin, who says, “People just don’t sue doctors they like.” This lawyer also states that she has never had a client say, I really like this doctor, and I feel terrible doing it, but I want to sue him.” She says they come in wanting to sue some specialist, and when she tells them, “We don’t think that doctor was negligent, we think it’s your primary care doctor who was at fault.” They then say something like, “I don’t care what she did. I love her and I’m not suing her.” So, your best malpractice insurance may be your tone of voice, your undivided attention and your sympathetic expression.

Even though I believe being nice is probably the best malpractice insurance you can get, I do not mean that you should forego REAL malpractice insurance. I get mine through American Professional Agency, INC. Their number is 1-800-421-6694. I pay only $116.00 per year, but will have to pay more as I see more clients.

Another important thing to do is use your instincts. When someone calls Family First Hypnosis, I very simply tune into my gut and I suggest you do too. Since I have worked many years both in person and on the phone with the general public(I was a major market radio announcer), I quickly get a pretty good feel for whether or not I have a person with a problem or a problem with a problem. If you are not a good judge of character, DO NOT work from home!

Also, I make it a rule to see male clients in the afternoon when my husband is home(I have a very supportive husband who is as quiet as a mouse). I did have one male client I scheduled in the morning while my husband was at work. Not only did my intuition give him the okay on the phone, but he wanted to schedule himself, his wife and niece for a group session. Bad men don’t usually want to bring a wife and niece with them. I don’t do group sessions, so I declined. He went on to book a one-on-one session for himself anyway. As I suspected he turned out to be a fine person. But note, that yes, I took a risk. Hey, everything in life is a risk.

The final and most important thing to keep yourself safe is to meditate, do 7th Path Self-Hypnosis®, or some other spiritual alignment or inner cleansing effort. Many hypnotists surround themselves with light or spiritual protection while in an altered state.

Someone who was into the concept of Karma once told me that I should be more careful anyway, because I could also be unknowingly bringing bad past karma from a former life into this one. Well, if that is the case, and meditation and right action are not enough, it seems to me the piper would have to be paid sooner or later whether I work from home or an outside office, right? In the mean time I get to help people while enjoying all the comforts of home.

In my next article I hope to show you how to make your hypnosis practice more friendly and palatable to clients who might think hypnosis is weird no matter if you work at home or not. If I have time and space I hope to also include my personal budget that I use for my office here at Chisolm Place Apartments. You will be amazed at how inexpensive it is to have a practice from home!

The Lagniappe Method

Before I wrap up I want to offer you an idea, something we Louisianan’s call Lagniappe. (I’m originally from central Louisiana, but I lived in New Orleans for 8 1/2 years.) New Orleans, before its sad demise, was full of lagniappe. Lagniappe means “a little something extra.” You get lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap) when you order a dozen oysters on the half shell and they give you 13. Or when you buy a new hammer and a box of nails comes with it.

If you believe like I do that what goes around comes around, or you reap what you sow then it is worth considering using this lagniappe method in your hypnosis practice. Many 5-PATH֭™-ERS (hypnotists who practice the 5-PATH™ system of hypnosis) offer to teach 7th Path (A special self-hypnosis that can be used for on-going self-healing and is influenced by meditation.) or they offer the book The Secret Language of Feelings for free. These are planned lagniappe offerings. But opportunities for employing spontaneous lagniappe may be even more powerful.

An example of a spontaneous lagniappe opportunity happened to us yesterday. A client, who lives and dies by her day timer, accidentally left it in my office. Even though, her place of employment was out of the way, my husband willingly drove over and returned it to her. She was very grateful indeed. In fact, she was so touched by the gesture that she told several of her colleagues all about the wonderful hypnosis experience she had just had. When my husband arrived with the day planner he was bombarded with questions about hypnosis and our business!

To illustrate further I’d like to offer a bit of lagniappe from me to you. This “little something extra” is made especially for hypnotists who are very gustatory like me. So, here you go an unexpected freebie for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate you.

Wicked-Good Hypnotic Cookies
(Do not eat while driving)

1 ½ cups of oat flakes
1 ½ cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup corn oil
½ cup of water
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup of toasted sunflower seeds

Stir it all together. Use an ice-cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measurer to scoop out. Put these large mounds of batter on the cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes for 375 degrees. Eat them carefully. They are known to cause deep trance.

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Hypnosis Research for Burn Patients

Hi, I’m Celeste Hackett, Certified Professional Hypnosis Instructor and Board Certified Hypnotist. I just love teaching hypnosis training classes in Dallas and I am constantly amazed at the creative ways hypnosis can be utilized to help people overcome a variety of problems. Recently researchers from the Université de Lyon in Villeurbanne Cedex, France, studied guided imagery (something hypnotists do with most every client) to see if it could improve motor performance in the rehabilitation of burn patients.

The study looked at the effects of a 2-week Motor Imagery training program, combined with conventional rehabilitation, on the recovery of motor functions in patients specifically with hand burns. Fourteen patients at the Medical Burn Center took part in the study and were randomly assigned to either the guided imagery or the control group. Behavioral data related to the ability to perform each successive step of three manual motor sequences were collected at five intervals. The results showed evidence that Motor Imagery training may facilitate motor recovery, and noted that the belief in the effectiveness of Motor Imagery was strong in all patients. Motor Imagery may substantially contribute to improve the efficacy of conventional rehabilitation programs. Therefore, this technique should be considered as a reliable alternative method to help burn patients to recover motor functions.

Hypnotists routinely do guided imagery and have for years. Guided imagery is just one of many tools a hypnotist uses for working with pain, physical ailments as well as stress and many other things.

Here is where you can find the article:Citation: Guillot A, Lebon F, Vernay M, Girbon JP, Doyon J, Collet C. Effect of motor imagery in the rehabilitation of burn patients. Journal of Burn Care Research. 2009 Jul-Aug; 30 (4): pages 686-93.

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