Todd: Why is it so important for holistic business owners to distinguish themselves?
Kyra: It’s important that they are ensuring to approach the full body, mind and spirit instead of just one aspect of the physical body. For example, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture tend to look primarily at the physical aspect, and when you incorporate the mental side, which is what is keeping the body in difficulty, you are helping the body stay more in alignment for a lot longer and the more you are successful with your clients, the more your clients are going to tell everyone about you, and your business will grow—because that’s the point, right? It’s not just about making money; it’s about creating transformation for the client. The more people we can transform, the better off the world will be because the body, the mind and the spirit all need to be in harmony with each other. It can’t just be one thing. It’s got to be all of the things.
Todd: Why is it so beneficial to offer a mental-emotional therapeutic component if you are primarily a bodyworker?
Kyra: Because when someone has trauma, and they’re not addressing the trauma, the PTSD or the anxiety, they are keeping the body in tension and pain. They’re not dealing with the underlying current of the emotional problem, which is keeping the body in discomfort. So if you want to transform the entire person from a truly holistic place, then it’s important to understand at minimum how the mind and emotions are affecting and keeping the body in pain. Otherwise, we only physically adjust and manipulate the body, and it will go right back out of alignment because the mind is what is keeping the body in pain. The mind is what reminds us not to do 'that thing' again that created the physical misalignment in the first place.
Todd: Great answer. I remember a chiropractor once told me that once you are able to feel a physical sensation of pain in your body, you are already at 91% pain. In other words, your body’s pain signals don’t register to the mind when the body is in up to 90% pain. But when you hit 91%, the pain signals of the body do register in the mind. So:
That tells us that the mind does register and manage the pain.
It tells us that the mind is not prioritizing pain management unless it becomes extreme. (Also add that the public does not generally prioritize self-care.)
This implies that maintenance is important because the body doesn’t always tell you that something is wrong until it’s becoming too late.
That’s why doctors say exercise three days per week; get regular chiropractic adjustments; see a hypnotherapist once every couple of weeks—just for maintenance! People who regularly get massages know that regardless of whether or not you think you need a massage or a chiropractic adjustment, it’s good to get a massage every couple of weeks purely for the detoxification benefits and to get a chiropractic adjustment every couple of weeks for preventative maintenance to avoid injury and keep your body’s muscles and organs functioning at 100%. We don’t do this only because it feels good or because it’s a frill, but because it is self-care to be proactive with these choices.
Kyra: The first massage I ever received was from a person who also did guided imagery, and I’ve never experienced guided imagery before. And she was asking me to really go into my body and pay attention to the feelings that I was having as I was paying attention to my body. And paying attention to the discomfort in certain areas. And it caused me to have an emotional release of all of the emotional pain that I was physically carrying in my body. Once I released that, and I was crying, and there was certainly some primal screaming that was happening, and I was really feeling my feelings. Whereas my mind had been keeping me separate from my body and protecting me from it because I did not know how much pain I was in. And once I realized how much pain I was in—yes, it was painful—we were actually able to get somewhere and make some progress with how my body was locked down in certain areas. But without that guided imagery and without that type of hypnosis, I would not have been able to access what I was really feeling, and my practitioner would have only been working on knots in my body.
Todd: Was this a massage or Reiki or something else?
Kyra: It was massage, and she was also talking, doing some guided imagery for me.
Todd: That sounds like an example of someone who was incorporating two modalities into your session and helped you to achieve a lot better results.
Kyra: If she had only massaged me, I would not have received the same results.
Todd: And a lot of trauma is stored directly into the body.
Kyra: That’s right. It’s stored in the body and can be accessed through the mental-emotional state.
Todd: And that holistic practitioner who was working on you knew that and helped you to receive a deeper, more holistic result because she was incorporating two modalities at the same time: massage therapy and hypnotherapy. And that made a bigger overall difference for you in terms of helping you to grow and transform. Thereby making you happier as a client and making it much more likely that you would refer business to your practitioner through word-of-mouth advertising. You were probably singing her praises to everyone you knew.
Kyra: That’s what I did. Combining modalities is very powerful, but a lot of people don’t know how to do it effectively. A chiropractor can sit and do talk therapy and conversational hypnosis with their client before even getting into the physical manipulation of the bones and spine. For example, the chiropractor could ask, “Okay, so you’ve had trauma. Where have you experienced trauma in your body? Where and when did this happen? What happened?" And then find ways to access the client’s subconscious ability to start to heal their body. A chiropractor could do this relatively quickly within 15 minutes of meeting their client for the first time and learning about where this all started for them. And they could do the physical manipulation, and add in, saying, “Hey, you know, I believe hypnosis could be effective for you. Would you like to do that during your first session while we’re doing physical manipulation? Or, we can do it separately?" It offers the client an opportunity to add on the benefit, but also, if they don’t want to even mention the hypnotherapy side of it, they can give the client certain tools to utilize for their pain, such as blowing up the red balloon and deflating the red balloon, using some visualizations for their physical body. And they can add on some of these hypnosis and NLP techniques to help their clients.
Kyra: And then you get into the hypnotherapy and hypnosis techniques for drilling down on an issue to help with the sales strategy that we offer included in your Hypnotherapy Certification at Schaefer Institute of Hypnosis where we train you to use different practices to help your client qualify themselves as somebody who can use the work that you are providing them.
Todd: What is conversational hypnosis?
Kyra: That is helping somebody to shift their mindset by having a conversation with them, asking them questions that help them to step through personal limitations, see something that they weren’t seeing, help them to better understand their position or their state of mind, or help them to realize what type of transformation they are looking for and why they even stepped into your office. And to help them to empower themselves and their ability to do things.
For example, a post-hypnotic suggestion would be, if they’re in a nice relaxed state, or any level of trance (because we pop in and out of trance state naturally throughout the day), when the doctor identifies that their patient is in a trance state, then they can start to offer positive suggestions like “Stretch every day. It just takes a moment to relax your body. Right around those bones are those muscles, and those muscles can relax now. And as you look at your daily activity, it might be easy just to add in one minute of stretching before you even get out of bed.” That’s conversational hypnosis.
So conversational hypnosis is basically just providing a healthy positive suggestion. And if they are in a trance state, the client is more likely to follow through on the post-hypnotic suggestion, like, “You know, as you get your coffee, you might just stretch your upper back a little bit more every day.”
Todd: Is that why I stretch so much after I get my coffee every day?
Kyra: (Laughs) So you can see that it can help the client, but it also can help the clinician as well because if the client is consistently stretching, they are not going to come back later saying that this didn’t work for them. They’re going to come back later and say, “Yeah, I feel like it’s just been easier and easier for me to stretch. I feel more flexibility in my body, and that feels better. Coming to you is really helping.”
One of the tactics that I’ve heard a chiropractor use is a hypnotic and covert hypnosis instant influence type of suggestion, which is when somebody says, “Well, I’m not really ready to start doing the sessions with you. I don’t know if I really want to do it.” And if they come to the chiropractor with a particular ailment like headaches, migraines or chronic pain in their upper-middle or lower back, or they are not able to walk properly, or whatever it might be, and the doctor gives them a suggestion for when it should be time for them to make a commitment to receive therapy, the doctor could say, “When you notice that your headaches are getting worse...right now you’re at a level 6, but when they get to a level 7 or 8, it’s time to come back and see me." That way, it’s giving a negative post-hypnotic suggestion to imply, “If you wait till this point, you have waited too long.” And that helps the client to get to their threshold of accountability and willingness and helps them to qualify themselves when it’s time for them to come back later for therapy.
So that’s a little bit of a sales technique, but it’s also a threshold technique. For example: "I’m in this business not because I want to take your money but because I want to help you heal, and this is when you know it’s time for you to come back so that I can help you do this thing. I know you might not be ready to pay for so many sessions now. But we know what it’s going to take. Bring yourself in when you start to notice this with your mind and body."
Todd: It manages expectations, and it also helps them to self-assess when they need therapy. So how does all of this relate to differentiating yourself as a holistic practitioner?
Kyra: The more education that you get when it comes to every aspect of a holistic approach, the better service you can provide. We can’t call ourselves holistic if we don’t look at the mind and emotions as well as the body and the traumatic episodes that caused the pain in the first place. We are missing the point of holistic treatment if we don’t look at everything that’s going on, looking at the entire organism.
Todd: So a holistic practitioner who only specializes in one area like only body or only mind, for example, has room to offer a more holistic service by including the other components. Since competition for clients is so high among chiropractors and massage therapists, for example, adding a mind component would provide a more complete service, and thus offer a higher value for the client and will be a way for practitioners to truly differentiate themselves.
Kyra: Yes, and they can create different types of packages as well. So they could have a 'hypnotherapist plus massage' package that would include all of that. If they also do Reiki, then they could include that in their package. So they have a 60-minute fully incorporated body-mind-spirit type of program. If you are a Reiki practitioner, you already have the body and spirit components, and then you add in the hypnosis component, and then you have got a truly holistic approach.
Todd: Thank you, Kyra. This will be very beneficial for holistic practitioners who want to expand their practices and provide better quality service by offering truly integrated holistic services for their clients.