Hypnotherapy, alternative approaches, can help reduce stress for students
Marcie Walker provides relaxation coaching in dealing with challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic
By Carlos Perez
Stress for students at the University of Nevada, Reno is growing and many alternative approaches at managing life during COVID-19 include hypnotherapy, breathing practices, and learning to seek out needed resources.
Marcie Walker, a certified clinical hypnotherapist and certified executive leadership coach who works with clients to better cope during the pandemic, uses a holistic approach to decrease stress and increase wellness and boost productivity using brain-based coaching and hypnotherapy.
“Hypnosis can be used as a tool to achieve goals including learning goals, fulfillment goals and performance goals,” Walker said. “Hypnosis includes the use of both conscious and subconscious processes to help you transform your dreams into reality.”
Walker explained how body-centered hypnotherapy draws on the same relaxation response that drives meditation and it can help clients our bodies, releases stress hormones and move the minds away from unpleasant thoughts. “Sessions allow clients to release tension and achieve a restorative state by bringing their energy back into their bodies and focusing on the breath,” said Walker.
The process, she points out, helps in releasing feelings of worry, anxiety, resentment and outcomes of the future.
I spoke with Walker via zoom to gain information through her professional expertise and experiences about how students can help mitigate some of their problems that have arisen from the pandemic.
Before I began the Interview, Walker had me close my eyes and get in touch with my grounding and rooted me into the earth. She told me to breathe and picture my chakras opening up, each one starting from my feet and all the way to my head. I felt at peace and as if I was reset or dialed in with my day.
Q. Could you talk a little about what you do?
A. Well, as a “solopreneur”, I do a lot in helping people reach goals. The reason I started this business is to help people with trauma. The hypnotherapy I do deals with emotional components and mindsets but I stumbled into this work in 2010 at the end of a bad relationship and ended up doing a lot of growth on my own self. I had eating disorders, there was drugs use, and so many different components. I was just not happy in life.
This was a mechanism for me to make peace with some childhood trauma and now I’m at service for others who have the same thing.
Q. What are some recommendations you would give to students who may be struggling with stress during Covid-19?
A. The quickest way to get yourself out of your state of flight or fight, which is what anxiety is — is breath work. You could do many types of things on the Internet if you search for breath work, but it’s just focusing on getting in tune with the body.
Q. Can you give an example of how hypnotherapy works?
Hypnotherapy is like is if you’ve ever had a problem that you’ve been grappling with for weeks and you just go to bed, and then you’re just starting to fall asleep and the solution just comes to your mind. That’s what hypnosis is like.
People with mental health issues right now, or having a hard time balancing stress or work life, depending of the severity, may need some medical help, but if your just having a flare up at that moment I would just take a deep breath in and out and see if your body settles back in.
Q. How can breathing exercises help?
A. Breathing is the quickest way to switch from a state of fight or flight (Red Zone) to a state of possibility (Blue Zone).
A. I think the biggest thing is to realize you’re not alone; there are a lot of people who are struggling with anxiety and stress and not knowing what to do. If you need to breath in a brown paper bag or reach out to someone then reach out to someone who loves you and supports you and just take care of yourselves. One of the things when you get older is that we wish we took better care of ourselves when we were younger. You need to know when to say no.
Q. Tell me about the exercise you did with me at the beginning of the interview.
A. The exercises we did are called “Grounding” and “Establishing a Resource State”. The benefits of Grounding are to allow the client to experience a very powerful form of meditation
that focuses on being IN the body rather than OUT of it. “OUT” of the body would mean distracted from the present moment. When we are distracted from the present moment, we are unfocused, scattered and may be experiencing overwhelm.
Q. How does this awareness change our levels of stress?
A. When we become aware of how our energy feels in certain circumstances or events, we start to change our perspectives on future events thus assigning new meaning and ultimately using that inner knowledge and awareness to make better decisions that are in alignment with our purpose. We are no longer victims to our circumstances.
To be able to make life decisions from a state of possibility, we are able to see the world in a whole new light and live in integrity with our heart and soul personally and professionally.
For more information about ways to reduce stress, visit https://www.marciewalker.com