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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

SWIHA Graduates Use Hypnotherapy to Heal: Bob Chamberlain makes a difference at Banner Estrella Medical Center.

Sep 29, 2016 04:36PM ● By By Martin Miron

The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) hypnotherapy program in Tempe has produced many outstanding students, but several current practitioners exemplify the excellence and inspiration provided by their training. It is unusual for traditional, or allopathic, doctors and medical centers to use holistic or integrative therapies like hypnotherapy with patients, but hypnotherapy, massage therapy and yoga have all proven beneficial for helping patients.

Bob Chamberlain, a graduate of the 100-hour Certificate of Excellence in Hypnotherapy, joined the Banner Estrella Medical Center, in Phoenix, with SWIHA Hypnotherapy Program Director Linda Bennett. Hypnotherapy, often referred to as guided imagery, is a powerful instrument for healing. It works within the subconscious mind of an individual to resolve chronic anxiety, weight gain, fear and insomnia, and can also help change negative or addictive behaviors.

In 2015, Banner Estrella launched the volunteer-based Guided Imagery Project. Chamberlain volunteered, along with a dozen other graduates from the hypnotherapy program. “Banner Estrella is taking the lead with using integrative therapies,” says Bennett. “When the program started, there were two units. Currently, there are five units.”

Chamberlain works regularly with patients, talking to them and using the hypnotherapy skills his SWIHA training prepared him to create healing guided imagery scripts to incorporate into his sessions that relieve anxiety patients are experiencing. The reduction of pain and anxiety is measured before and after the script reading. “They have a relaxed posture and may fall asleep after we start, as well as the family who sometimes stays in the room,” says Chamberlain. “Their pain level is usually cut by 50 percent.”

Chamberlain notes, “This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. The program allows me to use my gifts to listen and show compassion for a brief moment in a patient’s life during difficult times. I am grateful.”

Bennett, Chamberlain and other SWIHA hypnotherapy graduates see dramatic transformation in their patients. “I know the power of hypnotherapy and what it does for me,” he says. In March 2015, Chamberlain received the Banner Estrella STAR award. “I was completely surprised and couldn’t believe it,” he says. The award was well earned, because his volunteer work has touched the lives of many patients.

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