Changing Your Mind

hypnotherapy can be a tool for positive improvement

Pan Thao, photos by Andrea Paulseth

CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST RICHARD MARANO HELPS HIS PATIENTS OVERCOME THEIR PROBLEMS, RANGING FROM SMOKING TO INSOMNIA.
CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST RICHARD MARANO HELPS HIS PATIENTS OVERCOME THEIR PROBLEMS, RANGING FROM SMOKING TO INSOMNIA.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of hypnosis? Perhaps it’s the swinging pocket watch luring you into a trance or memories from a high school assembly when you watched your classmates ride imaginary horses. To most people, hypnosis may seem more like a magic show. According to Richard Marano, a National Guild of Hypnotists-certified hypnotherapist and owner of The Hypnosis Center of Eau Claire, hypnosis has nothing to do with magic or mind control but rather is a modality for helping people overcome obstacles and improve their lives. 

“People choose hypnosis because they want positive change,” Marano said. “Our brain is a healing mechanism and does phenomenal things. You just have to learn how to access that ability and communicate with it.”

Marano, originally from New York City, went to UW-La Crosse and became a health teacher. Later, while in the midst of a career change, he recalled listening to a lecture on hypnosis back in college. His fascination with hypnosis inspired him to return to school to become a hypnotist and bring The Hypnosis Center to the Valley.

“Our brain is a healing mechanism and does phenomenal things. You just have to learn how to access that ability and communicate with it.” – Richard Marano, Hypnosis Center of Eau Claire

With more than 4,000 clients, 7,000 sessions, and almost 15 years under his belt, Marano has certainly demonstrated the benefits of hypnosis. People come from all over Wisconsin and beyond to work with him on overcoming personal obstacles. About a third of his clients want to stop smoking or lose weight, while the rest come for others reasons, from nail-biting and anxiety to insomnia and sports improvement. Marano’s work has even inspired some of his clients to become hypnotherapists as they’ve seen success in their own lives.

The rewards to hypnosis can be immediate as clients might leave Marano’s office and never smoke again or no longer consume sugary drinks. One client suffered from chronic migraines for 25 years and left the first session completely pain-free. Marano has even worked with children as young as six years old to address bedwetting and the refusal to sleep in their own rooms.

He chuckled as he said, “Half of the things in this room are gifts from parents of bedwetters. Every time I open my door in the summertime, there’s another bag of tomatoes or garden vegetables.”

So how does it all work? As a hypnotist, Marano guides individuals into having very focused attention. This allows a positive statement of suggestion to bypass the conscious mind, the part of the brain that is responsible for critical thinking, and access the subconscious mind, which stores beliefs and memories and is also responsible for involuntary actions such as breathing. 

“If the suggestion is helpful, good for you, and what you want, then change happens,” Marano said. “With hypnosis, you are always in complete control. Hypnosis can’t harm you. Either something positive happens or nothing happens. If something is suggested that is against someone’s moral fiber, too embarrassing, or they can hurt others or themselves, the brain protects itself by rejecting the suggestion.”

Marano has worked with just about every situation that people might need help with, and he has found that hypnosis will work for almost anybody and just about anything. The key is to want the outcome. For those ready to make a positive change, The Hypnosis Center of Eau Claire offers affordable and confidential sessions to help tap into the power of your subconscious mind. Learn to direct that energy into achieving your goals while leaving the pocket watch at home.

Richard Marano is presenting “Hypnosis for Weight Loss” at the Volume One Gallery on Feb. 1. The event starts at 6pm with a lecture, Q&A, and hypnosis section. For more on the event: volumeone.org/events