Mind over matter


Mind over matter

Hypnosis became a treatment modality accepted by the American Medical Association in 1958.  According to Certified Hypnotherapist Wayne Walker, hypnosis is used for pre- and post-surgery pain management. “If a person undergoes hypnosis prior to surgery, they go in calmer, come out with fewer complications, and heal 30 to 40 percent quicker.  They are also less reliant on pain medications.”  Various hospitals employ hypnotists because it improves patient outcomes.

Hypnotist Wayne Walker. (Courtesy)

Walker spent a north Texas childhood fascinated with hypnosis and remained interested in “the mind, body languages, anything that has to do with reading a person.”  Years later, while running a business in Los Angeles, Walker enrolled in the nation’s only accredited hypnosis school, attending night classes for two years.  “I had no interest in making it into a business,” he said. “The school exposed us to different modalities in hypnosis from comedy and handwriting analysis to therapy.  My classmates included an LA PD cop and a Wiccan.”  In 1999, he became a Certified Hypnotist.

But six years ago, tired of running a construction company with 40 employees, Walker decided to pursue a career as a hypnotist.  “I started with comedy hypnosis shows.  People would come up after and ask me about problems.” That drew Walker into the therapy aspect of hypnotism. “I found that I enjoyed therapy more; it was more rewarding than the entertainment side.”

When Walker relocated to the Valley last year for family reasons, he brought his business, Reflective Minds Hypnosis, with him.  “Texas is the only state that I cannot use the word ‘therapy’ in anything I do.  Here I am a master hypnotist and specialize in behavioral modification.  Doctors refer patients to me for pain management and for behavioral modification.”  The behaviors that hypnosis deals with comprise a long list and include smoking cessation, conquering fears of driving and flying, and nail biting, IBS and overeating.

Walker, who trained in comedy hypnosis in Las Vegas, continues to do comedy shows for charitable organizations and private parties as a way of exposing people to hypnosis first hand. He also gives talks to service organizations as a way of networking in his new community.

But it is hypnosis’ track record at changing people’s lives for the better that appeals to him. “After exhausting what can be done in traditional medicine, people are looking for alternative ways to solve their problems,” which may be pain or debilitating fears, Walker said, in his calm voice.  “Some doctors are very open to the idea of using hypnosis.”  He noted that before ether, during the Civil War, amputations were performed with hypnosis serving to distract patients from their pain.

For more of this story by Eileen Mattei, pick up a copy of the March edition of Valley Business Report, on news stands now, or visit the “Current & Past Issues” tab on this Web site.

Freelance writer Eileen Mattei was the editor of Valley Business Report for over 6 years. Her articles have appeared in Texas Highways, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Coop Power magazines as well as On Point: The Journal of Army History. The Harlingen resident is the author of five books: Valley Places, Valley Faces; At the Crossroads: Harlingen’s First 100 Years; and Leading the Way: McAllen’s First 100 Years, For the Good of My Patients: The History of Medicine in the Rio Grande Valley, and Quinta Mazatlán: A Visual Journey.