LEWISTON – “What is Hypnosis? How Can It Help Me?” will be the subject of an Accenting Women’s Health program offered at Central Maine Medical Center on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Registered nurse and certified hypnotherapist Valerie St. Clair will discuss how hypnosis can be used to help with weight loss, smoking cessation, birthing, preparing for surgery, managing migraines, reducing hot flashes, management of stress and anxiety and overcoming insomnia.

A graduate of the Central Maine General Hospital (now CMMC) School of Nursing, St. Clair is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists.

St. Clair said hypnosis applies progressive relaxation techniques to achieve a frame of mind that is “open and available to helpful suggestions.” About 80 percent of those who attempt hypnosis can be hypnotized. Self-hypnosis techniques can later be used to reinforce the subconscious effects of hypnosis.

“The subconscious is where we store our habits. So if we want to change habits, then that’s where we can find them. It takes a while to change habits – it took a while to form them – and hypnosis can be helpful,” she said.

A question and answer session will follow St. Clair’s presentation. Spouses and partners are encouraged to attend.

The program is another in an ongoing series of Accenting Women’s Health presentations exploring women’s health issues.

The program will be presented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Chairmen’s Rooms, located on the lower level of the 12 High Street Medical Office Building adjacent to CMMC.

Those interested in attending the program are asked to register in advance by calling 795-2106. They may also register online by going to www.cmmc.org/calendar.html and clicking on women’s health. Class size is limited. Interpreter services are available upon advance request.

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