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I was featured in the SCMP recently. Here is an excerpt of the interview.

Hong Kong hypnotherapist unlocks power of the subconscious to help change lives

As the client focuses on the longest finger of her left hand, held away from her face, hypnotherapist Sonia Samtani softly repeats the words: “You can feel your fingers pulling and separating, pulling and separating apart.” The mantra continues, until the client’s fingers start to spread.

“And now you can feel a magnetic force between your hand and your head, pulling your hand towards your face,” Samtani says. “I don’t know if it’s your hand moving towards your face, or your face moving towards your hand, but it’s getting closer and closer, and your fingers are still pulling and separating apart.”

With fingers now spread like branches on a tree, the client’s hand does indeed start closing in on her face. Before making contact, Samtani returns the client to full consciousness and asks her if she’s OK.

This is not entertainment, says Samtani, a self-development professional and owner of the All About You service, based in Tsim Sha Tsui.

It’s a simple demonstration to show the power of the subconscious mind and how it can be mastered. This can be especially valuable if we want to make changes in our lives, Samtani says. She has no idea how stage hypnotists make audience members walk and squawk like chickens.

“That’s Eastern hypnosis, and people do it on the streets in Hong Kong. They’ll ask you to give them your wallet or watch, and suddenly you’ll snap out of it and wonder, ‘What did I do?’ They use a method to penetrate your mind and put messages there, so you’ll believe you want to give to that person or act in a certain way.”

Samtani stresses that she’s a hypnotherapist, not a hypnotist. “People often joke and say, ‘I don’t want to look at your eyes. You might make me do funny things’. Hypnotherapy is nothing like that,” she says.

She practises the Western school of hypnotherapy pioneered by Dr John Kappas, under which clients remain aware of what they are going through. “There has to be a willingness and permission. It’s basically going into a very calm, relaxed, meditative state in which you get access to your subconscious mind. The therapist is merely a facilitator that guides you on the journey.”

Click here to read the entire article.