Blue Cross

Blue Cross expands coverage accepting hypnotherapy

Business_Journal_2000-DecThe Business Journal December 2000

by Claudia D. Newcorn

In another step towards recognizing the value of alternative medicine, Blue Cross of California has accepted Ginny Lucas of Evergreen Professional Hypnotherapy & Personal Improvement Center in Stockton as a Healthy Extensions Network Practitioner. Over the past five years, a growing number of HMOs are expanding their coverage into alternative treatments, including such disciplines as chiropractic, acupuncture! acupressure and hypnotherapy.

Blue Cross recommends hypnotherapy for stress reduction, improving performance, confidence, memory and concentration, and overcoming unwanted habits in their “Alternative Medicine and Wellness Resources Directory” All listed practitioners are professionals who meet high standards and stringent requirements.

Blue Cross members receive a 20 per cent discount on services provided by Lucas, which include clinical hypnosis, eye movement therapy, motivational coaching, counseling and community education, Lucas holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a doctorate degree in clinical hypnosis and has been successfully serving patients since 1992.

According to Lucas, clinical hypnosis is a way of changing not the intellectual but the subconscious mind, which runs the whole body. As detailed in many psychology texts, the subconscious mind is the source of one’s creativity, motivation, self-image and self-esteem, and determines much of one’s behavioral responses and actions or reactions various situations.

“The benefits of hypnosis occur very quickly,” explains Lucas. “It does depend on how motivated a patient is (to change); how willing they are to cooperate with me and follow instructions; and how much information they have shared with me regarding what their issues are, what they want to accomplish — what it is they want in order to have a happier and healthier lifestyle.”

She explains that there are many counterproductive myths about hypnotherapy which lead people to wrongly believe it is a process similar to that seen in entertainment acts — watches swinging, people acting as animals or whatnot.

“Many people have these concepts about hypnosis that are based on hearsay, not facts. The reality is that hypnosis is a very powerful tool to use as part of therapy. It is actually a very pleasant experience and helps give people control over their body and their life”

A common myth is that “I can’t be hypnotized,” or ‘I’m not receptive to hypnosis.” Lucas says this belief stems from the fact that some practitioners have learned only one methodology, when in fact there are multiple techniques. “Not everybody responds to one technique,” she says. “During the meetings, I evaluate the patient and determine which method will be most effective. Part of my doctoral training required being trained in numerous techniques in order to address the diversity of patients.”

The benefits of hypnotherapy are measurable. Lucas has a wall in her office dedicated to the success of her patients: It is covered with newspaper articles and pictures featuring their accomplishments. She has assisted patients with a full spectrum of issues ranging from weight and chronic pain management, irritable bowel syndrome and cancer to motivational training and overcoming phobias.

“When people change their mind. they change their behavior,” explains Lucas. “It gives them a wonderful sense of control. We can assist them with just about any condition of the body. And there ore no harmful side effects.”