- Associated Press - Sunday, May 21, 2017

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - At 23 Sandstone Body and Mind Spa, one can relax with a massage, get a facial or tap into their unconscious mind.

The medical spa offers a wide variety of services that cater to relaxation and wellness of the body and mind, including hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis is used to help people quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress and anxiety, better their athletic performance and sleep, among other things, by working with the unconscious mind, Certified Master Hypnotherapists Trapper Sherwood said.

“The cool thing about hypnosis is once you realize you can get over some of these things, you go ‘yeah, I’ve got power over that,’” Sherwood said. “Instead of you being controlled by the event, you’re controlling the event.”

Hypnotherapy goes back to the 1800s, before anesthesia, 23 Sandstone Medical Director Alice McKee said. Doctors would hypnotize their patients before surgery to prep them for the extreme pain.

Sherwood’s interest in hypnosis followed his divorce in 2004. He was stressed about being a single parent to his daughter and was having trouble sleeping, he said. Until he found a book on how to get better sleep.

He followed the practices in the book for 30 days and was amazed at the results.

“I can go to sleep in a heartbeat now,” Sherwood said. “I said ‘oh my God, I’ve got to help other people with this.’”

He became a certified hypnotist in 2009 and a certified hypnotherapist in 2015.

In the past Sherwood did stage shows as entertainment but has recently been focused on therapeutic aspect of it.

A typical session starts with a conversation to determine what the need is, followed by a formal hypnotherapy session where the patient is conscious the whole time.

“It’s almost like just before you fall asleep at night,” Sherwood said. “You’re kind of in, you’re kind of out. I will ask your unconscious mind specific questions and you will respond.”

For Sherwood, the best part about his job is knowing that he has helped people better themselves.

“When somebody says you’ve saved their life.that’s kind of a big deal to me,” he said.

The hardest part is getting people to look past the misconceptions of hypnosis. People often think of hypnosis as a scary and controlling thing, but that isn’t the case, Sherwood said. People will never do anything that violates their own moral code.

Being part of the spa helps bring awareness of what hypnotherapy really is about. Sherwood lives in Nashville but travels to Jackson about once a week to practice at the spa.

McKee opened the spa a year ago after having the idea for about 10 years.

“We weren’t looking for such a big space but then these other people were like ‘oh, well, we would rent a room’.a group of people just came together at the right time, right place,” McKee said.

Trapper and McKee had worked together before, so when she opened up the spa, McKee wanted to add a mind aspect and brought him in, 23 Sandstone Marketing Consultant Lisa Ragsdale said.

In honor of their first anniversary, 23 Sandstone is hosting an open house from 12-3 p.m. on May 16. There will be drawings, giveaways, demonstrations and refreshments.

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Information from: The Jackson Sun, http://www.jacksonsun.com

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