Hypnosis is a mental practice that is widely used to bring people into a meditative state in order to pinpoint their innermost blockages and trauma and encourage healing. Nicole Hernandez, founder of The Traveling Hypnotist, is dedicated to helping her clients reach their goals using True Trance-formation Healing (TTH Method) that helped her change her own life.
Nicole Hernandez created the life most New York transplants dream of. After leaving her native Dallas for the Big Apple, she built a successful career in marketing focusing on hospitality, travel, and tourism. While she never expected to leave her career, after years of work-induced anxiety, financial stress, and bad drinking habits, she felt she needed a change. In a twist of fate, Hernandez was laid off by her company.
Prior to being laid off, Hernandez already contemplated the idea of quitting and received the news with relief. It was as if the universe validated her initial instinct for a new journey, so her next move was to start her own company. Hernandez continued honing her craft as an independent consultant. “I thought that the transition of changing my career was going to be the answer, that all my anxiety was going to go away.” she says. But the reality was actually much worse as Hernandez realized the stakes of entrepreneurship were much higher. The added stress manifested itself into health issues. Hernandez was diagnosed with stress-induced alopecia, and her pre-existing, anxiety related, gastrointestinal issues were amplified due to excessive drinking from her PR days along with her new entrepreneurial role. Hernandez now found herself in need of another change and medical help.
“As someone with a background in psychology and journalism, hypnosis seemed impractical, along the lines of astrology, and I completely dismissed a colleague who had mentioned she was working with a hypnotist to assist her with anxiety. It wasn’t until I was so sick and literally couldn’t eat that I just remember sitting in meditation by the water one day and something clicked,” she says. At this point, after visiting a number of doctors, being treated with a laundry list of medications, and in desperate search of relief, she finally decided to try hypnosis. Her first experience with hypnosis involved a Google search for “hypnosis for stomach pain.” That search led her to a 20-minute YouTube video. After the video ended, she noticed that it helped her feel lighter and she kept going back. “It’s not like it was an instant-cure, because I think a lot of people think that one session is like a light switch, which in some ways it can be but not for anxiety,” Hernandez comments.
Hernandez explained that hypnosis works in a multitude of ways. It conditions the mind to allow better thoughts and beliefs, which ultimately ladder up to a more resourceful identity or narrative of oneself. Like meditation, the process also quiets the mind and activates the parasympathetic nervous system — allowing the body to heal itself. Hernandez saw improvement in about six weeks and found that holistically treating herself, including cutting out alcohol and caffeine, was helpful. Fairly quickly, she realized she no longer needed the medications that were prescribed to her. All of this progress encouraged Hernandez to join a training program that turned out to be the change she had been searching for, and then is when she had her biggest breakthrough — healing old memories related to her mother’s depression that were at the root of her anxiety. After getting certified, she leaned into the process of practicing on people and onboarding clients.
Hernandez begins her sessions by attempting to excavate to find the reason behind the client’s mental blocks or trauma. One such example was a client struggling with weight issues and stress eating. Hernandez spent some time getting to know her client, finding the root cause of her stress eating and healing the pain she carried. Hernandez’s client ended up both losing weight and getting pregnant after having tried for five years. “People often think this is one of those miracle stories, but I really believe it has to do with our nervous system and how our body relates to heightened activity, fight or flight responses, or hormones, that prevent us from achieving total physical healing.” says Hernandez.
One of the most common issues she’s seen over the past two years is that the pandemic brought up feelings of loss and uncertainty. Many of her clients during this time were searching for deeper purpose in their lives. Some have reported back to her with good news of large pay raises, successful business launches, engagements, traveling the world, and more. “It’s not just about conditioning the mind but it’s also about getting rid of the societal expectations and messaging that the world programs us with,” Hernandez says, calling this, “pulling back your power” — a practice that empowered Hernandez to eventually pull her own power back.
While this process may sound like magical thinking to some, there is a timeline and a basis to follow that will allow clients to see results based on the work they put in. Some people see change after one session, feeling a bit lighter or beginning to see small changes in one specific area. Clients who have made what Hernandez calls “quantum leaps” (noticeable life change and achievement of goals), see differences in four to six sessions. In between, Hernandez checks in, gives homework, and provides accountability practices to make sure clients are also going through the journey and putting in the work.
Hernandez doesn’t have a structured program, instead she takes the first session to read her clients and hone in on her natural ability to read body language and energy (through first-hand experience, we saw how well Hernandez is able to get a sense of body language). She can frame the session into a coaching-based approach or conversational exploratory approach to find the problem and find a focus point to work with. Typically, a session starts with understanding the problem, where the client wants to be, and what’s the outcome that client desires.
From there Hernandez gets into a bit of trance work where clients describe their desires or anxieties with visuals or audial modalities. Her work helps train the mind to learn self-awareness and gain better understanding of the feelings or mindsets that may hold a person back from achieving their goals. Finally, from there the session becomes relaxing and meditative. Depending on the client’s needs, Hernandez may offer tips for coping, advice, and homework to help them take specific actions. All of these steps sound extensive but flow naturally even during one session.
When asked what her message is to naysayers Hernandez responded, “I would say I was a naysayer and skeptic as well, I’ve seen therapists, taken medications, read books, and this was the tool that worked for me. There’s always a lid for every pot, and some tools are going to work for people that won’t work for others. That’s why I typically start people with just one session. I want people to get a sense of whether it worked for them or not before jumping into a six session program.” Hernandez’s gentle demeanor and listening techniques are disarming and allow clients to feel safe when sharing their innermost thoughts. It takes true talent to be able to guide a conversation in a way that is revealing and leaves clients left with a feeling of relief and purpose.