Hypnosis Can Be Alternative for Changing Habits

By Sharos, David | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Hypnosis Can Be Alternative for Changing Habits


Sharos, David, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: David Sharos Daily Herald Correspondent

An occasional series spotlighting Naperville and Lisle businesses

Most people may be familiar with hypnosis as entertainment, where subjects agree to "go under" and wind up pretending they're Elvis Presley.

Clients come to the Positive Changes Hypnosis Center in Naperville hoping to change their behavior, too. But rather than turning into The King, many of those who undergo hypnosis want to break bad habits and improve their physical and mental health.

The Naperville center opened in October 2001 and is one of five Positive Change centers in the Chicago area. Sylvia Runkle, a principle owner of the Naperville franchise, said she has been active as a psychotherapist and a hypnotist for 20 years.

"I worked for 14 years in private practice and since the 1970s, hypnosis has been a part of everything I do," Runkle said. "I've done training all over the world. I've been to Moscow three times, Canada and other places. My training includes a master's degree in communications, with an emphasis in psychology."

Positive Change Hypnosis Centers were founded by Patrick Porter, who helped Runkle set up her business model. She and partner Lauren Phelps oversee all five Chicago-area sites.

Clients come for a variety of reasons, Runkle said, but the major focus is on weight loss.

"About 80 percent of the people that come here have concerns about their weight," she said. "Another 10 to 15 percent want to quit smoking. The other five to seven percent concern a variety of issues."

Other concerns include phobias, pain management, learning acceleration and even sports-related issues. Runkle said the center offers a golf program to help Tiger Woods wannabes master the mental aspects of the game. …

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