WEST LOS ANGELES — Every hypnosis session starts with kicking up your feet and laying back in the recliner.

Patient Nina Nam began her journey with hypnotherapist Sasha Carrion to help her stop emotional eating and binging after a decade of struggling.

What You Need To Know

  • Hypnotherapist Sasha Carrion has seen an increase in patients with addiction issues during the pandemic

  • The CDC says the pandemic has worsened the nation's mental illness and addiction crisis

  • Hypnotherapy is an alternative type of mental health therapy

  • The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to discussion and suggestion

“I already felt the benefit after the first session, and that’s why I kept doing it," said Nam. "And it expanded to other aspects of my life, like confidence and thinking bigger."

Nam explained how her experience with hypnotherapy has allowed her to be in control of her life and in control of her eating — even during the most tempting of times.

"For something this stressful to happen during this pandemic, it should trigger me to eat emotionally, like everything triggered me in the past, but I didn't," she said.

Hypnosis is a therapeutic practice that allows the practitioner to enter the subconscious mind, which is where positive change and transformation can take place — and fast.

Carrion started a recent session with Nam by learning what she seeks to change. Then Nam became completely relaxed and listened to Carrion's voice through headphones.

When you think of hypnosis, a Vegas stage show might come to mind — but it’s really more like a guided meditation.

"It very relaxing," said Carrion. "There is no mind control. All of the suggestions I give you are based on what you tell me you want. So I’m kind of like a genie. Your wish is my command."

Anxiety is always a common topic that Carrion helps resolve. But since the pandemic, she has seen a new trend.

"Addiction has been a common request, whether it be to food, alcohol, or pills."

It's no wonder, since numbers from the CDC indicate the pandemic has worsened the nation’s mental illness and addiction crisis.

Nam has used this kind of therapy for her food addiction, and it worked. Now the therapy’s benefits are helping her take control of other areas of her life. She explained how it’s been helpful to replay the session’s audio each night.

"As you play her audio over and over, you’re creating a new tape for your own brain," said Nam. "You’re not playing the old tape that you used to play. That wasn’t helpful."