ATTLEBORO - Visualizing at A Little Bit of Heaven can get you over a whole bunch of hurdles - or doing some backflips.
Owner Maureen Kayata, a North Attleboro resident, is a certified hypnotist who helps her clients face and overcome their personal fears or struggles.
Seven years ago, while working over 65 hours a week in a corporate job, she started to do the same for herself. Kayata, 47, had an awakening moment in April 2009. Just after finishing a two-hour executive program that had her driving home at 1 a.m., she nearly missed getting hit by a drunk driver. She says she knew then that she was not in the right field and visualized something else.
"People would die to have the position I had. But what kind of life is it when you have beautiful kids and a husband that I could never see?" Kayata said.
Kayata was inspired to learn more about hypnotism after a close friend sought a hypnotist to overcome her 25-year stint of chain smoking. After just three visits, she quit and has not smoked since.
After spending three months during August 2009 at the National Guild of Hypnotists School, she opened her practice the following November at the Attleboro Chiropractic Health Center with the approval of chiropractor Terrence Aussant.
Kayata, whose clients range between the ages of 5 and 75, says that three one-hour sessions, which include 10 minutes of talking, 40 minutes in hypnosis and 10 minutes of recovery to get the client grounded again, should allow the client to reap the full benefits.
It takes time to get changes going at different levels: a person is in a deep state of relaxation, or an "in between state" - as Kayata explains - where there is a powerhouse of being, no fear and no ego.
Kayata emphasizes that self-confidence is essential to hypnotism's success.
"Self-confidence is the secret to everything. I learned that through listening (to my patients) not through school," she said. "You have to find a middle ground of trust and understanding before hypnotism can begin."
One group who has benefited from her techniques are the cheerleaders at the Foxboro Cheer Factory. The center's cheerleaders, who range in age from 12 to 17, are experienced tumblers, but some found that they needed help overcoming a block to certain flips or jumps.
"I have them practice (visualize) their block, slowly and carefully. I listen to each kid about what they want to do and get them into a deep state. The subconscious mind is so powerful. They can remove their block and go past it," Kayata said.
Kayata attended a practice to observe the techniques. She noted the counting, feeling the floor and spotters. All these visualizations help personalized the experience. When the girls stepped back into practice, the coaches would ask, "What happened?" as the girls were now able to do the moves.
"Children can actually visualize things: like seeing a coach being proud after they stick a move," Kayata said. "And then, the next week, that actually happens."