CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- There are many myths surrounding hypnosis. Some think of it as a form of mind control or that it's done by staring at a swinging watch until you get sleepy, but those theories are false.
It's a natural process people go in and out of everyday and it's being used to heal.
Brittany Casstevens, a survivor of abuse, is sharing her story of how hypnosis brought her back to life.
"I was emotionally numb," said Casstevens. "If I didn't leave I could have been killed."
Casstevens has dealt with the scars of abuse since childhood.
"I was not good at genuinely feeling my smile. I woke up every morning and begged myself to get out of bed, so that I could fake it another day."
Today there is no faking, her smile is real and she gives all the credit to board certified hypnotist Anthony Davis.
"There are some people that come in here and think I have a magic wand," said Davis. "It doesn't work that way."
Davis is one of 140 board certified hypnotist in the world and there's no wand or fancy tricks. Hypnotism is all about comfort, relaxation and tapping into the subconscious mind. The subconscious is labeled as the protector and stores every single experience a person goes through.
"Because your subconscious mind is there to protect you or take care of you," said Davis. "When you're in a state of hypnosis and I'm telling you you're good, you're enough and capable of doing what you want, your mind says OK cool, I'll take it."
During a session a client sits back, closes their eyes and focuses on the voice of one.
"When they start to focus on what I'm telling them," said Davis. "They're not hearing that other tape player that's going all the time."
Casstevens was a client for 6 weeks and says what Davis taught will last a life-time.
"He taught me that not only is it OK what I've been through and what I've dealt with, but the situations that I've been through are so common," said Casstevens. "He taught me not to be ashamed."
Hypnosis is a holistic approach, there's no diagnoses given or prescriptions written. It's teaching a person to positively feed the subconscious mind, while incorporating life coaching and forgiveness, so people like Casstevens come out on top.
She has now graduated the program and is currently writing a book.
Although the bulk of Daivs's clients are women who have suffered long term abuse, he works with first responders, military members and their families. He also works with clients to kick habits such as smoking, over-eating and even extreme couponer's.