1.  Letter From Dr. Daniel Zelling to Chaplain Paul G. Durbin

2.  Biography of Daniel A. Zelling, M.D.

3. Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis

4.  Notes from Post Graduate Hypnosis Courses

5.  Hypnotist (Zelling) Puts Frigid Female Under

6.  (Zelling) Hypnosis Earns a Halo

1.  Letter from Dr. Daniel Zelling to Chaplain Paul G. Durbin: (Durbin: A background to this letter. [Dr Zelling is Director of The Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis. You can check out his website: Several years ago, I took several audio tape/correspondence courses from Dr Zelling. [Among those courses were: "Post Graduate Course in Practical Hypnosis" 8 tapes, "Pain Management" 4 tapes, "Human Sexuality" 9 tapes, "Sports Hypnosis" 4 tapes, and "Treatment of Depression" 8 tapes.] I was greatly impressed by his voice and speaking style. He became one of my heros. I had the honor of meeting Dr Zalling at the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association 2000 Conference. He was at the Conference at the invitation of Bishop Marty Patton. I told Dr. Zalling that he was one of my heros. Marty hearing that conversation, asked Dr. Zalling to introduce at the workshop that I was giving that day. What an honor to be introduced by Dr. Zalling. After the workshop, I gave Dr. Zalling a copy of my book, Kissing Frogs: The Practical Uses of Hypnotherapy.) 

Dr. Zalling wrote to me in March 2002: Dear Paul, A while back you gave me a book, Kissing Frogs and I read it pretty rapidly and said to myself, "pretty good." A week ago Saturday, I spent several hours in my office with an electronics engineer and I picked your book off the shelf starting a slow read and I must tell you I took it home for a complete re-reading and I felt compelled to write you this note. There are so many gems in your book that from now on it is on my students recommended reading list. Love and Light, Daniel A. Zelling, M.D.

2.  Biography of Daniel A. Zelling, M.D.: Daniel A. Zelling. M.D. is the founder and director of The Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis, Inc. which is located at 2708 Crawfis Boulevard, Akron, Ohio. He was born in France in 1936 and was educated in the Netherlands where he obtained his M.D. degree at Leyden State University in 1961. He interned both in the Netherlands at City Hospital in The Hague in 1962, and again in 1963 at Church Home and Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Residency training was completed at Barberton Citizens Hospital, Barberton, Ohio in 1964. Specialty training in Medical Hypnoanalysis was completed at The American Institute of Hypnosis. Los Angeles, California in 1974.

He has been in private practice since 1964 and became Diplomat of The American Board of Family Practice in 1972. He has practiced hypnosis for over twenty-five years in medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery, and psychosomatic diseases. He is a Fellow of The American Academy of Family Physicians and a Diplomat of The American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts and is Editor Emeritus of the Medical Hypnoanalysis Journal. He was President of The American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts from 1982 to 1986. Dr. Daniel Zelling taught Medical Hypnosis at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio from 1980 to 1995. He has been a training analyst with The American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts since 1977. He has taught courses in Medical Hypnosis with The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, The International Society of Hypnosis, and The American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa.

A compelling speaker, Dr. Zelling is available for speaking engagements to interested groups, clubs, and federations. His extensive knowledge of Hypnosis, Hypnoanalysis, Medicine, and Psychology is shared in frequent workshops and seminars. Anyone interested in attending these seminars or scheduling speaking engagements can write or call Rhonda Shipley. Business/Public Relations Manager 330.867-6677 c/o Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis, Inc. 2708 Crawfis Blvd., Akron, Ohio 44333.

3. Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis: "Feelings come from thoughts, either conscious or unconscious. You can change your thoughts and thereby your feelings." There are no limits to what you can accomplish with the power of your own mind. Call today for information on making an appointment. Most insurance providers are accepted. Take control of your life! We can help you help yourself!

Daniel A. Zelling, M.D., is a physician and psychotherapist with over twenty years experience in Medical Hypnosis. He is Board Certified in Medical Hypnoanalysis and is a Fellow of The American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Zelling is committed to the care and well being of his patients and to their successful treatment.

Areas of treatment include:

* Depression

* Anxiety & Panic Attacks

* Phobias such as Fear of Flying and Agoraphobia

* Stress Management

* Migraine & Tension Headaches

* Smoking

* Obesity

* Impotence and Anorgasmia

* Eating Disorders

* Sleep Disorders

* Alcoholism & Drug Abuse

* Pain Modification

* Visualization & Mental Imagery

* Success Programs: Sales, Sports, Study

4.  NOTES FROM POST GRADUATE HYPNOSIS COURSES: DR. DANIEL ZELLING, M.D. HYPNOSIS COURSES: Dr Daniel A. Zelling, 2708 Crawfis Blvd. Akron, OH 44333. Office phone 330-867-6677



1. Failure to remove suggestions.

2. Failure to suggest laterally.

3. Dominatively removing symptoms: Either remove symptom permissively or reduce them when such symptom acts or substitute hypnoanalysis.

4. Precipitate psychoses, hysteria, suicide (foregoing piratically never happens.)

5. Hallucinations and delusions about what took place during trance.

6. Other dangers: (Durbin: Among the other dangers can be in the demonstration of hand anesthesia by the hypnotist using a contaminated needle, demonstrating catalepsy by putting ridged client with chair at shoulders and another at foot and then setting on client, brainwashing as used by Recovered Memory Therapist.

7. Most amazing thing is face there are really so few dangers. Great protective mechanisms.

8. Introduction of anti-social behavior is big controversial. Some say "yes", some say "no".

ANXIETY: Hypnosis can, in and of itself, decrease the anxiety and the patient can be taught self-hypnosis to abolish his anxiety attack. His ability to control his symptoms will increase his ego strength and help extinguish the vicious attack - fear- tension attack cycle. Whenever possible, the underlining cause for the anxiety should be analyzed.

Doctors should be careful about what they say or how they say it.

When patient is in hypnosis, do not use the word "pain" or "hurt", use "discomfort"


Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE): Not recallable by conscious mind.

a. The individual is sensitized by an emotionally powerful past incident. Psychological antibodies build up to the Initial Sensitizing Event but no symptoms appear.

b. It is the underlying problem and subconsciously referred to by semantics and body language.

c. Not always easy to find and not always necessary but subject to recurrence of symptoms if not dealt with.

d. Etiology of the problem and future problems.

Symptom Producing Event (SPE): The appearance of symptoms (usually recallable).

a. Second emotionally powerful event triggers symptoms.

b. Act as an antigen to build up antibodies of previous sensitization.

c. Not always apparently related.

Symptom Intensifying Event (SIE): Intensification of Symptoms.

a. Symptom Intensification event (recallable).

b. May be many and different.

c. Often time patient seeks help - is time symptoms have gotten worse and prompt need for help.

d. Careful you don’t get stuck here and think it is SPE


I. The approach to any problem via the 5 R Method.

II. The reason for this approach:

A. Necessity for finding and eliminating a root cause.

B. Necessity for breaking a powerful habit pattern.

C. Understanding secondary gain and the necessity for eliminating it.

III. The 5 R'S:


1. A necessity for entering the trance state.

2. Produce. Insure. Test.


1. Realization of basic root cause of problem.

2. Must be on an emotional level.

3. Comparison with similar problems.


1. Differentiate between real cause and patient's often-repeated excuse.

2. Removal of original cause.

3. Convincing patient root cause is no longer operative.


1. Underlying cause removed before proceeding with this stage.

2. Removal of the harmful habit pattern.

3. Construction of now helpful habit pattern.

4. Importance of therapist's ingenuity.


1. Frequency unnecessary.

2. Importance of balancing. Need for weaning vs. need for security. What is security?


The pre-induction talk is the single mot import step for working with a client. Showing concern concern for the patient’s comfort, motivating the client, eliminating misconceptions about hypnosis and creating positive expectation.

TRANCE MANAGEMENT: 1. Pre-Induction talk, 2. Test for suggestibility, 3. Induction, 4. Deepening, 5. Operative Procedure 6. Post Hypnotic Suggestions, 7. Awakening.


CHOICE to be healthy or diseased

Blocks in the way of choosing between health and disease:

DENIAL: (either illness or process of getting well) Projection (they, wife, children, God, etc.) Awareness

BELIEF: "I know what you mean and I choose to be healthy." Education - Action


Scanty: "I begin to see what you mean, I think."

Partial : "Probably right."

Full: "I understand what you mean. "

BELIEF can go back into DENIAL and PROJECTION. You make me well.

Patients suffering from organic pain of terminal cancer are more likely to respond to a placebo or any other type of suggestive therapy because of high motivation to be relieved of pain.

STOP using the word PAIN! Tell patients and family to stop using the word.

Skinner operant conditioning

Rewards in pain sympathy

Rewards in pain doctors attention

Rewards in pain physiotherapist and nurse

Fordyce (1973) reward well behavior

Hypnotic conditioning: If you wish to get rid of your discomfort, you will allow your eyes to get heavy... etc .

S.H: "I will control the discomfort. I will never let the discomfort control me: every day I will feel more able to overcome my symptoms. I shall sleep well and wake alert and refreshed every morning.

Break the fear, anxiety, tension, pain cycle.

All pain is real: Watch for those who experience as a means of punishment for atonement of some wrong or supposed wrong committed. Look for secondary gains and always ask the question, "What would you do if you were cured that you cannot do now?"



Medical Hypnoanalysis is dynamic, short-term, and directed. It is dynamic, in that the treatment approach emphasizes causes rather than symptoms, explanations rather than descriptions,

and unconscious forces rather than conscious forces as being the ultimate origin of the psychopathology. It is short-term in that in most of the situations, thirty or less sessions are required for the completion of treatment procedure. It is directed therapy in that the psychotherapist, upon

making a diagnosis, follows a medical model of psychotherapy aimed at alleviating the symptoms by means of resolving underlying unconscious causes. Hypnoanalysis uses:

1. A specifically designed word association test.

2. Dream analysis.

3. Age regressions directed at crucial periods earlier in the patient's life.


8 Basic Fears:

1. Fear of injury ---------- self / others SPS

2. Fear of failure.

3. Fear of physical death.

4. Fear of moral or spiritual death.

5. Fear of discovery or interruption.

6. Fear of pleasure (with every pleasure there is a pain suggestion)

7. Fear of being a kid.

8. Fear of extra marital intercourse (may lead to divorce).

Always ask: "What would you do if you were cured that you cannot do now?" A label like "promiscuity" is a label and that's all


1. "with my husband. "

2. dysparemnia.

physical or mental (vaginismus)

3. difficulty with sex technique.

4. difficulty with expressing the emotions.

5. difficulty in reaching a climax.



A. Auditory – Eyes up and to the right - I hear you.

B. Visual - Eyes up and to the left - I see what you mean.

C. Kinesthetic - Eyes down and to the left. I know how you feel. I feel that way too.

Auditory - Explain verbally. Visual - Watch me. Kinesthetic - Do.

Teach each concept all 3 ways. Hit all participants primary learning mode plus will enhance or reinforce or other learning modes.


A. Setting a goal

1. Long term, medium, short term goals

2. Be specific in terms of goals

3. Cost = $

4. Price = What are you going to have to do?

What are you going to have to give up in order to attain your goal?


GOD BLESS THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH: In a landmark study on depressed patients conducted by The University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University, and The University of Oklahoma, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that psychotherapy is as effective as standard anti-depressant drug therapy. For the first time, psychotherapy has been shown to be as effective as drugs in treating a major psychiatric problem} psychotherapy with the adjunct of hypnosis and especially standard medical hypnoanalysis may eventually come to be the therapy of choice.

Why the "God Bless" and not just a "Thank You, National Institute of Mental Health?" After all this is not a religious publication. Ninety-five percent of American's polled "believe in God", compared to forty-three percent of the membership of the American Psychiatric Association and five

percent of the membership of the American Psychological Association.

People suffering from depression because of spiritual problems are in need of sound psychotherapy within their own religious belief system rather than ever-increasing doses of imipramine.

Medical Hypnoanalysis believes in a definite order of survival; sex being less important than physical survival; physical survival of self (ego survival) and spiritual survival being most important of all.

"To the psychologist, the religious propensities of man must be at least as interesting as any other of the facts pertaining to mental constitute" writes William James. It is my sincere hope that the A.P.A. may more toward all that is connoted by the spiritual concept of AGAPE.


I. Review of The Order of Importance of Things.

A. FREUD- Thought that Sex was most important/commonest symptom.

5. God

4. Necessities

3. Power

2. Love

1. Sex

B. JUNG- Tended toward something extra that was beyond the human. The Self.


5. Bodily Needs

4. Safety and Security

3. Love-Affection, Belongingness

2. Self-Esteem, Esteem for others

1. Self-Actualization

D. Survival as a Basis for the Development of Emotional Problems:

Bryan's Order of Importance of Things in Survival:


5. Sex

4. Food

3. Water

2. Air

1. God - Love


6. Sex

5. Territory

4. Food (physical survival)

3. Water

2. Air

1. God - Love

Medical Hypnoanalysis(Expanded Order of Importance)




1. Sex (Species Survival)

2. Territory (Socio-Economic Survival)

3. Food (Physical Survival)

4. Water

5. Oxygen

6. Self-Esteem (Mind Survival)

7. Love-God-Soul-Self (Spiritual Survival)

#1 The Most Important... The "Holistic" approach to Health and Healing.


I. Basic Principles of Theology

A. There are Common Denominators from all Religions

B. Positive vs. Negative Emotions.

C. Faith- The Starting Point

Hope- The Result

Love- The Method

II. The Use of Basic Theological Principles in Therapy.

III. Guilt, Self-Punishment and Lack of Jurisdiction as a basis of Denial of God.

IV. The Ten Commandments and Contract Law.

V. Punishing the Innocent to Save the Guilty.

VI Intent as the Basis of Right and Wrong.

A. Adam and Eve

B. Basis for Judgment

VII. Generative Causes and Methods of Removal of Fear, .Anxiety, and Guilt

A. Self-Judgment (Lack of Jurisdiction Problem)

B. Confusion between man's laws and God's laws

C. Attempting to justify oneself by law instead of by faith

D. By concentrating on behavior rather than on composition (God made me) Unique Creation of God

E. By accepting sins of "the father" passed on to the third generation.

F. By confusing the sin with the sinner. God loves the sinner, hates sin. Eliminate concept of blame altogether.

VIII. Depression as a Defense Against Self and Others.

IX. Control of Depression by Theological Principles.

X. Moral and Ethical Problems encountered when attempting to achieve Effective Therapeutic Goals.


Dr. Zelling believes: "We have the power to heal. Cancer is a diagnosis and not a sentence. The cancer patient can choose how to get well and no one can predict how long he or she may live. Many of my patients have outlived their oncologist. The will to live, optimism and faith are equally importance as standard cancer treatment. There is hope and absence of hope, but there is no such thing as false hope."

Sexual activity releases a painkiller in women: A natural pain reliever in women may be triggered by childbirth or intercourse, new studies suggest, and researchers hope to identity the substance to treat people with chronic pain. The two studies 0! 10 women each were conducted by Barry R Komisaruk a behavioral neuroscientist at Rutgers University, and Beverly Whipple, a Rutgers doctoral student in Psychobiology and instructor in psychiatry and human behavior at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

In one study, Komisaruk and Whipple measured pain tolerance while women stimulated themselves by applying slight pressure to the interior of the birth canal. While stimulating themselves, the women were able to withstand 40 percent more pain than they could otherwise. Stimulation to a point of sexual pleasure enabled the women to tolerate 54 percent more pain. Those who reached orgasm could tolerate 75 percent more pain.

Another study found that the natural painkiller is an analgesic - it relieves pain without affecting consciousness - and is not an anesthetic. The studies didn't address whether sexual stimulation in men increases their ability to tolerate pain. The researchers will present their studies here Saturday-at the 14th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, and in a future issue of the journal "Pain".

Whether cancer causes depression or depression causes cancer is a moot question but we need to be reminded that Hans Selye referred to cancer as "biological suicide." It is now well-established that the severity of depression is directly associated with the reduction of T and B cells and their activity, and the reverse is true also. Since we now know that depression can aggravate and maybe even cause cancer,... it then behooves us to treat depression in cancer early and aggressively.

A word of caution, though, before the cancer patient takes drugs to help reduce the depression be aware that Brandes, Aaron, Bogdarovic, et all, have shown that amitriptyline (Elavil) and fluoxetine (Prozac) promotes tumor growth in mice. Mice were injected with fibrosarcoma cells and rats injected with a carcinogen called, DMBA. Eight of twenty mice receiving anti-depressants

developed fibrosarcoma within five days, compared to none of the mice given a saline solution. After fifteen weeks the DMBA administered rats, receiving fluoxetine or amitriptyline, developed tumors

thirty to forty percent earlier and with twice the frequency of the controls.

We already know from the work of Katevsky, back in 1969, that sedatives in cancer patients are contraindicated, because Katevsky showed that rabbits with grafted tumors experienced increased tumor growth on barbiturates or diazepam, whereas caffeine decreased tumor growth and even caused some "spontaneous" remissions.

IMAGES IN ONCOLOGY: The image is the intermediary gift between the outer light of the stars and the light which burns within, in an all seeing way. Akhter Ahsen

1. The cancer cell is not powerful but weak and confused.

2. The health care team is concerned and the patient's health is very important to them.

3. Anti-cancerous drugs are no different from antibiotics. They are poison for one kind of cell and non-poisonous for others.

4. Radiation can be likened to sunshine shrinking grapes to tiny raisins or to millions of tiny bullets killing the weak and confused cancer cells; the healthy cells easily repair any damage.

5. Innate healing mechanisms are present and can be bolstered.

6. Nausea and hunger cannot co-exist.


"The fact that the mind rules the body is, in spite of its neglect by biology and medicine, the most fundamental face which we know about the process of life." Franz Alexander (1965)

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS: Anton Mesmer may very well have been very misunderstood and a translation in modern terms may give an insight into many of the cures that actually occurred through "mesmerism. "

The Old Wording: The premise of Anton Mesmer of what he named "animal magnetism," he described in the following manner: "It is a fluid; universally diffused, the vehicle of a mutual influence between the celestial bodies, the earth, and the bodies of animated beings; it is so continued as to admit no vacuum; its subtlety does not admit of illustration; it is capable of receiving, propagating, and communicating all the covered, into which it has given the name of animal magnetism and reflux.

Translated: There exists an energy in the universe that is omnipresent. There is no place where that energy does not exist. It is so subtle that it cannot be seen and yet everyone is able to sense it, receive it, give of it, balance it, and allow it to grow. This energy is called the healing energy.

Old Wording: The contact of the hands, frictions of certain gestures, which are made at a small distance from the body and called passes are the means employed to place ourself in magnetic connection, or in other words, to transmit the magnetic influence to the patient.

Translated: Gentle motions with the hands moving a small distance from the body of the patient are called the healing touch.

Old Wording: The time required for transmitting the magnetic influence with effect has varied from a minute to half an hour.

Translated: The effects of the healing touch may take just a few moments and sometimes require persistent work with the patient for as long as half an hour.

Old Wording: Most commonly, at the onset there is a momentary acceleration of respiration followed by lassitude.

Translated: Frequently at the onset there may be some slight anxiety followed by profound relaxation that may progress in anesthesia as described by Elliotson who performed two thousand minor and three hundred major operations in India.

The two separate effects of "mesmerism," one, of the healing touch, and two, of what is now known to be hypnosis, became separated by Braid in 1842 when, with eye fixation, he was able to achieve a trance state which was named hypnotism and it has been far safer for physicians and psychologists to study and propagate hypnosis while ignoring the transmission of energy that occurred with the "mesmeric passes."

When the concept of hypnosis was investigated by the Royal Commission in March of 1784 by physicians: Borie, Sallin, D'Arcet, and Guillotin, and the scientists: Franklin, LeRoy, Bally, and Lavoiser, they could not confirm a magnetic influence and brushed the whole subject off as being based on suggestion. The French Academy of Science reinvestigated the claims made by Anton Mesmer in 1831 and reported favorably to the French Royal Academy of science. The physicians doing the study, Drs. Adelon, Burdin, Marc, Pariset and Husson saw the profound effect of mesmeric passes, however, the abreactions that Anton Mesmer called crises, were not seen by the physicians doing this study.

In the ancient sleep temples of Rome and Asia Minor passes were used to "entrance" and heal patients .

Van Helmont, a Belgians physician, in 1612 wrote about the laying on of hands in terms and language very similar to Mesmer.

"Greatrakes, a protestant gentleman from Ireland of spotless character, receiving no recompense, writing in pure spirit and benevolence, and .not pretending to explain how he did it 'stroked' thousands of sick with his own hands, though he did not pretend to cure all it is said he cured large numbers. The British Royal Society published some of his cures and the bishop of Derry wrote about him that he had himself seen 'grievous sores of many months healed in a few days and obstructions disappear and stoppages removed' by his manipulations."

Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., Professor of Nursing at New York University revived and popularized the very ancient practice of the therapeutic touch or how to use your hands to help and to heal.


I can't sit still. For that reason, relaxation techniques such as meditation have never worked for me. On the contrary, sitting still makes thoughts flutter in my head like wingless birds, makes energy buzz through my veins like summer flies. The closest thing to relaxation that I can manage is to walk fast in the evenings and make the sheer rhythmic movement of walking sweep my mind clean.

Until I was hypnotized last week, that is. Then, I relaxed so completely that I was convinced that I had fallen asleep. When a deep voice urged me to imagine walking on a beach, I did it so vividly that I could see the blue skies, hear the surf and taste the salt on my lips. And when Akron psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Zelling finally brought me art of the hypnotic trance, I felt as though an hour had passed. In reality, the session lasted 28 minutes. The Beacon Journal paid for a minisession with the doctor to give me a sense of what being hypnotized felt like.

The session started with a brief medical and social history, an abbreviated version of a lengthy and detailed questionnaire that Zelling has his regular patients fill out. Questions included any surgeries I'd had as a child, what religion I was raised in and practiced today and whether my childhood was happy or unhappy. Then, Zelling escorted me to one of the several identical rooms, which held a large recliner chair (for the patient), a regular chair (for him) and an overhead TV camera.

After seating me in the chair, he began to put me in a trance by speaking in a low, quiet voice and asking me to close my eyes and relax. Thankfully, he did not have the pseudo-hypnotic, dreamy voice that so many hypnotists affect and that always gives me the giggles. Zelling then told me that he was going to make my chair vibrate gently so that I would lose my sense of touch. Next, he told me that he was replacing my glasses with a pair of eye shades and that he was also slipping on a pair of headphones over my ears.

By this time, I was happily floating in whatever space-time-suspension state that Zelling had brought me to. As the taped messages played in my ears, I was dimly aware of the fact that Zelling may have left the room. The suppression of the senses of sight, hearing and touch did not feel threatening but pleasant. Besides, Zelling had already made me a list of emphatic promises - all of which basically emphasized that I was in charge of the session and had the power to end it whenever I chose. After that, I'm a little hazy. I know that the taped messages now spoke of empowerment and ego-building but I can't remember the exact message. I know that occasionally my tight lower back muscles relaxed and I could feel my legs twitch and stretch in response. 1 know that I moved my right hand three times to get more comfortable. And I remember wishing that the session could go on for a long time. When I came to, I was surprised to hear Zelling say it had lasted only 28 minutes.

I was even more surprised to notice that the tightness in my lower back had disappeared completely. Whether that was from the relaxation brought about by the hypnosis or simply from the fact that I was sitting for a half-hour in a very comfortable chair, I'm hard-pressed to say. Regardless, there is one fact I am certain of - hypnosis helped me sit still and enjoy it. That's a first.


Sandra stood in the bathroom of the bar holding the white powder in her hand. It was New Year's Eve. The music was loud and pounding. A few years ago, this would have been the perfect condition for snorting some coke. This time, she gazed at the object in her hand - borrowed from an employee - with no feelings toward it. Getting rid of the powder, she walked away. She was free. The hypnosis had worked. Like she had so many times before, she said a mental thank-you to Dr. Daniel Zelling.

Sandra (which is not the Ashtabula County woman's real name) had first seen Zelling, an Akron psychiatrist who specializes in hypnosis, in 1994. She came to him fearing for her life because the cocaine was making her paranoid and suicidal. She was also afraid of overdosing because she was buying up to $250 worth of coke every weekend. After the very first hypnosis session, Sandra never used cocaine again. It was that simple. It was that dramatic.

With the increasing appreciation of the mind-body connection and the growing popularity of self-improvement movements, this ought to be a good time for clinical hypnosis to come into its own.

After all, hypnosis can be used to treat a large gamut of issues including addictions and phobias. However, the technique, which taps into the subconscious mind, also goes against the current trend in mainstream psychiatry, which is to put patients on brain chemistry altering drugs such as Prozac.

Zelling feels differently. "Life is not a Prozac-deficiency disease," he says.

Part of the confusion about hypnosis also stems from the bastardized version which is the staple of amateur stage acts and magic shows. But clinical hypnosis, which was approved by the American Medical Association in 1954, is not about clucking like a chicken or dancing with a broom in front of amused strangers. It is about using the untapped power of the mind, or the subconscious, to make changes in behavior. "Hypnosis is concentrated and directed day-dreaming," Zelling says. Zelling believes that while in a hypnotic trance, the patient's left brain - which helps in linear, logical thinking - assumes a back seat to the right brain, in which emotional memory is buried.

By activating the right brain, the therapist can locate the emotional source of a person's addictions or phobias. After that, the person can be desensitized against that behavior. "All fear is learned," Zelling says. He also cites the old psychotherapy adage, "All behavior is normal." In other words, there has to be a cause for all behavior. Lu Ann Mason, who is a hypnotherapist at the Counseling Center on Darrow Road in Stow, says there are four levels of human consciousness - the

beta, alpha, theta and delta levels. Hypnosis taps into the alpha and theta levels, which are varying degrees of a dreamlike state on the subconscious level. Beta is the conscious level. Delta is the deepest level of the subconscious, a comalike state. Suggestions made to the subconscious mind can be remembered at the conscious level. Thus, behavior can be changed. Certain studies bear this out.

A 1984 study comparing the withdrawal rates between methadone addicts treated with psychotherapy and those treated with hypnotherapy in addition to conventional therapy, found that 45 percent of those treated with hypnotherapy achieved withdrawal. None of the participants in the control group who were treated only with psychotherapy achieved withdrawal. Closer to home, Zelling's bookcase has hundreds of cigarette lighters, left behind by former smokers whom he helped cure of the habit.

Zelling also treats people with phobias and anxiety disorders. People like Debbie, an Akron real estate agent who does not want her last name used. Breaking free Although Debbie, 42, had her first panic attack when she was 16, the condition did not become crippling until she was 25. For the next several years, Debbie led a severely curtailed life. A friend had to drive her to work. She couldn't go into a grocery store alone. "I had a fear of everything - crowds, driving, freeways, elevators, balconies. Once it hit me fullblown, I couldn't override it." During her first session with Zelling in 1988, Debbie declared: "This will never, ever work for me. I don't believe in it and you will never be able to hypnotize me." Zelling smiled.

Just before Debbie left, he wrote her a prescription. The prescription was for her to read a certain passage from the Scriptures. Debbie, a deeply religious woman, felt her eyes fill with tears. "I felt hopeful for the first time," she said. Before he begins hypnotherapy, Zelling has his patients fill out a very detailed questionnaire, which includes questions about sexual habits, religious beliefs, childhood experience. He then incorporates that information into his sessions.

In Debbie's case, Zelling relied on her belief in God. "He taught me faith, self-confidence and putting my work behind my words," she says. "You can't believe in God and not believe in yourself.

Under hypnosis, Debbie remembered that her mother had also been a nervous driver. She came to believe that that was the root of her phobia. But in therapy, she also remembered how her mother had dealt with her own phobias and drew inspiration from that. "I learned that fear was learned behavior," she says. The roots of Sandra's addiction went even deeper. She traced her lifelong feelings of feeling unloved to her birth experience where a Caesarean section left her mother unable to hold her right away. "All of this came tumbling down in hypnosis. It was a fabulous feeling to unload and start all over again. It's like being born again." Early in the process, Zelling told Sandra that she would soon have a dream about what was wrong in her life. He also told her she would remember the dream well enough to write it down. Three days later, Sandra dreamed of a golden, hairy monkey jumping in a cage.

Zelling explained that the monkey symbolized cocaine, the monkey on her back. He led her through the imaginary process of putting the monkey in a box, putting the box in a plane and shooting the box out of space. Mason, the Stow hypnotherapist who is also a pastoral counselor, has done past life regressions with some patients. "Whether you believe in it or not, it is helpful. It helps them because they become more aware of who they are in their subconscious." Mason also gives patients post-hypnotic suggestions that help them hypnotize themselves if they need to. "Self-hypnosis is when you take deep breaths and tell yourself to relax."

Since hypnosis can be performed by nonmedical practitioners (Mason, for instance, has a degree in business administration though she has taken courses in hypnosis), Zelling advises patients to follow this rule of thumb: Don't go to someone you wouldn't go to if they didn't use hypnosis. Most insurance plans will not pay for hypnosis though Zelling bills his patients under psychotherapy. He charges $105 for the first session and $95 after that. Mason charges $75 for the first session and $60 after that. For those wanting to quit smoking, she also offers a package of $150 for three sessions. Debbie says the cost is worth it. She has benefited from her sessions although she still has moments of fear. "I pray, take a deep breath. I have the tools now. I face the fear now and so it's OK."