A local hypnotherapist is receiving international attention for her work helping parents using hypnotherapy in raising children. Lisa Machenberg is a certified hypnotherapist who uses hypnosis on people to help them with a wide variety of problems including anxiety, smoking cessation and dieting. Three years ago, after being featured on the Bravo television show “Extreme Parenting,” Machenberg was dubbed “Hypno-mom,” after demonstrating the hypnosis she uses on her own children.
The Malibu Times caught up with Machenberg this week shortly after a 2 a.m. appearance via satellite on “This Morning,” a television show that airs in Great Britain. During the interview, she fielded phone calls from radio stations as far away as Australia.
She explained how she uses her techniques on her own children.
“I’ve used it starting when they were 11 months old to sleep through the night,” Machenberg said. “Then I used formal hypnosis with a crystal saying, ‘Your eyes are getting heavy’ for my sons to be dry all night. I did it on their fourth birthday and I was so confident, I took off their pull-ups and they’ve been dry ever since.”
Machenberg went on to explain her methods.
“Hypno-parenting has two parts. It has the parent part, to use self-hypnosis to separate your emotional reaction from your parenting response — for you cannot teach self-control or self-regulation and containment unless you have it,” she explained. “Your children will never do what you say, but they will always do what you do. So first, I teach the parents how to use self-hypnosis for self-regulation, and then I teach them how to use hypnosis or exert influence over their children to be calm, have superior sports performance, to have better focus, concentrate and to be more cooperative and peaceful in the household.”
Machenberg’s twin sons are now 19 and have just completed their first years at college. One attends UCLA and the other UC Berkeley. Her 17-year-old daughter appeared with her on “Good Morning America” last week to demonstrate how to hypnotize children for sports performance and for academic success.
Machenberg herself hosts two internet television shows that can be seen 24/7 on HypnosisTV.com. One show, “Hypnosis Today,” focuses on the latest news, research and techniques in the world of hypnotherapy. The other show, “Amazing Mind,” has Machenberg interviewing largely Malibu guests, people who, she says, “are at the top of their profession — directors, producers, on-air talent, psychologists, physicians and authors.” Her shows have had two million views worldwide.
She said it was due to the success of her shows that caught the attention of the New York Post, which recently wrote a story about her and her unusual practice. Then, after a few television appearances, she’s been inundated with requests for more interviews.
Her next line-up of guests for “Amazing Mind” will be two more Malibu residents, Veera Mahajan, author of “Unreported,” a book about domestic violence, and psychologist Marcia Landau. The shows are filmed at Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana where Machenberg sees clients in private practice and has been a teacher for 22 years. She also sees clients at her home in Malibu, where she helps them overcome issues such as a desire to lose weight.
“I would explain that only 12 percent of the mind is logic, reason and willpower — willpower is the thing that’s never around when you need it,” Machenberg described. “Eight-eight percent of the mind is things that are known or are familiar. If someone wants to lose weight, the logic and reason knows to eat less and exercise more. But the 88 percent says, ‘Here’s food, it makes me feel happy, de-stressed and content when I eat it.’”
She said that since 88 percent of the brain’s instinct says to eat, the 12 percent doesn’t have a chance to overcome it.
“With hypnosis, we can access the subconscious — that’s the 88 percent — program, the 88 percent to eat for that light and healthy body. The 12 percent says, ‘Eat less and exercise more,’ the 88 percent says, ‘Eat less and exercise more.’ That’s 100 percent. Then eating for that light and healthy body becomes easy, habituated and automatic.”
Machenberg’s next project will be a seminar on hypnosis and ADD/spectrum disorders. She is currently looking for subjects who would like to participate.