Local hypnotist knows key to keeping resolutions

Posted Jan. 20, 2010, at 5:19 p.m.

Maybe you rang in 2010 by resolving to lose weight, exercise more or stop smoking. Three weeks into the new year, have you kept those resolutions?

Relying on willpower alone to keep the resolution is almost a guarantee to break it. But if this is the year you want to make a bona fide change, Tobin Slaven can help.

Slaven and his wife, Martina Pavlovich-Slaven, own MindBoom.tv, and he is a certified hypnotist based in Bangor. “Hypnosis cuts to the core of the issue,” Slaven said. “Everyone wants to learn the secret to weight loss, but you have to be really ready. You can decide to enhance your fitness, but you can’t outexercise consumption.”

For instance, Slaven said, if you’re an emotional eater, exercising hard for two or three hours a day will be worthless. “You can eat more calories in five minutes than you sweat out in several hours,” he said. What’s more, Slaven said, diets that deprive are more likely to throw your body — and mind — out of whack. When that happens, the cycle is self-defeating.

Hypnosis helps align the mind with the body leading to long-term results.

“The mind needs nutrition to support brain chemistry,” he said. “Destressing and creating a new body image is literally about making changes in your mind before making changes in your body. When you shift your mindset you can succeed in whatever you want to do.”

So throw out any preconceptions about hypnosis. According to Slaven, hypnosis is not about making you do anything against your will or serving as a mechanism for brainwashing. Instead it works on the subconscious brain to help condition it to change behaviors.

Hypnosis can help a person develop confidence especially in challenging circumstances, access peak levels of energy, enhance concentration and focus, chance a negative mindset, and overcome fear, obstacles and limits. For people who struggle with bad habits and weight issues, hypnosis can be a secret weapon.

Helping through coaching

Slaven hasn’t always been a hypnotist.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in 1993 as well as a master’s in education in student development from the University of Maine in 2002.

He spent more than a decade as a basketball coach on the high school and college levels in Machias, including leading the Machias Memorial High School boys team to a state championship in 1995.

As a coach Slaven knew that the game wasn’t played strictly on the physical level. It was played “between the ears,” not through the eyes. “The game is more mental than physical,” he said. “Hypnosis is a way to get back into the mind on a one-to-one level.”

Slaven took particular pride in successfully working with underachieving athletes and teams to help them reach their potential — on and off the court. In 2000, Slaven was recognized as Maine Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for his coaching skills at the University of Maine at Machias.

With that realization, he said, his interest in hypnosis was piqued. He wanted to learn more and earned his certification as a consulting hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists and a 5-PATH certification through Banyan Hypnosis Center. He is recertified through the NGH every year. He opened Tobin Slaven Seminars to help businesses and individuals reach their potential through hypnosis and self-hypnosis. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Husson University.

Mind-Body Makeover and Mindboom.tv

Slaven has been a business coach as well as a one-to-one hypnotherapist. Recently, he has gone digital.

Along with his wife, Martina, Slaven coaches people who want to work on losing weight or reducing stress through the Mind-Body Makeover. This online 30-day challenge uses a three-prong approach: daily e-mail coaching, weekly live online coaching sessions and training in self-hypnosis.

“Weight loss starts on the inside,” he said. “It takes 21 days to make a new habit and in 30 days our participants see a change in their bodies. We teach them how to destress and create a new body image.”

Slaven does it all online through Web conferencing. The first session is offered free to let potential participants try it out. With 70 to 100 participants helped in just the past several years, the Mind-Body Makeover has proved to be one of Slaven’s most popular programs.

A new session of the Mind-Body Makeover will start Jan. 26. For information visit mindboom.tv.

In 2010, the couple refocused Tobin Slaven Seminars and launched Mindboom.tv. Slaven said Mindboom.tv’s online resource — “hypnosis TV to improve your life” — is designed to teach people how to “read, retain and apply the information from your favorite books of all time.”

The Web site provides free hypnosis sessions as well as other information to turn self-help into self-healing. “We show you how to open up your brain and install the new habits, perceptions, and beliefs that will unlock your secret to extraordinary living,” he said on his Web site.

Fundraising events

Slaven also brings hypnosis to the masses through seminars and comedy hypnosis shows. Unlike other hypnotists, Slaven’s show is completely family-friendly. Slaven touts it as a chance to witness “psychology in action.”

The “Get Mesmerized” comedy hypnosis shows have been presented at several local schools as a way to raise funds for programs and trips. Instead of hocking goods that will take up space in the closet, Slaven’s hypnosis show provides a night of entertainment for a reasonable price.

The next “Get Mesmerized” show will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at Bangor High School’s Peakes Auditorium. Tickets are $10 each or a family four-pack for $30. For tickets or more information call 992-5569. Tickets will also be available at the door.

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