Hypnotherapist Backs California's New Hands-Free Phone Law for Drivers

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Los Angeles Hypnotherapist Stephanie Voss depends on both cell-phones and freeways. Here's why this expert on the limits of the conscious mind thinks you should focus on one at a time.

As of July 1st, 2008, California drivers may be ticketed for driving while holding a telephone to their ear and talking. There's a lot of controversy about the new law. Some people note that it doesn't forbid more complicated tasks that involve taking at least one eye off the road as well as a hand: dialing and text messaging, for example. They think the law should go further.

Others are outraged at the rather arbitrary infringement of their right to bear cell phones. They point to other common LA traffic phenomena, including drivers applying makeup, eating or even slapping their kids in the back seat. Why pick on cell users, they wonder.

Hypnotherapist Stephanie Voss of Los Angeles has an unusual perspective on the new law:

"Drivers need to have both hands on the wheel is because that position is an anchor, a physical reminder that they're driving. Even if you're chatting away, if your hands are at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions, you feel like you're driving. On the other hand, if you're sitting with one hand up to your ear, you're in a position that signals you to focus on conversation.

The body-mind connection is gaining acceptance in both the medical and psychological counseling communities. For example, hypnotherapy helps people stop smoking cigarettes by breaking long-established links between the act of lighting up and the sense of being relaxed, even though nicotine is a stimulant. More information on smoking - which also can be a distracting behavior for drivers - is available at http://www.vosshypnotics.com/index.php/services/smoking.html.

Safe driving is a topic that often comes up at the end of a hypnosis session, Voss adds. When clients leave the Voss Hypnotics office in Eagle Rock, the hypnotherapist always suggests they take a walk around the parking lot before getting in their cars.

"I'm right off the Pasadena Freeway," Voss says, "My clients drive here, then they experience hypnosis, which often puts them in a deeply relaxed state. It's great for healing and for changing old behavior patterns, but it's not meant for driving." In fact, a phenomenon sometimes called "highway hypnosis" is one of the examples Voss uses when introducing hypnosis on her website, http://www.VossHypnotics.com.

"Hypnosis is a natural state everyone has experienced," the website explains, "Classic examples include 'road hypnosis' - when you arrive at work or school but don't remember the details of the trip." Autopilot may kick in occasionally, but if you find yourself depending on it, you may be chronically overloaded.

Modern society has a lot of people turning to hypnotherapy to handle stress and learn relaxation. "Here's an easy tip," laughs Stephanie Voss, "let yourself enjoy doing one thing at a time. You improve your ability to focus with practice. I've had a headset for years, but I still think I should spend more time just driving."

You can call Certified Hypnotherapist Stephanie Voss at (310) 994-6028 with any question about hypnotherapy. If she doesn't answer, she's with a client -- or on the road.

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