Photo by Nanci Hutson.
PRESCOTT – Ginni Trask is no stranger to diets.
She can remember as a toddler being told she needed to watch her weight. In her later childhood, she was teased by her own family members about buying school clothes at the “tent factory.”
A successful marketing entrepreneur, Trask said after failing at most every diet and exercise program she tried she started to wonder whether she would simply have to accept she would always be “fat.”
Until she met Carrie Ann Apap at a Prescott business networking event six years ago.
The founder and director of Prescott Hypnosis, Apap is a 16-year certified medical and clinical hypnotherapist who opened her practice in Prescott in 2005. Part of Apap’s work is with people struggling with weight issues. She and Trask opted to trade services.
Skeptical whether hypnosis would be any different than anything else she had tried before, Trask connected with Apap and figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Six years later, Trask said she has lost 60 pounds despite some personal and physical setbacks. Even after suffering a broken foot and ribs that prevented her from exercise, she managed to lose 16 pounds. Her goal is to lose another 50.
“My hope is not to be a fashion model,” said Trask, a friendly, attractive and stylish woman, as she shared her weight story in the privacy of Apap’s cozy, salon-like offices on White Spar Road. “My hope is just to be healthy.”
Through Apap’s virtual gastric band program, Trask has been able to train her mind to know when she is actually hungry.
“Never before was I able to tell when I was full,” said Trask, who was also diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.
Working with Apap has given her more than tips on how to lose weight. It has enabled her to change her thoughts about her appearance, her value and what she can and cannot do for her own well-being, Trask said.
“I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin that I’ve ever felt,” Trask said. “I give thanks to Carrie Ann every day.”
Apap explains that the subconscious mind sees pictures and symbols, and the mind moves people in the direction of what they are feeling or thinking.
Hypnosis is simply a relaxed state where the mind is allowed to be open for suggestion, Apap said.
With her weight loss program, the virtual gastric band, Apap said she will actually take a client into the hospital where they prepare for the procedure. They then go into the operating room where they are given instructions on how their stomach is now reduced so they can no longer eat as they did before.
Apap’s weight loss program is not a diet. She does not impose food restrictions, although she does emphasize that her clients eat adequate amounts of protein and control their meal portions.
“They can’t use their body as a garbage bin any longer,” said Apap, a petite, fashionable woman with short, white-blonde hair and an infectious smile. “You just eat until you’re comfortable.”
Apap’s own journey to hypnosis had to do with managing her own health needs.
In 1990, Apap was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr and chronic fatigue syndrome. She was informed there was no treatment beyond eating well and rest.
Then the owner of a beauty salon, Apap was struggling to manage her health and a client suggested she read a book about self-talk and affirmation.
She gave it a try, even while skeptical about its possibilities. After a while, though, Apap felt better.
“Strangers, and people who knew me, would tell me, ‘you’re radiant,’” Apap said.
By 1998, Apap had become a student of the mind and body, discovering the holistic benefits of self-hypnosis and the importance of retraining one’s subconscious mind so they can be happier in their life.
In many cases, Apap said she first has to work with patients to rid themselves of the negative messages that have absorbed over a lifetime so they can recraft their thinking about whatever lifestyle issue they want to change, whether they want to lose weight, quit smoking, manage chronic pain, anxiety or phobias. She offers a free screening to prospective clients before arranging a plan and payment.
Her focus is always on helping patients develop their own expectations, to see themselves as valuable to themselves.
“I want to teach my patients how to communicate with their subconscious mind … how to impact their life in more positive ways,” Apap said.