By DON FOWLER Warwick resident Lori Bernard is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and certified hypnotist. Personal trainer" and "health coach" are familiar terms in today's health conscious society. But when you add "hypnosis" to the"
Warwick resident Lori Bernard is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and certified hypnotist.
“Personal trainer” and “health coach” are familiar terms in today’s health conscious society.
But when you add “hypnosis” to the equation, many people have visions of the stage performer who has people literally jumping through hoops and making fools of themselves. (Remember Frank Santos?)
“I want to get hypnosis out into the mainstream so people will understand it,” she said. “What it is and what it isn’t.”
“Hypnosis is a distinct, altered state of consciousness,” Lori said. “You are not asleep or unconscious. You are in a state of mind in which you can free your mind of constraints and limitations. While under hypnosis, you are more receptive to suggestions, and this allows you to replace old, non-productive thoughts with new, positive ones. This is how lasting behavior change is accomplished.”
Bernard is the owner of ASPIRE Fitness and Wellness in Warwick. She has a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy and 16 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation in hospitals, senior centers and private practice. She has also shared her philosophy at wellness fairs around the state.
“I believe that optimal wellness is achieved when a strong body, positive mind and peaceful spirit exist in harmony with each other,” she said. “In my hypnosis practice, I combine health coaching with hypnosis to establish positive habits and facilitate lasting behavior change.
“It is important to understand the why behind what you do and do not do. My coaching techniques allow me to tailor hypnosis sessions to fit an individual’s needs and desired outcomes. I choose the hypnosis methods that are appropriate for the individual. With hypnosis, you are able to enter a relaxed, pleasant state where amazing, positive changes occur in your thinking, attitudes and behaviors.”
Pat Kohler of Cranston has been a client of Bernard’s for over two years, having been referred by her son and daughter-in-law.
“I was having some orthopedic problems and needed physical therapy,” she said. “Lori helped me to improve my mobility, and then we moved into strength training.
“Lori was studying for her hypnosis certification and was looking for volunteers,” she said. “At first I was not sure, but not anymore, and now I find it very helpful. She pulled the switch. She is such a good person and always trying to help.”
Bernard’s office on the second floor of an office building in Greenwood is small, quiet and welcoming. She offers free phone consultations before scheduling an appointment.
“A strong body is a healthy body,” she said. “One on one personal training ensures that you learn to do exercises properly, so we begin at the person’s fitness level and progress at their pace to get the results they desire.”
Bernard conducts her fitness training at Evolution Fitness at 1639 Warwick Ave., a quiet facility with all the right equipment.
Maureen Pierce of West Warwick has been working with Bernard at her office and at Evolution Fitness for the past two years.
“I know her and trust her,” she said. “Hypnosis helps me to be relaxed and open to positive changes. She put me at ease right from the beginning. And she has a nice, relaxing voice.”
“I have always been passionate about health and fitness,” Lori said. “After practicing as an occupational therapist for 16 years, I decided to follow my dream and become a fitness professional. I became a certified hypnotist to help my clients achieve lasting behavior change.”
Before being certified as a hypnotist, Lori attended 75 hours of classes with John Koenig, a certified hypnotist and instructor. While the profession is not licensed by the state, it is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, which conducts continuing education courses, seminars and conferences. There are about 15 to 20 certified hypnotists in Rhode Island. They meet with Koenig on occasion to share techniques and experiences and practice hands-on training, in addition to having their own support group.
Lori emphasizes that the hypnotic state is a natural state available to anyone with normal intelligence who is motivated and capable of following simple directions.
“It is a cooperative relationship between client and hypnotist,” she said. “It is not being under someone else’s control. It puts you in control of your own mind. The hypnotist is simply there to facilitate the process. I help my clients to understand their weaknesses and their strengths and change their mindset. Whether it is diet, strength or stress, hypnosis puts you in a relaxed state and more open to positive change.”
Lori practices self-hypnosis every day.
“I’m a Type A person, working with clients mostly in the mornings and evenings,” she said. “I take time every afternoon to clear my mind through hypnosis.”
She also takes time to improve her personal physical health by practicing natural bodybuilding.
Bernard works largely through referrals. She also maintains a website, aspirefitnessri.com. She can be reached at 258-7507.