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Local Hypnotist Headed To Rio To Treat American Athletes Competing In Summer Games

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Some of the American athletes in Rio may have a secret weapon during the Summer Games.

A local guy has gotten into their heads and helped them find the focus that can make the difference between good and great.

Hypnotist Dan Vitchoff works out of his "mind gym," located in the North Hills.

Olympic athletes, like shooters Josh Richmond, Glenn Eller and Vince Hancock, who won two gold medals in 2008, have all sat in Vitchoff's special chair.

For the hypnosis treatment, they wear a special pair of light-sequence glasses and headphones to learn to relax and focus.

"Everybody at the Olympics is this far apart," Vitchoff says. "But the reason that we have winners is because we're able to get them to perform under pressure."

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He says that's what his propriety programs do, not just for athletes, but for anyone who wants to build confidence and composure.

Vitchoff will be going with his clients to the Games, as he did in 2008 and 2012. He leaves on Monday for Rio de Janeiro.

"I'm looking forward to Brazil," Vitchoff says.

Vitchoff says his methods can also help people with PTSD, anxiety and insomnia.

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