What is hypnosis?
Opinions range from fantastic! to useless, voodoo or witchcraft.Most opinions are based on emotional or 'gut' knowledge that has little to do with honest inquiry or truth.
Most opinions are informed by the media of one sort of another. For example, somebodywatching a TV show sees demonstrations and immediately forms a strong idea of what hypnosis is. Funny enough, these same people can watch ER, Monk or other shows and never take them as 'the truth' about emergency rooms or detectives.
Another media source of hypnosis information are stage shows. However, even though a person knows a stage show is purely for entertainment purposes and that some 'staging' is involved, it is still viewed as 'the truth' about hypnosis.
The point to the preceding is that it is common and understandable to form opinions when one is exposed to information but, one must be careful to consider the source.
For example, even though a person sees a stage show and apparently sees people controlled by the hypnotist, there is one small flaw to the reasoning that hypnosis controls people: If hypnosis really were the power to make someone do exactly what you want, then why do we have jails? Couldn't a hypnotist just walk into a jail and turn all those bad guys into law abiding citizens?
No. Never happened and it never will.
Hypnosis does not steal your will-power; it does not give other people control over you; it is not truth serum (people can and do lie while in trance) and it most certainly cannot make you do what you don't want to do. For example, if your spouse makes you see a hypnotist to quit smoking but you aren't ready to quit, you will not--no matter how big a pocket watch the hypnotist swings at you.
A question at this point might be: "Now that I know what hypnosis is not, then what is it?"
Well, before I share with you what hypnosis really is, please take into account that:
(a) I have been practicing hypnosis for over 22 years and
(b) I have taken the time to accomplish very rigorous research because I specialize in the medical applications of hypnosis; especially diabetes because I was going blind from diabetes.
So, here's the truth: Hypnosis is your ability to convince yourself of any belief. Any belief even if that belief is illogical.
Remember: "The heart has reasons whereof the mind knows not."
Hypnosis is a state of mind that every person can access which enables you to rearrange meaningful ideas, concepts, memories, events and meanings.
A salient point from the above is that every person can access trance and, in fact does on a daily basis. The only exception may be those who are severely brain damaged.
Is hypnosis harmful? When most people ask this question what they're really saying is: "Can a hypnotist make me do stupid/harmful things?"
Let's review the preceding definition: "Hypnosis is your ability to convince yourself of any belief." 2 points to consider here:
(1) Have you ever believed or done something that was not in your best interests? Say, smoke or drive to fast or get way too angry or eat/drink more than you know you should?
(2) Friends are known to sometimes persuade us to do stupid, harmful things but who ultimately was responsible for the decision to act on those suggestions?
You. Me. Us. Free will working here.
So.....in and of itself, hypnosis is not harmful unless you choose to act on an idea or suggestion that could result in harm.
Hopefully by this point you're beginning to be okay with the idea that hypnosis is something that a person should actually learn to use in a positive manner.
Finally, the medical documentation for the use of hypnosis is astonishing and bears reviewing by those who are interested in health answers that can help.
Never Give Up.
C. Devin Hastings
To learn more about hypnosis please visit: www.MBH4U.com.
By Devin Hastings
Hypnosis skeptics often say that “hypnosis is all in the mind” as if that somehow invalidates the concept of hypnosis and its effectiveness.
Or, a skeptic will pronounce that hypnosis is simply due to the placebo effect. What is the placebo effect? It is accidental self-hypnosis and self-hypnosis is a person’s ability to convince themselves of any belief.
No matter what a skeptic believes, here is the truth: Our thoughts and feelings influence our bodies via two kinds of mechanisms or systems. These two systems are the nervous system and the endocrine system.
The brain reaches into the body via the nervous system. This allows it to send nerve impulses into all the body's tissues and influence their behavior. The brain can thus affect the behavior of the immune system with its nerve endings extending into the bone marrow (the birthplace of all white cells), the thymus, the spleen, and the lymph nodes.
The nervous system, controlled by the brain, also reaches into all the glands of the endocrine system, all the bones, muscles, internal organs, and even the walls of veins and arteries. It can influence the behavior of the heart with its nerves penetrating the heart tissue, affecting heart rate and other aspects of the heart's functioning. The entire body is literally "wired" by the brain.
The brain is also a gland. It manufactures thousands of different kinds of chemicals and releases them into the bloodstream. These chemicals circulate throughout the body and influence the activity and behavior of all the body's tissues. The brain could be described as the ultimate apothecary, producing many more drugs than science has ever invented.
The cells of the body have receptors on their surfaces that function somewhat like satellite dishes. These receptors receive the chemical messages being released by the brain and respond accordingly.
And, remember that the mind/body connection is a two-way street. In addition to sending messages into the body's tissues, the brain also receives feedback, both in the form of nerve impulses and its own receptors that sense what chemicals are being released by other tissues in the body.
All of the preceding is designed to set the foundation for this statement: we human beings are not mind and body creatures—we are mind/body creatures. What I mean by this is that although separated by words, the body and the mind are not separate.
Do Emotions Influence Our Immune System?
Now, even though it is intuitively obvious that emotions influence our bodies, it is not as obvious that emotions can significantly alter our immune systems.
This idea has long been suspected by some in the traditional health care field but the major approaches to health care have primarily been medications and surgery and not long-term emotional management (without medications).
But now there is considerable evidence that emotional traits both negative and positive, influence a person’s susceptibility to infection.
One proponent of this “new truth” is Dr. Sheldon Doyle. In the 2003 journal of Psychosomatic Medicine he wrote an excellent article titled Emotional Style and Susceptibility to the Common Cold.
In his article, he states that following systematic exposure to a respiratory virus in the laboratory, individuals who report higher levels of stress or negative moods have been shown to develop more severe illness than those who report less stress or more positive moods.
And, in the May, 2001 issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology, Dr. Smith (not the one from Lost In Space) wrote an article stating that recent studies suggest that the tendency to report that positive, as opposed to negative, emotions may be associated with greater resistance to objectively verified colds.
Smith reviewed laboratory studies that are supported by longitudinal studies pointing to associations between psychological or emotional traits and the incidence of respiratory infections.
The immune system and happiness
Now the immune system and happiness is a combination which has rarely been studied. But, some people are finally starting to take interest in it. And the results are bearing out what many complimentary health care persons have known for a long time.
For example, according to Dr. Yoram Barak “the effects of positive human emotions, especially happiness, on physiological parameters and immunity have received very little attention.” (1)
And, he also talks about how emotions are intimately involved in the initiation or progression of cancer, HIV, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Barak also goes on to say that “The specific physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli were recently investigated with the immune and endocrine systems being monitored when pleasant stimuli such as odors and emotional pictures were presented to subjects. The results revealed that an increase in secretory immunoglobulin A and a decrease in salivary cortisol were induced by pleasant emotions.” (2)
However, this does not mean to fire up a bunch of incense to improve your clients immune system! Some people are highly allergic to perfumes and other scents even if they are very pleasant and soothing. Just stick to good old hypnosis without the “smells and bells”.
Speaking of “good old hypnosis”, here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it:
“Hypnosis became popular as a treatment for medical conditions in the late 1700s when effective pharmaceutical and surgical treatment options were limited. To determine whether hypnosis has a role in contemporary medicine, relevant trials and a few case reports are reviewed. Despite substantial variation in techniques among the numerous reports, patients treated with hypnosis experienced substantial benefits for many different medical conditions. An expanded role for hypnosis and a larger study of techniques appear to be indicated.”(3)
The main point of this article has been to show that hypnosis is simply the effective utilization of currently known and understood body and mind principles. And, it is the author’s hope that any person fearful or skeptical of hypnosis will begin to have a different, more accurate understanding of hypnosis.
And the secondary purpose of this article has been to give good evidence showing that the beneficial effects of hypnosis can help people from respiratory infections to autoimmune disorders.
“Fear is a darkroom where negatives are developed.”
Dr. Yoram Barak, Director Psychogeriatric Department, Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat-Yam and the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University
2) Ibid #1
3) Excerpted from: Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine
Jame H. Stewart, MD, Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Fla.
Mayo Clin Proceedings. 2005;80:511-524
Date of last update: March 9, 2011
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