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Learn About Medical Hypnosis

Learn About Medical Hypnosis


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Medical hypnosis works by understanding that the mind and body are inseparable, despite the Western idea of them being separate. When we impact the mind, we also impact the body. Hypnosis can be helpful with medical conditions because it changes the mind, which in turn affects the body. An example of this is using the imagination to create a physical response, such as salivation. Hypnosis is a well-researched tool that can be used to help clients and patients experience success, satisfaction, and less anxiety with medical procedures. Recommended readings include books by Ernest Rossi and Bruce Lipton. Now I want to talk for a moment about how medical hypnosis actually works, and I want to refer to some of the research from Ernest Rossi. Ernest Rossi was a contemporary of Milton Erickson, which you may have heard of with Ericksonian hypnosis. They wrote a number of books together, and he's a psychological researcher and has published numerous books on hypnosis and healing. A few years back, he wrote a book entitled, The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, New Concepts for Therapeutic Hypnosis. So here's a very simple explanation of how hypnosis works. Within the Western world, we make a distinction between mind and body, as if they are two different things. The Eastern idea of the mind and body being inseparable is the reality. We've made an impossible dichotomy, saying that these are mental exercises, and these are physical exercises. These are our mental treatments, and these are our physical treatments, but you can't really separate the two. The reason why physical healing takes place is because of mental processes. The mind and the body are inseparable. They are in fact one, and they work together as one, so when we impact the mind, we are impacting the body. A lot of clients will come in and actually sit in a chair in my office and say, I've heard hypnosis can be helpful with cancer, burns, irritable bowel syndrome, but these are real medical conditions. I don't understand how this is going to work. Am I going to sit in this chair, close my eyes, count to ten, open my eyes, and somehow be healed? Is that how it works? I have other clients who really want to emphasize to me that their pain is real. It really hurts. How is hypnosis going to actually reduce pain? What the client is actually saying is that they don't understand that the mind and body are connected. They see it like most people in Western society do, and that is as two separate things. One of the easiest ways to illustrate the unity of the mind and body is with the easiest and most basic of all techniques. It's one of my favorite things to use during the pre-talk with medical clients. Allow yourself to engage your imagination for a moment as I guide you through this. Do you remember being a kid, and when you went to the movie theater, you could eat those Lemonhead candies? Do you know the ones I'm talking about? So the little Lemonhead box that had that smiley face lemon on it. Popular movie theater candy. So go ahead and hold out your hand and just imagine that I put in your hand a couple of imaginary lemon drop candies. Now, imagine taking with your other hand those imaginary candies and pop those candies into your mouth right now. Go ahead. Do that, actually. Put the imaginary candy into your mouth, and when you do, taste that sugary, sweet, sour exterior of the hard candy, and as the sugar begins to melt, of course it gives way to the sour, tart, lemony inside, and you can taste that bitter, tart, lemon-flavored hard candy as the sugary outside completely melts. Swish it around your mouth. You can even go ahead and chomp on that imaginary candy, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, and swallow, and put your hand out, and I will give you more imaginary candy. Now, did you notice what happened? You salivated. As soon as I said the tart, lemony interior of the candy, as an involuntary response, your mouth will fill with saliva, and when you chomp that candy up, the intensity of that can exacerbate and become bursting to life in your mouth, and you can taste the sugary exterior. You can taste the tart, lemon interior. You can notice a physical response in the body of salivation. Now, this is really important for medical clients, because what they do is say, I'm in a really desperate situation, I heard this would be helpful, but I don't know how it's going to work. By the way, I never even called it real candy. I called it imaginary candy the whole time, but when we use our imagination, the creative, intuitive parts of the mind, and we put them towards a directed task, our bodies respond, and in this case, your body responds by producing salivation to the indirect suggestion that you're tasting lemon candy. The mind and body are not two separate things. When you change your mind, or introduce new ideas to the mind, it affects the body as well, and these are the type of techniques that you'll learn that I can teach you so that you can experience peace, relaxation, lower pain, and greater satisfaction with your patients. And if right now you have a burning need to understand the mechanism of hypnosis beyond what I just explained here, you should read Rossi's book, and also the works of Bruce Lipiton. These are not new ideas. Hypnosis is not a complementary or alternative therapy. It's a well-researched, documented tool that you can add to what you do to help your clients and patients experience success, greater satisfaction with your care, and less anxiety with medical procedures.

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