If you are ready to create a healthier life, this book is for you. Within these pages are ways to understand and acquire life skills that create and support physical health, emotional balance and healthy behaviors. As you read on, you'll bridge the gap between your mind and body as you learn to naturally guide your self towards greater health and happiness.
In a country as educated as America, there are too many people who struggle with physical illness, emotional difficulties, unhealthy behaviors or pain. We rely heavily on drugs, prescription or otherwise, to assist us in health, to soften our discomforts or to ease our troubled minds. We deserve better than this. What we really need to be asking ourselves in order to have true resolution of illness and disease is, "Why are we so unhealthy in the first place?"
Me, Myself and Mind: Reclaim Your Self, Your Health and Your Life offers deep insight into the human psyche and provides a wealth of information that is based on more than 26 years of experience in clinical hypnotherapy. It is designed to help readers connect with their inner being in ways that are appropriate and self determined. It skillfully guides readers through a personal journey of self awareness so they can transform old subconscious patterns and problems.
Introduction ... continued
People who put forth the effort and time to develop the life skills presented in Me, Myself and Mind experience incredible freedom and self empowerment. Evidence based approaches of self hypnosis and self hypnotherapy will help readers to:
- Slow down their brain wave patterns into an alpha state for creating deep physical and mental relaxation with full conscious awareness.
- Communicate effectively with their subconscious mind with discernment and intention.
- Heighten sensory awareness for more productive use of guided imagery.
- Replace old negative beliefs with new thoughts that are appropriate, accurate and desired.
- Understand and change the old subconscious patterns associated with illness and disease.
- Release the suppressed emotional activity responsible for creating the problem.
- Direct their mind and body to create new physical, emotional and behavioral responses.
- Create a respectful, harmonious relationship between the inner workings of their ego mind.
- Listen to and learn to work with their feelings respectfully for creating a healthy, happy life.
ME, MYSELF and MIND is a "self-health" book that includes over 30 activities to guide you as you learn to reclaim your self, your health and your life.
Relaxation, Hypnosis and Health
"When we access the subconscious mind with conscious
awareness of our experience, we can work directly
with the automatic responses of our body."
* * *
Taking time to relax and have fun away from the stresses of daily life is necessary and beneficial but it is different from deep relaxation, when the body and the mind are completely at rest. This response is supposed to occur during sleep, allowing our mind and our body to rejuvenate and restore. Unfortunately, many people live in constant stress from thoughts and worries that cause them to experience tension during the day and restless sleep at night.
When we learn to relax deeply, we can create a profound state of mental and physical quiet and ease. This allows our brain wave patterns to slow down and chemicals such as endorphins, the body's natural morphine are naturally increased. Endorphins make us feel good. They can decrease our physical pain and strengthen our immune system. They are also free for our use. When we take the time to work with the automatic interactions between our mind and body in constructive ways, we claim greater control of our health and our life.
The state of hypnosis creates this inner connection of quiet awareness and it is very good for our health and well being. Ten minutes of hypnotic relaxation is equal to a few hours of rest and is a great way to recharge. In addition to the benefits of deep relaxation, hypnosis opens the doorway for communication between two seemingly separate worlds, that of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. It provides access to the body's "control center," the part that regulates the automatic functions of our entire body.
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The results from using hypnosis can range from simple to profound, often defying what followers of traditional medicine believe to be possible. Most people who have learned the information contained in this book are amazed how quickly things can change. With hypnosis, people learn how to improve physical health, eliminate emotional problems such as fear or anxiety, change problems such as addictions or insomnia, lessen or remove pain, and create ease of their response to surgery with a faster recovery. The list of beneficial applications of hypnosis is limitless, since the mind-body connection can be directed to create what you desire.
I have worked with thousands of people for hundreds of different reasons and have witnessed how the subconscious mind, it's memories, feelings, emotions and sensory perceptions, are intricately woven together as one with the physical body. They are absolutely inseparable and they influence each other based in the natural, automatic communications between our thoughts and the electrical-chemical responses of our body.
We are more than physical machines. When we learn to work with our inner being as a natural part of health, we take a big step forward towards creating greater balance. Since our feelings are stored in and controlled by the subconscious mind, when we open communications through hypnosis, it establishes conscious communication between the inner world of emotions and beliefs and the physical body with its powerful, innate aspect for seeking balance.
This is a natural form of inner awareness that most of us have learned to forget, and therefore it can be reclaimed. Those who put forth the effort and time to develop these skills experience incredible changes. They feel self empowered as they work with their mind and body for creating greater health and happiness.
The Circle Connection of Life
The circle is an ancient symbol which represents a continuous flow, free of a beginning or ending. It's shape correlates to many things in the natural world, some in a literal sense such as the shape of a drop of water or of a planet and others metaphorically, such as the perpetual movement of the ocean tide or the cycle of life's breath.
The circle can symbolize a connection within a family, our heritage, our ancestry. It can also represent a connection within our own being, a synergistic, continuous flow of information between the various parts of our body and mind, physically, mentally and emotionally. No matter where we go, we are still connected with our self. We are also connected to our family, to mother earth and to all of life.
Then why do so many people feel disconnected from the world around them or from their own being and their own life? This "disconnect" is learned. When it is ignored, it can cause unhealthy responses and ill-health.
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Belonging—The Need to Connect with Others
The need to belong is natural. We all find ways to "fit in." Friends, family, organizations, sport teams and social groups are examples of healthy ways to satisfy this need. Many people turn to animals for this connection, which in itself, is quite pleasing. Our desire to belong is so vital that if we can't have it in a healthy way, we'll find it in an unhealthy way. When people smoke or drink together, sit around and complain to each other, or attend support groups, they are satisfying this natural urge to belong.
"What happens if we don't feel a sense of belonging
with our family or within our self?"
Too many people go through life feeling uncomfortable being who they are. They expend a great amount of effort, energy and time, trying to feel in control, too afraid to let go and trust. Then they wonder why they are so tired and dissatisfied! Unfortunately, these feelings are often accompanied by poor health, emotional difficulties, relationship problems or unhealthy behaviors.
Even when families are stable, individual subconscious associations occur, influencing our life, our physical health and emotional happiness. Blaming others is pointless; taking responsibility for our own being however, is highly useful. Fortunately, our minds are incredibly agile. Through relaxation and this natural shift of awareness to the inside, you can became aware of the subtle, automatic, internal responses of your body. They can be influenced and transformed with constructive direction and intention.
Rules of the Mind
In this chapter, we'll take a close look at the two hemispheres of the brain in order to better understand their roles in life. It is your desire for personal improvement and self empowerment along with this understanding, that provides the foundation for changes to occur.
The cerebellum of the human brain manifests in two separate hemispheres. Each is unique and provides us with a multifaceted view of the world. The conscious mind is akin to the left hemisphere, and the subconscious mind is akin to the right hemisphere. There is a gap between the two hemispheres called the corpus callosum.
Information is constantly being shared between the two hemispheres of the brain. This can be seen through neural activity across the corpus callosum as electrical impulses. It is believed that greater neural activity firing between the two hemispheres of the brain may mean greater levels of intelligence.
In the above diagram, the conscious mind is shown above the level of awareness and the subconscious mind is shown below. The plus and minus signs represent memories; some are positive and some are negative.
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The critical factor is that part of mind which filters information for our protection. When we learn to work with each aspect of our mind constructively, we acquire greater self control.
The Role of the Subconscious Mind
The majority of subconscious communications occur between the different systems of our body, allowing us to live our life. The subconscious mind stores of our memories and then uses our past experiences and perceptions as a point of reference. The following case history demonstrates how these inner patterns can lead to illness.
Nancy and Digestive Problems
I worked with "Nancy" who had chronic stomach pain, indigestion and constipation. For nine months she was buckled over with cramping and couldn't live her life. She changed her eating patterns radically and at the time of our meeting she was eating a very limited diet, yet her problems persisted. Her doctor proposed the best solution was to have her gall bladder removed. At this point, Nancy decided to try hypnotherapy.
After our first session, Nancy's stomach pains and discomforts went away completely. We never talked about food but we explored the emotional associations and memories behind the physical symptoms. Through hypnotherapy, she discovered subconscious patterns which linked eating with feelings of deep sadness and loneliness. She learned to monitor her thoughts, to relax and work with her body. She changed her subconscious associations and she has since transformed her health. Nancy still has her gall bladder, her stomach is fine and she's living her life comfortably.
You can learn to hypnotize yourself. Simply, you can learn to relax yourself and benefit from your own natural mind-body connection. Remember, it is a skill which can be acquired. How to induce self-hypnosis is quite easy, but it is deceptively so. It is one thing to read the information and understand the process mentally; it is something entirely different to take the time to acquire the skills to make it really happen. Once you do, this natural skill is yours and it can be extremely beneficial in countless ways for the rest of your life.
Two Common Challenges
There are two common challenges people report when they are first learning self-hypnosis. Many people find that once they start relaxing, their mind wanders and they think about work, people, or events.
Training your mind to be still is something you can learn to do. Focus your mind upon your breath as you relax, and when you realize your mind has drifted, come back to your breath. Each time you return to your breath, tell yourself to relax even more. The same can hold true of sounds. When you become aware of a sound that distracts you, tell yourself, "Every sound I hear relaxes me even more." Both of these examples help you learn to take advantage of the distractions by using them to create a greater relaxation response. Return your awareness to your breath and relax even more.
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The second challenge when first learning skills in self-hypnosis is to keep yourself awake. It is an acquired skill to experience alpha brain waves and remain awake. Since we naturally pass through a light state of hypnosis on our way to sleep, it is easy to automatically drift from hypnosis into sleep which is one reason why hypnosis is helpful to those with sleep problems.
Comments From Clients Who Have Experienced Hypnosis
"I felt so calm and good. I wanted to stay in hypnosis longer."
"Hypnosis is like pressing the re-set button on my computer."
"I was surprised that I remained
aware of everything that happened."
"I have never been that relaxed before in my entire life."
"There was an inner spiritual connection I'd never felt before."
Perceptions and Beliefs
Perceptions are vital for experiencing life. They are based only in what our senses tell us but they aren't always accurate and most certainly can fool us. Perceptions which are based in childhood experiences absolutely influence how we see things later on in life. Our early interpretations get stored away as subconscious memory, forever recorded as perceived, unless they are changed.
Whether our perceptions are accurate or not, they are still used as a future point of reference. Erroneous interpretations occur quite frequently in life independent of age or intelligence. Perceptions and beliefs whether real or imagined, can be used constructively or destructively. The placebo effect is a good example of using beliefs, mental expectations and perceptions in a favorable way.
The use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy to access the mind-body connection incorporates the benefits of the placebo effect and goes beyond the superficial, temporary results. This interaction between our thoughts, the chemical reactions in our body, and the physical responses that occur, can be influenced and changed to create greater health.
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When a person is presented with an idea that is beneficial to them or one that is at least benign, they can more easily respond to this idea. Many times this happens swiftly below their level of awareness and their response is based on what is expected or what feels best. When the desired outcome is expected, free of doubt, it happens. More accurately, we allow it to happen. This is a subconscious response that can be "harnessed" and directed.
which are automatically shared with the physical form.
These inner thoughts serve as a set of instructions
for the body to follow. The body responds
to the information presented independent of fact."
* * *
"These ideas are powerful enough to override the physical
reality of a situation, as demonstrated by the placebo effect.
The implications of this unspoken understanding between
mental expectations and what occurs physically
in the body are profound."
The Nature of Thought
Most subconscious thoughts have to do with the communications between the various systems of our body and require little if any involvement on our part. The subconscious mind knows exactly what to do and how to do it. How fortunate we are that our body is smart enough to take care of all the complex communications to keep us going.
Beyond making choices that affect our body such as our diet, exercise and lifestyle, as long as everything is functioning well, we live our life and pay little attention to what is happening with and within our body. It is usually only when something goes wrong that we get more involved.
If we get a cut, we can provide our body with a good environment so it can heal: we can wash and bandage it. However, it is our body that knows how to bring the white blood cells to the area to create the actual healing. We may decide what to eat, feeling good about making a healthy choice, but it is our body that knows how to digest the food, distribute the nutrients and expel the waste. Again, our conscious involvement with the autonomic nervous system is usually quite unnecessary. Or is it?
Why do we have trouble remembering things? Why do we get into accidents? Why do our emotions get out of hand? Why do we have trouble sleeping? Why do we participate in self destructive behaviors? Why are unhealthy relationships so common? Why do we have so many health problems? Why have we let our lack of subconscious awareness become standard operating procedure for most, if not all aspects of our life?
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When memories and feelings are experienced and stored away, especially those which are emotionally charged, they remain internally alive, although seemingly at rest or even nonexistent to our limited, intellectual, conscious awareness. This doesn't mean the memories or the impact they have upon us goes away. It means that we are no longer in control. Following is a case history to demonstrate this response.
Repetition of Subconscious Association—Story Behind Insomnia
Client: "My son is diabetic. He's thirty-nine years old and he lives by himself. He's doing pretty well now but years ago there were quite a few times when he'd call me in the middle of the night. Sometimes he was almost in a diabetic coma by the time we got him to the emergency room."
Subconsciously, this mother associates falling asleep with those memories of being awakened to extreme stress. Even though she knows her son is now safe, each time she goes to bed her subconscious association to these past experiences gets triggered; her body floods with adrenaline and her legs get restless. Subconsciously it's as though she is still trying to get out of bed to save her son.
This reaction was useful at the time but it is still being re-triggered years later independent of the intellectual knowing and conscious rationalizations which serve to convince her otherwise. Once these ideas were reviewed and new more accurate information was integrated with hypnosis, her legs relaxed and she could sleep well.
Feelings and Emotions
The right side of the brain communicates through feelings and sensory experiences, while the left brain uses spoken language and words. Feelings are physical sensations, the body's natural language and the only way in which it can communicate to us. When our body experiences a physical sensation or feeling, this results in chemical reactions and electrical impulses that travel through the nervous system to the brain, at which time it becomes something we are consciously aware of. The feeling awareness happens first, independent of our conscious awareness.
When we pay attention to our feelings and become aware of the physical sensations, we then label them in order to satisfy the logical part of our mind. Our feelings are here to connect us with our own inner wisdom, our instincts and intuitions. This can only work if we consciously listen to the inner communications between our feeling body and our mind. Healthy communications occur when there is a flow between speaking, listening and responding, hopefully with respect and congruency.
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of negative thoughts, feelings and emotions.
And people are the only ones who can change it for the better.
When a feeling occurs, leave judgments behind.
There is a reason for it."
* * *
"Inner communications happen
through the language of feeling.
When we connect, listen and cooperate with harmony
to our inner subconscious intelligence, self trust develops.
Learning to work with your feelings respectfully
is powerful for creating health."
* * *
"Now, perhaps more than ever during these challenging times,
it is up to us to change old, negative inner patterns.
For when we do, we create inner harmony which is
shared with the world and makes it a better place."
Me, Myself and Mind
Balancing the Ego
Ego is a personal interpretation of life. It includes our opinions, what we believe or don't believe, what we find pleasing or displeasing. These influences are based in subconscious associations. They affect who we are and what we do. Subconscious associations, including influences of the three ego states, are natural and occur automatically, even when we are mentally healthy and emotionally sound.
The ego mind when left undisciplined can and does get in the way of living a happy, healthy life. Our egos can be quite judgmental and critical, often acting against our best interest. This makes life difficult for everyone, including our self. When we learn about the ego mind we learn about human nature, then we can create a healthier balance between the three ego states within our own being. The process is easy to understand and can be quite enlightening. It includes learning new ideas, taking time to pause and think, and then choosing a new and healthier response.
Some people may wonder, why bother? Because when we take the time to do this, we can create favorable results not only emotionally, but also physically and behaviorally. We can finally be in control of our being in a healthy, peaceful and constructive way. To me, this is one of the greatest gifts in life.
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Working In Balance—Ego Mind and Body
On a physical level, our body has a left side and a right side, two eyes, two arms, two legs and so on. This physical pattern creates symmetry. If something happens to disrupt this balance, such as injury or illness, the body compensates. It naturally strives to re-create balance.
Movement itself becomes possible when two opposing muscle groups work together, one contracting, the other relaxing. It is this cooperation that allows us to move at all. The two sides of the heart work in synchronicity, as long as the heart is healthy.
The same holds true when it comes to the ego states. When the ego mind is in conflict, there is imbalance. This discord can be manifested in emotional or mental difficulties, physical illness, behavioral problems or relationship problems. When we do take time to understand and instruct the ego mind, an internal balance can be created which supports health.
subconscious thoughts, and thoughts automatically influence
the chemical responses in our body, the role of the ego mind
needs to be understood when creating health."
A New Health Model
I am grateful to say that at the time of this writing, more people respond to the subject of hypnosis with interest and understanding than I have ever seen before. Their personal experiences along with an educated, more accurate interpretation of what hypnosis really is, serves to support the importance of working with the subconscious mind. In addition, there is now a tangible amount of medical research that supports and strengthens these ideas. I have taught classes to thousands of people from all walks of life, and independent of their background, those who take time to acquire skills of self-hypnosis are pleased with their results.
You can understand how your inner subconscious patterns are related to your problems. You can also learn how to create a different, healthier response. If enough people learn to work with their own mind-body connection, there can be a significant easing of the incredible financial burden of health care upon our already over-stressed economy. Working with our body's natural healing intelligence generates less need for man-made medications, resulting in fewer side effects and risks. Most important is that it lets us actively participate in creating our own health in a safe and natural way.
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Linda and Allergies
"Linda" was a vibrant, healthy thirty-five year old woman who suffered greatly from allergies. Her allergic responses occurred each year and they seemed to be getting worse. At the time of our meeting, Linda's last episode had forced her to go to the emergency room. Her eyes and throat were swollen shut and she was having trouble breathing. She was allergic to wheat, hay and dairy. When the fields were in bloom, her allergies went wild. Besides being uncomfortable, this last episode was life threatening.
I learned that Linda grew up on a farm and her family produced wheat and hay. They also had dairy cows. Linda had a history of emotional stress. She was a very sensitive child and cried easily. When she did, her tears were met with disapproval since there was a lot of work to do and her parents had no time for her crying. Linda learned not to cry even when she wanted to. Below her level of conscious awareness her subconscious mind created a link that went like this: "I want to cry but I can't." The suppressed energy became subconsciously linked to the environment of wheat, hay, and cows. (She was around wheat, hay and cows when she felt this way.) Later in life, through repetition, this association unfolded in the opposite direction, which is perfectly normal for the subconscious mind to do. Subconsciously, it is the link that creates the response based in an emotional association. Now Linda's association went like this: "Whenever I eat (or experience) wheat, hay or dairy, it is linked to the suppressed emotions of my subconscious mind." This link provides the perfect opportunity to release the pressure, since the conscious mind finds it to be an acceptable alternative to crying. Linda worked with her mind and body and her allergic responses subsided completely.
Guilty as Charged
Of all human emotions, I have come to believe that guilt is one of the most crippling. It crosses barriers of heritage, religion, education, intelligence, age and gender. Often accompanied by anger or fear, guilt can be a negative source of energy that creates a self-fueling, bottomless pit of inner tension.
Guilt is an uncomfortable feeling, a part of our conscience where through a bad physical sensation in our body, we know when we have done something wrong. Ideally, this feeling encourages us to learn, to evolve, and to do things differently the next time. Problems arise for people who live with chronic, self-imposed guilt. This causes them to expend large amounts of energy feeling guilty and they often feel exhausted.
Guilt occurs when we have done something wrong. There are times when guilt is appropriate. When it is based in a life changing event, it can create a very deep emotional wound. More commonly, guilt may come from a perception only. Whether based in something genuine or only through a perception, guilty thoughts and feelings are powerful enough to create real health problems.
any number of physiological responses,
such as tension in the stomach, chest or throat.
With enough repetition it can even lead to illness."
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Disrupting the Pattern of Guilt
Do your best to participate in this activity while you are experiencing a guilty feeling. If you are unable to do so at the time or you forget to do so, you can review these after the situation is over. Take some time to relax and replay the situation in your imagination as it occurred, allowing yourself to recreate the guilty feeling. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is happening or what happened to cause me to feel guilty?
- Is the guilt in response to what another person said?
- What was said that caused me to feel guilty and why?
- Is the guilt in response to what was done or not done? How?
- Is it self-imposed or is someone else making me feel guilty?
- Is it pertinent or inappropriate?
Pause to reassess the situation. Bring logic into the review. View the situation objectively and decide for yourself what is true. Find new information that makes more sense to you in the present time. Use your skills of self-hypnosis to help you relax. Include a post-hypnotic suggestion to help you let go of inappropriate guilt.
What Do We Do with Anger?
In my opinion, anger more than any other emotion causes the most significant damage to the greatest number of people. Past or present, direct or indirect, the ripple effect of anger is far reaching. Anger manifests itself through a great variety of expressions; some are easily recognized, while others are more disguised. It affects many levels of our being, has a powerful impact upon the mind and the body, and can greatly influence behaviors. Anger has a tendency to be directed in destructive ways, often leaving great emotional and physical damage in its wake.
Most people have been taught in one way or another that anger is bad, wrong, unacceptable, and that it needs to be avoided at all costs. This creates a very powerful subconscious conflict since anger is a built-in reaction that everyone experiences at certain times in life. In truth, the anger itself is not the problem. The problem is first, as mentioned, that society tells us we are not supposed to get angry.
This is a grave misunderstanding and has caused many people to stuff their anger away inside. When this happens, the energy of the anger doesn't go away; it builds and strengthens until it finds release. Since anger is to be avoided, most people have not had the opportunity to work with their anger appropriately.
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Anger is a normal human emotion, one that serves to protect us from a threat. If we went for a walk in the woods and we came upon a mother bear and her cub, most likely the mother bear would growl and stand on her hind legs to scare us away, or she might chase us. This happens because the mother bear thinks we are a threat to her cub even though we are not. Since she instinctively responds in this way, a natural response for protection and survival, we can say her anger is good. How the mother bear directs her anger yields the outcome of this interaction and ideally the energy is diffused before any harm is done. With this example, please recognize that even a perceived threat can trigger the fight or flight response.
The problem with people and anger relates back to the idea of how we greatly misunderstand and misdirect the energy. Fighting is generally unacceptable, for good reasons. It is easy to see that anger often gets stuffed away since fighting is not approved of and yet it still finds a way out. When the energy of anger seeks release whenever and however it can, it usually creates more problems.
For example, you have a bad day at work because your boss gets mad at you. You feel angry and disrespected but you are unable to say anything and you certainly can't run away, so you stuff your feelings away inside. Then you go home and find yourself yelling at your kids. This happens because the suppressed energy is seeking a way out. Anger must be understood and dealt with more naturally and effectively in order to create physical health and emotional balance. The cost of denying this normal part of life is greater than we realize.
is ignored, rationalized or denied, it can, and often does,
provide fuel for illness."
Fear is a Chemical Reaction
Far too many people suffer from fears and anxieties. Experiences can range from a chronic mild nervous feeling to a full blown panic attack. Ask anyone who has struggled through an episode of panic; the reactions are real and horrifying. In the extreme, they can be debilitating to life itself.
People commonly report feeling completely out of control, their heart racing and their breathing rapid, although there may not seem to be any reason for such a severe reaction. One minute they are feeling fine and then, apparently out of the blue, it just happens. Some people think they are having a heart attack or that they are dying. Their panic increases with each scary thought and feeling. The only resolution seems to be medication and yet many people still suffer, living in fear of their next occurrence of panic.
Through hypnotherapy, clients often find that their anxiety is a subconscious coping response that is based in doubt. Doubt occurs when the mind is presented with two conflicting ideas and the outcome of the situation is uncertain. Our sense of self, along with our expectations of the world, comes into play when the mind enters a state of doubt. There is generally a lack of trust when doubt is present. This can lead to fearful thoughts that cause us to feel unsure and out of control.
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These subconscious internal conflicts are far from relaxing and as they gain strength through the repetitious vicious cycle, the body's natural stress response of fight or flight is called upon over and over. Fortunately, clients who seek hypnotherapy for understanding fears, anxieties, and phobias find they can be successful in controlling this seemingly automatic reaction. The fears, anxieties or panic attacks that appear to hit them from out of nowhere actually do have subconscious roots, patterns and associations that can be changed.
Whether the person is dealing with a fear of flying, claustrophobia, performance anxiety, nervous feelings, or any other stress-induced reaction, they are able to influence and change the way they feel and respond. When the subconscious associations are explored and understood, people not only learn to control their own body, but the problem actually goes away. Many people work with their doctor and are able to decrease or even eliminate their anti-anxiety medications altogether.
Hypnosis has demonstrated to be highly effective for decreasing physical pain, and it is now recognized as a beneficial tool for pain relief by medical organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and UCLA Medical Center.
I have helped hundreds of students and clients learn how to create and benefit from the natural anesthesia of their own mind and body. While approaches of hypnosis for helping people eliminate pain are certainly individualized, there are two areas which need to be incorporated for creating the greatest results.
Two Aspects of Pain Control with Hypnosis
- Hypnosis—Alter the pain threshold. Increase physical comfort.
- Hypnotherapy—Explore subconscious patterns. Address the emotional associations behind the physical symptoms.
The first aspect has to do with altering the physical sensation of pain and can be accomplished through the use of hypnosis or self-hypnosis. This is possible due to the body's natural morphine, a chemical created by the brain referred to as endorphins.
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When the body is deeply relaxed in hypnosis, the level of endorphins released into the body can be increased. Then, the anesthetic qualities can be directed to the part of the body that requires relief. Most people are amazed to find they can experience tangible decreases in the intensity of their physical discomfort through the use of hypnosis. In addition, with practice, they are able to decrease the frequency and duration of painful episodes. Many people find that they can create complete relief when appropriate.
Even though it is natural to work with your own mind and body for pain relief, it has become an acquired skill much like the skill of self-hypnosis. Since everyone is different, each person responds in his or her own way, some more easily than others. Some people are able to decrease their pain from an 8 or 9, on a scale of 1-10, all the way down to a 1 or 2 on their first attempt. For others, it may take more practice. Those who take the time to learn these skills find their abilities naturally grow stronger with practice, and most are able to create some degree of physical pain relief through hypnosis.
When chronic pain exists beyond what is physically reasonable, there is something going on subconsciously that is keeping the person from getting relief. The second element, that of addressing subconscious associations, needs to be included when there is a history of repetitive painful experiences or when there is chronic pain.
When physical pain has little if anything to do with the physical reality of the body, there is still hope because when the subconscious emotional associations are reviewed, addressed, understood and changed, the physical pain also changes.
Addiction and the Subconscious Mind
When we begin to explore the topic of addiction from a subconscious interpretation, we find that addictions start as habits. A habit is something that we do over and over again until we are so used to it that the behavior becomes easy to do. We are then able to participate in the particular behavior with little, if any, conscious awareness because the actions have become familiar enough that they can now occur automatically. Habits are formed through repetition.
A habit can become a conditioned response, something we learn to do in response to something else. For example, a cigarette smoker "lights up" when the telephone rings or when she gets into her car, or when she is drinking coffee or alcohol. The food addict eats when he is upset, lonely or bored, or when he watches television or sits at the computer. The obsessive-compulsive person washes her hands every time she touches a doorknob.
One situation triggers a reaction, one thing leads to the other. The two aspects of the behavior get linked and are connected subconsciously through association. Then whenever something triggers the association, either through a feeling (craving), a thought (I want a cigarette), or an idea imposed by others ("Want a smoke?"), the subconscious link leads to the behavior.
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A habit becomes an addiction when the habit controls the behaviors of the person, even though they know what they are doing is unhealthy. The degree of participation in a habitual behavior varies greatly from one person to another and can increase over time. When the behavior escalates and compromises the safety or well being of life, this is obviously a problem.
All addictive substances are able to relieve discomfort due to their anesthetic properties in one way or another. Regardless of the substance that is being abused, it provides a reduction of sensations and therefore the person is able to get some relief from their subconscious discomfort. This discomfort is really a subconscious emotional pain, often fear or anger, which is not allowed to surface or be expressed in a healthy way.
Hypnosis has worked for countless people to help them change behaviors in the areas of tobacco, food, sugar, alcohol, marijuana, and gambling addictions, as well as pharmaceutical dependency.
Each person brings their individual stories, perceptions, memories and feelings with them. Each person has their own subconscious associations and triggers. Everyone is unique and highly complex. There are however, common patterns which I would like to share with you.
Depression is far too prevalent a problem and I believe in many cases, one that can be resolved without the need for chemical interventions. As with so many ailments, controversy runs high and there are many theories and ideas about what depression is and how to treat it.
Many people who have tried to find the antidepressant best suited for their symptoms can attest to how difficult this can be. Some find temporary relief but need to change their medication after a while. Some people report feeling like all of their emotions run flat, even the good ones, while others struggle with mood swings or side effects. Many of my clients have reported little relief at all. Even clients who depend on antidepressants and who get good results, state they would prefer to be free of their medications.
What is so amazing, is that despite a chronic history of depression, people who take the time to work with their inner being can learn to regulate the chemicals created by their own mind and body. Many of my clients have been able to be free themselves of the need for antidepressant medication. They are able to create a healthy balance in their own brain chemicals through the natural connections established in hypnosis.
Chapter 15 ... continued
Subconscious Definition of Depression
separate from their own feelings.
This typically includes feelings of anger or guilt
which are turned inward towards themselves.
Depression allows them to remain
separate from this inner conflict.
As time progresses, it serves as a self fueling system
which causes them to feel unmotivated and fatigued.
Feelings of hopelessness occur because they have
no one to count on, not even themselves."
One great step in learning to manage the chemicals released into your system is to understand how your thoughts affect your body all the time; your thoughts trigger the release of the appropriate chemicals. These chemical responses create how you feel.
People who are depressed tend to have a very negative inner dialog along with a doom and gloom expectation in life. These thoughts and beliefs absolutely need to be recognized, monitored and changed. When you learn to work with your thoughts and your feelings, you can learn how to support and guide them. This is self respectful and very different from stuffing the feelings away.
The activities in this chapter are meant to help you learn to help yourself as you constructively work with and transform any unwanted feelings of depression. Rather than trying to run from the feeling, the goal is to work with it constructively.
Insomnia Goes to Sleep
"Health is the first muse and
sleep is the condition to produce it."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
* * *
Hypnosis is highly effective in helping people with insomnia and other sleep disturbances. The state of hypnosis and the state of sleep share some similar qualities but they are indeed different states. We'll begin by looking at the similarities between sleep and hypnosis and then we'll explore the differences. A healthy sleep pattern is used as a point of reference.
We already know that hypnosis slows brain wave patterns into an alpha state. Everyone naturally enters into and passes through the alpha state, a light state of hypnosis, prior to falling asleep. This occurs again when we shift from being asleep to becoming fully awake.
Similarities Between Sleep and Hypnosis
- Both sleep and hypnosis create profound physical relaxation which increases over time.
- Neither can be forced, rather there is a "letting go and letting it happen."
- Attempting both through will power has a counter effect, creating tension rather than ease.
- Both allow the physical body to grow quiet and still.
- Both create a slower heart rate.
- Both provide mental relaxation.
- Both create a balancing of the central nervous system.
- Both provide access to creative aspects of mind.
- Both use the language of sensory perceptions.
Chapter 16 ... continued
Differences Between Sleep and Hypnosis
The physical relaxation that occurs in sleep happens automatically. There is a natural decline in our bodily functions, which helps our body to restore. This happens on its own. With hypnosis, these physiological changes can happen automatically, but more commonly they are created through the use of suggestion and imagery.
In sleep, your conscious mind is completely at rest. You are unaware that you are sleeping. In hypnosis, your conscious mind is completely aware. Yes, it is at rest, but it also remains aware. This is the biggest difference between sleep and hypnosis and is perhaps part of why some people confuse hypnosis with a lack of awareness.
Hypnosis allows you to access subconscious memories, feelings and associations while your conscious, logical mind seems to be watching. It is aware and can participate when needed, often providing important information, but it is also relaxed enough to stay out of the way.
Allergies, Asthma and the Subconscious Mind
you will live long on earth."
* * *
When some people come in contact with a particular substance, they experience an inflammatory response referred to as an allergy. Allergies may be inconvenient and uncomfortable but in most situations they are not life threatening. Some people manage their symptoms by making changes in their lifestyle or diet. Many people turn to medication to find relief.
Those who have allergies may also have difficulties with asthma. Asthma is a very serious health problem, one that can be fatal. For many people, one reaction can trigger the other. Independent of how much they alter their diet, receive allergy shots or use an inhaler, some people find their symptoms continue to occur and may grow more severe with time. This places great strain on the individual and their well being, burdens health care facilities and creates financial hardship.
What if you could lessen allergic reactions or asthmatic responses safely and naturally? Better yet, what if you could eliminate them completely?
Chapter 17 ... continued
Hypnosis for Allergies and Asthma
People who use hypnosis for allergies or asthma find that when they take time to relax, they can alter the physical response of their body. Deep relaxation alone is greatly beneficial for helping the respiratory passages remain more open; for the nose, throat, chest and lungs to relax, and for the individual to work with their breath to create ease. Creating changes in allergic or asthmatic reactions with hypnosis can include:
- lessening the frequency of occurrences
- diminishing the duration of episodes
- decreasing the intensity of the physical reactions
In addition, when the emotional subconscious associations are reviewed through hypnotherapy, the physical problem is often eliminated completely. This is exciting and empowering for anyone who has suffered with allergies year after year or for the person who lives in fear of not being able to take their next breath.
I have witnessed some very interesting subconscious patterns regarding allergies and asthma. These patterns occur whether the person's reaction is allergic or asthmatic and are independent of the type of allergen that causes the symptoms. Please keep in mind that the subconscious mind responds through association, free of logic or reason, and it attempts to release suppressed emotional energy whenever it can.
Creating Physical Health
than we have been taught to believe.
When we learn to support them with love
and respect and guide them with understanding,
our heart and mind learn to work in harmony as one."
* * *
Working to Improve Your Physical Health
When working with your body for creating health through relaxation and hypnosis, you want your attitude towards your body to be kind, patient and encouraging, much like it would be if you were helping a young child deal with ill health or perhaps a difficult disease. How you act and what you say makes a great difference in how they respond. The same holds true internally. This internal process begins by learning to shift your thoughts and then your feelings of anger, fear, worry or guilt, to those of trust and peace.
The examples, activities and stories threaded throughout the book are provided to help you recognize how the subconscious mind looks at life. When you understand how this part of mind thinks and you take some time to explore yourself through self-hypnosis, you can discover some of your own patterns. Since everyone's subconscious patterns and associations are different, it would be impossible to share every possible interpretation. The goal is to help you learn the skills for exploring your inner associations so that you can work with your body to create positive changes.
Following is one example:
Chapter 18 ... continued
Mike's Twitching Eye
"Mike" was in his sixties at the time of our meeting. He had a really bad twitch in his eye. It was a constant involuntary blinking of just one eye and it was very annoying and uncomfortable. He experienced over forty years of repetition by the time he came to seek hypnotherapy and had previously tried to get relief through surgery and neurological work, yet his eye twitched relentlessly. Through some work in analytical hypnotherapy and age regression I learned the following:
When Mike was three years old he remembered crying really hard. His mother got angry and sent him down to the cellar. The cellar was dark and scary and as the door closed, Mike cried even harder. His mother stomped on the floor and yelled at her son to stop his crying, which he did. This did not create a nervous twitch. Nothing happened to his eye. What did happen, though, was that a pattern was started. The emotional energy from all of his crying got stuffed away.
Mike got picked on terribly in school. He often felt like crying but he didn't let himself cry for fear of being teased. Each time he stuffed his tears away, the pattern grew stronger. Still, nothing happened to his eye. When he was twelve years old, he secretly watched his neighbor shower through a knot hole in her fence, since outdoor showers were common and he was curious. He felt guilty and afraid of being caught but he stuffed his feelings away. Then, at the age of eighteen, he got punched in the eye. This was when the repressed energy moved from nothing to something as a physical twitch. Once these subconscious patterns were understood and changed, Mike's twitch decreased by ninety-eight percent. It wasn't just a temporary fix, but a lasting transformation through integration and acceptance of new ideas.
Regardless of our individual interpretations and experiences, love continues to be a driving force for life itself. Although we cannot determine nor control how this vital part of life unfolds when we are young, we all desire and need loving relationships for good health and happiness.
People are complex and for many intelligent, caring, respectful people, something as simple as love is misunderstood and it has become complicated. Too often, love is experienced as a concept based in words and actions, but it tends to lack significant feelings.
Many people remember growing up where love was expressed through the giving of material gifts. For these people, love means, "If you really love me, you'll buy me something." When gifts are used as a substitution for real love, people usually feel emotionally unsatisfied. The gift might make them feel angry. Most want a more meaningful connection. Gift giving is a fine way to show love, as long as it is used as support for a genuine feeling.
Chapter 19 ... continued
People normally feel love, or any feeling, because it is an innate physical chemical response to a person or an experience. Feelings are the body's way of responding to life. We desire to experience love because it feels good. People who are unable to experience the feeling of love have learned to separate from this natural part of life. Many people find their search for love is hurtful and they learn to tune out their aching heart for protection. Not being able to love or believing that you are unlovable are learned ideas.
Lots of people experience one relationship after another, hoping to find the right person. Over time this may cause them to mistrust others. Some people give up all prospects of having the relationship they desire. There are also those people who remain in a relationship or marriage, not because they are happy, but because the benefits outweigh the problems. In most of these situations, the problems stem from an incomplete or problematic inner relationship in one or both of the people involved.
I work with many people who struggle with unhealthy relationships and love. When they learn to create and embrace healthy love they can nurture self-love. This is experienced with genuine humility, acceptance, and compassion, and they flourish. It is so wonderful to witness these favorable changes. Hypnotherapy allows them to change the subconscious associations to create and support these new patterns.
Many clients find that they get along better with their current partner or that they attract different kinds of people. Those who were absolutely certain that they would be alone for the rest of their life often meet the partner of their dreams. Their new relationship is healthy and they are happy and in love! These positive changes happen because their inner subconscious patterns and associations regarding love are transformed.
Becoming Your Own Best Friend
Since every thought we have literally becomes a set of instructions for our body to follow, if you are angry towards your body for having a problem, there is only one thing for your body to do. It feels bad. This can only lead to one outcome, feeling worse. Then you get even more frustrated with your body, which fuels your disdain, which makes your body feel even worse and so on. Are you getting the picture?
Your beautiful body is constantly seeking health and balance by design. You want to be healthy and guess what? SO DOES YOUR BODY!
a strong, healthy immune system
when it is supported with love and respect."
Your body's environment is composed of both internal and external influences and both need to be tranquil. Before the body can respond effectively to the idea of creating healthy changes, it requires a tranquil environment. Since thoughts create the inner environment for the body, when they are kind and loving, the chemicals released into the body create and support feelings of inner peace.
that supports the body's natural healing intelligence."
Chapter 20 ... continued
Regardless of what it is you want to transform, change takes time. There is a natural progression to the process. How much time it takes to transition through the various stages of creating change depends on many factors including personal motivation and degree of participation.
Learning to work with your body to create or maintain health is an amazingly powerful experience, one that often changes people in profound ways. The confidence, ease, quiet strength and inner peace experienced are genuine and people often say they feel it all the way down to the core of their being. These new feelings are naturally radiated and shared with the world around them in positive ways as they continue through life.
Please allow yourself to live your life and enjoy the process. Let go of time constraints; the same amount of time passes whether you choose to create positive changes or not. Learning to love and accept your body is a natural part of life. The motivation to change is not something that we can buy or own, rather it is something that we learn to claim and direct.
I have worked with Roberta for many years and have referred many patients to her for a myriad of problems. They have greatly benefited from her techniques in hypnotherapy. She has a vast understanding of hypnotherapy, mind-body techniques and psychology and can empower people to increase their personal health. I have had patients who required much less pain medication and had a speedier recovery after surgery because of Roberta's work with them. Her book is going to be a great success and help many people, both patients and health practitioners.
Georgia Milan, M.D., Florence, MT
I look forward with great expectation to what should be a masterful addition to the literature on hypnosis and hypnotherapy, a must for anyone interested in the field.
Blaise Favara, M.D., Hamilton, MT
Roberta's message is hopeful, accessible, and empowering. Society would be a lot more peaceful and happy if they put into practice the many tools and techniques she offers.
Jennifer Scotia, MT
The world needs to know what Roberta knows.
Laura Craig, MT
Roberta's commanding and captivating presence draws you in and leaves you wanting more. This information has the power to change lives and reawaken the mind-body connection so many of us have learned to ignore.
Notes From the Author
Learning to work constructively with the subconscious mind and it's innate capacity for healing the body is the final frontier for creating health. ME, MYSELF and MIND provides you with the knowledge and the skills to influence physical health problems, emotional difficulties and unwanted behaviors as you learn to direct the powerful interactions between your mind and body.
The information in this book is founded in evidenced–based case histories which span over twenty–six years of time and experience in Clinical Hypnotherapy. In addition to being absolutely safe and free, this approach to wellness is both efficient and effective. The thousands of people who have benefited from this information and these skills feel empowered and hopeful as they actively participate in creating and supporting true health and ease from within.
This book is available for purchase online from Amazon.com, Google Books, Barnes and Noble and other retailers. If desire more information on book signings or other activities, please sign up for my mailing list.
I look forward to hearing from you and welcome your questions or comments!