By Carole Fawcett

"Can you teach me how to relax Carole?” was the question a client asked me not too long ago.  Yes, as a matter of fact I can (and did)  and if you’d like to give yourself the gift of relaxation, keep reading.

You can learn how to slow down and totally relax.  It’s important to do this at least once per day.   So I’m going to teach you how to do self hypnosis.

Find a quiet comfortable spot where you know you will not be disturbed for ½ hour – 45 minutes.  Turn off your cell phone.  Get nice and comfy.

Sometimes it is helpful to have meditation music playing in the background.

Close your eyes and become mindful of your feelings.  Identify any feelings of stress, anxiety or other issues. (see if they are affecting any parts of your body – sore shoulders, achy bits, tension headaches, etc.)  Visualize these feelings leaving.  See yourself waving good-bye to them.

Identify the tension in your body.  Starting with your head, concentrate on relaxing your skull, your forehead, all the little muscles around your eyes, your cheeks, your mouth, your nose, jaw and work all the way down your body, finishing with the feet.  Visualize each part of your body as you do this and consciously relax to the point you feel like you may be floating.  Try to become as relaxed as a rag-doll.

Take nice deep breaths in and out.  Breathe in calmness and peace and breathe out tension and negative emotion.

Once you have completely relaxed your body, imagine yourself stepping into an elevator that has 10 floors that go down.  See the elevator and notice that the inside of the elevator is surrounded by a beautiful aquarium.  In your minds eye, push the DOWN button.  Visualize the word “DOWN”.  As you are going down – 10 – nine – eight – feel yourself becoming lighter and more relaxed.  Do this slowly and really ‘see’ the numbers.  When you finally arrive at floor number one, imagine the elevator doors opening and see yourself stepping out into a beautiful garden, filled with your favourite flowers, or shrubbery or animals (you can imagine anything you like at this point – if you’d prefer a beach, or a lake, you can use that as a visual instead of a garden).

In your minds eye, visualize five steps that go down into your special place (garden, beach, lake, etc.), so counting the steps down to the scene, becoming aware that when you get to the bottom, you will feel the surface that you are stepping onto (grass, sand, etc.)  Concentrate on this feeling and allow peace and calmness to wash over you.  Really feel it.

As you become aware of the grass/sand, you will know that you are very relaxed.  This is a good time to give yourself some positive messages (i.e.  I am very relaxed and calm; I am confident; I am healthy; I am happy and content). When you feel nice and relaxed, you can begin to return slowly to the room.  Step onto the elevator and push the button that says “UP”………….and slowly counting from one to 10, start to come up.

Once you get off the elevator on floor 10, become more aware of being in the chair or couch you are seated in and begin to bring yourself back into awareness.

Once you have opened your eyes and are back in the room, say, out loud, “I am now awake,” and this will bring your mind back to the conscious state (or if you are doing this at night – just drift off to sleep if you haven’t already done so).

This is an excellent exercise to do at night if you have sleep issues, or after a stressful day at work.  It helps to slow down your brain waves and is mentally and physically very beneficial.

But like anything that is good for our body and minds, only doing it once will not make a huge difference.  It is something you need to incorporate into your life.

If you have chronic pain issues, self hypnosis can help to ease the pain, because pain causes tension in the body. Self hypnosis can help to ease the cycle of pain.

It will take some practice to become deeply relaxed, but don’t give up.  And don’t worry if you don’t remember all the steps – make up your own steps.

The more you practice encouraging your mind to quiet and slow down, the happier your body will be.

Enjoy.

Carole Fawcett is a clinical hypnotherapist, registered professional counsellor and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com

 

 

Hypnotize Yourself To Good Sleep

Marc Schoen, Ph.D.

Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA's School of Medicine

Hypnotherapy for sleep disturbance is commonly believed to be driven by the power of suggestion -- where suggestions are given to the client to feel tired or sleepy at bedtime. Yet, hypnotherapy can be substantially more than direct suggestions for sleepiness. In its greatest form, hypnosis has the ability to recondition the entire sleep process. It can be used to retrain the client's reactions to negative or intrusive thoughts, early awakenings, stress and even the tendency to resist sleep.

Common concerns expressed by clients seeking hypnosis for insomnia is that they might be resistant to hypnosis and will dislike relinquishing control, or that they will not be able to sit still or quiet their mind enough to benefit. The apprehensions they hold about hypnosis are commonly the very same dynamics that are operative in impeding their sleep process. But this is where hypnosis particularly shines, for the process of embracing the trance state is parallel to the welcoming in of the sleep state. Rather than being obstructive to the hypnosis treatment, these sleep and hypnosis resistances now become part of the treatment -- rather than remaining outside of it. The goal is not to extinguish these unconscious oppositions, but instead to alter the client's reaction to them. In this way, these resistances become sleep enhancing rather than sleep disruptive.

With our culture's growing sense of having to be "on" 24 hours a day, the pressures of remaining alert, attentive and awake can be suffocating. There is often a pressure to delay or resist fatigue and sleepiness in order to complete our work demands. The unintended consequence is that we are teaching the mind and body to resist its natural rhythms. When it is time to go to bed and switch gears, the mind and body have been trained to resist letting go to the sleepy feeling, a process that I call sleep resistance. Over time, the process of going to sleep becomes a signal to wake up, and increasingly, associated with significant frustration and anticipatory anxiety.

In addition to developing a healthy sleep hygiene routine, hypnosis can be used to restore the client's ability to switch gears from a cerebrally active mind that resists sleep to one that is receptive to the sleep process. In this case hypnosis is used to influence both the physical and mental experience of going to sleep. By using hypnosis to modify the wind-up associated with the pre-sleep ritual, the routine is now conditioned to elicit a state of relaxation.

The pre-sleep rituals -- such as a nightly shower, brushing teeth, television or climbing into bed -- are now altered to facilitate a gradual shifting from an alert to a relaxed or sleepy state. Additionally, hypnosis can be helpful in restructuring negative or distracting thoughts; thoughts that are sleep obstructive can be transformed and conditioned to be sleep facilitative. Since it is difficult to quell negative or distracting thoughts, it is possible to imbue them with either a neutral or a soporific effect whenever the client thinks about them.

Pertinent to the issue of intrusive bedtime thoughts is the common misperception that it is imperative to silence conscious thoughts in order for the sleep process to unfold. In actuality, the sleep process unfolds even in the presence of conscious activity. By giving the client practice going in and out of the hypnotic trance while entertaining intrusive thoughts, the client learns to experience consciousness as part of the sleep process rather than outside of it.

The fact that the hypnotic process can mimic the sleep process has particular value in dealing with the early awakening form of insomnia; the condition in which individuals find it difficult to return to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night. To address this condition, hypnosis is used to induce a sleepy relaxed state in the client. While in this relaxed zone, the client is repeatedly awakened from the sleep like trance, a process which duplicates the early awakenings at night time. Next, by following these interruptions with a subsequent induction into the hypnotic sleep state, the wake-ups now become a stimulus for returning to sleep. Thus, rather than the wake-ups being associated with protracted periods of non-sleep and frustration, they are now associated with another opportunity to return to sleep.

I also find it helpful to record a hypnosis CD for clients to listen to at bedtime. This CD is comprised of those suggestions that have been facilitative in inducing a hypnotic sleep state in my meetings with the client. This CD has several goals. First, it helps the client disengage from an active cerebral mind and physical state to a frequency that is more conducive to sleep. Second, the CD serves as a transitional object, extending the hypnosis interventions to the client's sleep process outside of our sessions. Third, as the CD is continually paired with falling asleep, the hypnotic CD over time becomes a stimulus for precipitatingsleep.

Since a number of clients begin treatment with a heavy reliance on sleep medications, hypnosis can be a valuable tool in altering their physical and psychological dependence on these medications. Therapy sessions can be used to give clients experience in becoming relaxed and sleeping without medications. This can boost their confidence in their own inner resources while lessening their psychological reliance on external solutions.

Further, hypnosis can influence the client's physical dependency on sleep medications. Hypnotic suggestions can be aimed at affecting how the client reacts to the sleep medications. In this scenario, suggestions are given so that the act of taking less of a medication is now experienced as taking more of the medication. Gradually, this procedure can be utilized to reduce the amount of the medication required by the client. Finally, the power of the sleep medications can be conditioned and transferred to the sleep CD, which allows the sleep CD to exert more power over the sleep process.

For most individuals, reconditioning the sleep pattern can happen in as little as three meetings, while five to seven meetings are more typical. In those cases where there is a previous trauma related to sleep or a heavy dependency on multiple sleep medications, more extensive treatment may be necessary. Additionally, hypnotic interventions tend to work better for more acute insomnia episodes as opposed to chronic insomnia that emanates from childhood or early adulthood.

In summary, since so few visits are necessary to determine whether hypnotic interventions can be a productive intervention for insomnia, hypnosis is worth considering where more traditional forms of intervention have not been successful. For cases in which it is evident that the insomnia is a function of negative conditioning, hypnotic interventions may be of particular value due to their powerful reconditioning properties.

UCSD Professor Teaches Subliminal Therapy at Athens Conference

A treatment originally developed by Dr. Edwin K. Yager is to be the subject of a textbook out this fall.

  • By Sandra Fong Young
  • Email the author
  • July 26, 2011
  • There are no swirling black and white spirals or pocket watches swinging back and forth in UCClinical Professor Dr. Edwin K. Yager’s Subliminal Therapy practice. In fact, patients may not even enter a hypnotic trance. Instead, subliminal therapy, a treatment developed by Yager, helps patients access and use unconscious abilities to treat problems caused by negative life experiences.

    This past May, Yager was invited to share his findings in Athens before a global audience at the 16th International Conference of the Association of Psychology and Psychiatry for Adults and Children. During the two-part workshop titled “Subliminal Therapy: Effective, Evidence-Based Psychotherapy of Psychogenic Medical Problems,” Yager explained how this specific psychotherapy can treat problems including headaches, asthma, addictive disorders, anxiety, depression, pain issues and weight control.

    However, with subliminal therapy, the clinician may never know the specific experiences or issues faced by the patient. By guiding patients’ “extra-conscious” domain that Yager has named “centrum,” the clinician can aid patients in determining the root of their problem and help educate the conscious mind of these issues. Yager stresses that the clinician is merely a facilitator in this process, as the patient is in control of both conscious and unconscious activities. The clinician can only interact with “centrum” by responses reported by the patient through an imaginary chalkboard or whiteboard.

    Yager acknowledges that there are skeptics of the treatment, both within the general public and professionals, but he is confident in the results of his research over the past three decades.

    Researched success rates vary but are generally high, including a survey Yager began in 2009 where the most common problem treated was general anxiety, with a success rate of 92 percent. Other success rates include 70 percent improvement in pain disorders, 66 percent for compulsive behavior, and 90 percent for phobias.

    Subliminal therapy is also considered an extremely time-efficient form of treatment compared to traditional therapy. Yager asserts that most individual problems go away after three to seven sessions and explains that it works to resolve issues by identifying and recognizing their causes (life experiences), instead of focusing on the symptoms.

    “We learn to be afraid or to react in a physical way when things happen, and we sometimes continue to react in the same way long after the event,” said Yager. He has observed that if a problem is periodic, it may have been learned, compared to other ailments, such as a headache caused by a brain tumor, that would result in constant pain.

    Conference participant Dr. Edith Samuel, an associate professor and coordinator for the Department of Psychology at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, was not familiar with subliminal therapy before the workshop and from her initial understanding considered it “pretty Freudian in approach.”

    After Yager conducted the therapy on a couple of attendees, Samuel said that she considered the treatment very effective and “more practical than other therapies that I know of.” Yager said such reaction post-demonstration is common and commented, “It was encouraging for me to see the same enthusiastic responses from persons from other countries as I have found here.”

    Yager first began conceptualizing subliminal therapy in 1973, copyrighting it with his first paper in 1976 and claims he has demonstrated its efficacy on thousands of patients since then, including William Campbell, a retired airline captain residing in Tierrasanta. Campbell came to Yager with chronic pain in his lower back. After approximately six sessions, he was able to resolve his pain and also found that the therapy helped him fall asleep quicker. Patients’ experience with subliminal therapy varies, but Campbell described, “When coming out of the trance state I tingle all over.”

    In another case, Fletcher Hills resident Barbara Tierney sought subliminal therapy in order to lose weight and as a result, was able to resolve an abuse issue experienced earlier in her life. She noted that she had completed many years of therapy but believed the best she could do was “manage varying degrees of shame, fear, dread, panic.”

    “I felt as though Dr. Yager and I were watching the event back in the time and place that it occurred,” said Tierney, who had treatment for a year. Tierney was able to recondition the unconscious parts of her mind causing the problems and successfully remove her lingering feelings. The treatment has also led to larger life changes, as she has since returned to graduate school to become a psychologist and practice subliminal therapy herself.

    In addition to his roles as psychologist and practitioner, Yager is the founder of the nonprofit Subliminal Therapy Institute Inc., which conducts formal research including identifying other illnesses that can be treated with the therapy, trains clinicians and educates the public and other clinicians.

    Yager, a La Jolla area resident, has been with UC San Diego since 1975, when he began in the department of pediatrics. He then held clinical appointments in the department of psychiatry, leading to his appointment as a clinical professor of psychiatry in 2005.

    To assist people looking to practice this psychotherapy, Yager has written a textbook that provides examples and transcripts for completed cases. Launching this fall, the book is titled, Subliminal Therapy: Using the Mind to Heal. He is also the author of Foundations of Clinical Hypnosis: From Theory to Practice.

    Continuing to teach workshops and speak at conferences around the world, Yager will be presenting a one-hour workshop next month for the 2011 Congress of the European Society of Hypnosis in Istanbul, Turkey.

     

Acting up: is hysteria all in the mind?

Celebrity hysterics' drew crowds in the 19th-century – but what can they teach us today?

Laura Barnett

guardian.co.uk

  • Monday 25 July 2011 20.59 BST

Jean-Martin Charcot inducing hypnosis using a magic lantern. Getty Images

In the winter of 1876, 15-year-old Louise Augustine Gleizes, a patient at the sprawling Salpêtrière women's hospital in Paris, had 154 hysterical fits in one day. She heard voices; she saw swarms of black, demonic rats; she felt an intense pain in her right ovary; and then she lost consciousness, her body convulsing in a series of violent seizures.

 

  • Yet this was not just a private problem. Each of Augustine's attacks were carefully monitored by her doctor, Jean-Martin Charcot, eanand his team. She was wheeled out to demonstrate her symptoms to a class of students, and along with other women patients, was photographed and hypnotised to exhibit the various stages of hysteria to packed-out public lectures – becoming, in the process, a celebrity in France and beyond.

Now the teenager's hysteria – along with fellow Salpêtrière patients Blanche Wittman and Geneviève Legrand – is the subject of Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris, a fascinating and beautifully written book by Asti Hustvedt. Originally the term "hysteria", widely attributed to Hippocrates, was used to describe a female disorder caused by a "wandering womb"– something now disdained as a misogynistic anachronism. Yet Hustvedt controversially argues that certain aspects of hysteria are still with us today.

Hustvedt, a French scholar, and sister of novelist Siri Hustvedt, has long been fascinated by hysteria and the Salpêtrière. "It was haunting me; I kept thinking, what does [hysteria] mean?" Yet Hustvedt's own preconceptions about the illness, and Charcot's treatment of his patients, also changed. She started out suspicious of his theatrical lectures in which the hypnotised hysterics were compelled to perform various degrading tasks, from stamping on imaginary snakes to kissing the hospital chaplain.

"There's a lot that we can, and we should, criticise Charcot for. These women were undoubtedly turned into medical specimens to serve his needs," she points out. "But at the same time, he did take hysteria seriously. He insisted that it was real, not imaginary or faked."

This serious analysis of symptoms whose origins can't be medically determined is not, she points out, always the approach taken by doctors and patients today. "If you are diagnosed with something whose origin remains murky – a syndrome – people experience it as something pejorative, or that they don't have a legitimate disease."

She also believes that Charcot's definition of hysteria as an almost exclusively female complaint – one produced by the strange, unknowable female body – continues to dog today's medicine. "In many ways we live in a culture that's far less sexist than Charcot's was," says Hustvedt, "but when it comes to the idea that the female body is, say, more vulnerable to hormones than the male body – that absolutely continues. As does the idea that anything connected to the entirely natural, biological female reproductive system – pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, menopause ‑ is a medical issue."

Crucially, Hustvedt argues that it's no use asking retrospectively, now that the diagnosis of hysteria has disappeared, which contemporary disease Charcot's patients might have had. Hysteria, even if its causes remained mysterious, was, for Charcot and his patients, a real and recognised medical condition, some of whose frequently reported symptoms – such as sporadic limb paralysis – occur rarely today, if at all.

"All illness," she says, "is experienced in a specific time and place, and it is classified differently depending on what culture you're from. Significantly, they [the hysterical women] would probably not exhibit the same symptoms today."

But some of the facets of what was once termed hysteria, do, she says, still exist: in the many neurological complaints that still go undiagnosed; in eating disorders (some of Charcot's hysterics refused food); in the increasingly widespread diagnosis of depression (Augustine, Blanche and Geneviève all led extremely troubled and traumatic lives: towards the end of his life, Charcot was approaching a psychosomatic explanation for their symptoms); in self-mutilation, multiple personality disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome; and even in the sudden outbreak of rashes reported by schoolgirls across America in the wake of 9/11.

"There's been a lot of talk about how hysteria has disappeared," Hustvedt says. "In some ways that's accurate – it's no longer considered a medical entity or diagnosis. And at the same time, of course, it hasn't disappeared. People continue to write about it, people continue to talk about it; it's been broken up and reclassified into other, separate disorders. It's just that the names have shifted."

Betty And Barney Hill UFO Abduction Story Commemorated On Official N.H. Highway Plaque

New Hampshire -- the "Live Free or Die" state -- has done something that may surprise UFO believers as well as skeptics. It has just erected a historical marker commemorating the 50th anniversary close encounter of Betty and Barney Hill. The Hills' story is undoubtedly the most famous of all UFO experiences because (as the official plaque reads) it was "the first widely-reported UFO abduction report in the United States."

It was also the first time that anyone in this country had reported undergoing invasive physical examinations at the hands of short, "grey" aliens.

"To tell you the truth, we were very excited about the prospect," said Elizabeth Muzzey, director of the N.H. Division of Historical Resources, which created the new historic plaque.

"We have more than 200 markers across the state and to have a 20th Century marker topic like this, we thought, was terrific and it's certainly a great historical challenge," Muzzey told The Huffington Post.

Historical challenge, indeed, considering the ongoing debate over whether or not the Hills -- both deceased -- actually were kidnapped onto an alien spacecraft 50 years ago.

Late at night on Sept. 19, 1961, they were driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, returning from a Canadian vacation to their home in Portsmouth when they spotted an object in the sky with lights, which at first seemed like an airplane. But when the "airplane" began to rapidly descend in their direction, they quickly continued driving south along Route 3.

Just south of the Indian Head resort, the Hills stopped in the middle of the road and said the silent, cigar-shaped craft hovered above their car. Through binoculars, Barney claimed to see several "strangely not human" figures at the object's windows. Fearing they were about to be captured, Barney quickly drove away.

The next thing the Hills remembered was that they were 35 miles farther along on their journey and approximately two hours had passed which they couldn't account for. This amnesia continued to bother them, leading to physical and mental disorders until finally, three years after the experience, time-regression hypnosis was used to extract the lost information. Under separate hypnotic sessions, the Hills produced details of a reported kidnapping by aliens on board a spacecraft.

Among the various odd things about this case that were verified: both the Hills' watches mysteriously stopped running on the night of their experience; the tops of Barney's shoes somehow got severely scraped; Betty's dress had a 2-inch tear at the top of the zipper, was also torn from the waist to the hemline and the hem was torn down on one side; and they found shiny circles on the trunk of their car which caused the needle of a compass to spin rapidly when it was brought close to the trunk.

The Hills' encounter became the subject of many books and a 1975 TV movie, The UFO Incident, starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons.

In 2008, Kathleen Marden, the Hills' niece, became part of a campaign trying to get New Hampshire to create a historic landmark about her aunt and uncle's experience. She contacted the department of cultural resources at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources in Concord.

"I was told that everything I submitted had to be backed up with a bibliography, and all of the text [for the marker] had to be footnoted," Marden told The Huffington Post. "It was a very long process to compile everything and I sent them a lot of material. The state asked me to prove every statement that I made -- I had to back up everything with source materials to indicate that I was being accurate."

Marden, co-author of Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience with nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, says she finally received a long-awaited response this spring from the N.H. Historical Resources office.

"I had given up hope, thinking that the funding wouldn't be allocated or that the state of New Hampshire had decided not to do this, but they told me the funding had been granted for this plaque to be erected, and they wanted some information about where I thought I would like for it to be."

It was decided to put the historic marker at the Indian Head resort because that location had been an important part of the Hills' original 1961 experience.

The commemorative sign, displaying the official New Hampshire state seal, and titled "Betty and Barney Hill Incident," was unveiled on July 20 and reads:

On the night of September 19-20, 1961, Portsmouth, N.H., couple Betty and Barney Hill experienced a close encounter with an unidentified flying object and two hours of "lost" time while driving south on Rte 3 near Lincoln. They filed an official Air Force Project Blue Book report of a brightly-lit cigar-shaped craft the next day, but were not public with their story until it was leaked in the Boston Traveler in 1965. This was the first widely-reported UFO abduction report in the United States.

At the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, Muzzey described how they decided on the exact text to use for the UFO marker.

"We thought about the 1950s and '60s in our country when there was such widespread interest in things such as space travel and space exploration. And in all the years since, there have been a great number of people who have asked whether other forms of life may exist out there in the solar system and beyond," she said.

"Certainly, the experience of the Hills falls right at the center of that cultural and scientific experience," Muzzey added. "So that's what we are presenting in the marker -- that this was the first widely reported UFO abduction report in the U.S., and a ton have since followed."

Whether one believes or doubts that the Hills were kidnapped by aliens, what stands out about them is that they were highly credible, reliable people. Betty was a social worker and Barney had been appointed by the governor of New Hampshire to serve on the state advisory committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. After campaigning for Lyndon Johnson's successful 1964 presidential run, the Hills and Marden were invited to Johnson's 1965 inauguration.

While the Hills' historical highway marker is now up and available for all to see, a special 50th anniversary celebration of their UFO experience will take place at the Indian Head resort on Sept. 23-25.

WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT THE HILLS' UFO ENCOUNTER:

Hypnosis Helps Giants Manager Bruce Bochy Quit Chewing Tobacco

By Mark Berman Opposing Views on Aug 14, 2011

Chewing tobacco is as much a tradition in baseball as digging into the batter's box or scratching your crotch. But at least one longtime chewer has kicked the habit thanks to hypnosis.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been chewing tobacco for forty years, dating back to his playing days. But the Associated Press reports that after a couple of his staff members said a hypnotist help them quit the nasty habit, he decided to give it a shot.

On April 15 he spent three and a half hours in the Arizona office of hypnotherapist AlVera Paxson. In a near-sleep state, Paxson gave him instructions about quitting. Bochy then headed off to the game.

Now, Bochy usually takes a chew before the game, then during the first, fifth and eighth innings, then after the game. But the funniest thing happened -- he had no craving to chew.

The craving came back the next game, though.

"It was really strange," Bochy said. "There are so many triggers that you have that make you want to put a dip in. The following day, I did have an urge, not a real strong one. I said, 'OK, I've had my day off, now it's time to put one in.'"

But he fought the craving.

"The next game I did have an urge. The next two to three days I still had an urge, but it just wasn't as strong as other times I've tried to quit," he said. "When I got past the fourth or fifth day, I was over it. I didn't crave it. I didn't want it. I was fine."

And that was it. Bochy hasn't chewed since. He said it was the best $300 he's even spent.

Now to solve the scratching problem...

Review - Mastering the Power of Self-hypnosis

A Practical Guide to Self Empowermentby C. Roy Hunter Crown House Publishing, 2010 Review by Samin Khan Aug 16th 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 33)

What does getting hypnotized mean? For a non-scientific mind it is nothing short of black-magic, getting into a surreal trance, doing unbelievable things, utmost human power and control over another person; in simpler words making a robot out of others or himself in this case as the book is about self-hypnosis and autosuggestions in the tradition of Hypnotherapist Cuoe.

For Roy Hunter this is only a mythical popular concept of hypnosis; to get hypnotized is to get into a little different sort of mental state and interaction with another person. It is like strongly agreeing in a communicative atmosphere where suggestions are readily accepted without friction or criticism, a sort of emotional deeper communication level where the objective is not to convince oneself logically but to persuade and motivate emotionally without elaborate justifications. For the author, getting hypnotized is to respond emotionally even when we know that at another conscious level it may sound totally unreal. When watching a movie we respond to all its laughter and cries instantly but deep down we are aware that it is just a movie and nothing more. So does the hypnotized person know it is just a passing movement of intense emotional communication which will alter in no time, without a trace or memory in future? Similar to the trance created by music and poetry, no wonder Plato thought music has the power to possess people like they people who need exorcism.

From a scientific viewpoint, we know that our brains works by discharging waves and these waves can be measured by EEG (Electroencephalograph) in terms of it frequency; waves discharge like ECG of a heart where we measure functions. Brain waves of 13 and above per second mean we are in normal mode waking, usually in high gear, reasoning, talking and calculating called the Beta state. But at frequency between 8-13 EEG we are in Alpha state, where we are usually lost in imagination, inactive and relax, in a sort of daydreaming mode just like when we are in the middle of a long flight with nothing to do. Below 8 EEG we sleep in theDelta state and further down in Theta state of deep sleep where all conscious functions stop except heart, breathing and other vital processes. All this may sound medical-mysticism initially but is logical and in accordance with common place observations.

Part of the book discusses the historical progression of the concept of hypnotism and its use for public amusement on the stage; famous names like Franz Mesmer are quoted by the author who happens to be the ancestor in the family tree. For those who wish to read history, this part has useful information. In an impressive chapter author focuses on how people can get out of negative subconscious programming in addiction healing, common challenges of quitting alcohol and smoking etc are discussed in detail. The subconscious slipping down into the old state of affairs is usually the greatest danger for an addict. We have triggers and anchors and we must undo them at the subconscious level first before we change irreversibly. We can change at the surface and then fall back easily into old addictions cycle.

The last part of the book is about positive self-communication and the use of affirmative language in autosuggestions. It is always nice to use active verbs with positive emotional connotations according to the author. Words always rebound back and make things happen around us. Advice of the author is to “remain careful in what we say”, I can’t agree with him more on this. I recommend the book for everyone who has interest in positive psychology.

© 2011 Samin Khan

Hypnotherapist Jake Shannon By Rachel Piper

Jake Shannon is a hypnotherapist, stage hypnotist, radio host, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Utah and an author. He also teaches mental self-defense and has a long background in wrestling—his most recent book, Say Uncle, has been one of Amazon.com’s best-selling mixed-martial-arts books.

Do you need a spinny disk to hypnotize someone? It is just having people focus on the operator, the hypnotist’s voice. Every single person that talks is essentially a hypnotist—they just differ in their ability to get compliance. It’s important to see how powerful language is in changing our perceptions. Language is incredibly powerful. It’s just like the gun—it has to do with the intent of the awareness. A gun is just a hunk of metal. As a hypnotist, all I have is language. I don’t have pills or potions. There are lots of ways we can be nudged to do things simply by words alone. It’s pretty powerful. Hypnotism is studied a lot in psychology departments. But I think it would be better served as an interdisciplinary study between psychology and graduate-level rhetoric—the study of persuasive speech.

How do you change someone from a smoker to a nonsmoker? Part of that is getting to that identity, and then shifting that identity. Smokers are having this conversation—“I’m stressed out, I deserve one; I’ll just have one.” Coming to me, I change it; I have them disassociate from that and have them associate with the parts of their lives that are really into health and really want them to quit. Self-conversation is largely the way that we think, and as such, you need to take charge of your self-conversation. A lot of the time we go on cruise control. The questions that we ask ourselves are crucial because we answer them—and those answers will lead us in different directions.

Can you unlock repressed memories? Memory is a massive problem because it’s completely unreliable. There’s a huge field of forensic hypnosis, using it for purposes of law enforcement. Forensic hypnosis largely has been focused on helping people remember—you know, witness testimony and whatnot. Back in the early ’90s, there was this big rash of people remembering that their parents were abusing them; they were having these repressed memories. What they came to find out was that those memories weren’t real. Later, most of these people were cleared through DNA. What they came to find out was that these people were hypnotized, and the intent of the hypnotist was to find these memories, and so they found them—they actually created them. It destroyed lives. One of the new branches that’s being pursued in Europe in forensic hypnosis is trying to verify how suggestible people are and how bad their memories are. Witness testimony does enter in as evidence, but people are wrong all the time.

Can hypnotherapy be used for evil? Anti-social hypnotherapy is using hypnotherapy not to help somebody, and also while they’re unaware of it. You have entire fields—NLP, neuro-linguistic programming—I take it to the woodshed in my book. This stuff is huge in sales. One of the other big applications is in the pick-up-artist community. Men and women are using it to get laid. [With mental self defense], you’re aware and you can make a better decision. If you’re in the car lot and this guy is using certain ideas and language to nudge you to make a decision, you can say, “He’s doing that right now,” and that frees you. It is important for people to know, just as it is important for men and women to know basic self-defense. The real challenge is, in the moment, are you going to remember it?

Smoker question. Consciousness is largely a bunch of different self-conversations going on in our head. What most people don’t realize is that we have the ability to pay attention to which conversations we’re going to have. That’s why you have people who neurosises or are particularly over-worried about things. They’re listening to the nebbish voice taking them down that path. That’s why you find people who have dissaccociative identity disorder, or schizophrenia, or depression. They’re not aware of the power they have to take charge of that voice, or they’re not disciplined enough to keep fighting until the other voices shut the heck up.

Renegade Coach Employs 'Brainwashing' in New Triathlon Training Program

New alternative sports psychology program is geared specifically to the demands of triathletes. This cutting-edge sytem includes Hypnosis, Neuro-lingustic Programing and Energy Mechanics to empower triathletes to reach peak performance mental states for racing.

Columbus, OH (PRWEB) July 27, 2011

The success of many of today’s triathletes is no longer built solely on conventional training methods and techniques. The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System™ (RTPS) offers a unique approach to handling stress and anxiety before the race, building confidence in the athlete’s training and abilities, and clever ways to overcome the extreme mental and physical demands of this popular sport.

RTPS was developed by Performance Coach Stephen Ladd, and is founded on the alternative psychology disciplines of Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP) and Energy Mechanics™. The combination of these three techniques is used to empower triathletes to control their mental/emotional states, and program their subconscious for peak performance in training and racing.

“The mental training is the next evolution for both beginners and top tier triathletes,” contends Ladd. Dave Scott, six times Iron Man World Champion, agrees “There’s no question, the component of triathlon training that is lagging behind is the mental component. We haven’t done a very good job of integrating psychology into training programs”.

While these methods are currently considered unconventional by most in the triathlete world, the results are well documented in many other sports and disciplines. Hypnosis has been used for decades by many of the world’s top athletes in dozens of sports. NLP is a popular “self-improvement and productivity tool” for top executives and artists. Energy Mechanics™ is a sports-specific version of Emotional Freedom Technique, a form of meridian stimulation based on the ancient art of acupuncture.

Among the triathletes that are willing to test out these “road-less-traveled” techniques is Matt Nawrocki of Columbus, Ohio. “I use the hypnosis programs and I feel calm and confident before and throughout the race. It’s like I’m brainwashed, but in a good way.”

According to Ladd, “Triathletes train longer and harder than any other athletes, at least in the physical sense. The missing link has always been a triathlete-specific program to ‘train the brain’. My new system explains in detail how to connect the mind and body for peak performance with a manual and audio hypnosis sessions”.

Stephen Ladd of http://www.TriathlonMentalTraining.com is a Triathlon Performance Coach based in Columbus Ohio, USA. The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System™ is being released to the triathlon public for the first time based on the innovative and results-proven alternative psychology disciplines of Hypnosis, NLP and Ene

 

Hypnosis: The new anesthetic?

Can you imagine going through major surgery without general anesthesia? That's what Christel Place (left) did when she had her thyroid removed - and she's one of a growing number of patients who opt out of general anesthesia and get hypnotized instead. Hypnosis plus a local anesthetic leaves patients sedated but aware, reports the Associated Press, and doctors say their recovery time is faster and their need for painkillers reduced. This method is feasible for only certain operations, of course - not those involving the heart or internal organs.

 

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-204_162-10008770.html#ixzz1TdCFiIUv

Hypnosis Eases Pain During, After Surgery

Hypnosis has been offered for certain types of surgery at the Belgian hospital, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc in Brussels, since 2003. Hundreds of patients have chosen it over general anesthesia.

According to the AP, more than 8,000 surgeries have been performed at another Belgian hospital with hypnosis. The technique has become popular in France and Belgium in recent years and some plastic and facial surgeons in Germany also use hypnosis, as well as some British dental surgeons.

During surgery, patients are sedated but aware and doctors say recovery time is faster and the need for painkillers is reduced.

The AP reports that doctors say nearly any surgery usually done with a local anesthetic could work with hypnosis and less pain medicine. There are plenty of believers in hypnosis who say it dulls a patients' sense of pain and cuts down on the need for anesthetic.

In the end, it leads to faster recoveries and monetary savings on the part of hospitals. However, hypnosis may require doctors to spend more time with patients beforehand to do the hypnosis and they may need more careful monitoring during surgery.

With its growing popularity, the French Society of Anesthesiologists created a special hypnosis branch in their organization last year.

Still, there are no statistics on how widely used hypnosis is across Europe.

Claude Virot, a psychiatrist and director of the Institute of Research and Training in Therapeutic Communication, told the AP in several of the nearly dozen French hospitals in Rennes, a northwest city of about 200,000 people, it's used in about half of all operations.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fabienne Roelants, an anesthetist at Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc, said, “The patient's mind goes to a pleasant place, but the body stays in the operating room.”

Roelants estimated at her hospital, one-third of all surgeries to remove thyroids and one-quarter of all breast cancer surgeries, including biopsies and mastectomies, use hypnosis and local anesthetic and she hopes to expand the technique to hernias, knee arthroscopies and plastic surgeries.

Roelants did emphasize to the AP that should a patient feel any pain during a procedure using hypnosis, they would immediately be given a painkiller shot.

Local woman drops 42 pounds after hypno-bypass

Posted: 07/18/2011

  • By: Joce Sterman

BOWIE, Md. - A few months ago, we told you about a medical miracle; weight loss surgery without ever having to go under the knife.

It's not a dream. It's hypnosis and a local woman has had huge success in the months since she had the pseudo-surgery. ABC2 News Joce Sterman has more on the weight she's lost and the surprising decision her family has made to pass along the technique to others.

When we last saw Sondra Lambert, she was being lulled to sleep. Nearly seven months later, she says she's had an awakening, "It's been awesome, really, really awesome."

What is awesome is the transformation Sondra is experiencing after undergoing gastric band surgery, without ever entering a hospital.

Instead, the procedure was all in her mind, performed by a hypnotist. Lambert explains, "People freak out at the word hypnosis. They think it's something weird. They think it's something crazy."

But Sondra embraced the idea and it's paying off. She's down 42 pounds and has lost 32 inches from her chest, stomach and hips. Sondra says there's been no radical change that amped her weight loss, like marathon training or extreme dieting.

She says she exercises and eats healthy, but credits the hypno-bypass for making the mind-body connection that helps her shed pounds. Lambert says, "It's not been hard. There's not been a hard day. All along the way it has been simple because I'm not fighting it."

In fact, Sondra is still going through pseudo surgery sessions, although the person whispering in her ear now has a closer connection. Larry, her husband, also went through the hypno lap band procedure and has since become a certified master hypnotist. The couple believes in the process so much, Larry decided to make it happen for others. Sondra hopes to get the training as well. She says, "This will be our future."

Their future is symbolized in a simple gold ring Larry bought when Sondra's wedding band became too big because of the weight she's lost. Lambert tells ABC2, "Larry gave me a hug and a kiss and slipped this red ring on my hand to anchor my wedding ring. So my wedding ring is as I was and we'll see my progress. But he put the red ring on my hand to anchor it with the promise of tomorrow."

Alternative Tompkins: Entering the relaxed state of hypnosis

 

Richard Schissel sits across from his clients in his office on West Seneca Street and asks them to count backward. He tells them how every number is going to help them become more relaxed.

"You will begin to feel your arms relax," he says, while swinging a pendulum or pocket watch to focus their attention. "Your eyes will feel heavier."

Once their eyes close, his clients enter into what Schissel and other hypnotists call a trance. With his client in a trance, Schissel keeps their conscious mind busy with a visualization of being at a beach, or on a ride in a hot-air balloon, so that he can artfully persuade their subconscious mind to change.

He might suggest: "Every time you eat a doughnut it's going to taste like Crisco." Or: "You will find that a small plate with half portions is enough."

At its base, hypnosis is a state of focused attention, "much like we experience while being absorbed in a really good book," said Schissel, adding that the whole point is to move the critical, conscious mind out of the way to free the less picky subconscious mind.

Schissel moved to Ithaca in 1985, and opened his private practice in 1998. He specializes in pain and stress management, and occasionally on smoking cessation. "But they have to want to quit," he said. "It won't work otherwise." Schissel quit smoking in 2004 with the aid of self-hypnosis. "I even created a hypnosis CD which was played during my lung cancer surgery."

Schissel is also an associate professor at Ithaca College and chair of the graduate program in speech-language pathology and audiology.

Brian Apatoff, a New York City neurologist, explained hypnotism as a deep state of relaxation that does not alter brain wave activity. "It's akin to a meditative state," Apatoff said.

For Schissel, 63, who received his hypnosis certification from the National Guild of Hypnotists in New Hampshire, meditation was the catalyst that impelled his study of hypnosis. "That's when I saw the added value of positive suggestions during deep states of relaxation," he said.

Ellen Peterson is a hypnotherapist in Ithaca. She uses hypnosis for psychotherapeutic purposes. Her favorite guided visualization to put her clients in a trance is to take them on a walk down 10 levels of a hillside.

"Ninety percent of the mind is subconscious and 10 percent is conscious," said Peterson. "We only operate from 10 percent of our mind. When we're hypnotized, or even when we meditate, all of that changes."

Alternative Tompkins appears monthly in The Journal and looks at the non-traditional health, nutrition and lifestyle choices practiced by Tompkins County residents. If you have an idea for a future article, send your idea toijnews@gannett.com

 

Psychologist praises power and effectiveness of subliminal therapy

By Arthur LightbournContributor These days, at 85, soon to be 86, local psychologist Edwin Yager, is making it his personal mission to spread the word about the effectiveness of what he considers to be “the treatment of the future” — subliminal therapy.

Subliminal therapy, Yager posits, is a technique that permits the patient guided by a therapist to tap into mental abilities that the patient probably doesn’t even know that he or she has [the ‘unconscious’ or ‘higher self’] and then use those abilities to halt the problems that the patient is experiencing as symptoms.

“You can get down to the root cause of the problem so you can actually resolve the problem,” he said, “not just wrestle with the symptoms.”

Not everyone agrees.

Although the theory of the unconscious mind as a repository of forgotten memories has been around for centuries, some professionals still question its scientific validity and even whether the unconscious mind exits at all.

Yager, however, says he has employed subliminal therapy in his private practice successfully for the past three decades to treat a wide range of disorders, some strictly mental, such as phobias and compulsions; and others psychogenic, with physical symptoms, such as migraine headaches, insomnia, pain, gastro-intestinal and sexual problems, even asthma.

“These often seem to be the consequences of earlier life experiences,” he said. “When you can uncover those experiences and ‘re-frame them’ and understand them in a different way, the effect changes and the symptom ceases to be there.

“The key, the focus element that’s involved here, is teaching people to use abilities they don’t know they have,” he said.

In addition to his private practice, Yager, a former engineer-turned-psychologist, is a clinical professor at UCSD School of Medicine, where, since 1975, he has taught an elective course in clinical hypnosis. He holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the Professional School for Psychological Studies, San Diego

We interviewed Yager in his office off Balboa Avenue in San Diego’s Mission Bay area.

Yager is a tall Texan, who attributes his good health and longevity to three things: “The woman I married, stopping smoking and going to the gym.”

Yager was “born in a little town called El Paso, Texas.” His father was a welder. “But I never knew him very well, he died when I was a little kid.” He was raised by his widowed mom, a school teacher. “That was during the Depression, a time when a lot of people were doing a lot of hurting,” he said. Growing up, Yager discovered he had knack for things technical and mechanical. When he was 12, he landed a job repairing radios.

During World War II, when he turned 18, he joined the Navy (1943-45), and served as an electronics technician aboard the light cruiser USS Detroit.

“The Navy never sent me to school,” he said. “I learned mostly by osmosis, from other people and just by doing it.”

After the war, he studied electrical engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, began working as an engineer, earned a bachelor’s degree in current technology at Texas State Technical Institute, subsequently moved to San Diego where he worked as a group engineer with Convair for 20 years, retiring in 1973.

A pastor at a church that Yager attended in Pacific Beach learned of Yager’s interest in clinical hypnosis and asked him if he would serve as a pastoral counselor to some of the church members — which he did and discovered “This is for me. This is what I wanted to do.”

In preparation for his retirement and transitioning eventually to a second career as a psychologist, he earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1972 from United States International University, and another master’s in technical education in 1973 from National University.

In 1975, he began teaching an elective course in the clinical applications of hypnosis at the UCSD School of Medicine, initially as an instructor, then as a clinical assistant professor, and, since 2005, as a clinical professor.

His work as a clinical hypnotist subsequently led him to become a leading practitioner of subliminal therapy.

In 1982, he earned his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the Professional School for Psychological Studies, San Diego.

His mission these days, he said, is to teach therapists from around the globe the subliminal therapy technique.

He recently conducted a two-day workshop on “Transcending Traditional Therapy” at the 16th International Conference for the Association of Psychology and Psychiatry in Athens, Greece; and is scheduled to conduct workshops in New Orleans, Phoenix and Canada.

“Subliminal therapy is clearly and distinctly different in many ways from hypnosis. The classical understanding of hypnosis doesn’t apply. Hypnosis is an element of subliminal therapy, but only an element.

“It’s a technique that makes it possible — and this is why it’s so effective and so efficient time wise — to identify the cause of problems and resolve the problem at that level. Then the symptom, which is the presenting problem, ceases to exist.

“The patient has to be intelligent enough to understand these concepts, intelligent enough to recognize that he or she has a problem and has to be open to new ways of thinking about things maybe.

“I give credit to my engineering training, my engineering way of thinking, to the totally rational, logical, step-by-step process that subliminal therapy is. Every step is determined by the outcome of the previous step.”

How long does a therapy generally take?

“It’s the briefest of brief therapies that I know of,” he said. “A patient typically comes in with multiple problems.

To solve any one of those problems, is probably not going to take more than an hour maybe two after an hour of introduction and training.”

However, some disorders take longer.

He has one patient with multiple personalities — dissociative identity disorder — whom he has been treating for 27 years. With treatment, the patient has led a relatively normal life and has maintained employment.

“The dissociative disorders are classically long term in resolution,” he conceded.

He has had a high success rate, he said, in treating addictive and sexual disorders.

Of all the disorders, he said, the toughest to treat successfully is obesity.

Asked if he has used some of these techniques, including self-hypnosis, to overcome any of his personal issues, he said: “Absolutely.”

Such as?

“I had hay fever, to a devastating degree, as a child. No longer a problem” Also sea sickness, smoking and nail-biting, no longer problems.

Any others?

“Public speaking. That was a biggie. I didn’t solve that until I was in my 40s.”

Asked if it’s necessary for a subliminal therapy patient to undergo hypnosis, Yager said: “No. There is no formal trance induction or anything of that nature implied, but, it is also true that during the course of employing subliminal therapy very commonly a patient will slip into what I identify as hypnotic trance, but it’s spontaneous.”

Asked what has surprised him most in his years as a psychologist, he replied: “The key thing, if I wanted to isolate one thing, would be the malleability of the human psyche…We learn limitations, we learn values. We are conditioned creatures…and most of that conditioning comes from life experiences.

“That’s the way problems come in; that’s the way all the good things that we enjoy come in; and even though we may have problems now, we are still malleable and knowing how to do some reconditioning, we can change.

We can eliminate that limitation. We can alter almost any aspect of our experience.”

Demonstrating how he would work with a patient, he said he would be using the word “Centrum” to speak directly to the patient’s unconscious. (He thought up that name Centrum before it was adopted by a brand of multivitamins.)

Speaking in a slow monotone, he said, “I’m going to pretend for the moment that you’re my patient. Okay?”

Okay.

“And I’m teaching you the skill and I’m going to guide you to use the skill to make the changes you want to make. My role in subliminal therapy is strictly as a guide. A source of information sometimes, but I don’t have to be involved in the content of the problems that you address. I can even do this work, a therapist can, not just ‘I’, any clinician trained in this, can even do this work without even knowing what the patient’s problem is.

“So, you’re my patient and you came in with some problem…. And I have to be able to communicate with your ‘centrum.’”

He asks the patients to create in his conscious mind’s eye, the image of a chalkboard or computer screen, upon which Centrum can write. “So I ask that you create that imaginary chalkboard right now. Got it?”

Okay.

“I ask your Centrum to indicate willingness to communicate this way by writing the word “Yes” on the chalkboard.

“Tell me when the word “Yes” is there.”

It’s there.

“Now you might reasonably at this point ask, how do I know that came from Centrum? A reasonable question.

And at least part of the answer to that question is that if, in fact, Centrum writes on the chalkboard, in all probability, you will not be able to erase it consciously.”

“Is the word ‘Yes’ still on?”

Yes.

“I invite you to try to erase it. Still there?”

Yes.

“Centrum, please erase the word ‘yes’ and replace it with a different word. I ask, Centrum, that you select a word and write it on the chalkboard. Write a word, Centrum, that will surprise you, consciously…Centrum, please write the surprise word now on that chalkboard. Got a word?”

Not yet.

“Okay. Be patient. Got it?”

Okay.

“Are you consciously satisfied that you didn’t think that word up and put it there?” I don’t know.

“You question that you did. Okay. Centrum, erase that word and please reach out somewhere and select a different word that truly will be unexpected and truly will surprise you consciously. Got that word?

Yes.

“Are you satisfied consciously that you didn’t think that word up and put it there?”

Yes.

“At this point, if you were my patient, I would start interacting with Centrum….You’re job now, as we work together, would be to tell me what Centrum writes on the chalkboard….The moment you tell me your conscious opinion in lieu of what Centrum writes, at that moment, we start spinning wheels. So here’s a little guiding rule, anytime I preface a question with the name ‘Centrum’, the next words I hear from you, I hope, will be the words on the chalkboard.

“You may get answers that don’t make sense. And you may get answers you don’t agree with. You may strongly disagree. And that’s all okay as long as you’ll tell me what those answers are as opposed to what you think they should be…. No other psychotherapy I know approaches it this way.”

We just went through a little hypnosis, didn’t we?

“You did,” he said. “It was not a deliberate induction on my part. Not everybody goes into trance, but most people do.” Quick Facts

Name: Edwin K. Yager, Ph.D.

Distinction: UCSD School of Medicine clinical professor Edwin Yager is a leading practitioner in the use of clinical hypnosis and subliminal therapy to treat a wide range of disorders, addictions and illnesses.

Born: El Paso, Texas, 85 years ago

Education: Ph.D. in counseling psychology, Professional School of Psychological Studies, San Diego, 1982; M.T.E. (Masters in Technical Education), National University, San Diego, 1973; M.A. in counseling, United States International University, San Diego, 1972; B.T. (Bachelor of Technology), Texas State Technical Institute, Waco, Texas, 1969; studied electrical engineering, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1946-49.

Family: He and his wife, Gwen, have been married 35 years. “I had one practice marriage before this one and raised seven children, including four stepchildren, between the two marriages.”

Military service: U.S. Navy, electronics technician, 1943-45.

Interests: Family, woodworking, river cruises

Writing: He is the author of “Foundations of Clinical Hypnosis: From Theory to Practice,” considered a “must read” by fellow psychologists. He is currently working on a book on subliminal therapy.

Recent reading: “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America,” by Robert Whitaker

Favorite TV: Every summer, he and his wife, re-watch all the episodes of their favorite TV series, “The West Wing.”

Favorite film: “The American President,” 1995 comedy, starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.

Philosophy: “People. I’m not tired at the end of the day. I’m energized by the people I work with.”

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New age or new edge

BY RYAN E. SMITH You’re getting sleeeeepy. Verrry sleeeepy.

Then — bam! — it’s all over, and you’ve delivered a baby.

OK, it’s not nearly as easy as that, but you might be surprised by how hypnosis is being used these days. It’s not just about getting people to stop smoking or lose weight anymore.

Hypnosis is quietly helping athletes increase their performance and surgical patients manage their pain. And yes, it’s even gained the notice of prospective mothers.

“When the mind is relaxed or the woman is not in fear, she’s able to relax her body. When the body is relaxed, when all the muscles are relaxed, normal, natural functions [such as childbirth] don’t need to hurt,” said Hayuta Cohen, an Israeli-born hypnotherapist in Encino who has led several classes in HypnoBirthing.

This is simply one way that treatments once considered alternative are evolving to become more widespread. In addition, many of these therapies are being integrated with traditional medicine. For proof, look no further than the existence of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, founded in 1993.

“There’s definitely a move toward integration or bringing the best of multiple traditions,” said Malcolm Taw, assistant clinical professor at the center.

More than one-third of American adults used some sort of complementary medicine in 2007, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Taw said the reasons are simple.

“Overall, the patients want this,” he said. “They want to avoid potential medications or other interventions, whether surgery or injections, and they want to try other treatments that have less of a side-effect profile.”

Some have tried Western medicine without success. Others are looking for a less expensive choice or one that is natural and uses the body’s inherent abilities to heal itself. Many of these therapies, often termed complementary and alternative medicine, have roots that go back decades, if not centuries, in other parts of the world. The way practitioners are tinkering with them and using them in conjunction with Western medicine, however, is modern and ever-changing.

Just ask Uri Kenig.

The psychotherapist from Israel set up shop in Encino 23 years ago, and at first glance his office looks like any other. There’s a large window letting in plenty of natural light, a comfortable couch for the patient — of course — and soothing music available at the touch of a button.

But there is something unusual in the corner of the office: a high chair, the kind you might find at a patio bar, and in front of it, a short stool. This is where Part Two of Kenig’s unique form of treatment takes place — the part that comes after you’ve told him your life story. It’s this part that has attracted the attention of approximately 1,000 of his colleagues in Israel.

“Something was always missing for me about the incomplete process of talk therapy,” Kenig said. “I found myself hearing, time and time again, clients saying to me: ‘I understand my problem. What should I do about it?’ ”

The conundrum led the 60-year-old to look at the mind-body connection and how chronic emotional problems may lead to chronic physical conditions. Kenig’s investigation took him beyond traditional talk therapy, and into the world of energy healing and touch therapy. That’s where the chair in the corner comes into play.

As part of a system he developed called IPEC (Integrated Physical Emotional Clearing), Kenig sits on the low stool and asks clients to hold out both arms. He pushes down to check muscle resistance and either touches the hand to different parts of the body or asks questions.

“I’ve devised, in a very accurate and planned way, by questions, to get slowly a feedback from the body, from the unconscious mind,” Kenig said. “On specific words, the muscle will go weak. On specific other words, it will be strong. … There is a psychological story. The client is completely unaware.”

He then cross-checks what he says the body tells him against numerous charts and two large, colorful, home-made matrixes filled with hundreds of words that lead him to an assessment. Kenig, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Graduate Institute, said he has used IPEC to trace one patient’s migraines to problems at work and another patient’s breathing problems to an issue dating back to the client’s birth.

Kenig then uses LED light therapy or vibrating massage directed toward certain organs or body parts considered to be the source of the problem. He also uses music and meditation. The underlying theory behind the method is that the universe is made of energy and every individual has his or her own energy fields. In order for change to break through that field and restore a normal balance, it needs a little push — in this case, aided through things like light or vibrations.

The most recent statistics show that more than 1.2 million Americans sought some sort of energy healing therapy in 2007. That’s minuscule compared to the nearly 39 million people who used nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products, such as fish oil and ginkgo biloba — the largest category measured — and a much smaller segment than even the 3 million-plus who turned to acupuncture for relief.

Despite the increasing numbers, it’s still a field that has a lot to prove, believes Dr. Larry Bergstrom, director of the Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I haven’t found these types of therapies to be helpful,” he said. “They distract from addressing important aspects of each person’s illness.”

He further explained, “The people who invent and use these techniques fill a niche for a patient for whom conventional medicine has failed. I don’t think the [technique] is the issue; it is listening to the patients, believing them and creating a scenario where the patients can help themselves become better.”

Over the years, Kenig has trained 1,000 IPEC practitioners in Israel. He also recently started instruction seminars in Encino.

“The therapy is producing very fast results,” he said.

That’s what attracted one patient from Encino, who has seen him for a number of problems, including chronic fatigue.

“One session with him is the equivalent of 50 with another therapist,” said the woman, who asked that only her first name, Ada, be used to identify her. “He, with his technique, is like a laser that cuts through all the nonsense that we keep telling ourselves as people to justify our behavior. … Then he energetically clears the need to continue with the behavior.”

Another Jewish patient, a 36-year-old from Tarzana who asked to be identified only by his initials, E.M., said he sought help from Kenig for a persistent, itchy rash on his hands and feet.

Other doctors gave him cortisone, but his condition didn’t improve. After a few meetings with Kenig, E.M. said he was cured. The apparent source? Anxiety over whether to continue his education after college or enter the workforce.

“At first, I was a bit apprehensive about it because I never really was a fan of head doctors of any sort, or homeopathic. I didn’t know anything about it,” E.M. said. Now his attitude has turned 180 degrees: “You’ve definitely got to give it a try.”

Still, many unanswered questions linger, and scientific studies have a long way to go as they investigate the effectiveness of many alternative approaches. Kenig said he is not aware of any studies being conducted concerning IPEC.

Some research is under way in other areas, however, such as the field of hypnosis,  once considered the realm of stage performers who made audience members cluck like chickens. Serious science is aimed at overcoming this caricature, however.

One current study at Baylor University is examining the effectiveness of hypnosis in reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women and breast cancer survivors; another by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York is implementing a training program in presurgery hypnosis for nurse anesthetists.

Hypnosis, which is defined as an altered state of consciousness characterized by increased responsiveness to suggestion, is used to relax the body and then shift attention to a narrow range of objects or ideas. You can even hypnotize yourself.

“All hypnosis is self-hypnosis,” said Cohen, who is certified in the practice by the National Guild of Hypnotists and is also a registered nurse. “They used to believe that the hypnotist had magical powers, but we don’t.”

Not everyone believes that last part. Cohen said her fellow Israelis tend to be particularly suspicious of hypnotherapy in general.

“Israelis are the only group that generally asks, ‘What if I don’t wake up? I worry about losing control,’ ” she said.

Experts say those under hypnosis cannot be coerced into doing anything against their will, but events earlier this year have raised concerns over how the practice is used and by whom. A Florida school principal with a history of using hypnosis to help athletes perform better and students relax before big tests brought the issue to the forefront in April after one of his pupils was found dead of an apparent suicide a day after being hypnotized.

The educator is now on paid leave, and while newspaper reports indicate there appears to be no connection between the hypnosis and the suicide, he is being investigated for possibly violating a law prohibiting the performance of therapeutic hypnosis without the presence of a medical professional.

Still, with 500,000 people using hypnosis in some form as of 2007, the therapy is not going away. If anything, it’s only being adapted to more uses, which include treating chronic pain, respiratory ailments, stress, anxiety and headaches.

And then there’s HypnoBirthing, a copyrighted educational course in which women and their birth companions take classes in self-hypnosis as an alternative to traditional birthing preparation methods such as Lamaze. Only 23 percent of participants — which have included celebrities Jessica Alba and Pamela Anderson — end up using epidurals, compared to the national average of 71 percent, according to the HypnoBirthing Institute, which has offices in New Hampshire and Arizona.

Cohen said she thinks the field of hypnosis will continue to shed its old image and move in the direction of becoming mainstream and integrated with traditional medicine.

“Kind of like what chiropractics went through years ago,” she said. “It’s considered less and less alternative and more a complementary part of treatment.”

Fern Saitowitz of West Hills is a cancer patient who looked to Cohen and hypnosis to help her sleep.

“I don’t like sleeping tablets, and I’d rather use hypnotherapy to go to sleep than take a sleeping tablet,” she said.

She described the sessions as exercises in relaxation and guided imagery. For Saitowitz, a former scuba diving instructor, that meant imagining herself on the beach and then underwater.

“It touched my heart,” she said, adding that she hasn’t had any sleeping problems since her first session. “Whatever she did, it worked really well.”

For skeptics still worried about the power of suggestion, Saitowitz said to, well, relax.

“People do think that it’s mind control, and it’s not like that at all,” she said. “She helps you go into a place in your mind where you can relax and you can make your mind work for you.”

Alternative and complementary medicines, led by dietary supplements, are only going to get bigger, said Dr. Steven Rosenblatt, a physician and complementary medicine practitioner based in West Los Angeles who was one of the earliest adopters of acupuncture in the United States.

“What we’re realizing is that in order to truly treat the complete person, we need more than one tool, and complementary medicine gives more tools for treatment,” he said.

Which means there could be an increasing number of people like Dafna Tene.

When her father was terminally ill with cancer nearly 10 years ago, she started seeing Feline Kondula, a nutritional consultant at Nutrikon Wellness Group in Toluca Lake, in hopes that she could help him. It turned out to be too late for that, but the facility that houses practitioners of acupuncture, Pilates and other therapies all under one roof attracted Tene to stay for her own health.

Tene, 43, a real estate broker and mother of three from Calabasas, now eats organic food, has given up red meat, and downs about 18 pills containing vitamins and other supplements each day. Whenever she gets sick, she turns to Nutrikon.

“We laugh in our family. We call [Kondula] God. … She cures everything,” she said.

Well, almost everything. For Tene’s fear of flying, she sought out help from Kenig and his IPEC method. So far, she’s a believer.

“A lot of people who follow Western medicine look at me like I’m crazy. But you know what?” she said. “It works. It 100 percent works.”

Hypnotist Offers Relief to Tinnitus Sufferers

Many Americans struggle with tinnitus. Hypnosis counseling can offer significant relief.

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (PRWEB) July 20, 2011

Millions of Americans are distressed by tinnitus. Yet Certified Hypnotist James Malone believes many could experience significant relief through hypnosis counseling.

Tinnitus is a condition where the individual hears persistent noises that are generated internally rather than from the external environment, with some calling it “ringing in the ears."

Exposure to loud noises and certain medications are known to cause tinnitus, however in many cases the origin is unknown. In severe and persistent cases, it has the potential to severely disrupt a person’s quality of life.

Malone states, "many experts now believe tinnitus is similar to phantom limb pain, the condition where a person experiences discomfort in a body part that was amputated. Although there may be a physical origin of tinnitus, eventually the noise becomes like an endless tape loop that plays in the person's mind and brain rather than being an actual signal from the ears."

He adds, "its only natural that the more a person fears his or her tinnitus, the more attention it will be given. This focus makes the tinnitus more noticeable, creating a vicious cycle. The task of the hypnotist is to help relieve the stress and fear so that the client can begin to refocus his or her attention in a healthier direction."

Although people generally are becoming more open to the idea of hypnosis for self-improvement, Malone does feel it necessary to point out that, "your experience with a certified hypnosis professional will not resemble what you see in comedy stage hypnosis shows. You will not be given silly suggestions or ever feel out of control. Rather it is a relaxed state of focused attention where you can alter your perceptions in a healthy way. Once you release the fear of tinnitus you will become better able to ignore it."

James Malone has had hypnosis counseling practice at the Jersey Shore since 1995 since he was first certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the oldest and largest organization of its kind. He is also the publisher of the Creative Calm online newsletter and is the author of several self-improvement e-books.

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Police pension group OKs hypnosis

Meghann M. Cuniff The Spokesman-Review A retired Spokane police officer will have his hypnosis weight-loss therapy paid for by city tax money.

Members of the Spokane Police Pension and Relief Board unanimously approved the unusual claim from board member Gary Gow at its meeting Thursday.

Gow, who retired from the Spokane Police Department in 1985 after 20 years of service, abstained from voting. He’s been a member of the pension board for 21 years.

The board agreed to pay $2,207 for the nine-month program.

Gow is required to submit a treatment plan and progress notes regarding his weight loss.

Gow said he expects the therapy to become a widely covered practice in the private insurance industry.

“I think that in time you’ll see a lot of this covered,” Gow said after the meeting. “They never used to pay for heart transplants, but they do now.”

The therapy is an example of unusual practices paid for through the pension and relief board, which manages health insurance and pensions for the city’s retired police officers. Washington’s Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Plan 1 pension system, which was replaced by a more modest retirement plan in 1977, calls for cities to provide retired police employees with free lifelong coverage of anything deemed “necessary medical services.”

The board previously has approved services including non-emergency flights, penile implants and Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs. Requests for unusual services are voted on by board members at their monthly meeting.

“There’s a lot of medical things that go on like this at every meeting,” said board member Ron Vanos.

No one could recall if the board had ever before approved a claim that paid for a retiree to undergo hypnosis to aid weight loss.

“We always consider the effectiveness of the treatment,” said City Council President Joe Shogan, board president.

Shogan said the board’s first priority is the retiree’s health and welfare, and the second is the cost of the treatment.

“It’s a balance,” Shogan said.

 

'Medical Muses': Putting hysteria under the microscope

Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris By Asti Hustvedt

W.W. Norton. 372 pp. $26.95

Reviewed by Joelle Farrell

Asti Hustvedt, an editor and translator in New York City, was first drawn to the subject of hysteria while working on her doctorate in French at New York University. She aimed to write a "nonhysterical book about hysteria," a condition that, at least in part, was "an illness of being a woman in an era that strictly limited female roles."Her book, 

Medical Muses

, examines the lives of three women diagnosed with hysteria who, through the work of a famous French neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, became medical celebrities.

Hustvedt's focus on the three women - Blanche, Augustine, and Geneviève - gives a face to her story of a condition that the medical community no longer recognizes.

Her thorough research and elegant writing bring the women to life and prevent the story from getting bogged down in social and medical questions about hysteria itself.

All three women came from impoverished families and suffered abuse and neglect that seemed to provoke some of their early hysterical outbursts. They ended up at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital, a massive institution that housed women suffering from mental and physical ailments, as well as some women who were simply poor or elderly.

Doctors diagnosed hysteria in women who suffered from a variety of symptoms that resembled conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia or epilepsy. But doctors also linked seemingly normal behavior to the illness, as was the case with Augustine, then 14, who had a rebellious streak and liked to look pretty.

"Everything in her . . . announced the hysteric," one doctor wrote about Augustine. "The care that she takes in her toilette; the styling of her hair, the ribbons she likes to adorn herself with."

Charcot believed that hysteria was an illness linked to brain anatomy, and he looked in vain for lesions in the cadavers of women who had suffered from the illness. He used the three women to prove his hypothesis that hysterics would present certain poses under hypnosis - that despite the array of symptoms, a common thread linked them.Hustvedt is unflinching in her descriptions of the treatment the women received at the Salpêtrière Hospital, then one of the most respected in the world. Ovary compressors were used to stop hysterical fits - the device worked like a vise grip to put pressure on an ovary. Doctors, fascinated by the apparent skin sensitivity displayed by some hysterics, would scrawl words, even their own names, onto a patient's skin. Needles were stuck through the arms of hysterics, who allegedly did not feel pain and would not bleed from the wounds.We can cut them, prick them and burn them and they feel nothing," a student of Charcot wrote, as quoted in Hustvedt's book. "Even better, these completely numb spots are so poorly irrigated that when we wound them, there is not a drop of blood."

It was Charcot's work with hypnotism that made the women famous. Under hypnosis, Charcot believed he could provoke symptoms of hysteria. His lectures took on a theatrical quality, as students, authors, and artists packed halls to see Charcot and his strange muses.

Under hypnosis, the women would strike odd poses and act on suggestions made by doctors, acting out skits for a rapt audience. They convinced the women that snakes were at their feet or that they were soldiers in a war. They would put the women into a catatonic state and mold them like wax sculptures into unnatural positions.

While Charcot's tricks made for a good show, Hustvedt points out that the doctors did little to relieve their patients' symptoms. And the doctors clearly abused their power. They once asked Blanche (under hypnosis) to undress for them. Blanche, who was said to be very modest, at first complied, but then broke down in a hysterical fit.

Hustvedt doesn't mince words in describing Charcot's "treatments" for hysteria, describing the doctors as "giddy with power."

But she also gives Charcot his due. She acknowledges that his work with hypnosis, which influenced Sigmund Freud, laid the groundwork for psychoanalysis.

And while his theories on hysteria were discredited after his death, Charcot left a legacy of groundbreaking research in other neurological diseases. He discovered the pathology of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). By studying cadavers, Charcot found lesions in the brains of those who had suffered from the diseases. Hustvedt also credits Charcot for taking the symptoms of hysteria seriously and for recognizing that " 'hysterical' did not mean 'unreal.' " Doctors may no longer diagnose women with hysteria, but that doesn't mean they don't deal with illnesses that are just as mysterious to them as hysteria was to the doctors in the late 1800s. Chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, appears to affect mostly women, and like hysteria in its day, the illness has become somewhat of a "medical trash can," a diagnosis made by ruling out other possibilities. Recently, doctors have begun to question whether antidepressants, drugs taken by one in 10 Americans annually, work any better than placebos. Some researchers now say the "chemical imbalance" theory of depression may be on "just as shaky ground" as Charcot's theories, Hustvedt writes. As for whether the women's hypnosis was simply an act, Hustvedt acknowledges that it's possible. But she still believes that the women were suffering, and that hysteria, like depression, anxiety, or chronic fatigue syndrome, was simply a socially acceptable manner of expressing their pain.

"[Blanche] lived during a period that allowed her to express her suffering in a particular way, through a particular set of symptoms, symptoms that are no longer an admissible way to express illness," she writes.

Contact staff writer Joelle Farrell at 856-779-3237 or 

jfarrell@phillynews.com

.

Amethyst BioMat Newest Alternative Cancer Treatment

This newest mat addressing numerous cancer related issues

Richway company producer of this newest alternative cancer treatment, developer of medical and therapeutic products now introduces the BioMat.

BioMat which looks much like that of a yoga mat is said to help numerous cancer related issues including circulation, inflammation, pain, and fatigue by using thermo-technology.

The quantum energy it uses is said to alleviate several health and illness problems these include cancer, high blood pressure and even Lyme disease. According to what is written on this newest therapy, it uses the combination of infrared rays which can penetrate up to six inches into the body and attack the cancer cells. The negative ion therapy heightens the immune systems, aide’s waste removal and restores the body’s balance. The pure amethyst superconductor can soothe the central nervous system.

According to Calvin Kim, owner of Richway, when you get sick you have a temperature which aides in fighting the virus which made you sick. Therefore, by increasing the body temperature by one degree by using the BioMat, it remarkably increases the immune response. Mr. Kim further remarks that this treatment makes a major difference in peoples lives. Noting that it is simple to use, affordable and convenient.

This new treatment is registered by the U.S. FDA registered medical device for pain management

According the companies website it provides numerous benefits in which include alleviating migraines and tension headaches, improves cardiovascular health and decreases allergy symptoms.

If you wish to try it the price tag on the BioMat professional will cost $1450.00

You can get the mini-version for $550.00

If you wish to explore alternative therapies for cancer there are several available a few of these include:

Chiropractic

Chiropractic care does aide cancer patients to better handle issues such as incapacitating pain and discomfort. The care in which they can provide can decrease stress and aide in increasing mobility. It has been noted to offer many effective strategies in decreasing the pain and suffering in cancer patients plus it is affordable. Many insurance companies cover chiropractic care. It has been established to boost the body’s immune system and provide overall health benefits.

Hypnotherapy

For a long length of time hypnotherapy has been noted to aide in a long list of medical conditions and supported by reputable medical professionals. In 1959, Time magazine had released on article on hypnosis for cancer pain. The article had cited Dr. Jabob H. Conn, psychiatry professor at John Hopkins University stating that hypnotherapy (hypnosis) was relatively quick and easy method for pain relief. The relief it provides could last for hours or longer.

In trials conducted with children who endure cancer, hypnosis has demonstrated that children had decreased pain from medical procedures as well as cancer related pain.

In 2010, a researcher at the University of Buffalo had demonstrated that hypnosis does in fact help alleviate pain in women with metastatic breast cancer.

There is substantial documentation on hypnotherapy. Along with reducing or even eliminating pain it can also help in other ways which include decrease stress, eliminate or reduce the effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It will also improve sleep quality, restart a healthy appetite, improve mood, and even motivates a person to stick to their practitioners protocol. More and more major insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield do endorse the use of hypnotherapy as an additional treatment to improve health.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has numerous roles. It can be used to decrease post-operative pain, pain control and speeding up recovery from side effects of different therapies. It aides in reducing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and certain drugs.

Acupuncture just like chiropractic and hypnotherapy or used at a variety of medical institutions.

Debbie Nicholson is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is Anchor for Allvoices

Self-Hypnosis for Weight Control: Three Steps to Avoid the Buffet Binge

"Oh no! I can't resist Nana's famous coconut frosted devil's food cake! Well, just a small slice." "Look, honey, it's that special barbecue sauce we had when we were in Memphis. Pour some of that on these ribs for me."

"I never saw a cupcake wedding tower before. I'll just have a bite of each flavor. I'm on a diet."

"Hey, the sign says 'All You Can Eat Tacos,' so dig in, kids!"

Summer is a great time to visit with friends and family. Picnics, cookouts, beach parties, weddings and graduations fill up our calendar before the suntan lotion hits the store shelves.

Many cultures use food as a social event, and the temptation to overeat can be compelling. We often find ourselves face to face with some of our most cherished childhood memories, like Mom's secret recipe macaroni and cheese, a giant 12-pound cheesecake or those huge yeast rolls that don't even need butter. Perhaps the most insidious challenges are those loving relatives who hand you a paper plate loaded with all your guilty pleasures on one cheap wicker holder. Here's your dear Aunt Maria offering you an entire dessert buffet of brown sugar-laced strawberry rhubarb cobbler, blueberry pie with mounds of real whipped cream, a king-sized slice of key lime pie with a teetering tower of meringue and a "healthy" slice of watermelon with a layer of sea salt.

You try to take just one forkful of each dessert, convinced you can still maintain some semblance of your diet. And while you're talking and eating, someone's grabbed your now-empty plate, ladling on homemade vanilla ice cream with thick fudge sauce that's been sitting on the grill in a pot of hot water.

So on your guilt trip back home you feel bloated with too much food and a sinking sense of failure.

You think to yourself, "I may as well have that margarita to wash down the salsa and chips now."

Now you have the power to resist those food fetishes and avoid the guilt trip, too. Self-hypnosis allows you to take back control of your life by putting food in its proper place ... in your thoughts and in your life, too.

There are only three practical things to remember to regain your sense of balance over food.

  • Begin by turning off your all of your tech gadgets: TV, music, cell phone, computer, tablet, laptop, pager, etc.
  • Get into a comfortable chair -- not your bed. This is not nap-time.
  • Make-believe you can feel or see soothing, golden massage oil that follows gravity, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, relaxing every tense, knotted muscle.
  • Next, imagine there is a blackboard in front of your minds' eye, complete with a brand new piece of chalk and a new eraser, too. Begin to write and then erase your numbers, going down the scale from 100.
  • When the numbers start to look mixed up, and you feel like you've lost your place, just put down the chalk and eraser on the shelf in front of the blackboard.
  • You will see a damp sponge on that same shelf. Wash off the blackboard, and as it dries you will notice that you now have a clean slate before you.
  • Now, taking up the chalk, write in large letters, "My Plan" and underline it.
  • Next write:
  1. Food is Fuel
  2. Sugar + Starch= Sludge
  3. Water flushes Fat

Now you have the ability to enjoy a meal out or at home, alone or with others and keep food in its proper place in your life. Just as easily as you consistently choose the best fuel for your car, you will choose the best fuel for your body.

And enjoy those gatherings for the laughter and talking. Because food is just fuel!

Valorie J. Wells, Ph.D. has been in practice as a clinical hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years. Her educational background in industrial psychology, coupled with advanced hypnosis studies, creates an alternative healing environment that appeals to today's informed consumers as clients. Her determination to limit her practice to hypnotherapy has forged a secure bond between area health care providers, hospitals and their referrals. This innovative, cross-discipline approach to patient care serves as a vital link for the integrative chain of careful attention to the individual's needs. Moreover, the rapport between providers and patients encourages participation, dialogue and continuity of care. To find out more about Valorie and her work, read her blog on Red Room.