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Posts Tagged ‘Hypnotherapy’

Neuroimaging Shows How the Brain Learns Mental Skills

Posted by Sun on June 19, 2012

ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2011) — Movements become skilled and automatic with practise, so tasks like riding a bicycle can be performed without much attention or mental effort. New research by scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London provides evidence that the cerebellum, a part of the brain used to store memories for skilled movements, could also store memories important for mental skills — such as the rules used to interpret traffic light signals.

The prefrontal cortex, in the frontal lobe, uses problem-solving to establish the correct rules using attention, and the new research raises the possibility that the cerebellum then learns to implement them skilfully with little conscious attention, freeing the prefrontal cortex to direct attention to new problems.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, reports that brain imaging was used to scan volunteers during learning, and that in a part of the cerebellum known to be connected with the prefrontal cortex, activity changed from one practice trial to the next. The rate of change was faster for rules that became automatic more quickly. After practice, volunteers used simple rules quickly and accurately even when attention drawn away by a ‘distractor’ task performed at the same time.

Dr Ramnani, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway said: “The study adds to the groundwork for understanding cognitive deficits in patients with cerebellar damage and improving strategies for their rehabilitation. It also raises the possibility that the cerebellum might be used for the skillful, automatic and unconscious use of mathematical and grammatical rules.”


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With Altered Brain Chemistry, Fear Is More Easily Overcome

Posted by Sun on June 19, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 12, 2012) — Researchers at Duke University and the National Institutes of Health have found a way to calm the fears of anxious mice with a drug that alters their brain chemistry. They’ve also found that human genetic differences related to the same brain chemistry influence how well people cope with fear and stress.

It’s an advance in understanding the brain’s fear circuitry that the research team says may hold particular promise for people at risk for anxiety disorders, including those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“What is most compelling is our ability to translate first from mice to human neurobiology and then all the way out to human behavior,” said Ahmad Hariri, a neurobiologist at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. “That kind of translation is going to define the future of psychiatry and neuroscience.”

The common thread in their studies is a gene encoding an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH. The enzyme breaks down a natural endocannabinoid chemical in the brain that acts in essentially the same way that Cannabis, aka marijuana, does (hence the name endocannabinoid).

Earlier studies had suggested that blocking the FAAH enzyme could decrease fear and anxiety by increasing endocannabinoids. (That’s consistent with the decreased anxiety some experience after smoking marijuana.) In 2009, Hariri’s lab found that a common variant in the human FAAH gene leads to decreased enzyme function with affects on the brain’s circuitry for processing fear and anxiety.

In the new study, Andrew Holmes’ group at the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse tested the effects of a drug that blocks FAAH activity in fear-prone mice that had also been trained to be fearful through experiences in which they were delivered foot shocks.

Tests for the ability of those mice to get over their bad experiences found that the drug allowed a faster recovery from fear thanks to higher brain endocannabinoid levels. More specifically, the researchers showed that those drug effects traced to the amygdala, a small area of the brain that serves as a critical hub for fear processing and learning.

To test for the human relevance of the findings, Hariri’s group went back to the genetic variant they had studied earlier in a group of middle-aged adults. They showed study participants a series of pictures depicting threatening faces while they monitored the activity of their amygdalas using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. They then looked for how the genetic variant affected this activity.

While the activity of the amygdala in all participants decreased over repeated exposures to the pictures, people who carried the version of the FAAH gene associated with lower enzyme function and higher endocannabinoid levels showed a greater decrease in activity. Hariri says that suggests that those individuals may be better able to control and regulate their fear response.

Further confirmation came from an analysis led by Duke’s Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt of 1,000 individuals in the Dunedin Study, who have been under careful observation since their birth in the 1970s in New Zealand. Consistent with the mouse and brain imaging studies, those New Zealanders carrying the lower-expressing version of the FAAH gene were found to be more likely to keep their cool under stress.

“This study in mice reveals how a drug that boosts one of the brain’s naturally occurring endocannaboids enables fear extinction, a process that forms the basis of exposure therapy for PTSD,” Holmes said. “It also shows how human gene variation in the same chemical pathways modulates the amygdala’s processing of threats and predicts how well people cope with stress.”

Studies are now needed to further explore both the connections between FAAH variation and PTSD risk as well as the potential of FAAH inhibition as a novel therapy for fear-related disorders, the researchers say.

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Posted by Sun on June 9, 2012

Story by: Marna McManus
When we think of imagination, Albert Einstein usually pops into mind, because he had much to say on the topic. I have always admired his out-of-the-box, inspired approach to success and I’m sure glad he wrote about such a wide range of subjects. Einstein has inspired me to consider the relativity in everything. His teachings inevitably led me to desire a honing of my own creative ability, with imagination being the cornerstone.

He said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

The greatest minds of all time have had the ability to go from logical to random, left to right, from abstract to concrete, encompassing a wide range of disciplines in an integrated, wholistic way. They themselves are a function of evolution, which is and has always been a function of Creativity.

My favourite quote, which I made into a painting for my office wall, is an ancient eastern Indian proverb: “God sleeps in stones, breathes in plants, dreams in animals and awakens in Man.”

The book I am writing with my husband, ‘Conscious Evolution: Co-Creating an Empowered Legacy’ is the product of the realization that there is no ‘creation VS evolution’ and theory has very little to do with anything. We are indeed busting into a new paradigm and I hope you’ll join us.

The process of imagination leads us to profound truths, which cannot be attained through mere intellect. We must open ourselves up to our full potential.

How does one use imagination to arrive at these profound truths?

Einstein said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Why is this? It seems to me, fairy tales open us up to the endless variety of ways we can explore our own archetypal themes. We partake in life lessons vicariously, through unlimited characters acting in epic stories. The allegorical medium of the fairy tale is expansive and unbounded, lending itself infinitely to writers apt to the challenge.

We also learned epic stories in Sunday school. Even for those families who want to stay home on Sundays, illustrated children’s bibles are filled with amazing stories that provide a sensibility for the bigger picture. My son’s buddy actually gave him a Manga comic that tells bible stories!

It’s important not only that a baby have cross-brain exercises in order to develop the wiring for being readers and creative thinkers, it is also extremely important to read to them and to talk with them about everything as they grow and explore the world.

As a child, I would keep myself up late imagining all of the ways I could be murdered in my bed, including by those not-so-handsome vampires that wanted to bite the little virgin me!

My true creative ability now is my wholistic perception of reality. I see everything as part of a greater expression, a process of learning love, through relativity and infinity. I now see ‘vampires’ as a necessary part of the process of awakening.

The most powerful things I’ve ever read in my life have been those things that put the power back into my hands. Through reading, I’ve realized that I have always got a choice in how I respond to circumstances and how I move through obstacles. I have also learned many tools of boundless creative consciousness.

Imagine what we could create together if more people focused their thoughts, with agreed-upon co-creative goals, with pure intentions to make a real difference. We’d not only make great changes, but we could make them in ways that we currently, collectively, could not even conceive of at this time.

We must correct our own deficiencies and fortify ourselves for the changing times.

Let’s use our creative abilities to do something other than lie awake at night like scared little girls! Dream big, for your family, for your own life. Speak about your dreams as though they are already so! Don’t speak your fears out loud, speak your strengths!

Remember, you’re part of something bigger and it’s your job to imagine how.

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How to Connect to the Subconscious Mind

Posted by Sun on June 9, 2012

by : Christina Sponias

Carl Jung discovered that the subconscious mind was not merely a depository of our past memories like Freud believed, and he named it unconscious mind. The unconscious mind produces our dreams, sending us precious messages that work like psychotherapy. Therefore, if you want to easily connect to your subconscious mind, you only have to learn the dream language.

Your subconscious mind is in fact the unconscious mind, because it is not a part that belongs to your own mind. Your subconscious mind, like Freud had defined it, wouldn’t help you understand anything. Fortunately, Jung discovered that the unconscious mind possesses irrefutable wisdom.

Jung named the part of our psyche where our personal memories remain the personal unconscious. He named the unconscious part that is the same for all human beings as the collective unconscious. I continued his research, discovering a lot more, and I simplified his complicated method of dream interpretation. I also simplified his definitions, giving immediate answers about the meaning of dreams.

Jung ignored many things, even though he managed to really discover the true meaning of the dream images. You should consider the unconscious mind as a whole, and stop referring to it as if it was your subconscious. The unconscious mind is an independent superior conscience that has attained perfection, and works like a psychotherapist.

We need psychotherapy because we are under-developed primates. The biggest part of our brain belongs to the anti-conscience, our primitive conscience. Our tiny human conscience is one-sided and ignorant. We keep making mistakes because we are imperfect and violent animals. This is why our thoughts are basically selfish.

In order to connect to the unconscious mind that replaces your idea of the subconscious mind, you must study the dream language. This way, you’ll understand the unconscious logic.

Logic is a collection of thoughts that have a certain purpose. Depending on the type of logic you follow, you will choose one conclusion over another. However, your logic is an entire system. In order to study the meaning of your logic you must take into consideration numerous details.

You probably follow the general logic that characterizes the mindset of our current civilization. Your logic is also characterized by the influence of the anti-conscience, and by the influence of your one-sided psychological make-up. Thus, the logic you follow is basically absurd.

How can a certain logic be absurd if it is logic?

Not everything that can be logically explained should be considered balanced and sensible. There are many excuses and various absurd explanations that may seem to justify the sensibility of a certain logical system; however they are merely absurd assumptions.

Thus, the wise unconscious mind cannot follow the absurd logic followed by our one-sided and selfish conscience. We must learn the unconscious language expressed in dream images, so that we may understand the wise unconscious logic.

Your dreams will teach you how to easily discern what is truly logical from what is absurd. You’ll then discover how insensitive you are. The unconscious mind will correct your mistakes, and help you acquire complete consciousness. All dream messages help you become more sensitive and more intelligent.


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Power Of Imagination Is More Than Just A Metaphor

Posted by Sun on June 8, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2009) — We’ve heard it before: “Imagine yourself passing the exam or scoring a goal and it will happen.” We may roll our eyes and think that’s easier said than done, but in a new study in Psychological Science, psychologists Christopher Davoli and Richard Abrams from Washington University suggest that the imagination may be more effective than we think in helping us reach our goals.

A group of students searched visual displays for specific letters (which were scattered among other letters serving as distractors) and identified them as quickly as possible by pressing a button. While performing this task, the students were asked to either imagine themselves holding the display monitor with both hands or with their hands behind their backs (it was emphasized that they were not to assume those poses, but just imagine them).

The results showed that simply imagining a posture may have effects that are similar to actually assuming the pose.  The participants spent more time searching the display when they imagined themselves holding the monitor, compared to when they imagined themselves with their hands behind their backs. The researchers suggest that the slower rate of searching indicates a more thorough analysis of items closer to the hands. Previous research has shown that we spend more time looking at items close to our hands (items close to us are usually more important than those further away), but this is the first study suggesting that merely imagining something close to our hands will cause us to pay more attention to it.

The researchers suggest these findings indicate that our “peripersonal space” (the space around our body) can be extended into a space where an imagined posture would take us. They note there may be advantages to having this ability, such as determining if an action is realistic (e.g., “Can I reach the top shelf?”) and helping us to avoid collisions. The authors conclude that the present study confirms “an idea that has long been espoused by motivational speakers, sports psychologists, and John Lennon alike: The imagination has the extraordinary capacity to shape reality.”

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Color Test Predicts Response to Hypnotherapy

Posted by Sun on June 8, 2012

ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2010) — When people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were asked to relate their mood to a color, those choosing a positive color were nine times more likely to respond to hypnotherapy than those who chose a negative color or no color at all. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggest that these findings could be used to predict responders to treatment.

Peter Whorwell worked with a team of researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, to carry out the study using a color chart called the ‘Manchester Color Wheel’ which allows patients to choose colors that have previously been defined as positive, neutral or negative. He said, “Our unit has been providing hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS for over twenty years with approximately two thirds of patients responding to treatment. Unfortunately, patients may require as many as twelve one hour sessions of therapy to secure a response and therefore this results in the treatment being relatively expensive to provide. Consequently it would be very useful to be able to predict responders.”

Speaking about the results Whorwell said, “Being able to describe mood in terms of a positive color is a sign of an active imagination, which is an important component of hypnotic ability.” The hypnotherapy provided in Professor Whorwell’s Unit is called gut-focused hypnotherapy. The technique aims to give a patient control over their gut and they have shown that following a course of treatment actual changes in gastrointestinal function can be demonstrated.

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‘Mind’s Eye’ Influences Visual Perception

Posted by Sun on June 8, 2012

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2008) — Letting your imagination run away with you may actually influence how you see the world. New research from Vanderbilt University has found that mental imagery—what we see with the “mind’s eye”—directly impacts our visual perception.

“We found that imagery leads to a short-term memory trace that can bias future perception,” says Joel Pearson, research associate in the Vanderbilt Department of Psychology. and lead author of the study. “This is the first research to definitively show that imagining something changes vision both while you are imagining it and later on.”

“These findings are important because they suggest a potential mechanism by which top-down expectations or recollections of previous experiences might shape perception itself,” Pearson and his co-authors write.

It is well known that a powerful perceptual experience can change the way a person sees things later. Just think of what can happen if you discover an unwanted pest in your kitchen, such as a mouse. Suddenly you see mice in every dust ball and dark corner—or think you do. Is it possible that imagining something, just once, might also change how you perceive things?

“You might think you need to imagine something 10 times or 100 times before it has an impact,” says Frank Tong, associate professor of psychology and co-author of the study. “Our results show that even a single instance of imagery can tilt how you see the world one way or another, dramatically, if the conditions are right.”

To test how imagery affects perception, Pearson, Tong and co-author Colin Clifford of the University of Sydney had subjects imagine simple patterns of vertical or horizontal stripes, which are strongly represented in the primary visual areas of the brain. They then presented a green horizontal grated pattern to one eye and a red vertical grated pattern to the other to induce what is called binocular rivalry. During binocular rivalry, an individual will often alternately perceive each stimulus, with the images appearing to switch back and forth before their eyes. The subjects generally reported they had seen the image they had been imagining, proving the researcher’s hypothesis that imagery would influence the binocular rivalry battle.

Additional experiments found that the effect of imagery on perception was approximately the same as showing the research subject a faint representation of one of the patterns between trials. Stronger shifts in perception were found if subjects either viewed or imagined a particular pattern for longer periods of time. They found that both imagery and perception can lead to a build-up of a “perceptual trace” that influences subsequent perception.

Pearson, Clifford and Tong also discovered that changing the orientation of the image from what had been imagined greatly reduced the impact of imagery on perception. Because orientation is processed in early visual areas, this suggests that imagery’s interaction with perception may occur at early stages of visual processing.

The new findings offer an objective tool to assess the often-slippery concept of imagination.

“It has been very hard to pin down in the laboratory what exactly someone is experiencing when it comes to imagery, because it is so subjective,” Tong says. “We found that the imagery effect, while found in all of our subjects, could differ a lot in strength across subjects. So this might give us a metric to measure the strength of mental imagery in individuals and how that imagery may influence perception.”

The findings may also help settle a longstanding debate in the research community over whether mental imagery is visual—that one imagines something just as one sees it—or more abstract.

“More recently, with advances in human brain imaging, we now know that when you imagine something parts of the visual brain do light up and you see activity there,” Pearson says. “So there’s more and more evidence suggesting that there is a huge overlap between mental imagery and seeing the same thing. Our work shows that not only are imagery and vision related, but imagery directly influences what we see.”

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant and an Australia National Health and Mental Research Council Martin Fellowship. Pearson is a member of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center. Tong is a member of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center and the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience.

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Change Your Attitude Self Esteem Visualization Exercise

Posted by Sun on June 3, 2012

By Joan Breiner, M.Ed. & Susyn Reeve, M.Ed.

You have the choice to change your attitude. Your attitude about yourself impacts every area of your life. Have you ever noticed that when you have low self esteem and lack self-confidence that you feel victimized by challenges, are fearful to take risks to make changes in your life and are obsessed with thoughts that reinforce your lack of self worth?

An antidote to low self-esteem is an empowering Self Esteem Exercise that assures you an attitude Boost when you articulate and practice Your Ideal Self Visualization. It is important to keep in mind that transforming your attitude from low self-esteem to empowered self-confidence starts as an inside job. By changing your thoughts you change your life. When you create Your Ideal Self Visualization you are using the full resources of your imagination to experience Your Ideal Self from the inside out.

Remember: Your ability to experience Your Ideal Self in a visualization sets in motion and accelerates your ability to be Your Ideal Self in your daily life. You are creating a new brain pathway proclaiming: I Am Confident, I Am Happy, I Am Loved and Loving.

Your Ideal Self Visualization – Instructions:

-Write a description of Your Ideal Self, in the present tense. Be specific. Include:

  • What you look like
  • The sound of your voice
  • What you are wearing
  • Your posture
  • What you are feeling
  • What you are doing

Example:I love myself. I take care of my body. I eat healthy food. I exercise regularly. I am calm. I sleep well. I am focused in the present moment. I am comfortable in jeans as well as dressing up. I meditate on a daily basis for 20 minutes. I read books that help me explore who I am. I have a great relationship with myself, my mom and my husband. We laugh a lot. I have friends who love me and enjoy being with me. I speak up for myself confidently and I listen to others without judgment – accepting that what they say is true for them. I acknowledge my feelings and am truthful with myself. I consciously make the choice to see the gifts in all situations. I handle stress well and have faith in a satisfying future. I am a positive thinker. I am pleased that the work I do as a coach is helpful to my clients and satisfying for me. I am financially secure and generously share my gifts, talents and skills.

Once you complete this keep it near you. Look at it at least twice a day ideally in the morning and evening. Give yourself some quiet time and allow yourself to dream big – whatever a big dream is for you.

Do not get caught in the web of how you’re going to accomplish what you are visualizing. Focus on describing yourself as though you are living your ideal life.

Remember: The creative process is the same whether your dream includes exercising 3 times a week or starting a new business; whether you want more time with your family or you want to join the Peace Corp; whether you want to eliminate debt or audition for American Idol.


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Conscious & Subconsious mind

Posted by Sun on June 1, 2012

Our conscious mind is like the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ (see diagram).

The subconscious mind is where all the experiences of all our lifetimes are stored. The subconscious mind is not accessible in normal waking consciousness. It can be accessed during deep relaxation states or altered states of consciousness. During past-life-regression, subjects are taken to deep levels of relaxation where they enter into a trance state. In this deep state, one can access the subconscious mind where the information about the past lives is stored. Meditation produces deep levels of relaxation or altered states of consciousness. This is the reason why past life memories often open up spontaneously during meditation.

To understand what happens during trance states, it is important to know about the brain wave activity. The mind has four different levels or stages of activity (see diagram).

The first level is beta, during which most of the conscious mind is works on regulating the metabolism and only a small part deals with our conscious thoughts.

The second level is alpha, during which the subconscious mind is activated and our concentration is very high. Alpha stage is reached during: meditation, regression-induced trance etc. A trance-state is a natural state of mind. The common misconception is that the mind is asleep during this state. However, one is fully aware when in a trance state.

The third level is theta, which relates to the part of the mind that functions during light sleep.
The fourth and last level is delta and is the level we reach during deep sleep. At this level the mind gets the maximum amount of rest

Trance State: When we induce a trance during regression, we communicate directly with the subconscious mind. When we are functioning at full consciousness, both the subconscious and the conscious mind are functioning simultaneously. During the trance state, our concentration level is much higher compared to our normal conscious mind.

Levels of Trance States:

There are mainly three levels of trance states:
The first level is that of a light trance. In this level, the subject does not feel as if in trance state. They are fully aware of the noises etc. in their environment. Although regressions and progressions can be done at this level, the information obtained is not very clear. Ninety five percent of the people can achieve a light trance.

The second is a medium trance. In this state the subject is more relaxed. In a medium trance, the subject may be dimly aware of external noises but does not get distracted by it. About 70 percent of the people can achieve a medium trance.

The last level is called a deep trance or ‘somnambulistic trance’. This is a very deep level of trance and the subject may not remember what was done in the trance state unless specifically told to remember upon coming out of the trance. Only about 5 percent of the people can go into a deep trance. Even in this deep state, the subject cannot be told to do or say anything that is against his or her moral or ethical code. The subject is always in control. This is the truth and not what is often depicted in Television and Movies where people in a deep trance state are shown as if totally under the control of the person giving them suggestions.

Who can enter into a Trance? Contrary to popular the misconception, intelligent people (those who can grasp concepts quickly and reapply them easily) make the best subjects for Past-Life-Regression as they can go into a trance easily. Intelligent people have excellent memory and concentration level making it easier for them to focus better and get totally involved in the process. If you are a person who; can express emotions with ease, can visualize imagery in detail or are capable of getting so engrossed in observing nature or your surroundings that you do not feel the passage of time, then you are a person who can go into a trance very easily. If you have a cynical or excessively critical nature, the chances of your going into a trance are lowered. Children can go into a trance very easily because of their good imagination, lack of cynical attitude and lack of skepticism.

On the other hand the people who experience difficulty going into a trance are those; who have very short attention spans, who are always dwelling in the past, who are constantly worrying about the future, who always use logic instead of emotions, who have very low IQs, who are cynical, who are very skeptical, who resist flowing with the process etc. Other factors that affect ones ability to enter into a trance are; severe alcoholism or drug abuse, inability to follow the language of the therapist, mental retardation, brain damage. However, it is possible to work with anyone and gradually improve his or her ability to enter into a trance though the progress will initially be slow.


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Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis Self-Suggestion Approaches

Posted by Sun on June 1, 2012

Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis. Most people, lay people and professionals alike, tend to think of hypnotism as a mysterious and somewhat dangerous phenomena practiced primarily by Las Vegas style entertainers who use it in the manner of mind control to convince grown men from the audience to cluck like chickens while on stage. There are stage hypnotists of this nature, of course, but hypnotism is also useful as a clinical tool, useful to both medicine and psychotherapy practices, and to people seeking to help themselves make life changes.

Hypnotism is an altered state of consciousness characterized by a feeling of peaceful relaxation and “letting go”, and increased suggestibility. As experienced from the inside, you are conscious, but detached as though you are observing what is happening to you rather than being in charge of it. It’s as though you’ve temporarily gotten out of the driver’s seat of your body and mind and are taking a turn as a passenger.

When in this state, your body and mind are suggestible. Stage hypnotists may ask you to act like a chicken, but reputable clinical hypnotists are able to get more useful things done. Hypnosis may be substituted for light anesthesia during surgery, as a pain-reduction technique, and to induce a profound state of relaxation. It can also be used to plant suggestions for change.

Theories explaining how hypnosis works are still very much evolving. Hypnosis appears to be a form of dissociation. Dissociation, which is a condition in which parts of memory get split off from other parts, is the active ingredient responsible for creating some forms of amnesia, and, in severe cases, multiple personality disorder. The dissociation involved in hypnosis is far lighter and milder in nature than in these other disorders, however.

The Dissociated Control Theory of Hypnosis (Bowers 1992) suggests that hypnotic induction temporarily dissociates or separates the brain’s executive command functions (the parts that give orders) from other functions that take orders such as emotion-control, motor/movement and sensory perception functions.

This temporary weakening of executive control allows the hypnotist to present commands more directly to a hypnotized person’s brain, without that person feeling the need to criticize or examine those commands for reasonability or practicality. With the hypnotized person’s censoring, judging and limiting executive mind out of the way suggestions are acted on directly, without testing.


There is real potential for danger in hypnosis, especially when a hypnotist is either incompetent or unscrupulous, or otherwise attempts to coerce you into doing something you’re not comfortable with. Use caution in selecting a clinical hypnotherapist.

Make sure that any hypnotherapist you might use is also a trained medical doctor, psychologist or psychotherapist of the proper sort to address your issues without using hypnotherapy. No one should attempt hypnotherapy on you unless they are qualified to treat your issues without hypnotherapy!

In the right hands, however, hypnosis can be a useful tool to support your growth. You can learn to hypnotize yourself and provide suggestions to yourself, thus avoiding any possibility of abuse. Your self-induced hypnotic state will not be as deep as is possible when you are hypnotized by someone else, but then again, this is necessary, because you need to remain in control enough so that you continue to be able to make suggestions to yourself. Self-hypnosis methods can be used to reduce feelings of anxiety, and promoting feelings of confidence, self-efficacy and self-control.

Hypnotizing yourself requires only that you have a private quiet area and a place to sit or lay down. You relax yourself as completely as possible without allowing yourself to fall asleep, and then work to deepen your relaxation, usually by counting down from 100 or by thinking of yourself slowly sinking downwards.

When you are very relaxed, you can think about a relaxing image, or an image of yourself as successful and happy and not worried. You can repeat to yourself affirmations you’ve previously prepared to the same effect (e.g., that will increase your confidence, “You are a capable person who can handle challenges”). When you are ready to end the session, slowly waken yourself, using images of ascent and waking to help your progress along. End by suggesting that you will open your eyes refreshed, awake and alert. Then open your eyes.

More involved instructions for self-hypnosis can be found in a variety of locations on the web, including here.


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Hypnosis could banish hay-fever

Posted by Sun on May 30, 2012

Hay fever sufferers could benefit from using self-hypnosis, researchers say.

A Swiss team at Basle University taught 66 people with hay-fever the art of hypnosis and found it helped them alleviate symptoms such as runny nose.

The volunteers also took their regular anti-hay-fever drugs, but the effect of hypnosis appeared to be additive and reduce the doses they needed to take.

The findings appear in the medical journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.


The study took place over two years and included two hay fever seasons.

During the first year, some of the volunteers with hay-fever were taught and asked to regularly practise hypnosis as well as take their usual allergy medicine.

The hypnosis training consisted of one two-hour session with an experienced trainer.

The remaining volunteers had no other treatment apart from their normal allergy medication.

After a year, the researchers found the volunteers who had been using self-hypnosis had reported fewer symptoms related to hay-fever than their fellow volunteers.

Runny noses

During the second year, the researchers taught the remaining “untrained” volunteers how to use hypnosis. By the end of this year, these volunteers also reported improvement in their hay-fever symptoms.

Although the improvement in symptoms was not statistically significant and, therefore, could have been down to chance alone, the researchers also found that the volunteers had cut down on the amount of hay-fever medication they used after learning self-hypnosis.

 While our findings are not a definite answer, this simple intervention is worth investigating further 
Lead researcher Professor Wolf Langewitz

Professor Wolf Langewitz and his team also tested the volunteers in the laboratory to see what effect the hypnosis was having on the body.

Using a machine that measured how forcefully a person could exhale through their nose, the researchers found that the hypnosis was helping to improve nasal airflow, even when the volunteers were exposed to things that triggered their hay-fever, such as pollen and grass.

Professor Langewitz said: “While our findings are not a definite answer, this simple intervention is worth investigating further.

“It is cheap and only takes a couple of hours to teach.”

How it might work

He suspects that hypnosis might work by altering blood flow and helping alleviate congestion in the nose that can occur with hay-fever.

Dr Peter Whorwell from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, who uses hypnotherapy to treat people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, said some of his own patients who also had hay-fever had commented to him that their noses were less runny after hypnotherapy sessions.

He said: “It is known that you can alter blood flow with hypnosis.

“Hypnosis has been used for a variety of medical conditions, including asthma, eczema and migraines.

“It’s definitely an area that is worth researching.”

A spokeswoman from Allergy UK said they had heard anecdotal reports of hay-fever sufferers using hypnotherapy. However, they said they were unable to recommend any approaches that had not be extensively investigated and backed by strong scientific evidence.

Dr Adrian Morris, a GP in Surrey with a special interest in allergic disorders, said although hypnotherapy might be useful, what was far more helpful to lessen hay-fever symptoms was gradual, graded exposure to the trigger to increase tolerance.


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Hypnosis has ‘real’ brain effect

Posted by Sun on May 29, 2012

Hypnosis has a “very real” effect that can be picked up on brain scans, say Hull University researchers.

An imaging study of hypnotised participants showed decreased activity in the parts of the brain linked with daydreaming or letting the mind wander.

The same brain patterns were absent in people who had the tests but who were not susceptible to being hypnotised.

One psychologist said the study backed the theory that hypnosis “primes” the brain to be open to suggestion.

Hypnosis is increasingly being used to help people stop smoking or lose weight and advisers recently recommended its use on the NHS to treat irritable bowel syndrome.

 This shows that the changes were due to hypnosis and not just simple relaxation 
Dr William McGeown, study leader

It is not the first time researchers have tried to use imaging studies to monitor brain activity in people under hypnosis.

But the Hull team said these had been done while people had been asked to carry out tasks, so it was not clear whether the changes in the brain were due to the act of doing the task or an effect of hypnosis.

In the latest study, the team first tested how people responded to hypnosis and selected 10 individuals who were “highly suggestible” and seven people who did not really respond to the technique other than becoming more relaxed.

The participants were asked to do a task under hypnosis, such as listening to non-existent music, but unknown to them the brain activity was being monitored in the rest periods in between tasks, the team reported in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

Default mode

In the “highly suggestible” group there was decreased activity in the part of the brain involved in daydreaming or letting the mind wander – also known as the “default mode” network.

One suggestion of how hypnosis works, supported by the results, is that shutting off this activity leaves the brain free to concentrate on other tasks.

Study leader Dr William McGeown, a lecturer in the department of psychology, said the results were unequivocal because they only occurred in the highly suggestible subjects.

“This shows that the changes were due to hypnosis and not just simple relaxation. “Our study shows hypnosis is real.”

Dr Michael Heap, a clinical forensic psychologist based in Sheffield, said the experiment was unique in showing brain patterns supporting the theory that hypnosis works by “priming” the subject to respond more effectively to suggestions.

“Importantly the data confirm that relaxation is not a critical factor.

“The limited data from this experiment suggest that this pattern of activity then dissipates (at least to some extent) once the subjects start to engage in the suggestions that follow.”

But he said the small study, which needed repeating in other populations, did not prove that people being hypnotised were in an actual “trance”.


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‘Why I chose hypnobirthing’

Posted by Sun on May 28, 2012

By Jane Elliott
BBC News Online Health Staff
Pia Goodman was terrified at the thought of giving birth, but she astonished midwives by having her first baby in just over three hours at home without any painkillers.

Ms Goodman admits she is a worrier and the thought of labour pains and the fears of what could go wrong were almost too much.

 I just breathed her out without drugs
Pia Goodman

So when she was about 22 weeks pregnant she decided to try a pioneering new technique called hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing, which started in the States, uses self-hypnosis, relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques to prepare the mother for birth.

And Ms Goodman, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, said it had worked fantastically during Imogen’s birth.

“I am usually quite scared and I was petrified about going into labour.

“I am a worrier and I do get quite panicky about things like childbirth so I thought this might help me.”

After taking the course Ms Goodman was so confident that she decided to try for a home birth.

“She was my first and I had her at home.

“I said that I had wanted a home birth, but I did not think I would be able to do it.

“But I went to see my midwife when I was 39 weeks and five days pregnant and said I definitely wanted a home birth.

“She panicked and said I hadn’t given her much time, but my mum was my birthing partner and she and I were confident we could do it.”

Diligent practice

As well as the series of classes Ms Goodman was given textbooks and relaxation tapes and she practised them religiously in the months leading up to the birth.

So when the big day came five weeks ago she was able to put all the theory into practice.

 We have had women coming to us who are absolutely terrified at the thought of giving birth and they have gone on to have a perfectly natural birth with no drugs
Sonya Wadsworth

“The midwives were so impressed I had my hypnobirthing tape on and I rocked on a birthing ball and I just breathed.

“I just breathed her out without drugs it was just great and I could not have wished for anything better.

“I think it is just fantastic and it really, really helped.”

Hypnotherapist Sonya Wadsworth, of Oldham, said that Ms Goodman’s experiences at her birth just five weeks ago were typical of the many positive responses she has had to the pioneering technique.

Since she started the hypnobirthing in the UK last November she has had 26 very happy mothers complete her course and have successful births, including one set of twins.

“It gives women the chance to have choices. We reframe everything for mothers in a positive way so that the mums gain the confidence to have a good birth.

“We use self-hypnosis so that they can do it themselves and so that by the time the birth comes round they are actually looking forward to it rather than dreading it.”


But although the technique is ideal for enabling natural childbirth, it can also be adapted for women who know they are going to have complications.

One of Mrs Wadsworth’s clients suffered from pre-eclampsia and needed a Caesarean section, but she was able to use the technique to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

“The mothers have the birth that is for them, we do not set them up to fail.

“And the babies born in this way are so much calmer because they have been born in such a calm way. They really are chilled babies.

“We have had women coming to us who are absolutely terrified at the thought of giving birth and they have gone on to have a perfectly natural birth with no drugs, not even paracetamol.”

Mary Newburn, of the NCT, said natural birthing methods like hypnobirthing should be encouraged by the NHS as a means of cutting the growing Caesarean rates.

“We should be exploring ways of letting people get over fear.

“The birth process is very straightforward if you can get into the mindset.

“Compared with some other self-help hypnotherapy is quite a minority interest but in the cases of people I have heard who have used this there have been very positive reports.”


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Hypnotherapy For Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2007) — Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study*  shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”. The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis.

“Our results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone,” said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. “Hypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge.”

Dr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalized with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking.

At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit “cold turkey” (n=16). All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counseling, but other groups received intensive counseling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge. Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

At 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were nonsmokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group. Patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent).

“Patients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced ‘fear and doom’ and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached about smoking cessation,” said Dr. Hasan. “In contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day and continue the smoking habit.”

The researchers note that hospitalization is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.

“Doctors and other health personnel should use this occasion to firmly recommend smoking cessation and emphasize the impact of smoking on their disease process and hospital admission,” said Dr. Hasan. “Pulmonologists, in particular, should make a stronger case and more passionate message to their patients, and efforts should be coordinated with counseling.”

“As physicians, we are constantly reviewing new approaches for smoking cessation and revisiting existing approaches to confirm their effectiveness,” said Alvin V. Thomas, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. “The results of this study and many others confirm that using a multimodality approach to smoking cessation is optimal for success.”

This study as presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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Hypnotherapy Boosts Quality Of Life And Health For Ulcerative Colitis Patients

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — One of Laurie Keefer’s patients was afraid to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, others worried about traveling with the boss or even going to parties in peoples’ homes.

The patients have ulcerative colitis, a nasty gastrointestinal disease that flares without warning and makes it vital for them to find a bathroom fast. The disease is often diagnosed when people are in their late 20s and early 30s. The flare-up is like having a severe stomach bug that can drag on for weeks. It ruins vacation plans, causes lengthy absences from work and generally messes up peoples’ lives at a time when they are trying to build careers and meet a romantic partner or marry.

But some of Keefer’s patients are less fearful these days and starting to embrace activities they once avoided. They’ve been taking part in a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research study to test whether hypnotherapy can extend the time between their flare-ups. Currently, the treatments for ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, include a fistful of pills — up to a cumbersome 12 a day that reduce the risk of flares but that many forget to take, as well as steroids or surgery to remove their colon.

In an early look at the data for the ongoing study, Keefer, a clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is finding that treatment with hypnotherapy enabled some subjects’ to socialize more and get involved in activities such as eating at restaurants, exercising and road trips. Some subjects feel less impaired by their disease and are better at remembering to take their pills.

The patient who was afraid to stand up at a friend’s wedding is now going to be a bridesmaid. The patient who was nervous about getting on a plane with the boss is now taking business trips with him.

The study will be enrolling a total of 80 patients over three years and will track the progress of each patient for one year. Thus far, 27 subjects have enrolled in the study and completed the required eight weeks of hypnotherapy sessions. As a part of the study, subjects also listen to special relaxation tapes up to five times per week.

While it’s too early in the study to know if the hypnotherapy has prolonged their remissions, only two of 12 subjects who have participated in the study for a full year have experienced a relapse, whereas based on their history, all 12 subjects would have been expected to have had two or more relapses within the year.

“These numbers are encouraging because the study specifically targets individuals who flare a couple times a year,” Keefer said. Subjects are also expected to take their routine maintenance medication during the trial.

Keefer presented her findings recently at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s 13th Annual Medical Symposium and 14th Annual Patient and Family Conference in Chicago.

The goal of the trial is to see if hypnotherapy can help subjects learn to manage their stress and develop a sense of control over their health, explained Keefer, who is director of the Center for Psychosocial Research in Intestinal Bowel Disease at Northwestern’s Feinberg School.

“Managing stress is really important for managing inflammatory bowel disease,” Keefer said. “We see young adults about to get married, pregnant women, people worried about losing their jobs in this difficult economy. The body doesn’t differentiate between good stress and bad stress. When people are under stress, their disease flares up.”

In the experimental hypnosis sessions, Keefer suggests to subjects that they closely monitor their stress and be aware of how it’s affecting them. “If they’re not getting enough sleep, part of the hypnosis is encouraging them to know this is a trigger and make an effort to take naps and take it easier, ” she said. “I also tell them your body can detect slight changes in stress and can adapt easily and not be affected.”

The key issue is how confident subjects feel in their ability to manage their disease. “There is quite a bit of data in a variety of diseases that shows people who have a higher sense of control over their health feel better and have fewer symptoms than people who don’t,” Keefer said. “This is a proactive approach.”

Keefer said the trial is one of the few NIH-funded behavioral studies for inflammatory bowel disease, which affects between 250,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S.

Her preliminary data on the overall quality of life for 27 subjects after eight weeks of hypnotherapy showed that 80 percent of them reported an increased belief that they could affect and manage their disease versus 50 percent of subjects in standard care (no hypnotherapy.) In addition, subjects reported a 76 percent increase in the quality of their lives (the improvements were most notable in their bowel symptoms) compared to a 25 percent increase for standard care. In another measure, 73 percent of the subjects experienced a general improvement in their health and well being compared to a 25 percent increase for standard care.

“The preliminary results on the improved quality of life for the 27 subjects in this ongoing study (aiming for a total of 80 subjects) look positive so far,” Keefer said.

Once the eight weeks of hypnotherapy are completed, subjects are expected to listen to the relaxation tapes or practice relaxation twice a week to maintain the benefits. They are also encouraged to “step up their practice” of relaxation tapes if they think they are at risk for a flare, Keefer said.

Currently the treatment for the disease is a maintenance medication called 5-ASA. “The problem is most people forget to take the full dose,” Keefer said. If that doesn’t work steroids are often the next treatment, but long-term use can cause joint problems and other side effects such as anxiety and insomnia. When doctors try to taper the patient off steroids, symptoms tend to flare again.

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The Parrot and Freedom by Rumi

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

There was a certain merchant who has a parrot in a cage. He was going to travel to India for business, he said to his servants, bondwomen, and parrot,” what things do you want I bring to you from India?” Everyone ordered something, but the parrot said,” when you see the parrots in India, say them, that parrot is eager to be you, is in my prison now, what message do you have for him?”

When the merchant was saying the parrot’s message to a flock of parrots in India, suddenly one of the parrots fell out and dead.

The merchant came back to the home, and servants and bondwomen got their gifts. The parrot said, “Where is my souvenir?”

When the merchant said to his parrot that event, suddenly the parrot fell out and dead in his cage!

The merchant after moaning took his corpse out of the cage and threw it away; but, to his surprise, the corpse immediately recovered life, and flew away.

Merchant was shocked. after a while, he looked at the parrot and said, “ what was the message of the parrot that was in India? The parrot said, “The parrot’s advice was; the way to freedom of that prison is to die.

Translated by Fariborz Arbasi

This story like other stories of Masnavi has multi layer.
In this story the merchant is symbol of the unconsciousness. Servants and bondwomen are symbol of conditioned people who are captured by beliefs are stored in unconsciousness. But, the parrot is symbol of person who has awareness of his captivity. India is symbol of the noting world. Rumi believes three worlds: the Material world, the dream world, and the noting world. Inspirations and intuitions come from the noting world.

The beliefs are stored in unconsciousness create our identifies. Each identify is a prison that limits us. The way to freedom of this prison is going beyond identify.

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Mood and Experience: Life Comes at You

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011) — Living through weddings or divorces, job losses and children’s triumphs, we sometimes feel better and sometimes feel worse. But, psychologists observe, we tend to drift back to a “set point” — a stable resting point, or baseline, in the mind’s level of contentment or unease.

Research has shown that the set points for depression and anxiety are particularly stable over time. Why?

“The overwhelming view within psychiatry and psychology is that is due to genetic factors,” says Virginia Commonwealth University psychiatrist Kenneth S. Kendler. “Yet we know that extreme environmental adversities, such as abuse in childhood or wartime trauma, have a long-term impact on people.” Kendler had a hunch that environmental experiences also influence the set points for anxiety and depression.

His new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue ofPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, concludes that they do. Kendler and an international roster of collaborators — VCU colleagues Lindon J. Eaves, Erik K. Loken, Judy Silberg, and Charles O. Gardner; Nancy L. Pedersen and Paul Lichtenstein of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden; Christel M. Middeldorp and Dorret Boomsma of VU University, Amsterdam; and Chandra Reynolds of the University of California — find that life experiences play a central role in establishing the set points for anxiety and depression, perhaps even more than genes do.

Kendler used a group of research subjects time-honored for testing the effects of nature and nurture: identical twins, whose genes are the same, but whose life stories diverge, showing the effects of environmental factors on a developing person.

Scouring the world, he gathered a large and varied sample: nine data sets from longitudinal twin studies — a total of more than 12,000 twins, including 4,235 pairs and 3,678 unpaired twins, from three continents. The twins had all completed reports of their own symptoms of anxiety and depression, three times in eight of the studies; twice in the ninth. Each study covered five or six years. The youngest subjects were just under 11, the oldest almost 67.

Patching together a composite of these life segments — from pre-pubescence to early adulthood, middle age to retirement age — VCU’s Charles Gardner designed a series of statistical analyses, which yielded a clear curve. The set points of the 10-year-old pairs were the same or closely similar. As the twins moved through adolescence and adulthood, however, those points diverged increasingly, until the differences leveled out at around age 60.

The set points were stable — they didn’t wander all over the place — though not permanent; they weren’t necessarily the same for 50 years. But in examining the difference between those points in pairs of genetically identical people, the researchers saw that while genes may play a part in determining our emotional predilections, it is life that shows our moods the place they want to settle.

The study has implications beyond anxiety and depression, says Kendler. “Environmental experiences have a memory and stay with us. What governs the emotional set point of adults is a mixture of genetic factors and the total aggregate of environmental experiences.” The moral of the story? “If you want to be happy in old age, live a good life.”

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Headphone Music Eases Anxiety During Prostate Biopsies

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2012) — Tuning in to tune out may be just what’s needed for men undergoing a prostate biopsy, according to researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute.

The Duke team found that noise-cancelling headphones playing a classical melody may reduce the pain and anxiety of the often uncomfortable procedure.

The finding, published this month in the journal Urology, points to a simple and inexpensive way to help an estimated 700,000 U.S. men who undergo a prostate biopsy a year. The procedure is essentially the only way to diagnose prostate cancer, which strikes one in six men during their lifetimes.

“It’s a matter of shifting attention, so the music provides a distraction from the procedure,” said Matvey Tsivian, MD, a Duke urologic oncology fellow and lead author.

For the study, which was conceived by medical students and had no outside funding, the Duke team enrolled 88 patients and randomly assigned them to three groups. The first had no headphones; the second wore the noise-cancelling headphones but heard no music; and the third wore the headphones and listened to Bach concertos.

Blood pressure was taken before and after a trans-rectal biopsy, which is an intrusive procedure involving an ultrasound probe and a spring-loaded needle that has a loud trigger. The noise alone causes many men to flinch even if they report no pain, and 20 percent of men experience high stress and anxiety about the procedure.

Among study participants in both groups with no musical intervention, diastolic blood pressure remained elevated after the procedure, compared to before. But the men who wore the headphones and listened to Bach had no such spike in blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure often rises as a function of stress and anxiety.

Study participants who had the music also reported less pain, as measured by questionnaires. The researchers said they did not determine whether the choice of music might have had an impact.

“We couldn’t study all the permutations and variables, but it’s evident that this kind of approach works,” said Thomas Polascik, MD, director of Urologic Oncology at the Duke Cancer Institute and senior author of the study. “This is something that could be broadly employed. It’s easy and inexpensive — a set of headphones and music. That’s it.”

In addition to Tsivian and Polascik, study authors included Peter Qi; Masaki Kimura; Valerie Chen; Stephanie Chen; and Tong J Gan.

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Hypnosis can help with pain – expert

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

An Auckland psychiatrist and pain medicine expert says hypnotherapy may have a confused reputation, but it really can help people cope with pain.

Dr Bob Large says 10 to 15 percent of the population is highly hypnotisable, and could potentially have the likes of a thyroid or gallbladder removal without being anaesthetised.

He says for others it can help with childbirth and with dealing with chronic pain following medical procedures.

Dr Large says entertainment hypnosis has given the practice a terrible name.

“People see it as something that is pretty scary and involves someone taking control of your mind and making you do things you don’t want to do and so on, and that’s just not the way it is at all.”

Dr Large says it’s nothing like the hypnosis you see on TV or in theatres.

“Clinical hypnosis is respectful and it engages people in utilising their own capacities and if anything, it makes people more in control than out of control.”

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Hypnosis Benefits Migraines

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

by: Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.

(NaturalNews) A migraine is a debilitating form of a headache. Many people suffer from migraines. Various triggers can produce the onset of a migraine. However, reducing the likelihood of a migraine occurring and getting rid of one once it occurs, can be challenging. Studies have been conducted showing that hypnotherapy can be quite beneficial to the migraine sufferer. In many studies, hypnosis has been shown to be more beneficial than medications.

Common triggers of migraines include hormonal changes, stress, food, changes in sleep patterns, medications, and changes in the surrounding environment. Symptoms of migraines vary from person to person, but many people report moderate to severe pain that pulsates, worsens with physical activity and interferes with day-to-day activity, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or sound, and sometimes experiencing auras. A migraine can last for 4 to 72 hours, but frequency varies greatly.

One study compared the effect of hypnotherapy versus the prescription medication prochlorperazine (Stemetil). The study consisted of 47 participants who reported feedback every month for a year. They reported number of attacks per month, severity of attacks, and complete remission. Results of the study showed that those who received hypnotherapy reported far fewer migraine attacks compared to those who received medication. Out of 23 participants who received hypnotherapy, 10 of them ceased to experience migraines. Out of the 24 participants who used medication, 3 of them ceased to experience migraines.

Another study reported the benefits of behavioral therapy. These approaches include relaxation, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and hypnosis. Hypnosis can help migraine sufferers avoid triggers such as controlling stress and avoiding certain foods.

Two hypnotherapy techniques used in treating migraines include the hand warming and glove anesthesia. These techniques put migraine sufferers in control of their pain by helping them transfer warmth or numbness to their head where their head hurts. These techniques were shown to be more beneficial than simple relaxation exercises. This study concluded that medication is ineffective in treating chronic migraines and supports psychological treatment because there are no side effects.

These studies show that hypnotherapy and natural methods of treating migraine headaches are more effective than using medication. The fact that hypnosis has no side effects and many prescription medications have many side effects makes hypnotherapy a more natural and safe approach to treating migraines. In addition to no side effects, many studies have shown that the effects of hypnosis are more lasting and beneficial compared to the use of medication.


Anderson, J.A., Basker, M.A., & Dalton, R. (1975). Migraine and hypnotherapy. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 23(1), 48-58.

Heap, M. (1988). Hypnosis: current clinical, experimental and forensic practices. Taylor & Francis.

Sandor, P.S. & Afra, J. (2007). Nonpharmacologic treatment of migraine. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 9(3), 202-205.

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