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Friday, August 29, 2008

Mind Body Hypnosis

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Uncommon Hypnosis Master Series
Controlling the body with the mind
I recall as a child being amazed by a TV show that showed a man trained in yoga. This
fellow apparently slowed his heartbeat down to two beats a minute. Then I read about
adepts who had trained themselves to bleed at will through one skin puncture then
(alternately) another. And men who developed such mental control over their bodies that
they could remain buried in earth for days, even weeks at a time.
Now we could argue there's limited practical use for that kind of thing - at least I hope
there is! But it's true to say that every great sports hero and survivor of great
catastrophes has also had the experience of gaining mental mastery over their own
physical processes.
Your imagination is a powerful tool, because all fields of activity, all endeavours and
projects, begin their stirrings of life within the imagination. Whenever you use your
imagination you enter a kind of hypnotic trance state. The more involved you are in your
imaginative experience, the deeper the trance. In fact, when you dream at night you're
totally absorbed in the contents of the imaginative story that is your dream. So night time
dreaming is an extremely hypnotic experience. If you want to know how powerful your
imagination is, think about how real some of your dreams feel.
But your imagination also directly influences every stirring of every molecule in your
body. What you imagine can have an immediate effect on your body. If you imagine
something in the future that makes you nervous, your body reacts instantly by raising
your blood pressure, increasing your breathing and pulse rates and giving you feelings
of butterflies in your stomach. And all this from a split second of imagination.
Interestingly, when you raise your blood pressure through imagining something scary,
you are doing precisely what the mystic yogi does - albeit in a less controlled way! It's
quite a realization to know that you already control your body's responses through the
power of your mind - and you've been doing that all your life!
Now let's try something...
Just for a moment now, briefly imagine in your mind's eye a shiny yellow lemon. Notice
the texture of its skin, the way it can feel waxy in your hand... and just imagine what it's
like to cut that lemon in half - just slicing through - the sensation as the knife goes
through the lemon... and now... how your mouth feels when you take that lemon and
squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto your tongue...
Now the chances are that you can produce salivation in your mouth just by reading the
above paragraph and vividly imagining it. And if you can't, try it again at a time when you
can concentrate better. Your mind and body are intimately linked - pain control, physical

strength and even complete switching off of physical sensation can all be achieved
through skilled use of hypnosis.
A good way to use the imagination for a physical change that you want is to use
symbols, imagery or metaphors. One man I helped with pain management after a horrific
accident said that he saw the pain in his mind as a candle flame which merged into the
far distance as his pain receded, making him feel more comfortable.
Hypnosis has also been used for curing warts. Now you may be thinking - how the heck
can that work? But once you understand that warts are highly susceptible to changes in
blood flow, and you realise that blood flow can be modified hypnotically, you begin to
see the way forward. We have cured many warts with hypnosis - things aren't always so
strange as they initially seem!
Any sports person who wants to get to the top of their game needs to work physically
and hypnotically. At the top levels, if you don't strongly imagine what you want then you
are at a serious disadvantage. Powerfully imagining doing something before you actually
do it not only sets the blueprint in your mind to achieve, but also prepares your nervous
system for the physical patterns that will be mobilized by the activity itself. For example,
just imagining lifting weights before doing so can increase the blood supply to the
muscles, preparing them for work and helping them develop more effectively. Going to
the gym reluctantly is quite the opposite of this!
Arnold Schwarzenegger sculpted his body in his mind through hypnotic visualization
before producing the results for real. He also strongly visualized success in other areas
in his life before achieving his goals in reality.
The late hypnotic genius Milton Erickson suffered from severe polio twice in his life, but
thanks to his practised hypnotic ability managed to control much of the pain and
discomfort. There is even a report that one night with friends he visited a Mexican
restaurant and challenged the chef to make the hottest possible chili sauce. After speedy
hypnotic preparation Erickson put the hot sauce into his mouth as he calmly smiled at
the amazed chef. He kept it there for some seconds before swallowing it down. Now
there was a guy who knew how to use his mind-body connection.
Sprinters imagining being pulled forward by giant magnets; golfers imagining their golf
ball has a built-in hole-seeking device; people seeing their pain as a colour which
becomes paler and so diminishes their pain... what we imagine affects all areas of life.
And there is no better way to gain mastery over your own physical processes than
though hypnotic trance. The more you develop your hypnotic ability the more control you
have.
So nowadays if I see a yogi perform some incredible physical feat I'm still impressed -
but at least I know how he does it.

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