As we look back throughout history, one thing that remains consistent is how society changes its position regarding all kinds of topics once they become better understood. (We used to think that but now we know this.) Because this seems to be our culture's typical pattern of thinking, it stands to reason that as the power of the mind becomes better understood that there will be a big future for techniques that deal in this space, like hypnosis and guided imagery.
To this day, some people still have an out-dated and often twisted perception of hypnosis. At its worst, hypnosis can be chalked up to a stage show with manipulation and ridicule swirling around it. A silly spectacle where skeptics watch in disbelief as the hypnotized subjects cluck like a chicken on command. Or, hypnosis can be written off because it's just not a mainstream way of thinking. Ability to feel better utilizing the power of the mind? Absurd! Because, the world is flat and the sun revolves around the earth, of course! Galileo was persecuted for bringing to light his findings that the earth revolved around the sun, which we all now know to be true. Today, if we try to sail around the world, we're no longer afraid that we'll fall off the edge. (We used to think that but now we know this.) Following that same train of thought, what's the next chapter for hypnosis? We used to think of hypnosis as nothing but parlor tricks, but now we know differently.
The more we understand the mind, the more we are forced to respect its extraordinary process and capabilities. Tools like hypnosis can cause a dramatic shift in perception and thinking which manifests in all sorts of ways. While not everybody fully understands the extent of what the mind can accomplish, I do believe everyone gets it to some degree.
Let's look at a little something called the Placebo Effect for a moment using a very simple example. Let's imagine that an individual with a medical condition is given a prescription that he is told will cure his ailment. What he doesn't know is that the pill is actually a sugarpill with no ability to heal anything in and of itself. It is a fake pill. But, because the individual believes he is taking medication, begins to expect that this pill will cure him. He begins to experience relief and eventually his problem is cured. What he has experienced is a positive result from a Placebo experiment. The assumption that he was taking the proper medication was enough for his problem to be remedied. In this case the body was cured because the mind was expecting it to be cured. This is an example of the power of the mind. Placebos are currently being studied and used to control experiments all around the globe and have a success rate anywhere from 30% to 90%. Even though we don't understand all the ins and outs, it's clear we're talking about some pretty incredible stuff. Judging by their actions and their willingness to continue to investigate, the scientific community agrees.
Hypnosis has a long history and impressive track record of improving all sorts of issues that keep individuals from living a better life. The more we begin to understand that we think, see and experience everything (even pain) with our brains, the more we see the mind as a logical place to start correcting and improving a host of conditions.
- A client of mine with high blood pressure experienced a drop of 29 points after one hypnosis session. This client came to me for stress and left with a ton of side benefits that neither of us could have predicted. I'm sharing this benefit because it's easy to measure.
- Another client came to me wanting to learn how to manage pain for a short procedure that produces pain temporarily. My client texted me 24 hours later, "..my spouse and I are blown away."
- One of my clients came to me wanting to simply make better diet choices. This individual had a multiple-coffee-a-day habit. Here's what this individual has to say today. "I just don't find myself drinking as much coffee anymore - just here and there. Don't really give it much thought."
- I've seen my clients experience revelations as they remember an incident from long long ago that triggered a certain response that began a chain reaction to a mental or physical habit. By coming face-to-face with the memory, they're able to see it for what it is and finally let it go. "While in hypnosis, I didn't know why I suddenly remembered that day so many years ago, but now I see the connection. It all makes sense. Amazing."
Insomniacs are sleeping. Confusion is resolving into clarity. Ruts are turning into forward motion. Blahs are turning into wows.
I'll tell ya, if hypnosis came in a pill, it would be flying off the shelves.
I look forward to the day when everyone realizes the power they hold in their minds so they can live a better life. And, as our non-flat, green planet continues to revolve around the sun, I'll just keep championing on... believing that the power is greater in what we don't understand than in what we think we do.
Dawn Marie. © Copyright, 2014. The Zen Room