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Healing Modalities and Tools

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MBTI:  Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment          

  

Hypnosis

Did you know that hypnosis was the accepted form of pain control until ether was used as an anesthetic in 1842?  We’re talking about pain control for everything from amputations to tooth extractions!  That shows how powerful hypnosis can be.  In one form or another, hypnosis has existed since the beginning of  time.  Animals that hibernate are practicing a type of hypnosis called self-hypnosis where they close down (relax) their bodies while allowing their mind and physical body to renew. In the 1700s a French physician named Dr. Mesmer used hypnosis, and after people came to him they were said to have been mesmerized, thus coining a new word we still use today.  In 1958, both the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association recognized hypnotism as a valid medical procedure. And since 1995, the National Institute of Health has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain.  So it has been around for eons of time, but it is only recently becoming recognized for its true value.

Prior to the 1400s, when a person was sick it was thought to be intentionally caused by the gods as punishment. The healers of the time would have rituals that involved an altered state of mind.  A common thread in these treatments is that the ill person would be trying to reach a mental place where the mind would take over the body. This would begin the process of body healing. By believing they were being healed, the power of the mind was unleashed.  And what a power it is!

There is a basic law of the mind: Whenever your conscious and subconscious are in conflict, your subconscious invariably wins!  This is called the law of conflict. It can also be stated another way; whenever imagination and logic are in conflict, imagination usually wins.  This has been proven repeatedly: by smokers unable to stop without outside help, by dieters constantly going up and down with their weight, by outgoing people suddenly finding themselves petrified with fright when speaking in public, and by each of us as we wonder why things we want to change in life do not come easily.

Hypnosis is the act of facilitating trance, for yourself, or for someone else. The factors that facilitate trance are relaxation, trust, rapport, and the ability to ignore distraction. In its broadest definition, trance is simply a state of focused concentration. It is subjective and varies from person to person, and from one trance experience to the next.  The point of facilitating the trance is to allow a person to become suggestible and in order to do that  the hypnotist must be able to bypass their critical  area of the mind. The critical area is that area that separates the subconscious from the conscious. It is thinking critically. This critical thinking, while good in a lot of aspects, can block positive suggestions from entering the mind so the negative thoughts just keep playing in that continuous loop.
By overloading this critical area of the mind it becomes disorganized, so the positive suggestions can be slipped into the subconscious where they will replace the negative thoughts.
Disorganizing the critical area of the mind can be done a lot of different ways. As long as the subject is open and willing, then hypnotic techniques can be used to bypass the critical area and allow suggestions into the subconscious.

Trance, or a relaxed state, can be experienced on a continuum from light to very deep.  Different levels of trance are demonstrated by different brain wave activity.  There are four levels of  brainwaves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.  Beta is our waking activity level where we exist most often, where we are relaxed and have effortless alertness. The Alpha level is a light meditation where day dreaming and creative visualization occurs.  The Theta level is associated with creativity, dreams and extra-sensory perception, a deep and therapeutic state.  The Delta level is associated with deep sleep where you can work with mass consciousness and astral projections.   The usual level desired for hypnosis is either Alpha or Theta, with deeper work being accomplished in the Delta state. 

In a light trance, analogies, metaphors, and guided imagery are used. It is easy to enter and exit light trance. This level is ideal for working with many problems such as phobias, lack of confidence, fear, depression, anxiety, stress, anger, grief, interpersonal difficulties, and minor pain management.

The next level of trance is called somnambulism (literally: sleepwalking). At this level, people can open their eyes, move and speak, as in light trance. Suggestibility may increase for some people. Some athletes enter this state when they are in the zone - performing in a flowing, effortless manner. This kind of trance is what you observe in stage hypnosis. Somnambulism is good for habit control, alleviating psychologically-based physical ailments, regression, and some problems that are not responsive to lighter levels of trance. In somnambulism, most people remain completely aware of their surroundings. People use their imaginations more freely at this level.

There is a more profound level of trance, called by many names. One name is the Esdaile State (named after physician, James Esdaile, who used hypnosis while performing surgery in poverty stricken populations, where anesthesia was not available). In this trance state, and only under the guidance of a trained hypnotherapist (certified in hypnotic anesthesia), people can undergo surgery and childbirth without drugs. They feel no pain. People in this state can turn off sensation in all or any part of the body. Again, few people can achieve this level of trance without extensive conditioning under the guidance of a hypnotherapist trained in depth hypnosis methods. 

The deepest level of trance is somewhat identical to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Breathing and heartbeat are slow and regular. The body is relaxed, although small movements can occur, under command. The person can speak, but the voice may be soft and slow. Some people will not speak at all, because they don’t want to. If worded properly and very concisely, direct suggestions to the subconscious may be effective here. Sometimes the person will remember what occurred during hypnosis, and sometimes not. While this level of trance occurs naturally during sleep, few people can achieve this level of trance in hypnosis without some practice and conditioning under the guidance of a skilled hypnotherapist.

The term "hypnosis" is derived from the Greek word hypnos , meaning "sleep."  However, hypnosis is not sleep, it is a trance-like state where you are aware of your surroundings, you are relaxed but in control.

A common question is what if I can’t be hypnotized?  Most people can be hypnotized, meaning most people are capable of being gently lead into a relaxed state.  People feel very relaxed during a hypnosis session so sometimes they don’t believe they were actually hypnotized.  It is important to understand that you may not feel anything other than relaxed.  Hypnosis is simply a vehicle which allows you to access your subconscious so you can discover the causes of some behaviors that you may want to change.  Since the subconscious mind is our driving force we always do what our subconscious believes. It will believe anything it is told, so we can reprogram it if we bypass the conscious mind and substitute new, constructive ideas for its existing negative ones.

Another common question is what if you can’t bring me out of hypnosis?  After a session, the hypnotist will usually count you up and bring you back to the present.  Even if the hypnotist left the room, which he or she would not do during session, you would automatically become totally alert again after a period of two or three minutes without any input from the hypnotist.  There is never a time when you would not  come out of the relaxed state known as hypnosis.  If you are listening to a hypnosis CD, at the end of the CD one of two things would happen: either you would come back and be totally alert, or you would go into your normal sleep cycle if you are listening to it at night in bed.

Hypnotherapy can allow you to escape from typical patterns of response and behavior to achieve greater flexibility and choice. Hypnotherapy works by allowing you to relax deeply, and in so doing it gives you the ability to choose new ways of doing, being and thinking, without being controlled by past experiences.

One of the myths about hypnosis is that while you are in a trance, you can be made to do embarrassing or illegal things.  That is simply not the case.  You will never do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn’t do ordinarily.  But, you say, what about the people that cluck like a chicken on the stage?  Remember, they usually volunteered and they already knew they would be doing something that might be fun, unusual or embarrassing.  But even they would not do something against their principles.  A stage hypnotist could not get that subject to go out and rob the bank, for example.  If she gave that suggestion, the subject would simply open his/her eyes, stand up and walk off the stage.

Hypnosis is also not a truth serum.  Just as you can’t be made to do something against your principles, you can’t be made to say something against your own personal truth.

Hypnotherapists gently talk you into a sense of deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, which is known as a trance.  While in this state, you can access your subconscious mind and bypass your conscious mind.  Remember, your subconscious mind is always with you and it is never judgmental.  It isn’t going to beat you up for having that piece of pie, you can do that well enough all on your own!  That is where your conscious mind comes in, it does the beating-up.  During hypnosis, a person's body relaxes while his or her thoughts become more focused and attentive. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis decreases blood pressure and heart rate, and alters certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, a person will feel very at ease physically yet fully awake mentally. In this state of deep concentration people are highly responsive to suggestion. If you are trying to quit smoking, for example, a therapist's suggestion may successfully convince you that in the future you will have a strong dislike for the taste of cigarettes.

Many of us are in a state of hypnosis without even realizing it.  On the nights that you drove home from work and didn’t remember every single turn on the route, you were in a state of waking hypnosis where you allowed your subconscious mind to drift, perhaps daydream or think about what to fix for dinner, while your conscious mind kept you between the two white lines on the highway.  Or while watching TV, you may not hear a question from a friend in the same room; the same phenomenon just happened.

Hypnosis can be used to help you have different associations with a past event.  Once you are hypnotized, your body relaxes but your thoughts become more focused and attentive.  The hypnotist can then take you back to the event, substitute adult associations instead of childhood associations with the event, and you will feel differently about it at the end of the session.  In that way, you will have a different reaction when the same situation presents itself that used to make you angry because you will now understand what caused the initial anger.  This is the perfect time to implant a strong dislike for nail biting, for example, by changing the past association with nail biting to something that is unpleasant, so you can use this trance state for either changing unpleasant to pleasant, or pleasant to unpleasant, whichever the current situation requires. 

During your first visit to a hypnotherapist, he or she will ask you questions about your medical history and what brought you to see them – in other words, what condition it is that you would like to clear up. The hypnotist will then, likely, explain to you what hypnosis is and how it works. You will then be directed through relaxation techniques with a series of mental images and suggestions intended to change behaviors and alleviate symptoms. For example, people who suffer from panic attacks may be given the suggestion that, in the future, they will be able to relax at will. The hypnotherapist will also teach you the basics of self-hypnosis and might give you an audiotape or CD for home use. This enables you to recreate the feelings you experienced during the session and reinforce the learning on your own.

Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings – from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics – to relieve conditions with an emotional or psychological component. Studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease feelings of anxiety.

Hypnotherapy is effective in reducing the fear and anxiety that accompany pain and uncomfortable medical or dental procedures. For example, when used during an operation, hypnosis may improve recovery time and decrease anxiety as well as pain following the surgery. Clinical trials on burn patients suggest that hypnosis decreases pain (enough to replace pain medication) and speeds healing. Generally, studies indicate that using hypnosis can lessen your need for medication, improve your mental and physical condition before an operation, and reduce the time it takes to recover. Dentists also use hypnotherapy to control gagging and bleeding.

A hypnotherapist can teach you self-regulation skills. For instance, someone with arthritis may be told that he or she can turn down pain like the volume on a radio. Hypnotherapy can also be an effective tool for managing chronic illness. Self-hypnosis can enhance a sense of control, which is often eroded by chronic illness. Hypnotherapy is also regularly employed for dentistry, sleep disorders, natural childbirth, self-esteem and motivation, learning, sports and creativity Children may benefit the most from hypnosis, probably because they are most easily hypnotized.

Studies on children in emergency treatment centers show that hypnotherapy reduces fear, anxiety, and discomfort and improves self-control and cooperation with medical personnel.

In another study, 83 percent of children significantly or completely recovered from the following:

  • obesity
  • asthma
  • fecal incontinence
  • anxiety
  • pain
  • problematic habits (sleep walking, thumb sucking, nail biting)

Other problems or conditions that respond well to hypnotherapy include:

  • inflammatory bowel diseases (namely, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • sleep disorders, including insomnia
  • addictions
  • warts
  • bedwetting
  • fibromyalgia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • phobias
  • labor and delivery
  • fractures
  • skin disorders (such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema [atopic dermatitis])
  • migraine headaches
  • stress
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • cancer related pain
  • weight loss
  • eating disorders, namely anorexia and bulimia
  • indigestion (dyspepsia)

As you can see, there are many reasons to be hypnotized.  It is a very helpful modality, recognized for its effectiveness in everything from pain control to changing habits and overcoming fears and phobias.  It is safe, it is non-invasive and it is a very relaxing way to bring balance back into your life.

I no longer do private sessions involving hypnosis, but look for a hypnotist in your area.  The modality is extremely effective.  You can augment your understanding of hyposis using CDs that are available on my products page.

                 
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What is the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment (MBTI®)

Answer a few simple questions in this 20-minute, on-line assessment and open up a whole new world of understanding — of yourself and everyone around you.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is the most widely used personality assessment in the world. With a proven record of reliability spanning more than 50 years, it offers a foundation for understanding individual differences and applying that understanding to the ways people think, communicate, and interact.

After you complete this on-line assessment, you will receive an extensive individualized printed report and that will be used to teach you about how your mind is “hard-wired”. It’s like getting the owner’s manual for your brain! This unique approach will give you information and strategies for reducing stress and conflict and improving your communication in all of your relationships, personal and professional.

 

Health and Wellness StrategiesWorkforce and Workplace Strategies

Most people tell me they know what they should do but they find it difficult to actually do it consistently. Their old habits get in the way; they lack the time to build new ones.


MBTI results are designed with busy professionals in mind.  You will understand the latest thinking on health and wellness and then will be shown how to harness the power of your mind to ingrain new, healthy habits.

The first step to building a strong, cohesive and effective team is for people to understand themselves and each other. Thoughts and behavior are driven by a personality type each of us is born with. 

Understanding the 16 types is enlightening. It allows people to recognize why other people act the way they do. This reduces the number of misunderstandings and returns the focus from petty disagreements to the work at hand.

Smoking CessationGetting Along with all Types of People
Weight LossTeam building
Stress ReductionConflict Resolution
Speaking Confidently in PublicImproving Employee Engagement
Anger ManagementWorld Class Innovation
Overcoming PTSDChange Management
Improving fitnessLeadership Development

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Contact Kathie at Kathie@TheBaggageHandler.com

Kathie Brodie

 Shoreline, WA


 Phone: 206-353-2178

 
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