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Medical hypnosis is a rather clunky term. A more accurate descriptor might be “mind, brain, body communication” or “the discovery of what is possible” or “becoming an active participant in my own healing process”. You will soon understand why it is not so easy to capture what is possible in single term or phrase.


I have been actively involved in this type of work since 1996. Since then, I have worked with hundreds of clients. Through the work with clients, studying ongoing research and other practitioners, I have come to a few basic propositions regarding the healing process.


We have become disconnected from our body: The body is where we experience physical pain and emotions. Many of us who have had intense experiences at some time in our life that were overwhelming have inadvertently blamed our body for bringing the experience of extreme discomfort. Simple solution: deny the emotions and ignore the signals of the body.


We have come to regard some emotions as good and banish others as bad: Many of us had the experience as children of feeling that our emotions were not welcomed by adults. For some, sadness was not allowed because a parent or sibling could not handle it or anger was not tolerated because one of our parents felt it challenged their authority; or our happiness or exuberance was squashed because one or both of our parents were depressed and could not tolerate positive emotions. There are as many different examples as there are people. The problem is that we cannot limit one emotion without inadvertently limiting all emotions. In reality, all emotions are simply a communication from our inner wisdom in response to stimuli. All mammals have rudimentary emotions, they are as natural as breathing.


We unknowingly use language that supports negative experiences: We are not taught that the unconscious mind is always listening and does not always have the ability to tell the difference between what we mean to say and what we actually say or think. For example, I often ask my clients what they think about hospitals. A very common answer is “people die there” or “I hate hospitals”. Or I might ask for the first association with chemotherapy, the usual answer is poison. You can begin to see how we can easily set our self up for an anxiety rich experience or worse.


We are experts at time travel: Those super negative or painful experiences from the past that are not worked through, tend to remain very high on the list for the brain to automatically associate with our current reality. For example: I ask clients if they have any negative experiences with doctors. There is a wide range and this one is fairly representative: “No ,not really”. I notice a sharp increase breath rate and the face is flushing red. The second part varies and this one I have heard many times. “Well, there was the time when I was a kid and they held me down before they could get the mask on for anesthesia. I am pretty anxious now that I think about it.” What is happening before we know it is that our mind has brought the unprocessed memory into focus and in a flash we are experiencing the past in the present moment in a very physical and emotional manner.

There is a natural wisdom in our mind/body system and sometimes it becomes confused: If we make the assumption that our inner wisdom knows best, we might be underestimating the value of our own input. A good example is autoimmune issues: this is when the body attacks itself. Often there is no known reason for the body to attack its own cells other than there is a miscommunication between two or more of the elegant physiological systems of the body. If caught early, we can communicate important information to the mind/body system with suggested fixes (often supplementing allopathic interventions). This opens up new potential forms of healing.


We can unconsciously use our body for something it is not designed to do and that can become habituated: Many clients who have chronic pain or chronic symptoms of many descriptions have inadvertently played a role in supporting the complaint. One woman I worked with had severe crone’s disease. When discussing the worst period of symptoms she described how it coincided with visiting her unpredictable and emotionally explosive mother. “I feel like I am constantly trying to digest my mother’s emotions for her.” Bringing this into her conscious awareness along with connecting how her symptoms worsened when she was with her mother allowed her to begin to experience dramatic reductions in her symptoms. She was essentially putting her focus on her mother’s problems and wanted to fix them so she could relax; instead of allowing herself to feel her own responses to being with someone who felt unsafe and abusive.


There are similar patterns familiar to many of us: pain in the neck, pain in the ass, carrying the world on my shoulders, etc. Discovering the underlying psychological dynamic or defensive strategy and finding more healthy ways to express our emotions, communicate with others, address toxic relationship dynamics can have a very positive impact on reducing symptoms.


High levels of anxiety and distress a negative impact on our physical body and tend to worsen symptoms: The brain is really three different brains that interact with the body and mind at various levels of conscious awareness. These three brains reflect the evolution and complexity of the animal world. The base of the brain is called the reptilian brain. It works out of our conscious awareness while keeping the basic physiological systems operating and constantly scanning the environment for threat.


We have not been given all the tools available: For many reasons known and unknown,most people don't have basic information about how a child develops in an optimal manner, the fundamentals of psychological dynamics or how mind and body continually communicate to support or undermine mental and physical health. When dealing with challenging medical interventions, chronic or life-threatening illness, this lack of information does not allow us to access all the possible tools available to support our most positive outcome.


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