It is a popular belief that ALL Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis which is the school of thought that I am akin too. In my opinion the role of the hypnotist is for them to guide you along a series of paths which will help you reach your chosen goal.
Self hypnosis is a completely safe, natural, everyday phenomena, experienced by all of us in one way or another. It may be accurately defined as: “A state of relaxation and concentration at one with a state of heightened awareness, induced by suggestion.” There is no special skill or knowledge needed to practise self hypnosis. It is merely a natural extension of the relaxation techniques, described earlier. Having become deeply relaxed, counting down from five to zero and focusing on the idea of each count being a step deeper into relaxation and calm, is all that is required to achieve the state we call hypnosis.
From that point on, self hypnosis is all about giving yourself positive suggestions aimed at the subconscious mind. Because you are using self hypnosis to help manage stress the suggestions will be about stress coping skills.
For example: “I feel calm and assertive when I am criticised at home and work.”
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE NEVER NEGATIVE. PARENTS TURN THEIR BRILLIANT CHILDREN INTO DUNCES BY ALWAYS TELLING THEM THAT THEY WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY ARE DIM!!
These few notes are by no means the definitive for what is the causation of stress, for this reason the following notes are a generalisation and not aimed at any specific cause.
The Physiology of Stress
The internal process that stress has on the human body, is an extremely prompt, speedy and efficient one which starts, the instant we perceive the challenge. Note the word perceive, because it doesn’t have to be a “real” challenge – merely a perceived one. The challenge, or out of the ordinary demand, sets off a chain reaction of bodily processes which produce an upsurge in strength and energy(adrenalin), the two things we need for the flight or fight responses, of course. But that same surge of energy has no outlet when the chains of civilisation restrain us from fleeing or fighting and as a result weare filled with the all too familiar sensations of frustration and pent up anxiety. We find ourselves unable to run and unable to fight, yet at the same time having to deal with the very same chemical reactions that gave our ancestors the strength to fight and the energy to take flight. We only need to IMAGINE an out of the ordinary demand to place our system on “stress alert.” Some inner impatience, anger or anxiety is enough to produce the same chain reaction of body chemistry. This makes it perfectly possible to create a vicious circle of producing stress from – AN ANXIETY ABOUT STRESS.
Stress Response Choices
We do however have some other choices which are appropriate to 21st century living. We have several in fact, but some are unhealthy choices which in the long term cause far more problems than they solve. Examples of unhealthy choices are smoking, alcohol abuse, over eating, drug misuse etc.
Examples of healthy choices are, relaxation and exercise, because with these we are disconnecting and recharging our systems instead of allowing the energy to build up and overload the system. We must either use up the energy or turn it off(unplug from our environment). In fact the whole art of stress management is about learning how to control our responses to stress. We cannot remove stress or remove ourselves from all the sources of stress. But stress only becomes harmful when it is uncontrolled and at an unhealthy level. So learning how to control or manage stress is all that we need to concern ourselves with anyway. The recognition of this fact is the first step towards reducing the harmful effects of stress in your life.
Sources of Stress.
The second step is to recognise the various sources of stress. They can be divided into four main groups:
The personality factors are those which arise from our values, beliefs and behaviour patterns. Your value system is the deepest level of your personality, and from them beliefs are formed which in turn produce behaviour patterns. Trying to alter behaviour without understanding or changing your values and beliefs is doomed to failure. Real change comes from making changes at the deeper levels of your personality. Example: low self esteem is formed from certain values and beliefs we hold about ourselves and our world and low self esteem produces stress. To tackle this source of stress we need to learn more about the underlying values and belief which are producing the loss of self esteem and where appropriate, reconstruct them. Stress management explores various techniques for doing this. Research by two American doctors, Holme and Rahe, produced a scale of life events, which were valued according to the amount of adjustment needed to cope with them, death of a spouse or child came out on top, followed by divorce, separation and imprisonment. At the other end of the scale, the two doctors listed changes in eating habits, taking a vacation and even Christmas. Environmental sources of stress are things like inadequate housing, unpleasant or unhealthy working conditions, crowded public transport and that sort of thing. What is not quite so obvious and easy to recognise about some of them is that we sometimes pretend to actually enjoy them for example, some commuters get a buzz out of the mad rush and the crowded trains. It becomes a way of life to boast about, giving a sense of pride at ones ability to “take it” and cope with it all. Underneath this superficial level of enjoyment, the stress factors are still operating and taking their toll. The person who recognises them and learns to manage the stress responses will be OK, but the person who goes on ignoring them, pretending they do not exist, is undoubtedly heading for trouble some sources of stress are substances which act upon our central nervous system to produce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Many such substances are harmless or even beneficial when taken in relatively small doses these are things such as caffeine; which is in coffee, coca cola and tea, it is a stimulant which boosts the output of stress hormones. Initially it will make you more alert but later, especially when consumed in large quantities, it will produce symptoms of irritability and cause sleeplessness.
Salt: This increases nervous tension. Sugar: too much sugar can decrease blood sugars, causing fatigue and irritability.
Nicotine: far from being the relaxing drug smokers often claim it to be, nicotine is actually a stimulant which stimulates the adrenal glands, causing full stress response.
Alcohol: This is a depressant when taken in excess, although it relaxes when drunk in moderation i.e. a glass of red wine per day is beneficial to the circulatory system.
Recognising Stress Symptoms
Becoming aware of your own stress responses is not quite as easy as it sounds. Stress distorts perception. We do not notice what is happening as we keep driving ourselves harder. The more stressed we are, the less chance we have of noticing it. Psychologists sometimes talk about different personality types in relation to stress response. One type is very ambitious, competitive, hard working, impatient and aggressive, actually thrive on stress, getting a “high” from a stress hormone known as noradrenalin.
Such a personality can become hooked on this substance and they seem to produce it in greater quantities than other personality types. Another type of person, often labelled “the over achiever” is equally at risk. This type of person gives the impression of always calmly coping with everything life throws at them. Being tough, proud of being able to withstand the pressure. They will deny the dangers of stress and disapprove of others who “give in”, considering that to be a sign of weakness.
They are generally unable to admit to any personal limitations of vulnerability. In reality, pure examples of these character types are rare, most people combining and exhibiting the different qualities according to changing circumstances. Nevertheless, the beliefs that, “stress is something which doesn’t affect me” or “something I just have to grin and bear”, illustrated by both of these personality types, are extremely widespread.
These can be physical, psychological, or behavioural. Here are some common physical stress symptoms: Chronic stomach upsets, ulcers, bowel disorders, blood pressure, skin rashes, irregular breathing, impotency, insomnia, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome. Examples of psychological symptoms are, impatience, restlessness, frustration, hostility, and anger, loss of control, apathy, boredom, guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, depression and mood swings. Examples of behavioural symptoms are: Leaving important things undone, panicking, allowing insufficient time to get to work or to appointments, talking too fast, arguing for the sake of arguing, losing your sense of humour, over reacting with emotional outbursts, suspicions, difficulty with decision making, memory loss, inability to concentrate, loss of discriminatory power, poor judgment, erratic or uncharacteristic behaviour.Scripts*Some of the Hypnosis Scripts below are mine some are of unknown origin*
**It is important that you do not use hypnosis to mask pain where you aren't sure of the cause. Pain is important to tell you that there is something wrong with you body**.
However you are able to use hypnosis safely if you want to remove a specific problem that you are already aware of if in doubt you should see you G.P first about your problem. That being said there is no need to resort to woofing down copious amounts of pain killers once you are sure you know the origin of the pain.
1734-1815 - Franz Anton Mesmer
Although Hypnosis has been around for centuries it wasn’t named with any consistency until - FRANZ ANTON MESMER came onto the scene. Mesmer trained as a priest then as a doctor in Vienna as part of his thesis he wrote about the "magnetic fluid" that pervaded all the universe he had been taught by the priests that any upset of this magnetic fluid in the body would cause illness, a father HEHL supplied him with magnets shaped to the organs of the body that required healing, and if they where placed in contact with the body they would heal that part but unless a CONVULSION was bought about, it did not. MESMER discovered that he could "magnetise" anything, and it worked, he had so many patients he devised the "BAQUET", this was a tub the contents of which he had "Magnetised". what he did was at first called, "magnetic healing", then it was called, "animal magnetism" eventually, referred to as MESMERISM. Very quickly the doctors of that time became envious, called him a quack, a charlatan, an impostor who was taking money under false pretensions. (similar is still claimed by the mainstream medical fraternity today) eventually MESMER retired and moved to Switzerland. In 1784 a pupil of Mesmer, the Marquis de Puysegur, revived his teaching, but carried out the cures in a more normal and healthy fashion. The Marquis, a man of a gentle and kindly nature, aimed at curing not by convulsions, but by magnetic sleep. It is reported that patients came to him from great distances, were thrown into gentle sleep while seated around a magnetized tree in his domain, and that numbers went away relieved of various ills.
Dr John Elliotson became interested in Hypnotism in 1837, he was at that time one of the foremost physicians in London and President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Societies. He availed himself of his position on the staff of University College Hospital to use mesmerism in treating patients suffering from various diseases, and had special success in treating hysteria and allied nervous states. Soon, however, a storm of opposition was raised by his colleagues, who heaped ridicule upon him and finally made matters so uncomfortable that Elliotson was called upon by the hospital authorities to desist from using mesmerism. The College Hospital London banned all mesmeric treatment, although the hospital had been set up FOR JUST THAT PURPOSE. (it is still banned to this day).
1796 - 1860 .- Dr James Braid
Many other mesmeric hospitals where set up in the UK and around the world, it was at one of these in Manchester that a Dr James BRAID attended a public performance by Charles Lafontaine (a Swiss Magnetiser!). He was so enthralled that he set out to discover more about the subject, at first trying to prove Lafontaine to be a charlatan but after much experimentation with members of his family, friends and household staff, he concluded that the subjects went into a form of sleep the correct way to describe it was as HYPNOSIS ! (after HYPNOS the Greek god of sleep and dreams) that was how the name HYPNOTISM came about. It was about this time that the names Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism declined; it was discovered that suggestion, was the apparent cause of hypnosis. So when he discovered that you were not actually asleep (or hypnos) when hypnotised , he wanted to change it to "Monoideism", but Braid's terms of "Hypnosis" and "Hypnotism" had already become widely accepted as the new name for this phenomena in all the major European languages so it was to late. Braid discovered that getting a subject to gaze at a bright object held above the subjects head, induced hypnosis more quickly.
The French schools of hypnosis had Charcot and Liebault, Charcot said that all subjects were Hysterics, that lie is often repeated today by those who want to decry hypnosis. Liebault proved that this was wrong and that the more normal and the higher intelligent you were the easier it was to place the subject into a hypnotic trance. Liebault did not use a 'bright object' held above the eyes as a method of inducing trance - Instead he was the first person to use - "Look in to my Eyes" he would then use suggestions of tiredness etc and then would use Curative Suggestion which varied depending on the nature of ailment. He would accept no fees, lest it should be said that he practiced hypnotism in order to make money. It is reported that he said to his patients: "If you want drugs I will give them, but you will have to pay me; if you will allow me to hypnotize you, I will do it for nothing." LIEBAULT must be regarded as the founder of all modern psycho-therapy. Bernhiem a pupil of Liebault, discovered that most hypnotic cures could be carried out in the waking state (that is the period just before a subject went into the sleep trance state).
1856-1939 Sigmund Freud
Freud is best known for his psychoanalytic (Psychosexual Development Model) where the Id, Ego & Superego are the controlling factors that shape how we behave and react, and not for any ground breaking works on hypnosis. He studied with the psychiatrist Charcot in Paris, then with his rival Bernheim in Nancy. Both these gentlemen were investigating the use of hypnosis with hysterics. But Freud was to leave his hypnosis train of thought behind (apparently mainly due to his lack of ability!) He found that he could get his patients to talk by putting them on a couch and encouraging them to say whatever came into their minds -(Commonly termed - Free Association). Freud was responsible for making conscious versus unconscious mind popular. The conscious mind is what you are aware of at any particular moment, your present perceptions, memories, thoughts, fantasies, feelings etc. Working closely with the conscious mind is what Freud called the preconscious, (or today thought as) "available memory:" anything that can easily be made conscious, the memories you are not at the moment thinking about but can readily bring to mind. These two layers of mind most people regarded as accurate. But Freud suggested that these are the smallest parts of the mind! The largest part by far is the unconscious. It includes all the things that are not easily available to awareness, including many things that have their origins there, such as our drives or instincts, and things that are put there because we can't bear to look at them, such as the memories and emotions associated with trauma. Freud says that, the unconscious is the source of our motivations, whether they be simple desires for food, sex, neurotic compulsions, or whatever the motives. Yet, we are often driven to deny or resist becoming conscious of these motives, and they are often available to us only in disguised form! Freud's books and lectures brought him both fame and ostracism from the mainstream of the medical community. He worked closely with number of very bright sympathizers who became the core of the psychoanalytic movement. Unfortunately, Freud would reject people who did not totally agree with him. Some separated from him on friendly terms; others did not, and went on to found competing schools of thought. There are a few schools of thought for the reason why Freud never did any ground breaking works on hypnosis and left it well alone, it isn't because he didn't believe in hypnosis or the vast possabilities with this fairly new phenominom that was really starting to take off that fact of the matter is he couldn't do it - simple as that - the great man himself did his usual - it didn't suit him so he did something else.
There are numerous Psycologists throughout history that followed the Psychoanalytical approach to psychology, however not all followed Freuds strict beliefs in the psychosexual model, anyone that did follow this approach are commonly known as Freudist's. Today Freudism is once again gaining favour in the field of pyschology.
We now accept that psycho-therapeutics covers several forms of treatment.