Integrating Hypnosis into the Mind-Body Connection
If your mind can affect the way your body functions, and hypnotherapy can affect the way your mind functions, then it stands to reason that hypnotherapy can ultimately affect your body's responses. Using hypnotherapy to change the way you think about and respond to situations and events that affect your life can ultimately change the way your body reacts. This effect can be a by-product of therapy or an actively sought response. For example, if you are coming for therapy to help reduce your levels of stress, a by-product could be better health. Or perhaps you are coming for therapy to help manage and reduce the pain you are experiencing. In this case, you are actively seeking to alter your body's response to whatever is causing the pain.
Hypnotherapy does not cure disease and should never be advertised as doing so. Hypnotherapy does help to make changes to the way you think and feel, and the way your body responds in certain situations. De-stressing may, in itself, reduce or eliminate any stress related ailments you may experience such as headaches, ulcers, and rashes. But any effects on a disease state are lucky by-products that may or may not be attributable to your therapy, and can never be guaranteed.
Even though you often don't know how to handle stress, anxiety, or fear, that doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do about it. In fact, you can take a lesson from your primitive ancestors. After any burst of activity that resulted from a fight-or-flight response, your caveman ancestor would probably seek out a quiet and safe place and take time to rest, to sleep, to perhaps enter into a trance-like state. By doing so, his mind would calm down. As his mind calmed down, it would communicate with his body, which would release all the muscle tensions and turn down the biochemical responses that resulted from the fight-or-flight response. In effect, he would relax.
The key to combating that excess of anxiety, stress, or fear is to relax. How your body responds when you relax is much the same as when you enter hypnosis. The most common body responses are:
- Your heart rate slows down.
- Your breathing rate slows down and becomes deeper.
- The muscles throughout your body become less tense.
- Blood is evenly distributed throughout the body.
- Your digestion system works efficiently.
- Your thoughts become less concrete and more abstract — more image and feeling based.
Of course, you will always have periods of anxiety. It's how you handle that anxiety that is important.
If you can get into a regular pattern of relaxation and exercise, you can minimize the nasty effects of long-term anxiety. It's also worth mentioning that if you stop smoking, eat healthily, and cut down on the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink, then you will be on tiptop form to beat that anxiety firmly into the ground.