Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our Health And The Effects Of Positive Thinking.

We all should consider the relationship between our thoughts and reactions to stress and depression. The question is whether our thoughts create physical depression or the physical depression creates negative thinking? If we develop a habit of imagining events turning out badly for us rational thinking demonstrates to us that often we are prone to exaggeration. However our unconscious mind is a powerful element which shapes our habitual behavior which is beyond our conscious control and our awareness. Hypnotherapy is very effective in altering our beliefs and its effects of hypnotherapy are long lasting and much more powerful than by using just logic only.

Positive thinking can have a tremendous influence upon our physical health and you may have read of the "placebo effect". The "Placebo Effect" takes place when people suffering from an illness are given a substance which contains no healing properties whatsoever and yet a number of them claim an improvement in how they feel, these claims produce evidence of the connection between our mind and body. There are numerous examples of people developing a positive outlook recovering faster from sickness or injury. We can also use our mind power to achieve our fitness goals also. one classic example of this is when athletes Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes which up to that point had been considered impossible. As soon as that negative belief barrier had been broken other athletes soon began to break through what was up to then only a barrier of belief.

The effects of ageing are also much influenced by how we think of the process. As they grow older some people complain to their friends about their "aches and pains" and their weakened capabilities bringing an element of truth to the phrase "you're only as young as you feel", our thoughts can be used to banish these so called negative effects of ageing. Many people, unfortunately, hold on to outdated beliefs that the unavoidable decline of health during old age and ignore the benefits of a positive outlook.

Now that we are aware that our attitude and frame of mind can produce in us a better state of health, it is up to us to take advantage of this fact and make our intention to develop and think positive thoughts whenever we remember.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

General Applications of Hypnosis

Few topics in psychology attract people in the extent that it does hypnosis. The reasons for this interest are multiple. Hypnosis fascinates by its unusual and we do not know if what attracts us is the interest in deciphering the mystery. (D. David after Gheorghidiu, 2000)

Anton Mesmer was he who first induced the state of hypnosis. He used to use a magnet that moves along the patient's body to improve blood circulation. Forgetting his magnet and once at home, Anton Mesmer was forced to resort to another object, a piece of wood, and found that patients responded well. But Mesmer did not realise at the time that the object used was important, but suggestions which included the patient. (Ovidiu Lungu, 2004)

Mielu Zlate (2007) considered hypnosis as an "altered state of consciousness and located between wakefulness and sleep, but closer to waking than sleep." Subject keeps contact with the environment during the hypnotic trance helped by the hypnotist, and cognitive changes occur at the perception, memory, thoughts, feelings, imagination, etc..This underlines the increased activism of the brain.

According to the American Psychological Association, hypnosis is a procedure whereby the subject is suggested imaginative experiences to change his subjective experiences, to change his perceptions, sensations, thoughts or behaviour. (Peter J. Hawkins after A.P.A. 2009)

Hypnotic trance has as main features the reduce of planning function (hypnotised subject loses the initiative and will expect the hypnotist to suggest what to do.), attention becomes more selective than usual (the subject which is told to obey only the voice of the hypnotist will ignore any other voice in the room). Imaginative production is easily evoked (subject may find that the lives distance experience in time and space). Control and increased tolerance for low reality distortion. (subject might unconditionally accept hallucinatory experiences). Increased suggestibility (subject must accept the suggestions). Post-hypnotic amnesia (if the subject gets instructions for this, the deeply impressed subject will forget all or almost all)  (Rita L. Atkinson, 2002)

Hypnotherapy applications are endless, from the surgical anesthesia which can be used at birth without pain, to treatment of specific problems such as anxiety, phobias, smoking cessation, sexual dysfunction. However, failures can come from the subject's attitude against hypnotherapy and hypnosis. A negative attitude may hinder treatment. Subjects can not be controlled during their trance unwittingly. (I Holdevici, 1991)

Hypnotherapy for depressive persons contain a model proposed by Yapko in 1992, 9 sequences containing the following stages: "Informal interview and data collection, development of positive expectations, flexibility to facilitate the development, expansion frames of reference, test alternatives, enhancing situational specificity, integration mechanisms feedback, the incorporation, clarifying limits generalization." (J.L. Vargha after Yapko, 2007

Anxiety is one of the specific problems that can be treated with hypnosis. Countless clients feel anxious when faces with situations such as sexual behavior, injections, examinations, surgical, childbirth. Anxiety can be addressed by building self techniques, time management or goal setting. Elevator phobia, for example, can be treated with techniques to enhance self and establishing goals. Subjects may be suggested to imagine, during trance, in a situation where need to use the elevator. After leaving trance reality testing is necessary.

Another application of hypnosis can focus on client's desire to stop smoking. Smokers say that cigarettes reduce stress, but is usually very difficult for them to give up cigarettes. Physiologically, the cigarette acts as a stressor on the body. In order to facilitate smoking cessation, the therapist must use cognitive-behavioral strategies including education about the dangers of smoking by presenting information related to many diseases. Importance of motivation and social support must be emphasized, as increased motivation is an important factor for successful treatment. Techniques on self-monitoring, self-management can be suggested also to the client. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)

Sexual dysfunction is a point of interest for both client and hypnotherapist. With hypnosis you can deal with problems like inhibited sexual desire, sexual aversion, erectile dysfunction in men, arousal disorder in women, both female and male anorgasmia, dyspareunia, etc. Hypnosis can be used without a partner and allows a fast exploration, identification of underlying conflicts dysfunction, increased hope, self-confidence. Therapist can use techniques to reduce anxiety, change problematic emotions, increase emotional state and strengthen the sense of self control. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in people who witnessed or were confronted with traumatic events. In Post-traumatic stress disorder may be useful two types of treatment: psychotherapy and medication. Hypnotherapy helps customers with the negative original traumatic experience. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)

Research is needed to demonstrate the proper functioning of hypnotherapy, typology of patients and symptoms. Whatever symptoms treated by hypnosis, therapists should not forget that human beings are unique and react differently to treatment. Therapists must seek the appropriate method for each client to use the benefits of hypnosis.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Managing Stress

Stress is a normal and natural physical response and is our body's ability to protect itself but is often viewed as negative.  This reaction better known as "The Fight or Flight Response" helps us stay alert, energetic and focused, this can be beneficial to us. Winning a sporting event, successful public speaking or passing an exam can all be partially due to a healthy response to stress. However, to much stress can be harmful and cause us physical and emotional damage.

We experience chronic stress when our body is subjected to overwhelming amounts of physical and psychological threats. Our body does not differentiate between moderate or extreme triggers of stress, so it reacts with the same intensity regardless of how minor or major the cause, meaning being caught in a long traffic jam or arguing with a work colleague can be the catalyst for intense stress related symptoms which may include anxiety, headaches, muscular tension, fatigue, mood swings, upset stomach and lack of enthusiasm.

All of us have different tolerance levels when it comes to calculating stress so it is important for us to understand our stress thresholds, factors that influence our stress tolerance can include our ability to deal with emotions, sense of control, attitude, physical health and our ability to deal with stress inducing situations. These are what enable us to maintain a sense of calm while others may become completely overwhelmed.

We must examine the factors that cause us stress and it is important for us to look at the ways we react to stress and whether or not we need to alter our response to it. Many of us react to stress by freezing up becoming agitated internally, while others may become outwardly agitated and become volatile or even become withdrawn showing little or no emotion. We need to recognise our personal stress triggers and reactions, this is the key to moving forward and coping with stress.

Stress can affect any of us at any time especially if we undertake fast paced and challenging workloads. Strategies for managing stress can include avoiding unnecessary stress, altering our situation or environment, increasing our fitness level and making time for leisure and relaxation. Taking control of our life and prioritizing what is important to us are integrial parts of managing stress.

Ray Ronson.

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