Articles (health)

Here are the health articles.

  • Cancer and Hypnosis
  • Allergies and Hypnosis

 

Article: Cancer and Hypnosis

Most people know that hypnosis helps people to quit smoking and lose weight. But hypnosis also helps people with major health issues, including cancer. Here’s an FAQ.

Q. “Does hypnosis cure cancer?”
No, it doesn’t. But hypnosis can help you to make the most of your mind and body. And in turn, that can help your body to heal itself. If you think about it, most healing is the body healing itself.

  • If you catch a cold, your body fights off the viral infection.
  • If you get strange bacteria in your body, your body fights off the bacterial infection.
  • If you get a cut on your finger, your body will automatically heal the finger.

In general, your body is skilled at healing itself. But there are rare times when the body needs help.

Q. “Isn’t cancer a purely physical process? What does hypnosis have to do with it?”
Many people view cancer as a purely physical process. They believe that we need to fight cancer with physical tools such as surgery, chemotherapy, nutrition, and acupuncture. I agree that physical tools are important.

With that said, medical researchers have been excited to learn about the connection between the mind and body. Hypnosis helps you to affect the body in a more powerful way. Think of hypnosis as a power booster when added to the physical tools.

Q. “I understand that hypnosis is a power booster. How does it boost the physical tools?”
Besides having the best physical tools, it’s important that the mind is fully aligned with the goal of healing. If the mind has an internal conflict, then that’s a healing block. Hypnosis helps you resolve the internal conflict, hence helps you resolve the healing block. When you resolve a healing block, your body has a better chance of healing more quickly.

Q. “Okay, a mental block can be a healing block. Can you give an example?”
Once upon a time there were twin sisters, Despairia and Hope. They worked at a factory that spewed toxic fumes. They both recently got diagnosed with lung cancer. Despairia believes her doctor’s prediction of having six months to live, and she waits for death.

Hope says, “Doctor, I have a strong will to live. So don’t put me in the average category of having six months to live. I’ve read about people beating cancer, and I’m going to find out what they did so I can beat it, too. And if I’m wrong, at least I’ll have done all that I can. But I don’t think I’m wrong.”

Despairia’s healing block is obvious: she believes that she’s going to die soon. So she doesn’t follow a healing diet; she doesn’t learn about ways to heal. She just waits for death.

Her sister, Hope, has a different belief. She believes that she will figure out a way to heal. She finds the best health team, including a medical doctor, nutritionist, and acupuncturist. She follows the plan her practitioners created. She researches what other cancer survivors have done. She’s determined to heal her body.

Q. “I understand that Despairia has a mental block and that Hope has a useful belief to heal. But come on, just being determined to live isn’t enough, is it?”
You’re right. Good physical tools and strong determination are important, but sometimes we need more. We need to find out if there’s a hidden block that hinders healing.

Luckily for Hope, she reads an article in her local newspaper about some cancer patients who reduced the side effects of chemotherapy by using hypnosis. She goes to a hypnotist to learn how to do that. During hypnosis, Hope’s subconscious mind drops a bombshell. But we’ll get to that later.

Q. “Later? What happened to Hope during her session? Don’t keep me waiting!”
Okay, let’s fast forward to right after Hope learned how to reduce the side effects from chemotherapy. At this point she’s in hypnosis and her subconscious mind is the one talking.

Hypnotist: You just did a great job on learning how to deal with the side effects. We have some time left in the session. Is there anything else you’d like to work on?

Subconscious mind: Another part of Hope wants to say something.

Hypnotist: Hello part. What may we call you? What do you have to share?

Guilt Girl (GG): My name’s Guilt Girl, but you can call me GG. Hope’s conscious mind wants to live, but I don’t.

Hypnotist: So GG, what do you mean when you said you don’t want to live?

GG: I’m angry at Hope. She did something wrong, and I’m okay with dying.

Hypnotist: Does Hope know how you feel?

GG: Not exactly. She knows that we have felt great guilt for many years. But she wants to live.

Hypnotist: If there was a way to resolve this guilt issue, would you consider helping Hope to live a longer and happier life?

GG: I guess, but I don’t know how to let go of this guilt.

Hypnotist: That’s okay. Letting go of guilt is a process I can teach you. But first, would it be okay to hear Hope’s side of the story?

… … … … …

Now let’s fast forward. Hope and her subconscious part, Guilt Girl, talk about the guilt issue. And during the next few sessions, Hope and Guilt Girl resolve the guilt issue, a self-worth issue, and an anger issue. In other words, Hope clears her mind of anything that has blocked her healing.

As she clears her mind, her conscious mind and subconscious mind become fully aligned and fully committed to healing. And her physical tools start working a lot better than before, because instead of one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake, she only has one foot on the accelerator.

Q. “Do we have to clear all negative beliefs in order to heal?”
Nope. We just need to clear beliefs that hinder the healing. So you don’t have to deal with all issues. For Hope, guilt was a key healing block. For someone else, guilt may be an issue for their happiness but it may not be a healing block. Each person can have a different type of healing block. During hypnosis, your subconscious mind will give us clues as to what’s important right now and what can be handled later.

Q. “William, does everyone have a healing block in their subconscious mind?”
That’s a great question. All I can say is that some people have healing blocks. It’s hard to prove that everyone has healing blocks. That’s why it’s useful to add a hypnotist to your healing team, so you can speak to your subconscious mind.

Q. “If someone doesn’t have a healing block, can they still benefit from hypnosis?”
Yes. Hypnosis can help in other ways, including:

  • Alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Reduce pain and discomfort.
  • More efficiently harness the body’s natural healing abilities.
  • Strengthen the mind, so it’s easier to handle day-to-day life and easier to follow your doctor’s advice.

So even if there’s no healing block, hypnosis can still help. For more information on how hypnosis works, read the next article titled Allergies and Hypnosis.

 

Article: Allergies and Hypnosis

Imagine you’re sitting at a restaurant with a friend.

Without you noticing, she has moved her super hot mug of coffee a bit close to your hand in order to make room for some papers. You accidentally brush your hand on the mug, and you quickly pull your hand away. Your reflexes saved you from getting burned. You didn’t need to rationally consider whether to pull your hand away; your body quickly just did it.

Or to be more specific, your subconscious mind reacted. The subconscious mind is the part of you that handles automatic actions, both mental and physical. It actually does more than this, but to keep this article simple, we’ll focus on the automatic physical actions. Here are a few examples.

  • Breathing, heartbeat.
  • Reflexes, muscle growth.

  • General healing, immune system.

Immune system? Yes. Think of the subconscious mind as a big umbrella, and under that umbrella fall many actions, such as breathing and of course immune system actions. Many bodily functions fall under the umbrella of the subconscious mind.

Or to put it more simply, the subconscious mind controls anything that’s not conscious.
And most of what we do isn’t conscious. You don’t consciously inhale and exhale every breath; nor do you consciously pump your heart; nor do you consciously heal a cut on your finger. These actions happen automatically.

So to recap, the subconscious mind takes care of all the automatic physical processes. And that frees up your conscious mind for other things such as talking with a friend, getting that report done at the office, or enjoying those adorable cat videos on YouTube. And in the background, your trusty subconscious handles running your body.

Q. “Can the subconscious ever make a mistake?”
Yes it can. In fact, when people get an allergy, sometimes that’s the immune system mistakenly believing that a harmless substance is actually harmful. Sometimes it’s good that it made a mistake, but that’s a story for another day.

By the way, before using hypnosis for an allergy, it’s important to speak with your doctor to ensure that it’s okay to use hypnosis for it. There are situations in which it would be a bad idea to use hypnosis for an allergy. I’m happy to speak with your doctor if they’re unfamiliar with how hypnosis can interact with the immune system.

Q. “What can we do about the allergy mistake?”
If an allergy is due to the immune system making a mistake, then it makes sense to have the immune system correct the mistake. So we speak to its manager, namely the subconscious mind.

Q. “How do we speak to the manager, namely the subconscious mind?”
You go into hypnosis. Hypnosis is simply a relaxed state of focus. When you enter hypnosis, you can speak to your subconscious mind in a more powerful way. Instead of ignoring you, the subconscious is more likely to consider your request.

Of course once you’re in hypnosis, it’s crucial to speak to the subconscious correctly. Do it wrong, and your subconscious could get offended and ignore you. Do it correctly, and it will at least consider your request.

And give the subconscious more than logical reasons for correcting the allergy mistake, because the subconscious isn’t the most logical creature. It’s a rather child-like and emotional creature, so it’s important to keep that in mind.

Q. “This all sounds kind of strange. Has there been any scientific research related to this?”
Yes. If you search PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you’ll see that researchers have found that hypnosis helps with many health issues, including immune system issues such as allergies.

There hasn’t been as much research as I’d like to see, and I’m still waiting for a really large study on allergies. But I’m happy that at least some researchers are studying this important topic.

Q. “Are you saying that hypnosis cures allergies?”
No. Hypnotherapists aren’t medical doctors, and we can’t “cure” allergies.

I gave a theoretical model earlier about the subconscious controlling the immune system, and that the allergy is simply a mistake of the immune system. That’s a simplified version of the model, and I can’t prove that it’s the whole story. But it is a useful model for hypnotherapists to use, so we use it.

Technically, what we hypnotherapists are doing is helping to change beliefs. You might say I’m splitting hairs and being too cute with language. You might say, “Who cares whether you call it a cure or changing beliefs. I just want to get rid of my allergies.”

And I understand that viewpoint. I just want to be clear that hypnosis, as useful as it is, shouldn’t be called a cure for allergies. Hypnosis is about changing beliefs. And if someone’s symptoms happen to change after their beliefs change, then let’s just call that a coincidence. 🙂

Q. “How effective is hypnosis for allergies?”
It depends upon what type of hypnosis you’re using. Here’s an example. There’s a classic technique that’s been around for over 20 years, and it typically helps 80% of clients reduce their symptoms. Some of those people have permanent relief, while others in the 80% need a refresher.

One factor is matching up the right technique with the right client. Another factor is the type of allergy as some types of allergies are easier to deal with than others.

Q. “With my luck, I’ll fall into the 20%. How do I know hypnosis will work for me?”
Even if you fall into the 20%, all that means is we do a different technique. The only way to know if hypnosis will work is to use hypnosis.

I realize that the thought of hypnosis being used for allergies seems unusual. For most people, it’s a hard concept to grasp. So if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. As more scientific research is showing the benefits of hypnosis, I believe that these scientists will be one important factor in helping hypnosis become a mainstream tool for allergies within 20 years. The scientists won’t be the only factor, but they’re one important factor.

870 Market St., Suite 851   San Francisco, CA 94102    Phone: (415) 421-7200