Train Your Mind to Heal Your Body

From our friends at Learning Strategies Corporation, their latest Healthsparks newsletter:

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Welcome to Health Sparks
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It’s no secret that many elite athletes gained their edge with a well-trained mind.

Golf’s Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton used self-hypnosis to propel them to the top of their sports. Coach Phil Jackson credits daily self-hypnosis to bringing Michael Jordon and the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships.

Medical research shows the power of self-hypnosis and visualization to aid in weight loss, reduce pain in cancer patients, and even alleviate the discomfort of hot flashes.

In a Baylor University study, women who specifically pictured images associated with coolness during hypnotherapy had a dramatic decrease in hot flashes—cool relief for the estimated 85 percent of women who experience them.

“Areas of the brain activated by imagery may be identical to those activated by actual perceived events,” said Dr. Gary Elkins, professor of psychology and neuroscience. “Consequently, it may be that while a woman suffering hot flashes imagines a cool place, she also feels cool rather than the heat of a hot flash,”

A study of children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome found that 79 percent of participants using self-hypnosis reduced their symptoms of motor or verbal tics, the Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics reported.

“Once the patient is in his or her highly focused ‘special place,’ work is then done on controlling the tic,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lazarus. “We ask the patient to imagine the feeling right before that tic occurs and to put up a stop sign in front of it, or to imagine a tic switch that can be turned on and off like a light switch. Further suggestions are made, including encouraging the patient to invent his or her own images.”

So how can you gain the benefits of self-hypnosis for your health?
First, tap into that “highly focused” state dominated by alpha and theta brain waves, the lower frequencies associated with a relaxed but alert mind. Use this easy yet effective technique recommended by hypnotherapist Nikki Goldman, Ph.D., in our Euphoria! personal learning course:
While sitting or lying in a relaxed position, begin with a fixed stare at one spot on the wall or ceiling.
Notice and name three things you see with your peripheral vision. Then name three things you hear. Then name three things you feel. You may do this aloud or silently.
It may sound like this: “I see the light fixture, I see the window, I see the bookshelf. I hear the sound of the fan, I hear my breathing, I hear a dog barking outside. I feel my feet in my shoes, I feel my hands touching my thighs, I feel my body relaxing.”
Repeat the entire process. If you recite a particular sight, sound, or feeling over again, that’s okay. Just do this process over and over until you feel your eyes want to close.
With your eyes closed, now imagine your desired outcome. For example:
To alleviate pain or discomfort in your back, vividly imagine the way you want your body to feel. Sense how every muscle feels the way it did when you were more vibrant and in peak health at a younger age. Picture yourself going about your day with ease and joy.
To eliminate the stress or anxiety that builds in your busy day, imagine yourself in the most peaceful setting you can create in your mind such as a favorite getaway by the beach. Use your senses to capture the environment—the sound of waves lapping on the shore, the scent of wet sand, the feeling of the breeze on your skin. See yourself smiling and contentedly basking in the sun. Feel your breath slowing and your body relaxing.
When you practice such techniques on a regular basis, Goldman says, your brain becomes accustomed to functioning at the lower alpha and theta frequencies. At first, this natural relaxed state of euphoria will last for an hour or two after you complete the technique. However, once you do this routinely, you will discover you maintain this enjoyable state throughout the day.

Happy Holidays!

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3 Comments on “Train Your Mind to Heal Your Body”

  1. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
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    Please let me know. Thanks

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