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A methodology of creating changes, for the better, in the way we experience life, be it through emotion, cognition or behaviour. Leading to Inner Peace!
An informed answer to the perennial question; What is Hypnosis?
Good examples of this are found in the consumption of and indulgence in things like drinking, smoking, taking drugs, eating copious amounts of cream doughnuts or fried chicken etc. Or, contrary to that, not eating enough to sustain healthy functioning, as is seen in anorexia and/or bulimia. The common denominator of all these behaviours, is, brain function, not mind function, The mind merely allows you to have a conscious awareness of these things. Yet, conscious awareness is not enough to cause subconscious change. It is because hypnotic states are akin to sleep states, i.e., states of nonconsciousness, that hypnotherapy can be so successful.
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The Brain, The Mind And Hypnosis: To answer the question, of what is hypnosis, we must consider where it happens. My belief, based on years of research on the human brain, is, that it happens right there, in the brain. In that context, life is mostly a consequence of brain function and if it works well, so do we. However, any anomaly in the brain's function can drastically alter our experience of life. That much is obvious if you have ever experienced a major depressive disorder or extreme anxiety and stress. In each of those conditions, normal brain function is off-kilter and life sucks! Accordingly, life, for the most part, is a consequence of the expression of memories. Every feeling or thought or behaviour is the result of neuronal (cellular) activity, most of which occurs as a result of preprogrammed memory responses (akin to algorithms), to known or novel sensory inputs. Consequently, hypnosis occurs through sensory communication with the brain, via the primary and secondary auditory cortices, brainstem pontine nuclei (cochlear cortices), thalamus, medial and lateral geniculate nuclei, hypothalamus and hippocampus. There are many other brain areas involved, e.g. Papez circuit but these are the main ones. Within the brain, language is produced and processed in Broca's area and comprehension occurs in Wernicke's area. Words are processed as forms of images in the lingual gyrus and as words/language they are stored, mostly, at synapses throughout the cerebral and neocortices. Of course, there are no actual words in the brain, merely elements of neural code. And to add to its complexity the brain converts language both ways, i.e. meaning into words and words into meaning, all of which contribute to feelings, thoughts or behaviours and within that, there is life! This is also where the 3Ms have founded Miscommunication - Misinterpretation - Misunderstanding!
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The Question To The Answer
But What Exactly Is Hypnosis?
To initiate any changes in the way we feel (emotion), think (cognition) and behave (neurophysiology), our brain has to change the way it works. Mostly everything we do is a consequence of stored sensory algorithmic programmes (habits) that initiate some form of automated neurophysical response, these happen as a consequence of what we term memory. Even cellular activity is largely a result of genetic memory, a preordained way of making things work to an order of life itself. Memories come in many types, e.g. Short term, working memory, flashbulb memory and major memory functions, such as explicit (declarative) memory, consisting of autobiographical, semantic or episodic memory and implicit (non-declarative), procedural and emotional memory systems.
Anxiety occurs as a response to both, implicit memory, for feelings and action and explicit memory for some of the known/learned details, when, where, why etc. Bringing hypnosis into the picture, hypnosis happens through a therapist induced verbal communication and the brain's processing capabilities. Until you change memories, in one form or another, nothing changes. This process is evident when your favourite app goes through a major upgrade and this disrupts your ability to use the app functionally. As you learn the new additions and changes to the app, the memory of the app is updated (reconsolidated) and you eventually use the newly upgraded app with ease because you now have a new memory of it! Normal and abnormal life patterns play out this way too and hypnosis allows the changes you want to happen by virtue of changes that are initiated within your brain.
Consequentially, hypnosis acts as an interface, connecting the world outside by communicating with the world inside through a myriad of sensory systems that allow us to code, decode and recode current and stored information. Hypnosis, through subconscious communication, allows us to unlock our true potential!
Language: This is, in some way, the essence of life and how we learn to effectively self-communicate enriches that process. Basically, this means that when articulating what you want in life, say happiness, it is useful to have the narrative of happiness within our memory. If you say, "I want to be happy" and someone asks, "what is happiness?" you will have the answer to hand! In order to get what you want, it helps to know exactly what that is! Once you can define happiness, you literally have the power to bring that state of being to life. Effective self-communication becomes essential if you are to have an enduring, successful and happy life! Happiness is thus a state of being, one from which we can experience the full array of life's emotions in a more conducive and natural way. So, from the mind-body perspective hypnosis can be viewed as the interface between the brain-mind, body and spirit; it's as natural as breathing' it really is! Hypnosis makes your brain, mind and, ultimately, you work better!
Hypnosis: This is akin to sleep states, which occur when we drift into the world of dreams, the varying states of sleep, e.g., REM, NonREM 1, 2, 3, which produce theta and/or delta brainwaves (neural oscillations). Theta brainwaves emanate from the hippocampus, the seat of the brain's memory functioning. Of course, this phenomenon can occur during the day and is known as; daydreaming! Almost all memory (with the exception of some implicit/emotional and some long-standing long term memory), in some form or another, goes through the hippocampus. That much was proved as a consequence of a procedure for epileptic seizures carried out on patient HM. However, the hippocampus is not the site of memory storage, merely an important intermediary in the process. Memories are stored in many places, but mostly at axonal and dendritic synapses, e.g. subcortical, cerebral and neocortical areas, as well as the cerebellum, brain stem, midbrain and diencephalon.
Sleep: Plays an important role in the transference of memories stored in the hippocampus, amygdala and extended amygdala to their final contextual storage place. In addition to functional memories, there are associative ones, those that serve as links between events, people and objects. A phenomenon called sleep dependant memory consolidation (making new memories) and reconsolidation (updating/changing existing ones) takes place during sleep. So, because hypnosis takes the client into sleep (theta) states, it is easy to see the connection between sleep learning and hypnotic learning. Again I often expand on this during my work with clients because this is just an abridged description of how hypnosis works.
Because of this, I work in a very different way from many other hypnotherapists. I no longer believe in the esoteric powers of hypnotists, as demonstrated by those that like to use instant inductions, not that I fully believe they actually work from a scientific perspective. Or those that like to demonstrate tricks. That is in the realm of stage hypnosis and for those that want to be entertained. Clinical hypnotherapy is a serious business and we are working with real people with real-life issues and I respect that fact very much. In that context, I work with a mature sense of ego, that which manages life in a way that makes life happen in a functional way. It is because of my commitment to my clients, that my sessions are much longer than most, 90 to 120 minutes. Therefore, I take myself seriously and I promise to take you and your life experience seriously too and that's a promise. Past clients are my best advertisement for that: see what they say here.
So, there is literally no need for you to live an unexplored or unfulfilled life, so may I suggest you take advantage of my Free Consultation service For your convenience you can now book online here
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