Recently, a lot of clients have been coming to me because of fears, stress and anxiety about their physical health, their medical conditions or their medical treatments. First of all, my hat is off to the MDs that have been recommending their patients for hypnosis. Facing new developments in our bodies and our health can be an extremely emotional experience, and many medical tests and treatments, though necessary and often life-saving, can seem freightening when first described. Add to this the fears about what the possible outcomes might be, and you have a recipe for anxiety and stress.
The important thing to realize here is that when we are dealing with a health challenge already, the LAST thing we want to have happening in our bodies is a stress response! When the mind perceives stress (real or imagined) the Autonomic Nervouse System goes right into a sympathetic mode… what we were all taught as the “fight or flight” response. This hard-wiring of our nervous system makes a lot of sense for a primitive creature whose most probable cause of death is predation… but in our complex society it is a real burden for several reasons:
1) as already stated, the mind can’t distinguish a real threat from an imagined one, and in the same vein, cannot distinguish a psychological or emotional upset from a physical danger, hence this system is triggering all the time!
2) in “fight or flight” our immune systems actually become diminished! this is because the body is redistributing it’s energetic resources to other areas where more immediate threats could be dealt with (like heart and lungs and large muscles… of course, this is no help for those with heart conditions either, as it means increased blood pressure!)
3) in “fight or flight” our high reasoning capacity is also diminshed as more of the blood flow to the brain is shunted to the hind brain, the more animal, instinct-driven portions of the brain. So just when we need to think clearly, it becomes harder and harder to do so.
This last aspect is particularly relevant to the discussion of hypnosis to deal with these stresses, because many of my clients know perfectly well that they are in good hands, that their conditions are not that bad, that they need to remain calm and pay attention to what the doctors are telling them, yet all their conscious efforts don’t seem to help… they still end up with sleepless nights, and even panic attacks! What is happening? The conscious mind is efffectively cut out of the loop. The subconscious program is running,signalling DANGER, and the nervous system responds as best it knows how.
This is where hypnosis comes in! The truth is, just entering the hypnotic trance state does wonders for reversing this process on its own. The deep relaxation that comes along with a deep trance experience can (at least temporarily) relieve some of the neurochemical effects on the body of the stress it had previously been experiencing. The important thing to remember is to (funny as it may sound) avoid “personalizing” the anxiety. Many people come in with a “what’s wrong with me?” attitude, when in fact their nervous system is working perfectly! It’s just that the program is not appropriate for the circumstance… that’s more the fault of evolution than the individual. So letting go of the “I’m broken” idea and getting a little “hypno-rest” is a great start, but only that.
Most people who have real anxiety over their health have deeper issues involved, and many such folks would do well to also consider seeking the help of a psychologist or therapist, as HYPNOSIS IS NOT THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, physical or psychological! (please remember that folks!) and for these people, the real question in easing the anxiety is “how deep are you willing to go?”
For many, it is the simple and human fear of mortality.
For others it relates to early life traumas.
It can even stem from Pre-Natal or Past Life trauma.
Regardless of the cause, the focus needs to stay on the solution. “What can I change today?” And often this is not as hard as it may seem. Anchoring peaceful, confident, grateful states gives clients a tremendous resource when facing unpleasant tests or procedures. Simply exploring the nature of the fear and giving that part of the psyche some other positive way of helping the situation, of knowing the client is paying attention and doing everything possible to maintain health and balance, can turn the whole view of the situation around.
Life and our health will always change and shift, and those changes will not always be the ones we would like, but how we respond to those changes does not have to be set in stone; does not need to be hard-wired. We can chose to face our circumstances with all of our resources open to us, with one foot always firmly planted in the joy of our very existence. Even pain itself can often be greatly reduced, even eliminated, just with the power of the mind, and interestingly enough, it’s usually a fairly pleasant experience to shift that focus!
The enemy is not the medical procedure, or the health challenge. The enemy is fear. And because fear is internal, not external, there is truly nothing to “vanquish” nothing to struggle against… there is only something to let go of…
Talk to your doctors. Find out all the information. Do everything you need to do for your health. And give your mind permission to be OK with it all! You’ve got nothing to lose but the fear.
Discover How He’s Treated His Chronic Anxiety and Taught Thousands Of People Worldwide To Be Panic and Anxiety Free.