The Power of Hypnosis

The power of  trance can no longer be disputed, a psychiatrist at  Stanford University says.  Now we just have to use it.On one, I want you to do one thing:
Look up.

On two, do two things:
Slowly close your eyes and take a deep breath.

On three, do three things:
Breathe out, relax your eyes, and let your body float.

Imagine you are floating in a bath, a lake, a hot tub, or just floating in space. Each breath is getting deeper and easier…

Brain scans have shown that a hypnotized patient like Zoraida Smith, 83, can’t tell the difference between reality and an image that has been planted in her mind. Smith is being treated with hypnosis for chronic fatigue.

The patient is 80 years old. She is lying under the bright lights of and operating room at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where radiologist Elvira Lang is about to thread a catheter through her arteries. The tiny tube will work its way to one of the woman’s kidneys, where it will block the organ’s blood supply. A surgeon is scheduled to remove the kidney the next day. Embolizing the kidney will help keep the operation simple, safe, and tidy. But the woman is running a fever, and her kidney may be infected. Because she ate earlier in the day, she can’t be given a sedative. What should have been a routine procedure has become an ordeal.

“This is your safe and pleasant place to be,” one of Lang’s associates reads from a laminate card. “You can use it in a sense to play a trick on the doctors. Your body has to be here, but you don’t.”

Lang is one of a growing number of hospital physicians who use hypnosis in addition to anesthesia. Together with David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, she has conducted extensive studies of hypnosis in the operating room, often with dramatic results.

Hypnosis and interventional radiology interest Lang for the same reason: Both are ways of making a visit to the hospital less horrific. A tiny incision is all that’s required. By threading a stent into an artery, for example, Lang can help her patients avoid far more invasive surgery. “I’m your medical plumber,” she says. By adding hypnosis, she can make an operation shorter, less painful, and less dependent on drugs. The hardest part of the procedure is getting other doctors to accept it.

Over the years, a number of rigorously controlled studies have proved that hypnosis reduces pain, controls blood pressure, and can even make warts go away. But because very few studies have attempted to find out how it works, most scientists are skeptical of its power. Critics suggest hypnosis is no different from the placebo effect. They both use the power of suggestion to get the mind to heal the body; both are no substitute for medicine.

That skepticism has driven Spiegel and other researchers to take a hard look at what happens in the brain during hypnosis. Trance, they’ve found, opens a window onto the nature of the imagination. Through it, we are beginning to glimpse how the mind distinguishes daydreams from reality.

Spiegel is a second-generation hypnotist. His father, Herbert Spiegel, is a psychiatrist who first used hypnosis as a battlefield surgeon in World War II. In 1943 he even used the technique on himself when he was struck by a mortar from a German tank in Mateur, Tunisia. A steel shell fragment protruded from his ankle, but be managed to tune out the pain.

Soon after returning home, Spiegel was hired as a professor of combat psychiatry at the School of Military Psychiatry at Mason General Hospital in Brentwood, New York. There, he treated hundreds of returning veterans with hypnosis, becoming ever more convinced of its effectiveness. At the same time, the first clinical studies of hypnosis began to appear. In 1961 psychiatrist Ralph August published a study of 850 women who gave birth under hypnosis. Only 4 percent – 34 women – required painkillers. Other studies found that hypnotized subjects could resist intense pain for a full minute longer than those who weren’t hypnotized, and for 30 seconds longer than those who had been given placebo painkiller.

By the 1960s, Spiegel was teaching clinical hypnosis at Columbia University, and his son was among his students. David Spiegel went on to attend medical school at Harvard and to specialize in psychiatry and clinical hypnosis as his father had. In 1978 the two Spiegels coauthored the standard textbook in the field: Trance and Treatment: Clinical Uses of Hypnosis.

Now 58, David Spiegel is tall and a bit disheveled, with his father’s oval face and serene features. He speaks in complex but reasoned sentences and listens with the stoic patience of a man who has faced many disbelievers “Hypnosis has been controversial since the beginning,” he says. “The thing is, it just won’t go away. There’s so much about the phenomenon that’s interesting.” Among researchers in the field, Spiegel says, there are two schools of thought and a growing chasm between them. One school claims that hypnosis fundamentally alters a subject’s state of mind; the other believes that hypnosis is simply a matter of suggestibility and relaxation. Speigel belongs to the first school, and over the years he has had a running debate with two scientists on the other side: Irving Kirsch, a psychologist at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and Stephen Kosslyn a professor of psychology at Harvard.

Kirsch often uses hypnosis in his practice and he doesn’t deny that it can be effective “With hypnosis you do put people in altered states,” he says. “But you don’t need a trance to do it.” He likes to illustrate the point with an ancient talisman of the hypnotic trade the pocket watch hanging on a chain. Put your elbow on a table, he says, holding the chain between your thumb and forefinger, and let the weight swing freely. Now, keeping your hand as steady as possible, imagine that the pendulum is moving back and forth parallel to our chest. “Just focus on it moving in that direction. Side to side,” he says. “Ignore everything else and imagine it going side to side at its own rhythm.” Once it’s swaying that way, and it inevitably will imagine it swinging another way – clock-wise, say, or toward you – just to prove to yourself that it’ not a coincidence. Once again, the weight will obey our mind. This little trick works on even the most skeptical and unhypnotizable of people. You don’t have to enter a trance for your subconscious and your body – in this case, the tiny muscles in your fingers – to respond to a suggestion. “I could have hypnotized you and done the same thing, but it wouldn’t have been a result of the hypnosis.” Kirsch says. “It would have been a result of you focusing on moving it in a particular direction.”

Spiegel disagrees. One of his best-known studies found that when subjects were hypnotized are given suggestions, their brainwave patterns changed. He admits that suggestion alone is a powerful tool but believes hypnosis magnifies its effects. In another of Spiegel’s studies, people under hypnosis were told their forearms were numb, then given light electrical shocks to the wrists. They didn’t flinch or respond in any way, and their brain waves resembled those of people who experienced a much weaker shock.

To Kirsch, this still wasn’t enough to prove the power of trance, but Stephen Kosslyn was willing to be convinced. Kosslyn is an exceedingly polite man, with a gray, philosophical beard and perpetually raised eyebrows. The hypnosis literature is rife with examples of subjects aping what they believed is hypnotic behavior, he says. Such “demand effects: are exactly what make placebos so effective. As for the brain-wave study, other events in the lab – such as interaction with the investigators – could have caused the shift in the subjects’ state of mind. “Is it just playacting?” Kosslyn wondered when he first saw Spiegel’s data. “Or is there something really gong on in the brain?”

To find out Spiegel and Kosslyn decided to collaborate on a study, focusing on a part of the brain that is well understood: the fusiform circuit. Located on the occipital lobe, the circuit has been found to process the perception of color. Neuroscientists zeroed in on it by placing subjects in a positron-emission tomography (PET) scanner to measure blood flow in the brain, then having them look at cards with color rectangles. Spiegel and Kosslyn wanted to see if subjects could set off the same circuit by visualizing color while under hypnosis.

The first step was to find the right study subjects. Only a small fraction of the population – known as highs in hypnotic circles – can enter a deep trance, just as only a few people cannot be hypnotized at all. The rest of us fall on a spectrum in between. (See “Can you be Hypnotized?” page 60.) Spiegel and Kosslyn selected eight people from a pool or around 120 subjects, then Kosslyn’s team ran the experiment at Massachusetts general Hospital in Boston. As in the previous studies, subjects were put inside a PET scanner, shown a slide with color rectangles, and their brain activity was mapped. Then they were shown a black-and-white slide and told to imagine its having a color. Both tasks were repeated while under hypnosis.

The results, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2000, were striking. When the subjects truly saw the color rectangles, the fusiform circuit lit up on both sides of their brain; when they had to imagine the color, the circuit only lit up in the right hemisphere. Under hypnosis, though, both sides of the brain became active – just as in regular sight. Under hypnosis, imagination seemed to take on the quality of a hallucination.

After the experiment, Kosslyn’s raised eyebrows, for once, came down. “I’m absolutely convinced now that hypnosis can boost what mental imagery does,” he says. “It sort of gives it a shot of vitamin A or something.” But Kirsch remains skeptical. The color experiments demonstrate that people “are really experiencing the effects of hypnotic suggestion,” Kirsch says, but not necessarily that they enter a trance. The subjects were told to see the card in color when they were hypnotized but only to imagine it in color when they weren’t, Kirsch points out. “Being told to pretend that you’re having the experience is a very different thing than the suggestion to have the experience.”

“Technically, he’s right,” Kosslyn says. Because the eight subjects were all highly hypnotizable – or at least highly suggestible – Kosslyn and Spiegel were afraid that if the subjects were told to see the color, just as they had been when hypnotized, they would slip into a trance. Kosslyn doubts that changing the wording would have made a difference. “The hypnotized people would tell you that they cold literally see. ‘Lows’ couldn’t even do the task. The simply couldn’t do it”.

To Kosslyn, the hypnosis study shows how the brain distinguishes between imagination and perception. The right side of the brain processes specific examples of things, while the left side processes more general concepts and categories. The left side knows that Spot is a dog, for instance, while the right side knows that the dog is Spot. That’s why the right side of the brain lights up when we imagine a particular color, but the left side is left cold: The details of the daydream may seem real, but they don’t apply to a larger reality.

“The realms of imagination and perception are not entirely distinct,” Spiegel says. “This goes back to philosophers as far as Kant. What we take as reality is our processing of perceptual input.” We make assumptions about what’s real from small cues that are far from the complete picture. If you are expecting to meet a friend at a restaurant and a stranger comes in with the same jacket and hair, you might call you’re your friend’s name, but as soon as you see his face your mistake will be obvious. “Rather than passively accepting perception, we set up a competition between imagination and perception,” Spiegel says. “Imagination can alter perception – in a sense it always does. But we’re not aware of it.” Under hypnosis, that distinction breaks down.

Kosslyn believes that hypnosis allows the body to tap into hidden reserves. He compares its effect to that of breaking a world record in sports: It changes our sense of the possible. “For years and years and years, no one could run a mile under four minutes,” he says. “It was like the sound barrier – people thought that limbs would start falling off.” Yet only six weeks after the record was finally broken, by British runner Roger Bannister in 1954, it was broken again by another runner. “Nowadays 40-year-olds can do it.” Hypnosis may have the same effect, Kosslyn says. “It shifts what I call the assumed norm. It can play the part that Roger Bannister did in the four-minute mile.”

Spiegel is a clinician first and a scientist second. The whys of hypnosis aren’t as important, he believes, as that doctors recognize its power and start to use it. To that end, he and Lang have put the technique to the test in the operating room, just as he and Kosslyn did in the PET scanner. Seven years ago, Spiegel and Lang took 241 patients slated for vascular or kidney surgery and divided them into three groups. One group received standard care: another received standard care with an “empathic care provider”; and the third received standard care, and empathic care provider, and hypnosis. During the operation, that patients lay with their heads behind an opaque soundproof barrier, so surgeons couldn’t tell what care they were receiving. Every 15 minutes, the patients were asked to rate their level of anxiety and pain. They were also hooked up to an IV and given as much painkilling medication as they wanted.

The results of the study wee published in The Lancet. On average, Spiegel and Lang found, the hypnotized subjects used less medication, experienced less pain, and felt far less anxiety than the other two groups. Patients who weren’t hypnotized felt more pain over time regardless of how much medication they received: those who were hypnotized stayed equally comfortable throughout the surgery. Operation on hypnotized patients averaged 17 minutes shorter than those of other patents and the cost of a standard radiological procedure fell from $638 to $300.

Lang has since bolstered those finding with two other ongoing studies, involving more than 330 patients. Once again, the hypnotized patients used less medication recovered faster, and spent less time in the hospital than those with standard care.

Lang doesn’t test her patients to see they are highly hypnotizable. The more anxious they are about a procedure, she says, the more likely they are to benefit from hypnosis. “A person with a worst case scenario about what’s going to happen is somebody that has good imagery potential. It takes a very vivid mind to do that.” Studies have shown that phobic people tend to be highly hypnotizable. Lang believes that people slip in and out of trances daily – that everyone has such moments of utter absorption when they can hear what others are saying to them. “The ability to tune out is practiced throughout the world. Particularly in married couples she says. Learning to control that absorption offers a way to learn to control pain.

The kidney operation Lang performed that day at Harvard was a good example. The 80-year-old patient came out of her trance at one point – “What is this rubbish about the beach?” she said – but the doctors soon put her under again with a simple hypnotic suggestion: “Your eyes won’t close until your inner mind gives you permission.” If hypnosis is ever to work its way into the mainstream, physicians will need to overcome their reluctance to say such tings, knowing there is solid science behind what sounds like mysticism. “I think it should be based on data not on belief.” Spiegel says. “But in the end it doesn’t matter why it works.”

Discover – 2004 November
by Michael Abrams

How Smiling Changes your Brain

Few people would argue that smiling is bad for you, but new research is showing just how many ways smiling is beneficial to your career and well-being.

We know smiling can greatly improve your mood and reduce stress. Even better, your smile doesn’t have to be real, so you can fake it and still get the same results.

Smiling doesn’t just benefit you on the inside. It also works to your advantage from the outside. A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, courteous. and even competent. This is reason enough to smile at every person you potentially want to do business with. Lifting those facial muscles into a smile is also contagious; if you smile and they smile, everyone in the room becomes a little happier. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden concluded that frowning when looking at someone smiling is possible, but would be very difficult.

Why is a smile so powerful? It all comes down to how smiling can change your brain.

When you smile, your brain is aware of the activity and actually keeps track of it. The more you smile, the more effective you are at breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively. If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.

Shawn Achor dubs retraining our “brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels” as “The Positive Tetris Effect” in his book The Happiness Advantage. His argument is that the popular game Tetris has a tendency to make such an impression on players that after it’s been shut off, people still see Tetris blocks in real life. According to Achor, we can do the same thing by practicing a more positive thinking pattern, which, ultimately creates a happiness loop.

Achor writes: “Happiness is a work ethic… It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train.”

The more we train, the easier it becomes to think

positively, shut out negativity, and, in turn, boost your productivity and creativity, which allows you to perform better at work and life.

Yes, all of those benefits can come from a simple smile. The more you do it, the more signals your brain will have to mentally shift to positive thoughts even when you might be in a situation that would normally cause you alarm.
“Happiness is a work ethic. It’s something t

hat requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train.”

Aside from your mental state, smiling can also end up saving your life, as Sondra Barrett claims in her book Secrets of Your Cells.

The biochemist says that when you let go of tension—an outcome that can be achieved through smiling—your cells let go of their rigidness. According to Barrett’s research, this could end up saving your life as there are have been cases where cancer patients go into remission of cancer after letting go of a big stress factor.

“Our cells are more than just fortuitous arrangements of chemicals,” she explains. “They are a community of trillions of sentient entities cooperating to create a sanctuary for the human soul.”

Scientifically speaking, smiling more is a great thing for your life. It doesn’t cost you anything to do it and you can actually fake it and get the same big results. Your career might even take a turn for the better as productivity increases, your attention span and cognitive abilities are improved, and you exude competence everywhere you go. With all of the benefits above, who wouldn’t want to start smiling more?.

By Vivian Giang.

Hypnosis – does it really work?.

At last, it’s official. Hypnotism really does work – and it has an impact on the brain which can be measured scientifically, according to one of America’s leading psychiatrists.
David Spiegel, from Stanford University, told the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science that he had scanned the brains of volunteers who were told they were looking at coloured objects when, in fact, they were black and white.
A scan showing areas of the brain used to register colour highlighted increased blood flow, indicating that the volunteers genuinely ‘saw’ colours, as they had been told they would.‘This is scientific evidence that something happens in the brain when people are hypnotized that doesn’t happen ordinarily,’ Mr Spiegel told delegates.He added that there were ‘tremendous medical implications’ and envisaged people being able to manage their own pain and anxiety.

Well, I am relieved to know that the people I have hypnotized on stage down the years were not just putting it on to please me and the audience. And, more importantly, that those I have cured of fears and phobias were genuinely cured.I am delighted that this research confirms what professional hypnotists, such as myself, who have been successfully using the technique for medical purposes, have known all along – hypnotism has a genuine effect on the functioning of the mind, as well as the body.

Let me give you one example of my recent work in New York. Patricia was a high-flying business executive who had put off having a child for many years because her career came first. Now the biological clock had clicked in and she desperately wanted a baby, but she could not get pregnant.There was no physical reason for her infertility, and I soon came to realize that she had simply done a fine job of self-hypnosis, programming her body to reject pregnancy.

I re-hypnotized her to switch that part of her body back on, and within a couple of months she was pregnant and now has twins.Another area in which hypnosis works is pain control. We can all remember concentrating desperately hard on, say, putting up a shelf.Your screwdriver slips, you cut your finger – and it hardly registers. It is only when you have finished that you realize the finger hurts intolerably, and you notice blood running down your arm.
I have used that principle to help several women to have painless childbirths by hypnotising them into concentrating on things other than the forthcoming pain.
And it is even possible for self-hypnosis to do the trick. I know from experience that it is possible to teach that technique.

Recently I was talking to Dr Roger Bannister, the man who ran the first four-minute mile back in the Fifties. It had been deemed an unbreakable barrier. But within a year or so of his epic feat, some 30 other runners had done the same.

Had the world suddenly produced a new breed of supermen-Of course not. What had happened was that Roger’s astonishing feat had changed the mindset of many runners.
Instead of saying ‘That’s impossible’ they were now saying ‘You know, I could just do that’. And the mental shift impacted on their bodily functions.

Much of the work I now do with leading athletes involves that principle. I hypnotize them into accepting that they could do even better than they are doing.
Do I succeed? All I can say is that many of those sportsmen and women report back to me that their performance has improved, and they send their friends to consult me – which is the highest compliment.

The other area in which, in my experience, hypnotism works well is in curing irrational fears and phobias – as well as addictions such as smoking or overeating.
A good hypnotist can rid you of anxieties within half an hour, and in New York I conducted a televised experiment which proves it.

I hypnotized Gina, a young lady who had a morbid fear of flying. Then I took her up in a C111 transport plane and at 3,000ft opened the rear door and stood with her (harnessed of course) a mere 12in from the drop, while she calmly enjoyed the breathtaking view of the city.
As far as I am concerned, anything which says to the skeptics that hypnotism is more than either a showbiz con or a simple matter of the weak-minded ‘victim’ being influenced by the stronger-willed hypnotist is worthwhile.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I have no worries about hypnotism as entertainment. That is how I started out, and I still love to perform on stage and television, although it can involve drama and hype and a slightly contrived, spooky atmosphere.

But, like many others, I soon came to realize that there is much more to the art than merely persuading people to do foolish things as a bit of fun.
As I looked into the history of hypnotism I learned that in its modern form it was first practiced as ‘animal magnetism’ some 200 years ago in Vienna by one Dr Franz Anton Mesmer (hence the word mesmerised).

He was highly successful but he ended up ruined and driven out of the city by the medical establishment, having been accused of faking and practising magic.
Or take the case of 19th century surgeon James Esdaile. He practiced in India and, as a matter of necessity, performed dozens of operations, including major amputations, without anesthetic and without his patients feeling pain.

He claimed a 95 per cent success rate, at a time when most surgeons killed some 40 per cent of their patients. But when he came back to this country and tried to interest his colleagues in his discovery, he was laughed out of court by the medical authorities.

Is it any wonder then that those who discovered they had the power to hypnotise soon found they could do better by taking their skill on to the stage rather than into the consulting rooms?
Now I hope that the research conducted by David Spiegel and others will finally enable hypnotism to take its proper place as a serious part of medical science. It is high time.


Science Now Says That Your Subconscious Thoughts And Beliefs Can Actually Cause Molecular Changes In Your Genes.

I recently read an article via, “Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes,“ that cites a recent study published in the journal Psycho­neuro­endocrinology, and talks about just how powerful our subconscious blocks can be in terms of governing our life.

Here are the quotes that I loved:

“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors.”

“Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.”

“Your subconscious beliefs are working either for you or against you, but the truth is that you are not controlling your life, because your subconscious mind supersedes all conscious control. So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level–citing affirmations and telling yourself you’re healthy–there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.”
This is part of the reason why I’m such a big believer in methods that alter subconscious beliefs.

And another great article on the subject, this time from the New York Times.

“…researchers do not yet know how or when, exactly, unconscious drives may suddenly become conscious; or under which circumstances people are able to override hidden urges by force of will. Millions have quit smoking, for instance, and uncounted numbers have resisted darker urges to misbehave that they don’t even fully understand.

Yet the new research on priming makes it clear that we are not alone in our own consciousness. We have company, an invisible partner who has strong reactions about the world that don’t always agree with our own, but whose instincts, these studies clearly show, are at least as likely to be helpful, and attentive to others, as they are to be disruptive.”
On Mindvalley Academy, perhaps our best-selling author on this topic of subconscious blocks is Christie Marie Sheldon.

By Mindvalley

Want to lose weight? Eat all your food in an eight-hour time frame – NEVER snack at night.

By Ben Spencer
Want to lose weight? Eat all your food in an eight-hour time frame – and NEVER snack at night

-Scientists in California said stopping eating after 4pm and sticking to regular meal times helps the body burn calories.

Eating only within an eight-hour window each day could help you shed weight, a study has found.
Limiting the times you eat could reverse obesity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And it doesn’t even matter whether you have fatty or sugary foods. The eight-hour limit seems to undo the harm done by an unhealthy diet.
Researchers believe that sticking to strict meal times allows the body to predict when it will eat – meaning it is better prepared to burn calories.

Mice fed a high-fat diet within an eight hour time frame – for example between 9am and 5pm – were both healthier and slimmer than those given the same number of calories throughout the whole day.
Even when obese mice had their eating window reduced to nine hours, they were able to drop 5 per cent of their body weight within a few days – while still enjoying the same amount of calories.
The research was carried out at the Salk Institute in California.

The scientists think that allowing the body to predict regular meal times helps it synchronise the digestive system with genes and proteins, preparing it to process food.
It also affects the balance of bacteria found in the gut which control metabolism. The findings, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, add to mounting evidence that when we eat is just as important to health as what we eat.
Professor Satchin Panda, who led the study, said: ‘Most of the advice is, “You have to change nutrition, you have to eat a healthy diet.” But many people don’t have access to healthy diets.

‘So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practise time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?’
He added: ‘We found that animals fed within a window of eight to 12 hours had a number of protective and therapeutic health benefits compared with animals allowed to eat the same number of calories from the same food source at any time.’
The protective effects were maintained even during ‘cheat days’ – when the mice were allowed unrestricted food over the weekends.
This is good news for dieters. It suggests that an occasional lapse won’t do any real harm.


What are Brain Waves?

Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG), measuring electricity levels over areas of the scalp.

The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a brainwave pattern, because of its cyclic, “wave-like” nature.

Brainwave Frequencies

With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake. Over the years, more sensitive equipment has brought us closer to figuring out exactly what brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person’s health and state of mind.

The Significance of Brainwaves

You can tell a lot about a person simply by observing their brainwave patterns. For example, anxious people tend to produce an overabundance of high beta waves while people with ADD/ADHD tend to produce an overabundance of slower alpha/theta brainwaves.

Researchers have found that not only are brainwaves representative of of mental state, but they can be stimulated to change a person’s mental state, and this in turn can help with a variety of mental issues.


wave-1hz_1Delta brain waves are the slowest but loudest brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.


Wave-5Hz_1Theta brain waves, occur in sleep and are also dominant in deep meditation. Is also what you’ve experienced when you’re in that time of sleep just as you’re waking up in the morning or just as you’re falling asleep at night.

While you are in Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing and growth. It is also the state where you can manifest changes, the ones that you want in the material world.

It acts as our gateway to learning and memory. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It’s where we hold our ‘stuff’, our fears, troubled history, and nightmares.


Wave-10Hz_1Alpha brain waves are present during quietly flowing thoughts, but not quite meditation. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
These Alpha frequencies are associated with creativity, imagination and even intuition. This is a very dynamic state to be in.


Beta brain waves are present in our normal waking state of consciousness, when you’re totally aware of your surroundings and using your 5 senses to process your physical objective world.

Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, and engaged in focused mental activity. Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands; Low Beta (Beta1, 12-15Hz) can be thought of as a ‘fast idle, or musing. Beta (aka. Beta2, 15-22Hz) as high engagement. Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz) is highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, or excitement. Continual high frequency processing is not a very efficient way to run the brain, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy.


Gamma brwave-40hz_1ain waves are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute) and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas.

It passes information rapidly, and as the most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access it. Gamma was traditionally dismissed as ‘spare brain noise’ until researchers discovered it was highly active when in states of universal love, altruism, and the ‘higher virtues’. Gamma rhythms modulate perception and consciousness, disappearing under anaesthesia. Gamma is also above the frequency of neuronal firing, so how it is generated remains a mystery. The presence of Gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.


Our brainwave profile and our daily experience of the world are inseparable. When our brainwaves are out of balance, there will be corresponding problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health. Research has identified brainwave patterns associated with all sorts of emotional and neurological conditions.

Over-arousal in certain brain areas is linked with anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, impulsive behaviour, anger/aggression, agitated depression, chronic nerve pain and spasticity. Under-arousal in certain brain areas leads to some types of depression, attention deficit, chronic pain and insomnia. A combination of under-arousal and over-arousal is seen in cases of anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Instabilities in brain rhythms correlate with tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggressive behaviour, rage, bruxism, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, migraines, narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleep apnoea, vertigo, tinnitus, anorexia/bulimia, PMT, diabetes, hypoglycaemia and explosive behaviour.


By rule of thumb, any process that changes your perception changes your brainwaves.

Hypnosis, relaxation and meditation can alter your brain function, when practiced regularly  they can dramatically improve your health at all levels.

Fear of going to the dentist?

Fear of going to the dentist is a very common one. Many people avoid seeing the dentist because of the anxiety and fear associated with it.
Dentists are now becoming more interested in the clinical use of hypnosis offering their patients relaxation and also an alternative to medication :

What you think becomes a reality.

The end of the year is approaching, and it’s a good time to reflect about everything that has happened in our lives, good or not very good. To reflect about what we have learned, to reflect about what we can improve, about the things that need to improve.
We have the power to make positive changes in our life.  How do we start? by simply becoming more aware of our thoughts, because, believe it or not, by changing your thoughts and you change your life.

Here’s an interview to Louise H. Hay that I’d like to share with you.