New Mind-Body Matters Series Video 1: Mental House Cleaning


I have been working on a series of short videos that give you tips, tricks and mind games that help you to change your thoughts habits and behaviours. They will take practice to make them stick like glue and become second nature, and they will work with consistent practice.

Remember, you didn’t ingrain your current thought patterns, habits and behaviours overnight, you most likely developed them unconsciously over a period of time without realising it. So why not swap out the ones that you don’t want with new useful and productive ones that you do want, after all, life is challenging enough at times without sabotaging ourselves on top if it all.

I’m confident that you’ll find some really useful ideas in this series and if there is anything in particular you’d like me to cover then please let me know at simon@simonmaryan.com

Have fun

Simon

 

Water and Your Mind-Body Health 


There’s one habit that I promote to all my clients to develop and that is to drink enough water to stay hydrated all day. The benefits of staying hydrated are numerous for both body and mind and it’s not just beneficial in the summer months but all year round.
So why is it so important to stay hydrated?  
Here are some of the most detrimental effects of NOT hydrating:

Fatigue – Water is the best conductor of electricity for producing energy in the body. Without enough water, the enzymes cannot do their job to remove lactic build up in the muscles, which can cause one to feel tired.

Headaches – Most headaches are caused by dehydration. The brain is 80% water.

High Blood Pressure – The blood is 80-92% water, if there is not enough water, the blood can become too thick, causing slow movement through the arteries.

Allergies – The body will produce too many histamines in order to conserve water, constricting airways and making it hard to breathe.

Skin disorders – Skin is 64% water. Dry skin, premature wrinkles, rashes and acne may result from lack of water.

Digestive disorders – When there is a lack of water and alkaline minerals, digestive issues such as acid reflux, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome can develop.

Kidney and bladder issues – Lack of water can create kidney stones, urinary tract infections, gout and pain because of the buildup of uric acid and bacteria not flushed out.

Constipation – This is not just an inconvenience, but a dangerous situation. The expansion of the colon and intestines from packed stool can cause perforations, leaking toxins into the blood stream. 

Joint Pain and Stiffness – Cartilage needs water to keep it lubricated so that the joints can move easily.​​​​​​​ 

 

We are constantly told in the media to drink plenty of water. In fact, the recommended amount of water one ought to drink per day is ½ of your weight in ounces of water. A person weighing 150 lbs needs to drink at least 75 ounces/2.2 litres of water per day.

1 fluid ounce = 30ml approx
Some of you might be thinking, “I can’t imagine drinking that much water, I’d feel so bloated and never be out of the toilet”
What if I told you there was something you could add to your water that:

  • Makes it taste better
  • Allows it to be absorbed faster
  • Is clinically proven to reduce the causes and symptoms of cardiovascular disease 
  • Increases the production and absorption of Nitric Oxide into your blood, thereby getting more oxygen to every cell in your body and providing you with more energy
  • Has 0g of sugar
  • Is natural whole food, nutrient-dense and non-GMO
  • Contains no artificial ingredients
  • Costs less than a bottle of a typical sport drink 


Synergy’s premiere health enhancement product ProArgi-9+ is manufactured using state-of-the-art equipment after it’s tested hundreds of times. Each batch of ProArgi-9+ is tested for contaminants down to the parts per trillion. One of the primary ingredients in ProArgi-9+ is l-arginine, which was researched by three American scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998 for discovering its powerful health benefits. ProArgi-9+ contains five essential vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. Each plays a vital role in supporting the body’s overall performance. Vitamin C contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems while reducing fatigue and contributing to normal psychological function. Vitamin B6 and B12 share a few health benefits with Vitamin C, but also play an important role in normal red blood cell formation and homocysteine metabolism. Vitamin K has a set of its own benefits, playing a key part in maintaining normal bones and blood coagulation.

The combination of ingredients in ProArgi-9+ was meticulously formulated to support exceptional health. This product is pure, potent and formulated to help you live life optimized.
BENEFITS:

  • Comes in a box of 30 single serving-sized packets to take with you on the go
  • Flavored for a refreshing, citrus taste
  • Each batch is tested more than 262 times for purity and potency
  • Contains Vitamin C which contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems
  • Contains Vitamin K which contributes to normal bones and blood coagulation
  • Contains Vitamin B6 and B12 which contribute to normal red blood cell formation and homocysteine metabolism

You can read about and buy Proargi-9+ here: Proargi-9+

To your mind-body health

Have a great weekend 

Simon

Hypnosis and Fear of Needles & Injections


Needle Phobia Facts

The Fear of Needles Has Many Names and It Is Very Real
Trypanophobia? If you’ve ever tried to search for “needle phobia” or “fear of injections,” you’ve probably come across some very odd and confusing terms, yet this condition is very real, and a whopping 20 percent of people have a fear of needles. There are a lot of risks associated with the fear of needles. It can prevent people from going to the doctor, getting routine blood tests, or following prescribed treatments. Modern medicine is making increased use of blood tests and injectable medications, and forgoing medical treatment because of a fear of needles puts people at a greater risk for illness and even death. For example, diabetics who skip glucose monitoring and insulin injections can put themselves in danger of serious complications.

HERE ARE THE SIX MEDICAL TERMS THAT ARE RELATED TO FEARING NEEDLES:

  1. Aichmophobia: an intense or morbid fear of sharp or pointed objects
  2. Algophobia: an intense or morbid fear of pain
  3. Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles
  4. Enetophobia: a fear of pins
  5. Trypanophobia: a fear of injections
  6. Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT FEARING NEEDLES

Approximately 20 percent of the general population has some degree of fear associated with needles and injections. Traumatic experiences in childhood form the foundation of these fears—like seeing an older sibling cry when getting their shots.

As much as 10 percent of people suffer from a phobia called trypanophobia, which is a fear of needles and injections. Of those who have a fear of needles, at least 20 percent avoid medical treatment as a result.

The fear of needles is both a learned and an inherited condition. A fairly small number inherit a fear of needles, but most people acquire needle phobia around the age of four to six.

Below is my research into studies conducted using hypnosis to reduce or remove the fear of needles and injections.

Study 1: Hypnosis Assists to Enable Patients to Receive Essential Injections

Fear of injections: the value of hypnosis in facilitating clinical treatment
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.223/abstract

Results: Successful outcomes for the three patients described showed that hypnosis, adaptably adjoined with mainly behavioral and cognitive methods of counseling, can be of very great assistance in enabling patients to receive injections essential to treatment, and can usefully be made part of multidisciplinary team provision.

Notes: The present paper describes three patients with different problems who had high levels of fear or anxiety about receiving injections in botulinum toxin clinics. Individual differences in causes, history and personality made an integrated approach the logical choice.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 100-106, June 2001
By: David Y. Medd


Study 2: Hypnosis Effective for Needle Phobia

Desensitization Using Meditation-Hypnosis to Control “Needle” Phobia in Two Dental Patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515441/pdf/anesthprog00099-0027.pdf

Results: The researchers conclude that these case studies are of interest for the following reasons: (1) They show the effectiveness of meditation-hypnosis for “needle” phobia. (2) Meditation-hypnosis is a rapid, effective antianxiety technique that can be used in systematic desensitization. (3) Even long-standing “needle” phobia cases can be effectively treated with this combined technique. (4) The meditation-hypnosis technique is helpful in generalization to other anxiety-induced situations.

Notes: Two case studies were conducted.

Case Study 1
Meditation-hypnosis was induced. Within a few minutes, the subject was deeply relaxed. At first, the patient exclaimed “I’m afraid” but after a few repetitions of her mantra (meditation word), she was again deeply relaxed. While the patient was meditating, the following items were presented and well tolerated: placement of dental towel; turning on of unit light; backward inclination of the dental chair; having the patient maintain an open mouth for thirty seconds; insertion of author’s (DM) index finger into floor of mouth; insertion of saliva ejector into same area; placement of author’s index finger over alveolar mucosa of upper right central incisor; placement of topical anesthetic into same site; and finally giving one-third of a capsule of local anesthesia into that same region. As the patient did so well, at this and at the following visit, other items were added including, running the ultra high speed contra angle in the vicinity of the tooth for fifteen seconds; releasing water spray into the mouth and aspirating it; maintaining an open mouth for fifteen minutes and finally running the contra-angle for a complete minute with water spray in the mouth. The patient was then able to go to her dentist for subsequent treatment.

Case Study 2
The patient was taught meditation-hypnosis and was able to achieve good relaxation within seven minutes. She was then instructed to practice the technique by herself at home. She stated that it helped her reduce her overall anxiety with good results. The patient did not return for more hypnosis, but she spoke the researchers by telephone. She said that she was able to go to her general dentist and have the local anesthetic injections for the tooth extractions. Dentures had been made and she was very pleased. The patient apologized for not making the final hypnosis appointment but she said that it was not necessary as the relaxation technique allowed her to have the necessary injections and dental work done.

Anaesthesia Progress, May/June 1983
By: Donald R. Morse D.D.S., M.A. (Biol.), M.A. (Psychol.), Bernard B. Cohen Ph.D. Professor and Research Director, Department of Endodontology, Temple University School of Dentistry, 3223 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania


Study 3: Hypnosis for Needle Phobia of Child

Brief hypnosis for severe needle phobia using switch-wire imagery on a 5-year old.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17596226

Results: Following a 10-minute conversational hypnotic induction, the 5-year-old was able to use hypnotic switch-wire imagery to dissociate sensation and movement in all four limbs in turn. Two days later the boy experienced painless venepuncture without the use of topical local anesthetic cream. There was no movement in the ‘switched-off’ arm during i.v. cannula placement. This report adds to the increasing body of evidence that hypnosis represents a useful, additional tool that anesthetists may find valuable in everyday practice.

Notes: This was a case study of severe needle phobia in a 5-year-old boy who learned to utilize a self-hypnosis technique to facilitate intravenous (i.v.) cannula (a tube that can be inserted into the body, often for the delivery or removal of fluid or for the gathering of data) placement. He was diagnosed with Bruton’s disease at 5 months of age and required monthly intravenous infusions. The boy had received inhalational general anesthesia for i.v. cannulation on 58 occasions. Initially, this was because of difficult venous access but more recently because of severe distress and agitation when approached with a cannula. Oral premedication with midazolam or ketamine proved unsatisfactory and hypnotherapy was therefore considered.

Paediatr Anaesth. 2007 Aug;17(8):800-4
By: A. M. Cyna, D. Tomkins, T. Maddock, D. Barker, Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Study 4: Olfactory/Smell Hypnosis for Needle Phobia

Hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC): case studies of needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD
http://thethrivingmind.com/blog/hypnotherapeutic-olfactory-conditioning-hoc-case-studies-of-needle-phobia-panic-disorder-and-combat-induced-ptsd/

Results: The authors present 3 cases, patients with needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD who were successfully treated with the hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning HOC technique.

Notes: The authors developed a technique, which they call hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC), for exploiting the ability of scents to arouse potent emotional reactions. During hypnosis, the patient learns to associate pleasant scents with a sense of security and self-control. The patient can subsequently use this newfound association to overcome phobias and prevent panic attacks.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 57.2 (2009): 184-197
By: Eitan G. Abramowitz, Lichtenberg, Pesach, Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Hypnosis and Pain


As a sufferer of chronic pain from various injuries over the years, the main being my left shoulder which is severely arthritic and having had 7 surgeries so far with the 8th planned for a few weeks time to fuse the joint. I am therefore acutely aware of how pain can interfere with everyday functioning both physically and mentally. I have been undertaking a meta analysis of research papers and projects for quite some time now and came across a number of studies which have shown that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during a variety of medical conditions including burn-wound debridement, [1] bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth.[2][3] The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.[4]

Hypnosis is effective in reducing pain from[5] and coping with cancer [6] and other chronic conditions.[7]Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[8][9][10][11] Some practitioners have claimed hypnosis might help boost the immune system of people with cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support the idea that hypnosis can influence the development or progression of cancer.”[12]

Hypnosis has been used as a pain relieving technique during dental surgery and related pain management regimens as well. Researchers like Jerjes and his team have reported that hypnosis can help even those patients who have acute to severe orodental pain.[13] Additionally, Meyerson and Uziel have suggested that hypnotic methods have been found to be highly fruitful for alleviating anxiety in patients suffering from severe dental phobia.[14]

For some psychologists who uphold the altered state theory of hypnosis, pain relief in response to hypnosis is said to be the result of the brain’s dual-processing functionality. This effect is obtained either through the process of selective attention or dissociation, in which both theories involve the presence of activity in pain receptive regions of the brain, and a difference in the processing of the stimuli by the hypnotised subject.[15]

The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject’s responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.[16]

Study 1: Hypnosis and Pain – Review of Clinical Trials
Hypnotic Treatment of Chronic Pain
http://www.mirtharust.com/articles/Chronic_Pain.pdf

Notes: This paper reviewed various controlled trials involving the use of hypnosis to control pain. It concluded that hypnosis can provide a significantly greater reduction in pain than physical therapy, education, or the management of medications. It even found that the hypnotic treatment did not even have to be called ‘hypnosis’ for it to be effective.

J Behav Med. 2006 Jan 11;1-30 By: M. Jensen, D. R. Patterson
Author Affiliations: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington. University of Washington Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, Box 356044, University of Washington Medical Centre, 1959 N.E. Pacific, Seattle, Washington, 98195-6044

Study 2: Hypnosis and Pain – Another Review of Studies
Pain Management: Hypnosis and Its Place in Modern Pain Management – Review Article.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17767210

Notes: This paper reviewed the various scientific studies that showed hypnosis was an effective treatment for pain management. It concluded that in spite of some of the “methodological flaws” involved in many of the studies, there was “sufficient clinical evidence of sufficient quality” to conclude that hypnosis is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Niger Postgrad Med J. 2007 Sept;14(3):238-41 By: F. E. Amadasun, Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Study 3: Hypnosis and Pain – Yet Another Review of Studies
A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia: How Effective is Hypnosis?
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140008410045#preview

This paper reviewed 18 studies conducted on the use of hypnosis to relieve pain over a two-decade period. It concluded that hypnosis provided an effective way to help people deal with pain because it had a “moderate to large hypnoanalgesic effect.” It further concluded that hypnosis should be more widely used in the treatment of pain.
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 48, Issue 2, 2000, pages 138-153 By: Guy H. Montgomerya, Katherine N. Duhamela, William H. Redda, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

Study 4: Hypnosis – Alternative to Sedation for Surgery
Hypnosedation: A Valuable Alternative to Tradition Anaesthetic Techniques.Techniques.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10499382

Notes: This paper reports on the anecdotal use of hypnosis in over 1650 surgeries that were performed in the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, at the University of Liège in Belgium. It confirmed that hypnosedation combined with local anaesthesia can be used as an alternative to more traditional means of sedation.
Acta Chir Belg. 1999; 99:141-146
M. E. Faymonville, M. Meurisse, J. Fissette, Dept. of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Univ. of Liega, Beligum

Study 5: Hypnosis for Pain During Plastic Surgery
Psychological Approaches During Conscious Sedation. Hypnosis Versus Stress Reducing Strategies: A Prospective Randomised Study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9469526

Results: Not only did the group using hypnosis require significantly lower levels of midazolam and alfentanil than the control group; they reported experiencing significantly lower levels pain and anxiety; and a greater feeling of being in control during the entire process. Their vital signs were also found to be significantly more stable than those of the control group. This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery.

Notes: Sixty patients patients who were going to have plastic surgery using local anaesthetic and intravenous sedation (they could request midazolam and alfentanil if needed) were randomly placed into a control group where they were taught strategies for reducing stress, or into a group where they would receive hypnosis during the surgery. Their behaviour was monitored by a psychologist before, during, and after surgery where their levels of anxiety and pain, and feelings of being in control, were recorded.
Pain 1997, Dec;73(3)361-7
By: M. E. Faymonvillea, P. H. Mambourg, J. Jorisa, B. Vrijensc, J. Fissetted, A. Alberte, M. Lamyf

Study 6: Hypnosis for Pain – Angioplasty Procedure
Use of Hypnosis Before and During Angioplasty.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1951141

Results: This study found that the surgeons involved were able to keep the balloon inflated 25% longer with the hypnotised group. Forty-four percent of the control group also asked for more pain medication, compared with only 13% of the hypnotised group.

Notes: Thirty-two subjects were recruited for this study. Sixteen were randomly assigned to be in the control group and 16 were hypnotised before they underwent an angioplasty (a procedure where a balloon is inserted into a vein and then inflated to help open the vein while the patient remains conscious and aware).
Am J Clin Hypn. 1991 Jul;34(1):29-37
By: E. J. Weinstein, P. K. Au, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, USA

Study 7: Reason Why Hypnosis Alleviates Pain (not Because of release of Endorphins)
Naloxone Fails to Reverse Hypnotic Alleviation of Chronic Pain
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6415744

Notes: Some researchers had previously believed that the reason hypnosis helps to reduce chronic pain was that it caused the body to produce endorphins (our natural pain killers). To test this theory, 6 patients suffering from chronic pain (caused by peripheral nerve irritation) were taught self-hypnosis to reduce their feelings of pain. They were then randomly given either a saline solution (a placebo) or naloxone (a drug that is known to block the effects of endorphins) and were tested for pain at 5 minute intervals for an hour. If the analgesic effect of hypnosis was somehow caused by the internal production of endorphins, then naloxone would have caused the pain to return. However, the results of this study demonstrated that naloxone had no effect on the power of hypnosis to reduce pain. As a result, it was determined that endorphins are not involved in hypnotic pain control.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;81(2):140-3
By: D. Spiegel, L. H. Albert, Dept. of Psych., Stanford Univ.

Study 8: Hypnosis for Pain – Fibromyalgia
Functional Anatomy of Hypnotic Analgesia: A PET Study of Patients with Fibromyalgia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10700332

Results: The subjects all reported experiencing less pain when they were in the state of hypnosis, then they did when they were in a state of rest. The researchers also found that there were significant differences in the way the blood flowed through the brain in these two states. They found that during hypnotically-induced analgesia the blood flow “was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex.” This study proved that hypnosis leads to real physical changes in the brain.

Notes: In an attempt to understand what happens in the brain when a person is hypnotised and then given suggestions for pain relief, subjects were recruited who were suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia. PET (positron emission tomography) scans were then taken of their brains when they were resting and then when they were in a state of hypnotically-induced analgesia.
European Journal of Pain. Vol. 3(1) 1999; 7-12
By: G. Wik, H. Fischer, B. Bragée, B. Finer, M. Fredrikson, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Study 9: Hypnosis for Burn Pains
Hypnosis for the treatment of burn pain.
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1383302

Results: Only hypnotised subjects reported significant pain reductions relative to pretreatment baseline. This result was corroborated by nurse VAS ratings. Findings indicate that hypnosis is a viable adjunct treatment for burn pain.

Notes: The clinical utility of hypnosis for controlling pain during burn wound debridement was investigated. Thirty hospitalised burn patients and their nurses submitted visual analog scales (VAS) for pain during 2 consecutive daily wound debridements (the process of removing nonliving tissue from burns). On the 1st day, patients and nurses submitted baseline VAS ratings. Before the next day’s wound debridement, subjects received hypnosis, attention and information, or no treatment.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology [1992, 60(5):713-717
By: D. R. Patterson, J. J. Everett, G. L. Burns, J. A. Marvin, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195

Study 10: Self-Hypnosis for Pain and Anxiety During Biopsy Outpatient Procedures
Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: A prospective randomised trial with women undergoing large core breast biopsy
http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(06)00393-9/abstract

Results: Women’s anxiety increased significantly in the standard group (logit slope=0.18, p<0.001), did not change in the empathy group (slope=-0.04, p=0.45), and decreased significantly in the hypnosis group (slope=-0.27, p<0.001). Pain increased significantly in all three groups (logit slopes: standard care=0.53, empathy=0.37, hypnosis=0.34; all p<0.001) though less steeply with hypnosis and empathy than standard care (p=0.024 and p=0.018, respectively). Room time and cost were not significantly different in an univariate ANOVA despite hypnosis and empathy requiring an additional professional: 46min/$161 for standard care, 43min/$163 for empathy, and 39min/$152 for hypnosis. We conclude that, while both structured empathy and hypnosis decrease procedural pain and anxiety, hypnosis provides more powerful anxiety relief without undue cost and thus appears attractive for outpatient pain management.

Notes: Medical procedures in outpatient settings have limited options of managing pain and anxiety pharmacologically. We therefore assessed whether this can be achieved by adjunct self-hypnotic relaxation in a common and particularly anxiety provoking procedure. Two hundred and thirty-six women referred for large core needle breast biopsy to an urban tertiary university-affiliated medical centre were prospectively randomised to receive standard care (n=76), structured empathic attention (n=82), or self-hypnotic relaxation (n=78) during their procedures. Patients’ self-ratings at 10min-intervals of pain and anxiety on 0-10 verbal analog scales with 0=no pain/anxiety at all, 10=worst pain/anxiety possible, were compared in an ordinal logistic regression model.
PAIN, Volume 126, Issue 1, Pages 155-164, 15 December 2006
By: Elvira V. Lang, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre/Harvard Medical School, Department of Radiology
Kevin S. Berbaum, Salomao Faintuch, Olga Hatsiopoulou, Noami Halsey, Xinyu Li, Michael L. Berbaum, Eleanor Laser, Janet Baum

Study 11: Hypnosis for HIV Neuropathic Pain
Hypnosis for Treatment of HIV Neuropathic Pain: A Preliminary Report
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pme.12074/abstract;jsessionid=FDE3EE6797A0D9728AC3692148843D74.d01t02

Results: Mean SFMPQ total pain scores were reduced from 17.8 to 13.2 (F[1, 35]?=?16.06, P?<?0.001). The reductions were stable throughout the 7-week post intervention period. At exit, 26 out of 36 (72%) had improved pain scores. Of the 26 who improved, mean pain reduction was 44%. Improvement was found irrespective of whether or not participants were taking pain medications. There was also evidence for positive changes in measures of affect and quality of life.

Notes: Painful HIV distal sensory polyneuropathy (HIV-DSP) is the most common nervous system disorder in HIV patients. The symptoms adversely affect patients’ quality of life and often diminish their capacity for independent self-care. No interventions have been shown to be consistently effective in treating the disorder. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether hypnosis could be a useful intervention in the management of painful HIV-DSP. Participants were 36 volunteers with HIV-DSP who received three weekly training sessions in self-hypnosis. Participants were followed for pain and its sequelae for 7 weeks prior to the intervention, and for 7 weeks post intervention. Participants remained on the same standard-of-care pain regimen for the entire 17 weeks of the protocol. The primary outcome measure was the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire scale (SFMPQ) total pain score. Other outcome measures assessed changes in affective state and quality of life.
Pain Medicine online version of journal published online April 8, 2013
By: David Dorfman PhD1,*, Mary Catherine George MM2, Julie Schnur PhD3, David M. Simpson MD2, George Davidson PhD2, Guy Montgomery PhD3
Author Information:

  1. Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  2. Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  3. Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA

Additional References:

  1. Patterson, David R.; Questad, Kent A.; De Lateur, Barbara J. (1989). “Hypnotherapy as an adjunct to narcotic analgesia for the treatment of pain for burn debridement”. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 31 (3): 156–163.
  2. Mendoza, M. E.; Capafons, A. (2009). “Efficacy of clinical hypnosis: A summary of its empirical evidence” (PDF). Papeles del Psicólogo 30 (2): 98–116.
  3. Ewin, D.M. (2001). “The use of hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients” (PDF). International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis: 274–283.
  4. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  5. Butler, B. (1954). “The use of hypnosis in the care of the cancer patient” (PDF). Cancer 7 (1): 1–14.
  6. Peynovska, R.; Fisher, J.; Oliver, D.; Matthew, V. M. (2003). “Efficacy of hypnotherapy as a supplement therapy in cancer intervention” (PDF). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 30 June – 3 July 2003.
  7. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  8. Spiegel, D.; Moore, R. (1997). “Imagery and hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients”. Oncology 11 (8): 1179–1195.
  9. Garrow, D.; Egede, L. E. (2006). “National patterns and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine use in adults with diabetes”. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 12 (9): 895–902.
  10. Mascot, C. (2004). “Hypnotherapy: A complementary therapy with broad applications”. Diabetes Self Management 21 (5): 15–18.
  11. Kwekkeboom, K.L.; Gretarsdottir, E. (2006). “Systematic review of relaxation interventions for pain”. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 38 (3): 269–277.
  12. “Hypnosis”. American Cancer Society. November 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  13. Jerjes; et al. (2007). “Psychological intervention in acute dental pain: Review”. British Dental Journal 202.
  14. Meyerson, J.; Uziel, N. “Application of hypno-dissociative strategies during dental treatment of patients with severe dental phobia”. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 63.
  15. Myers, David G. (2014). Psychology: Tenth Edition in Modules (10th ed.). Worth Publishers. pp. 112–13.
  16. “Hypnosis, suggestion, and placebo in the reduction of experimental pain” faqs.org

Why Are Our Beliefs So Important?


Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis.

The concept of belief presumes a subject (a person) and an object of belief (the idea). So, like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs (that are actively thought about) and dispositional beliefs (that may be ascribed to someone who has not thought about the issue). For example, if I asked you “do you believe tigers wear high heels?” you might answer that you don’t, despite the fact you’ve never had to think about this situation before.

This has important implications for understanding the neuropsychology and neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent, then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail.

Philosopher Lynne Rudder baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief:

Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct – Sometimes called the “mental sentence theory,” in this conception, beliefs exist as coherent entities, and the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view.

Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions – This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we know it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says “I believe that snow is white” and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour. Most notably, philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong and will be completely superseded by a radically different theory that will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it – Known as eliminativism, this view (most notably proposed by Paul and Patricia Churchland) argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine, or the phlogiston theory of combustion. In these cases science hasn’t provided us with a more detailed account of these theories, but completely rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by entirely different accounts. The Churchlands argue that our common-sense concept of belief is similar in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain, the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong; however, treating people, animals, and even computers as if they had beliefs is often a successful strategy – The major proponents of this view, Daniel Dennett and Lynne Rudder Baker are both eliminativists in that they hold that beliefs are not a scientifically valid concept, but they don’t go as far as rejecting the concept of belief as a predictive device. Dennett gives the example of playing a computer at chess. While few people would agree that the computer held beliefs, treating the computer as if it did (e.g. that the computer believes that taking the opposition’s queen will give it a considerable advantage) is likely to be a successful and predictive strategy. In this understanding of belief, named by Dennett the intentional stance, belief-based explanations of mind and behaviour are at a different level of explanation and are not reducible to those based on fundamental neuroscience, although both may be explanatory at their own level.

So after all that, how do we define Belief?

Definition: A belief is a Driver (usually Unconscious) we hold and deeply trust about something. They can trigger our Values, Emotions & Behaviours. Beliefs tend to be buried deep within the subconscious. We seldom question beliefs; we hold them to be truths even when there is no solid evidence to support the belief.

A Belief is aroused by an Event e.g. without being aware of it, Andy held the belief that it was ok to openly criticise people. Alienation of his friends caused him to identify, question, and change this belief about what is acceptable to others.

We each behave as though our beliefs are true. What we perceive defines what we believe and this belief or perception is what guides our behaviour. A Belief is a form of judging something to be true, sitting somewhere between opinion and knowledge. Opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. Knowledge is learnt expertise, skills, facts and information.

A simple definition for a belief is: A belief is an assumed truth. We create beliefs to anchor our understanding of the world around us and thus, once we have formed a belief, we will tend to persevere with that belief, sometimes even when holding onto that belief is detrimental to us.

Change begins with awareness. Awareness begins with learning about how beliefs and emotional reaction are created by choice.

Some fundamental information about beliefs:

  • They may or may not be based on truth
  • They can also be easily formed out of emotion relating to one or many incidents
  • They may or may not be supported by irrefutable evidence
  • They usually have an emotional attachment, which strengthens belief
  • They do not update themselves automatically and therefore are stored at the initial stage (emotional state, etc.)

There are 3 Basic Types of Beliefs

1. Casual Beliefs: Everyday, practical beliefs that don‘t matter much if we get them wrong such as – I believe it will rain tomorrow

2. Conditioned Beliefs: These come from an assessment of what has happened in the past and then predicts the same results in the future. So we get beliefs such as I‘m no good at this or I can‘t do that. These beliefs, if negative, can stifle our potential and limit our lives.

3. Core Beliefs: Can be positive or negative, lead us to be an optimist or pessimist and decide the answers to such questions as Who am I?, What is life about? What we learn and experience in early life shapes beliefs about the world and ourselves. Core beliefs are like a mental framework that supports our thoughts, beliefs, values and perception. Core beliefs are the deepest of all because what we believe “deep down inside” underpins our value system and our attitudes and opinions. This is one of the reasons why core beliefs are seldom questioned even when they are causing enormous problems within the person who holds that core belief.

Last of all, there is a fourth type of belief that overlaps all three previous types and these are Limiting Beliefs. These can be hugely destructive and even lead us to the point of complete hopelessness and suicide. Now of course, this does not have to be the case and is rare in the grand scheme of things, however, these limiting beliefs that we all have from time to time can really hold us back from achieving what we want to achieve in life.

“Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.”

Damn right it does.

The one common false belief holding you back is that you think that your past determines who you are. If that were true, no one would ever overcome adversity, benefit from a second chance, or improve themselves through education, self-discipline, or perseverance.

Your past actions, good and bad, can be judged by you and by others. You can learn from your errors as well as your successes. Others can think what they will, but neither your reflections on your past nor others’ opinions of you determine who you are now or in the future.

Believing that your past defines who you are is a toxic fallacy. Consider a circus elephant chained by one leg to a stake in the ground: Why doesn’t the elephant just pull the stake loose and wander away? Because it couldn’t do so when it was young. And so the adult elephant is still restrained—not by the chain, but by its past, or rather, the learned associations from its past (Chain around leg means “can’t walk”).

Cognitive dissonance is the culprit that motivates us to maintain the belief that what we were in the past is all that we ever will be. Leon Festinger originated the concept back in the 1950s. He also proposed the principle of cognitive consistency—that is, that we seek to maintain mental and emotional balance by thinking and acting in compliance with who we think we are. And who do we think we are? The same person we have always been. And so when we attempt to think and act differently, cognitive dissonance sets in.

Here’s the trick— metacognition. That simply means being able to observe one’s own thinking and feelings objectively and unemotionally, so that one can assess what may be “pushing our buttons.” If you want to change but experience cognitive dissonance in the process, metacognition can help you identify dissonance as a normal but unhelpful reaction. With effort you can then master the dissonance and proceed with the changes you want to make, until those changes become the new normal.

Are you chained to the past? If so, that chain exists only in your mind. You can remember and reflect on the past without being defined and limited by it.

What’s stopping you? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Negative_thinking-limiting-beliefs

Limiting Beliefs are beliefs we have that limit the way we live, or from being, doing or having what we want. We all have limiting beliefs from time to time in our lives, particularly when we have to learn something new that is way out of our comfort zone, beyond our current skill set or just so completely different from anything we’ve done before.

If you speak to any Olympic athlete they will tell you that there have been times when they wanted to quit because at times they felt it was just too hard to achieve that small improvement in performance to throw or jump further, to swim or run faster. They constantly have help from their coaches to reframe these negative thoughts that create limiting beliefs.

I remember very clearly several occasions during my time in basic training to become a Royal Marine where I wanted to quit. There were a couple of key tests that pushed me way beyond my limits at that time and the self induced pressure from that put my mind into a negative spiral of doubt and self criticism. My training team new I could do it, it was purely that stress and pressure had sown that seed of doubt and reframed my usual positive outlook into a limiting belief about these key tests. Just as the Olympic coaches do with their athletes, my training did the same for me and reminded me of everything I had achieved so far and what I was working so hard for, that elusive and exclusive Green Beret. Something I had wanted for a long time and this stirred the fire in my belly and revved up my determination, motivation, commitment and desire to refuse to quit until I had that beret on my head. They reminded me of the Royal Marines Corps Spirit, Values and Ethos which are:

The Commando Spirit

These four elements of the Commando Spirit; courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, were etched into my mind during my basic eight months training and are well known to all Royal Marine recruits by the time they complete their Commando training. But these constituents of the ‘Commando Spirit’ are what make the Royal Marines individual ‘commandos’. What shapes the way they work as a team, giving the Royal Marines its special identity, the way they carry their duties, is a second set of group values laid out below. They should seem quite familiar. It is the combination of individual Commando Spirit qualities, coupled with these group values, that together forms the Royal Marine ethos.

Royal Marine ethos = Individual Commando Sprit + Collective Group Values

  • Courage
  • Unity
  • Determination
  • Adaptability
  • Unselfishness
  • Humility
  • Cheerfulness in the Face of Adversity
  • Professional Standards
  • Fortitude
  • Commando Humour

These elements collectively are what have stood the test of time for me and all of my clients that I have worked with over the last twenty years in smashing Limiting Beliefs, these beliefs fall into five main categories:

1. Any ‘feelings’ that you can’t feel: If the description you give yourself or someone else gives you which, when you “try it on,” is something you cannot feel without hallucinating substantially. Eg ‘I feel I have to worry’. Also, where the word ‘feel’ could be replaced by ‘believe’ and the sentence still makes sense, then that could indicate a limiting belief. Eg ‘I feel (believe) people don’t like me’.

2. Negations: Anytime there is a negation describing anything, which might be an emotion eg ‘I’m not clever’, ‘I can’t have a good relationship’

3. Comparatives: Whenever there are comparisons. Eg ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t make enough money/friends’

4. Limiting Decisions: Whenever a Limiting Belief is adopted, a Limiting Decision preceded that acceptance. A Limiting Decision preceded even the beliefs that were adopted from other people. Eg ‘I should know all the answers’, ‘I should get it right every time’.

5. Modal Operators of Necessity: Words such as have to, got to, must, ought, should.

The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people (such as children, students, or employees) the better they perform. The Pygmalion effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regard to education and social class. The principle works in both ways, if you have high expectations then people will generally respond positively and achieve what’s expected, equally on the other side of the coin, if we have low expectations of people then they will respond according to our attitude and behaviour towards them.

Pygmalion_Effect

Some examples of Limiting Beliefs are as follows:

I must stay the way I don’t want to be because__________________________________

I can’t get what I want because______________________________________________

I’ll never get better because_________________________________________________

My biggest problem is______________because_________________________________

I’ll always have this problem because__________________________________________

I don’t deserve_________________because____________________________________

I’m not good enough to_____________________________________________________

NB. It is important to distinguish between statements of fact/truth, and limiting beliefs, for example:

POSSIBLE TRUTH/FACT ————————— LIMITING DECISION

I don’t have any money ———————— I can’t make any money.

I am not a good athlete ———————— I cannot become a good athlete.

I don’t have any qualifications —————- I need qualifications to succeed.

I don’t trust people ——————————- People are not trustworthy

Below is a little exercise that explains how to change or reframe a limiting belief so that you change your beliefs/thinking/attitude/feelings which changes your actions/behaviours which changes the results you achieve in your life.

Beliefs-Behaviours-Results

I would really like you to  consider this exercise and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief or had a long held, conditioned limiting belief that held you back from achieving something you really wanted, perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. Use this exercise to draw out the detail of a limiting belief/s and use this knowledge to reframe it into an empowering belief that drives your life in the direction you want it to go.

EXERCISE:

Every single one of your beliefs is important to you because what you believe determines who and how you are.

I would like you to use this cheat sheet and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief/s that have held you back from achieving something you really wanted. Perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. I recommend writing a description of each belief in as much detail as possible so that you really understand what it is made of, this makes it much easier to identify what you can, want and need to change in order to reframe it and change it into a positive, empowering belief.

Answer the following questions and write your answers down:

  • How does it make you feel when you think about that limiting belief?
  • Can you identify what changed and when, if it did?
  • What limiting belief/s do you have right now? How does that make you feel?
  • What do you want to believe about that situation, person, people etc that would change the outcome to one that is positive for you?
  • How does changing the belief about that situation make you feel?

Part 1: What are My Limiting Beliefs

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3.

4.

5.

Part 2: Now I Know My Limiting Beliefs, What Can I Reframe Them Into Empowering Beliefs

Use this section to reframe and rewrite your old limiting beliefs into new Empowering beliefs that bring a whole new spin, a new energy to them as they transform you and lead your life in a direction that you may have been striving for and now it will happen all by itself as you change your thinking, behaviour and results.

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2.

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My final thought is this.

Screenshot 2017-03-28 12.24.49

References:

Bell, V.; Halligan, P. W.; Ellis, H. D. (2006). “A Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief”. In Halligan, Peter W.; Aylward, Mansel. The Power of Belief: Psychological Influence on Illness, Disability, and Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-853010-2.
Jump up: Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07320-1.

The Value of Your Values


I wonder if you’ve ever thought about what your personal values are? Not many people have even considered it before, yet clarifying your personal values profoundly impacts career planning, decision-making, and the accomplishment of individual goals. There’s significant research over the last several years that indicates that clarifying personal values reduces stress, strengthens willpower, and aids in overcoming significant obstacles to achievement. Identifying your personal values is an essential and vastly under utilised tool for personal and professional development.

So How Do We Define Values?

Here’s one Definition: Values are deeply held beliefs about what is good, right, and appropriate.

Values are deep-seated and remain constant over time. We accumulate our values from childhood based on teachings and observations of our parents, family, friends, teachers, spiritual leaders, and other influential and powerful people.

Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect your sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. “Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representative of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behaviour. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues.

Achievable goals can only be established and pursued if they are in synchrony with your personal values.

You must be clear about your values because they reveal who you are and what values are directly related to the quality and depth of your self-worth.

Some typical values explored in coaching are: harmony, balance, loyalty, achievement, wisdom, integrity, honesty, acceptance, happiness, inclusion, freedom etc.

A Values Assessment Exercise can provide you with:

  • A clear understanding of what is important to you and identifying your guiding principles
  • A map as to where you are and where you want to go based on your values
  • A clearer understanding of why you do what you do
  • A better understanding of how you can best interact with others
  • Better control of your life and ability to succeed as you clarify your personal values

Why Values Clarification Helps

People who are confused or unclear about their values often have difficulty making important life-decisions, because they tend not to weigh what is most important to them. This is an especially urgent problem today, with all the choices, noise, and mixed messages pulling us in a thousand different directions. We are living in a world of infinite options, which can be wonderful, but also more than a little confusing.

Think about how many decisions, big or small, you make in a day. This choice overload can be utterly overwhelming, especially for someone looking for career direction. This is why a values-based decision-making paradigm is an incredibly meaningful alternative. For instance, if you value organisation, you will work best in an organised work environment. Using deeply held personal values as a life compass will empower you and your clients, if you’re a coach, to make career decisions that are right for the individual.

After surveying the workforce in 142 countries, Gallup concluded that only 13% of employees are engaged at work, and 87% of those surveyed dislike (or even loathe) their jobs. Why, when we now have more career options and resources than ever, are so many people simply going through the motions, and working for the weekend? Why do so many surveys indicate that people are truly dissatisfied with their jobs?

It’s because they are compromising their personal values, most without even realising they’re doing it.

We can truly do meaningful work only when we are living according to our core values!

If you’d like get clarity on your personal values, work through the simple values assessment exercise below:

First, take a few moments to read through the list of values and make an initial list of any values that stand out for you, this will be your baseline to start from and this list may be 15-20 and that’s fine as Steps 1 & 2 will help you cut the list down. I’d also like you to write down your observations, thoughts and feelings about these initial values and why you feel they are important to you right now. remember that this is just the beginning of this process and the list will shorten and change, possibly quite significantly too, so just go with it and see what happens.

Values List

Values Exercise Step 1:

What I Value Most…

Value Assessment: From your initial list of values (both work and personal) select the eight – ten that are most important to you. Feel free to add any values of your own to this list if they are not there.

Step 2: Prioritise

Now that you have identified your top eight – ten, write them in order of importance for you from 1 being the most important to 10 being the least important.

Now read the bottom half of your list out loud . If you were offered a job or told that these were the values you were going to live the rest of your life by, would it feel right?

Now repeat this with the top half of your list, if you were offered a job or told that these were the values you were going to live the rest of your life by, would it feel right?

If you chose the bottom half then you need to redo your list or re-prioritise it. This in itself is a very important discovery and helps you to really connect with what is truly important to you, and, you can apply it to anything in life such as a buying a car, choosing a holiday etc.

However, if you chose the top 4-5 as values you felt most comfortable living by then you have done an excellent job in prioritising your values list

Some Guidelines:

  1. Using the Values List – name 3 values that you move towards and that are important to you (e.g., freedom)
  2. Name 3 feeling states you wish to avoid (e.g., rejection)
  3. What values or feeling states do you need to create your destiny? (e.g., self-determination)
  4. Identify 3 people who have had the greatest impact on your life? What special advice or values remain with you?
  5. List 3 peak experiences that have profoundly shaped your life/career direction

 

I hope you found this useful and my next article will be about beliefs and how they are tied to our values.

To your success.

Simon

 

What is Consciousness?


I have been fascinated by the human mind for as long as I can remember and in particular, what constitutes consciousness and how does it vary? How does this create and alter our reality? What influences our consciousness and how? There are so many questions that grabbed me early on and lead me to self study at first and then fall into formal learning of the subject.

The study of consciousness can be quite hard work, be it from either psychological or philosophical perspectives. The scientific consideration of states of consciousness that differ from ordinary waking consciousness is a path filled with hazards and booby traps. Tart’s (1975) publication of States of Consciousness was a game changer of the application of the philosophy and the discipline of science itself to a topic too often treated as an outcast within psychological science: Altered states of consciousness. It was Tart who created this term and applied a rigorous discipline of study for many phenomena of consciousness. Although States of Consciousness is widely cited in authoritative studies of consciousness such as that by Farthing (1992), as well as in current examinations of hypnosis and meditation phenomena of consciousness (Holroyd, 2003), unfortunately, the original publication has been out of print. The current edition was produced to provide the need for access to the original work.

In the Introduction Tart describes his book as “transitional” in several ways. One is social. This is because concepts of consciousness (like those of science itself) are based on consensus. We are living in an age in which standards and mores are rapidly shifting, and the process of consensus (as well as its value) is being questioned. A second transition is within the field of psychology itself which has alternated from the study of mind to the study of behavior and may be returning to the study of mind again. Tart’s book may also represent a transition for the author in the sense that in it he reaches out as a theoretician instead of as an experimentalist.

In Chapter One Tart orients the reader to a systems approach to considering states of consciousness. he theorises the necessity of basic awareness and structure in what he calls “discrete states of consciousness (d-SoC)” and identifies processes that are necessary for their stabilisation. he also defines the “discrete altered states of consciousness (d-ASC)” which are different from various baselines of consciousness. Their differences can be identified via ten sub-systems that show variations in d-ASC’s. These are: (1) Exteroception; (2) Interoception; (3) Input-Processing; (4) Memory; (5) Subconscious; (6) Emotions; (7) Evaluation and Decision Making; (8) Space/Time Sense; (9) Sense of Identity; and (10) Motor Output. Tart explains how one transitions from a discrete state to consciousness to an altered state through an interaction of disrupting forces and patterning forces.

In Chapter Two he focuses on the components of Consciousness which are Awareness, Energy, and Structure, and painstakingly sets up experiential criteria for detecting an altered state of consciousness. he reminds the reader that many structures interact simultaneously in the human being. The third chapter is devoted to examining conservative and radical views of the mind, with the former dedicated to the proposition that all mental activity is generated by the brains activity, while the latter admits to other influences upon the brain that come from outside the organism. Tart, the scientist, tells us: “I do not like the radical view” (p. 32). The radical view of consciousness runs contrary to all of what has been considered rational in nineteenth and twentieth century empirical science. The scientist who questions it faces the risk of being discredited within the field. Chapter Four examines ordinary states of consciousness in great detail, and Chapter Five defines discrete states of consciousness, explores how they may be mapped, and ties them to Tart’s operational concepts of ego states.

In Chapter Six the author explains how states of consciousness are stabilised, and in Chapter Seven he examines the induction of the altered states of going to sleep, hypnosis, and meditation. A very lengthy Chapter Eight scrutinises each of the subsystems set up in Chapter One in great detail, and Chapter Nine treats the topic of individual differences. Tart regards their inadequate recognition as a methodological deficiency that has retarded the progress of psychological science.

In the tenth chapter the use of drugs to induce altered states of consciousness is introduced, and in Chapter Eleven the author concentrates in the observation of internal states and introduces his operational concept of the Observer. This Observer is not a hidden one at all. It sounds very much like the rational, observing ego, postulated by Sterba (1934), that arises in the development of a therapeutic alliance. The next chapter expands on the complexity of consciousness states by dealing with various Identity States and considering how important they can be as adaptive, stabilising factors for discrete states of consciousness and ultimately, for the organism. Chapter Thirteen re-visits the systems approach in greater depth and presents certain useful strategies such as merging two discrete states of consciousness.

In Chapter Fourteen the author introduces measurements of the depth of states of consciousness; in Chapter Fifteen, State Specific Communication, and in the final chapters of the book discusses State Specific Science, and Higher States of Consciousness.

It is in the Chapters Eighteen, Nineteen, and Twenty, which comprise section Two of this book, that the author speculates on the implications of the five basic principles held in common by Physics and Psychology. This leads to a serious consideration of how our beliefs may alter reality. Tart confronts us with the proposition, held by so many religions and spiritual practices, that ordinary consciousness is a state of illusion, and he asks whether there may be some way “out of it” for us; that is, some way to live within the conflicting worlds and paradigms of our states of consciousness without reducing our own sense of being to the limits of the ordinary states. he explains that the experiences of altered states of consciousness, the dismantling of some of our cherished structures, and the practice of non-attachment can be helpful. Tart ends this book with the statement of the challenge that Western psychology faces: “…to apply the immense power of science and our other spiritual traditions, East and West, to search for a way out” (p. 286).

Are there any drawbacks to this book? The fact that it is information dense and requires close reading and reflection will make this quite heavy reading for anyone looking for “sound bites for the mind.” However, this is not a book intended for those who are not serious students of states of consciousness. Tart has used both acronyms and diagrams in his attempts to convey his complex concepts. At times I found it more difficult to keep track of the acronyms than it would have been to simply see the words spelled out in full, and quite a challenge at times to decipher the diagrams over and above understanding the text itself.

The re-publication of this classic work fills a genuine need in the scientific community. We live in the world of alternative therapies and shifting paradigms. Tart offers genuine ways for studying consciousness. he weds rigorous science and good logic in a systematised examination of consciousness and altered states of consciousness that is now a standard reference in studies. Studies of Consciousness remains a seminal source for those who scientifically study altered states of consciousness such as hypnosis, meditative states, mystical experiences, sleep, dreaming, non-local phenomena, Ego State Therapy, dissociative phenomena, and peak performance. It is a fascinating read and is a must for anyone studying consciousness and the varying fields allied to it.

References

  • Farthing, G. W. (1992). The psychology of consciousness. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Holroyd, J. (2003). The science of meditation and the state of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 46(2), 109-128.
  • Sterba, R.F. (1934). The fate of the ego in analytic therapy. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 15, 1 17-126
  • Tart, C. T. (1975). States of consciousness. New York: Dutton.

PTSD Treatment Research Project


As you may well know, I am a therapist, coach and trainer based up in the North east of Scotland and run a private clinic that specialises in trauma and PTSD. I have worked with people from all walks of life and helped them move beyond the PTSD and onto a happy and satisfying life again. PTSD is not restricted to purely the military, it affects anyone that has experienced one or more traumatic events regardless of who you are or what you do and the great thing is that it does not have to last forever, there are ways to resolve the trauma and live a normal life. It is through retraining your brain to process these memories differently that dissolves the physical and psychological symptoms that are caused by the psychological injury that results from the traumatic event/s.

I am now in the final stages of designing a PTSD Research Project up in Aberdeenshire to document the treatment method that I have been developing based on the outstanding work of various leaders in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, NLP and Neuroscience. My ultimate aim is to have the project independently assessed and use the evidence to generate funding locally in order that the project can then be replicated around the region and help as many people as possible.

I am now starting to look for volunteers for this project and keen for a wide spectrum of volunteers from military and civilian populations. I am very keen for volunteers from all emergency services, however, if you or someone you know would like to participate and receive free treatment for existing PTSD, this needs to have been diagnosed, and I will need your permission to discuss this with your GP and mental health professional if you are currently in their care.

Please email me at simon@simonmaryan.com to arrange an initial meeting to assess whether your participation is beneficial for you or if there are any contraindications that could exclude you from the project.

I will update again when the project is ready to start and provide dates etc.

Simon

Reframing Your Resolutions for Success


strength-doesnt-come-from-what-you-can-do
Have you ever been your own worst critic, especially at this time of year when it comes to your new years resolution about losing that fat that’s crept up on you and got you in that immovable bear hug? How many times have you made that same resolution, made some progress then got distracted, injured, fed up, pissed of, bored, confused with all the hype and bullshit out there and then completely de-motivated?

Trying harder is often not the solution. Making resolutions from a place of mixed emotions such as guilt, shame etc, and from a state of confusion will always end in failure. The way to make a resolution that will actually work is to let all that negative shit go for a while and work on forgiving yourself for being where you are and accepting you for who you are right now. Once you reach this point you can dive back in to pursuing what you desire for yourself. But if you want to succeed, it has to come from a place of compassion.

I don’t like using the word goal these days, it’s far too corporate, clinical and not particularly motivating. I much prefer the word desire. When you focus in what you desire it generates very different emotions, feelings and thought processes and these are much more capable of developing the behaviours and habits that will get you tow what you desire.

Now I am very well aware that this may be a completely alien concept to you and that you may feel that this is easier said than done. Finding self-compassion can be quite a challenge at first, particularly if you are used to kicking your own arse when you don’t achieve what it is your set yourself, and the idea of forgiving yourself for being in the same situation time after time seems ridiculous. Yet while it might take a lot more self-reflection and exploration than counting calories and drinking green juices, compassion and forgiveness are the hidden keys to successful achievement in any area of your life. Here’s a few top tips.

1. Be compassionate towards yourself and find acceptance of where you’re at.
Begin by identifying the area where you’re stuck or dissatisfied in your life and approach it with compassion. This step can be difficult for people who feel sure that shame about their weight was the only thing standing in the way of gaining more weight.

It takes a lot of courage, patience, and self-reflection to release and reframe the belief that self-shaming is helping you stay in control. If you’re struggle with this, I strongly encourage you to honestly examine how that tactic has worked for you so far. Has it really helped you reach your desired result? If your answer is no, then are you ready to try something new?

2. Cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself.
Once you’re able to embrace compassion instead of shame, it’s time for the most important step: Explore ways that you can reframe your situation and forgive yourself for being where you are right now. While reframing looks different for everyone, it can sometimes be painful and anchored with emotional baggage. Be prepared to face your demons and don’t be afraid to reach out for support during this phase.

Reframing in this context requires two things: acceptance of the objective facts and willingness to subjectively reframe those facts in a more self-loving way. People often think they’re accepting the facts when they apply guilt and shame for where they’re at, but they’re not.

First of all be crystal clear about the actual facts. Separate your subjective stories (for instance, “I’m lazy and need to get in shape”) from the facts (“This is my body today”) and work to accept the literal truth of where you are. Don’t be surprised if your objective list is short: You are here, in this body, right now. Try looking in the mirror every morning and repeating to yourself, “This is what I look like today.”

You also need to reframe the subjective stories you tell yourself about how you got here, why you’re here, and what that means about who you are. The story you’ve believed so far is entirely subjective, it is just the reality that you’ve created to justify it to yourself, and must be rewritten to be kinder and more self-loving. It can be helpful to talk to people who love you. Tell them what you’re working on reframing and ask for their help.

3. Ask yourself, “What if this were a gift?”
I know this sounds completely mad, how could an extra 20 pounds be a gift? Bear with me here for a moment as you search for the gift in your struggle. You might be surprised to find that staying stuck has protected you from something you weren’t yet ready to handle, or that the change you’ve been trying to make actually goes against one of your highest values. Do you know what your core values are? Check out my free PDF that will take you step by step through the process of figuring them out.

How To Achieve Your Desired Goals

How to Feel Great Even When You’ve Gained Weight
After weeks of contemplation and journaling, a client of mine came to me one day with an answer to that question. She told me that the extra weight she carried protected her from unwanted male attention, and that she was absolutely terrified of what would happen if she lost it and became (in her words) “traditionally attractive.” She also said that other women saw her as non-threatening, because she wasn’t skinny. The weight had helped attract a great number of kind and supportive women into her life. In short, those 20 pounds truly were a gift, and her subconscious was reluctant to part with them.

This is how rewriting your personal story gives you the opportunity to forgive yourself. Mt client began to see that no matter how hard she tried to lose weight, she was always going to fail, because she valued safety and connection too highly.

No matter what your guilt ridden resolution might be, I assure you there is a very good reason you haven’t accomplished it, yet. There always is. Once you find that reason, you will also find compassion and forgiveness and be able to see what really needs to be done in order to move forward. For my client, that work meant learning to feel comfortable and safe in her own skin, healing from an old trauma that made her believe male attention was dangerous, and trusting that losing weight wouldn’t drive away the female connections she valued so deeply.

Compassion and forgiveness aren’t only useful for getting you unstuck; you can also use them to help you set goals from the get-go. Ask yourself what gift your habit has been and offer yourself a replacement before attempting your goal.

Take smoking as an example. If smoking offers you stress relief and common ground with friends, you’re going to need to adopt some new habits to fight stress and social awkwardness before your subconscious will let go of smoking.

By goal-setting from a place of compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and understanding, you’ll be armed with the right tools that you need to actually succeed and achieve what you desire.

If you’re still struggling with reframing then by all means get in touch with me and we can figure it out together, just drop me an email on simon@simonmaryan.com to arrange a time.

Simon

Black Friday Deals


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Good morning everyone,

I’m pretty sure that you’ve been inundated with offers all week in preparation for today and no doubt you will receive plenty more even after today has finished.

It can be overwhelming with the quantity that comes through and sometimes confusing and even annoying…trust me I know, I get them too!!

However, it is amazing the deals that you can pick up when you look around and sift through. 

The thing is we all have to do a lot off sifting through in life in general everyday and some of those decisions are small and some are potentially life changing, and it’s important to take a little time over those really important decisions and make sure that the decision you make feels right at the end of the day.

For me this is so important when deciding on what I choose for my own personal development, because I want to know that I’m getting as much bang for my buck as possible and that the investment is right for me.

So today, I am offering 50% off everything in my online shop until Midnight on Sunday 27th November 2016. That means you can choose from:

  • Coaching – in person or via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime 
  • Training courses – online and face to face
  • Hypnosis sessions – in person or via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime 
  • Books and pdf’s – download
  • Hypnosis audio tracks – download

There’s a fair bit to choose from so take your time to decide on what’s right for you and you can claim your 50% discount by using the following code at checkout: 2LIFVU16YABV

You can find the shop at this link  The Mind-Body Coach Shop 

So, have a fantastic day and a fun filled weekend and for all of you in the US have a brilliant Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends.

Simon 🙂