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Definition:Dreams are the images, thoughts and feelings experienced while sleeping, particularly strongly associated with rapid eye movement sleep. The contents and biological purposes of dreams are not fully understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and interest throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is known aoneirology.


Our brains are in constant activity. Different states of consciousness (like awake, asleep alert, drowsy, excited, bored, concentrating or daydreaming) cause different brain wave activity. Our conscious mind, or the part we think with, our “window” into life, only takes up a very small portion of our brain activity. (some say this is only 10%) Other areas control things like breathing, heartbeat, converting light to vision, sound to hearing, balance when we walk, etc. etc. This too has it’s own percentage (small). Another area controls imagination. This area is widely an undiscovered frontier. Imagination is more then dreaming of a new car or picturing someone with their cloths off! When you look at clouds and see shapes, or wood grain and see images, this is the “order from chaos” part of your imagination. The mind cannot deal with chaos very well, in fact it will resist it and sometimes manufacture order. (very important to the dreaming process.)This too occupies a small percentage of brian activity. Then there is memory. Memory is vast!

Neurology of sleep and dreams:-

There is no universally agreed biological definition of dreaming. General observation shows that dreams are strongly associated with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, during which an electroencephalogram shows brain activity to be most like wakefulness. Participant-nonremembered dreams during non-REM sleep are normally more mundane in

comparison. During a typical lifespan, a human spends a total of about six years dreaming (which is about 2 hours each night). It is unknown where in the brain dreams originate, if there is a single origin for dreams or if multiple portions of the brain are involved, or what the purpose of dreaming is for the body or mind. It has been hypothesized that dreams are the result of naturally occurring dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the brain.

During REM sleep, the release of certain neurotransmitters is completely suppressed. As a result, motor neurons are not stimulated, a condition known as REM atonia. This prevents dreams from resulting in dangerous movements of the body. Studies show that various species of Mammals and Birds experience REM during sleep.

Discovery of REM

In 1953 Eugene Aserinsky discovered REM sleep while working in the surgery of his PhD advisor. Aserinsky noticed that the sleepers’ eyes fluttered beneath their closed eyelids, later using a polygraph machine to record their brain waves during these periods. In one session he awakened a subject who was wailing and crying out during REM and confirmed his suspicion that dreaming was occurring. In 1953 Aserinsky and his advisor published the ground-breaking study in Science.

Dream theories

Activation-synthesis Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley proposed a new theory that changed dream research, challenging the previously held Freudian view of dreams as unconscious wishes to be interpreted. The activation synthesis theory asserts that the sensory experiences are fabricated by the cortex as a means of interpreting chaotic signals from the pons. They propose that in REM sleep, the ascending cholinergic PGO (ponto-geniculo-occipital) waves stimulate higher midbrain and forebrain cortical structures, producing rapid eye movements. The activated forebrain then synthesizes the dream out of this internally generated information. They assume that the same structures that induce REM sleep also generate

sensory information.

Hobson and McCarley’s 1976 research suggested that the signals interpreted as dreams originated in the brain stem during REM sleep. However, research by Mark Solms suggests that dreams are generated in the forebrain, and that REM sleep and dreaming are not directly related. While working in the neurosurgery department at hospitals in Johannesburg and London, Solms had access to patients with various brain injuries. He began to question patients about their dreams and confirmed that patients with damage to the parietal lobe stopped dreaming; this finding was in line with Hobson’s 1977 theory. However, Solms did notencounter cases of loss of dreaming with patients having brain stem damage. This observation forced him to question Hobson’s prevailing theory which marked the brain stem as the source of the signals interpreted as dreams. Solms viewed the idea of dreaming as a function of many complex brain structures as validating Freudian dream theory, an idea that drew criticism from Hobson. Unhappy about Hobson’s attempts at discrediting him, Solms, along with partner Edward Nadar, undertook a series of traumatic-injury impact studies using several different species of primates, particularly howler monkeys, in order to more fully understand the role brain damage plays in dream pathology. Solms’ experiments provedinconclusive, however, as the high mortality rate associated with using an hydraulic impact pin to artificially produce brain damage in test subjects meant that his final candidatepool was too small to satisfy the requirements of the scientific method.

Dreams and memory

Eugen Tarnow suggests that dreams are ever-present excitations of long-term memory, evenduring waking life. The strangeness of dreams is due to the format of long-term memory,reminiscent of Penfield & Rasmussen’s findings that electrical excitations of the cortex give rise to experiences similar to dreams. During waking life an executive function interprets long term memory consistent with reality checking. Tarnow’s theory is a reworking of Freud’s theory of dreams in which Freud’s unconscious is replaced with the long-term memory system and Freud’s “Dream Work” describes the structure of long-term memory

Hippocampus and memory

A 2001 study showed evidence that illogical locations, characters, and dream flow may help the brain strengthen the linking and consolidation of semantic memories. These conditions may occur because, during REM sleep, the flow of information between the hippocampus and neocortex is reduced.[10] Increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol late in sleep (often during REM sleep) cause this decreased communication. One stage of memory consolidation is the linking of distant but related memories. Payne and Nadel hypothesize that these memories are then consolidated into a smooth narrative, similar to a process that happens when memories are created under stress.

Functional hypotheses:
There are many hypotheses about the function of dreams, including:

*During the night there may be many external stimuli bombarding the senses, but the mindinterprets the stimulus and makes it a part of a dream in order to ensure continued sleep.The mind will, however, awaken an individual if they are in danger or if trained to respond to certain sounds, such as a baby crying.

*Dreams allow the repressed parts of the mind to be satisfied through fantasy while keeping the conscious mind from thoughts that would suddenly cause one to awaken from shock.

*Freud suggested that bad dreams let the brain learn to gain control over emotions resulting from distressing experiences.

*Jung suggested that dreams may compensate for one-sided attitudes held in waking consciousness.

*Ferenczi proposed that the dream, when told, may communicate something that is not being said outright.

*Dreams are like the cleaning-up operations of computers when they are off-line, removing parasitic nodes and other “junk” from the mind during sleep.

*Dreams create new ideas through the generation of random thought mutations. Some of these may be rejected by the mind as useless, while others may be seen as valuable and retained. Blechner calls this the theory of “Oneiric Darwinism.”

*Dreams regulate mood.

*Hartmann says dreams may function like psychotherapy, by “making connections in a safe place” and allowing the dreamer to integrate thoughts that may be dissociated during waking life.

*More recent research by Griffin has led to the formulation of the ‘expectation fulfillment theory of dreaming’, which suggests that dreaming metaphorically completes patterns of emotional expectation and lowers stress levels.

*Coutts hypothesizes that dreams modify and test mental schemas during sleep during a process he calls emotional selection, and that only schema modifications that appear emotionally adaptive during dream tests are selected for retention, while those that appear maladaptive are abandoned or further modified and tested.

*Dream is a product of “dissociated imagination”, which is dissociated from conscious self and draws material from sensory memory for simulation, with sensory feedback resulting in hallucination. By simulating the sensory signals to drive the autonomous nerves, dream can effect mind-body interaction. In the brain and spine, the autonomous “repair nerves”, which can expand the blood vessels, connect with pain and compression nerves, and are grouped into many chains called meridians by the Chinese. Dream also exploits the chain-reacting meridians to repair body by sending out very intensive movement-compression signals when the level of growth enzyme goes high.

Dreams and psychosis

A number of thinkers have commented on the similarities between the phenomenology of dreamsand that of psychosis. Features common to the two states include thought disorder, flattened or inappropriate affect (emotion), and hallucination. Among philosophers, Kant, for example, wrote that ‘the lunatic is a wakeful dreamer’. Schopenhauer said: ‘A dream is a short-lasting psychosis, and a psychosis is a long-lasting dream.’In the field of psychoanalysis, Freud wrote: ‘A dream then, is a psychosis’,and Jung: ‘Let the dreamer walk about and act like one awakened and we have the clinical picture of dementia praecox.’

McCreery has sought to explain these similarities by reference to the fact, documented by Oswald, that sleep can supervene as a reaction to extreme stress and hyper-arousal. McCreery adduces evidence that psychotics are people with a tendency to hyper-arousal, and suggests that this renders them prone to what Oswald calls ‘microsleeps’ during waking life. He points in particular to the paradoxical finding of Stevens and Darbyshire that patients. suffering from catatonia can be roused from their seeming stupor by the administration of sedatives rather than stimulants.

Cultural history:

Dreams have a long history both as a subject of conjecture and as a source of inspiration. Throughout their history, people have sought meaning in dreams or divination through dreams. They have been described physiologically as a response to neural processes during sleep, psychologically as reflections of the subconscious, and spiritually as messages from God or predictions of the future. Many cultures practiced dream incubation, with the intention of cultivating dreams that were prophetic or contained messages from the divine.

Judaism has a traditional ceremony called hatovat chalom – literally meaning making the dream a good one. Through this rite disturbing dreams can be transformed to give a positive interpretation by a rabbi or a rabbinic court.

Dream content

From the 1940s to 1985, Calvin S. Hall collected more than 50,000 dream reports at Western Reserve University. In 1966 Hall and Van De Castle published The Content Analysis of Dreams in which they outlined a coding system to study 1,000 dream reports from college students. It was found that people all over the world dream of mostly the same things. Hall’s complete dream reports became publicly available in the mid-1990s by Hall’s protégé William Domhoff, allowing further different analysis. Personal experiences from the last day or week are frequently incorporated into dreams.


The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety. Negative emotions are more common than positive ones.The U.S. ranks the highest amongst industrialized nations for aggression in dreams with 50 percent of U.S. males reporting aggression in dreams, compared to 32 percent for Dutch men.

Sexual content

The Hall data analysis shows that sexual dreams occur no more than 10 percent of the time and are more prevalent in young to mid teens. Another study showed that 8% of men’s and women’s dreams have sexual content. In some cases, sexual dreams may result in orgasm or nocturnal emission. These are commonly known as wet dreams.

Recurring dreams

While the content of most dreams is dreamt only once, many people experience recurring dreams—that is, the same dream narrative is experienced over different occasions of sleep. Up to 70% of females and 65% of males report recurrent dreams.

Common themes
Content-analysis studies have identified common reported themes in dreams.

These include: situations relating to school, being chased, running slowly in place, sexual experiences, falling, arriving too late, a person now alive being dead, teeth falling out, flying, embarrassing moments, falling in love with random people, failing an examination, not being able to move, not being able to focus vision and car accidents. Twelve percent of people dream only in black and white

Relationship with mental illness

There is evidence that certain medical conditions (normally only neurological conditions) can impact dreams. For instance, people with synesthesia have never reported black-and-white dreaming, and often have a difficult time imagining the idea of dreaming in only black and white.

Therapy for recurring nightmares (often associated with posttraumatic stress disorder) can include imagining alternative scenarios that could begin at each step of the dream.

Dream interpretation:

Dreams were historically used for healing (as in the asclepieions found in the ancient Greek temples of Asclepius) as well as for guidance or divine inspiration. Some Native American tribes used vision quests as a rite of passage, fasting and praying until an anticipated guiding dream was received, to be shared with the rest of the tribe upon their return.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung identified dreams as an interaction between the unconscious and the conscious. They also assert together that the unconscious is the dominant force of the dream, and in dreams it conveys its own mental activity to the perceptive faculty. While Freud felt that there was an active censorship against the unconscious even during sleep, Jung argued that the dream’s bizarre quality is an efficient language, comparable to poetry and uniquely capable of revealing the underlying meaning.

Fritz Perls presented his theory of dreams as part of the holistic nature of Gestalt therapy. Dreams are seen as projections of parts of the self that have been ignored, rejected, or suppressed. Jung argued that one could consider every person in the dream to represent an aspect of the dreamer, which he called the subjective approach to dreams.

Perls expanded this point of view to say that even inanimate objects in the dream may represent aspects of the dreamer. The dreamer may therefore be asked to imagine being an object in the dream and to describe it, in order to bring into awareness the characteristics of the object that correspond with the dreamer’s personality.

Other associated phenomena:-

Lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming. In this state a person usually has control over characters and the environment of the dream as well as the dreamer’s own actions within the dream.The occurrence of lucid dreaming has been scientifically verified.

“Oneironaut” is a term sometimes used for those who explore the world of dreams. For example, dream researcher Stephen LaBerge uses the term. It is often associated with lucid dreaming in particular.

Dreams of absent-minded transgression
Dreams of absent-minded transgression (DAMT) are dreams wherein the dreamer absentmindedly performs an action that he or she has been trying to stop (one classic example is of a quitting smoker having dreams of lighting a cigarette). Subjects who have had DAMT have reported waking with intense feelings of guilt. One study found a positive association between having these dreams and successfully stopping the behavior.

Dreaming and the “real world”
Dreams can link to actual sensations, such as the incorporation of environmental sounds into dreams such as hearing a phone ringing in a dream while it is ringing in reality, or dreaming of urination while wetting the bed. Except in the case of lucid dreaming, people dream without being aware that they are doing so. Some philosophers have concluded that what we think as the “real world” could be or is an illusion (an idea known as the skeptical hypothesis about ontology). The first recorded mention of the idea was by Zhuangzi, and was also discussed in Hinduism; Buddhism makes extensive use of the argument in its writings.It was formally introduced to western philosophy by Descartes in the 17th century in his Meditations on First Philosophy.

Recalling dreams
The recall of dreams is extremely unreliable, though it is a skill that can be trained. Dreams can usually be recalled if a person is awakened while dreaming. Women tend to have more frequent dream recall than men. Dreams that are difficult to recall may be characterized by relatively little affect, and factors such as salience, arousal, and interference play a role in dream recall. A dream journal can be used to assist dream recall, for psychotherapy or entertainment purposes. Ingesting large amounts of magnesium can help to make dreams more vivid, and therefore easier to recall.

Déjà vu
One theory of déjà vu attributes the feeling of having previously seen or experienced something to having dreamt about a similar situation or place, and forgetting about it until one seems to be mysteriously reminded of the situation or place while awake

Dream pre-programming
Dream pre-programming is a hypnotic practice used among some medical and stage hypnotists. It allows the hypnotist to control (or let the patient control) their own dreams. One way that a hypnotist will use this is by telling the person that when they fall asleep that they see a button. And that if they want to enter “DreamScape” that they should press that button. Then they will enter a world just like Earth, but they will have complete control. They will control things with their mind. Dream pre-programming can also help someone for a test or a big event in life. The hypnotist would make the subject dream that event as occurring perfectly, so the subject will get a level of confidence.

Dream incorporation
In one use of the term, “dream incorporation” is a phenomenon whereby an external stimulus, usually an auditory one, becomes a part of a dream, eventually then awakening the dreamer. There is a famous painting by Salvador Dalí that depicts this concept, titled “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening” (1944).

The term “dream incorporation” is also used in research examining the degree to which preceding daytime events become elements of dreams. Recent studies suggest that events in the day immediately preceding, and those about a week before, have the most influence


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Your mind is incredible. The brain has been compared to a computer in a sort of bio-computer analogy. The analogy has power–but it is an understatement. Science has discovered many of the hard wired connections that appear to give the brain/mind so much control over the body (health, wellness, longevity, youthfulness) and our destinies in terms of success, learning, wealth and prosperity.
There are many estimates by experts regarding the brain/mind. Most agree that at least three relevant observations are true.


1. Somehow the mind can alter and control even things formerly thought to be a matter of DNA. (Example: multiple personality studies have shown eye color changes as sudden as the personality switch).

2. Only approximately 10% of the brain’s ability is tapped by normal people. The remaining 90% can be likened to an unused muscle–atrophied.

3. There is no law of limitation except that which is self imposed. Most have literally been programmed, like a computer, with what computer people term GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). That is, they have been subjected to repeated messages teaching self doubt, fear, anxiety, etc. This programmed language of limitation has become their life script, their expectation, and therefore most of their reality.

The mind is the ultimate frontier. Your potential is probably yet unrealized. Our business exists to facilitate you in realizing your personal best. That’s why we say, “InnerTalk®, when believing in yourself matters!”

Hypnosis (from the Greek hypnos, “sleep”) is “a trance-like state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.”

The technique is used for medical purposes to relieve anxiety or otherwise improve or alter behavior. It is also used in popular stage acts in which subjects are persuaded to perform bizarre feats.

Other variations include mass-hypnosis, in which crowds are simultaneously influenced, and autosuggestion in which a subject persuades themself.


How can Hypnosis Help?

Hypnosis is simply a state of complete relaxation, somewhere between being fully awake and being asleep. In fact, all of us pass through brief periods of hypnosis every day: once when falling asleep and once again when waking up. When we are in hypnosis, we are able to get in touch with our inner resources and our subconscious minds.

Most of us these days have heard of the ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious’ parts of our minds. These are like the ‘thinking’ and ‘unthinking’ parts of our consciousness. When we are puzzling things out, learning, using logic and being scientific about things we are using our conscious minds. The subconscious deals with automatic actions, such as habits and instinctive reactions.

Can Anyone be Hypnotized?
There are large individual differences in response to hypnosis. Hypnosis has little to do with the hypnotist‘s technique, and very much to do with the individual’s capacity, or talent, for experiencing hypnosis. Most people are at least moderately hypnotizable. However, while relatively few people absolutely cannot be hypnotized, by the same token, relatively few people fall within the highest level of responsiveness (so-called hypnotic virtuosos).

There is some controversy over whether hypnotizability can be modified. Some clinical practitioners believe that virtually everyone can be hypnotized, if only the hypnotist takes the right approach. However, there is little evidence favoring this point of view. Similarly, some researchers believe that developing positive attitudes, motivations, and expectancies concerning hypnosis can enhance hypnotizability. However, there is also evidence that such interventions may only affect behavioral compliance with suggestions, not the subjective experiences that lie at the core of hypnosis. As with any other skilled performance, hypnosis is probably a matter of both aptitude and attitude: negative attitudes, motivations, and expectancies can interfere with performance, but positive ones are not by themselves sufficient to create hypnotic

How is Hypnotizability Measured?

Hypnotizability is measured by standardized psychological tests such as the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale or the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (click on to the figure to see an enlarged view). These instruments are work-samples that are similar to other performance tests. Hypnotizability, so measured, yields a roughly normal (i.e., bell-shaped) distribution of scores.

What Happens During Hypnosis?
A typical hypnosis session begins with an induction procedure in which the person is asked to focus his or her eyes on a fixation point, relax, and concentrate on the voice of the hypnotist. Although suggestions for relaxation are generally part of the hypnotic induction procedure, people can respond positively to hypnotic suggestions while engaged in vigorous physical activity. The hypnotist then gives suggestions for further relaxation, focused attention, and eye closure. After the person’s eyes are closed, further suggestions for various imaginative experiences are given. For example, individuals might be asked to extend their arms and imagine a heavy object pushing their hands and arms down or to hear a voice asking questions over a loudspeaker. Or, the hypnotist might suggest that when they open their eyes, they would not be able to see some object that has been placed in front of them. Posthypnotic suggestions may also be given for responses to occur after hypnosis has been terminated, including posthypnotic amnesia, the inability to remember events and experiences that took place during hypnosis. Response to each of these suggestions is scored in terms of objective behavioral criteria – did the arm drop a specified distance over a period of time, did the person answer questions realistically, did the person deny seeing the object, etc.?
Does the Ability to be Hypnotized Vary with Age?
Cross-sectional studies of different age groups show a developmental curve, with very young children relatively unresponsive to hypnosis. Hypnotizability reaches a peak at about the onset of adolescence but then scores generally drop off among middle-aged and elderly individuals. Longitudinal studies indicate that hypnotizability assessed in college students remains about as stable as IQ over a period of 25 years.

Can one Hypnotize oneselfself?

The role of individual differences makes it clear that, in an important sense, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist does not hypnotize the individual. Rather, the hypnotist serves as a sort of coach or tutor whose job is to help the person become hypnotized. While it takes considerable training and expertise to use hypnosis appropriately in clinical practice, it takes very little skill to be a hypnotist. Beyond the hypnotist’s ability to develop rapport with the person, the most important factor determining hypnotic response is the hypnotizability of the individual.Click to see :->Self hypnosis for personal development

Is the Ability to be Hypnotized Related to Personality?

Hypnotizability is not substantially related to other individual differences in ability or personality, such as intelligence or adjustment. Interestingly, it does not appear to be related to individual differences in conformity, persuasibility, or response to other forms of social influence. However, research has found that hypnotizability is related to an individual’s disposition to have hypnosis-like experiences outside of formal hypnotic settings. Similarly, an extensive interview study by Josephine Hilgard showed that hypnotizable individuals tend to display a high level of imaginative involvement in domains such as reading and drama.

What Happens to the Brain during Hypnosis?
Researchers have been interested in biological correlates of hypnotizability as well as in those that can be measured by paper-and-pencil tests. Although hypnosis is commonly induced with suggestions for relaxation and even sleep, brain activity in hypnosis more closely resembles that of a person who is awake. The discovery of hemispheric specialization, with the left hemisphere geared to analytic and the right hemisphere to nonanalytic tasks, led to the speculation that hypnotic response is somehow influenced by right-hemisphere activity. Studies employing both behavioral and electrophysiological mechanisms have been interpreted as indicating increased activation of the right hemisphere of the brain among highly hypnotizable individuals, but positive results have proved difficult to replicate and interpretation of these findings remains controversial.

Hypnosis is influenced by verbal suggestions, which must be interpreted by the individual in the course of responding. Therefore, the role of the left hemisphere of the brain should not be minimized. One proposal is that hypnotizable individuals show greater flexibility in using the left and right hemispheres in a task-appropriate manner, especially when they are actually hypnotized. Because involuntariness is so central to the experience of hypnosis, it has also been suggested that the frontal lobes (which organize intentional action) may play a special role. A better understanding of the neural substrates of hypnosis awaits studies of neurological patients with focalized brain lesions, as well as brain-imaging studies (e.g., PET, fMRI) of normal individuals.

Health Applications of Hypnosis:-

Can Hypnosis Improve the Quality of Life for Individuals with Chronic Illnesses? Hypnosis has been used as a psychological treatment for a variety of illnesses with apparent success. While it is unlikely that hypnotic suggestions are capable of curing physical disease, they can be used to enhance relaxation and alleviate pain and other physical discomforts, and therefore they may make a positive contribution to the overall quality of care and of life. For example, several controlled studies have shown that hypnotic suggestions administered to patients who suffer from asthma can reduce both bronchodilator use and attacks of “wheezing”, as well as increase peak expiratory flow rates. Hypnosis has also been used effectively in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, hyperemesis gravidarum (persistent nausea and vomiting) in pregnant women, and anticipatory nausea experienced by cancer patients who receive chemotherapy. Hypnotic suggestions have been observed to stimulate and inhibit allergic responses, and may also speed the healing of burns and wounds, but these issues require further carefully controlled study.

Even though the use of hypnosis may be associated with positive therapeutic outcomes, it is not clear that hypnosis itself is responsible for the effects observed. The active ingredient in some treatments labeled “hypnosis” might be mere relaxation, or a kind of placebo effect attributable to the use of a hypnotic ritual. It is well known, for example, that the “relaxation response” meditation technique introduced by Benson can alter blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen consumption, and the levels of certain neurotransmitters. The relaxation response is not the same as hypnosis, but hypnotic techniques may achieve some of their effects by virtue of the high levels of relaxation commonly associated with them. In the case of asthma, however, hypnosis seems to have a specific effect over and above relaxation.

The professional and popular literature contains occasional reports of clinical improvements and even cures of cancer in patients who have been treated with hypnosis or related techniques, such a relaxation and imagery. However, these apparent successes are typically poorly documented, and in the final analysis it is difficult to distinguish such “miracle cures” from spontaneous remissions which sometimes occur in these conditions. The most appropriate use of hypnosis in cancer treatment is as a complement to traditional medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, with the goal of enhancing the patient’s quality of life while treatment is in progress.

Can Hypnosis be used in Pain Reduction?
Hypnosis has been employed in the clinic for both medical and psychotherapeutic purposes. By far the most successful and best documented of these has been hypnotic analgesia for the relief of pain. Clinical studies indicate that hypnosis can effectively relieve pain in patients suffering pain from burns, cancer and leukemia (e.g., bone marrow aspirations), childbirth, and dental procedures. In such circumstances, as many as half of an unselected patient population can obtain significant, if not total, pain relief from hypnosis. Hypnosis may be especially useful in cases of chronic pain, where chemical analgesics such as morphine pose risks of tolerance and addiction. Hypnosis has also been used, somewhat heroically perhaps, as the sole analgesic agent in abdominal, breast, cardiac, and genitourinary surgery, and in orthopedic situations, although it seems unlikely that more than about 10% of patients can tolerate major medical procedures with hypnosis alone.

A comparative study of experimental pain found that, among hypnotizable people, hypnotic analgesia was superior to morphine, diazepam, aspirin, acupuncture, and biofeedback (Click on to the figure at the right to see an enlarged view). Hypnotic analgesia relieves both sensory pain and suffering. It is not a matter of simple relaxation or self-distraction. It does not appear to be mediated by endorphins or other endogenous opiates. There is a placebo component to all active analgesic agents, and hypnosis is no exception; however, hypnotizable people receive benefits from hypnotic suggestion that outweigh those of plausible placebos.

Does Hypnosis Increase Physical Performance?

From the beginning of the modern era, a great deal of research effort has been devoted to claims that hypnotic suggestions enable individuals to transcend their normal voluntary capacities — to be stronger, see better, learn faster, and remember more. However, research has largely failed to find evidence that hypnosis can enhance human performance. Many early studies, which seemed to yield positive results for hypnosis, possessed serious methodological flaws such as the failure to collect adequate baseline information. In general, it appears that hypnotic suggestions for increased muscular strength, endurance, sensory acuity, or learning do not exceed what can be accomplished by motivated individuals outside hypnosis.

Can Hypnosis Improve Recall?

A special case of performance enhancement has to do with hypnotic suggestions for improvements in memory — what is known as hypnotic hypermnesia. Hypermnesia suggestions are sometimes employed in forensic situations, with forgetful witnesses and victims, or in therapeutic situations, to help patients remember traumatic personal experiences or the events of early childhood. While field studies have sometimes claimed that hypnosis can powerfully enhance memory, these anecdotal reports have not been duplicated under laboratory conditions.

A 1994 report by the Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance, a unit of the U.S. National Research Council, concluded that gains in recall produced by hypnotic suggestion were rarely dramatic, and were matched by gains observed even when individuals are not hypnotized. In fact, there is some evidence that hypnotic suggestion can interfere with normal hypermnesic processes. To make things worse, any increases obtained in valid recollection are met or exceeded by increases in false recollections. Hypnotized individuals (especially those who are highly hypnotizable) may be especially vulnerable to distortions in memory produced by leading questions and other subtle, suggestive influences.

Hypnosis is sometimes used therapeutically to recover forgotten incidents, as for example in cases of child sexual abuse. Although the literature contains a number of dramatic reports of the successful use of this technique, most of these reports are anecdotal in nature and fail to obtain independent corroboration of the memories that emerge. Given what we know about the unreliability of hypnotic hypermnesia, and the risk of increased responsiveness to leading questions and other sources of bias and distortion, such clinical practices are not recommended. Similar considerations obtain in forensic situations. In fact, many legal jurisdictions severely limit the introduction of memories recovered through hypnosis, out of a concern that such evidence might be tainted. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has published a set of guidelines for those who wish to use hypnosis forensically, and similar precautions should be employed in the clinic.

Similar conclusions apply to hypnotic age regression, in which individuals receive suggestions that they are returning to a previous period in their lives (this is also a technique that is used clinically to foster the retrieval of forgotten memories of child abuse). Although age-regressed individuals may experience themselves as children, and may behave in a childlike manner, there is no evidence that they actually lose adult modes of mental functioning, or return to childlike modes of mental functioning. Nor do age-regressed individuals retrieve forgotten memories of childhood.
Does Hypnosis have an Effect on Psychosomatic Disorders?
Hypnotic suggestion can have psychosomatic effects, a matter that should be of some interest to psychophysiologists and psychoneuroimmunologists. A famous case study convincingly documented the positive effects of hypnotic suggestion on an intractable case of congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, a particularly aggressive skin disorder. Carefully controlled studies have shown that hypnotic suggestions can have a specific effect on the remission of warts. However, the same effects can be achieved by suggestions administered nonhypnotically. The mechanisms by which these “psychosomatic” effects are produced are theoretically interesting, and possibly clinically significant, but it is not yet clear that they have anything to do with hypnosis.

Can Hypnosis be used in Psychotherapy?
Hypnosis has been used in psychotherapy—both in psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral oriented therapy. In the former case, hypnosis is used to promote relaxation, enhance imagery, and generally loosen the flow of free associations (some psychodynamic theorists consider hypnosis to be a form of adaptive regression or regression in the service of the ego). However, there is little evidence from controlled outcome studies that hypnoanalysis or hypnotherapy are more effective than nonhypnotic forms of the same treatment. By contrast, a 1995 meta-analysis by Kirsch and colleagues showed a significant advantage when hypnosis is used to complement cognitive-behavioral therapy for a number of problems, including anxiety and hypertension. In an era of evidence-based mental health care, it will be increasingly important for practitioners who use hypnosis to document, quantitatively, the clinical benefits of doing so.

Can Hypnosis help with Weight Control?
In the Kirsch study (mentioned above in the Psychotherapy section), the prospects for hypnosis appeared to be especially favorable in the treatment of obesity, where individuals in the hypnosis group continued to lose weight even after formal treatment had ended. In one study, for example, women who received personally tailored hypnotic suggestions for specific food aversions, in the context of a traditional self-monitoring and goal-setting treatment, lost approximately twice as much weight as a comparison group. This comparison group received the behavioral treatment alone (no hypnotic suggestion). However, the actual weight lost by the hypnosis group was only about 14 lb. on average. Given that the patients were approximately 50% overweight at the outset, it is not clear that the treatment actually improved their clinical status. Studies that document the clinical efficacy of hypnosis should pay careful attention to the terms in which outcome is assessed. While hypnosis may seem to offer an advantage over some other treatments, it is not clear that the statistical significance or experimental results translates into meaningful clinical significance or real results for individuals.

Can Hypnosis Help People Stop Smoking?
There have been many attempts to use hypnosis for habit control, however, hypnosis has no coercive power. That is, one cannot be hypnotized against his or her will, and even deeply hypnotized individuals cannot be made, by virtue of hypnotic suggestions, to do things that run against their own or others’ interests. You cannot cajole a smoker to the local hypnotist and expect him or her to stop smoking. However, where the patient is appropriately motivated, as in the obesity study described earlier, hypnosis may offer a boost to treatment.

One popular hypnotic treatment for smoking involves a single session in which patients are taught to repeat a simple persuasive message during self-hypnosis. In one large-scale study of this technique, about 50% of patients stopped smoking immediately after treatment; at follow-up one and two years later, however, this figure had dropped to about 25%. Although this study did not include a nonhypnotic control group, this is about the same success rate as achieved with other cognitive-behavioral interventions. However, these other treatments are typically more intensive, so that the single-session hypnotic treatment may have some advantage in terms of efficiency. Interestingly, long-term abstinence was not related to traditional measures of hypnotizability, suggesting that the success of the treatment may have had more to do with the persuasive message than with hypnosis per se.

Caveats for Health Practitioners in the Use Hypnosis with Patients An important but unresolved issue is the role played by individual differences in the clinical effectiveness of hypnosis. As in the laboratory, so in the clinic: a genuine effect of hypnosis should be correlated with hypnotizability.

It is possible that many clinical benefits of hypnosis are mediated by placebo-like motivational and expectational processes — that is, with the “ceremony” surrounding hypnosis, rather than hypnosis per se. An analogy is to hypnotic analgesia, which appears to have a placebo component available to insusceptible and hypnotizable individuals alike, and a dissociative component available only to those who are highly hypnotizable. Unfortunately, clinical practitioners are often reluctant to assess hypnotizability in their patients and clients, out of a concern that low scores might reduce motivation for treatment. This danger is probably exaggerated. On the contrary, assessment of hypnotizability by clinicians contemplating the therapeutic use of hypnosis would seem to be no different, in principle, than assessing allergic responses before prescribing an antibiotic. In both cases, the legitimate goal is to determine what treatment is appropriate for what patient.

It should be noted that clinicians sometimes use hypnosis in non-hypnotic ways — practices which tend to support the hypothesis that whatever effects they achieve through hypnosis are related to its placebo component. There is nothing particularly “hypnotic”, for example, about having a patient in a smoking-cessation treatment rehearse therapeutic injunctions not to smoke and other coping strategies while hypnotized. It is likely that more successful use of hypnosis as an adjunct to the cognitive-behavioral treatment of smoking, overweight, and similar habit disorders would be to use hypnotic suggestions in order to control the patient’s awareness of cravings for nicotine, sweets, and the like. Given the ability of hypnotic suggestions to control conscious perception and memory, such strategies might well have therapeutic advantage — but only, of course, for those patients who are hypnotizable enough to respond positively to such suggestions.

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Positive thinking

To Rise Above

Achieving A High Vibration
All matter is made up of energy, and that energy is in motion continually. Everything in the universe, from the smallest molecules to the most complex living beings, has an optimal rate of vibration to keep it healthy. We reach this high vibrational level when we are whole, healthy, and fulfilling our potential. Human beings are able to consciously control these vibrations within themselves using a variety of techniques. We know when we have reached a high vibrational state because we feel good and can sense that we are aligned with all that is. We find we are capable of healing and have good intuition and perception that are a result of our resonating closer and closer to our ideal frequencies.


Thoughts, emotions, intentions, choices, and actions contribute to our vibrational state, as do the environments we inhabit. Affirmative activities that leave us feeling joyous, appreciative, loving, and peaceful raise our vibration. Constructive, creative, and expansive thoughts do the same. When we cultivate habits that contribute to our physical health and strength, our vibration is likewise raised. Certain mantra meditations, breathing exercises, and chants are designed to increase vibration. But simply practicing gratitude and forgiveness, surrounding ourselves with loving high-vibration people, eating whole foods, and spending time in nature can also help us transcend our current vibrational limitations.

When your desire for change is strong enough, you will find yourself gravitating toward what can help you achieve and maintain a high vibrational state. A positive outlook will then become the most important tool you possess, and this outlook will sustain you when the path leading toward transformation is wide and winding. As you evolve, your vibrational frequency will also evolve, aiding you in the creation of an even higher reality. Consciously and unconsciously, you will attract auspicious circumstances and positive people that will help you continue exploring the scope of your higher self until you move beyond the earthly plane.

Source:Daily Om

Positive thinking

Beyond The Physical

We Are Beings Of Light
We are all beings of light. Put another way, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. As children, most of us know this, but other human beings who have forgotten what they really are and who cannot help us to know ourselves train us to forget. As a result, we are led to believe that magic is not real, that our invisible playmates do not really exist, and that we are limited beings with only one earthly life to live. There is enormous pressure to conform to this concept of ourselves and so we lose touch with our full potential, forgetting that we are beings of light.

At this time, many of us are reawakening to the truth of who we are, because we are living amidst such large-scale changes in the world. We need to access this light in order to not only survive but thrive as we shift into a new order of consciousness. As the changes around us proceed in rapid progression, we will want to be able to trust our own ability to sense what is happening and how we can best respond. We are no longer living in a predictable world in which we can trust external authority figures and prior ideas about reality to guide us. We need to be able to access the information that will help us navigate these uncertain waters, and the ultimate authority resides in our awareness of ourselves as beings of light.

It is through our connection to this light that we know things beyond what the visible world can tell us, and we see things beyond what the physical world reveals. In order to access this wisdom, we can simply allow ourselves to remember that we are not limited, as we have been taught. In fact, we are filled with divine grace and power that is ours for the asking. A daily practice of tuning into this vast potential, conversing with it, and offering ourselves up to it opens the door through which we can reclaim our true identity, taking ownership of the calling that the time has come to create bliss on earth.

Source:Daily Om

Positive thinking

Centering And Expressing

When we are in a relationship where we feel listened to and understood, we count ourselves lucky because we know how rare that experience is. We reserve our most intimate selves for the people who, along with us, cocreate an open space where we feel free to express ourselves and listen without judgment. These relationships, which thrive on open communication, can mean the difference between existential loneliness and a deep sense of belonging. We all long to feel heard, understood, and loved, and clear communication makes this possible.

Sometimes problems arise in the process of expressing how we feel, but it is always worth it to do the work. Even in our less intimate relationships, expressing ourselves honestly is essential to our sense of well-being. Whether at home with family or in the outside world, successful communication requires some forethought; otherwise we risk blundering through our relationships like the proverbial bull in a china shop. However, too much forethought can stifle us or cause us to pad our words so extremely that we end up saying nothing at all or confusing the matter further. The good news is that there are many methods that can come to our rescue, from meditation to visualization to journaling.

If the person we need to communicate with is open to sitting in meditation together for a set period of time before speaking, this can be invaluable. When we are calm and centered, we can count on ourselves to speak and respond truthfully. We can also meditate on our own time and then practice what we need to say. A visualization in which we sit with the person and lovingly exchange a few words can also be a great precedent to an actual conversation. If writing comes easily, we can write out what we need to say; it may take several drafts, but we will eventually find the words. The key is to find ways to center ourselves so that we communicate meaningfully, lovingly, and wisely. In this way, we honor our companions and create relationships in which there is a genuine sense of understanding and respect.

Source:Daily OM