Understanding the Benefits of Hypnosis:
Hypnosis is a state of consciousness where focused attention and deep relaxation are achieved. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state which we enter numerous times throughout the day without any direct effort or awareness. Daydreaming, becoming engrossed in books or movies, or losing track of place and time while driving a car are all common examples of naturally occurring hypnotic states. When hypnosis is used with a specific intent, it can a powerful tool for self-improvement and to create lasting change.
Hypnosis has been embraced for over half a century by the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association as an effective treatment for a variety of issues:
Stress reduction and relaxation Weight loss, healthy eating and exercise Increased self-esteem and confidence
Reaching goals and overcoming blocks Smoking cessation Sleep improvement
Overcoming fears Enhanced sports performance and artistic creativity
Along with the ability to foster positive changes and break negative behavior patterns, simply entering a state of hypnosis has numerous physical health benefits. The hypnotic state induces Alpha and Theta brainwaves, which are associated with periods of relaxation, creativity, high-speed rates of learning, inhibition control and memory retrieval.
Other health benefits of entering a hypnotic or a meditative state are:
Decreased muscle tension Lowered blood pressure Lowered oxygen consumption
Decreased respiratory rate Increased blood flow
So what are Brainwaves?
Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an significant amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment such as an electroencephalogram (EEG). This electrical activity of the brain is commonly known as a Brainwave pattern, because of its cyclic, ‘‘wave-like’’ nature.
You can train your brain to change your brainwaves by learning meditation and relaxation techniques. However, it can take weeks, and for some people even years to experience the proven and powerful benefits of brainwave entrainment through meditation alone.
In general, we are accustomed to being in the beta brain rhythm. We are in a Beta brainwave pattern when we are consciously alert. It is the default and dominant brainwave for most of us most of the time. We are in Beta Mode when we feel agitated, tense, hurried, pressured, afraid and stressed. The frequencies range from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.
When we alter our brain rhythm to Alpha, we are slowing our brainwaves down. The benefit of this is that we put ourselves in the ideal brain state for optimal performance and super learning. We become better at analyzing complex situations, learning new information, memorizing data, and performing elaborate tasks,
Some forms of meditation, relaxation exercises, and activities that enable a sense of calm, also naturally create this Alpha state.
According to neuro-scientists, the effect of decreasing the brain rhythm from Beta to Alpha via deep relaxation techniques, changes the levels of certain beneficial brain chemicals.
Studies show that Alpha states significantly increase beta-endorphin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These naturally occurring chemicals are linked to feelings of expanded mental clarity and generate an internal environment for new learning and accessing previously learned information. This positive effect lasts for hours and even days.
The Five Categories of Brainwaves:
1. Beta brainwaves
(14 to 32 Hz alert, focused)
Beta is the most common brain wave pattern: Beta brainwaves are produced when we are wide awake, alert, active and engaged in mental activity, usually involving more the rational, reality-oriented left hemisphere of our brain. When beta wave activity becomes very intense, our brain hemispheres become less synchronized. Beta state is required to function properly in your everyday life.
Features and Benefits of a Beta State:
This is the brainwave for the fight-flight response
Increased concentration and alertness
Improved logic, reasoning and critical thinking
Feelings of anxiety, stress, scattered unfocused thought
NOTE: Excessive Beta brainwaves are a feature of insomnia.
2. Alpha brainwaves
(7 to 14 Hz relaxed yet aware, meditative)
These are lower frequency waves: The state is generated when our thoughts are really not concentrated and our minds wonder freely, or we are in a relaxed state such as meditating or daydreaming. We also experience Alpha Brainwaves when we are gently busy with routine tasks like pottering in the garden, taking a shower, putting on makeup, doing light housework. Alpha is considered to be the bridge between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
Features and Benefits of an Alpha State:
Our brain hemispheres become naturally synchronized, or in-phase with each other.
Relaxed detached (absent-minded) awareness and daydreaming mind.
Enables us to remember our dreams and meditative states.
Link between conscious and subconscious mind, gateway to meditation.
Receptive to casual and auto –– suggestions (hypnosis state)
Increased vividness benefits creative visualization and triggers imagination
Increased memory retention, concentration & focus for super learning
Health benefits include:
Alleviates stress and depression
Reduces chronic pain
Reduction of high blood pressure
Increases athletic performance
Increased cerebral blood flow
Increased motivation, energy, and happiness
3. Theta brainwaves
(3.5 to 7 Hz deep relaxation, twilight state)
Theta brainwave states have been used in meditation for centuries: It is common for people to feel as if they are in a trance, where the mind feels as though it may have gone to sleep although it is conscious of what is happening around it. Theta induces a capacity for prolonged daydreaming, where a loss of time may be experienced.
Theta waves are also conducive to visualization and creativity and the mind in this very relaxed state is highly receptive to direct suggestion under hypnosis. As with Alpha, in Theta our brain hemispheres are synchronized and we experience whole brain functioning.
Features and benefits of Theta brainwaves:
Increased sense of inner peace and emotional stability
Heightened intuition and inspiration
Calms the chatter of your mind
Increased psychic abilities and sense of spiritual connection
Health benefits of Theta brainwaves:
Speed healing, improved physical healing
Sleep onset and better more restful sleep
Release beneficial hormones related to health and longevity
Reduce mental fatigue
Reduction of anxiety and stress
NOTE: Research has proven thirty minutes a day of Theta meditation can dramatically improve a person’’s overall health and well-being. Theta meditation has also been known to result in a reduced need for sleep.
4. Delta brainwaves
(0.1 to 3.5 Hz deep sleep )
This is the slowest band of waves that our brains produce and they occur when we are in deep, dreamless sleep. These waves are very beneficial for the body which restores and heals itself when in this state. The Delta state releases anti-aging hormones, including melatonin and DHEA. Human growth hormone (HGH) is another anti-aging hormone that is increased when delta brainwaves are occurring inside the brain, due to the stimulation of the pituitary gland. HGH maintains the skin, bone density, cartilage, and the joints in your body as well as speeds up the healing process of joint and cartilage injuries. HGH can also help heal physical pain.
In healthy amounts, delta brainwaves can also cause a person to have an advanced state of empathy, understanding, and compassion for others.
Delta is the place of deepest relaxation, deepest healing, deepest spiritual connection and deepest connection with the subconscious mind. It is considered to be the gateway to the unconscious mind and the collective unconscious, bringing access to the universal psyche or mind.
5. Gamma brainwaves
(40Hz or higher: zen mind mastery)
Gamma brainwave states are the most rapid in frequency. Gamma has long been considered the brainwave that is able to link and process information from all parts of the brain. It is the frequency that brings with it the ability to process large amounts of information in relatively small amounts of time. Think of generating more Gamma activity as getting a processor upgrade for your brain.
Unfortunately Gamma brainwaves have received the least attention and research, although more attention is currently being paid to them.
Having high amounts of Gamma Brainwave activity has been associated with:
Having high levels of intelligence
Having high amounts of self-control
Having greater than average feelings of natural happiness.
Increased awareness through your five senses
Research has indicated at moments when bursts of precognition or high-level information processing occur, your brainwaves briefly reach the Gamma state.
Treatment Plan for Dissociative Clients Suffering from Human-Induced Traumatic Abuse
My goals in treatment are to help the client remember the traumas and re-experience them in a safe setting: to feel, express, and release the emotions and the physical sensations associated with the abuse, cognitively connect them to the traumatic events, and steadily resolve and overcome the symptoms of the traumas in the context of the client’s ongoing life experiences.
The following elements of treatment are overlapping and on-going rather than sequential. They are based on recommendations made by leaders in the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD).
* Build a therapeutic alliance of trust, for every aspect of successful treatment depends on it. Therefore, the trust alliance is continually cultivated globally and with each ego state.
* Help each ego state to see, abreact, and work through the reasons for its existence.
* Encourage mutual acceptance and empathy among the various ego states. This necessitates learning the origins, functions, and problems of each ego state and the manner in which they relate to one another.
* Address the issues and problems of each ego state, including the related traumatic events.
* Enhance communication and support among the various ego states.
* Encourage the growth of each ego state with the goal of unity.
* Continue working through and giving on-going support to solidify gains.
* Resolve and overcome the traumas in the broader context of the patient’s whole life experiences.
* Assist the patient to work through repressed and dissociated abuse experiences triggered by cues in the patient’s present experiences.
* Help the patient work through developmental issues concerning identity, relationships, communication, protection of self, hope, and a sense of well-being and reasonable security. Thus, treat all issues that have been distorted and impeded by the patient’s abusers.
* Strengthen the patient to build a safe environment with strong boundaries to prevent future abuse.