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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Hobbit
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I've posted all over the place about various energy healing methods and spiritual experiences and weight loss visualizations and pain control methods... sure that my particular methods were right. They worked. The framework in which I found them is legitimate because this stuff WORKS. This is the nature of the universe.

Well, last night I read a "how to" book on hypnosis, and everything I've been doing is an aspect of self-hypnosis. The books I read on healing were just jazzing up hypnosis methods with new age patter and selling it in a shiny new package.

Throughout the hypnosis book, the author gave examples of routines to aid in diet control (since that's such a common request of hypnotists) and the visualizations he was describing almost exactly paralleled what I'd been doing myself already while "meditating". My recent success in weight loss isn't due to calorie counting or the computer program I use- it's because I've reinforced my will with self hypnotic suggestions!

Pain control- I've been able to numb out painful spots on my body for a couple of years now. What I do when I prepare to do that is almost exactly the same procedure as going into hypnotic "trance".

Psychological cleanup- I've spent time ranging through memories, finding troubling ones and forgiving myself (while meditating) and the chapter on regression and resolving psychological trauma is pretty much the same thing I've done on my own.

It's all various facets of self hypnosis. You can hypnotize yourself to heal faster, to lose weight, to be healthier, to drop bad habits.

Apparently I've been doing that already, taking hints and tips and techniques from all sorts of sources ranging from pagan religions to martial arts to manuals on energy healing. They are all just repackaged self hypnosis techniques.

I feel .... disappointed. Sure, what I'm left with works- but it's not pretty! It's very dry and technical and functional- but there's no poetry to it.

Not that I've ever been much of a poetry fan, but there was a kind of beauty to the various religions I snagged ideas from. A feeling of wholeness to the philosophies in the martial arts. A sense of a transcendant truth that crossed boundaries and held the world together.

Now all I can think of is, "It's just self hypnosis." How dry. How mundane. How boring. How gullible I am.

:cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:12 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Have you considered that, instead of your new age spiritual ideas being "just self hypnosis", self hypnosis is perhaps borrowing techniques from the spiritual realm? That instead of hypnosis making your spiritual techniques more mundane, that your spiritual techniques make hypnosis more poetic?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:41 pm 
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I'm with yovargas. Self-hypnosis and meditative techniques from a broad variety of religions have been shown to affect the same parts of the brain in the same way. That doesn't diminish any of them, if they work for you. Instead of saying that meditation is just self-hypnosis, I would say that self-hypnosis is a non-spiritual form of meditation.

A rose by any other name, et al.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:52 pm 
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OK, thanks guys! :hug:

That really helps. Instead of diminishing what I have-- I've found a new facet of it! Sort of a validation of the techniques rather than a mundane-ifyingness. ;)

In fact, it's a label I can use with my conservative relatives and not freak them out, maybe. :)

"How'd you lose so much weight?" "Oh, ate less, moved around more... plus a little self-hypnosis." "Where'd you learn that?" "Just a little book from Amazon.com. Want a copy?" :)

Maybe I can get them to solve their problems instead of traumatizing the whole family with them...


Last edited by Maria on Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:53 pm 
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Maria, you have walked through the woods and picked up the crooked stick after all.

Self-hynosis or "spirituality", why need there be a difference? It's all part of the same thing.

I think yovargas and ax have it right.

They're like, gurus, or something. :D

Seriously, they're right.

Be proud of yourself, that you're so good at it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:57 pm 
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"picked up a crooked stick" ? I haven't heard that saying before. Are crooked sticks bad? ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm 
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Oh, my goodness.

It's a saying even older than I am. :shock:

The expression was used, for instance, when a girl who seemed to have the choice of many suitors chose the worst one?

"She walked through the woods and picked up the crooked stick, after all."

In that context, one can see that the crooked stick is the lesser stick. That crooked stick turns out to be a wife-beater or a drunk or the guy who plays around.

See?

Or it can be used in any situation where a person seems to have a multitude of good choices but makes the wrong one.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:59 pm 
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Quote:
Everything I know is wrong
You are incorrect.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:09 pm 
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Lidless wrote:
Maria wrote:
Everything I know is wrong
You are incorrect.


See what I mean? Image What can you do? Image

You know what was surprising about the methods for hypnotizing someone else? There wasn't any focusing on a swinging watch or flashing light or anything like you see in movies. Basically, you just have them close their eyes and then talk to them in a normal voice and just keep going and going until you bore their conscious mind away, so you can give directions straight to the subconscious.

It sounds incredibly easy. The author says anyone can do it. Here's the book if anyone is interested: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087542 ... 67?ie=UTF8.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:07 am 
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Don't diminish your achievements, Maria! I've always been so impressed by the steady, optimistic way you tackle challenges. Whatever you call it, not everybody can pull it off -- and there's some sort of poetry (heroic! epic!) in that, for sure. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Thanks, Teremia.

But sometimes, in my weirder moods, I start thinking that the "challenges" are just a way to distract me. To keep me busy so I don't really figure out what going on in the world. :suspicious: And that maybe if I didn't respond to the challenges so whole-heartedly, and jump head first into the problems- that if I refused to participate then maybe I'd be able to break my mind free of this game of life.

I guess I've seen too many sci fi stories where what the characters think is reality is just a holodeck simulation or the like, and when they finally break free of it- something sinister is going on that they really need to pay attention to.

But that way lies madness: the thought that every time life is easy- something has to go wrong to keep the story interesting enough to hold the participant.

All spring and most of the summer this year, I had a sense of dread. Of foreboding that my life was going to change drastically this year. And since change is usually unpleasant- I dreaded it. I had a really cool vacation planned, and I wished quite often that if whatever it was would just hold off until AFTER the Barbados vacation, I'd be pleased.

A week after we got back from Barbados, I got a raging bladder infection, and during it a pelvic prolapse developed. (google for info, I'm not elaborating here!) I was scared- because my mom had had surgery for this years ago, and was not pleased with the results- plus, I'm surgery phobic anyway! It turns out that 50% of women who have had children develop this problem at some point in their lives, and plenty of those who haven't had babies as well. But there is almost zero information out there on non-surgical alternatives.

But there is some. Asking on several different boards and lots of internet searching got me the information I needed to learn how to reverse the situation and I'm halfway there now. Soon, it won't be a problem any more at all, PLUS I get the added bonus of an impossibly improved sex life for the rest of my life. (Impossible, because I didn't think it could get better!) ;)

My point is, somehow I knew this was coming. I was able to put it off until after the vacation, and then, instead of just meekly trotting off to the surgeon to get carved up inside and be mutilated for the rest of my life (SOP for this condition) I was able to find what I needed and my life will be BETTER now for having had this "challenge" to overcome. Without it I would not have been inspired to learn about and master the muscular control necessary for a full cure.

So, I really can't regard this challenge as a conspiracy to keep me distracted in the game, since so much good will come of it. The bad part was scary and painful and horribly embarrassing ... but the rewards are awesome. So, really, it's more of a necessary plot device to the story of my life. The trial that makes everything better once it's over.

OH, and just to keep this tangent on topic... self-hypnosis is helping me gain the muscle control I need. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:53 pm 
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I'm sorry, I know it sounds silly...but your thread title instantly brought to mind a Weird Al song. The lyrics are:

"Everything you know is wrong; black is white, up is down and short is long. Everything you know is wrong, so just forget the words and sing along, 'cause everything you know is wrong."

The song came out when I was in high school, and my boyfriend determined that it was "our" song. Needless to say, I've never understood the concept of having a romantic song be a couple's special song ;).

It's not a take-off of any particular song, but is perhaps Weird Al's "tribute" to They Might Be Giants (who have a song entitled "Everything Right is Wrong Again.")

It is good to have our assumptions challenged from time to time, but it is also rather unlikely that just one book has life, the universe and everything figured out. Unless, of course, the book was written by Tolkien :) or has something to do with the number 42 ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:50 am 
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Perhaps you want your world to have a little magic in it - a place with a sense of wonder and awe - and are disappointed that the things you do can be explained dryly and scientifically. Well, there are lots of things that have been explained scientifically throughout the years - germ theory, continental drift, you name it - and the world is still a place of wonder and awe.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:09 am 
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Mr. Prim is a scientist, a biologist who went into that field because he was fascinated by the complexity and variety and beauty of living things (even the kind you find under rocks in the woods or scattered along the beach at low tide). He ended up studying developmental genetics and learned a lot about exactly why living organisms are so complex and how they go about becoming that way.

But he says that this did not change his sense of wonder at life. He's said that laymen often think that a "scientific explanation" for something ends a mystery, when in fact it simply pushes the horizon out a little farther and replaces one mystery with several, or many, that are usually deeper and more complex than the one that has been explained. There really isn't any end in sight.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:57 pm 
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Mith! :D :D

That song was actually going through my head when I was writing that first post! Everything you know is wronnnnnnnnng! In Weird Al's whiny voice and everything! :rofl:


I think the main reason I was so disappointed was that there's an element of charlatanism to stage hypnosis that was very repellant to me. That people can be "tricked" into acting like chickens or other foolish things. The implication is that everything I'd been doing with "self hypnosis" wasn't real, and I was just tricking myself into believing the things I was doing were real, when they weren't.

That was the level of dispair that was coming out in my first post. Some of the things I've done are very helpful. But if this was just tricking myself, that it wasn't REAL-- well that was just undermining everything I've learned for the past 3 years.

But one thing can't be argued with. At my over-40 physical, I had a bone density scan done for future comparison. The results came back that I had the bones of a 56 year old. :shock: I did healing visualizations of increasing bone density for the next year, two or three times a week, and on my next physical- I had bones normal for my age, without any other changes of diet or exercise.

Now, although what I did can now be described as self hypnosis-- it had a very real effect on my skeletal system. One can use the subconscious to effect changes on the physical body. I can't point to the weight loss and say that, since that could be sheer stubborness on my part. And the ability to dismiss most headaches could literally be "in my head" as is the ability to calm an impacted wisdom tooth when it acts up.

I know that the placebo effect is very real. If you believe that something can help you, it can, even if what you swallowed is just a sugar pill. What upset me was that for a day or so, I stopped believing, and that scared the heck out of me. My wisdom tooth started throbbing, my feet started hurting (an old and terrible injury that I fixed mentally) and I got HUNGRY for the first time in a long time.

That's why I was so scared and despairing in the first post. I'm just a thought away from being physically miserable, with porous bones and a messed up psyche that won't let go of guilt.

I need to believe that it works.

And it does.
:)

It's just that it can also be used for entertainment purposes.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Quote:
It's just that it can also be used for entertainment purposes.
:D

That's OK, so can virtually every other facet of human behavior and cognition, serious and silly. If it can't be used for entertainment, what good IS it, really? ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Well, Maria, I think you are right and should stick to what works for you.

"stage hypnosis" is not at all like "self-hypnosis", when you stop to think about it.

I went to a hypno-therapist years ago in an effort to quit smoking. The guy was highly recommended and was not a charlatan or fake. But what he did, what the best of them do, was to enable ME to "hypnotize" myself. He didn't wave a shiny watch in front of me, although for some people the shiny watch or spinning disk are helpful. What you learn is how to FOCUS, to concentrate. Whether you do it by yourself or with help isn't the issue.

I had learned, long before those sessions, to get myself to that state, but it doesn't always work the way you want. I do think that the effort to attain that "state" is worthwhile and that you are, indeed, tapping into resources within you that you might not otherwise know about. I have used this to deal with stress. Without being able to do that, I would have been in a rubber room long ago.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:40 pm 
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Isn't this just a semantics issue? Do you need the "correct" label for this to be valid? Who cares what different people call it? You are in tune with your body, to an amazing degree, and you have used that ability to your advantage. That is all good.

I used to have horrid migraine headaches, and the frequency of them peaked at about age 14-- not unusual, from what I've read, because hormones can certainly influence the headaches. I was such a victim to these mammoth pain-a-thons... any outside stimulus, the slightest noise, the faintest hint of light, triggered a pain beyond description.

I finally started to try to fight it. I would get into a very dark room, and caution everyone to leave me alone (my poor mom wanted to check on me all the time... it was so painful when she would come in!) and I would focus on the pain. I started visualizing the pain as a finite thing, and "surrounded it" with my thoughts... my heartrate would slow, my breathing would slow, as I concentrated... and then I would "make it smaller". I, with my thoughts, decreased that "body" of pain.

Okay. It sounds pretty woo-woo. But it worked! The headache would ALWAYS be more manageable when I focused my thoughts on it, and, in some way, I could control the amount of pain.

I was a bit embarrassed to tell people about this, because it seemed so weird. But then, years later, my mom found a great article on "bio-feedback", where people had used imaging techniques similar to what I had done on my own, regulated their heartrates and breathing, and controlled pain. I had a name for it!

So... does it make a difference? No. I had a tool before I knew what other people called that tool. Hey, I did bio-feedback! Isn't that cool?

But it really doesn't matter. I will use my anti-headache tool no matter what it's called!

:D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:35 pm 
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I also do this kind of thing for some kinds of pain management. For instance, whenever I get a headache, I have a drink of water, and as I do that, I tell myself "When I've finished this, the headache will be gone."

And yes, I do it and it is gone.

I have some impacted wisdom teeth that occasionally start twinging, and I use a similiar tool to calm them down again. If they ever really flare up and they need to come out, so be it. In the meantime, I'm happy to control them this way.

I occasionally get lower back tightness or back pain. I tell myself that I will tighten my stomach muscles, and as I do that, the pain will diminish and go away. It works.

In my case, I need a little ritual, a physical activity, to do, and I connect the completion of that ritual to the end of the pain. In each case, in order to satisfy the scientist part of my mind, I do something that could "help". Some headaches are caused by dehydration, and drinking water would help them. Some back pain or discomfort are caused by weak stomach muscles and core muscles not supporting the spinal cord. Of course, a few seconds of the recommended cure shouldn't be enough to take away the pain so quickly, not that I'm aware of. But it works for me, and that's good enough!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:51 pm 
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What's really frustrating is when you try to tell your kids how to do what you can do... and they dismiss it as an absolutely loony idea.

My oldest daughter was getting terrible headaches about 3 years ago- when she was about 16. We had doctors and eye doctors look at her. I'd told her about what I did for headaches, but she dismissed it as a loony idea.

Finally, one of the eye doctors suggested that she might be be having a photophobic reaction, and dark lenses might help. We outfitted her in prescription glasses with both the auto darkening feature AND tinted, so that they are dark in normal room light, and REALLY dark outdoors.

The headaches stopped. She eventually got to where she could stand normal light again, and it doesn't really bother her if she forgets the glasses- so to this day I don't know if too much light entering her eye was actually the problem, or if this was just an explanation she could believe and put her trust in and comply with. She liked wearing the "sunglasses" in class, and started a fad at school, until the teachers put a stop to all but the wearers of prescription glasses! :rofl:

It worked for her. The "woo woo" techniques I tried tell her about, she just couldn't accept that. She's still too much in atheistic mode to even consider what I was trying to tell her: that there was Universal Energy that she could tap into while meditating and heal herself.

But......
Next time she has something wrong with her that doctors can't figure out- I'm going to show her the Hypnosis book. :D The book claims that most people can't hypnotize themselves until after they've been hypnotized by someone else first. My husband and I might need to learn how to hypnotize each other, so we can offer the service to our kids. It takes practice, from what the book says.


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