This is an article I wrote for and used during an International Conference on Hypnotherapy in Sydney, Australia, in 2014.
I hope it will be of some use to you fellow hypnotherapists ! Don't hesitate to leave comments, share your opinions on the subject. Thank you !
Article by Anne-Laurence Fritsch, Ericksonian hypnotherapist based in Reunion. B.A., DipEd Australia, CHt Canada, GHR registered hypnotherapist (England), NLP Master.
Ericksonian Hypnosis and Healing
Why do some people with a so-called “incurable” disease manage to heal – or at least greatly improve their symptoms - after 2 to 3 hypnotherapy sessions while other patients with a “lighter” disease (e.g. eczema, psoriasis) will only notice slight improvements after 3 or 4 sessions?
In my practice as a Ericksonian hypnotherapist, I have come to the following conclusion as regards the main obstacle to healing for some patients and that is Resistance to change due to limiting beliefs.
That is why I have made it an essential point to share with my patients the most recent scientific data about the unlimited power of the human brain and latest findings in Epigenetics.
The French mind being mostly Cartesian, I have found it is a necessary step to include in my first session so as to give my clients the opportunity to envision new possibilities based on reliable scientific data… and it seems to be working…better anyway….at times much better ….
Indeed, it seemed not good enough for some people who need concrete proofs to hear the story of Milton Erickson and how he came over his paralysis at 17 through self-hypnosis without knowing at the time that this was what he was doing; nor did some find it convincing enough to hear about my own healing of chronic eczema with self-hypnosis.
However, giving them the latest neuroscientific data on the unconscious potentials of our brains and mostly the amazing scientific fact re the possibility of changing our genes proved more convincing and therefore more efficient.
According to this recent data We are conscious of only 1 percent of what our brain actually does, which is our thoughts, our ideas, and our future projections.
The other 99 percent is unconscious and constantly working at keeping us alive.
Often people think at this stage that I am talking of the common knowledge of humans using only 7% of their brain potentials.
But this data is different and goes much further. So I go on so as to make them aware that while they are nodding at me, they might be aware of it while they aren’t aware of having decided to nod: that was the other 99 percent that created this reaction to what I am saying, an automatic reaction of which we are hardly aware, a natural response that was not consciously decided.
At that point they usually start to pay more attention “Yeah, sure!” and I go on giving other examples: what made you just move your eyes in that direction? Did you decide to move them just now? And what about your breathing? Do you need to think about breathing to be able to?
And why did you just move your foot? Were you aware that you did before I asked? And so on….And how do you think a wound can heal by itself?
And then I tell them about brain plasticity and about the data that proves that miracles may not be miracles after all... and also about the latest data in epigenetics that shows that genes don’t carry diseases; it is the collective unconscious that believes that this is how we catch diseases and that is why we might catch a breast cancer for instance: “because I believe that I’ll catch cancer because most people believe so and doctors say that there is more chance for me to catch it if somebody in my family in other generations had one”… etc …
This is often a very difficult thing for most people to accept as possible truth so I give them the references of the documentary film made by a French film maker Jean-Yves Bilien on Bruce H. Lipton entitled “The impact of our environment and state of mind on our health”.
You probably all know about this world-renown cellular biologist and author of two books “The Biology of Belief” and “Spontaneous Evolution”. His research and the research of other leading scientists have revealed an amazing fact: Cells receive information; genes and DNA do not control our biology but DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cells including energetic messages emanating from our positive and negatives thoughts. So our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.
Most people in Reunion haven’t got a clue about this and I suppose that this is the case for the great majority of people everywhere.
But this is an extremely important scientific fact that can have a great positive impact on people with cancer or other severe diseases and therefore make hypnotherapy much more effective.
Nowadays, I mostly explain all this scientific data while the person is getting into a slight hypnotic trance and is therefore more receptive to hearing such evidence.
I explain in simple words that new science shows invisible forces like electromagnetic vibration fields (cell phones, broadcast stations...) create electrical vibrations that influence the biology of our cells and there are more problems of disease as electro-magnetic pollution is more powerful than physical pollution.
Our brain also is making electrical waves: Thinking, consciousness, feelings have a powerful control over our biology so people say “watch out what you’re thinking!”
Epigenetics Shatters "The Central Dogma"
(Source : Dr Mercola, Licensed Physician and Surgeon)
"Contrary to what many people are being led to believe, a lot of emphasis placed on genes determining human behavior is nothing but theory and doctrine," writes Konstantin Erikseni . "We are free to make decisions that impact our lives and those of others. … Our beliefs can change our biology. We have the power to heal ourselves, increase our feelings of self-worth and improve our emotional state."
So, information flows in both directions, from DNA to proteins and from proteins to DNA, contradicting the "central dogma" (the doctrine that information in our cells flow only in one direction – from DNA to RNA to proteins). Genes can be activated and de-activated by signals from the environment. The consciousness of the cell is inside the cell's membrane. Each and every cell in our bodies has a type of consciousness. Genes change their expression depending on what is happening outside our cells and even outside our bodies."
According to Dr. Lipton, the true secret to life does not lie within your DNA, but rather within the mechanisms of your cell membrane.
Each cell membrane has receptors that pick up various environmental signals, and this mechanism controls the "reading" of the genes inside your cells. Your cells can choose to read or not read the genetic blueprint depending on the signals being received from the environment. So having a "cancer program" in your DNA does not automatically mean you're destined to get cancer. Far from it. This genetic information does not ever have to be expressed...
What this all means is that you are not controlled by your genetic makeup. Instead, your genetic readout (which genes are turned "on" and which are turned "off") is primarily determined by your thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions!
The major problem with believing the myth that your genes control your life is that you become a victim of your heredity. Since you can't change your genes, it essentially means that your life is predetermined, and therefore you have very little control over your health. With any luck, modern medicine will find the gene responsible and be able to alter it, or devise some other form of drug to modify your body's chemistry, but aside from that, you're out of luck… The new science, however, reveals that your perceptions control your biology, and this places you in the driver's seat, because if you can change your perceptions, you can shape and direct your own genetic readout.
This new science also reveals that you are in fact an extension of your environment, which includes everything from your thoughts and belief systems, to toxic exposures and exposure to sunlight, exercise, and, of course, everything you choose to put onto and into your body. As Dr. Lipton is fond of saying, the new biology moves you out of victimhood and into Mastery—mastery over your own health.
A Healthy Lifestyle Supports Healthy Genetic Expression
So the good news is that you are in control of your genes … You can alter them on a regular basis, depending on the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and the thoughts you think. It's your environment and lifestyle that dictates your tendency to express disease, and this new realization is set to make major waves in the future of disease prevention -- including one day educating people on how to fight disease at the epigenetic level. When a disease occurs, the solution, according to epigenetic therapy, is simply to "remind" your affected cells (change its environmental instructions) of its healthy function, so they can go back to being normal cells instead of diseased cells. “(end of quotation)
And that is where hypnotherapy comes very handy as we can ask the unconscious mind to send messages to the cells for that positive change to occur or to give suggestive talk to the subconscious mind so that it changes its habits and beliefs – whatever way you consider the subconscious/unconscious mind to be as a professional hypnotherapist. I personally consider the unconscious mind like Milton Erickson did and like Ernest Rossi (his close collaborator of 8 years) does: the unconscious mind is a reservoir of all our learning experiences and unlimited resources, our best friend.
Ernest Rossi’s hypnotherapy approach is very helpful and efficient and I use many of his mind-body healing and creative dialogue with our genes techniques in my hypnotherapy sessions.
And to people that tend to be hypochondriacs I suggest they can begin to prevent any form of disease on their own, long before they manifest a disease. By leading a healthy lifestyle, with high quality nutrition, exercise, limited exposure to toxins, and a positive mental attitude, they will encourage their genes to express positive, disease-fighting behaviours.
This is what preventive medicine is all about. It's not about taking any one particular nutrient as a supplement to fix one specific "part" of our biological machinery...
Dr Bruce Lipton talks about the ancient forms of healing like hands-on healing, osteopathy, chiropractics, and Asian medicines like acupuncture that work on the body energy fields: balancing the energy of the body helps balancing the health of the cells.
The problem with diseases like cancer is not the cells; it is due to the invisible energy field which is an enormous shaper of our lives. 90 percent of cancer is not connected to the genes; it is connected to life style (emotions, attitudes, beliefs …). Our conscious mind is controlling our biology and our thoughts and our beliefs determine the behaviour and genetics of our cells. We thought the genes were passed on from parent to child. In fact, it wasn’t the genes, it was the way we learned how to live our lives: our parents’ education, behaviour. By taking our parents’ behaviour we get our parents’ diseases. So before we blame the cells we must first look at our thoughts, behaviours and beliefs because they are more important in creating health and disease than are the genes and that means personal responsibility. Guilt, shame, victim, these words don’t apply to new science.
In spontaneous remission most people report they have had a profound change of belief, of consciousness, have let go of the stresses.
The positive thoughts can heal us and the negative thoughts can also kill us. Science has known about this for about a hundred years: just the belief that a new pill – which may be a sugar pill – or our positive thinking about a medical practice can heal, will have placebo effect. From one to two thirds of all healing is all due to the placebo effect. And most people know about this. What many people may not know about is that the opposite effect is also true: negative thoughts and beliefs (“I can expect to get cancer” or “I have a terminal disease”) – the nocebo effect – has the same power as positive thinking but in a negative way with a very negative impact on our lives. So nocebo and placebo profoundly influence our health and that is a scientific fact.
Psychologists say that 70 percent of our thoughts are negative. We are only working 5 percent of the time on our wishes. 95 percent of our life comes from our habits (from our subconscious programs, from other peoples’ programs).
Since you can turn your genes off and on with your emotions too, using techniques like energy psychology (e.g. EFT Emotional Freedom Technique), you can go in and correct the trauma and help regulate your genetic expression.
Bruce Lipton talks about 3 ways to change our habits (by changing our subconscious mind’s programs):
- From habit (through repetition)
- Energy psychology
Well, that is substantial matter to ponder upon. I hope it was of any help to my fellow Australian hypnotherapists.