|Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide|
Hypnosis is a convenient and evidence-based method that can boost immunity and control anxiety. And various studies have demonstrated that Hypnosis can manage immunity & anxiety. The pandemic COVID-19 i.e. coronavirus is causing persistent stress and anxiety among people all over the world. Also, it seems that it will continue for quite some time. Further, the lack of any confirmed way of treatment for this disease has left no option but to boost our immunity. As of now, this is the only way for us to fight COVID-19. Obviously, we have to find new ways of doing things, for example When comfort through hugs is out of the question, trying new options is not a luxury but a necessity.
What is Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a natural state of physical relaxation coupled with mental focus during which our subconscious mind supersedes our conscious mind. Hence, our subconscious does receive positive suggestions and helps us achieve our goals. The Subconscious Mind is the part of our brain that controls 80% of how we think, feel, and behave. James Braid coined the word hypnosis, meaning “nervous sleep,” from the Greek word Hypnos, which means sleep. But in reality, hypnosis is not just sleep. Rather, it is a peculiar state of consciousness with reduced peripheral awareness accompanied by strictly focused attention.
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How Hypnosis Can Manage Immunity & Anxiety
It is now well established that our mental state affects our chemical balance. And, our chemical balance influences our immune system. The most general mechanism is stress which eventually leads to anxiety. Also, it is well known that stress has a marked effect on the immune system. Hence, people living with long term stress are more prone to fall ill due to attacks by pathogens like coronavirus. Further, it has been established that they take longer to recover, than those who have less stressful lives. So stress management and relaxation alone can make a significant difference to the effective immune system that our bodies can have.
The immune response of our bodies is biological, chemical, and neurological. Biologically it aggravates white blood cells to attack invaders, chemically it triggers inflammation and perfusion, and the neural signals are to trigger a wide-area tensing response. Hence, we can say that stress disturbs our nervous system whereas relaxation i.e. rest helps it to return to the balanced state. Actually, there’s more to the resting state than only simply resting. Everything we do while resting that isn’t fighting, fleeing, or doing things that are stressful. But, resting includes reasoning, thinking, learning, digesting, reproducing, growing, healing, and enjoying ourselves. And, each of these activities involves a balanced dynamic which is only possible when certain aspects of our systems can be put on the front burner of our attention.
This is exactly what hypnosis does. It helps us to directly focus on things we may only be marginally conscious of. So, the result could reflect in improved performance in almost anything or everything, from thinking to feeling to being whatever we want to become. But, what’s relevant here for us is our immune system. Hypnosis can change our brainwaves. It can also manage the neuronal control of our cardio-pulmonary systems. This system has been found to be an indicator of the tone of our sympathetic nervous system which, in turn, is connected to our immune response. Hence, we can use hypnosis to potentiate immune sensitivity and response in a particular situation.
Immunity & Hypnosis
Our immune systems are the primary protection mechanism in our bodies against infections and diseases. So it needs to produce the right response at the right time to the right degree to help keep us safe and healthy. However, this immune system is not a single element, like our organs. But, it is indeed an incredibly complex interconnected system of structures and processes within us that protect us against diseases. Its job in our lives is to find out, hunt down and destroy a wide variety of enemies, such as viruses like coronavirus, harmful bacteria and other pathogens. But, bad diet, too little sleep, too much sleep, an overdose of extreme exercise, etc. can all impair immune function. Hypnosis does help, but a healthy lifestyle is still very important.
Researchers have found that focused hypnosis and related visualization techniques can actually prevent the weakening of the immune response that often follows periods of acute stress. A study suggests that hypnosis actually enhances the immune status in some people compared to similar individuals who do not use self-hypnosis. The research was reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2001. The subjects in the study who had not used self-hypnosis as a relaxation technique prior to their stressful event showed a 24 percent decrease in T-lymphocyte proliferation compared to a 2 percent increase in the hypnosis group. T-Lymphocyte white blood cells are important to the immune response against an invader. Because it can connect to a part of invading viruses outside the infected cells. The more frequently the subjects in the hypnosis group practiced this technique, the better their immune response was found.
Another study tested the effects of hypnosis on the immune response. High and low hypnotizable subjects were exposed to hypnosis, relaxation, or control conditions. Blood samples obtained before hypnosis treatment and twice thereafter were tested, showing significant alteration of the immune response as measured by B-cells, the main killer cells that act on the surface of the invades, and helper T-cells. Hence, these researches have confirmed that hypnosis can manage immunity & anxiety.
Types Of Hypnosis :
As the name suggests it is a self-induced hypnotic state. Frequently, self-hypnosis helps us as a vehicle to enhance the efficacy of self-suggestions. And, in such cases, the subject plays the dual role of suggester and suggested. So Self-hypnosis is the best way to manage immunity and anxiety because it can be performed at any time.
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Clinical Hypnosis (Hypnotherapy) :
It requires the assistance of an expert who is a professional. It induces a hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns considering the problems faced by an individual. The therapist consults with the client to determine the nature of the problem and apply hypnosis to solve these problems.
Conversational Hypnosis :
Conversational hypnosis, also known as covert hypnosis, is a form of hypnosis that is conducted by having a regular conversation with the subject. Hence, conversational hypnosis allows one person to connect with the subconscious of another person to influence his/her thoughts, actions, feelings, or behaviors to sort out the problems.
Street And Stage Hypnosis :
These forms of hypnosis are performed mainly for entertainment purpose. As the name suggests hypnosis is performed either on a stage for a specific group or in a street for the general public. It is done to demonstrate the power of hypnosis or to spread awareness. Also, in some cases, it may address a problem related to a group of people.
Hypnosis can play a significant role in diseases like COVID-19 which is spreading fast with no specific medicine or vaccine in sight. It is causing a lot of stress and anxiety among most of the people on this planet. Further, stress and anxiety are weakening our immune system which is the only weapon for us to fight this deadly virus. But, hypnosis can help us fight it by taking us to hypnotic sleep. And, this hypnotic sleep has the power to liberate us from anxiety and fear which are helping the virus to multiply. But with the help of hypnosis, we can remove all the negative thoughts, anxiety, etc. and boost our immunity as well.
Please go through the following article to know more about the impact of anxiety on your immune system.
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