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Hypnosis Impacts the Amygdala

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by ggingues, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    http://www.naturalnews.com/z027007_hypnosis_the_brain_hypnotherapy.html

    by Steve G. Jones, M.Ed., citizen journalist
    See all articles by this author
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    (NaturalNews) Recent research conducted on the brain shows that hypnosis gives a person the ability to control the amygdala. The amygdala is a section of the brain that involves emotion, creativity, and memory. Hypnosis promotes mind-body interaction of this area of the brain. These findings have many implications in psychology and medical research.

    The amygdala is an almond sized structure in the brain. This structure has a lot to do with a person's emotional state. Researchers are finding out that the amygdala also interacts with other parts of the brain such as the frontal cortical region and the hippocampus. Currently, researchers are studying a possible link between the amygdala and autism (Black, 2001).

    The amygdala, the hippocampus, and the frontal cortical region all play a role on the body. They affect the immune system, the endocrine system, which includes the adrenal and the pituitary glands, which regulate hormones, and the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate and blood pressure.

    Under hypnosis, a person's amygdala is turned down. A hypnotist or highly trained individual in self-hypnosis can relax the autonomic nervous system by using hypnosis. Turning off the amygdala disables a typical "fight, flight, or freeze" response and stops any emotional triggers that may occur. The good thing about turning off the amygdala is that it allows the body and the body's immune system time to heal. This is why hypnosis has such a wide range of uses and therapeutic benefits (Frank and Mooney, 2002).

    At the 54th Annual Conference of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, in 2003, Stanford researcher Dr. David Spiegel spoke about hypnosis and the brain. He said that although we do not fully understand how hypnosis interacts with the brain, we do know "that hypnosis can be effective in helping people reach into their own unconscious resources to solve problems normally beyond their ability. Not only does it work, but it often succeeds where modern medicine has failed" (Warren, 2009).

    Warren explains how hypnosis affects the amygdala. When someone is in a hypnotic trance the amygdala normally shuts itself off. Both the body and the mind are in a deep state of relaxation. All emotions and fears are shut down. The patient is reminded that he or she is in control and not the hypnotherapist. In a state of hypnosis, a person's unconscious mind will know where to channel the healing power of hypnotic suggestions. This new research gives more insight into the mind-body connection between the brain and hypnosis.

    Sources

    Black, H. (2001). Amygdala's inner workings: Researchers gain new insights into this structure's emotional connections. The Scientist, 15(19), 20.

    Frank, D. & Mooney, B. (2003). Hypnosis and counseling in the treatment of chronic illness. New York: Crown House Publishing.

    Warren, M.P. (2009). Talking to the amygdala: Expanding the science of hypnosis.
  2. susan

    susan Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for that info. Been thinking of finding a way of unblocking my unconscious mind......doing Gupta at present. High Bp and hear rate indicative of negative thoughts I have been told by Gupta and Emwave distributors. How can this be so when you meditate / visualise 3 hrs a day....find peace around you and have little to no neagtive thoughts. I know one person completely cured of CFS thru the Gupta program who had No negative thoughts but worked on herself as tho she did. The unconscious is holding us back without us realising it.......how to unblock is the key to stop adrenaline running big time.
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Why visualization doesn't work

    The unconscious does have a "mind" of its own. Though I don't know if I would go as far as accusing it of "holding us back."

    There is a woman named Jill Taylor. She's a scientist who had a stroke, but due to her training as an observer/empirisist she was able to observe the entire process without reacting to it--while in the midst of it. (I heard her story on Oprah.) After her stroke, she began to study the mind and emotion and wrote a book about it.

    In her observations she assessed that the average emotion cycles through the mind in about 90 seconds. So unless it is interrupted and spurred on by something else, an emotional response is kind of like a cloud that passes through. You can see this a lot with young children. One minute they are in tears, then a minute later they are pissed off, and then they are suddenly happy again.

    Ultimately, it is the BELIEF DRIVING THE EMOTION that keeps it re-looping through the mind. So when you can successfully investigate, realize and question what belief that might be, then you can have some success at diffusing the emotion.

    This has worked much better for me than visualization--which tries to transcend and therefore ignore reality. When I allow myself to feel what I'm feeling, and can investigate what belief is driving that feeling, I'm usually amazed to find out how incredibly wrong or ignorant the belief is. And if it isn't wrong, or I'm not ready to let go of it yet, then I can give myself the opportunity to "test it out" over time and really see if it IS true. Once I recognize that, I don't have to fight my feelings any more. They go the way of the clouds.

    PS Here's the link to her book. http://drjilltaylor.com/book.html
  4. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Thanks, I've found that accessing the belief below the thought to be very powerful and very relaxing (and surely healthful) but quite difficult as well. I ordered that book. I wonder if there are any good guides to self hypnosis around.

    When I do the amygdala retraining I wonder if there is an element of self hypnosis nvolved. Ashok was trained in hypnotherapy and often I cannot identify the negative thought but I still do the process and find that calming. Calming is definitely what I need!
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I think its very possible that some infection or imbalance or toxin or something may be driving the agitation or arousal but that we can affect those things through these techniques. Since they appear to have the effect of helping to rebalance the immune system it seems like they could help with some infection somewhere.
  6. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Cort--

    Whenever I have an active infection, the toxins make me feel restless and agitated, in the same way that a toxic exposure does. I have found that deep breathing exercises, and putting myself in a deep relaxed state, can be helpful at these times. Though it doesn't always eliminate the agitation, it does make it more periferal and therefore more bearable.

    Hypnosis is really just a fancy way of saying deeply relaxed.
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Thanks Dreambirdie,

    I can't imagine that putting ourselves in these deeply relaxing states (if we can) can only help with the immune system and our overall health.

    For me doing that just takes work (ironically - it takes work to get relaxed!) but I do feel that it is a muscle thats slowly getting a little bigger and bigger.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Relaxation tapes

    Hi Cort--

    When relaxing is difficult, I use this company's CD's to help me. The narrator is Monroe himself (who I call grandpa ;). I like his voice. There are many MANY titles in this series (the Human Plus series), but my favorite is Restorative Sleep. They're basically all the same, with just a different hypnotic command, as indicated by the title. I've used mine for years--I have the cassetes. maybe they would be helpful for you too.

    http://www.monroeinstitute.org/store/hemi-sync-cds/human-plus?p=4
  9. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Dreambirdie comment to Cort

    Interesting that you get agitated and restless from relaxation/hypnosis?

    I have been on LDN for a few weeks now and was/am feeling this way sometimes!

    Still suffering from a flare up, this was happening before I started the LDN.
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I'm confused. :confused: I don't get agitated at all from relaxation/hypnosis. QUITE to the contrary.

    What's LDN?
  11. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Sorry, I wasn't sure.

    Thanks for your correction.

    My bad!
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Thanks Dreambirdie - I'll put that resource on the web page I'm working on that deals with reducing stress. I have holosync on there - but haven't tried it yet. I wonder if its similar?

    I'm going to post some stuff from the Monroe Institute = its really interesting! Actually I'm not - I'm going to start a new thread!
  13. susan

    susan Senior Member

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    Holysync

    Cort,
    I got very agitated from the holysync stuff.....so did my friend. i wonder do you keep with it until re programming takes place.
  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    relaxation eye glasses

    Your welcome, Cort. I've tried several other "brain wave" relaxation tapes/CD's, but my brain likes these the best. ;)

    Also, there are these flashing eye glasses created by Norm Shealy. They are called the Shealy Relax Mate II, which have worked well for me during stressful times. Have you ever tried them? http://www.toolsforwellness.com/45017.html
  15. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

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    hypnosis and agitated exhaustion

    I have tried a couple of things, treatment by a hypnotherapist (and listening to her CD's before bed for about 3 years), and lately, a $0.99 MP3 download from Amazon.

    It's early to say much about the download (Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Erick Brown, in which he talks about what sounds like the amygdala response). One thing I've noticed is that I have more of a warning before I get angry.

    I have also noticed that I most crave listening to the download when I am way overtired. I will pass through a stage of extreme discomfort, almost a magnification of whatever physical symptoms I'm having, such as nausea, burning pain, sharp pain, mental overload, etc. Then at some point, the relaxation kicks in.

    I haven't gotten to the point on the Erick Brown one where I actually fall asleep, but I do go off somewhere. And get up much refreshed.

    A neurologist warned me never to go to sleep hypnotized. But the recordings I have used always bring you back, so I don't know what he was talking about.

    I've also used Andrew Weil's Sound Therapy CD, and have been to drumming circles. I'm really interested in trying the binaural approach.

    If you use Amazon for MP3's, you download their downloader. It sets up to iTunes and you can play them through your computer or download to an MP3 player. It's a great deal. Pick out the track that is around 30 or 40 minutes unless you want the whole album.

    I also have bought the Gratitude one, and it's amazing how often I remember to be grateful. So far, it's helping.

    Kelly
  16. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    I saw a hynotherapist about 20 years ago as I was getting overly stressed driving in the traffic in my inner city area (I got rid of the car in Nov 2003).

    Hard to chose one, so I just chose one of the Australian Psychiatrist's Association listing (I think that was it, it was so long ago).

    I went to 3 sessions (I can't remember that either).

    I remember feeling very embarrassed as he talked so loudly (I felt everyone in the waiting room could hear us).

    I don't remember whether he was successful in hypnotising me, in fact I just lay back in the curved leather chair & listened.

    But I never felt stressed in heavy traffic again!

    So we will conclude he was successful, won't we?

    I haven't thought of hypnosis in many years until this post. Wonder if it could help me get rid of those lingering negative feelings about some work issues.

    Would like to hear if anyone else has tried hypnotherapy (for any reason, whatsoever).

    Victoria
  17. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Victoria--

    Back in the 1980's, I was in graduate school studying psychology. The supervisor for my program thought it would be a good idea for me to include hypnotherapy in my studies, so I signed up for some sessions with a hypnotherapist, in order to get first hand experience on what being hypnotized was all about. (I prefer getting more than just the "book learning.")

    As it turned out, during my very first hypno session, I went into the deepest most relaxed trance state that this therapist had ever witnessed. (I was a VERY EAGER and WILLING volunteer!) It lasted about two and a half hours, during which I experienced a semi-conscious dream state, that presented me with several very striking images pertaining to my hypno-incubated health related question. When I finally came out of the hypno session, I felt a noticeable relief from many of my symptoms, which lasted for several weeks. So I was initially VERY impressed with the hypno. But, as it turned out, my following sessions (I did 4 more in total, 2 with the same woman and 2 with a different one), were not nearly as impressive. Very pleasantly relaxing, and kinda helpful at addressing the questions I was posing, but nothing close to my first experience, which was quite extraordinary.

    I eventually figured out that doing hypno was like having dreams, in that you can't usually "plan" what kind of dream you'll have or what kind of "message" or effect it will give you. I also found that I could pretty easily "hypnotize" myself, as hypnosis is really nothing more than a very deep state of relaxation. I made a hypno induction tape for myself, with my own voice and some new age music in the background, and used that almost as effectively.

    In working with others using hypnotherapy, I found that the degree of helpfulness depended on how willing somebody was to let go and relax their ego/mind's control, how capable they were of following the physical cues and imagery presented by their deeper sub-conscious self, and how comfortable they were with me guiding this process. Some people were very willing to sink into deep relaxation, and some people were more resistant and afraid of it, and this led to varying degrees of effectiveness.

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