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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hypnosis and Phobias

Of course, this is "old news" -- not only because the article itself is somewhat dated (Novemeber, 2012), but simply because therapists have used hypnosis for many decades to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and a variety of phobias.  In the case below, it is instead the unique nature of the project that makes the application particularly noteworthy. 

The BBC article alludes to a documentary about Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skidiver, who became the first to break the sound barrier in free fall using a specially designed pressure suit.  Both the feel of the suit and the smell of the rubber caused him anxiety, but he was able to overcome his discomfort.  The training process lasted four years, during which he used hypnosis "to help him prepare mentally for the challenge."  The BBC text may be accessed through this hyperlink:  Enjoy! 


Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Is Hyperempiria?

It was my good friend and colleague, Dr. Don Gibbons, who discovered, identified, and coined the term, "hyperempiria," aptly named to imply "enhanced experience."  We note the distinction between hypnosis and hyperempiria in our book, Exploring Alternate Universes:  And Learning What They Can Teach Us:

<< Hyperempiria is most easily thought of as the opposite of hypnosis, because it takes us in the opposite direction. . . . A hypnotic procedure makes use of expressed and/or implied suggestions of decreased awareness, lethargy, or "trance."  Hyperempiria, on the other hand, utilizes instructions of alertness, mind expansion, and increased responsiveness and sensitivity to bring about a higher experience of consciousness in which all of a person's abilities are tuned to a higher pitch. >>

When asked about possible applications, I point immediately to enhanced creativity.  This response seems to invite the cynical reminder that hyperempiria won't change any of us into a Michelangelo, Mozart, or Shakespeare.  The observation is correct, of course, but my rebuttal is quite valid, also.  "True, but we can all create -- or at least hope to create -- our own futures!"

Hyperempiria may indeed be helpful for many people, and it has in turn spawned yet another important therapeutic device:  the BEST ME technique.  More on that anon.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Medical Hypnosis: More Applications

Had I started this blog some twenty months ago, I should almost surely have drawn attention to an article by Melinda Beck in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Medical Hypnosis:  You Are Getting Very Healthy" (9 April 2012).  The text remains relevant, as it illustrates how hypnosis can help immensely with childbirth (so-called "hypnobirthing"), dentistry, and treatment of phobias, in addition to the highly exaggerated yet far better publicized applications involving smoking cessation and weight loss.

As Don Gibbons and I noted in Exploring Alternate Universes, "[h]ypnosis is neither a brazen fraud, as some skeptics insist, nor a divine panacea, as certain charlatans assert.  In the hands of a skillful practitioner, it can help people in many ways."  I respectfully submit that it should find far more use in both the medical and mental health fields.

For those interested, the hyperlink to Beck's article is below: