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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alzheimer's Linked to "Negative Beliefs About Aging": Yale School of Public Health Research

Apparently the power of the mind -- specifically our belief systems -- to harm us is far greater than previously thought.  This point was underscored yet again recently (7 December 2015), this time in a study published by Yale University's School of Public Health Research.  The project,  

<< led by Becca Levy, associate professor of public health and of psychology, is the first to link the brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease to a cultural-based psychosocial risk factor. The findings were published online Dec. 7 in the journal Psychology and Aging.
“We believe it is the stress generated by the negative beliefs about aging that individuals sometimes internalize from society that can result in pathological brain changes,” said Levy. >>

The complete article can be access through this link:

Of course, hypnosis can be of immense value when dealing with negative beliefs, and can also help people develop more positive convictions and expectations.  Thus, yet another application emerges! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Hypnobirth" Options in Idaho

At times I feel I was ahead of my time.  I helped my wife deliver two children with hypnosis, and I have assisted a number of clients over the years (albeit not in the delivery room).  This, of course, was long before "hypnobirthing" and other such terms had come into the lexicography!

I was delighted to read Jami Hepworth's recent article in the Idaho State Journal.  Dubbed "Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis," these classes in Pocatello, ID, will doubtless prove most beneficial, and they may serve to promote hypnosis as a valid therapeutic "alternative" as well.  Hypnosis has been shown to help women relax in between contractions, and it can reduce pain to at least some extent.  Hypnosis helps the mother "push" the baby into the world, and later to expel the placenta.  Moreover, those with anxiety about nursing have also benefitted demonstrably from hypnotic suggestions.

The link is here:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

BBC Article Notes Connection Between Music, ASMR

The autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) refers to a variety of sensations, including "chills" down the spine, "goose bumps," and other "tingling" feelings, usually prompted by sensory stimulation (e.g., music).  Thus, this post should be of interest to those with a variety of interests.  We can point to apparent links between hypnosis and music, as well as hypnosis and ASMR.  Moreover, the skepticism about ASMR is remarkably similar to initial skepticism about hypnosis!

David Robson's piece appeared yesterday (22 July 2015), and while he did not mention ASMR specifically -- he referred instead "skin orgasms"! -- it is clear from the text that what he described is indeed ASMR.

Perhaps more interesting than Robson's dubious terminology is the question of susceptibility.  Some people experience ASMR far more than others, while many do not experience it at all.  Similarly, of course, a few people fall into the category of "suggestively gifted elite," while others respond far less dramatically to hypnosis or hyperempiria, and some seem altogether resistant.

Obviously, these subjects all need far more research.  Meanwhile, here's the article:

Friday, July 3, 2015

Scientific Study Verdict: Singing, Attending Classical Music Concerts Reduce Stress

I am not certain how valid the conclusion is, given the size of the sample studied (15 singers; 49 audience members:  only 64 people in all).  However, investigators plan to repeat the experiment at concerts on the 7th and 11th of July.

The entire article, including composer Eric Whitacre's address, can be accessed at:

[This is a cross-post, also entered at  Obviously, it is of interest to both musicians and therapists!]

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Power of Suggestion!

David Robson's article, "The Contagious Thought That Could Kill You," addressed both the placebo effect and the nocebo effect.  The piece, published 11 February 2015 by the BBC, was of considerable interest, but it truly missed the mark in one respect.  It alluded to "the brain's power"; clearly, it meant the power of suggestion!

For those unfamiliar with the terms, "placebo" ("I will please," from the Latin) has long been noted; placebos are routinely used in drug testing, to see whether the results are substantially different than the worthless alternative.  "Nocebo" ("I will harm," also from the Latin) effects have also been observed -- notably when those receiving the placebo nevertheless report the "possible side effects" of the real drug.

The piece is well worth reading, though I should have been far happier had the author at least mentioned "suggestion" (or, better still, hypnosis!).  It can be accessed here:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Serious Article About Mental Health

I generally try to stay away from political discussions on this blog, but I feel compelled to share an article that appeared in The Miami Herald this past February 3rd.  The piece in question is "Science Deniers A Growing Menace," by Leonard Pitts, Jr., and can be accessed through this hyperlink:  How sad that according to this source, "40 percent of those with severe mental illness receive no treatment."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hypnosis and Testing

Various studies over the years suggest that hypnosis improves cognition, enabling students to learn more quickly.  Strong evidence similarly indicates that hypnosis can help people garner better results on tests.

As far back as when I was in elementary school, I remember hearing numerous classmates exclaim, "Oh, I have that answer on the tip of my tongue," whereupon a not-so-helpful fellow-student would invariably respond, "Then spit it out!"  For whatever reason, this is easier said than done.

Fortunately, hypnosis can eliminate the mysterious factors that apparently cause the disconnect between what is known and what can be recalled under the pressure of examination conditions.  In fact, anecdotal evidence strongly supports the assertion that students of all ages can improve test scores.  I have observed such outcomes for over a quarter-century, with the GRE, LSAT, licensing exams, and even simple mid-terms and finals.  I am happy to announce another such result with the MTEL (Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure). A grateful client who had failed on multiple occasions informed me of the successful result just a few minutes ago.  I hope others will consider this hypnotic application in future.