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Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Power of the Mind: Not Always Positive!

The BBC published David Robson's fascinating article, "The Very Real Pain of 'Imaginary' Illnesses," on Friday, 8 April (2016).  This piece reported on the work of Dr. Suzanne O'Sullivan, who has treated a number of seriously debilitated patients whose problems were apparently "all in their minds."

Psychosomatic illnesses are indeed "real" to the victims thus afflicted, and the external symptoms may include conditions as severe as blindness, muscle spasms, excruciating pain, paralysis, and seizures.  These are often addressed via cognitive behavior therapy, and I suspect that hypnosis might be successfully integrated into the program as well.

The article can be accessed at:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

BBC Article Links ASMR Response To Musical Stimuli

The autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) refers to a variety of sensations, including "chills" down the spine, "goosebumps," 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 some months ago (22 July 2015), and while he did not mention ASMR specifically -- he referred instead "musical skin orgasms"! -- it is clear from the text that what he described is indeed ASMR.

Perhaps more interesting than the colorful description 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: