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Hypnosis, meditation, and related techniques draw on the mind's ability to surpass itself. Pushing through boundaries, the mind can be invited far into the body's inner workings, energizing physical health and wellness. And with techniques that guide awareness to flow through the mind/body's interface, personal aspirations can progress to their realization.
To achieve personal goals, five identifiable techniques are offered: hypnosis, self-hypnosis, mental imagery, meditation, and Autogenic Training. The capacity to enhance mental imagery and to extend the boundaries of awareness is central to all five.
Hypnotherapy makes possible accelerated self-transformation because it draws on the force of feelings. In certain states of mind, for example, the emotional impact of smoking's harm can be ever so powerfully felt, as never before, sparking breakthrough disengagement from addiction.
Self-hypnosis training is a tool for life. Developing abilities to create states of relaxation admixed with energy, offers opportunities for enriching the most coveted aspects of ourselves. This art is best learned through a coaching process with an experienced hypnotherapist. Once self-hypnosis is learned, it can be applied to the task of actualizing desired personal changes.
Mental imagery is a premier and potent attribute of the human mind. Mental images, carefully crafted, have the capacity to reprogram faulty circuitry in the nervous system, and to bring about new self-perceptions. Imagery training involves the honing of a mental imagery style that is effective and a best personal fit.
Meditation training, is a self-directed personal practice, inviting adventure in self-discovery. In meditation, awareness itself is kindled. Within the numerous techniques of meditation, some are more physical and some more mental in their thrusts, but they all involve developing awareness. The art of the matter is finding the meditative style that assumes the best personal fit, so that the meditator looks forward to, and feels pleasure in meditating.
Autogenic Training is a practice of self-improvement developed in Europe some hundred years ago, addressing the needs of individuals desiring an alternative to hypnosis. In stepwise fashion, selected sensory experiences connected to relaxation are nurtured, in a process first aiming to dissolve stress. Further training taps into the wellspring of emerging personal aspirations.
Relaxation training/Stress dissolution. In their practice, the five techniques pave the way to penultimate non-pharmacological relaxation. Relaxation training, while dissolving tensions in the body also dispels anxieties and fears of the mind. Creating relaxation attracts well-being, balance, and life quality. By expanding the territory of internal awareness, effortless self-control is developed, and bodily harmony ensues. In addition, deeper-level body/mind relaxation benefits numerous medical conditions known to be worsened by stress.
Public speaking/Enhancing performance. Public speaking is important to many professions. Imagery activating both body and mind can transform the tension commonly experienced in public speaking to that of confident self-control and dynamic delivery. Actors can more fully be "in character," conveying the "intensity of the moment." Performing artists and speakers learn to flow into a mind/body "zone" that gives fluidity and poignant intensity to to their art.
Creativity. Obstacles to the flow of creativity can be purged with the five training techniques, practiced individually or in combination. Relevant to artists and writers, this training provides access to creative flow often associated with dream states. Opening doors to the vast knowledge base of the subconscious mind is rewarded by gifts of imagination and productivity.
Exam performance/Test taking. Written and oral examinations require calm, clarity, energy, sharpened memory, focus, concentration, intuition and stamina. Pre-exam anxiety can be transformed into focused studying while banishing procrastination. Mental rehearsal of exams promotes their successful outcome. Once in the exam situation, reflexes bring on mindsets optimal for the best possible accomplishments.
Fitness/Athletic performance. Sports, especially if they are competitive, demand ultimate mind-body entente for achieving best performance in a context of action. Enhanced imagery in sports training increases motivation for exercise and sharpens neuromuscular coordination, speed, precision and endurance.
Nutritional and weight harmony. Hypnosis-related techniques cannot replace a diet/exercise regimen but can reinforce it. Enhanced affirmations have a cumulative effect in the subconscious mind, assisting in controlling urges, delaying gratification, and solidifying positive self-images.
Alcohol/Smoking/Addictions. Addictions are multifaceted conditions where hypnosis, in the context of comprehensive treatment regimens, can effectively contribute to resolution. Distressing bodily sensations identified as anxiety fuel many addictions, including alcohol dependence. Learning to quell these sensations appeases substance use. Lungs, as organs, deeply abhor all manner of smoke, dust, and fumes. Hypnosis takes this truth far into the subconscious mind. Once this truth is accepted, behavior is primed for transformation. Full success comes when someone says and really means, "I am now a non-smoker." Hypnosis and meditation invite transformative revelations.
Sleep health. Sleep is vital for optimal brain, mind, and bodily functions. Yet, the prevalence of insomnia is increasing in our kinetic society. Sleep deprivation impairs cognition and motor performance during the day. Drugs are problematic for their morning sedation and their tendency for habituation. The five techniques can reset sleep clocks, promote relaxation during sleep, and induce positive dreaming. Daytime energy restoration and alertness are goals of this training.
Self-esteem/Self-image/Self-confidence. Negative feelings about oneself are learned and are usually the products of long-forgotten life incidents and negative patterns of interaction with significant others over time. Underneath self-negating attitudes, however, lies the very core nature of the personal spirit, which is always positive, no matter what life circumstances may be. Hypnosis and meditation can bring out this truism, thus facilitating connections to those core spiritual forces that offer stability over time.
Depression. Depression can be a product of numerous body/mind imbalances. And while enhanced imagery techniques cannot be first line treatment regimens, they can, when diagnosis is clear, contribute to coaxing mindsets to evolve toward greater hopefulness and optimism.
Phobias. Specific fears are reflexes that can be weakened, and ultimately abolished by progressively melding relaxation with positive imagery. In time, phobias lose their power.
Mastering one's fears invariably
Anger management. Reacting to life stressors with annoyance, irritation and anger is psychologically and physically unhealthy, and professionally and socially counter-productive. Enhanced imagery can assist in finding other pathways of response that are consonant with family harmony, work adjustment, professional success, and the expression of goodwill.
Pain control. Pain can be remarkably modulated by hypnosis; it can be shaped to become softer, less insistent, and more distant in mind space. Well documented is the fact that in a small percentage of patients, pain perception can be so fully abolished by hypnosis that major procedures can be safely performed. In chronic pain of known etiology, from back conditions to headaches, enhanced imagery can beneficially change the very processing of pain, making daily living a more tolerable experience.
Preparing for operations and other medical procedures. Hypnosis can assist patients undergoing diagnostic tests, medical and surgical procedures, and other treatment regimens including chemotherapy and radiation. Pre-surgical hypnotic relaxation and positive imagery, offered days or even weeks in advance, alleviates anxiety, thus making possible the cumulation of needed vital energies. During surgery, and even while under chemical anesthesia, stored hypnotic affirmations have been shown to stabilize blood pressure and respiration. Post- surgery, hypnosis accelerates tissue healing and convalescence.
Cancer care/Chronic illness/Rehabilitation medicine. Several dimensions of cancer care can enlist the assistance of hypnosis, from adjustment to chemotherapy, to the activation of positive attitudes. Via mind to body channels, the immune system can be influenced by imagery. It is recognized that positive emotions have beneficial influences on all manner of medical conditions. Connections are increasingly discovered between the mind, the nervous and immune systems, and the body (psychoneuroimmunology).
Skype. After an initial in person consultation, training can be continued via Skype.
Gérard V. Sunnen M.D. 200 East 33rd St. New York, NY 10016 212/679-0679 (voice) 212-679-8008 (fax)