Healing the Body with Hypnosis
The magic of Alchemical Hypnotherapy extends to the physical ailments in the body. The motivation to heal is also unparalleled. People might be willing to put up with a vague sense of being lost for years, but when their pain is concentrated in one spot in the body, people are driven to seek healing.
First, they go to their doctors, as they should. Modern medicine is amazing at treating certain things. For example, doctors are excellent at identifying cancer tumors and surgically removing them. They don't, however, typically understand or explore the deep emotional causes of cancer. This is changing, though, with recent research showing that people who suppress their emotions and lack skills to deal with stress are more likely to contract and die from cancer. The opposite is also true; people who have had psychological therapy are less likely to contract or die from cancer. This points at the power that lies inside us to heal the things that we've been told are outside our power.
Modern medicine also has a long list of things it can't really help with. Doctors aren't sure what causes things like chronic fatigue syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome, and instead of saying, “We can't help you with that,” too often they say, “There's no cure or treatment for that.” Instead of wondering about the true cause of headaches, insomnia, or depression, patients are offered a pill or a surgery to alleviate symptoms. This bias, I believe, will only be corrected when doctors become as interested in our psychology as they are in our biochemistry.
Luckily for us, we don't have to wait for the transformation of modern medicine to benefit from the psychological causes and treatment of pain and disease, which is really dis-ease, not being comfortable in our bodies. Our bodies are master communicators. We eat food that is a little spoiled, and a strong contraction in our stomach lets us know to stop eating it, and maybe even purge it from our system. The same principle operates on a more subtle level too. Christiane Northup, M.D, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, tells the story of a colleague with a bad back who always experiences pain when she feels pressure to do something she really doesn't want to. Her neck begins to hurt as she thinks about writing a research paper and the people she will be involved with if she does. It is an internal sign from her body that her life would be better spent elsewhere, and she must weigh the wisdom of her body against the wisdom of society: “Publishing papers is required of doctors.”
Our bodies don't just tell us what we don't like; they also guide us naturally to activities, work, and relationships that nourish us on a deep soul level. What sorts of things did you enjoy doing as a kid before you were trained to think in terms of status and money? Another way to get at this is to ask, “If I had just six months left to live, what would I be doing?”
The problem is we have been trained to discount the wisdom of our bodies. On one level we admire people who live from their gut, who successfully trade stocks or manage companies guided mostly by their intuition. But when it comes to our own lives, too often the fear of making a living or changing the status quo overrides our true desires. We go back and forth, internally split between the part that trusts our innate desires and the part that doesn't. Remember the story of the two wolves? A grandfather tells his grandson that two wolves battle each other inside the boy's heart. On one side is a dark, fearful wolf full of hate and greed. On the other side is a noble wolf full of love, kindness and bravery. “Who wins?” asks the boy. The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”
And so the decision lies with us. The path of listening to, respecting, and loving the body is the way of loving and healing ourselves. Christiane Northup tells the story of Dana Johnson who, diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, was losing her ability to breathe and thought she would die. But before she did, she wanted to experience unconditional love for herself. She started placing her awareness in her hands, the only part of her body that she could love unconditionally. And then she moved on to other parts, and as she went she regained control of her physical body. As she fully accepted and loved her body, she began to unearth decades of conditioning about sacrificing herself for the sake of others. And from that soil, the seed of valuing herself could take root and blossom.
It is possible to use the tools of Alchemical Hypnotherapy to resolve the root causes of long-standing medical issues, and restore healthy physical functioning, as well as support on-going medical interventions. Our bodies are amazing, really, when you think about them. Do you know how to grow a heart or network a brain? Consciously we can't do these things, but the subconscious part of us certainly do. Similarly, there is a part of us that knows the emotional roots of disease. Unlocking traumatic memories or getting in touch with that part can help release it. To do that, the hypnotherapist helps the client relax and enter into an alert hypnotic trance. The conscious mind is still there, and the client will remember everything, but we can also tap into other parts.
For example, we might talk directly to the part of the body that hurts, or to the disease itself as if it were a person or animal. A search for the cancer entity might end by meeting a green monster who says, “I'm here to make you these this miserable marriage... one way or another!” This insights reframes healing from cancer to include evaluating how the client has put up with an intolerable situation and how they might seek divorce or marriage counseling as part of their healing process.
Or the hypnotherapist might ask the subconscious mind of the client, “What part(s) have invited this disease?” There might be a strong inner critic who is punishing the client for past sins, or an inner romantic who has contributed to a disease because it doesn't want to live a loveless life anymore. Negotiations with each part can create new alliances that rely on less harmful strategies to meet their needs.
We can also return to the time when the client first invited the disease entity at a subconscious level. What event triggered the onset of the disease? This might have happened much earlier than the onset of symptoms, and might have been a death of a loved one, a divorce, or any number of traumatic events. We can also explore when the feelings around this event were first experienced. Perhaps the loss of a romantic partner reminds a client of losing the love of a parent as a child, and taps into a pain deep enough that part of the client wants to die. That part might be creating or contributing to a terminal illness.
Another strategy to address illness is to say, "Let's go back to a time long ago when you created this pain and suffering for yourself.” Often there is guilt about something that happened in a past life when the client was a perpetrator. The illness is one way to atone karmically, but it is not the only way. It might be possible to forgive oneself and make a commitment to balance the karma by doing some good work in the world. In this way, we are capable of regulating which karmic seeds ripen and effect their expression in the present moment with our self-awareness and positive intentions.
Finding the root cause and addressing it is critical, but there are also ways to restore health and support healthy functioning. These include
Hypnotic movement, which refers to the natural, spontaneous movements of the body. When we get up in the morning, our bodies know how to stretch and move, and it is very helpful if we allow them to do so. In the same way, the muscles of the body know how to release stored trauma and restore a healthy flow of energy, blood, and nutrients. Physical trauma, such as that caused by auto accidents, can unwind, swelling is reduced, and pain eliminated.
Contacting our Inner Healer. In trance, we can communicate with the part of our subconscious mind that is available 24/7 and is intimately knowledgable about our particular bodies. It represents the innate wisdom of our subconscious mind and body. It can provide daily meditations that will support healing, perform spiritual surgeries, and repair the bones and organs of our body.
Color Healing. This involves noticing the color of pain, identifying points in the body that it can exit, allowing it to move out of the body, and filling your body with new healing colors.
Golden Sun. Imagine that a golden sun shines above your head, and allow that energy to flow through the body. Energy from the earth rises to meet the golden sun. Together these energies can provide powerful healing energy.
Let's look at a few case studies to see how these interventions work. One client with severe sciatica visited, David Quigley, creator of Alchemical Hypnotherapy. The pain shot down his right leg, threatening his job in construction. After inducing an alert trance, David suggested that this man's body knew exactly how to move to relieve the pain. The man's body began to move, wiggle, stretch and shake on its own. Furthermore, David taught him how to do this technique on his own. Within three sessions, the pain was gone. And when he later sprained his ankle at work, the client sat down, entered 'The Zone,' and allowed his body to move on its own to relieve the pain. The same technique has successfully been applied to rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, sciatica, post-traumatic injury pain, chronic back pain, and post-surgical recovery.
Alchemical Hypnotherapy can not only discover the root cause of a disease, but it can also help make on-going medical interventions more powerful. Let's say someone is doing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, five days a week, 30 minutes a session. Those treatments can be made more powerful if the patient is taught to imagine the cancer cells being identified, targeted, and removed. Visualizing the cancer tumor shrinking is a clear communication to the intricate biological systems to make it happen. Or a patient could imagine T-cells, a type of white-blood cells that promote immune health, are like big tanks that shoot cancer cells. These visualizations engage patients in their own treatment, and tap into the innate power of the subconscious mind to heal.
It's easy to read about a series of techniques, but things start to get really interesting when you experience them for yourself. I am excited to offer these techniques to the world, and by experiencing them yourself, you actually learn how to do them for yourself and others for the rest of your life.