The mind is a powerful part of our body and how the mind heals the body really is amazing. Hypnotherapy has a good success rate in treating a wide range of conditions and this is predominantly because of the ability to tap into the unconscious mind.
This enables change to happen on a psychological level but it can go a step further than this and have a positive effect on chronic pain, for example.
How does it do this? Mostly because there is such a strong link between the mind and the body and they affect each other a lot more than most people realise.
This can happen on both a positive and negative level, depending on the type of thoughts that are occurring.
The connection between the mind and the body is obvious when we think about how the stress response works, for example. This is now thought to be linked to a wide range of health problems, especially for chronic stress.
Stress can cause lots of physical symptoms, from a racing heart to chronic inflammation that is linked to a range of health issues. This is an involuntary reaction and one that we have very little control over.
When we experience a stressor (which may be a thought, feeling or situation, for example), it sets off the “fight or flight” response and the release of stress hormones that trigger the physical effects of stress.
The connection between the mind and body can work in our favour too, as you’ll see in this post.
The Healing Power of the Mind
The stress response is an example of how our thoughts can affect the body in a negative way but the total opposite can also be true.
Visualisation is a type of self-hypnosis that can have a positive impact on emotions and the physical effects that they can trigger.
Positive imagery encourages positive emotions, which in turn leads to positive feelings within the body.
The hypothalamus is the emotional centre of the brain and is responsible for turning our emotions into physical sensations. It is also the receptor for neuropeptides that transmit chemical messengers around the body and affect some of the key processes in the body, including blood sugar, appetite, temperature, the adrenal and pituitary glands, and the digestive and circulatory systems. In this sense, the mind and the body actually function in unison with each other.
With this in mind, it’s probably not that surprising to see the power of the human mind that has been shown in medical trials involving placebos.
These are essentially just “dummy drugs” to test how well an actual drug works and aren’t designed to offer any real benefits for health.
Despite this, one surprising result has cropped up in a number of studies: when people believe that they’re taking a drug that will help them, it can actually have a healing effect.
This isn’t just a feeling either. The placebo effect has been shown to trigger the production of chemicals that are often lacking in people who suffer from certain health conditions.
Tips for a Better State of Mind
Your state of mind is a crucial part of good health but it’s not that easy to calm your mind to the point at which it can help to heal the body.
These tips can help:
A lot of us are in a near constant state of anxiety and tension and aren’t relaxed enough to get into the mindset needed for better health. This is where hypnotherapy can come into its own as it’s all about entering a very focused form of concentration and relaxation.
Learn Skills to Help You Relax
Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness are all skills that can help you to relax more. If you can spend even five minutes per day practising these skills, it can help you to get into a healthier state of mind.
Get More Active
There is a strong link between exercise and well being, not least because it encourages your body to release endorphins – the “feel good” chemicals that boost mood. This can help you to clear your mind and feel happier.
Adapt Your Beliefs
A lot of us hold negative beliefs about ourselves and the world around us and this can often be detrimental when it comes to our well being. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can work well for consciously changing these thought patterns and this is also another area in which hypnotherapy can be invaluable in altering beliefs and negative thinking through the unconscious part of your brain.