High End Hypnotherapy

Individually Tailored Treatment

Author: Mike Parker (page 1 of 2)

Hypnotherapy for the Legal Profession and their Clients

  • DSCF1480Legal Stress?

  • Need more detailed recall?

  • Need to reduce anxiety and panic?

 

The understanding of hypnosis has come a long way since the mid-nineties. It was then that MRI and PET scanning enabled us to finally lay to rest the claim that there is no such things as a hypnotic trance. As is typical with good evidence though it meant we had to re-assess exactly what we mean by the terms trance and hypnosis.

The same science showed that the changes in brain activity that take place in trance happen when we are in REM sleep. Now our understanding of the function of REM sleep has also developed so this has important implications for understanding trance.

It now seems very likely that REM sleep (about 20% of our sleep time) has the function of clearing out stress and anxiety from experiences during the day. It ‘defuses’ them as it were and transfers them for storage in the higher brain.

I should add here how very common trance is. If you have ever got home and not remembered driving, daydreamed or not heard someone speaking to you when you are deep in thought you have been in trance. In fact it appears we jump in and out of REM states quite frequently, something which has been verified by the same technology as that mentioned above. Though of course brain scans have not been carried out on people driving home.

Intriguingly it has also been shown that REM states use up more energy than doing a maths exam for example. Einstein’s school report said ‘appears to spend most of his time daydreaming’. It’s probably safe to assume that quite a lot is going on in this state.

When we wake up tired and already feeling down we may well have exceeded our REM quota and still not have been able to clear our accumulated stress. This means that further incidents have much more power to affect us negatively adding to the stress we already have. It’s not hard to see how this can become a vicious circle.

Research by the US military has shown that the ability of people suffering from stress (which drives reactions by the instinctive ‘limbic’ brain) results in a catastrophic collapse of decision making capabilities. These all reside in the higher cortex, a huge engine the capabilities of which we may not very often fully employ.

Trance states allow us to access that engine and more. They also allow us to help focus on defusing our accumulated stress AND developing techniques for both negating stress ourselves as well as accessing more of the higher brain functions.

Because of the ability of the trance state to access the subconscious it is also possible to focus on detailed recall in a psychological space which is safe for the person and can be beneficial in allowing potentially traumatic experiences to be defused of their emotional intensity.

The legal profession is one where what kind of mental state the legal professional, jury, witnesses, judge and defendants are in is the fundamental key to outcomes very often. In this setting hypnotherapy carefully used can help to produce more relaxed and better considered reasoning.

Perhaps though the greatest benefits are for legal professionals themselves to cope with the inevitable stress produced by the work and to help those having to go through the often traumatic experience of legal complications (work, divorce, accusations).

Indeed judicious use of hypnotherapy could make the difference between an already fragile person being able to withstand the rigours of legal proceedings or not.

Not to mention the fact that once the legal aspect of the matter is dealt with the associated stress and trauma may continue for years unless dealt with.

In closing, let me stress that these techniques employ our own natural inherent ability to reprogram those things we may wish to by inducing a state of consciousness similar to REM sleep. In fact all of us will tend to drift in and out of trance many times during the average day. So while the practice focuses and utilizes this state for the client’s benefit there is nothing Rasputin-like about it at all.

Liminal Thinking, Principle 6 and Hypnotherapy

cropped-1011868.jpg“Liminal Thinking is the art of creating change by understanding, shaping, and reframing beliefs.” ( http://liminalthinking.com/ )

This is Dave Gray’s summary of the elegant conceptual structure he has assembled in order to help anyone who wants to create change have a greatly improved chance of succeeding. Change remains one of the most problematic areas confronting businesses around the world.
Dave’s toolkit for improving this state of affairs comprises 6 principles and 9 practices (see website above).
For the purpose of this piece I want to focus on one of the principles, principle 6:
Governing beliefs, which form the basis for other beliefs, are the most difficult to change, because they are tied to personal identity and feelings of self-worth. You can’t change your governing beliefs without changing yourself.” ( http://liminalthinking.com/six-principles/ )

This is similar to the idea of core narratives in Personal Construct Psychology, these are the stories we tell ourselves that are defining for us. Any suggestion that they may not be true or complete reflections of reality can register as a threat to our very existence.

But there are compelling reasons why we should be able to voluntarily step outside the embrace of these ‘governing beliefs’. In an ever more interconnected world how well we can function as individuals and organisations will be dependent on our ability to embrace a very wide range of belief sets in order to understand, at least in part, where customers and more generally those we share the planet, with are coming from.

Most of us are not taught very much about how our brain works or how our psychology gets layered in the process of growing up and through life experience. My own view is that this should be taught in primary school.

Sadly that is not the case so to a very large extent we operate on a sliding scale between our two brains, the primitive (or limbic) brain and the intellectual brain. The one we happen to be most attached to at a given point in time decides how things are going to go.

Unfortunately the primitive brain, though it always thinks it is acting in our best interest, often is not. It doesn’t make very subtle or nuanced assessments of situations. it is entirely negative (how much of a threat is this) and is liable to react on one of three axes anger, anxiety or depression.

When our ‘governing beliefs’ are threatened it is the Primitive Brain that responds as a rule. So stepping outside our governing beliefs, even allowing that they may be incomplete, can produce real physical responses, increased heart rate, sweating, churning stomach and as the system gets flooded with cortisol the higher brain is less and less able to function. Research into the decision making capabilities of US services personnel as they were subject to increasing degrees of stress showed their decision making ability dropping off a cliff as they were subject to increasing amounts of stress.
Fortunately we now know that it is possible to use some relatively simple techniques to counteract this reaction. A combination of breathing and guided relaxation using images and language which creates a strong internal safe space makes it possible to become sufficiently detached from governing beliefs to consider them as just that, beliefs, incomplete models.

This is one of the things we can achieve with hypnotherapy, creating a state where the client is free to consider for themselves the nature and function of their own beliefs. This is something the client chooses to do for themselves, the detachment and sense of deep security beyond core beliefs enable them to review those beliefs without feeling threatened by the process.

Once this kind of state of mind has been created and repeated a number of times it can become the work of a few moments on the part of the client to re-induce the perspective on their own for themselves.

In this way we can help people equip themselves with habits and frames of consciousness that enable them to calmly consider the relative nature of all belief systems. Being able to do this makes it easier to understand better where diverse people and organisations are coming from.

This may be very much more important than just improving organisational performance through greater fluidity and sensitivity to its environment. The development of this type of skill could conceivable reduce the chance of conflict.

 

Mindfulness and Hypnosis

DSCN1563It has been an interesting week. Several people have mentioned hypnotherapy to me in the same breath as saying “Oh I already practice self-care using mindfulness”.

I think that’s great and if the practice produces good results then I will cheer along with everyone else.

However a simple meditative practice is not the same as or a replacement for a carefully designed individual series of treatment sessions focused at helping somebody with a specific issue or goal.

Mindfulness is extremely popular especially with overstretched health services who seem to currently be recommending it as a panacea to a certain extent. After all if somebody suffering from clinical depression can be sent to do a short course on mindfulness and they don’t come back to the GP’s surgery for a couple of months or more that is a definite win as far as the performance of that surgery is concerned.

As well as recently qualifying as a solutions focused clinical hypnotherapist I have spent many years using trance states in a number of different ways for different purposes. There is no doubt in my mind that different types of meditation are different varieties of trance state.

Mindfulness comes from Vipassana meditation which aims at creating a degree of detachment. This undoubtedly has a number of benefits and is something we also use to some extent in hypnotherapy.

The trance state or REM state as we now know it to be is the fundamental doorway to the unconscious.

A portal, think of it as like a carrier medium. In it’s raw state it is just focused attention with nothing overlayed on it.

Once a trance state has been created one way or another (and God knows there are an infinite number of ways) then one is effectively looking at a blank canvas. The subsequent use of mental reference frameworks, metaphors and symbols constitute a means of focusing and directing the trance state.

So when we work with somebody in hypnotherapy the process is carefully developed with a great sensitivity to the clients own inner realities and their repertoire of metaphor and symbolism.

The structure and taxonomy of these inner experiential languages is complex, subtle and something a lifetime of study could not be said to make you expert in.

Each hypnotherapy engagement is a co-mutual investigation in which the hypnotherapist endeavors to facilitate processes which are already in train in the client. Part of this may mean inducing experiences of objective disassociation from thoughts and feelings as part of a process of creating greater understanding and integration.

There is more to know about these states and our own innate capabilities than one neatly packaged popular application.

Enhanced Performance for Business

Green and White
Hypnotic trance is a natural state we usually drop in and out of 70 or so times a day. MRI & PET scanning show it is very similar to REM sleep. If you daydream, you’ve been in trance, if you’ve driven somewhere and not remembered the journey then ditto.

The brain actually uses more energy in trance than in, say doing mental arithmetic. So there’s a lot going on. Trance provides us with a connection to our unconscious, both all the automated machinery AND the capacity of the vast intellectual resource that is the higher cortex capable of parallel processing at speeds that leave linear brain thinking in the dust. The source of those sudden solution flashes.
Einstein’s school report said “Appears to spend most of his time daydreaming”. Quite
This natural state can be enhanced in collaboration with a skilled hypnotherapist.

At the automatic machinery level it is possible to have very high degrees of control over autonomic functions, so experimentation has been done showing increased activity in the auto-immune system as the result of suggestions made to subjects in trance.

The use of hypnosis instead of anaesthetic has been known for a very long time, in trance it is possible to block nerve messages and major surgery has been and still is done using hypno-anaesthesia.
One focus of my practice is enhancing the ability of people to arrive at solutions to complex problems quickly. These might be functional problems like “How do we get the economy from Wall Street back to Main Street” with complex systemic aspects or they might be complex systemic problems involving the relationship between people in a team which needs to be a very High Performance Team such as in a start-up.

Reducing stress levels and opening channels to the higher brain’s solution capabilities is invaluable in these situations.

I’ve explored how consciousness can create competitive advantage here: http://highendhypnotherapy.com/consciousness-the-next-competitive-advantage/ .
The service I offer can help to substantially improve key human capabilities with a direct impact in speed of solution creation and realisation in reality of ideation.

One side effect of the Solutions Focused approach I use is that in reducing the contents of a person’s stress reservoir other issues and problems effecting them may also be resolved.

So I had someone come to see me for lack of energy. At the 6th session, as we went through a review of her week, she suddenly said “Oh and I’ve stopped grinding my teeth and the other day I woke actually feeling something other than just flat”. Apparently nothing to do with energy and completely unprompted. However, her energy levels did dramatically improve.
To conclude, if you want to improve performance of key people including yourself in what you are trying to achieve my booking page is on the website and the rates are attractively low compared to other types of service. I’m also far better at it than average.

Treatment that Travels with You

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When setting up High End Hypnotherapy I went to a lot of trouble to set up and prove the efficacy of remote hypnotherapy across distances and time zones. I successfully completed a number of treatments using this method and fine-tuned the approach.

In my experience the results of remote hypnotherapy are every bit as good as those which can be achieved face to face.

Working with me remotely, wherever you are, you get the combination of Solutions Focused Brief Therapy and trance, a unique, non-prescriptive approach to hypnotherapy developed in the UK at the prestigious Clifton Practice in Bristol.

There is more: I have travelled extensively around the world for work. I know perfectly well the kinds of stress and disorientation this causes. You don’t have to defer getting treatment for depression, anxiety, phobias, insomnia and a wide range of other problems just because you need to travel for work.  I am committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure you have continuity of treatment whatever the condition and wherever you are as long as you can be reached by Internet or phone.

Read the full testimonial from Nancy White below. Nancy was travelling in Australia during several of our sessions.

I have been struggling with insomnia for nearly 15 years. I’m not sure when it started, but probably around menopause. Or it could be my crazy brain which just hates to shut off. Regardless, over time I have struggled to stay asleep. I could “train” myself to fall asleep, but I’d bounce back awake at the slightest provocation (real or imagined?) I finally thought “why not try hypnotism,” without any clarity of its value. That’s where Mike really “turned a light” on for me.

Before embarking on ANYTHING, Mike offered me a clear explanation of basic brain functions, their possible role in my insomnia, and how hypnotherapy could help. It was clear he did not want me considering it without understanding it. That was when I started to feel hopeful. The second thing was that Mike, who lives in the UK, could do the sessions over Skype. Not only do I reside 8 time zones away, but I travel a lot for work, so we were able to schedule sessions literally anytime we both were awake. The good news was that often by the time we finished a session, I was asleep!

Now I currently live a pretty darned stressful life and at first I did not notice a huge difference. But gradually my sleeping patterns included longer and longer “asleep” segments, and I was falling back asleep much quicker, able to set aside my “worrying mind.” Now three months later I can say my sleep is significantly improved. If I were to describe it intuitively, it would be that my brain developed some better habits and how they really HAVE become good habits… habitual.

So here is how it adds up: a brain based solution, delivered regardless of your physical location with tangible results. I love it. Thanks, Mike!

Hypnosis the Universal Solvent

So there you are reading the leaflet or website list of ailments that hypnotherapy can help with and if you’re sensible a small alarm bell might well be ringing.

Typically, treatments claiming to fix everything from depression to gout and infertility have been associated with bottles of extravagantly labelled ‘medicine’ being sold from the back of a covered wagon or it’s modern equivalent.

And when you look at the list of complaints we hypnotherapists propose to treat and improve it looks alarmingly like the labels and sales material accompanying bottles of snake-oil.

And yet hypnotherapy really can help with this remarkably wide ranging list of problems. So what is going on?

Well, simply, the reason why we can help with so many different problems using trance states is because this state is a very fundamental natural state for human beings to go into and utilise. Unlike being able to walk, talk and eat though this inherent capability is not routinely developed from an early age. In fact more often than not it is actively discouraged and in some cases stigmatised.

When we daydream, for example, we enter a light trance state and it’s interesting to note that Einstein’s school report recorded “seems to spend most of his time in a daydream”.

With this in mind, when I treat people for a specific purpose I engage them in understanding that trance is a natural ability they have and that my role is to help them focus it. So we hopefully leave our clients with a new life skill they can use and apply going forward though it is interesting to note that help in focusing and directing this state for specific purpose still adds to its efficacy.

So perhaps it is less surprising against this background that hypnosis can have so many uses.

This is the reason why those long lists of treatable complaints are actually for real. There are few problems which cannot benefit from the remarkable capabilities which nature has given all of us access to through trance.

In my view we are missing out a very important, fundamental part of our children’s education in not teaching them about how the brain works and how to make use of trance. As therapists, part of what we treat is making up for this deficit in education in children and adults alike.

Consciousness; the Next Competitive Advantage

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Ever found yourself sitting in another performance improvement meeting listening to a “sensei” discussing how to reduce waste or error by another Sigma and wondering if it is only you who secretly thinks “have these guys heard of the law of diminishing returns”?

It seems to be a trope in contemporary business management thinking that if only we are intellectually creative enough we will find a way around basic laws which operate through just about every sphere of life.

From assuming that infinite economic growth is possible based on finite planetary resources (those externalities which provide all the real wealth but never figure as a cost on most balance sheets) to the idea of the S curve which assumes that it is desirable in an organisation for there never to be a period of some contraction and reassessment.

Adopting this strategy in agricultural systems leads to ruined local ecosystems which then need to be fed, usually with chemical nitrogen, which then runs off into the water supply and has further negative systemic impacts as well as producing a soil which requires evermore fertiliser as the micro environment of the soil itself has been destroyed by the strategy of non-stop cultivation.

The continuing efforts at ever greater process improvements are still fundamentally rooted in a reductionist, Taylorist approach to management which is now 150 years old.

Despite ample evidence that this kind of management approach is totally inadequate to deal with the incredibly fast changing environment in which organisations now have to operate mostly we cling to it like a drowning man clutching a punctured life raft.

Because of this myopia we generally fail to see, let alone deal with, the grossest waste that occurs in nearly all organisations; namely the low value placed on people.

 

The impact the person has on an organisation which they work for / are involved with goes a great deal further than whatever job or role description they may have.

Most role descriptions still flounder in the quagmire of sticking to what is easily described and therefore easily measured. Yet the largest impact that any person will have on the organisation in which they are involved will be from factors having nothing to do with their role description.

Paradoxically it is the subtle and most difficult to quantify qualities of people which will have the greatest effect on the organisation and on how they fulfil the formal role which has been described for them.

In most cases these qualities, such as innovation, solution creation, emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication skills, intuition, insight, helpfulness et cetera are considered only in the case of people at senior levels of the organisation’s hierarchy.

This is because the assumption remains that most of the other people in the organisation are there simply as “cogs in the machine”. The classic Taylorist view of workers and employment.

In a contemporary environment of massive, high-speed and constant change the two qualities of any organisation for survival and success which have been repeatedly identified are leanness and agility.

In order to implement these two qualities in any organisation it is essential that all the people in the organisation are capable of meaningful and positive responses to stimuli occurring in their interactions both within and especially at the boundaries of the organisation. In order for that to happen it is necessary that all the people in the organisation are adequately empowered to be able to make those responses.

However empowerment is only half the story. Not only do the external means to react need to be present. There also needs to be the sense of personal and individual value and a positive experience of the self within the work environment leading to the ability of the person to apply all the massive resources of their brain to creatively making the organisation hum. Whatever position they may have in the organisation.

We now know from neuroscience that people who feel constantly threatened, stressed with no way of responding to stressors, of little value and deprived of most sense of agency will mainly operate from their primitive brain.

The primitive brain has pretty much three ways of dealing with anything:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression

Centred on the Amygdala, it has one job; to check whether anything is a threat so it is:

  • Negative, always sees things in terms of what can go wrong
  • Obsessive, always re-running past problems and checking if they are about to happen again
  • Vigilant, always on high alert for any incoming threats

Coupled with that, the primitive brain works entirely by pattern matching against inherited patterns and those established by experience. So it never innovates. It is not an intellect. It does not come up with new solutions.

When we function from the higher brain we have access to an infinitely more nuanced and realistic assessment of a situation and we also have access to the wonderful inventive and innovative capabilities that it possesses.

If your organisation is mainly full of people functioning predominantly from their primitive brain then it may be humming but it is going to be a pretty primitive hum; aggressive, anxious, negative and it should be obvious how that is likely to affect its performance and ability to respond to changes in the environment.

Compared with the ever dwindling ability to extract ever more productivity from limited resources the sheer waste of the impact of people working largely in their primitive brain has to be at least several orders of magnitude greater than any further savings from process.

Of course it doesn’t have to be that way but largely it still is. Against that background it is not difficult to predict that the companies that create soar away value from unbeatable competitive advantage will be those that understand the importance of consciousness in their organisations and in nurturing a workplace based on the higher functions of the neo-cortex rather than the swampy limitations of the primitive brain.

For this reason I propose that nurturing human consciousness in organisations is the next major leap forward in competitive advantage.

The Chasm of Stated Intent and Practice in Business

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When I was studying for my MBA one of the things that really interested me was the idea of evidence-based management and evidence-based policy. What I found particularly interesting was that it was necessary to actually suggest it as a discipline.

Like many other ideas I came across in studying management thinking it struck me as belonging in the “obvious common sense” department.

I have read quite a lot around the subject especially by Sutton and Pfeffer and it was when I came across their book “the knowing doing gap” that I realised the same fundamental problem was being addressed again and again in various different ways by different people. Argyris described an almost identical mechanism to Sutton and Pfeffer with his identification of the difference between espoused theory and theory in practice. That is the difference between what people present themselves as believing and following and what they actually do.

We should note carefully that while it may be tempting in some respects to assume that this is a function of hypocrisy I don’t think that this is actually the case in most people. There are undoubtedly those who consciously profess to be following a particular policy and set of ethics in the full knowledge that they do not actually believe them.

That is not what I am addressing here. Rather I am interested in the majority of genuinely well-intentioned people who do embrace a particular policy and set of ethics and then find themselves actually acting completely differently as a result of what seem to be unsurmountable circumstantial pressures.

In previous posts I have considered what we have learnt from neuroscience about the structure of the brain and particularly the relationship between the primitive emotional brain and the more modern intellectual brain. It is fascinating to me as a systems thinker to see how well this maps onto both Sutton and Pfeffer’s definition of the knowing doing gap and Argyris’ concept of espoused theory and theory in action. We know that when the limbic brain takes over good assessments of circumstances and innovative responses to them disappear out of the window.

We know that trance is capable of producing states very similar to REM sleep yet with directed and positive focus. These states appear to be where the two brain systems can focus collaboratively on the same thing. Trance states, then, appear to offer the possibility of enabling us to resolve the apparent unbridgeable gap between socially advantageous and appropriate decisions benefiting the greater whole and our own personal survival.

It is for this reason that I think hypnosis and hypnotherapy has a considerable amount to offer in the sphere of the development of business thinking

Change Management and Trance States

 

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In my first blog on hypnotism and business I tried to explain some of the basic realities underlying our new understanding of trance and its similarity to the REM (rapid eye movement) states experienced during sleep.

In this article I would like to go a little deeper into the structure of the brain and how it affects how we perceive change and how we react to it.

In order to explain this I will take a simplified view of the structure of the brain so that we can look at principal components. For the purposes of this conversation this means we divide the brain into three broad sections; intellectual brain the conscious part of that and the limbic brain or primitive brain.

The part we think of as ‘I’ which is conscious and through which we relate to the world around us and to others is actually quite a small part of the brain. Attached to this is a vast intellectual resource a great deal of which we don’t appear to use very much.

In addition to this there is the primitive brain or limbic brain. The key influential part of the limbic brain is the amygdala often referred to as the depression flight / fight centre. The additional parts of this are the hypothalamus and the hippocampus. The hypothalamus is responsible for releasing a number of different chemicals and neurotransmitters into the bloodstream. The hippocampus contains primitive behavioural patterns most of which are survival based.

The limbic brain is all about survival. For this reason it is a negative mind. It conceives of everything in terms of how much of a threat it might be and if we think about it this is exactly what it should be doing as its main function is self-preservation.

It is an obsessive mind such that it is always checking for potential danger and will keep on reminding us if it thinks that something is a risk. It is also a vigilant mind constantly on guard.

When we operate in the higher brain we generally get things right because the higher brain is positive and usually makes a reasonable assessment of reality. Also in contrast to the primitive brain the higher brain is capable of innovation. The primitive brain is only capable of responding to circumstances using the patterns which it finds in the hippocampus. So the primitive brain will never create new and innovative solutions to problems.

Research in the US military has shown that the more pressure service people are under and the more anxious they become the more they move into operating from the limbic brain. This is accompanied by a major reduction in the effectiveness of their assessment of situations and their ability to create adequate responses to them.

It’s easy to see the relevance of this to change, one of the most fraught topics in any organisation.

For a start change is identified as a potential threat. The first thing the primitive brain does is to check for survival threats. Almost without exception when any change programme is introduced into an organisation the common reaction is to start functioning in the limbic brain.

Training in being able to access trance states where the focus is on functioning in the higher brain could potentially help people to adjust to change as it occurs.

Before this becomes a new way for managers to accuse staff of having bad attitudes and before the claim “you’re operating from your primitive brain” becomes a common indictment of other people’s behaviour, it is worth considering that frequently change programmes have been designed and motivated by people operating from the primitive brain themselves.

In this case the design of change may be the first place we need to start in ensuring that we can apply the capabilities of the higher brain to arrive at a reasoned and reasonable analysis of what the current situation is and to create an imaginative and viable solution or strategy for forward movement.

So if change-makers want to prepare the way for beneficial change and development then the ability to derive imaginative and innovative solutions (which the unconscious part of the higher brain is excellent at doing) would seem to me to be a distinct advantage.

So learning the skill of accessing the capabilities of realistic assessment and systemic solution formation may well be a great place for them to start. Trance is the ideal state in which to do this.

This could result in the development of change plans which are not based around primitive brain thinking and do not, because of that, immediately communicate themselves as a survival threat.

This could produce much more successful organisations. Of course it does mean a major break with the macho tradition of slash and burn reorganisation. However it is probably long gone time that we began to question the real business value of organisations being a stage for the acting out of primitive brain dramas.

Tomorrow’s super successful next-generation organisations will be those that embrace more conscious working, deeper collaboration and greater utilisation of all the capabilities of their people.

The recent developments in the studies of neuroscience and trance suggest very real and practical ways in which this fundamental life skill can contribute to increased profitability at the same time as creating a more civilised workplace.

What’s not to like?

Hypnosis and Business

Green and White

“Hypnosis and business” I hear you say dubiously “and how does that work?”

“I can’t see hard headed business people being the least bit interested in something like hypnotherapy. Just the word ‘therapy’ would be enough to put them off with its implication that everything might not be absolutely perfect with them”.

Indeed it is hard to think of anything that would be more likely to make many business people cringe than the idea that they might be in some way deficient. However if insight, intuition and great solution development are traits worth developing then the ability to go into a trance state is a big benefit.

Since the mid-1990s it has been possible through the use of PET and MRI scanning to establish that the trance state is very similar to rapid eye movement sleep (REM).

Interestingly experimental work has shown that in trance and REM states the brain is actually using up to 4 times as much energy as doing mental arithmetic or other similar conscious activity.

On Einstein’s school report his teacher had written “appears to spend most of his time in a daydream”. We now know that daydreaming is actually a form of trance. In fact we tend to jump in and out of trance 75 times a day or so.

If you have ever driven home and not remembered how you got there then you have been in trance. We access REM states all the time for various reasons .It is clear that REM states are implicated in being able to use far more of the brain than is usually the case, in developing solutions to problems although this may happen at an unconscious level.

During sleep the REM state makes up about 20%. Part of its function is to neutralise emotional and psychological stress accumulated during the day. If a person is subject to too much stress this period of REM during ordinary sleep is not long enough to process all the stress, meaning that they commence the following day with their stress levels already partially up.

For people working in busy high-pressure environments, it is easy to see that the ability to allow themselves to sink into an REM state at will in order to reduce stress and rejuvenate themselves during the day will lead to better decision-making, improved health and welfare for staff and increase productivity. That is without taking into consideration the very real increase in problem solving and solution creation capabilities that being able to enter into an REM state can offer.

So when I say “hypnosis and business” and you look slightly sideways at me I follow it with “get informed and try it out. Business needs to be more conscious”.

 

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