HYPNOTHERAPY AND AUTOHYPNOSIS - how the mind affects the body

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The power of mind. Autosuggestion, hypnosis and autohypnosis

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This article is an excerpt from my course "PsychoNeuroRegulation - how through the mind affect the health"


Suggestion means influencing someone’s views, beliefs or thoughts.

Autosuggestion means persuading oneself about something, so making a suggestion to yourself. (according to Słownik Wyrazów Obcych pod Redakcją Słowników Języka Polskiego PWN, 1997).

We can suggest something to ourselves using affirmations. Affirmations are positive thoughts, that should be repeated in a state of relaxation of body and mind, which is when we have the best access to our subconscious. Just as visualisations, they should be done with full engagement of our emotions and senses. Having faith in the positive outcome is crucial for their effectiveness.

There are many famous examples of miraculous healings in holy places of different religions. Are these locations really so special? The scientists are convinced that they are not and the healing effects are due to the faith that people have in the special power of these places. Spontaneous recoveries in Lourdes and other geographical locations are therefore results of deep faith that the followers of a particular religion have in that they will be relieved from their suffering.

With the help of suggestion, you can also bring peace back to your mind.


The power of mind. Hypnosis and autohypnosis The phenomenon of hypnosis is widely associated with the tricks performed by circus magicians and manipulating human will. It seems like the hypnotized human is completely subject to the hypnotizer's will.
For some people, it may be frightening. Certainly, there are numerous superstitions about hypnosis. Nevertheless, it has been used in medicine for many years, not only in psychiatry.

Read about placebo effect

According to Barber (1974, 1978) it's therapeutic effect can be ascribed to the change in blood flow achieved by focusing patient's attention, guided visualisation, biofeedback and hypnotherapy.

Below, I present a list of studies on healing through psychologically mediated modification of blood flow (source: : Rossi L. Ernest " Hypnotherapy. Psychobiological mechanisms of healing").

1. Warming up and cooling down of various body parts in treatment of headaches (Barabasz i McGeorge, 1978; Barber, 1978, 1984; Erickson, 1943c/1980);

2. Control of blood supply to the skin (observed as skin redness or paleness) (Barber, 1978, 1984; Erickson, 1980c);

3. Stimulating breast enlargement an apparent mammary tissue growth in women (Barber, 1984; Erickson, 1960a/1980; Williams, 1974);

4. Stimulating sexual drive and penile erection (Barber, 1978, 1984; Crasilneck,1982);

5. Fading of bruises (Barber, 1984; Cheek, 1962a);

6. Control of bleeding during surgical operations (Banks, 1985; Cheek, 1969);

7. Alleviating and treating burns (Barber, 1984; Cheek, 1962a; Moore and Kapłan, 1983);

Read about the power of mind - experiments

8. Creating local skin inflammation resembling earlier burns (Barber, 1984);

9. Treatment of warts (Johnson and Barber, 1978; Ullman, 1959);

10. Inducing and treating various types of skin inflammation (Barber, 1984; Ikemi and Nakagawa, 1962);

11. Alleviating congenital excessive skin keratinisation (Barber, 1984; Mason, 1952, 1955);

12. Improving blood clotting in patients suffering from haemophilia (Banks, 1985; Barber, 1984);

13. Alleviating the reaction (nie byłam pewna co w tym kontekście znaczy reakcja alarmowa) (Cheek, 1960, 1969; Rossi, 1973/1980);

14. Alleviating hypertension and other cardiovascular symptoms (Benson, 1983a, b; Gruen, 1972; Schneck, 1948; Wain, Amen and Oetgen, 1984; Yanowski, 1962);

15. Alleviating symptoms of the Reynaud's syndrome (Conn and Mott, 1984; Jacobson et al., 1973);

16. Stimulating the immune system (Black, 1969; Hall, 1982-83; Lewis, 1927; Mason, 1963).

Read about PsychoNeuroImmunology - how the mind affects your body

Adequately targeted hypnosis can activate the immune system. This has been shown by Hall (1982-1983). He observed that people who are susceptible to hypnosis can significantly improve their immune defences in this way. It is particularly effective in activating T and B lymphocytes.

Moreover, there are numerous proofs that hypnotherapy improves ailments such as asthma, gastrointestinal tract ulcers, constipation, hypertension, some dermatological diseases, paroxysmal tachycardia, pain in the joints and muscles, neuralgia, insomnia, addictions, stutter, nervous tics. Hypnosis can be used, with a good effects, also as a form of anaesthesia during surgical operations and to aid delivery.

Read about the power of mind - curious case

If you are interested in the topic of influence of your mind on your health, you might be interested in our online courses:
  • Healing mind or in cheaper versions of the course:
  • The basics of psychoneuroimmunology - how your mind affects your health
  • Mental techniques for health