The Mind Body Connection - Why Hypnosis is the Ideal Intervention
by Anne H. Spencer, Ph.D.,

Lilly Tomlin once said, "When I speak to God, they call it prayer. When God speaks to me, they call it schizophrenia!"

Two decades ago when I told clients that we could talk to their immune cells and make a change for the better, their doctors thought I was schizophrenic. Times have changed. Now mainstream America is fully aware that traditional medicine is not the only answer. Alapathic medicine is one of perhaps several solutions to a current medical challenge.

Everyday in the popular press, (newspapers, magazines, radio and TV), we are hearing of amazing results when alternative/complimentary therapies are used to heal. It seems that all of these therapies have one common ingredient. It is: The patient wants to get better and is willing to go along with the new protocol, having hope and faith that it will bring a better quality of life. Some call this self-hypnosis at its best! I would agree.

When a form of hypnosis is used with the healing prescription there are positive results. Hypnosis is given many names these days. They are: relaxation response, stress reduction imagery, mental imagery, guided meditation, visual prayer, guided prayer, trance, visualization, imagery, journeying, safe place imagery, becoming centered, the list goes on... It matters not the name, as long as the desired results are achieved.

Because of all the positive results that have been achieved through alternative medicine the National Institutes of Health have created an Office of Alternative Medicine. Larry Dossey, MD is an internal medicine physician and co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. He says that they are gearing up to do research into alternative therapies that up until recently have been considered "fringe" and unorthodox.

Areas of study will include meditation, biofeedback, psychotherapy, hypnosis, prayer, distant or psychic healing, art, music, and dance, to name a few. Senator Harkin head of the Senate Appropriations Committee which controls the purse strings of the NIH issued the following mandate.

"The committee is not satisfied that the conventional medical community as symbolized by NIH has fully explored the potential that exists in unconventional medical practices...In order to more adequately explore these unconventional medical practices the committee requests that NIH establish within the office of the director an office to fully investigate and validate these practices. The committee further directs that the NIH convene and establish an advisory panel to screen and select the procedures for investigation and to recommend a research program to fully test the most promising unconventional medical practices."

Dossey adds: "It is crucial that lay persons realize that the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine was created not by developments from within medicine but by pressures from outside the profession. This means your efforts can have a major impact. Write your senators and representatives. Key points you should make:

  • Educate them. Many have never heard of the new NIH Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM).
  • Urge them to support funding for the NIH-OAM. Without it, these developments will die on the vine.
  • Ask them to take a serious look at the formal report due out from the Office. It will document the scientific evidence underlying many alternative therapies.
  • Above all, point out that many alternative methods not only work and are extremely safe, they are cost effective as well. In this era of escalating health care cost, cost effectiveness is a compelling argument in favor of alternative medicine."

May I add, that as a hypnotherapists it is imperative for you to be in close contact with your state and national elected officials. They are your servants, you elected them, you have a profession that is fast being recognized for its benefits to medicine. Now is the time to make your voice heard. If you wait, some other profession will take up the banner and you'll be left on the sideline wondering why.

Larry Dossey, M.D. is on the honorary board of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association "!. As we have talked he assures me that Hypnosis is being carefully studied and documented for its place in the Alternative Protocols. A door marked HYPNOTHERAPIST in every health care facility worldwide is now more than a dream. It is well on its way to becoming a reality. It will require well trained professionals in the art and science of Hypnosis. I expect that many of you will be among those who will staff these facilities. It is part of the aim of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association to be the source of recruitment for these health care providers.

Now I would like to turn to two case histories from the files of I.M.D.H.A. that deal with healings occurring due to hypnosis.

Case #1

First Session: June 5, 1991
Condition: Diabetes - Blood sugar count 258
Client: Female - Divorced - age 55

History: Tillie is the mother of two fully grown girls; twice divorced and working in a very demanding career.
When asked, "How many easy days do you usually have per week? How many difficult days?" the answer was, "Mine are all real bad."

Resolution: In just two sessions Tillie's blood sugar count dropped to 106/108 range. She is completely off of all medication per her physician's decision.

Therapy: Tillie had a very strong hate for her grandmother. Her mother and father lived with the grandparents. They had a belief that they could not "make it" on their own. Nancy was born at home.

During regression Nancy remembered that on the day of her birth and subsequent days her grandmother bathed her. "She's putting something in my mouth (washcloth), I'm trying to cry, but can't. I want to go back to my mother, but she won't take me. She is hurting my arms. I just want to go back into my mother, it was safe and comfortable there. Grandmother says, 'I can stop her breathing like other babies.' She finally takes me back to the doctor and my mother."

"She's telling my mother that she's to old to have a baby anyway. This one doesn't look very healthy and probably won't live."

Why did you live? "Cause my mother wanted me to."

Tillie and her parents lived with the grandmother for 15 years. Grandmother would often say to Tillie, " You won't make it. You are sick."
Healing: During this session the "old hate" and "unresourceful feelings" for grandmother were removed using a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy techniques of forgiveness.

Second session she reported that the blood sugar had dropped to 120. Over the next three weeks and sessions the blood sugar level reached and maintained 106/108. All medications have been suspended.

Follow up: June 5, 1993 blood sugar level still 106/108. (3 years later)

Case #2

First Session: June 12, 1990
Condition: Diarrhea for the past 25 years
Client: Female - Divorced - age 54

History: Jan is a mother of two fully grown children and living on government assistance. Note: So are both of her brothers. When asked: "How many easy days do you usually have per week? How many difficult days?" Answer - "Most are difficult."

Resolution: Hypnoanalysis intake and introduction to hypnosis took two sessions. Good subject, open and receptive to wanting to find the cause of the problem. Set a plan of 10 to 12 sessions.

Therapy: Regression: Age 8 "I know my mother don't love my dad. My dad drinks. My mom likes Dan. Dan is my half brother, her son. He's 13. He (Dan) is mean to us. Dan is mean to us when dad is at work. He does bad things to me and my brothers. He makes my brothers take off all of their clothes. He makes them 'pee' in each others mouths. He forces them outside without their clothes and locks the door. He has sex with me and he won't leave me alone. Dad asks me if Dan did anything to me, I say 'no'. I don't know why I say 'no'".

"Dan brings his boy friends over to our house."
How many boyfriends and why?
"6 or 7 boyfriends. Dan makes his friends have sex with me. I pretend I am asleep, but they still go ahead and have sex with me."

Note: Client is abreacting, crying, sobbing then...

"I love my dad so much. I went to bed with my dad. I don't know why. I really don't."
What do you mean, you went to bed with your dad?
"I took care of my dad he was so lonely."
How did you take care of your dad?
"I had sex with my dad."
How often did this occur?
"Maybe 3 times.'
How did this start?
"Mom works from 4 to midnight and daddy is lonely. He kisses me then things just happen."
Do you want to let these old memories go?
These old un-resourceful feelings and emotions, where do you store them?
"In my stomach"
If you could describe them what do they look like, what color are they?

Healing: Drained off these old worn out feelings and client flushed them down the toilet. Forgave (let go) of incidents. Filled her with love, peace, fun and had her dance in the sun feeling the freedom.

Note: at the end of this session she was very concerned that maybe she had made up the "going to be with daddy." "Could I have made it up? I know for sure about Dan and his boyfriends, but my dad?"

Next session she reported that the "diarrhea is gone!" We used regression to go back and verify incidents with the father and heal those. She knew that this had really happened, as she processed through the week between visits. Her healings are still going on. She said she felt overwhelmed that 25 years of suffering with diarrhea was gone, completely gone. She has since moved out of state. Last contact healing is permanent.

You will notice that no "direct" suggestions were given to these clients to remove symptoms. The subconscious through non-direct hypnotherapy found the cause of the presenting problem. When that was "forgiven" the body set about to heal itself.

In the book Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers Michael Lerner, President and Founder of Commonweal, states that there is a distinction between curing and healing. "Mainstream medicine creates a certain condition under which healing becomes possible again. You set a broken bone so that it can heal, or you sew up a wound so that it can heal. But the healing process is an internal one."

"There are different levels of healing. There's the biological level, an emotional level, a metal level, and depending on what language you use, a spiritual level. But the point is that at the very simple biological level, mainstream medicine does not make the wound heal. It creates the conditions under which the tissue can knit back together. What we bring to the encounter with any life-threatening illness is our healing resources, our healing potential."

This healing potential is what these two women brought to the hypnotherapist. The therapist helped the women fulfill that potential.

In his book, Recovering the Soul, Dr. Dossey talks about Era III Medicine - Non-local Medicine. He says that consciousness is not localized in the body of the person. In fact it has been proven that your consciousness can effect what my body does, and my consciousness can effect what your body does. By way of scientific proof Dossey sites Randolf Byrd, M.D.'s study.

Byrd is a Board Certified Cardiologist and part of the San Francisco General Hospital Cardiac Care Unit when the ten month Double Blind Prospective Randomized Matched Clinical Study was done. Over the period of time 400 patients were admitted with presumptive diagnosis of heart attack or actual heat attack. All were treated with state of the art conventional cardiac care. They were ramdomly divided into groups of 200. One group received only the state of the art care. The other group received an additional non-local "treatment." They were prayed for. Here are the results:

Prayed for = no deaths
No prayer = 3 deaths

Prayed for = no intubation or mechanical ventilation
No prayer = 12 needed intubation

Prayed for = 5 times less likely to require antibiotics only 3
No prayer = 16 needed antibiotics

Prayed for = 3 times less likely to develop pulmonary edema only 6
No prayer = 18 developed pulmonary edema

Byrd said, "Each person prayed for many different patients, but each patient in the experiment had between five and seven people praying for him or her."

"This rigorous study suggests that something about the mind allows it to intervene the course of distant happenings, such as the clinical course of patients in a coronary care unit or thousands miles away." Prayer groups close or far away got the same results.

Era III Medicine is not only non-local it is paradoxical. Often the results found by hypnotherapists and clients is non-local and paradoxical. It certainly is not Rational when no suggestion for cure or erasure of symptom is given, yet the healing occurs. We need to honor both forms of healing. Direct suggestion works, yet it seems non-specific suggestion works even better. The mind knows what needs to be healed. It will seek the cure if it is listened to. Maybe we should always listen to when "God speaks" to us. Healing takes place in the mind, the body and emotions follow. Good health means the integration of body, mind and spirit.


Healing and the Mind: Bill Moyers, Doubleday, New York

Mind Probe-Hypnosis: Irene Hickman, DO, Hickman Systems, MO

Recovering the Soul: Larry Dossey, MD, Bantam Books, New York

Case 1 & 2: International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, Royal Oak, MI 48073-2285

"A CLOSER LOOK at Hypnosis and Medicine": Infinity Institute, Royal Oak, MI 48073-2285

Written and Submitted by:
Anne Spencer, Ph.D., Founder, IMDHA, Member of COPHO