A famous study by Dr. Masura Emoto

A famous study by Dr. Masura Emoto demonstrates that the energy of our thoughts has a direct effect on the geometric structure of water molecules within ice crystal formations. The hypothesis that water “treated” with intention can affect ice crystals formed from that water was pilot tested under double-blind conditions.

A group of approximately 2,000 people in Tokyo focused positive intentions toward water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. That group was unaware of similar water samples set aside in a different location as controls. Ice crystals formed from both sets of. That group was unaware of similar water samples set aside in a different location as controls.

Ice crystals formed from both sets of water samples were blindly identified and photographed by an analyst, and the resulting images were blindly assessed for aesthetic appeal by 100 independent judges. In conclusion, the present pilot results are consistent with a number of previous studies suggesting that intention may be able to influence the structure of water. Here is a photo of the effects direct states of conscious intention had on the structure of water.

Consciousness has measurable effects on the geometric structure of water crystals. What does this tell us about the nature of consciousness? Is it possible that water is comprised of the same underlying “thing” as our thoughts are? 60% of the entire human body is water, while 70% of the brain is water. What can these thoughts do to our health? Here is a link to the study repeated.



What is Mesmerism

Five simple steps for re-discovering Mesmerism within yourself

What is Mesmerism? How its basic principles are useful in today’s world? What is the relationship between Mesmerism and hypnosis? How can we apply the basic principles of Mesmerism on ourselves?

Mesmerism was born out of the concept of ” lifeforce “.
Even if Franz – Anton Mesmer had theorized it, at the end of 1700, its origins are from a more ancient alchemical tradition.
Lifeforce is within us, independent of richness and exterior appearance.
But its effects are even more tangible.
It is the kundalini, the serpent of life- force of the indian traditions, which rises from sexual chakra, as well as it is the power of the hermetic caducy of the greeks, which can get awakened.

What is called Animal magnetism is a way for restoring energy of vitality, and our natural state of healthy, and at the same time recover our balance and harmony with universe ond others.
The idea is that the illness is a blockage of this energy, and mesmeristic practice helps in unblocking it.

The expression of Animal Magnetism, in our relationships with other people, finds origin in what is also called “personal magnetism”, a faster, natural and more sure way to approach other people.
Personal magnetism can be manifested through gaze (hypnotic gaze), touch (magnetic touch) and voice.

Mesmerism is the father also of what is called hypnosis.
But, while modern hypnosis evolved from mesmerism it is different from it.
As it is normally applied modern hypnosis is mostly intended as putting away the conscious mind through words, while mesmerism acts directly upon exciting the animal mind and restoring its power.

The animal mind is the immutable part under the veil of the civilized mind. more, modern hypnosis is mostly psychological, with theories being such as social compliance and others, while mesmerism is about energy and the fact that the true state of man is what is manifested through the power of animal magnetism while the everyday personality has just utilitaristic scopes.

Mesmerism affirms that the power to heal, the strength and the resistance in the different situations of life, the intuitive and clairvoyant power, are inborn capabilities of the human being. This is showed by the fact that sometimes they can manifest themselves spontaneously.
These capabilities in the contemporary world, are submerged by the thinking patterns and the chattering of our egos.
We can recover them only acceding our true self.

Mesmerism is accentued through the practice of self-remembering. and living in the present.
This practice consists in stopping your internal dialogue.
It will bring you in touch with the original power in the most interior part of yourself that man has, and has forgotten in today’s world. The opening up to the universe is impossible until our energy is drained up by our internal chatter.

We must develop our external immediate perception, a state also called ” presence “.
In presence we overcome the “body-mind” dissociation that makes man apparently different from animals.
When we walk, we feel ourself walking.
When we speak to somebody we listen to our voice.
We try always to remember us of ourselves.
And as we do so, also a new sense of ourselves begins to be present.

These techniques are simply, effective and immediately applicable.
As we will go back to our deep self, striking and immediate fast results can be achieved, and living in this deeper connection with our selves and the others allows also what can seem mind-to-mind communication.
Some people such as master Virgilio Torrizzano and Prof Erminio di Pisa are great examples
Prof. Erminio di Pisa practised it in the form of the “hypnotic gaze” or “fascination” for healing. He was as fast as lightning and he treated up to 300 persons in a single day with long-lasting results.

1 – The first step in rediscovering Mesmerism is to adopt a view of the Universe where man is a part of it.
Mesmer pointed out for example that for reaching this state of mind was easier pointing the attention to big elements,
as the sky, the earth, the rivers and the sea.
Trying to open up to the Nature is the first step. A new I will be opening up.

2 – A second step is understanding how man to man rapport is a matter of sharing.

Sharing is natural and inborn in man. We can see that the more people live in the present and the more they are able to get in touch with their body, emotions and energy the more sharing becomes natural.
Primitive people, as children also do with their parents, share emotions, personal belongings and don’t understand the need of seperatness. And this is another aspect of mesmerism where mind to mind communication take place.

As we magnetise a person, we create a “common space” where emotions and states of mind are transmitted from one to the other. Healing at this stage is very simple, as we must simply permit our subject to get in contact with his true nature.

A very striking application of this principle i when we do “fascination”, where we use what is called “hypnotic gaze”. Gaze is a powerful method of sharing emotions. If we feel something it will immediately transmitted to our subject.
To practice it exercise with a mirror. Stay at about 20 cm from the mirror and fix at the center of your eyebrowns without blinking. At the begin you will be able to stay only a few dozens of seconds without feeling the need to close your eyes. Progressively your gaze will become more steady and you will arrive to be able to stay even 10 minutes without blinking.

We have also a free course on fascination avalaible at mesmerismus_eng@getresponse.com .

3 – A third important step in developing mesmerismus is listening to our intuition and inner voices, and develop them through specific exercises.
In our practice of mesmerismus we have specific rituals, that are a way of educating our right hemisphere, and getting back in contact with some primitive and archetypal symbols that in turn, when energised through proper practices, can help in our evolution.

4 – The fourth step is stopping our internal chattering. Psychic gifts as thelepaty or clairvoyance, manifest at this point so easily in Mesmerism because man get in touch again with something that is his own from ever. We must overcome what has been called the “ego hipertrophy”. Ego hipertrophy is the dominance of the logical and categorizing part of our psyche on the animal part.

It begins right in child. Experiences are registered in the brain. The mind, living what are called Sigificative Emotional Events (SEE) freeze himself in automatic behaviour whose goal is to .
It is the part which our powers of logic, categorization and rationality stem from. It is the “I” inside our heads which makes decisions and plans, deliberates, worries and imagines, and which, most frequently – chatters away randomly to itself, sending an endless stream of memories, images, and thougts through our mind. But primitive men ruled themselves in a different way. They lived in a more perceptive way that we to we must try to rediscover.

5- The fifth step is developing even more our internal energy. Some practical exercises to begin can be done doing breathing exercices twice daily.
Fill completely your lungs, hold your breath for some moments, and after release it, completely emptying your lungs. Repeat one or two times.
Another useful exercise is doing “tension and release” exercises, on different part of the body. Begin by the right arm (excluding the hand), and after release them. Continue with the left arm, the right leg, the left leg. Release should be done slowly.

After some time of this preparatory phase, a new you can begin to be present, and you will feel more sure in your relationships with other.

The Hypnotic Eye

Has any one watched this movie ? The consultant for the hypnosis used in the film was Gil Boyne. Gil Boyne founded the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and the Hypnotism Training Institute in Glendale California, both of which still flourish today. Because Gil personally trained Bergerac, the hypnosis demonstrated in the film, in particular the live performance segments is very accurate. Although the film is a work of fiction, the hypnosis is very much the same as used in hypnosis stage shows touring the world today. Gil also performed live shows between screenings of the film at the opening at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco and went on a press tour to promote the movie appearing on numerous T.V. news and talk shows performing live hypnosis demonstrations.

22604 5 The Hypnotic Eye

Maggie Howell

Maggie Howell is the founder of Natal Hypnotherapy which she has used to successfully birth 5 sons, at home, quietly and peacefully. Based upon hypnosis scripts she wrote herself, Natal Hypnotherapy has helped over 100,000 women equip themselves with self hypnosis tools that will enable them to have a relaxed, calm and positive birth experience.

Natal Hypnotherapy is a safe, effective and simple programme for women to use during their pregnancy and birth to help them overcome fear, be more relaxed and so have a better pregnancy and birth. Women listen to self hypnosis CDs at home which teach them deep relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques coupled with positive suggestions to help them work with their body. They can also choose to attend more in depth workshops with their partner.

When I was pregnant with my first son in 2000, I was keen to help myself have as positive a birth as possible. My husband was an NLP practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and had studied how hypnotherapy could be used to help with pain management. Back then there were no hypnosis for birth programmes in the UK and so I attended a general two day self hypnosis course (I was the only pregnant person on the course) at Regents College. I learnt basic techniques to put myself in to a deep state of relaxation and then to give myself lots of positive suggestions about the thing I wanted to achieve / change.

I then went away and wrote my own script for a calm, relaxed birth. At the time almost everyone thought I was nuts as the term hypnosis was even more misunderstood then than it is now. Anyway, I went on to have a very long (so normal and OK for first time births) but very calm, quiet and peaceful birth. My midwife was the one who put me on this path as she said that in her eleven years experience she had not seen a first time mum handle a birth so calmly. Now, I am no “earth mother” type or a naturally calm person, so the only thing I could attribute this to was the hypnotherapy.

After six months of telling others about my birth and realising how unusual it had been compared to others, I decided to retrain to become a clinical hypnotherapist to understand what it was that I had done and with a view to helping others achieve the same. The training lasted almost eighteen months, after which I did my doula training, attended lots of birth related study days and masses of reading and then in 2003 I produced my first CD and the rest, as they say, is history.

In some ways it is difficult to say exactly as I have not attended or listened to any other approaches. However from others feedback and talking to birth professionals who have worked with women using both HypnoBirthing (the main other approach) and Natal Hypnotherapy the main differences seem to be:-

  • The Natal Hypnotherapy approach is very UK based. The language, voice and philosophy is British and based on helping women give birth in the UK maternity system. I have developed, changed and adapted the scripts and content of the workshops as my knowledge and involvement with the NHS has increased. I have not seen the need to change or avoid words for example HypnoBirthing use words such as “surge” instead of “contraction”.
  • The Natal Hypnotherapy approach is first and foremost a “home study” approach. I wanted to make this as accessible to women as possible so made the CDs and the book the core of the technique, after, all I did not go on a workshop for my first baby – I just read lots and listened to my own CD. Therefore, all women doing Natal Hypnotherapy will use the CDs as the core of their practice and techniques. They may then also do the workshops to learn more in depth techniques and learn more about the physical, emotional and mental preparation for birth, however they will still use the CDs after the workshop.
  • Workshops – As I learnt more about the maternity system and the needs of couples, I developed the workshops in 2005 as a way to extend the knowledge and techniques that women get from the CDs. The format and content of the workshops have, and still are developing organically. This has been in response to feedback from couples, plus from what I have learnt from our practitioners and the midwives I work with. This again differs from other approaches which have a more static syllabus / format.
  • The main philosophy behind Natal Hypnotherapy is that the techniques learnt are a tool – not a magic wand to take away the pain or guarantee a natural birth – but a tool to help women feel more in control, more empowered and more trusting in their body to birth their babies. There still seems to be an underlying message from other approaches, that if done “properly”, the use of hypnosis will lead to a pain free experience. I hear this so often from midwives I train and from couples who have done other approaches and then come to us second time around. I agree that for some women, they experience the sensations of labour as pressure and not pain, however, I do not feel it is right or fair to lead women to expect this.
  • Women practicing Natal Hypnotherapy have all the skills and techniques within themselves and so they do not need to rely on anyone else to help take them into hypnosis during labour. Women do not need to have any scripts read to them during labour as all the techniques are in place before she goes into labour. It is wonderful and helpful for her birth partner to understand what is going on and to give him tools and techniques to help keep her calm, but the hypnosis element is completely “self hypnosis”. I believe this is a different approach to others.

I believe that the mind and body are one – not two entities. All our fears, emotions and memories are stored within our body. If you stop for a moment and think of a sad or frightening event in your life…then place your hand where you felt it, there is a good chance it is on your body and not in your mind.

Natal Hypnotherapy uses the natural state of hypnosis, deep relaxation and the power of suggestion to prepare you both mentally as well as physically for pregnancy and birth. Learning hypnosis and all the associated techniques enable a women to overcome her fears (which are in her mind as well as her body), feel and be more confident (again these present themselves in your body as well as your thoughts) and of course learn to physically relax her body and calm her mind. Using and applying hypnosis techniques can therefore greatly reduce, if not eliminate the fear, anxiety and subsequent tension which leads to severe pain and often unnecessary intervention during the birthing process.

When you practice hypnosis, you are communicating directly with the subconscious part of your mind. This is the part of your mind that is responsible for all your bodily functions including your heart rate, hormone production and elimination system, as well as the part which stores your emotions, fears and anxieties.

The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination (ever had déjà vu or a dream that felt as if it was real?). Therefore through hypnosis (similar to guided visualisation) you have the opportunity to “experience” a calm natural birth over and over again in your mind. In this way, once the actual birth begins, your body is familiar and comfortable with the rehearsed responses and so reacts accordingly. During the birth you remain relaxed, involved and in control, being conversant and alert of the experience. You will be aware of your body’s contractions and will flow through the sensations using deep relaxation, breathing and your natural ability to tap into your body’s own pain killers (endorphins). Being able to enjoy the experience in a calm and relaxed way leaves no room for tension and fear which are the main causes of pain.

The Natal Hypnotherapy Birth Preparation CD guides mothers into a deeply relaxed state using breathing techniques, guided imagery and visualisation. Once she is in a deeply relaxing day dream like state, the CD continues with a detailed visualisation of giving birth from a physiological perspective. It is like she is going through a dress rehearsal of giving birth in a calm, natural way. This way she is practicing how she would like to feel and respond to the sensations and changes during labour. The CD also includes “triggers” such as “each new face you meet reminds you of the confidence you have in your body… each contraction encourages you to relax… the sights and sounds of the hospital float over you and allow you to remain wonderfully relaxed”. This way you are using the things which may otherwise have caused you some anxiety and turning them into something positive and useful.

By listening to the CD over and over again before labour your body and mind become more and more familiar with the processes of a calm relaxed birth, so increasing your confidence and reducing a lot of the anxiety associated with birth. As the mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality, once you go into the labour for real, all the suggestions just kick in as the body recognises the sensations and triggers and says “Oh yes, we have done this before – this is a sign for me to relax, stay calm etc..”.

So by listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs, a woman is effectively training her mind and body to overcome fear, be more confident and stay calm and relaxed so keeping levels of anxiety and adrenaline to an absolute minimum. Be keeping relaxed, focused and breathing steadily and rhythmically, your body will have the best chance of producing the right birthing hormones to enable you to birth your baby calmly and positively.

In our current culture and maternity system, fear is without doubt the overriding emotion that the majority of women have when thinking about birth. And yet nearly all the books, internet sites and antenatal courses do not address this factor. Most are focused on the practical, intellectual and physical elements associated with labour rather than helping women trust their bodies and feel confident that they can work with their body to birth their baby. If a women has not prepared in this was she is most likely to go into labour with fear and anxiety as the predominant emotion which we know makes birth more painful, often more difficult and another statistic to fuel the fear of birth.

Natal Hypnotherapy is an antidote to the “one born every minute” culture – Over 100,000 women have used the techniques with 97% of women and 2300+ birth professionals recommending it.

Yes – I have five sons – all born at home using Natal Hypnotherapy

The transition to motherhood was such an amazing journey that in hindsight I can not think of anything that was “hard” about the transition. I had done so much in my life before babies, I was in a wonderful loving relationship and I felt so completely prepared, ready and excited about motherhood. I chose to follow an attachment parenting style so my babies came with me wherever I went and so my life did not feel curtailed in any way.

Now that I have five young sons, with all the different demands and needs that they have, my role as a mother does have elements that I would consider “hard”. Having enough time for each child is the biggest challenge – I chose to have lots of children but they only have one mummy and I have to be enough of a mummy to each individual child – that is my hardest challenge.

My best friend had a son when we were eighteen. She was my best teacher as I had been through her journey with her. She always said she just did what felt right! She took him everywhere – went traveling to south America, lived with nomads, joined a band…. he was always with her. And he grew up to be such a sorted, considerate, loving young man.

Another friend who also followed an attachment style of parenting echoed this when my first son was born by always saying, “what does your instinct tell you?”

Take time to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Avoid the horror stories and watching discovery health or One Born Every Minute. Fill as much of your time and mind with positive, uplifting, enjoyable thoughts and activities.

As above – always stop and think – what feels right? Also I always say “what would Mr and Mrs Stone Age have done?” Our baby’s needs have not changed in thousands of years. Yes we live in beautiful homes and have all the mod cons but our babies still need the same things – cuddles, security, warmth, milk, your voice and heartbeat etc. Babies were not born with clocks or time tables – they only feel and live in the absolute moment , they do not cry to annoy or frustrate you – listen to them and respond.

The amazing love that you feel and receive from your children.

Absolutely. The mainstream approach has gone so far from the real and overriding needs of women. Sadly we no longer live in communities where pregnant women receive huge amounts of nurturing and caring during their pregnancy. The antenatal “care” women receive is so heavily based on all the “what ifs” and risks with women almost needing to prove that they are low risk. To coin a phrase from Michel Odent, the system is more focused on antenatal scare than antenatal care.

However there are pockets of change. More and more NHS trusts are looking for more “caring” approaches to antenatal education for example Natal Hypnotherapy workshops are now being run in NHS trusts. At one hospital I was in the other day they were running “singing for pregnant women” evenings! How wonderful is that!

So much of what I have already said answers this question. The unhindered rise of fear from both women and the medical profession has led to intervention being used in cases where time, love, releasing fear and confidence would have helped a woman birth her baby naturally.

No, I do not think so. We are essentially mammals and mother nature has a very powerful way of dealing with threats to her system. There is a growing swell of people (all of whom are on this site) plus thousands others who are working tirelessly to change the system. Together we will reclaim birth back from the medical monolith.

Yes – for many women this is the case – but more and more women are finding other ways to approach birth. Just today I had a call from someone who was petrified of birth and was hugely sceptical of hypnosis. She used the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs as a “last resort” and went on to have an amazing, empowering birth. So with more websites like this, more word of mouth, more birth professionals seeing the difference it can make, women will have increased awareness that they can help themselves have a better birth experience.

Every midwife who dedicates herself to helping women birth their babies. Yes there are the greats out there from who I have learnt so much – Ina May Gaskin, Shelia Kitzinger and Michel Odent (thank you!), but on a day to day basis, it is those midwives who work tirelessly to help women within a system which can often make it so difficult.

Every birth is unique – every woman’s body has everything she needs to birth her baby. No matter how many births I see or stories I read or hear, it is amazing that I still love everyone – even after twelve years!

There are so many wonderful women and men working to reclaim natural birth. I feel honoured to be a part of this group and know that woman by woman we are all making a difference.

Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle

There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain’s clinical psychologists.

In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry’s predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out “reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems”, used by psychiatry.

Dr Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the DCP’s statement, said it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes.

“On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse,” Johnstone said. The provocative statement by the DCP has been timed to come out shortly before the release of DSM-5, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The manual has been attacked for expanding the range of mental health issues that are classified as disorders. For example, the fifth edition of the book, the first for two decades, will classify manifestations of grief, temper tantrums and worrying about physical ill-health as the mental illnesses of major depressive disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and somatic symptom disorder, respectively.

Some of the manual’s omissions are just as controversial as the manual’s inclusions. The term “Asperger’s disorder” will not appear in the new manual, and instead its symptoms will come under the newly added “autism spectrum disorder”.

The DSM is used in a number of countries to varying degrees. Britain uses an alternative manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) published by the World Health Organisation, but the DSM is still hugely influential – and controversial.

The writer Oliver James, who trained as a clinical psychologist, welcomed the DCP’s decision to speak out against psychiatric diagnosis and stressed the need to move away from a biomedical model of mental distress to one that examined societal and personal factors.

Writing in today’s Observer, James declares: “We need fundamental changes in how our society is organised to give parents the best chance of meeting the needs of children and to prevent the amount of adult adversity.”

But Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and chair of psychological medicine at King’s College London, said it was wrong to suggest psychiatry was focused only on the biological causes of mental distress. And in an accompanying Observer article he defends the need to create classification systems for mental disorder.

“A classification system is like a map,” Wessely explains. “And just as any map is only provisional, ready to be changed as the landscape changes, so does classification.”

How To Stop Smoking
Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

Deductive Reasoning vs. Inductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a basic form of valid reasoning. Deductive reasoning, or deduction, starts out with a general statement, or hypothesis, and examines the possibilities to reach a specific, logical conclusion. The scientific method uses deduction to test hypotheses and theories.

In deductive reasoning, if something is true of a class of things in general, it is also true for all members of that class. For example, “All men are mortal. Harold is a man. Therefore, Harold is mortal.” For deductive reasoning to be sound, the hypothesis must be correct. It is assumed that the premises, “All men are mortal” and “Harold is a man” are true. Therefore, the conclusion is logical and true.

It’s possible to come to a logical conclusion even if the generalization is not true. If the generalization is wrong, the conclusion may be logical, but it may also be untrue. For example, the argument, “All bald men are grandfathers. Harold is bald. Therefore, Harold is a grandfather,” is valid logically but it is untrue because the original statement is false.

Inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is the opposite of deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning makes broad generalizations from specific observations. Even if all of the premises are true in a statement, inductive reasoning allows for the conclusion to be false. Here’s an example: “Harold is a grandfather. Harold is bald. Therefore, all grandfathers are bald.” The conclusion does not follow logically from the statements.

Inductive reasoning has its place in the scientific method. Scientists use it to form hypotheses and theories. Deductive reasoning allows them to apply the theories to specific situations.


A common form of deductive reasoning is the syllogism, in which two statements — a major premise and a minor premise — reach a logical conclusion. For example, the premise “Every A is B” could be followed by another premise, “This C is A.” Those statements would lead to the conclusion “This C is B.” Syllogisms are considered a good way to test deductive reasoning to make sure the argument is valid.

Abductive reasoning

Another form of reasoning is abductive reasoning. It is based on making and testing hypotheses using the best information available. It often entails making an educated guess after observing a phenomenon for which there is no clear explanation. Abductive reasoning is useful for forming hypotheses to be tested. Abductive reasoning is often used by doctors who make a diagnosis based on test results and by jurors who make decisions based on the evidence presented to them.

How To Stop Smoking
Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

Famous Quotes

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
~ Samuel Beckett

“Its lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself”

Muhamad ALI

“We have tamed the beasts and schooled the lightning..but we have still to tame ourselves”


“There can be no knowledge without emotion”

Arnold Bennett

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

George Bernard Shaw”

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
Abraham Maslow

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
Abraham Maslow

“Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening.

George Gurdjieff

Exceptional presentation on natal hypnotherapy by Maggie Howell, who has trained over 1000 midwives to date in natal hypnotherapy, initiated NHS funded research, and has caused the Royal College of Midwives to ask “should all midwives be taught hypnosis for birth?”

Great stuff.

How To Stop Smoking
Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine James H. Stewart, MD

Hypnosis became popular as a treatment for medical conditions in the late 1700s when effective pharmaceutical and surgical treatment options were limited. To determine whether hypnosis has a role in contemporary medicine, relevant trials and a few case reports are reviewed. Despite substantial variation in techniques among the numerous reports, patients treated with hypnosis experienced substantial benefits for many different medical conditions. An expanded role for hypnosis and a larger study of techniques appear to be indicated

How To Stop Smoking
Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

The Power of Negative Thinking

Lie back and picture life after your ambitions are fulfilled, the motivational gurus used to say, and you’ll bring that end result closer to reality. Make an effort to visualize every detail – the finished screenplay sitting pretty on your desk, the gushing reviews in the paper, the sports car parked outside.

The gurus claimed these images would galvanize your determination. They said you could use the power of positive thinking to will success to happen. But then some important research came along that muddied the rosy picture.

Gabriele Oettingen’s psychology lab at New York University has shown that visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire. The positive imagery can be inspiring at first but it also tricks the mind into relaxing, as if the hard work is done. This means the more compelling the mental scene of success, the more likely it is that your energy will seep away.

In the study, volunteers felt de-energized after visualizing success in an essay competition. In another, participants who fantasised about their goals for the coming week felt less energetic and achieved fewer of their goals.

Why Picturing Future Obstacles Actually Helps

A related problem with picturing what life will be like after we’ve achieved our goals is that it encourages us to gloss over the obstacles to success that are standing in our way. While the fantasy about our successful new fashion line or our future gym-fit physique might give us a frisson of excitement, it also distracts us from the practical steps we need to put in place to turn dream into reality. Of course you need to have an end goal in mind – purpose and direction are vital – but just as important is to think hard about the hurdles lying in wait.

Oettingen’s team call this strategy “mental contrasting” – thinking about how wonderful it would be to achieve your goals, while paying due attention to where you’re at now and all the distance and difficulties that lie in between.

Visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire.

Two weeks after a group of mid-level managers at four hospitals in Germany were trained in this mental contrasting technique, research by Oettingen’s group showed they’d achieved more of their short-term goals than their colleagues who’d missed out on the training, and they found it easier to make planning decisions. That’s another benefit of mental contrasting: by thinking realistically about the obstacles to success, it helps us pick challenges that we’re likely to win and avoid wasting time on projects that are going nowhere.

Have a go – think of one of your ambitions, write down three benefits of succeeding, but then pause and consider the three main obstacles in your way, and write those down, too. Going through this routine will help ensure you direct your motivation and energy where it’s needed most, and help you identify if this particular goal is a non-starter.

It’s worth noting, however, that mental contrasting works best as a counter-point to high morale and expectations of success. When you’re feeling confident, it ensures your positive energy is channelled strategically into the tasks and activities that are essential for progress. (If you’re feeling low and struggling to get going on any project at all, then this is not the technique for you.)

Positive Feedback as a Multiplier for Progress

One scenario when we’re likely to be flush with confidence and optimism is after receiving positive feedback. In a more recent study, Gabriele Oettingen and her colleagues tested the value of mental contrasting in a simulation of just such a situation.

By thinking realistically about the obstacles to success, it helps us pick challenges that we’re likely to win and avoid wasting time.

Dozens of volunteers took part in what they thought was an investigation into creativity. Half the study participants were given false feedback on a test of their creative potential, with their results inflated to suggest that they’d excelled. In advance of the main challenge – a series of creative insight problems – some of the participants were then taught mental contrasting: writing about how good it would feel to smash the problems, and then writing about the likely obstacles to achieving that feat, such as daydreaming.

The best performers on the insight problems were those participants who’d received the positive feedback about their potential and who’d performed mental contrasting. They out-classed their peers who’d received inflated feedback but only indulged in positive thoughts, and they outperformed those participants who’d received negative feedback (regardless of whether they, too, performed mental contrasting).

So, the next time you receive some positive feedback, don’t lose your focus. Indulge yourself a little – you’re on track after all – but also take time to think about the obstacles that remain, and the practical steps you’ll need to enact to overcome them. The mental contrasting technique guards against complacency, ensuring the boost of your early win is multiplied into long-term success.

What’s Your Take??

Have you found success in visualizing obstacles when making plans? How did it work out?

How To Stop Smoking
Hypnosis To Quit Smoking