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A few years ago, I read an article in Family Weekly titled, “Boom Days For Devil Hypnosis”Hearing that title: what ideas, images, thoughts come to you? Thought the article had what Iconsidered a very negative title, it was a very positive article on hypnosis in the health care field.The only reference to the devil was in the last paragraph, “Some conservative religious groupsconsider hypnosis to be the work of the devil.”Hypnosis is mistakenly viewed as mind control or demonic by many people. Recently I receiveda physician consult to work with a woman for pain management. As I explained the processof relaxation, imagery and hypnosis; I could see that she was very responsive. As I concludedmy pretalk, she said, “I am really looking forward to this experience, but I need to tellyou that my daughter is a self-proclaimed born-again Christian and she may say somethingnegative to you about this. If so, do not pay any attention to her, for I am the one who is hurtingand I want this.”As I completed the induction, the phone rang. I told the patient, “Just allow the ringing of thephone and my answering it to add to your relaxation.” I answered the phone, “This is Mrs. Doe’sroom. As she is in therapy, please call back in 30 minutes.” and hung up the phone.When the procedure was completed, I walked out of the room and there was her daughter sstanding in front of the door with arms folded over her chest. She said, “What have youbeen doing to my mother?” I explained that I had taught her mother relaxation, self-hypnosisand pain reduction. She responded, “I am a born-again Christian.” Before she could continue,I raised my hands and said, “Praise the Lord, so am I.” She was speechless, so Icontinued, “I will bring you some information on hypnosis, but regardless of how you feel about hypnosis, your mother has found it very helpful in the reduction of pain.” I believe that hypnosis and religious faith can work hand in hand to bring about a better life.Jesus said in St. John 10:10, “I am come you may have life and have it more abundantly.”Though the title of this presentation is “Hypnosis and Religious Faith”, I will be dealingprimarily with “Hypnosis and Judo-Christian faith.” Whether you are a Christian or not,whether you are religious or not, many of your clients come to you as religious people,most of whom will have a Judo-Christian background. The better you understand the client’sreligious history, the better you can relate to that person and help that person.The foundation of my work in hypnotherapy is based on what I refer to as the human trinity.I also believe each of us is a trinity within himself or herself. I’m a trinity, you’re a trinity.What is the human trinity? We are physical, emotional and spiritual being. These three aspectsof our being are so different and yet so integrated that one part of the human trinity can notbe affected without having some effect on the other two. If you have a physical problem,it affects you spiritually and emotionally. If you have a spiritual problem, it affects you physicallyand emotionally. If you have an emotional problem, it affects you spiritually and physically.Accepting the theory of the human trinity, one understands that life is more than just being alivementally and physically. To be the whole person that we were meant to be by our creator, wehave to be alive spiritually as well as physically and mentally. An airplane does not cease to be an airplane when it sets in the hanger or taxis along the runway, but its true nature as an aairplane becomes apparent only when it is airborne. Similarly, a person is a human being whenhe or she is functioning only on the physical and psychological plane, but one shows his or heressential humanness when he rises to the spiritual dimensions.A man asked his three daughters how much they loved him. The oldest of them replied that sheloved him more than all the gold and silver in the world. The father was noticeably pleasedwith her answer so throw his arms around her and thanked her. The second daughter responded,”I love you more than the most valuable jewels in the world.” He was pleased with her responseso throw his arms around her and thanked her. The third and youngest said, “I love you betterthan salt.” The man was not especially elated with her remark and dismissed it lightly as anindication of her immaturity, but nevertheless throw his arms around her and thankedher. His wife, their mother overhearing the conversation, left salt out her husband’s next meal.As he ate his food, he was confronted with the deep meaning of his youngest daughter’s statement. She was saying that he was the flavoring, the spice and the seasoning of her life.Developing the spiritual aspects is like salt is to food. The spiritual dimension give flavor,spice and seasoning to all of life.When one is functioning in all three levels (physically, emotionally, and spiritually), life is morejoyful, more productive and more healthy. Accepting this position, one can see the importantplace that hypnosis can have for us; physically, emotionally and spiritually.Hypnosis is neither anti-religious nor pro-religious. It can be used for good or bad dependingon the hypnotist and the subject. Today, most religious groups accept the proper ethicaluse of hypnosis for helping people. Exceptions are Christian Science, Seventh-Day-Adventistand some individuals of various churches. In recent years, the Seventh-Day-Adventist havelessened their resistance by using relaxation therapy and suggestion therapy. A hypnotist bythe name of Quesby greatly helped Mary Baker Eddy overcome an illness and she usedmany of his teachings and techniques in developing the Christian Science Church. ThoughQuesby used hypnosis to help her, she denounced hypnosis while using its techniques.Although many in various churches opposed to hypnosis are using the principles of hypnosis(relaxation, concentration, suggestion, repetition) in their healing services, they denouncehypnosis. For those who oppose hypnosis on religious grounds, I remind them of thewords of Baptist Van Helmont, “Hypnosis is a universal agent … and is a paradox only to thosewho are deposed to ridicule everything and who ascribe to Satan all phenomenon which theycannot explain.”Then Roman Catholic Church has issued statements approving the use of hypnosis. In 1847,a decree from the Sacred Congregation of The Holy Office stated, “Having removed allmisconceptions, foretelling of the future, explicit or implicit invocation of the devil, the usehypnosis is indeed merely an act of making use of physical media that are otherwiselicit and hence it is not morally forbidden provided it does not tend toward an illicit end ortoward anything depraved.”The late Pope Pius gave his approval of hypnosis. He stated that the use of hypnosisby health care professionals for diagnosis and treatment is permitted. In 1956 , in an addressfrom the Vatican on hypnosis in child birth the Pope gave these guidelines. (1) Hypnotism is a serious matter, and not something to be dabbled in. (2) In its scientific use the precautionsdictated by both science and morality are to be used. (3) Under the aspect of anesthesia,It is governed by the same principles as other forms of anesthesia. This is to say that therules of good medicine apply to the use of hypnosis.Except for exceptions noted, no other Protestant or Orthodox Churches have any lawsagainst the proper-ethical use of hypnosis. To the best of my knowledge, there has beenno opposition to the use of hypnosis in the Jewish faith when it is used for the benefit of mankind. Many of the Eastern Faiths: Buddhism, Yoga, Shintoism, Hinduism and others approve the use of hypnosis and they often use hypnosis in their worship. The Muslim religion has no opposition to hypnosis that I have been able to discover.In their book, The Holy Spirit and You, Dennis and Rita Bennett have shown a profounddislike and misunderstanding of hypnosis by declaring, “Hypnosis is particularly dangerousbecause it is thought to be a valid form of therapy in psychology and psychiatry, or analternative anesthesia in medicine and dentistry”. The Bennett add, “The fact is thehypnotist, by placing the soul in a passively receptive state even when the hypnotist has nosuch intention, opens the door to morbid spiritual influences that might bring oppressionthat lasts for years. Until the person is delivered by prayer and exorcism … Do not allowyourself to be hypnotized for any reason whatsoever.” By these statement, the Bennett’sshow their prejudice and total misunderstanding of hypnosis. If their interpretation is correct,the Bennett’s should also be concerned about prayer, meditation, chemical anesthesia, andgoing to sleep (for that period just before you go to sleep is a natural state of hypnosis) for theindividual is in a similar state to hypnosis in all those situations. Hypnosis should not be condemned as anti-religious just because some people misuse it.Some oppose hypnosis because they say it is used by the occult, but do they condemn prayerbecause prayer is used for occultism purposes? Hypnosis can be a very helpful tool in counseling.Without apology and when appropriate, hypnosis can be used for growth, health and the benefitof people.During counseling and hypnotherapy, I often tell a story to bring home a point or allow the clienthearing the story to come to his or her own meaning to the story. Roger Ring in a seminarconducted at a past College of Chaplains convention called these “Parables, Metaphors, andHealing Stories.” Jesus often spoke in parables or used stories which still bring to mind vividword pictures which teaches something important about life.Until there is an image in the mind there can be no reality. All great inventions began witha thought in the mind. The inventor was able to visualize or image the invention before hecould bring it to reality. The same is true of great music, great writing, great living. The authorof Proverbs 28:18 also wrote that where there is no vision, the people parish.I would like to share with you a healing story and how it may be used when working withsomeone who would respond well to religious or spiritual imagery. You can use thisstory to help a Christian client regardless of your religious views.As therapist, it is our job to help people move from an area of dissatisfaction to one of betterdealing with life. If you listen to the broadcast of a baseball, football or basketball game,you have surely heard the announcer say, “It’s a brand new ball game!” If you are a sports fan,you know the announcer means that the score is tied. It is like starting over again. The past isstill there , but we can begin where we are. In a baseball game, if a team ties the score in the sixth inning, they do not go back to the first inning to start over again. For they keep playingfrom where they are. See we began where we are, but with the proper use of relaxation,imagery, hypnosis and hopeful expectation comes a “brand new ball game.”In the years ahead, may those who discount hypnosis, come to see its value. May those whooppose hypnosis on religious grounds come to view it as a gift of God to help us attain the moreabundant life.Jesus said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to teach thegospel to the poor. He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to thecaptives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)Following this guidance and with the proper use of hypnosis; we can heal the brokenhearted,bring deliverance to those in captivity to pain, fear, and phobias; give sight to the emotionally and spiritually blind, and set at liberty those who are bound by unwanted habits. As members ofdifferent denominations and religions, let us join hands in brotherhood to share the blessingsof hypnosis with others.






by Steven Dykstra, MS, CCC/SLP, CH

We have often heard people say they have “cured” ADD by teaching the child to relax or to calm down. We have also heard that some have “cured” ADD by regression back to its cause. At Trek Associates, we have found more success in our work with ADD children and young adults when we have implemented a combination of teaching the students about goal setting and responsibility, self hypnosis and hypnosis, and biofeedback.

Biofeedback is more effective if you combine it with relaxation techniques, self-hypnotism and psychotherapy. In this way you not only learn how to control your reactions to stress but you can explore the causes of the stress and your thoughts and behavior that contribute to it. As with all therapies, results vary, but they are often impressive. When biofeedback is given along with yoga, self-hypnosis, or meditative relaxation techniques, the results seem to be especially gratifying. For one thing, when someone is practicing meditation for relaxation while connected to a biofeedback machine, he can immediately perceive if he is going about it in the proper way.

A study reported in Lancet (July 19, 1975) evaluated the difference between six weeks’ treatment by yoga relaxation methods with biofeedback with a “placebo” therapy consisting of general relaxation. 34 high blood pressure patients were used in the study. One group was given yoga relaxation techniques with biofeedback. The control group used just relaxation. Both groups showed some reduction in blood pressure. But while the “general relaxation” group went down from an average of 169/101 to 160/96 mm., the biofeedback group showed an average reduction from 168/100 to 141/84 mm. The drop of 16 points in the blood pressure is extremely significant.

Various field studies and a number of controlled trials have shown that biofeedback therapy is a valid means of inducing relaxation, of treating certain functional disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and tension headaches, and of speeding recovery following a stroke.

We have found it especially important to anchor positive emotions in learning and other endeavors. Far too often, a child completes a difficult assignment or task, and the adults simply says “good job”, moving on to other endeavors. If we really want the child to learn the behavior and to associate it with success, we need to pay more attention to correct responses. When we ask a student, “now that you got that difficult math problem correct, how do you feel?”, we help to anchor the positive feeling of success. Using the ThoughtStream device, we can help the person visualize or imagine the success and then anchor an increasingly positive and more relaxing response to it.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurobiological disorder which can occur in children, adolescents and adults. Symptoms usually include difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, and organization, and for some people, it also is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and relationship problems. We used to think the person just could not concentrate on anything. More recently, it is thought that the person does focus on things – too many things at once. There is often variability in symptoms from person to person, but sustained attention to one thing is often difficult. There is no one test for ADHD. Many other disorders (learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, oppositional behaviors, psychiatric or mental disorders, etc.) can exist co morbidly with ADHD.

Some researchers have found that people suffering from ADHD have an overabundance of theta brainwaves (associated with daydreaming and inattentiveness) and lowered levels of beta brainwaves (associated with concentration and focus). For those who can concentrate “normally”, the faster beta wave energy increases while the slower theta wave energy decreases. People with ADD or ADHD have a number of variations in this pattern, all of which can be indicators of poor focusing and distractibility. Exposure to beta frequencies (preferably 14-15 Hz) may facilitate change.

Through training sessions involving biofeedback, clients can often learn to control those brainwave patterns. Many doctors and patients report long-termed improvements after the learning of more effective relaxation and brainwave controls, without the dependence on medication. Biofeedback approaches can help the person restore a calm learning approach to the hyperactive child (through Theta suppression and Beta accentuation). In standard biofeedback procedures, you are taught first to become conscious of normally unconscious parameters such as pulse, digestion, and body temperature. You are then taught to control them in response to sounds or other cues from monitoring devices. In this manner, clients can lower their blood pressure, get rid of headaches, and control incontinence without drugs. The work of Joel Lubar, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, introduced us to the belief that children with ADHD could use biofeedback games to reduce theta waves and increase beta waves, increasing their ability to attend. His findings suggested that neurofeedback could produce the same brainwave changes as drugs used to treat the disorder (such as Ritalin).

More than 700 groups nationwide are using EEG biofeedback for ADD/ADHD, according to the Association for Applied Psychotherapy and Biofeedback, an organization of biofeedback practitioners. The research is not yet conclusive, but biofeedback does seem to help some people who suffer from ADHD.  (Remember that even the “proven” medications don’t help everyone). It may require a number of sessions to see improvements.

At Trek Associates, we combine the Triad Intervention (a specific approach for behavioral intervention) and hypnosis with the use of the ThoughtStream biofeedback device (for monitoring the person’s relaxation level during trance and also for biofeedback learning/home practice) or the Orion device (for photic stimulation).

Dr. Daniel Amen, in his book Healing ADD: The breakthrough program that allows you to see and heal the 6 types of ADD, highlights focused breathing as the “Immediate ADD Salve”. He states that this simple biofeedback breathing technique is so simple that many people are skeptical about it (we find a similar problem with our suggestions to people to use the Triad Intervention – it seems too simple for people to use it). Further, he states that the use of neurofeedback with ADD clients can be very successful, helping to decrease impulsivity and aggressiveness. He contends that it is a powerful tool, in part because we give the client more control over his/her own progress. Dr. Amen notes some of his own, positive results using audiovisual stimulation (and “entrainment”, where brainwaves pick up the rhythm of the environment around them). He describes how clients wear special glasses (with blinking lights) and headphones (with sounds at specific frequencies) in order to train their brains to tune into a more focused state. Dr. Amen feels that such approaches have real merit. However, more work is needed to discover and confirm exactly how biofeedback and ADD are interwoven. Dr. Amen’s own biological treatment summaries suggest that some types of ADD benefit from Beta wave enhancement with Theta suppression, while others benefit from other variations.

At the end of the ThoughtStream session, we review the graph which was plotted based on GSR response using the Trek Associates’ Biofeedback Screening Instrument[TM], or TABSI[TM]. We point out that when we told the person to “relax”, the person usually could not relax. When we asked him/her to “try harder”, he/she became more tense. How often have parents asked a child to relax? How often have teachers asked a child to try harder, especially when encountering academic hardship? When we asked the child to use his/her imagination and think of a favorite place, thing, or person, a relaxation response sets in. When we complimented them on the behavior they were demonstrating, their relaxation response continued and deepened. Consider the implications here for teachers and parents.

Children, especially teenagers, tend to really like this experience and lesson. It also opens the door to facilitating their desire to learn new, more effective ways to relax. They see the immediate results, in many ways. We used the Triad Intervention to establish their goals/objectives (relax better), develop a plan of action they can make workable (learn the behaviors of relaxation and practice them), and establish their inner acceptance of the whole approach (they enjoy using the device).  We have used the Triad Intervention to teach and motivate the implementation of the Triad Intervention!

Why is the TABSI[TM] so much a factor for an effective implementation of the Triad Intervention? 

It is because the analysis of how well one can relax in a given situation, particularly when 

discussing a plan of action, turns out to be a fairly representative view of how well the person accepts and can embrace the new ideas (i.e., how well a foundation they have for the base of the triangle in their triad of concepts).

There are clear academic, therapeutic, and remediation implications at work here. Students may learn to relax more in some academic situations, such as testing or oral presentation activities. Students learn to be more self-aware of their stress levels, stressors in their lives, and the effectiveness of various relaxation techniques.  What they might have thought would be helpful (rap music, heavy metal music, etc.) may or may not actually relax them. Some students may benefit from increased attention/focus/activity levels, while others learn more effectively when more relaxed. No two students are exactly alike.

So, working with the ADD youngster is not as simple as “training them to relax more, to settle down”. It is not “cured” by regression back to cause. There is considerable work to be done, even if the cause is found or the symptoms are relieved. Students still need to learn, and to use, their optimal learning style preferences. Unfortunately, the ADD child often has to make up for lost time when such learning preferences are finally identified. At this time, both the student and parents often benefit from assistance in learning more effective stress management techniques. The world looks better each and every day when these elements are addressed, however.

Information on the Triad Intervention, The TABSI[TM] assessment, and use of the ThoughtStream biofeedback device for work with ADD students is available from Trek Associates, PO Box 110, Palmer, MA 01069 


Decoding Traumatic Memory Patterns at the Cellular Level

Thomas R. McClaskey, D.C., C.H.T., B.C.E.TS., FAA.E.T.S.


BY Daniel F. Cleary C.Ht.Pain does not exist. Do I have your attention?

Pain is not an entity, an object or a thing. We can’t pick it up and say, “this is it.” Pain is not the tumor or the skinned knee.

What we refer to as pain is the perception of physical stimuli, it is a signal. Pain serves us and saves us, it warns us of impending danger, it reminds us that we have to care for and maintain ourselves. It could accurately be said that pain is a good thing. Pain is the alarm system which we need to survive: Hey! Look at this; pay attention! When the signal continues beyond the initial warning, suffering occurs. Suffering includes the emotional expense of dealing with discomfort whether physical or emotional in origin. For the purpose of this article I will be discussing some of the challenges associated with discomfort associated with physical “pain.”

When we as Hypnotists, work with pain management, in our practice, there are many considerations to examine. First and foremost: why is the client experiencing the discomfort.

If the cause of the discomfort has been diagnosed, get a referral, or fax the client’s doctor a copy of client’s disclosure authorization and a note that you will be working with relaxation and visualization. Ask if there are any contraindications of which the doctor feels you should be aware. Remember to state that you are seeing HIS /HER patient. This is an opportunity to let the doctor know who you are. Be professional.If the cause has not been diagnosed it is best to advise the client to seek medical attention. If the client has been experiencing the situation for years, knows all about the cause and generally has been self-medicating since the day before dirt . . . make your own call . . . for a referral.

Okay, all concerns relating to cause and liability having been satisfied, what do you do, to alleviate chronic pain?

My next consideration is the longevity of the condition. In my experience, people come to a hypnotist for pain management only after several other modalities of treatment have failed. Drug therapy was either ineffective or left the client feeling too drugged to maintain the life they desire. Physical therapy was too painful due to the pain (I have not only heard that one, I have said it!). The client may simply not want to be dependent on drugs for an indefinite period. They come because of the FAILURE of everything else they have tried.


In the previous part,  I stated that, pain is only a signal from the body which is interpreted by the brain. Pain serves and saves us by reminding us of dangers we encounter both from without (injury) and within (illness). We have choice in how we perceive the signal and how we allow the perception to influence our lives. Clients come to hypnotists for pain management because all other modalities of treatment have FAILED.

One of the basic failures in most pain management is the expectation of the client. When I work with relief, I assist the client to realize that even a ten or fifteen percent reduction in their discomfort may cause significant improvement in their life. This virtually guarantees success in the first session, which allows the client to have firm belief in the use of hypnosis to alter their situation and most importantly, to gain a sense of control in their life. Persons suffering from chronic conditions develop what I call “CHRONIC IDENTITY” and one of the most devastating aspects of this identity is a sense that life is beyond control. By successfully showing the client a tool to alter their distress we allow them to regain control, and this, is to experience a miracle! Chronic Identity is developed in the same way that any self awareness is developed; through experience. When we work with the motivation to change or heal, we are dealing with a complex system of beliefs and perceived reality.

For the purposes of this article I will address pain management as the presenting condition but the aspects of Chronic Identity and the methods of addressing them, are as universal and individual as are the people who experience them. We all encounter situations which we describe as enjoyable or not, to one degree or another. However, persons who live in continual distress, such as chronic pain, live in a reality which is beyond the ability of most “outsiders” to comprehend. The impact of this way of life on perception is profound. When dealing with chronic pain we need to understand the ways in which it affects the life of the client. Obviously it has been a negative experience . . . right? Is it possible that there has been an advantage gained from the condition?

This is where we address secondary gains. As humans, we have the incredible ability to adapt to a situation, as we are experiencing it! Sometimes we call this ability “sports” but the reality is; this is how we have evolved. The primary aspect of this ability is, whatever the situation offers, we naturally find a way to adapt or take advantage. Chronic pain sufferers will tell you they will do ANYTHING to get relief, believe them; they do. It does them a great service however, to ask in what ways they have benefited from their condition and how things will change when they master the techniques of pain management, (A.K.A. perception management). Do they receive special treatment from their family , friends or others? “I know your knee bothers you. You stay right there and let me get you a drink.” Does their condition make them the center of attention? “We are thinking of going out, go ask Alice . . .” Does the client use the condition as an excuse to avoid doing things that they simply don’t want to do: “The pain is really bad today, I can’t go to this family gathering. I mean, I know how much fun I would have (none) but I just can’t.” Not only can they escape the event but they can often gain some “martyr points” which can be traded for special favors later. If the pain is gone will they be able to return to work? If they work, will the insurance payment stop? Will they have to assume more responsibility in life? Will their children call as often or will the neighbor continue to do the grocery shopping?

These are only a few considerations to bring to full awareness, as the influence that they exert on healing or improving should be seen clearly, allowing the client to determine the source and extent of possible internal conflicts. Another aspect to consider is that after a person has lived with severe intractable pain, they may begin to shy away from social interaction because they do receive special treatment: pity. Worse yet, friends may begin to think it is about time they should “get used to it, I mean, come on!” Perhaps the client thinks so too, in which case they may carry guilt or a feeling of inadequacy for still hurting. How will the HABIT of being in pain affect their vision of themselves in relief? Will they have to relearn basic social skills to adjust to relief? Remind them that whatever they experience or have experienced, is real. Even if they only imagined it. Get it? I have heard hypnotists state that so and so was suffering from whatever, for twenty years and in one session . . . done! This client has twenty years of seeing themselves in a certain way, their entire identity is connected to this condition whether it is physical pain, or any other chronic condition! We have a responsibility to address the entire person and give them tools to deal with their past, present and future. If we find an approach to pain relief, or an initial event related to their chronic suffering which frees them of the symptom in an instant, do not think, even for that instant, that the work is done.

Depression, anger, resentment and frustration, are not unusual emotional responses experienced by people with chronic conditions. We need to remind the client of their abilities, assisting them to recognize the resources within to deal effectively with the opportunities they encounter. Forgiveness is often very helpful in changing perceptions and modifying the reactions we may have experienced in the past. Remember that when directing forgiveness toward others, we do not have to condone the actions; only forgive the act. Another consideration when utilizing forgiveness is to forgive ourselves, for any mistakes we may have made. Forgiving ourselves for carrying resentment, anger or whatever we realize we no longer wish to carry, frees that energy to use in constructive ways to improve our situation. Encourage the client to continue to practice their skillful use of the tools they have mastered and to freely seek counseling to help adjust to the wonderful new life before them. This counseling may take the form of talking openly with friends, further work with the hypnotist, consulting a spiritual guide or licensed practitioner. “Chronic” means that they have suffered for a significant time. Even in the case of an epiphany; a bolt of lightening from on high, casting aside all blockages, causing the symptoms to disappear, it is more than reasonable for the client to ask for and receive assistance in making the adjustments required to accommodate their new perception. Seeking the advice or the listening skills of another is a sign of the strength and resourcefulness which has allowed them to change their perception of life, from survival to participation.


Goldlite Hypnosis Institute