Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Power of Imagination



What is Hypnosis?


Hypnosis defies precise definition, as it is a personal experience with few objective points of reference available to the observer. What is agreed is that hypnosis involves and altered state of perception, characterized by a focusing of awareness, stillness of the conscious mind and is accompanied by physiological changes such as slowing of respiration and circulation, muscular relaxation, lacrimation of the eyes and feelings of either heaviness or lightness.

In this course you will be introduced to the latest breakthrough in Autogenic and Flow State Training systems to help YOU achieve your goals.

What is the mind?

To date, experts have not been able to pinpoint the location of the conscious and subconscious minds within the brain. This failure does not, however reflect on the existence of the mind, but rather on our inability to come to terms with things we cannot see or measure. Until the last century we could not measure or detect activity at the nuclear of sub-nuclear level, yet that does not mean there was no activity at these levels previously.

What we have determined in the laboratory, under EEG and fMRI is that certain areas of the brain are associated with certain functions, however, this being said, it is interesting to note that in some, stroke victims have learned to grow new neural pathways to previously unused areas of the brain, and these areas have taken over the work of the damaged neurons.

It is my opinion that the brain is the hardware, and looking for the mind within the brain is like looking for programs (software) by taking a computer apart. Using this model, the subconscious mind is the software, while the brain is the hardware. The subconscious mind is a set of programs – or mindmaps that are accessed via the hardware and used like we use Apps on our smart phone - to manage behaviors or functions.

What we do know…

The conscious mind is associated with the Somnic Nervous System – or the activation of the voluntary muscles, centered within the Cerebral Cortes, or the outer layer of the brain.

The information receptors of the brain are located in a lateral strip of neurons that sit across the top of the head, at the front of the Parietal Lobe of the Cerebral Cortex. The area that controls voluntary movement is located just in front of the Parietal Lobe, in an area at the back of the Frontal Lobe. One of the oldest areas of the brain is the Thalamus, which is located at the base of the Cerebrum. It interacts with the sensation receptors in the Parietal Lobe to alter the intensity of sensations, and it is thanks to this interaction that pain does not completely overwhelm us – for example without it, the pressure of our clothes would be unbearable.

The thinking, reasoning part of our brain is located in the extreme Frontal Lobe and Cerebral Cortex. These are all implicated in the workings of the conscious mind.

The subconscious mind, on the other hand, is identifies with the Autonomic Nervous System or areas controlling the use and regulation of the involuntary or smooth muscles such as the lungs, heart and digestive system and glands. More significantly to our interest, the subconscious mind is the realm of memory storage and retrieval.

Memories are stored in the Temporal Lobe of the Cerebral Cortex, located either side of the front of our brain, near the temples.

The Cerebellum sits in the back of the brain stem, and is the storehouse of chain motor responses learned in infancy by trial and error. It operates at the subconscious level, coordinating the movements of voluntary muscles in an habitual, learned fashion, that no longer requires detailed conscious thought.

The Frontal Lobe directs these movements and the Cerebellum provides the detailed instructions that allow fluid, efficient operation of muscles. Damage to the Cerebellum causes the loss of co-ordination. The Cerebellum then is part of the subconscious mind that works in concert with the Conscious Mind.

In layman’s terms, the Conscious Mind has come to be associated with the ‘will’, while the Subconscious Mind is associated with day dreams and imagination – it is these very characteristics that the practice of hypnosis is based upon.

Left and Right Brain

To complicate matters, much of twentieth century psychology and psychiatry has been based upon division of the brain into two hemispheres. The Corpus Callosum is the connective area of the brain that links right and left hemispheres. Interestingly it is thicker in women than men, suggesting that there is great integration of left and right brain functions in women than men.

In modern society we have come to associate left hemisphere dominance with intelligence, success and rationality, and have undervalued the creative, intuitive abilities that characterize right hemisphere functions. Perhaps that is due to the dominance of male values and patriarchy in the modern era, and a society steeped in Newtonian, mechanical certainties. With the coming of Quantum Physics, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Quantum Biology and Psychoneuroimmunology, and Neuroscience, and a growing awareness within the scientific community that much more is going on than can be explained by a mechanistic view of the Universe, however, the right hemisphere and the Split-Brain theory is being re-evaluated.

Evidence gathered from fMRI, EEG and during brain surgery suggest that rather than the brain being split by function, the two hemispheres are divided and unified by perspective. The right hemisphere provides context, and an abstract understanding of the world, including an ability to create internal language and recognize patterns. The left-hemisphere conversely provides our ability to ‘act’ in the world; to manipulate objects, language and ourselves to influence the world.

Another way to look at this is that the right brain provides the framework to understand the world and create new ideas, while the left brain provides the tools to enact those ideas. If an artist was only right-brained they would have no way of conveying their creative ideas into any manifest form, the ideas would be locked inside their head. Likewise if a mathematician was only left-brained they would have no ability to recognize patterns, envisage solutions or make connections between things.

So the next time you see one of those ‘Are you left or right brain dominant’ quizzes, walk away – it’s based on outdated science and is pure rubbish.

It is now agreed, that in order to function at optimal levels we need the integration of both hemispheres of the brain. How much of each hemisphere we regularly use appears to be correlated with personality, but that’s a whole other lecture.

What is REM?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep time has long been regarded as necessary to our very mental survival and people deprived of this deep sleep state experience major psychological disturbances and emotional upheaval. REM sleep is characterized by the rapid movement of the closed eyes from left to right and back again, and seems to be some kind of rapid integrative process, where the left and right hemispheres communicate with each other, relaying information, retrieving memories and formulating responses to the day to day demands of our lives. This process is akin to what happens when you back-up your computer onto an external drive. It allows short and mid-term memory to be converted to long-term memory and is associated with mental health.

We can create this process through hypnosis and by repeatedly practicing this technique, which takes less than ten minutes, we can synchronise both the hemispheres and the electrical activity of the brain.

Here is some background to the powerful phenomena of Brain Wave States you’ll be experiencing:



Beta

Alertness
Concentration
Cognition

You are wide-awake, alert. Your mind is sharp, focused. It makes connections quickly, easily and you're primed to do work that requires your full attention. In the Beta state, neurons fire abundantly, in rapid succession, helping you achieve peak performance. New ideas and solutions to problems flash like lightning into your mind. Beta training is one of the frequencies that biofeedback therapists use to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.

Beta-centred Flow Training help you prepare to take an exam, play sports, give a presentation, analyze and organize information, and other activities where mental alertness and high levels of concentration are key to your success.

Beta waves range between 13-40 HZ. The Beta state is associated with peak concentration, heightened alertness, hand eye coordination and visual acuity. Nobel Prize Winner Sir Francis Crick and other scientists believe that the 40HZ beta frequency used on many Brain Sync tapes may be key to the act of cognition.


Alpha

Relaxation
Visualization
Creativity

When you are truly relaxed, your brain activity slows from the rapid patterns of Beta into the more gentle waves of Alpha. Your awareness expands. Fresh creative energy begins to flow. Fears vanish. You experience a liberating sense of peace and well-being. In biofeedback, Alpha training is most commonly recommended for the treatment of stress.

Alpha-centered Flow Training help you tap your creativity and are excellent for problem solving, finding new ideas and practicing creative visualization. Choose Alpha programs when you want to attain deep levels of relaxation that are so essential to your health and well-being.

Alpha waves range between 7-12 HZ. This is a place of deep relaxation, but not quite meditation. In Alpha, we begin to access the wealth of creativity that lies just below our conscious awareness - it is the gateway, the entry point that leads into deeper states of consciousness. Alpha is also the home of the window frequency known as the Schuman Resonance - the resonant frequency of the earth's electromagnetic field.

Theta

Meditation
Intuition
Memory

Going deeper into relaxation, you enter the elusive and mysterious Theta state where brain activity slows almost to the point of sleep, but not quite. This is the therapeutic hypnogogic state. Theta is the brain state where magic happens in the crucible of your own neurological activity. Theta brings forward heightened receptivity, flashes of dreamlike imagery, inspiration, and your long-forgotten memories. Theta can bring you deep states of meditation. A sensation of "floating." And, because it is an expansive state, in Theta, you may feel your mind expand beyond the boundaries of your body.

Theta rests directly on the threshold of your subconscious. In biofeedback, it is most commonly associated with the deepest levels of meditation. Theta also plays an important part in behavior modification programs and has been used in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Finally, Theta is an ideal state for super-learning, re-programming your mind, dream recall, and self-hypnosis.

Theta waves range between 4-7 HZ. Theta is one of the more elusive and extraordinary realms we can explore. It is also known as the twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we rise up out of the depths of delta upon waking, or drifting off to sleep. In Theta, we are in a waking dream, vivid imagery flashes before the mind's eye and we are receptive to information beyond our normal conscious awareness. Theta has also been identified as the gateway to learning and memory. Theta meditation increases creativity, enhances learning, reduces stress and awakens intuition and other extrasensory perception skills.


Delta

Detached Awareness
Healing
Sleep

Long, slow, undulating. Delta is the slowest of all four brain wave frequencies. Most commonly associated with deep sleep, certain frequencies in the Delta range also trigger the release of Human Growth Hormone so beneficial for healing and regeneration. This is why sleep - deep restorative sleep, the kind that Delta frequencies help induce -  is so essential to the healing process. Delta centred Flow Training can promote conversion from short term to long-term memory.

Delta is the brain wave signal of the subconscious, the seat from which intuition arises. That means Delta-based programs are not only an ideal choice for their sleep and deep regeneration potential, but also when you want to access your unconscious activity and help that wellspring of information flow to your conscious mind for clearing and for empowerment. Delta waves range between 0-4 HZ.


When we are in REM sleep we are alternating between low Alpha and high Theta activity, so that alternating our attention between our right and left hemispheres synchronises our brain’s electrical activity into a range somewhere between 6 and 10 HZ, which has been shown in bio-feedback to be extremely beneficial physiologically and psychologically.

The Power of Imagination

It is an interesting feature of living, thinking human beings, that our Will Power is often overwhelmed by our imagination, especially with the importance we place on Will Power in our society. Many people when beginning a diet, for example, say they will rely on their will and very soon find themselves thinking almost exclusively about food, even to the point of dreaming about their favorite foods.

At the opposite extreme, a person who suffers from claustrophobia may be able to logically convince themselves that this fear is irrational and resolve, time and time again to use their Will Power to overcome their feelings, yet when confronted with an enclosed space their Will Power flies out the window and their imagination takes over.

The two examples above demonstrate the destructive ability of the subconscious mind to overcome the conscious will. What hypnosis does is to tap into the imaginative power of the subconscious mind, to facilitate growth and personal development and to help individuals use their imaginations as a tool for goal attainment.

Imagination is a skill, and like any other skill the direction and manipulation of the imaginative mind be greatly improved by practice. You will find, during this course, that both the quality of your imagination and your control of your imagination are greatly enhanced, opening up a whole new realm of creativity, intelligence and personal discovery you thought belonged to the world of the genius.

Elisabetta is a Clinical Hypnotherapist with over 25 years experience facilitating behaviour change and maximising performance. Elisabetta is the author of The Energy Code, The Infidel and Veritas (all available on Amazon), and the creator of the online Personal Transformation Course - Activ8DNA on Udemy. Discover how Elisabetta can help you or your organisation achieve its potential at:
  

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