Fibromyalgia: Can Hypnosis Help?

hypnosis can help fibromyalgia pain and fatigueWhile we’re waiting for scientists to figure out fibromyalgia, what can people do in the meantime? Because, sadly, fibromyalgia is one of those issues that baffles medical science: unknown cause, unknown cure, doesn’t show up in today’s blood-tests, and is generally mysterious.

How do we deal with a problem with an unknown cause? By turning to solutions where knowing the cause isn’t necessary. Suppose I were a tow-truck driver. If you called me to pull your car out of a ditch, I’d get it out even if you didn’t tell me how it got there. No problem.

Hypnosis for Fibromyalgia

Hypnosis works with fibromyalgia the same way it works for other issues: I get you into a hypnotic state where the usually inaccessible parts of the mind are listening, and give hypnotic suggestions for comfort, healing, stamina, enthusiasm, and well-being. The way I do it, I combine relaxation, direct suggestion, and guided imagery, approaching the problem from many different angles. Continue Reading...

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

11 Symptoms That Show You May Be Depressed

Eeyore, the little depressed donkeyAre you depressed? And what does “depressed” mean, anyway? (And can hypnosis help with depression?)

To help with the first two questions, here’s an 11-point list from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

  1. Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  2. Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  5. Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  8. Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  10. Restlessness, irritability
  11. Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed.

A Hypnotist’s Comments on the List

Persistent Sad, Anxious, or Empty Mood

Piglet has anxietyThis is a strange one: Most people would agree that sad or empty matches up with “depressed” pretty well but not “anxious.” Depression is like Eeyore. Anxiety is like Piglet. Right?

Right. But that didn’t stop anybody from shoehorning anxiety into depression anyway. For example, this diagram, also from the ADAA, shows generalized anxiety disorder as being a mere subset of depression:

overlap_between_depression_and_anxiety

As a hypnotherapist, I use ordinary language rather than therapy-speak, so I’m free to avoid sloppy nomenclature. But some of my clients come in pre-confused by this sort of thing, and we need to take the time to distinguish between labels that actually describe the client’s experience and ones that don’t. Continue Reading...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Fractionation: Try This Sure-Fire Hypnotic Deepener [Video]

wile-e-coyote-hypnotistHere’s a quick demonstration of the most reliable hypnosis deepener: fractionation. Fractionation relies on a basic hypnotic phenomenon, so with a willing subject, it always works.

What is fractionation? It’s the process of repeatedly taking someone into hypnosis, leaving them there very briefly, and taking them back out again.

The whole process only takes a minute or two, and always gets them into a deep, somnambulistic trance. Watch the video now, and I’ll say a few more things about it below.

It Can Even Be Used for Self-Hypnosis

While it’s normally used to help other people go deeper, you can see in the video that simply by demonstrating fractionation, I fall into a moderate trance myself!

Built-In Testing

One thing I like about fractionation is that it builds in a lot of testing. For example:

  • On the first few rounds, when clients open their eyes, they refocus on you. But as they go deeper, they usually stop doing this and look straight ahead, leaving you in their peripheral vision.
  • As they go deeper, their eyelids become perfectly still while closed. In the video, mine never get to this point, so you know I’m not super deep (one of these days I’ll do a video while in a somnambulistic trance…). Eyelid flutter in light hypnosis is a good sign, but it almost always vanishes as yo go deeper.
  • Then there’s the explicit test. Once they enter somnambulism, the subject stops anticipating your next action, and simply waits for it. So when I break the rhythm of “three, two, … one,” they not only don’t open their eyes early, their eyelids don’t even twitch. So you know you’re there.
  • On that last round, I like to wait at least ten seconds before saying “one,” because it seems to send them even deeper that way.
  • It’s no big deal if you do the test too early and they open their eyes before you say “one.” If you’ve seen any of the other signs, they’re in at least a moderate level of hypnosis, and you can just say, “Sleep! … You’re doing very well,” and smoothly move on to your second-favorite deepener.

Where Did Fractionation Come From?

Fractionation is attributed to German physician Oskar Vogt, who realized around 1903 that subjects tend to go into hypnosis faster and deeper in each successive session, and so he tried bringing them into and out of hypnosis many times, very quickly, to give them a zillion sessions’ worth of practice in just a couple of minutes. It worked! Continue Reading...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

How Hypnosis Works: Eye-Lock Induction [Video]

eye-lock-hypnosisI did a short video on a simple hypnotic induction starting with what’s called an “eye roll” in the biz, and ending with suggestions that your eyes are so relaxed that they’ll refuse to open (which is from the classic Dave Elman induction).

You’ll find this works with a little practice. Just follow along with the video until you have the steps memorized, and you’ll be able to do it on your own for self-hypnosis, or amaze your friends (or perhaps irritate them) by trying it out on them.

Hypnotic inductions are easier than people think, since hypnosis is a natural state we all go into and out of every day, and all an induction needs to do is get you just deep enough that you’ll accept a suggestion to go a little deeper.

What’s Next? Deepening

Once you’ve got that working, the next step is to go deeper, followed ideally by using the power of hypnosis to facilitate a useful change. Which I cover in my post (with video) on the sure-fire fractionation deepener. Continue Reading...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Making Magical Thinking Work for You

Flying_carpetAn article of mine, Practical Uses of Magical Thinking, was just published in the Oregon Counseling Association’s Spring 2016 newsletter. Check it out!

I’m not a counselor, but the Oregon Counseling Association casts a wide net, welcoming non-counselor practitioners or anyone else with an interest in the topic.

As a hypnotherapist, I see lots of people who could just as easily see a counselor, but have chosen for one reason or another to give hypnosis a try.

I chose “magical thinking” as a topic because it’s a focus of hypnotherapy but is somewhat skimped in more traditional therapy. With magical thinking, we, in effect, ignore the daunting and distracting difficulties of getting from point A to point B, take a magic carpet ride to B, and spend enough time there that it becomes familiar. If we like what we see, the problem is half-solved already. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that single step is more likely to happen if you’re clear about your destination.  Continue Reading...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.