STRESSED? EXHAUSTED? OVERSTIMULATED? TRY YOGA NIDRA

Feel refreshed and relaxed in 20 minutes!

–and you don’t need to be a practiced yogi or meditator to enjoy the benefits.

You don’t even need to go to a class or pay a teacher with today’s audio downloads and smartphone apps.  All you need is a place where you won’t be interrupted for a short time and it can be done in any physical orientation (sitting, lying down, or even standing. Through guided imagery, breathing and body scanning, you submerge yourself into a restful, healing state that is a unique combination of alert awareness and deep relaxation-yoga nidra. Your brain waves slow to the alpha state or even theta, where you are able to tap into your subconscious mind and source of intuition, creativity and healing while remaining aware and conscious.

As you scan your body and explore sensations, emotions, and thought patterns you will be guided to move back and forth between feeling and witnessing, observing without responding, as your nervous system unwinds and comes into balance.

Through the integrative process that that balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, it quickly relieves anxiety and slows the fight or flight response. Stress hormones are reduced, blood pressure and heart rates decline and the metabolic system slows down.

Since Yoga Nidra has been shown to reduce levels of stress, hostility and anxiety in chronically-ill patients, veterans and school counselors it has been integrated into a program to treat vets with PTSD.

The benefits credited to Yoga Nidra practice include both psychological and physical-

  • Relief from insomnia
  • Reduction of depression and anxiety
  • Elimination of phobias
  • General improved well-being
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Improvement in immune system function
  • Pain relief
  • Asthma relief
  • Reduction in insulin dependence in diabetics

Mind/Body Explorations-New MeetUp Group!

Denver area friends, wanted you to know that I have a new Meetup group that I think you’d enjoy-Mind/Brain Explorations for Living. To help you create the life you are meant to be living, we will learn, explore, meditate and create on our journey to wellness and personal/spiritual growth.Technologies of the Self

Topics range from learning self-hypnosis techniques, stress relief, meditation, pain management, brain optimization, weight loss, and recovery support, to sound healing. Are you the type that loves to keep growing? We will have a creative, rewarding time together. I will be sharing a lot of the same information from my workshops and leading you through some hypnotic visualization sessions. So, this is a very affordable way to experience and learn. Each session will give you take-home exercises, techniques and info to support your creation of the New You!

Our next session, this Tuesday evening, is about willpower, how to access it and how to strengthen it. It’s pretty surprising stuff, based on the work of Dr. Kelly McGonigal.

Besides looking at this fresh new approach to habit change, I will be sharing a very simple 5-minute meditation that anyone can do, in fact, she says it works even better if you’re not good at it!

Space is limited to 8, so make sure to RSVP through Meetup, the rest of the info is there, too-
Mind/Brain Explorations for Living

Hypnosis-Myths and Misconceptions

For many of us, our only exposure to hypnosis is what is shown on TV, just an act for entertainment purposes. It actually is an effective tool for an individual to create change at a very profound level, where one’s own mind is actively engaged.

Here is a 3-minute clip of Dr. Steven Gurgevich, a psychologist specializing in Mind-Body Medicine and the author of “Hypnosis House Call, answering some commonly asked questions about the experience of hypnosis.

Myths and Misconceptions about Hypnosis

30 Uses of Hypnosis

This is not an exhaustive list, but is designed to give you an idea of the range of conditions that can be helped at Technologies of the Self.

  • Addictions-Smoking Cessation, Substance Abuse
  • Anger Management
  • Bedwetting
  • Career/Financial Success
  • Confidence/Motivation/Self Esteem, Self Image
  • Eating Disorders
  • Eczema
  • Fear of Heights, Water, Flying, Fear of Doctors, Dentists, Medical Procedures
  • Headaches
  • Immune System Support
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Memory, Concentration
  • Nail Biting
  • Pain Management
  • Panic Attacks
  • Phobias, Agoraphobia
  • Psoriasis
  • Fear of Public Speaking
  • Relationship Enhancement
  • Recovery from Surgery
  • Relaxation
  • Sexual Problems
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Sports / Work Performance
  • Stress / Anxieties/Worry
  • Study Habits
  • Test/Performance Anxiety, Stage Fright
  • Weight Loss
  • Writer’s Block

Some issues can be resolved in just one session. Others may take a series. For some conditions, a medical referral will be requested. We believe that a team approach offers the greatest support, so we are happy to collaborate with your psychologist and/or medical professional.

Call 720-460-0758 to set up a free consultation to find out how our services can help you find relief from a challenging condition or to achieve your personal goals more effectively.

Hypnosis and Change

The simplest answer to the question is simply:  Because it works.

When we talk to a therapist in a fully alert and conscious state, we may be able to reason and analyze in ways that are important for understanding the implications of what we do.

But even when we do understand, change rarely comes easy.

We cannot change, because, on some level, we are addicted.

We are addicted to the same patterns, the same neurochemicals, the same behaviors.  Hindus call this addiction “karma.”  The Gnostics called it “sin.”

Any way you look at it, knowledge alone does not bring freedom.

Why is this the case?

Because our addictions are based on our experiences.  At some point in our past we experienced something that was so intense that we bottled up the experience and brought it inside of ourselves.  We allowed this experience to become foundational for all of our future emotional responses.

This is the karmic “drop” that resides insides of us, ready to be awakened at any moment to cause us to react.  For Sigmund Freud, this entailed a drive to endlessly repeat the events and responses that are most traumatic to us.  At some points in his writing he refers to it as the “Death Drive.”

In order to counter an experience one needs to have another experience in return.

It is not enough to reason in the state of consciousness in which we file papers or discuss the news.

Hypnosis allows us to revisit the sources of our addictions in a state of emotional intensity.  With all of our senses engaged, it becomes possible for our new experience (the desire for freedom) to override the old.

Often hypnosis brings transformation in a single session.

The Challenge of Being a Night Owl

In an interesting personal post at Psychology Today, Are You a Morning Lark or a Night Owl?, a Denver psychologist, Shawn T. Smith,  shares his experience of trying to negotiate life as a night owl. Not only only is it difficult to run errands, like make it to the bank before it closes, but owls feel judged and misunderstood. After all, they are probably still working after the rest of us have been in a deep sleep for hours. There are a number of posts on the internet by owls about their mistreatment by the rest of us. Traditional school schedules have always been hard on them.  A student from Princeton describes the tension.

In the “early-riser moralizing: really (the thought goes), people ought to wake early. Those on later sleep schedules must just be lazy, indolent, etc., and so have no right to a full night’s sleep. Hell, it’d be good for them to get up earlier, so what are they complaining about?”

Besides the snide comments they receive about their slow start to the day, they also experience the effects of sleep deprivation described in the previous post, since to do life in America, there are certain tasks that simply have to be done when the rest of the world is available.

It’s obvious to me now, that I need to apologize to one of my sons. He always bristled when I would say anything about waking up or going to bed at a “decent” hour. His response would be, “there’s no such thing as one time being more “decent” than another!  Sorry, Mitch.

Night Owls More Intelligent?

Since we humans don’t get around naturally very well during the dark hours, we tend to be diurnal creatures. There are a very few (1 in 10) that wake up before the alarm goes off, ready to start their day, even before day break. These “early chronotypes” have been termed “larks.”

“Larks are the mortal enemy of the 2 in 10 humans who lie at the other extreme of the sleep spectrum: ‘late chronotypes,” or owls. In general, owls report being most alert around 6 p.m., experiencing their most productive work times in the late evening.” They often stay up until the wee hours of the morning and it may take several cycles through the alarm for them to stir.  (John Medina, in Brain Rules)

Most of us, the remaining 70% are called “hummingbirds.”

A new study, reported by Psychology Today, shows that “more intelligent children grow up to be more nocturnal as adults than less intelligent children.”

I wonder how these categories impact my previous post on late night eating and weight gain. The study on mice showed that when they were fed during the day, being nocturnal creatures, they gained weight. It seems that if there are humans that are truly nocturnal, that they could eat during the night without the same negative effects that are experienced by the larks and hummingbirds.

Why Hypnosis?

Recently a friend asked me why, with all the cutting-edge modalities available nowadays, I decided to get trained in something so old as hypnotherapy.

Well, the major reason is because it works! My starting with my undergraduate studies in psychology, I have explored and experienced many types of traditional therapy from a clinical psychologist, an MSW, a pastoral counselor, and a psychoanalyst and all of it was helpful, but my greatest, most immediate breakthroughs came from a few sessions of hypnosis. Friends and family had similar results.

Besides seeing its effectiveness in creating life changes, more information is coming out about why it works, some of it written by “cutting edge” authors. Molecular biologist Bruce Lipton, PhD, in the Biology of Belief, explains that “if an energy vibration in the environment resonates with a receptor’s antenna, it will alter the protein’s charge, causing the receptor to change shape”. . . so “biological behavior can be controlled by invisible forces, including thought, as well as it can be controlled by physical molecules, like penicillin. . .” We are not locked into our DNA, change at the core, cellular level is possible.

A study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, “. . . that energetic signaling mechanisms, such as electromagnetic frequencies are a hundred times more efficient in relaying environmental information than physical signals such as hormones, neurotransmitters, growth factors, etc.” (81)

In addition to our genetic makeup and how it is affected by the environment through energy fields, much of how we live our day to day lives is simply due to programming that was instilled in us as children. Lipton points out that young children’s brains are operating at the same low frequencies (theta and alpha) utilized in hypnosis to create deep suggestible states. So, we all have taken in, “downloaded”, thousands of messages whether they were appropriate for us or even accurate. All of that programming was absorbed without being filtered through the critical mind, which develops later.

It makes sense, then, that to release some of those old messages and patterns that keep us in a rut, returning to the deeper levels of consciousness would facilitate the change we (our higher level of consciousness) desire. He states, “The biggest impediments to realizing the success of which we dream are the limitations programmed into the subconscious. These limitations not only influence our behavior, they can also play a major role in determining our physiology and health. (xiv)” he goes on to say that “positive thoughts have a profound effect on behavior and genes, but only when they are in harmony with subconscious programming” (xxviii).  We, hypnotherapists, could actually term ourselves as “subconscious behavioral therapists.”

Lipton provides this quote of Gandhi-

Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny.

Positive thinking can help, prayer and meditation can help, willpower can help, but for those of us who could use even more help, hypnotherapy can provide an extra lift out of the old rut, into a new direction and destiny.

The Dark Night and Clinical Depression

There is an interesting article on Beliefnet’s blog, Beyond Blue: A spiritual journey to mental health, in which Terese J. Borchard attempts to draw a line between the experience of loss and spiritual dryness which John of the Cross described as the Dark Night of the Soul and clinical depression.

This is difficult in many ways, especially given that, as Borchard notes, one can experience both at the same time. Her argument amounts to the fact that a religious person in the dark night is well aware of the trial that they are undergoing and may even be invigorated by the spiritual trial, while someone who is depressed simply seems depressed.

However that may be, even a casual reading of The Dark Night of the Soul, reveals an almost unending list of sufferings–physical, emotional, and spiritual–that seem a lot like depression, and, in terms of the symptoms, are indistinguishable.

My argument would be that Saint John’s path is a way of using deep depression to find God and to refine one’s spirituality. Any depression has the potential to become a Dark Night of the Soul if and when a person ceases to run from depression and accepts it as revealing a truth about the emptiness of self and the difference between the self and God.

From a psychoanalytic point of view, the best work on this is Julia Kristeva’s Black Sun, a work which links and compares mysticism and depression.

Like Borchard and Kristeva, I do believe that medication can be invaluable for the treatment of depression. I simply also would argue that depression can teach us deep truths about the universe.