Brain Power and Change – Bruni Brewin
Scientists tell us that our brain is made up of 100 billion nerve cells called neurons. A nerve impulse is a wave of electrical activity that passes from one end of a neuron to the other. Neurons communicate with each other at special junctions called synapses. The signal may be directly transferred at electrical synapses or, if there is no physical link between adjacent neurons, the signal is carried across the gap by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Each cell is connected to around 10,000 others that all communicate with each other. It is estimated that the total number of connections in your brain is about 1000 trillion.
Researchers claim that the brain is an electrochemical organ, and that our brain generates enough electrical power to light a flashlight bulb. Mind Researcher and Personal Achievement Coach, Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler says, “Whilst that doesn’t seem like much power, and whilst a 5-watt light bulb won’t light the inside of a refrigerator, a focused 5-watt laser would easily burn right through the metal door of that same refrigerator”.
When thinking about the above, it makes me think that it could be likened to our state of ‘Desire’. If our desire is weak, we would hardly generate enough electrical power to stimulate our neurons into action to achieve that desire. But, if our desire is strong, the electrical power is so focused, that like that laser, it can power through all that is required to obtain our desired result.
Whilst history has shown that people have known for thousands of years that the brain is able to be influenced to alter bodily reactions and functions, it was not until the 1950’s that scientists were able to scientifically prove this through biofeedback experiments. Today we know almost everyone is capable of learning to control their brain waves, and people are able to access states of relaxation, creativity, productivity, stress management, and emotional expression. The brainwave state during hypnosis or self-hypnosis is the major facilitator to these states. And whilst EEG machines can now show us that different parts of our brain light up to different stimulus, how the brain decides to organize these happenings is still largely a mystery.
When it comes down to people making the changes that they desire, we know that sometimes there are stoppers that prevent them from doing so. One of those stoppers is the power of their ‘belief system’ or another name for that might be ‘past programming’. Another is their ‘Automatic Negative Thoughts’ (ANT’s). One of the most powerful ways that a person can overcome their ANT’s is to override the stimulus of negative thoughts by replacing them with Positive Thoughts. Not an easy thing for anyone to do, you would no doubt agree. However, in the state of hypnosis with assistance from a well-trained Hypnotherapist, we know there are techniques that are able to facilitate these changes.
Loren Parks from Psychological Research Foundation, Inc. says, “That no matter how you look at it, SUGGESTION is the necessary element to healing. Getting the subconscious to ACCEPT the suggestion is the problem.”
Parks says one of his frequent admonitions during therapy is. “I want you, the person you are today to be in charge of yourself, not the little girl/boy within you. So when I clap my hands (squeeze your hand, shoulder or whatever) and say DISCONNECT! It will disconnect you completely from that younger girl (woman)/boy (man) within you and YOU will be in charge of your own emotions.”
He reminds us that the subconscious mind is child-like and non-reasoning and that the mind can respond to commands from an outsider (such as parent, teacher or hypnotherapist) much more readily than it responds to commands we give ourselves. For example when, as a child, it is given a command with a defined “trigger” it is much more likely to be accepted. “Here, Mommy’ll kiss it and make it better.” This is exactly the way parents trigger change! (When I do this, then that will happen.)
Then when we become adults, Parks cites as examples of suggestions: the ritual of prayer, rituals by witch doctors or shamans and other religious rituals such as the ritual of exorcism, the ritual of the laying on of hands, the ritual of “psychic surgery”, the ritual of chants and others. In Park’s view, the basic element in all these rituals is “suggestion.” Put another way, they all reprogram the person’s subconscious mind and it is this trigger that the hypnotherapist can also access to help their client change an undesired behaviour or belief.
Bruni Brewin is the president emeritus of the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association. She has a thriving practice in Chipping Norton, NSW.