It seems to have been forever since I wrote here last…. My marathon training is fully underway and I’ll come and share my training schedule in the next couple of days. As I recovered from injury and now launch back into training, I have been using a lovely process to aid my recovery….
In my work in this field, I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing some truly remarkable applications of hypnosis. On my self-hypnosis seminars, when people create self-induced anaesthesia, we often notice a difference in colouration in the localised area. It happens as a bi-product of the other aims of the session, however such things can be done volitionally too.
One of the other ways of using the ability to control flow of blood is to be able to control, to some extent, body temperature. Which is an application I have used a great deal within my running training and recovery. Similar to the way you’d use Deep Heat.
We have all experienced this kind of body temperature fluctuation effect before on an involuntary basis; perhaps you have blushed, or when you got sexually aroused, or as a response to something fearful (cold response).
This is an area that benefits from a good level of research, which has shown that anybody can gain a pretty impressive level of control over body temperature in a fairly brief time, and without much difficulty.
The trick here is to practice and condition the response before you start to use self-hypnosis to advance it and get it to become a cue-controlled skill to use whenever you choose. I’ll come on to that shortly.
Even though I stated that I use it for enhancing recovery and relieving pain in joints and muscles, I have also used it to warm my throat when I have had a cold or flu. This process can be used by anyone wanting to warm parts of the body that feel cold, for safely warming the entire body in cold scenarios, or for enhancing the healing of wounds and other injuries by increasing blood supply to the affected area. I have also seen this kind of application used in studies for shrinking warts and tumours by restricting blood supply to a specific area. It also has applications for enhancing sexual response or controlling a migraine headache. What’s more, and as crazy as it sounds, hypnotically suggested hyperthermia has even been used to control cancer metastases (August, 1975).
Before you start using hypnosis, a beautiful trick to develop your skill is to practice the response you wish to experience in real-life terms and allow your mind to record it and have the right details of it.
You might use the warm water in a bath, or washbasin. You might use a fireplace or heater of some kind ( Smartly Heated has some new age heater technology, if you are curious). You might use the sunshine on a hot day. You might use close proximity to an oven when cooking or baking.
Get safely seated or in close proximity to the heat source. Move your hand close to it as you start to notice the increase in temperature. Notice all the tiniest of details as your hand gets warmer due to it being so close to the heat source. Once you have done this a few times, remaining safe and careful, start to move your hand closer while you tell yourself using your internal dialogue, that your hand is getting warmer. In a relaxed, simple fashion, advise yourself that your hand gets warmer as it moves closer to the warm area. Repeat this several times (5-10 times) and each time you do it, commentate to yourself in your mind about as many of the sensations that you notice. All the tiniest of sensations, record them and be aware of them.
Get every detail of this scene vivid in your mind. Watch the hand going closer to the heat source, notice changes in colour and really be sure you notice as much as you possibly can.
Once this has been done, then proceed with the remainder of the self-hypnosis process.
6 Steps To Learn How To Warm Yourself Using Self-Hypnosis:
In a place where you’ll be undisturbed, be sat upright, in an attentive posture with your feet flat on the floor and your arms and legs uncrossed, follow these steps.
Step One: Induce hypnosis.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my self-hypnosis book, use the free audio at this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Now imagine being in the scene where the heat source was. Notice the colours, the sounds, and all the details of the place as vividly as possible.
Imagine moving your hand closer to the heat source (you can move it in actuality if you want to, but it is not essential) and then imagine the hand getting warmer and warmer. Notice and imagine all the sensations happening that you experienced earlier.
Use the same internal dialogue, tonality and repeat the same words to yourself that you used previously (when you told yourself that your hand was getting warmer in the real-life scenario you did prior to step one).
Imagine your hand getting warmer, imagine all the qualities of the hand changing to really be a warmer hand (colour, sensation, etc.) and start to notice it getting warmer. Tell yourself that it is feeling as if it is getting warmer – convince yourself, say it as if you truly believe it 100%, undeniably convince yourself by imagining it so realistically that it becomes your reality.
Once you have done that, once you have really generated warmth in that hand, move on to step three.
Step Three: Now move your warm hand toward your face and right up to your cheek. Imagine that all the warmth is draining out of your hand and into the cheek. As you exhale, imagine the heat growing and leaving the hand and moving into the cheek.
At this stage, whether you can actually feel the increased temperature is not the most important thing. Just imagine that you can. Pretend and convince yourself that your cheek is getting warmer. The more you practice this, the more you’ll notice it in real terms.
Now move your hand away from your face and start to imagine that the heat in your cheek is intensifying. Imagine it becoming warmer, stronger and more noticeable.
When you really notice it, move your hand back towards your face, touch your cheek again. This time as you inhale, imagine that you are drawing in all the warmth—real and imagined—back into your hand. Imagine that with every exchange (from hand-to-face or face-to-hand) you can feel the warmth increasing and intensifying.
Step Four: Repeat step 3 as many times as you like and really develop and build this skill. Each time imagine the heat getting stronger and more intense. Convince yourself in a gentle, assured way. Do not grasp at the effect you want, just trust yourself and make your imagined responses as vivid as possible.
Once you have repeated this several times, once you have developed this skill, move on to the next step.
Step Five: Now move this hand that is experiencing the warmth hand to any other part of your body where you wish to increase temperature. Then repeat the process as you touch that area; as you exhale, let the warmth transfer from the hand and into the other part of the body.
You can be as precise as you like and really imagine the warmth going to that area. Take your time and let the warmth really spread into that part of the body. When you notice the warmth, move on to the final step.
Step Six: Finally, move your hand away from that area, breathe comfortably and deeply, and exit hypnosis.
Open your eyes as you count yourself up and out from 1 through to 5.
Now respond as if you can actually feel the warmth, and go about your day. Behave as if the area is warm, think as if the area is warmed.
Do note that at times, it might take a short while for the warmth to be really noticeable in the new areas you move it to. Trust yourself, trust that it will happen, be assured without pushing yourself or grasping at the response you want.
You will also benefit by using your internal dialogue to remind yourself of this ability and congratulate yourself, as well as affirming to yourself your ability to do this. Do tell yourself that each time you practice this, it works better and better and is more intense and effective. The more you help yourself to believe in your ability to do this, the better it becomes.
Once you have done this a few times, you’ll find that it happens quicker also. You may also develop the skills so well that you can start to do it out of hypnosis altogether. Many people get so good at it that they simply imagine the area warming, spread it to whatever body part you like and notice it working and developing.
The more you practice, the better it becomes. I apply it after I have been running when I am relaxing in the evenings, I think you’ll benefit from that too.
Studies that support this ability using hypnosis:
I read lots of blogs and lots of articles where people claim that evidence supports what they are writing about, and I find it frustrating if they do not quote some of that evidence. So here is a list of some studies to get you started in case you wished to explore this topic in more depth. They are starting points, and there are plenty more studies too.
Barabsz, A. F. & McGeorge, C. M. (1978) Biofeedback, mediated biofeedback and hypnosis in peripheral vasodilation training. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 21: 28-37.
Clarke, R. E. & Forgione, A. G. (1974) Gingival and digital vasomotor response to thermal imagery in hypnosis. Journal of Dental Research, 53: 792-796.
Dikel, W & Olness, K. (1980) Self-hypnosis, biofeedback, and voluntary peripheral temperature control in children. Pediatrics, 66: 335-340.
Wallace, B. & Kokoszaka, A. (1992) Experience of peripheral temperature change during hypnotic analgesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40: 180-193.
Hypnotically suggested hyperthermia has even been used to control cancer metastases – August, R. V. (1975) Hypnotic induction of hyperthermia: an additional approach to postoperative control of cancer recurrence. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18: 52-55.