What is de-hypnosis? You may be surprised!

January 25th, 2017

Hi, my name is Flavio; I am a de-hypnotist.

The name of my occupation is not simply a new spin on an old idea; it more accurately represents what we actually do. It may be easier to understand this if we start at the beginning.

If nothing had ever happened to you, you would be totally innocent like a happy baby, but you would lack the wisdom of the serious adult you are.

Ideally then, all life experiences should make us wiser, but in practice that is not what happens. It seems that pain hurts more than pleasure pleases, about five times as much in fact, according to scientists. Consequently, we seem to be willing to invest much more energy into avoiding pain than in obtaining any sort of benefit.

The emotional impact of a negative life lesson can be so devastating and painful that we forget, or rather, archive those memories, emotions and lessons learned in a part of the mind where they serve the intended limiting purpose, while freeing everyday thoughts for more immediate concerns.

This arrangement allows us to go on with our lives, not having to think about each past pain all the time, while at the same time protecting ourselves from experiencing that pain again. Indeed this arrangement is quite functional, for some time at least.

Just as a baby who masters crawling discovers that the skill is no longer useful when he learns to walk, all life “lessons” also cease to be useful at some point. Letting go of previous ideals and mastering new ones is what leads to evolution and growth. Thus, no matter how big the lesson learned was at one point, eventually but certainly, it will cease to be useful and will be replaced with a higher truth. Life will invariably put us in a situation where our “learned lessons” no longer work, they no longer get us the intended result; in fact what we knew to be true before now seems to hinder us.

We know this is the case when we are unable to do something, or to stop doing something, despite our best efforts. Read the following two examples; the first exemplifies the inability to do something, enjoy reasonable heights. The second is an example of the inability to stop doing something, overeating. I will then offer an explanation of what may have limited these two people, and why they had to be de-hypnotized to improve the quality of their lives.

Some years ago, I was at a water park with my daughters. I skillfully avoided the really high structures, pretending the low drops were better for the kids. Eventually I gave into their insistence for the high drops and triumphantly climbed the first few steps into the wild blue yonder. As we waited in line, high above the earth, I clung firmly to the metal structure, palms sweating and all. When my daughters asked me how I was doing, of course, I said something about checking the underside of the structure for corrosion.

There was no reason for alarm or concern. The structure was indeed safe, and we were only a few feet above the ground. But I was terrified to the point of “seeing” the curvature of the Earth from high above it.

It was obvious that there was a limiting lesson engraved on my mind, even though I could not remember it or free myself from its claws. I had to admit to myself that I was unable to enjoy reasonable heights. That night, after the girls went to sleep, I went to work. I used hypnosis to de-hypnotize myself. I first remembered how casual the news was: oh, he died. Then the whole thing came back to me.

I was three or four years of age. All of us boys climbed on trees and played outside back in those days. But that day, my buddy Mat had climbed and fallen down. Yes he hit his head, but we all bumped our heads from time to time. Mat went to sleep that night and never woke up the next morning, all because he climbed a tree, fell and bumped his head. “Climbing is dangerous; it could kill!” was the lesson firmly implanted into my mind in order to deal with the pain of losing my friend, the pain of not having his death explained to me, and certainly the possibility of falling down and being killed myself.

Later, in medical school I learned something about brain injury and finally understood what must have happened to Mat. My buddy Mat probably saved my life. Had it not been for the lesson learned then, I probably would not have been as cautious and may not have been here today. Only when the danger of “height abuse” had passed did my mind release to me the origins of the limitation.  

Today I can climb ladders and even enjoy the water park. Nothing extreme like my friend Cesar who is probably an angel with wings I can’t see, for he sure doesn’t seem to mind the most extreme heights.

The second example has to do with Dan, a Cuban-born engineer who apparently was unable to stop eating. He had several health concerns secondary to overeating, and simply could not enjoy the most basic walks. He came to see me because he wanted to fly somewhere for a vacation with his family, but he was unable to fit into an airplane sit.

It was a delight working with Dan. As he relaxed his body and mind, images formed on his mind of him hiding behind some large propane tanks next to a building. It was nighttime and he was waiting for some people to leave the building in order to jump through a window and steal some food for his three year old brother who had nothing to eat. Dan was only six years old. He mentioned that this was a regular task for him, but that night something went wrong and he got caught; his punishment was utter humiliation in front of all his peers.

Dan “learned his lesson” and spent several years not only barely eating, but watching his family suffer the same fate. The more his belly hurt and his brother cried, the more he swore to himself that one day he would eat all the food he felt like, never go hungry again, and would always take care of his family.

Dan grew up and eventually came to the United States. He was busy working full-time to send some money to his family while he completed his professional studies. He graduated and got a glamorous job with a Federal Agency. By the end of his first year on the job all of his immediate family was already living in the United States and quite confortable. In fact, everything was going really well for Dan… the extra weight was easy to remove as soon as he started going to the gym, he casually told himself.

Three years into the job Dan decided to move back to Miami, where his family lived, and “enjoy the finer things in life” some more. It did not seem to him at the time that his increased difficulty with mobility due to excess weight had anything to do with his decision to move, he later recollected.

By the time he came to see me, ten years after graduating from college, Dan had found a job he could do from his home. Everything seemed okay, until he realized that he really could not take that vacation.

It took several weeks to uncover and ventilate all that is briefly recounted here, but the weight started coming off gradually. Two interesting highlights of the process follow. One was when Dan realized that he had “kept his promise to himself” that one day he would eat all he felt like, but now that he forgave himself and others he was free to stop overeating. The second was when he recalled our first meeting. I had asked Dan why he thought he was overweight. Dan actually recalled telling me that his physician had discovered a mild hypothyroidism a few years earlier. I felt elated watching Dan conclude that the diagnosis had given him permission to eat even more, actually adding to the problem.

These stories may help you consider some things that you cannot do, or cannot stop doing, for no apparent reason. Perhaps you are ready to realize that freeing yourself from these limiting “lessons” from the past will add a great deal to the quality of your life.

Strong emotional experiences in your past, such as the pain of losing a dear friend, or the pain of hunger and watching your brother suffering in the examples above, open a connection between the rational and subconscious portions of the mind. That “connection” of course, is the very definition of hypnosis, which is to say that strong emotional experiences actually hypnotize us. At that point then, either we produce our own “limiting lessons” or someone else, usually an adult with some sort of authority over us, will do us the favor.

Reversing the process, so that you may free yourself from limitations that rob you of the quality of life you deserve, is what we mean by de-hypnotizing. There are many competent professional hypnotists around, but you can actually do this yourself, as in the first example I told you about.

I do not believe in coincidences; you are reading this article now, and that must be meaningful. The time has come for you to release yourself from that limitation that is on your mind right now. Drop me a line or call the office and I will be glad to help.

 

As always,

Flavio Souza-Campos

 

 

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