Healing with Sleep Hypnosis

Hypnosis – Facts and Myths

hypnotized Womam

What is Sleep Hypnosis

How Does Hypnosis Work

One of the most frequent questions I am asked concerning healing with sleep hypnosis is what is sleep hypnosis anyway? The answer is a little bit involved because in order to understand how it works you need an understanding of what it is.

I initially learned about sleep hypnosis online and the best resources available are anything written by a hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy websites.  Without actually participating in various guided meditation and hypnosis sessions and entering the trance-state, though, it was difficult to fully grasp what is involved (other than the obvious of going to sleep with sleep-hypnosis).

A more important question to me was not “how” it works, but does self-hypnosis work?    I am not interested in spending hours educating myself about something if it has no value,  and if it isn’t going to solve my problem I don’t want to spend any more time with it.  I have spent more time educating myself on hypnosis since that time than most anything else. Because it does work.

First, a hypnotherapist is an Alternative Healthcare Professional who has completed a course in hypnotherapy.  Many licensed medical professionals use hypnosis as part of their practices.

The hypnotist relies on thinking and memory processes to help with controlling the body’s responses to circumstances of everyday life and living such as love, anger, pain and discomfort, happiness and sadness, fear and worry, as examples.

Hypnotherapists are unregulated in most of the United States but certain states do require licensing or at least registration.  There are several “hypnosis agency” type of websites but none are government regulated and, at most, those who practice hypnosis are encouraged to join as members for credibility toward a business practice.  In Queensland, Australia, hypnotherapy was regulated until 2002.

To find the most generic, reliable and non-technical answers I selected a hypnotherapist who has over 420,000 YouTube subscribers and over 80 million views of his guided meditations and hypnosis videos.  With over 125 videos posted on his YouTube channel, many of which have been viewed millions of times,  I began participating in his videotaped sessions on a regular basis.  I have found his level of knowledge on the subject to be compelling and credible.

Sleep Hypnosis by Pexels

One of my favorite sessions (highly effective for me) and obviously very popular with others with 7,585,060 views as is Guided Meditation for Detachment from Overthinking (Anxiety, OCD, Depression).

Michael Sealey is from Queensland, Australia.  He is a groomed Australian actor who graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama in 1995.  He is also a martial artist.

Much of his knowledge about hypnosis and the subconscious and conscious minds and how they relate, is contained in his recorded sessions, but this is his explanation of what hypnosis is and how it works:

“Hypnosis is a completely natural state of often deeply felt relaxation and focused attention where positive suggestions can be more easily accepted by our subconscious minds. Imagine a fantastic and tranquil state of daydreaming, and that is very close to hypnosis!

Hypnosis can bring us improved self-control, clearer and empowered behavioral choices, and allow us to listen to our best inner resources. Many people experience a deep sense of calmness and serenity during hypnotic meditation and are often pleasantly surprised to see the ongoing, life enhancing results.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The power for positive change resides within your own mind.  If you choose to accept the suggestions presented, you can rest comfortably knowing that you are the one safely in control of your own positive results.

Deep trance hypnosis is used with guided relaxation for improving your subconscious mind power, boosting your natural memory recall ability, sharpening your study focus, and increasing your motivation for learning and information assimilation.

Take some time to improve your memory, study, focus, concentration, learning ability, or as you prepare for exams.  Improve your mind power and your own abilities of self-mind control to harness all of the resources of your natural intelligence. – Michael Sealey.

Michael uses “positive voice suggestions often accompanied with calm images, background sounds and meditation music to allow you your very best state of relaxation, inner change to remove negative blocks, and to create self-guided healing therapy with techniques from the fields of hypnotherapy, modern psychotherapy, trance work, guided relaxation, NLP, cognitive behavioural psychology, mindfulness meditation, and ASMR.”

As with all hypnosis, it is recommended for “repeated and regular listening as it will help compound positive suggestions and/or your own positive results.”

Although you can listen to his videos on YouTube at no cost, he has MP3 downloads available (my preference).  He doesn’t appear to promote his sessions for much profit as you can obtain 78 sessions for $0.99 each and many of the sessions are over one hour in length.  Visit the  All Things Meditation & Wellness Emporium, Guided Meditation/Hypnosis section.


The Trance – An Altered State of Consciousness

 

A trance is any state of consciousness or awareness other than the usual form of consciousness, or best explained as an altered state of consciousness.  A state of trance can occur withDaydreamerout effort and it is possible that it can occur involuntarily.

The term is usually associated with prayer,  flow (being fully focused or immersed), meditation and hypnosis.  It can also be described as a state of elevated or hyper suggestibility.   The trance state of consciousness is generally the most beneficial state for hypnosis.

The trance state of consciousness is generally the most beneficial state for hypnosis. An example of a trance state is daydreaming.  It is the state of mind you enter into during hypnosis and is an advanced form of relaxation. You reach a trance state as you slip through various stages of decreased brain frequencies which are virtually the same as the stages of sleep (and the stages of awakening in the reverse order).


The

Myths Surrounding Hypnosis

 

If you were to perform a random survey relating to hypnotism and what it is, the consensus would likely relate to a Las Vegas style stage sleep hypnosis sideshow that goes something like this:

An experienced performer/hypnotist calls someone from the audience to participate in the act.  This person has already been interviewed and selected based on specific personality traits.
Watches for Hypnosis

After pulling a shiny pocket watch from his vest he begins to swing it back and forth and his subject appears to fall asleep. The hypnotist provides instructions (or “suggestions”) to walk around the stage and cluck like a chicken, along with several other preposterous and silly imitations to amuse his audience.

This type of performance has prevented people from seeking hypnotherapy which is legitimate, healthy and beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit. Most have never witnessed anyone hypnotized other than in movies, and it certainly is a mysterious and magical subject, but what has science revealed about hypnosis vs. what we don’t yet understand)?

I have even heard references to the occult and demons.

According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis,  common myths about hypnosis include:

  • will cause you to lose control

  • make you surrender your will resulting in being dominated

  • exposes weakness

  • you cannot be dishonest

  • will lose consciousness

  • will suffer from amnesia

  • you only need one session

  • hypnosis is sleep

  • You can recall “lost” memories

The most amusing myth is “You have never been under a hypnotic state.”   This myth is a misnomer, as referenced in the previous section on Trance as well as another blog I published discussing that brain waves during the stages of hypnosis are the same stages as sleep.  Please click here for additional reading.


The Subconscious Storehouse

 

A guided or self-hypnosis session allows for an acquainted communication between the conscious and subconscious (or unconscious) mind.

There is a limit to what we can hold in our focal awareness (conscious),  and an alternative “storehouse” for all of our acquired knowledge through prior experiences is needed (subconscious).

The conscious is in the foreground where your active thought processes take place and are the part of your mind that you pay attention to when you are thinking.

The subconscious mind is in the background, absorbing and storing every piece of information that has sorted through the brain since the time you were born.Subconscious

The subconscious mind is responsible for how our body functions, how we breathe and why we have a pulse and every other function of the body that keeps us alive.  It is in the subconscious where our emotions originate and connect us spiritually to each other, the universe and our creator.

Although the conscious mind is constantly supported by the subconscious mind, we are still capable of retrieving retained information from the subconscious when the two are connected.

With the assistance of the hypnotherapist (by video or MP3), you enter into a self-session making a conscious (present/mindful) effort to control your breathing for a few minutes (breath in to the count of 6, hold to count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6 while you consciously release body tension upon exhale).  In a matter of moments, conscious thoughts will surface.

I have found that acknowledging each thought one by one is more effective than trying to fight with maintaining my focus on breathing.   My visual is as though the thoughts are written on a piece of paper that floats into my hand.  Once I acknowledge the thought the piece of paper floats away.

This will not work for everyone, but you can try it. Don’t be discouraged.  In the beginning, the thought will seem to linger. Once dismissed, another thought will immediately take its place.   The longer you sit quiet and focused and acknowledge and release each thought your mind will become quiet and still.  No two sessions are alike.

A higher level of harmony, balance, and consistency can be realized when you are able to tap into the subconscious storehouse.  It is possible to discover insight into things you can’t even begin to imagine about yourself.

Communication with yourself can and will significantly influence your self-observations and allow you to connect with who you are, what you need and want from your life, it can alter negative emotional responses and even lead to control of your own mental and physical conditions.

Michael Sealey’s session titles involve the wide range of personal issues we deal with on a daily basis. Whether it be physical pain, cravings from smoking or food, or a bad attitude, you can control your thoughts.

The subconscious mind is powerful. You already have the answers and remedies and they are contained within you.


Is there a Cure for Insomnia?  

 

With multi-taskers there is a significant amount of uncontrolled thinking that can cause exhaustion and fatigue, which lowers stress levels and creates the perfect circumstances for the development of insomnia.

Over the long term, left untreated, it will exacerbate to the point of excessive stress, anxiety, and depression.Insomnia Sleep Hypnosis

While insomnia can occur independently as a sleep disorder, it is not unusual for most people to experience inadequate sleep during different times in their lives.

Adequate sleep is imperative to an adequate mental function.  This is achieved through relaxation into the various stages of sleep necessary to achieve the REM stage where the most beneficial sleep is obtained.   This well-known and well-established science explains how and why hypnosis is so effective for insomnia.

Sleep hypnosis was my first experience with hypnotherapy.  Combined with mindfulness styled meditation, guided meditations, and affirmations, the most immediate change involved my perspective of the symptoms caused by my conditions.  This included frequent and consistent insomnia.

Although I still experience pain on a regular basis, I no longer lay awake at night fighting for a comfortable position that will allow me to fall asleep and stay asleep.

I no longer fully rely on mind altering drugs to control sleep, muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain.  My doctor recently told me that if it were not for the pain my blood pressure would be normal.  I found that to be quite interesting since I have to take blood pressure medication.  I am hopeful that my continued meditation practices will allow my body to function properly completely drug-free.

 


Pain and Emotion “Brain Circuits”

 

A hypothetical example of how hypnosis can alter a physical condition is – let’s say you have a headache.  A headache causes pain.  The body’s reaction to the stress is to release additional chemicals and hormones which are responsible for a headache. When the stress is relieved the body no longer responds to the stress, eliminating the source of a headache.  Medical doctors treat physical symptoms with drugs.  The Hypnotherapist focuses on the thought processes that are contributing to the stress.

Brain Signal - Geralt

A stress headache can’t be compared to the level of chronic pain from disabling medical conditions such as degenerative disc disease or rheumatoid arthritis but migraines are debilitating.

Nearly every illness, disease or condition includes the symptom of pain.   Eventually, though, without proper pain management, the risk of developing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are significantly increased.

Srini Pillay, MD,  an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, discusses how chronic pain alters brain circuits:

The pain itself can rewire your brain. When pain first occurs, it impacts your pain-sensitivity brain circuits. But when pain lasts, the related brain activity switches away from the “pain” circuits to circuits that process emotions. That’s why emotions like anxiety often take center stage in chronic back pain. And it’s why emotional control becomes that much more difficult.

Dr. Pillay fully recommends mindfulness meditation and hypnosis to treat chronic pain because it will “improve emotional control by increasing brain blood flow to the frontal lobe.”

If these techniques are used for an extended period of time (scientific studies indicate 8 weeks) it can improve anxiety and depression symptoms as well.

Mindfulness and Hypnosis cause a “brain relaxation pathway by deliberately ignoring mental “chatter” and focusing on breathing.”  When you do this, an “unfocus” circuit called the default mode network is activated.  (Dr. Pillay).

When I first read the article by Dr. Pillay I actually thought to myself “is this guy making this up?”   But he is a professor of psychiatry and there are nearly 70 years of scientific research to support various theories.

The benefits of hypnosis are not limited to chronic pain.  While numerous studies indicate meditation literally changes brain structure, there is still much research to be performed.

Another method that relieves chronic pain and depression (temporarily) is ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, in which some people experience tingling sensations or a static-like sensitivity along and on the skin.  It characteristically starts on the scalp and travels down the back of the neck and upper spine and shoulders.   One study published by the Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK indicates:

“The current study identifies several common triggers used to achieve ASMR, including whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds and slow movements.”

ASMR produces a flow-like mental state, a fully engaged feeling of enjoyment, complete involvement, and an energized focus.


The Christian’s Beliefs about Hypnosis

 

Spirit fire

 

Many Christian beliefs are sincere when they consider the influences of demonic activity, and some believe that an open mind will invite some type of demonic movement against the Christian.

Based upon what we know for fact, there is nothing scientific establishing how this can occur, but it would be reasonable to assume that if a person’s decision skills and thinking was altered or diminished somehow, that it could possibly enhance a more lucid imagination – and hypnosis can produce more lucid visuals and dreams.

Some people are absolutely more susceptible to certain influences (hypnotherapy) which someone else would see as detrimental.  It would be during this time of susceptibility (hypnotic state) that a demonic attack would be more likely to occur. Hypnosis, at one time, was known to be associated with the occult with the intent of contact with demonic spirits.

There is scripture taken quite literally by Christians.  In Acts 16:16-18,  “startling” detailed memories by people who would not have otherwise experienced them. Exactly how it is known that they would not have experienced them otherwise is not clear.

The expected response by many Christian’s is that hypnosis is considered a form of witchcraft, despite the fact that what we now know about the phases of sleep and brain wave frequencies, the same events occur without hypnotherapy and are biological phases of sleep.

Galatians 5:22-23 mentions that we need to control ourselves and not give conOpen Bibletrol to someone else.

Romans 6:12-13 says we need to submit ourselves to God, not something else.

Romans 6:16 warns us against submitting our decisions to another.

Despite the success stories about Hypnosis and despite how much we may trust the hypnotist, the Bible tells us to stay away from anyone trying to control our minds.  There are many Christians who will not accept hypnosis as a viable method of healing the mind and body.

 


A Beginner’s Experience with First Time Hypnosis

“Weird and Awesome”

As I was scrolling through pages on the internet the other day, I came across a post written by someone (possibly born in 1982) who never had an interest in hypnosis until he read an article that “sparked his interest.”  He happened to come across Michael Sealey’s videos.   This reminds me of my own experience when discovering the self-hypnosis and sleep hypnosis of Michael Sealey.  His story is honest and sincere.

https://www.reddit.com/r/hypnosis/comments/304880/first_time_hypnosis_wow_interesting_and_scary/?ref=share&ref_source=link

Remind me of the Benefits Again, Please

 

From the perspective of this 20 plus year patient of chronic neck and back pain  (referring to myself), and having also lived with the associated conditions of panic attacks, numerous situations of depression with anxiety so intense that it has been labeled a “disorder,” all resulting from pain, I  am extremely thankful that (1) hypnosis does in fact “work” (2) there are credible resources available to educate yourself as to what healing hypnosis really is and (3)  by using hypnosis, including sleep-videos such as those by Michael Sealey,  you will begin to understand how it works.

Meditation techniques and hypnosis have been the most effective pain management strategy I have found since the mid-1990’s.

There is one more thing I have felt needed to discussed the entire time I have been working on this material.  Maybe my subconscious is responsible for the “gut” feeling I have had about sharing a summary of my medical situation.

I want you to be comfortable with the accuracy of the information I have chosen to present to you.  It is important that you absolutely relate your medical conditions and symptoms to these alternative healing methods.

Not only has medicine advanced during the time I have managed my own medical conditions, but I am also 20 years older.   What I find the most interesting is, that even though medical doctors have had access to the advancements made in medicine concerning the use and effectiveness of alternative treatment, it has never been offered to me by anyone.  And I suspect it may have never been offered to you.

A summary of my own history of incidents that caused my physical condition to deteriorate over time, hopefully, will satisfy any questions you may have about whether the methods I am telling you about will work for you.  If you are not convinced then you will be less likely to get involved. And, as someone who knows the reality of what you may be going through, it is important to me that you find your healing too.

  • 1978 – Cervical Neck Sprain Strain – auto accident
  • 1987 – hysterectomy
  • 1993 – Cervical Neck Sprain/Strain and L-1 Compression fracture – auto accident.  Diagnosed anxiety/depression
  • 1994 – Aggravation of 1993 injuries – auto accident
  • 2007 – herniated the L5-S1 disc – Working with a physical trainer
  • 2008 – L5-S1 continued to deteriorate and after a fall the disc completely ruptured and was found broken into three pieces during the surgery.
  • Between 2007 and 2009 I underwent regular spinal epidural steroid injections and took significant amounts of opiates and muscle relaxers.
  • In October of 2008, I was unable to walk and was wheelchair bound.
  • 2009 – February – L5-S1 fusion – I wore a brace for 8 months post surgery with strict physical limitations (could not lift more than 5 pounds), but the bone graphs did not completely fuse for two years.  Physical exertion caused inflammation, pain and I still had radiating pain into my legs.
  • 2010 – 2011 – continued exacerbations with excessive physical activity but I was able to control the pain with anti-inflammatories and I had been off the heavy opioids since the end of 2009.
  • 2011 –  My fiance and I went to Mexico the summer of 2o11.  There was a zip-line theme park consisting of 14 zip lines, some of them going through caves and waterfalls.  We zipped every single one.
  • 2012 – severe nerve pain down into my right arm and hand.  The testing showed four bulging discs in my neck.  The neurosurgeon referred me to pain management because I had degenerative changes affecting the nerves, but had not deteriorated “enough” to justify surgery.
  • 2012 – Dental implant surgery
  • 2013 – Gallbladder Surgery
  • 2012-2014- I was working a very stressful job as a paralegal.  I saw the pain management specialist every other month.   The only medication that was effective was opioids.   Extreme stress, excessive sitting exacerbated pain.
  • 2015 – pain increased.  Testing indicated 4 herniated discs in the neck. Neurosurgeon fused C-5, 6 and 7 vertebra on 7/2.  Expected return to work three months. Pain continued. Additional testing revealed bone spurs and advanced degenerative changes in lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine as well as narrowing at prior L5-S1 fusion.
  • 2016 – approved for SSDI. Retired. Continued with pain management with 24 hour time released opiates. Until discs in neck deteriorate further the conditions will continue to degenerate. Future to be determined.
  • 2016eyelid surgery to correct loss of peripheral vision

If you suffer from any mental or physical condition whatsoever, hypnotherapy and meditation techniques DO work and regular practice will provide Whole-Wellness when combined with proper nutrition and as much exercise as you can tolerate.

 

What’s Good for the Goose May not be Good for the Gander

 

Not all techniques will work the same for everyone.  A particular technique will be more effective for you than your neighbor.  With guided meditations and hypnosis there are many voices and tones of voice that I cannot listen to because I find them annoying and irritating.  You might prefer a female voice, where a male voice is what works for me.

But one thing is certain:  people are living a poor quality of life because of physical and mental conditions that do not respond to pharmaceutical techniques, and there is hope for all of us.  So many people have no idea it exists.

Hypnosis, whether used alone or combined with other forms of meditation and relaxation, along with consistent proper nutrition, is a system of self-care that will profoundly affect the body’s reaction to stress producing fatigue, anxiety and insomnia and other physical abnormalities.

What we didn’t dig into in this blog are how the very same techniques can help stay emotionally stable, control impulses that lead to weight gain, addictions such as smoking, and exaggerated emotional reactions to fast paced living (a/k/a  Drama).   By maintaining a strong immune system we can assure ourselves of a healthy self-esteem while destroying fear, procrastination and subconscious negativity.

 


Interested in Learning Hypnosis?

Hypnosis Training Courses

 

Are you interested in learning hypnosis for the purpose of helping someone else or to educate yourself further?  Maybe you live with a mental or physical condition that is affecting your quality of life.

As someone who has experienced positive results from sleep hypnosis and guided meditations, I can assure you that a positive outcome awaits you. Take less pain medication, quit smoking, feel good about yourself and have a full nights sleep every night.

Hypnosis Downloads has over 1000 mp3 self-hypnosis (guided hypnosis) sessions in compliance with current psychotherapy standards, as well as hypnosis training courses. It is a complete resource providing hypnosis sessions that can be listened to on your computer, smartphone, tablet or CD.  All Hypnotherapy Downloads have been carefully crafted by professional hypnotherapist educators.  Over 600,000 sessions have been downloaded since 2003.

 

Take the Next Step

 

Hypnosis enforces no rules and no responsibilities which mean that it is all up to you. A person cannot be held accountable for lack knowledge.  If no one knew that smoking will kill you, or that relaxation techniques performed routinely will ease the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms, then there would be no obligation to do anything.

This article has provided you with the knowledge that relaxation techniques, hypnotherapy, and meditation practices will produce beneficial results of enhancing your overall mental and physical well-being.  You are now held accountable for that knowledge, whether you use it for yourself or someone else.

My recommendation to you is:   Start working on a plan and begin implementing it into your daily life.  The most time consuming, in the beginning, is finding a hypnotherapist or other alternative healer that works for you.  Starting with Michael Sealey is a good choice because his techniques are credible and effective and proven.  He can introduce you to different techniques as well.

And, of course, check our website regularly for updated articles on related topics and techniques, and subscribe to the website and you will receive new articles and assorted tips and tricks by email.


Be Healthy    

Mind  ~  Body  ~   Spirit

 


CLICK BELOW TO SELECT YOUR SESSION 

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References

  • Michael Sealy, Hypnotherapist, YouTube Channel,  https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelSealey
  • Srini Palley, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School,           http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/psychology-low-back-pain-201604259537
  • Abstract:  Shape shifting pain: chronification of back pain shifts brain representation from nociceptive to emotional circuits;  A Journal of Neurology, 2013 Sep;136(Pt 9):2751-68. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt211.  Hashmi JA1, Baliki MN, Huang L, Baria AT, Torbey S, Hermann KM, Schnitzer TJ, Apkarian AV.
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23983029
  • Myths about Hypnosis, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
  • Abstract. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state.  2015 Mar 26;3:e851. doi: 10.7717/peerj.851. eCollection 2015. Barratt EL1, Davis NJ1.Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.

How to Meditate in Bed – Make it a Ritual

Meditate with Heaphones

Meditating in Bed | Not Unusual

What do you think of when you hear the word “meditation?”  If you have never experienced it, you probably don’t think of “meditating in bed”  although it is not unusual.  In fact, you would be surprised at how many people actually make it a ritual.  What you more than likely visualize the first time you hear it is someone sitting on the floor in what appears to be an uncomfortable position; a dark room filled with several small flickering candles and the aroma of the lavender essential oil.  Maybe even a large fluffy towel hanging on a towel warmer.

But what if I told you that meditation sitting on the floor isn’t absolutely necessary; that you can meditate anywhere you can get comfortable.  That when you climb into bed every night after a long exhausting day you have an ability to instantly turn off the circulating random thoughts that usually keep you tossing and turning throughout the night.

To meditate in bed is a way of telling your conscious and subconscious mind that you have permission to shut down in preparation for sleep.  The body will follow with a few mental suggestions such as ‘Relax,” or other prefered cues you choose to use.  A guided meditation instructs you as to what to do and when, and I recommend these if you have not tried it before.

A Story Connected or Childbirth

Long before I knew anything about meditation, in 1980 when I was pregnant with my son, The Lamaze method of childbirth was offered to expecting parents. It was a psycho-prophylactictic method which allowed the mother to give birth without the necessity of drugs to control pain by using relaxation and breathing techniques, along with support from a spouse, friend or hospital employee.  My doctor at the time was not a fan of Lamaze, so I purchased a book and taught myself.  One of the lessons required you to select a single muscle in your body, such as your forearm or a calf muscle. The objective was to train yourself to constrict just one random muscle in the body to simulate a contracting uterus. You would practice the technique by tensing a muscle and timed it as though it was a contraction while concentrating on keeping the rest of the body completely relaxed.  At first, it was difficult to select random muscles to contract and it took much concentration and persistence.  But the more I practiced it the easier it was to control the physical reactions to my own commands.

I never had a chance to use the technique while I was in labor – l will save that story for another day, but it is similar to meditation in that you maintain your attention and thought on anything that is in the present moment.  This Lamaze routine became a necessary element of my preparing for sleep every night for many many years.  I would start at my feet and work my way up to my face and head. Until I learned about meditation, I didn’t realize the similarities (and I hope you found that little comparison to Lamaze an entertaining one).

As I opened up significantly in my story in my About Us page, I needed an effective way to control my sleep to maintain the schedule of a single mother, a high-stressed working environment.  I was limited financially and was trying to keep people from taking advantage of my circumstances. I handled it all the only way I knew how, but I sure wish I had been introduced to guided sleep meditations and sleep hypnosis recordings sooner than I was.

It just makes sense to incorporate a daily routine to prepare for relaxation before bed every night and is something that you will look forward to once you participate a few times.  Just thinking about the bath can be a topic of a meditation period sometime during the day when you need to step back for a few minutes.

A comment was made on my website by a lady who has spent many years meditating:

“Funny I have not thought to meditate in bed, and yet meditation is a part of my daily life. I do relaxation exercises in bed if I am having trouble getting to sleep, but not specifically meditation. What a great idea! I will implement this tonight!”

 

Reasons You Need To (Meditate in Bed)

Millions upon millions of people live in a world of fast pacing lifestyles and try to pack into one week the same set of activities that 30-40 years ago would take twice that amount of time to complete.  So many of our friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members and even our young children are running on fumes of pure exhaustion.

Scientific studies have determined that the human body requires a specific number of hours of sleep, and children require much more than adults do.  Yet we are running on empty as sleep deprived, poorly nourished, drinking little bottles containing caffeine and who knows what in hopes of achieving a few more hours of activity (whether we are productive or not).  We end up fatigued, exhausted and allow other situations to exist which cause stress and anxiety and which are merely the beginning of mental and physical disease processes.

The American Sleep Association reports the following sleep deprivation statistics:

        –    37% of 20-39 year-olds report short sleep duration

         –  40% of 40-59 year-olds report short sleep duration

         –   35.3% adults report <7 hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period.

I am also half livid over the number of small children who are allowed to stay up until they fall asleep, with no regulated schedules or bedtimes.  If you hear a screaming child in a store or in a restaurant, or witness obnoxious behavior from the older kids, you can bet that lack of sleep and hunger are involved.

Changes in sleep patterns are also a part of the aging process.  Pharmaceuticals merely cause sedation, not the necessary restorative sleep that your body requires.  Pharmaceutical companies are more frequently reporting new potential side effects of sleep aids which make it not only a safe practice to avoid, but it is more comforting to not have to rely upon anything to fall asleep at night.  I remember younger days, as a child, when I was so tired every night that I was able to fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  It was the same time period of my life when my grandmother was up at the crack of dawn and had breakfast on the table before I woke up every morning.  I recall the day I realized that she slept every night also.  She was still busy-beavering it around the house when I went to bed and was always up every morning dressed with makeup, breakfast on the table and a load of laundry in the washer.  ]

What the Brain Requires

Brainwaves change as we enter various levels of sleep, which are identified by frequency.  During the transition from wakefulness to sleep the beta brain waves slow to a synchronized and slower alpha frequency.  The brain continues to slow to theta waves – then into the delta stage.  These are the same stages we enter during daydreaming, as we fall asleep and as we awaken every morning.

Other physical changes such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure also take place.  The final stage is REM (rapid eye movement) and accounts for about 25% of the sleep cycle.  (National Sleep Association; CDC.gov).

These are the same stages we enter during daydreaming, as we fall asleep and as we awaken every morning.

Make it a Daily Ritualfeather beddin

We are responsible for getting enough adequate sleep and providing our bodies with proper nutrients.  Busy and stress-filled lifestyles (and particularly the fast-paced habits of Americans) do not allow time each evening for the body and the brain to begin transitioning to sleep before we go to bed.

The most beneficial decision is to select a bedtime that allows for the number of hours of sleep that you require.  A hot shower or bath before bed allows muscle tension to begin to relax.

Guided meditations for sleep are available on YouTube, although it takes quite a bit of time to sort through them to find the voice that is most effective for you.  I found many that really are not pleasant to the ear.  There are just as many that will take you to places you have never been before.  And they are free.

I simply use the earbuds with my phone.  Get in bed, take a few minutes to allow yourself to get comfortable, then start the video.  All that is required from that point is to listen and follow the instructions, and if you wake up the next morning refreshed and not remembering falling asleep, then you are on your way to mastering guided sleep meditation.


FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

To make this adventure just one step easier for you, I have included one of my very favorites for you to try.  One of the many free Guided Meditation recordings on YouTube, this one is entitled, Sleep Meditation for Deep Trance Relaxation, by Michael Sealy.  This particular video has over 770,000 views.  Michael Sealy is a hypnotherapist from Australia and some of his hypnosis sleep videos have been viewed over 7M times.

If his guided meditations work for you then I know you will find his sleep hypnosis videos are just as effective.

NAMASTE – AND SWEET DREAMS

 

 

Define Happiness

Happiness

Shila Pratt Photography

A Revelation of Love!

When the idea of discussing “Happiness” first appeared in my mind’s eye the initial intent was to reveal it as another benefit of meditation. A revelation of the truth of Love, and specifically self-love.  As usually occurs, the content took on a life of its own.

Because I was bestowed with more compassion than logic, my inquisitive nature demanded to understand the basis for labeling Happiness as an emotion, and with a little overthinking, here are my notes.

Variations in Beliefs 

Dr. Cheryl A. McDonald, of Health Psychology in San Diego, describes happiness as “a blurred emotion, meaning different things to many people.”

Dr. Dan Gilbert, a Harvard University psychology professor, offers that “happiness is substantially just an emotional experience. It’s a feeling.”

Your Best Life Now, written by Joel Osteen in 2005, the last chapter, “Happiness is a Choice,” details how the ultimate decision to choose happiness is based on emotion, but the choice itself is base on logical circumstances and what the Bible teaches.

Kenneth Benjamin, the founder of Happiness International, has authored an entire website on the foundation of Happiness and he shares much wisdom:

  • There is only one person whose happiness you can control. You.
  • You achieve happiness when your life fulfills your needs.
  • Everyone’s needs differ, which means everyone’s path to achieving happiness is different.
  • People have needs that they are not interested in.  Some are already fulfilled.
  • Decide what makes you happy, determine how to have it, plan how to get it, and work to obtain it.

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Therefore, it is obvious that before we can obtain a full grasp of what Happiness is and what it is not, it is appropriate to consult THE source of definitions, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Emotion;
an effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

Happiness:

a :  a state of well-being and contentment: joy
b :  a pleasurable or satisfying experience

State:

mode or condition of being

Well-being:

the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous

Contentment: (Contented):

feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation

Pleasurable (Pleasure):

a state of gratification

Satisfying (Satisfy):

to be adequate.

Experience:

something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through.


Utilizing these definitions produces a more detailed meaning:

Happiness is a condition reflecting good fortune, health or prosperity, being satisfied with possessions, status or situation, and gratified by personal encounters that have been lived through.

With all of this being said, the idea of this writing started one day while pondering a passage I first heard about 30 years ago:

Happiness can only exist when three things are in place in your life:

Someone to love
Something to do; and
Something to look forward to.

I had absolutely no idea of its origin. With a little amount of additional effort, I was able to verify that it comes from a portion of a lecture written in the mid-1800’s, by a Harvard educated Doctor of Divinity by the name of George Washington Burnap.

George was born November 30, 1802, to a Congregational minister in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He had one sister who cared for him exclusively from the age of 7 after the death of his mother.

He went to Harvard College, graduating in 1824. He continued his education at Harvard Divinity where he exclusively studied the Bible. This convinced him to become a Unitarian. In 1828 he was the ordained pastor of the First Independent Church of Baltimore (the same church in which Jared Sparks pastored beginning in 1817, and later from 1849 to 1853. During a certain period of time when Burnap pastored the Church, Jared Sparks was president of Harvard College).

Burnap married in 1831. Without neglecting his pastoral duties, he devoted much of his career to studying. Much of his time was spent justifying the Unitarian doctrine in the face of public criticism. In 1849 (the same year Jared Sparks was appointed the president of Harvard) Burnap obtained a Doctorate of Divinity degree from Harvard College.

After he received his degree he began authoring voluminous theological and controversial lectures, including The Sphere and Duties of Woman: A Course of Lectures, Burnap, 1854, which contains the full context where my happiness passage was modified

“She is fitted to find happiness in that relation by the affections of her heart. The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. We all must have something to love. Especially is this the case with woman, whose capacity for affection is much greater than that of man.”


More modern definitions contain terms such as “a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.” Or a “fuzzy concept.” And science attempts to “split the identity of happiness into distinct concepts, but it’s meaning is still defined as something different to everyone.”

Three related concepts to happiness have been further defined as “Quality of life,” a “rounded well-being,” and supported by evidence of “flourishing.”

We have the definition as “contentment,” but various commentators attempt to maintain its two traditions of:

Eudaemonic – being deeply satisfied in living life in its fullness; or

Hedonistic – avoiding unpleasantness while seeking the pleasant.

Popular ideology defines happiness as “fleeting,” and it has been suggested that happiness is “stable over extended periods of time.”

Happy Land and Genetics

Genetics-DNA

And interestingly, with all of the explanations and definitions floating around in Happy Land, it is claimed that science has proven Happiness to be partially based on genetics.

So where do we go from here?

I must admit that while reading page after page of material I did wonder if I had a proper understanding of Happiness all these years. It certainly hasn’t been fulfilled in my own life due to many years of life’s unexpected traumas and dramas. But I am now assured that I have the proper understanding of what events must occur before a manifestation of Happiness is revealed in my life.  I continue to hope that I experience Happiness during my lifetime.  I believe that others now have hope as well.

What is your Opinion?

Is Happiness a logical state of mind or an emotion?  Is it just circumstantial that some do not experience it during a lifetime? How is Happiness defined in your life?

I would be honored to have the benefit of your thoughts.


References:
1   htttp://happinessinternational.org.
2.  http://healthpsychology.org/life-with-health-psychology-of-San Diego
3.  Graham, Michael C. (2014). Facts of Life: ten issues of contentment. Outskirts Press. pp. 6–10. ISBN 978-1-4787-2259-5.
4.  ^ Deci, Edward L.; Ryan, Richard M. (2006). “Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well-being: an introduction”. Journal of Happiness Studies. 9(1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/s10902-006-9018-
5.   Baumeister, Roy F.; Vohs, Kathleen D.; Aaker, Jennifer L.; Garbinsky, Emily N. (November 2013). “Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life”. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 8 (6): 505–516. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.830764.
6.  ^ Costa, Paul T.; McCrae, Robert R.; Zonderman, Alan B. (August 1987). “Environmental and dispositional influences on well-being: Longitudinal follow-up of an American national sample”. British Journal of Psychology. 78 (3): 299–306. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1987.tb02248.x.
7.   Okbay, Aysu; et al. (18 April 2016). “Genetic variants associated with subjective well-being, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism identified through genome-wide analyses”. Nature Genetics. 48 (6): 624–633. doi:10.1038/ng.3552. PMID 2708918.
8.   Bartels, Meike (1 January 2015). “Genetics of Wellbeing and Its Components Satisfaction with Life, Happiness, and Quality of Life: A Review and Meta-analysis of Heritability Studies”. Behavior Genetics. 45 (2): 137–156. doi:10.1007/s10519-015-9713-y. ISSN 0001-8244. PMC 4346667 PMID 25715755.

Introduction to Healing with Meditation

Prehistoric Roots


Meditation

Meditation has been practiced since as early as 1500 BC.   If you are curious about the origins and evolution of meditation and how it relates to modern techniques and teachings, the source material is voluminous.

Each method of meditation has its own ancestry.  Each form or technique has developed over 4500 years of cultural and religious influence.

For people like myself who had heard of  meditation and yoga but never learned much, or, technically for beginners, “Meditation” is a catch-all term encompassing forms of self-discipline techniques designed to gain insight into love through self-knowledge and the human connection to the spirit realm by knowing one’s own mind and heart.

As human beings we are eternal spirits with a soul (our mind, will and emotions) and we live in a body. It is the conscious and subconscious mind that bridges the spirit and the body  uniting them in the physical realm and where we can receive conscious revelation of the truth of our beliefs.

More than Mind-Over-Matter

Diet, exercise and proper nutrition regimens nurture the physical body.   It is equally important to nurture to our mind and spirits.  The mere nature of our society promotes stress and anxiety which lead to chronic diseases that decrease the quality of life and increase mortality.  One of the first symptoms of excessive stress is insomnia.  Sleep is one of the most critical needs of the human body because it helps us to maintain brain function. Scientific research and clinical trials support that including periods of meditation and relaxation into our daily schedule will assist with relieving stress and allow us to maintain control over the anxiety that can lead to a complex imbalance of mental, physical and spiritual health.

If we believe what the research suggests, meditation techniques should be as familiar to us as going to bed every night.

MFHL is here to assist everyone who wants motivation to develop a lifestyle of mindfulness through meditation, generating harmony and balance with the spirit, soul and body.

Educate Yourself

While medical advice and seeking medical treatment when it is needed are absolutely necessary, it is equally important that you be educated, informed and take an active participation in treatment decisions affecting your physical and mental health.Yoga Book

Meditation for Healthy Living will offer insight from available sources (and there are many) on how the various techniques and methods of meditation can be easily learned, taught and incorporated into your lifestyle to aid in maintaining the highest quality of health.  We have watched some people realize that they are passionate about meditation, sought training and education and are now teaching and leading others.

Mental and Physical Conditions

For over 70 years medical/scientific research has been conducted by various research facilities, including the Harvard Medical School’s diverse research departments and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, under the National Institutes of Health (a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services).

Below is a list of the physical and mental health conditions studied at length:

STRESS AND ANXIETY
PANIC DISORDERS
DEPRESSION
INSOMNIA
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
CHRONIC PAIN
CANCER
KNEE, ANKLE, HIP AND SHOULDER JOINTS
HERNIATED AND BULGING DISCS
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
Fibromyalgia/Lupus and OTHER Immune Disorders
LIVER CONDITIONS AND DISEASE
DIABETE
NEURALGIA
PANCREATITIS
HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES
JAW CONDITIONS AND TEETH GRINDING
MENOPAUSE/PMS
ADDICTION and DEPENDENCY
FEAR/PHOBIA
OBSESSIONS AND COMPULSIONS
EATING DISORDERS
PARANOIA
SELF ESTEEM – CONFIDENCE

All forms of meditation and hypnosis have been proven effective with allowing us control over our thought processes and beliefs:

MENTAL FOCUS
MOTIVATION
OVERTHINKING
SUBCONSCIOUS NEGATIVITY
SUCCESS
WEALTH
DREAMS
FORGIVENESS
YOUR IDEAL SELF
INNER SELF/INNER CHILD
STRENGTH AND ENERGY
SELF LIMITING BELIEFS
LAW OF ATTRACTION


 

Meditation includes our immediate environment and surroundings.  Teachers of mediation suggest that it take place in a natural environment.

By educating ourselves and experimenting with a variety of techniques we discover the the methods that provide the best benefit.  You will discover your own preferences and may even surprise yourself with what works best for you.  For those who are limited in physical activity it is possible to obtain the same benefits while comfortably sitting or lying down.  One goal should be to designate a room or space in your home that is inviting to meditate.

Curriculum and Meditation Aids

Psychologists, therapists and other trained professionals have compiled specific technique curriculum, webinars, books, affirmation guides, recorded guided meditation and hypnosis sessions on every topic, as well as meditation music and other mood enhancers such as essential oils and incense.  We have selected our favorite items and included them in our All Things Meditation Store.  We believe you will appreciate the diversity.  Check back frequently because we will continue to add interesting and useful items with touches of nostalgia.

If you are looking for something specific please contact me through our Contact Form and we can use our resources to locate anything you are interested in, or make suggestions and recommendations.


Not a Substitute for Medical AdviceMedical Conditions

The information and techniques discussed throughout this website are not a substitute for medical advice, nor should it be interpreted as such.  It is imperative that you consult with your medical providers before making any decisions concerning participation in meditation or other relaxation or hypnosis techniques.  We encourage you to talk with your physician about how meditation can enhance your quality of life.

Physical illness and mental health disease processes vary and must be monitored by mental health professionals.


Interestingly, results of scientific studies are published in medical journals around the world involving 70 years of research that support the health benefits of practicing meditation and relaxation on a regular basis.  It has been confirmed time and time again that meditation does influence healing of the mind and body.  Additional clinical trials continue to take place based on results of previous findings, with plans for future studies.

Have you decided which technique you want to try next?  The menu bar above this blog can give you a few ideas.  Look around and comment below with your own experiences.

NAMASTE!