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If you read about the history of hypnosis in most books you will no doubt be told about Doctor Mesmer, among others, as being the forefather of Hypnosis. Of course there has been a great deal of speculation as to what Hypnosis really is and how it affects our consciousness.

The idea that we in the west are responsible for discovering the power and techniques of Hypnosis is to my mind a little arrogant to say the least. If you think about it hypnotic induction is in essence simply a means of accessing our subconscious mind. Hypnosis is a bit like an empty syringe which gains access to the mind instead of the blood stream. It is what you put in the syringe that is all important.

In the west we have a great deal of experience in how to deal with numerous medical conditions through the use of hypnosis but we are almost totally unaware of its preventative uses in maintaining our health and strengthening our bodies immune system. In order to fully appreciate the true nature and possibilities that hypnosis offers us we must take the wider view, swallow our western pride and sense of superiority, and look to the east for help and advice.

MEDITATION - ADVANCED TECHNIQUES.

In the next section I want to discuss how you can use your trance sessions to improve your health and channel to power of your mind to boost the bodies natural defences. Before I can do this I must first give you a bit of background first.

Mystics in the east have for thousands of years known of and learned how to access the power of the subconscious mind and have achieved states of human enlightenment and control of their physical bodies which baffle western science.

Of course the many techniques used in the east to enter trance state or induction, as we call it, come under the general heading of meditation. Many western hypnotists, both medical and even the stage variety, are aware of the different and flashier types of induction that can be used (I will discuss these at a later date). However western experience and knowledge is a fraction of what is known by some exponents in India, China, and of course in Tibet.

Let me give you some examples which are fairly well known and documented in the west. In Tibet there are two particular techniques which have been widely learnt and practised for thousands of years. One is called (Jun g-gom) and the other is known as (tumo).

The art of Lung-gom is where an adept is able to travel very rapidly across rugged ground sometimes travelling for distances of over three hundred miles in thirty hours day and night. This is a useful skill for people living in a very inhospitable part of the country where there are no roads to speak of. They don't walk or run in any manner we would understand but appear to leap with great elasticity from one spot to another. While doing this the adept would be in a trance like state and would keep his vision focused upwards on the horizon.

The training needed to master this technique would appear to most of us as very rigorous. It involves living in complete darkness and seclusion for over three years while practising deep breathing exercises and meditation techniques. This does seem almost barbaric to us but you have to understand to a Tibetan monk such practises are not unusual. They are accustomed to and are great experts in meditation. It is not a hardship in the way we would perceive it and I am told that this form of seclusion is not absolutely necessary, some can achieve similar results without going to such extremes.

I watched a programme recently concerning the training that the Royal Marines have to go through in order to learn how to survive in the arctic wastes of Norway. Their training was very thorough, however I could not help think of those monks who train in isolated areas of Tibet in the art of Tumo.

Tumo, translated as fire in the belly, is probably more widely practised than lung-gom and is the art of combating extreme cold. This is a very useful technique when we consider that Tibet is a country that is almost entirely over ten thousand feet. There is not much fuel to burn for fires although yak done is commonly used.

The adepts train in a similar way to those that learn lung-gom in that they learn a range of complex breathing and meditative exercises and bathe daily in icy streams in the mountains. While in deep trance they sit naked in the snow and imagine or focus their mind on internal fires within their bodies.

When their training is complete the adepts have to under-go a test to see whether they have mastered their training. On a particularly windy night in the middle of winter they are led on to frozen lake whereupon a hole is made through the ice to the water below. A robe is then dipped in to the water until it is soaked. The adept then has to wear this robe and dry it by using their body heat generated by the powers of meditation. This process is repeated throughout the night until the master is satisfied that the adept has mastered this technique.

This ability is not uncommon in the east. There was a prominent Indian guru Swami Brahmachari who was invited to Russia in 1966 to train Russian cosmonauts how to use breath control. On arriving in Moscow the weather was bitterly cold with a strong wind wiping across the airstrip. The Russian entourage where wearing thick overcoats, fur hats and gloves. When the doors of the aircraft opened the Indian stepped out and was only wearing a thin cotton suit he had on when he boarded the plan back in Deli. Upon reaching the ground the Russians tried to offer him a thick overcoat but he declined. The Indian simply stated "I produce my own heat thank you".

Tibet, India, and China have their own forms and techniques of combining breathing exercises and meditation. My own personal experience is with the Chinese forms so I want to explain a little about these. In any case it would be a little strange for me to try and explain how to use self-hypnosis to improve your health if I didn't at least mention some of these techniques. It would be a bit like writing a book on How to drive without saying anything about braking or the use of the accelerator, also there is no point in trying to re-invent the wheel. The Chinese are masters in these matters and have vast experience which has been refined over a great many years.

If you are serious about your health and want to get the most out of self-hypnosis some knowledge of these techniques will be invaluable to you. Even if you are not primarily interested in your health as such, some very simple breathing techniques will make self hypnosis sessions much more effective. They will help you to calm down after all the hassle of the day and enable you to focus your mind on what you are trying to do. For this reason alone it is worth your considering them. (It also enables you to be more selective about some of the more esoteric, crackpot, not mention dangerous, methods of alternative medicine which are becoming more fashionable).

There is strong trend in the world today of combining the benefits of modern western technology with the holistic techniques traditionally favoured in the east. Countries like China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and even Russia have realised that the western habit of treating the human body as some kind of machine with increasingly expensive technology is not the way forward. By utilising the best of the tried and tested treatments developed in the east over many many years with the amazing diagnostic techniques produced in the west a new and very powerful kind of medicine is being developed.

This pragmatic attitude towards medicine is producing a dramatic improvement in health care in those countries. At a fraction of the cost most Americans have to pay for their health care the Chinese government have been able to deliver effective medical care for a billion relatively impoverished people.

Of course in the west there are powerful vested interests in promoting a purely allopathic chemical-mechanistic approach to medicine. Millions and millions of dollars are spent each year by pharmaceutical companies in developing more and more new drugs and costly treatments. General practitioners are routinely approached by salesmen from these companies to promote these new drugs to their patients.

In the west we are partly to blame because we tend to wait until we are sick and develop a disease before we seek help. In the east it is the tradition to take preventive measures before our body succumbs to an illness. A well known quote from a classic Chinese medical text says:-

Wise physicians do not treat a disease once its has developed but rather treat it before it manifests. They do not wait for symptoms to run out off control but treat them before they develop.Giving medicine once a disease is established is like digging a well after you are already dying of thirst.

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