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The Fountain of Youth - Part 2

Inner peace and relaxation
Embrace New Perspectives
“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees.”
― Marcel Proust

I’m not going to lie. Not every physical problem can be cured with hypnotherapy.  But some can. And all physical ailments contain a psychological element and thereby benefit from hypnotherapy.  Therefore, “to possess other eyes” can come in handy when seeking a youthful mind, body and attitude. One of the tricks is to simply see things differently.

In tying illness or hardship to a psychological state, we risk what many call “new age guilt” with the idea being that, if only you could get over yourself (your sadness, anger, whatever), you’d magically heal.  When my son was about 2, he played with a girl who had been born with cancer in her right eye. Obviously, nothing had been done to her (trauma-wise) and she had done nothing herself to cause this.  Not all problems have a psychological root. Perhaps her mother was exposed to a chemical. Perhaps there was a genetic predisposition. Perhaps it was just the way things were. For anyone to feel guilty about it - or later in life, if she felt guilty herself - would just be a tragic waste of energy and detract from the quality of life for all concerned.

However, assuming we’re focusing on the eye of an equally innocent adult, the tumor’s growth can still be understood or improved by addressing the healing from an emotional standpoint. In Chinese medicine, for example, the energetic meridians which rise from the internal organs and flow through the body are associated with emotions.  The liver meridian goes through the eye, and the gall bladder meridian passes next to the eye. Both meridians are associated with the emotion of anger.  Therefore, one might suspect a physical imbalance that might produce anger - even if no triggering external event had occurred - and that working to ameliorate anger could help the meridian function better. No one is to blame, yet treating the eye from an emotional standpoint may help all the same.

What might have been thought of as a genetic disease may also be seen through new eyes. Science is proving more and more that our genes are not our destiny.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.” In short, whether you’re tall or short may be genetic destiny, but whether you get breast cancer may not be. Epigenetics is a relatively new term - first coined in 1942 by embryologist Conrad Waddington. It’s a term I personally never heard until about 20 years ago, and only because I’m particularly interested in alternative medicine.  The average general practitioner is not likely to mention it to patients, even though many are aware of it. Western medicine hasn’t found an easy, reliable (pharmaceutical?) way to turn specific genes on and off. Yet.

However, looking at the definition of epigenetics, we see two key words that might suggest hypnotherapy as a potential solution, and certainly as part of an array of solutions (such as diet and exercise). Those words are “behavior” and “environment.”  Hypnotherapy is popular with dieters and those wishing to quit smoking because a change of habit is necessary for success.

The concept of anxiety as a mental state and how it affects thoughts and emotions.
The Mind-Body Connection

Emotions and habits go hand in hand. Habits feel comfortable; altering them, even when you are highly motivated, can be a challenge.  As for “environment,” perception of your environment can be physical or psychological.  A dangerous physical environment might be a factory that has chemically toxic working conditions, whereas a psychologically toxic workplace can also be perceived as dangerous.  In the first example, a client might be afraid to challenge an employer over safety standards or look for a safer job.  In the second, a client might be able to handle the work if the perception of the environment changed. Or, perhaps a change in self-perception might give the client the necessary courage and self-esteem to leave for a better job. Moreover, hypnotherapy can help the client avoid emotionally toxic workplaces in the future by helping the client understand and alter the basic attraction to such places.  In short, hypnotherapy can help clients see harmful environments for what they are and help them walk away. 

Lastly, hypnotherapy can help clients accept what can’t be changed. Radical acceptance, used in 12 Step programs, is a powerful tool that can revitalize the body. Many falsely believe that accepting a situation means giving up, but in fact, accepting means allowing what is.  To truly allow means to release tension in the body. To accept cancer in my eye means that I’m no longer stressed about it even as I am free to see a surgeon or take whatever action necessary to survive.  Resisting the diagnosis promotes stress in the body, and stress just creates a stronger environment for illness. In some cases, radical acceptance is enough to shrink a tumor.  Certainly, without the burden of maintaining the stress, the body feels so much younger and stronger. It feels vibrant and full of hope.

Youth, therefore, isn’t just about how old you are. It’s about continually seeing life through new eyes; just as young people do. It’s about embracing the unknown. The known is what you’ve got or what you had. If the known is contributing to fatigue and ill health, if it’s making you old before your time, it’s time to make the unknown your friend. You might discover unknown strength and vitality, or unknown compassion for yourself and others.

In Part 3, I will focus on acquiring a youthful mindset. As you can see, mindset is everything - not just for the mind or personality, but for the body as well. Seeing things differently, changing habits, releasing resistance to what is, all benefit the body. And so does rethinking genetic destiny, after all, our thoughts affect us on a cellular level and now even mainstream medicine establishments, such as the CDC, acknowledge that our genetic background is not our genetic future.  As we are about to learn in Part 3, we are not unlimited - we do have a core physiology and personality - but when we align with that, we feel unlimited, as well as youthful and energetic.

Support and Comfort represents the role of a hypnotherapist in providing guidance and support.
Change Your Perception and Grow

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