A Guide To Hypnosis Muscle Imbalance And Chronic Injuries

There are many stories about hypnosis and hypnotherapy being dangerous, turning people into chickens, people not being able to wake up, and unscrupulous hypnotists exploiting their ‘vulnerable’ patients. However there are many people who are adamant that it has helped change their lives, helping them succeed in their goals. Millions of people swear that it has helped them with many issues such as weight loss, quitting smoking, other addictions, confidence, phobias, stress, success, IBS, and many more issues.

Many people are missing out on this powerful yet safe therapeutic tool because they are too afraid to use it. I hope to dispel these fears by answering these common questions about hypnotherapy.

Can I be hypnotized? Most people can go into a hypnotic trance. The only types of people that cannot be hypnotised are … 1. Those suffering from psychosis or a thought disorder 2. A person with a low IQ 3. A person does not want to be hypnotised. It is very easy to resist hypnosis if you want to. What is a hypnotic trance? It is a normal and natural state that most of us experience several times a day. It commonly happens when people are driving. Have you ever driven somewhere and not really remembered the journey? It also often occurs when reading a book or watching TV. Sometimes you can be so absorbed in the book or TV programme that you are not consciously aware that someone is talking to you. Hypnosis is the focussing of the conscious attention in such a narrow corridor of influence. The conscious mind is so intensely focussed that other influences are not being critically analysed by the conscious mind. We still hear them, although we are not always aware. A good example of this is when you are in a place where there are several conversations going on at once. They may all sound like a mass of background noise. However if someone in one of those conversations mentions your name, you then consciously focus on that conversation. How did you know someone said your name? Your subconscious mind (which is far more powerful than your conscious mind) was listening to EVERY conversation AT THE SAME TIME! That is perhaps a reason why you can sometimes “just know” something. Your subconscious mind has absorbed it without you consciously being aware.

What does hypnosis feel like? When in a trance you feel more mentally and physically relaxed. It is a very pleasant experience, and you can tell that you are still in control. You can still hear exactly what is going on around you, unless you choose to drift your attention away. You become aware that you can easily stand up, talk, or move whenever you want. A lot of people (me included) when they first experience a hypnotic trance move their fingers or hands in order to test whether they can move at will. Sometimes a patient can be a little difficult to wake up. This is not a sinister thing as it has been portrayed. No one has ever been stuck in trance. It is more a case that a patient just “can’t be bothered” to wake up as it feels so pleasant. However they soon become bored and will wake up pretty soon. One trick the old hypnosis pro’s use is to tell the patient that they are charging for the time. It’s amazing how quickly they then wake up!

Is hypnosis dangerous? A hypnotic trance is actually a very natural state that almost everyone goes into several times per day. In 1955 the British Medical Association set up an inquiry which favourably reported hypnosis as a therapeutic tool. It even recommended that it should be taught at medical schools. Hypnosis was also approved by the Council of Mental Health of the American Medical Association in September of 1958 as a safe practice with no harmful side effects. Since then there has been acceleration in the establishment of hypnosis societies for doctors, dentists, and psychologists. No one has been seriously hurt with hypnosis.

Can I be made to do things against my will? You could never be made to do anything against your will or contrary to your value system. If this was actually possible, would there not be criminals learning the art of hypnotherapy in order to hypnotise their bank managers to opening the vaults and handing over a large sum of cash?! In a trance, you would not unknowingly reveal your deepest secrets. You can even lie when in a trance, which is one reason why testimony in hypnosis is not permissible evidence in a court of law. It is only used by police to help with the investigation. A person will only act upon suggestions that serve them in some way or reinforce an expected behaviour, anything else their subconscious will just ignore. Most people develop these misperceptions from seeing or hearing about a Stage Hypnosis show. However they largely achieve their results from showmanship, selection of the more extrovert people, and peer pressure.

How long will it take before I notice a change? In one session, you can expect to become more relaxed than you are right now. Most people do not relax enough, and some people never seem to relax! Being more relaxed can help most mental and physical problems that you may have. I have often had patients report back to me that people noticed that they seemed more relaxed after just one session. In the past I have significantly helped problems such as IBS, skin complaints, and addictions, simply by doing relaxation work. Hypnosis can bridge the gap between your head and your heart, making your goals much more emotionally compelling, and therefore increasing your chances of permanent change. Depending upon the intensity of your session and the number of times you have listened to the recording, you will notice suggestions for the desired behavioural changes spontaneously popping into your conscious mind almost immediately.

Injuries can occur anywhere and at anytime, but the most prevalent place of occurrence is in the workplace. The reason for such a high rate of injury is that people spend 8-18 hours a day, 5-7 days a week performing unidirectional (one-way) movement patterns, causing an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system that results in the overuse and under use of certain muscle groups. If left unchecked, these injuries can be come chronic, resulting in pain and dysfunction that can last for years.

Usually, when one muscle group is overused, the opposing muscle group, acting as a stabilizer, becomes underused. When this imbalance establishes itself in the musculoskeletal system, the body does not function as designed. Instead of muscles working together to perform a specified function, they work against each other, causing the body to exert more energy to perform the same task that previously was perceived by the body as “simple”.

When muscles become too short and tight, they lose their strength as they are in a chronic semi-contracted state and cannot contract (shorten) efficiently due to being pre-fatigued and the fact that they are already in a state where they are too short for proper function. If a muscle is already in a shortened, semi-contracted state, it cannot contract, or shorten very far. And the farther a muscle can contract (shorten) and move, the greater the strength and endurance the muscle will have. Chronically tight, restrictive muscles just don’t function very well and they impinge structures around and beneath them such as nerves and blood vessels, causing disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and many other associated Repetitive Strain injuries. Short muscles also pull bones out of alignment, which causes a joint imbalance, often resulting in severe pain and dysfunction.

The same goes for underused muscles. Underdeveloped muscles are weak due to lack of direct stimulation. Weak muscles are usually too long, unless they are in a state of spasm, which occurs as a protective response in order to keep from being overstretched. Weak underdeveloped muscles cannot act as efficient stabilizers when the opposing muscle(s) are called into action, which again causes a joint imbalance to develop, as weak muscles cannot stabilize bones in their proper position / alignment. Weather a muscle is short and tight or long and weak, the strength and length imbalance of the affected muscle(s) must be corrected for the body to function optimally without pain, dysfunction and reduced mobility of the involved muscles / joints.

Muscle imbalances are the cause of most biomechanical disorders in the body. From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, an existing muscle imbalance is at the root cause of the disorder in 90% of the cases. Too many modalities focus on the “band-aid principal”, allowing the muscle imbalance go on for years with a little bit of relief here and there. Now is the time to focus on the actual “cause(s)” of these disorders and eliminate them altogether. With the appropriate exercise and stretch routine, most musculoskeletal disorders can be eliminated quickly and effectively.

Correcting muscle imbalances is achieved through a process consisting of a number of stretches and exercises. Soft-tissue treatment and hot/cold therapy may be utilized to help expedite the rate of recovery if it is so desired. Usually the nature of performing both stretches and exercises within the same program can be quite effective at eliminating the existing condition without the addition of the soft tissue treatment and hydrotherapy. Word of caution; there is a treatment sequence to addressing muscle imbalances if the best results are to be achieved. If random stretches and exercises are performed, an individual may cause themselves more harm than good.

A general rule when addressing a chronic muscle imbalance is to execute the following program:

1. Heat Therapy* : Use heating-pad 5 Min. to warm the affected joint and surrounding muscles, preparing them for upcoming stretches and exercises. (Be sure that all sides of the joint and surrounding muscles are warmed-up.)

2. Soft-Tissue Treatment*: Soft tissue treatment utilizing Effleurage and Trigger Point Therapy to reduce muscle spasm and relax the tight, restrictive overused muscles can be very effective in correcting muscle imbalances. Utilizing Transverse Friction Massage (TFM) on specifically weak, injured muscles and/or tendons to break down adhesions on the soft tissues can also be very effective in reducing overall pain and dysfunction.) Performing basic massage to the tight muscles is the easiest way to address the issue without getting too complex.)

3. Stretching Routine: Once the muscles are warmed up, stretching the tight, restrictive muscle group is key to increasing their length and reducing their impingement of surrounding tissues as well as reducing their effect on the misalignment of the joint. (Stretching the weak, underdeveloped muscles is not recommended as they are already too long and do not need to be lengthened further.)

4. Exercise Routine: Once the tight restrictive muscles have been lengthened from the stretches, it is time to exercise the opposing muscle group, the one that is weak and underdeveloped, in order to shorten and strengthen the muscles in order to reduce the tensile stresses imposed on them from the opposing tight muscle group. Exercising and strengthening the weak underdeveloped muscles not only forces the opposing muscle group to relax and lengthen further, but it also helps to maintain the length created in those muscles from the previous stretches. (Do not perform stretches after the exercises as this misaligns the joints and causes muscle rebounding. Always perform stretches first when addressing chronic muscle imbalances and then immediately follow with exercises.)

5. Contrast Bath*: Utilizing a contrast bath at the end of the complete routine can be helpful in reducing muscle spasm, remove toxins from the muscles and increase circulation and overall nutrient flow to the injury, helping to aid an increase the speed of recovery. Basic procedure is 3-minutes heat to 1-minute of cold. Repeat 3-times, finishing with cold.

This general treatment program for chronic repetitive strain injuries resulting from muscle imbalances is very effective and often eliminates all of the symptoms previously associated with the injury, quickly and effectively. Always consult a physician before beginning any type of exercise or treatment program.

Remember, Your Health is in Your Hands!

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