Hypnosis for Stress – The Stress-Disease Connection


Video Excerpt of the Hypnosis for Stress – Stress-disease Connection Program


The Stress-Disease Connection has been understood by medicine for over a century. Stress can affect every aspect of our health. It affects sleep, digestion, body tension, blood pressure, emotions, and behaviors, and has even been proven to be a key factor in causing many of the diseases of our time – high blood pressure, heart disease, IBS, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.

Because stress is a key factor in making the body and mind ill, doctors will oftentimes prescribe reducing stress. But how is that done? How do we reduce the stress load on the body and on health?

What is Stress?

Historically stress was a physical response to a challenging external environment (such as hunting a bison or giving birth in the fields). Response to mental modern-day stress creates the same physical response in the body (thinking about “what if…”; endless ‘to-do lists’; relationship conflicts), without the physical outlet prehistoric times offered.

“When we encounter symbolic stressors, our bodies are altered in the same manner, although we do not use the changed physiology by responding with some action. Therefore we build up stress products.” – Greenberg, J. S. (2017), Comprehensive Stress Management

Even today, short term high-intensity stressors are not harmful. After the event, the body naturally returns to homeostasis (with the exception of PTSD). Seemingly minor, yet prolonged, stressors, however, can cause breakdowns, dysregulations, and chronic disease in the body.

The main sources of these prolonged modern-day stressors are work, loss, moving, uncertainty, illness & relationships.

How Does Stress Affect the Body?

Short term response to stress produces:

  • Reduced saliva
  • Peristaltic muscles movement altered (too fast or too slow)
  • Increased hydrochloric acid in the stomach
  • Heart rate is accelerated
  • Salt is retained and urination is reduced to raise blood pressure
  • The liver releases more glucose to produce more energy
  • Muscles contract & pain is lessoned
  • Inflammation increases to prevent infections from injury
  • Cancer cell death decreases
  • Serum cholesterol and free fatty acids increase
  • Focus increases

Studies have shown that short-term stress can even boost the immune system.

Prolonged long-term response to Stress, known as PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS, however, produces dysregulations that can be detrimental to the body:

  • Digestive system dysregulation
  • High blood pressure
  • Glucose dysregulation
  • Chronic muscles tension & increased perception of pain
  • Decreased wound healing and resistance to infection
  • Increased inflammation in the body (arterial plaques, joints, vital organs and breaking the blood-brain barrier and entering the nervous system)
  • Cancer cell proliferation
  • Dysregulations sympathetic nervous system
  • Decreased concentration
  • Sleep disturbances.

When reviewing these long term stress effects, we can begin to understand the underlying stress-disease connection of illnesses and disorders such as:

  • Chronic lower backache
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Heart attack
  • Multiple sclerosis

to name a few.

How to Use Hypnosis to Reduce the Stress Response

We can use hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming (NLP) to help reduce the stress response.  There are many definitions of stress and its cause. One of the most used formulas to describe stress is:

With this stress formula, if we ask ourselves, “How can hypnosis and NLP help?”; we would find hypnotic and NLP methods to:

  • Address the pressure – reducing the amount of psychological, social, and physical pressures in the client’s life.
  • Address adaptability – increasing adaptability to those pressures

Some of the methods we might use would be:

  • Time manage tools
  • Reduce social commitments and learn to say “No”
  • Eliminate the need to be perfect.
  • Increase self-esteem and the belief in the ability to adapt to pressures.

Most Stress Management Programs focus on the following:

clasic stress management program

But we can go further with hypnosis and NLP if we breakdown the process of stress.  One of NLP’s strengths consists of breaking down the process of a created problem. If we can modify any part of the process needed to create the undesired response, you can alter that response.  Thus, we can breakdown the stress response in more detail and create more options to modify this response as follows:

Breaking Down the Stress Response

stress and disease

With this formula that breaks down the stress-response, if we ask ourselves, “How can hypnosis and NLP help?;” we can find methods to:

“Your body reacts to your perception of the threat – not to the reality.” Chistopher Fagundes, Rice University

  1. Change perception of something from stressful to manageable
  2. Alter negative thoughts regards self, the world, and abilities.
  3. Reduce triggers and resolve unresourceful memories
  4. Modify the physical and psychological stress response directly

Thus a more complete Stress-Management Program that addresses the mind-body connection directly would include:

stress management program

If you are interested in learning specific hypnosis and NLP techniques for each of these areas that can reduce the stress response, consider purchasing our 3-hour packed training below (this training was an ACHE special webinar held in 2020). The package includes lifetime access to video and pdf handouts.

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