Book Review ISBN No. of Pages Author Publisher Year Published Published at
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Your Footprints in the Sands of Time.... 978-983-4361-10-5 191 Juergen Zimmerer Jutaprint 2007 2, Solok Sungei Penang 3, Sg. Pinang, 11600 Penang Abbas Abdul Wahab, BMGN
Your Footprints in the Sands of Time.... Preface: The book is about Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming as a way of life. The purpose and intention of the book is to look behind human behaviour, to challenge fictitious “truth” and so-called confirmed scientifically proven “facts”, to open the reader's mind to the unthinkable and offer solution ideas to problems considered difficult or even impossible to solve. The reader is given a brief history of hypnosis and hypotherapy then the author explains the relationship between human life and human mind and how the mind and body interconnects. This follows by introducing hypnosis as a tool in daily life, in medical-psychological conditions such as sports and on stop smoking in one hour. The book goes deeper looking at hypnosis into near death, past life and reincarnation experiences and on the paranormal. Finally, the book emphasizes the prerequisite to change as in every journey starts with the most important first step. The book is an excellent guide to prepare students about to venture beyond the comfort and security of their home on how to adapt to an ever changing world. It also tells how adults who may not have realized that they have been conditioned throughout their life can still make a change for the better as many do not exploit their potentials to the fullest. The author graduated in 1982 from the University of Tuebingen, Germany in Sports and Physical Education with emphasis in sports psychology, history and political science. He married a Malaysian, has two children and lives in Langkawi since 1992 where he now practices Hypnotherapy as a profession in Langkawi.
INTRODUCTION The purpose and intention of the book is to look behind human behaviour, to challenge fictitious “truth” and so-called confirmed scientifically proven “facts”, to open the reader's mind to the unthinkable and offer solution ideas to problems considered difficult or even impossible to solve. The reader is briefed on Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy then explained about the relationship between human mind and human life and how the mind and body interconnects. This follows by introducing hypnosis as a tool in daily life in particularly medical-psychological cases. It goes deeper looking at hypnosis into near death, past life, reincarnation experiences and the paranormal. Finally, the book emphasizes that every journey starts with the most important first step. The author begins by questioning whether we believe that control and success in this world is beyond our control. He showed how Siebert proved truth and facts can be broken when learned and acquired where a trained rat (threaten) left in a pool of water while another not conditioned showed a swimming difference between 60 hours and 30 mins. The book suggests human are like behavioural chimps and sometimes do things eventhough the actions do not make any sense at all. The author feels that the root cause of the problem lies in the subconscious mind where hypnosis can help. Hypnosis although derived from the Greek word 'Hypno' meaning sleep, was traditionally used for relaxation as an anesthesia. In fact, a study of German government regarded Hypnosis as one of the 5 best and most therapies. Milton Erickson considered the founding father of modern Hypnotherapy emphasized cooperation between therapist and client. He believed nothing is implanted by the therapist merely opened new aspects, change events and their outcome mentally to help discover subconscious reasons for certain behavioural and/or psychosomatic patterns. Prof. Dr. Bongartz, University of Constance liken hypnotherapy as a mountain guide who brings his client up and down mountains and re-routes paths according to the weather but left the climbing to the client. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy have experienced a rebirth since the late 90s and early 21st century from show hypnosis to a healing method for many human problems. The Malay Mail reported Hypnosis could be seen as an effective way to reduce pain in surgery while a Swiss daily reported 80% of patients with hay fever and asthma experienced extremely reduced or completely vanished symptoms after a few Hypnotherapy sessions. In other fields, Hypnosis has become part of sports program for top athletes. Basically, there are 4 fields where research and application of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy meet:
1. Experimental hypnosis Mainly incorporated into medical/psychological facilities of universities 2. Clinical hypnosis The book is dedicated to this field, in medical fileds, questions of pain reduction 3. Forensic hypnosis Related to subconsciously buried information witness cannot recall consciously 4. Technique of hypnosis Learning in general, mental training and visualisation, sports improvement Human Mind and Human Life The author stresses there must be cooperation between the conscious, subconscious and body to produce a healthy mind and body but the key problem is that the subconscious rules how the human mind works. This is because the subconscious controls and guides approximately 90% of all action a human performs throughout any given day or moment. The reason is because of the limited capacity of the human brain where it processes about 2
25,000 bytes/sec of information whereas the senses usually receives several millions bytes/secs of information. So in order for the human to function properly, the majority of all acts are automated. Eventually they become habitual and unfortunately the bad ones become bad habits though not impossible to cure. Human behaviour is seen as a system of conscious/subconscious hierarchies where the greater, the variety of choice, the less people decide because when the task becomes too processing-intensive and is abandoned. It appears the habit is activated because of a mental satisfaction in the subconscious. These are as numerous as life itself like a satisfying cup of coffee, the satisfaction of overtaking a bad driver, a satisfying haircut after feeling stressed etc. However, contrary to the conscious mind, the subconscious mind once programmed, has no ability to consider, reason or end it's activity and will follow through until the mission was accomplished. The behavioural pattern is neutral yet very stable and if 2 contravening goals collide between conscious and subconscious pattern, the subconscious always win unless consciously and repetitively retrained over several thousand occasions to adopt a new pattern. All the more important to snip the problem in the bud as observed in sports techniques where it is important to get things right from the start. But the right technique to employ needs to be clear because: â€˘
positive emotions can form negative program; negative emotions can form positive programs and ; negative emotions can form negative programs.
For example, in the second situation, a case study involving a child and his mother who did not get his birthday present study showed the child's subconscious learned anger and fury brought positive affections and emotions from his mother. Unfortunately, the subconscious does not know there are exceptions to the rule so on other days, met opposite results such as rejection where he eventually became a road rage. The Mind-Body Connection The author questions whether actions are the result of mind over matter or matter over mind. He suggests that people do not think of themselves successful largely because it depends on how much a person has learnt to exert control and be master of one's fate. This is a question of positive thinking. Only when a person challenges this mental belief structure can a new winner be born because it makes or breaks a person. The mind must also be taught to prevent a dissociated state of mind as it is crucial to keep the mind focused to the goal, failing which, that person will almost certainly give up. Because the mind-body is so closely interconnected, the subconscious makes us what we say, how we say and how our physique performs when we say it, in fact, you stand the way you feel. Holistic synergies between body and mind imply it is not mind over matter or matter over mind but matter with mind. But why do we do that? asks the author. In the broken window theory, 2 similar cars were parked in a middle class suburb and the rough side of town. The car in the rough zone was vandalized within 10 mins but after one of the windows of the car in the middle class suburb was broken, it too was quickly vandalized. This concluded that if humans believe they can get away with it, they will try and is becoming very noticeable here in Malaysia where people jump traffic lights at junctions they are confident they cannot be caught. J. Wilson and G. Kelly claimed crime is an inevitable result of social disorder. When the environment is run down and neglected, crime rate rapidly increases. Hence, to reduce the possibility of crime, when something is broken, it needs to be mend quickly because small things mean a lot to the subconscious to the extent that can make or break a society.
Hypnosis as a tool in daily life To put hypnosis as a tool for daily life, the author dispelled a few myths surrounding hypnosis such as being in a hypnotic trance is no different as day-dreaming while driving or jogging. He pointed that Goleman proved the important emotional intelligence is sadly being sacrificed in favour of mental intelligence. One realizes not only does the present school system creates an unsupportive learning environment, it also creates physical, emotional and psychological cripples that will eventually permeate into the political system, government agencies and private organisations. However, are there alternatives to the present system of learning? The author thinks so and comes by different names though amounts to the same thing. Under the Superlearning technique, it was found that :
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Changing towards a free-flow learning environment is productive and less stressful; Music soothes the mind and makes it easier to concentrate; Over-stimulate: The brain sorts things out properly over time; Pattern spotting: Learning a great deal in a short time; Break information into smaller manageable size; Use all channels of learning: visual, audio, olfactory (smell), kinesthetic (feel) and gustatoric (taste); Integrate new language into existing neuronal networks; Most importantly...adopt the “I can” positive attitude.
Hypnosis was put to the test in medical-psychological conditions where the author reported a 80-85% success in the treatment of migraines. Other types of cases successfully treated included allergies, panic attacks, insomnia, the lady with a cleaning obsession, infertility, the lady who lost her sense of smell, fear of heights, abortion, hairless, smoking, the lady with the water allergy and cancer. It seemed the common denominator to the successful treatments was hypnosis helped explore and expose the hidden past which brought about situations that caused the subconscious to react and cause the client great discomfort but through hypnotherapy sessions, collaboration between the therapist and client helped identify and nail the culprit. When the root cause was made known to the client, the logical process of the conscious eliminated the problem caused by the subconscious. Hypnosis has been a helpful tool in reconditioning those misunderstandings observed in the case studies and helped heal the “wound”. For instance, Kossack found Hypnosis cured 93% of all sexual problem cases over conventional methods though let us not to forget so powerful is the subconscious that, Ebo Rau, a general practitioner and pancreas cancer survivor said “If you always think of a disease... you will get it!” To some, the chapter on near-death experience and reincarnation is pure speculation while for others, may be pure truth. I. Stevenson empirically concluded that reincarnation might be the best cause but not the only explanation for certain cases. The author does show many interesting case studies to suggest how hypnosis managed to unearth 'memories' of previous lives from some people, on the other hand, this could simply be a case of kryptomnesia meaning it was nothing more than fabrication. Hypnosis also found was that the majority of those who had near-death experience have more problems with life than with death having experienced something extraordinary full of bliss that anything else is pale by comparison. On the issue of extrasensory perception (ESP) and Para Sensual Intelligence (PSI), Hypnosis suggested that groups of people especially when attuned and engaged by a common theme, may produce a consciousness field that can induce a small statistical bias to a nominal random sequence implying humans can influence machines with their minds. However, the author agrees that a light state of trance is needed to focus the mind and ensure successful maximum transmission. Hypnosis does come up cases with too much of 4
a coincidence and may imply there are some underlying truth in Newton's law of relativity on action and reaction which which humans need further research on but the cosmos is more familiar with. EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP As the world around us is constantly evolving, there is a need to adapt to changing times and the author says it is ill advice if we resist changing our bad habits. The fundamental requirement is to believe in oneself (which everyone knows is easier said than done). However having said that, do not allow oneself to be a procrastinating slave of “ifs”. To change, one must have a goal because it is the motivating factor to drive a person to pursue even when things get rough. It propels one with a greater sense of pride, satisfaction making tasks less stressful. It generates better self-confidence and makes people generally contented. As such, there is a need to visualize and quantify that goal in terms of time, realistic targets and expectations. Finally, there is a need to walk the talk and if a person fails, try, try and try again just like a baby wants to learn how to walk. The strategy is that the goal must be of personal interest and the trick is to learn from mistakes where one may probably wish to migrant to a new niche when that particular field saturates with copycats. This means there is a need to come up with Plan B. Success usually brings fame but the unfortunate side of success beings envy and jealousy from others yet it does imply you are on the right track. CONCLUSION Of lately, alternative medicine has gradually received much attention over traditional methods of which Hypnotherapy is gaining popularity even in Malaysia in places as remote as Langkawi. It is suggested that many medical-psychological cases have been the result of conditioning of the subconscious mind and when harden, takes a longer time to cure. Therefore, such cases need to be address quickly before it causes serious damage. The author laid down the cards and showed the way to self-improvement through Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy by getting people to induce a personal desire to pursue a goal to kickstart the interest but at the end of the day, it all boils down to the individual's will of want to accomplish (or not). Change has never been easy especially when people are comfortable the way things are and re-learning the ropes can be a headache. Thus, the desire to adapt to change is often measured by case-to case merits from a “What is it to me?” approach and selfishly “What do I gain from it?” attitude. Scenarios differ between people and how long a person has been in the comfort zone is a strong factor. Although there are the odd ones, it is generally accepted that the will to change is greatest amongst the underdog and disadvantaged because it pushes and motivates them to excel better in life to enjoy the benefits and pleasures of a higher level of society than they currently expirence.