Discover the health risks.
More than 65 million adults and 10 million children suffer from obesity, considered one of the leading causes of life-threatening diseases. Being morbidly obese can compromise your health, shorten your life, and even cause death. If you are overweight, the probabilities of developing heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase significantly. Here are the top 10 obesity-related diseases.
1. High Blood Pressure -- High blood pressure is the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25. About 75 million people suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Blood pressure tends to increase with weight gain and age. It is not known why obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure. However, research has shown that obese patients displayed an increase in blood volume and arterial resistance. For people who are overweight and have high blood pressure, losing as little as 8 pounds can help reduce blood pressure to a safe level.
2. Diabetes Obesity is considered one of the most significant factors in the development of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. According to the World Health Organization, more than 90 percent of diabetes patients worldwide have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the development of diabetes by making cells more resistant to the effects of insulin. A weight loss of 15-20 pounds can help you decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Read: Exercising with Diabetes.
3. Heart Disease -- According to the American Heart Association, obesity is a major risk factor for developing coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. People who are overweight are at a greater risk of suffering a heart attack before the age of 45. Obese adolescents have a greater chance of having a heart attack before the age of 35 than non-obese adolescents. If you are overweight, losing 10-15 pounds can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you exercise regularly, the risk of developing heart disease falls even more. Read: Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise.
4. High Cholesterol levels -- High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. Cholesterol is transported through your blood in two ways: the low –density lipoprotein (LDL), which transports cholesterol to the cells that need it, and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the healthy cholesterol that reduces your risk for heart attack. Having high LDL levels raises your risk of having heart disease by 20 percent. Losing 11-20 pounds can help you significantly reduce your cholesterol level.
5. Cancer -- A study by the American Heart Association found that being overweight increases your chances for developing cancer by 50 percent. Women have a higher risk of developing cancer if they are more than 20 pounds overweight. Regular exercise and a weight loss of as little as 12 pounds can significantly decrease the risk.
6. Infertility -- Being obese can cause changes in the hormonal levels of women, which can result in ovarian failure. Women who are 15-25 pounds overweight are at a higher risk of suffering from infertility and ovarian cancer. Our bodies need to be at an appropriate weight to produce the right amount of hormones and regulate ovulation and menstruation. Don’t think men are immune to infertility. Overweight men have a greater chance of developing motility and a lower sperm count. Shedding 12-14 pounds can help you lower the risks.
7. Back Pain -- Obesity is one the contributing factors of back and joint pain. Excessive weight can cause injury to the most vulnerable parts of the spine, which carries the body’s weight. When it has to carry excess weight, the odds of suffering from a spinal injury or structural damage increase. Being overweight also raises the risk of developing osteoporosis, lower back pain, arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Losing 10-15 pounds can help you decrease the risk of developing these problems.
8. Skin Infections -- Obese and overweight individuals may have skin that folds over on itself. These creased areas can become irritated from the rubbing and sweating, which can lead to skin infections.
9. Ulcers -- According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), obesity can be a contributing factor to the development of gastric ulcers. Gastric ulcers occur when there is an imbalance between the amount of hydrochloric acid that is secreted and the enzyme pepsin. Overweight men are at a greater risk of developing gastric ulcers than women. A weight loss of as little as 7 pounds can help reduce the risk.
10. Gallstones -- Being severely overweight increases the risk of developing gallstones, especially in women. Gallstones are caused when the liver releases excessive amounts of bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Gallstones are more common in older women and those with a family history of gallstones. Losing 4-9 pounds reduces the risk of developing gallstones. Moderate exercise also can help lower your risk.
In some ways, talking about the history of hypnosis is a bit like talking about the history of thinking or the history of breathing. Hypnosis is a universal human trait, so its history is the history of humanity itself. We might think of hypnotherapy - the use of hypnosis for healing or therapeutic purposes - as a very recent development, but its roots stretch deep into the past. Ancient Chinese, Hindu and Egyptian texts all mention healing procedures that are hypnotic inductions by any other name.
That said, it's interesting to examine the development of hypnotherapy as a profession, as it shows an increasingly sophisticated understanding of what hypnosis is, and what it can be used for.
The modern era really begins with the Austrian physician Franz Mesmer (1734-1815). Indeed, for a very long time hypnosis was known as "mesmerism", a word that's still in use today. Mesmer worked with psychiatric patients, and achieved remarkable results. Perhaps his most famous case was that of Miss Paradis, a concert pianist who suffered from a psychosomatic vision disorder - "hysterical blindness" in 18th century parlance. Mesmer worked with Miss Paradis for days on end, inducing trance with his "mesmeric pass", an extraordinarily complex and lengthy set of hand movements across the body, and by encouraging her to follow the movements of a stick reflected in a mirror. With admirable dedication and persistence, he retrained her to perceive motion and distinguish color, and to endure daylight.
The story didn't end happily, as Miss Paradis' parents demanded the return of their daughter, on the grounds that her pension would be stopped if she recovered! Her blindness returned once she was back in the bosom of her loving family, and Mesmer was denounced as a charlatan and a quack. Mesmer had always been a controversial figure, and was dogged by accusations of fraud for the rest of his life.
Of course, from our perspective, his theories do sound like quackery - he believed that he achieved results by recharging his patients' magnetic field with his own "animal magnetism", which he was able to transmit across the ether with the mesmeric pass. That may not be true physically, but his approach was true psychologically. What he did worked, if not for the reasons he thought it did. He deserves to be better remembered, as a true pioneer of hypnosis.
Mesmer's theories were picked up and developed throughout the 19th century by figures such as John Elliotson (1791-1868) and James Esdaille (1808-1859), British surgeons who used mesmeric techniques to perform surgery, including amputations. James Braid (1795- 1860) is another important figure, often regarded as the "father of hypnosis", since his investigations established hypnosis as an area of scientific, rather than occult, interest. He also coined the word "hypnosis" itself, taking it from the Greek word for sleep (hypnos), after discarding neurypnology, or "nervous sleep".
Braid was a physician, and his interest in the phenomenon was aroused when he arrived late for an appointment and discovered his patient staring in intense fascination at the flickering flames of an oil lamp. The man proved very amenable to suggestions whilst in this state of locked attention. This experience, together with subsequent experiments, demonstrated to Braid that hypnosis is nothing more than a fixation of the attention, and that a number of remarkable things can be achieved whilst in this state. In his book, Neurypnology, Braid describes a number of cases, including that of a 33 year old woman who had mobility restored to her paralyzed legs, and that of a 54 year old woman who was cured of severe headaches and a skin disorder after receiving hypnotic treatment.
Moving into the 20th Century, practitioners such as Pierre Janet (1859-1947) and Clark L. Hull (1884 - 1952) advanced the scientific and academic study of hypnosis. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) also used hypnosis in some of his early research, but soon abandoned it in favor of free association techniques. Another significant name is that of Emile Coué (1857-1926), who is best remembered for the phrase “day by day in every way I am getting better and better.” Coué promoted the idea of auto-suggestion, something which we might better understand as self-hypnosis. He also recognized the role of the imagination in solving problems, and was one of the first to realize that hypnosis is something which the client participates in, rather than something which is done to them by a hypnotist.
The two major figures of modern hypnotherapy, however, are Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980), and Dave Elman (1900-1967). Erickson pioneered "indirect hypnosis", the subtle language patterns designed to shift a patient's perception of themselves and their problems, without necessarily resorting to formal, eyes-closed inductions. More importantly, he understood that for hypnotherapy to be truly effective, it needs to be meaningful to the individual. His whole approach was based on understanding and working with the individual client's view of the world.
Elman is perhaps less well-known, but his book Hypnotherapy is regarded as a classic in its field. He bridged the gap between stage hypnotism and hypnotherapy, adapting and developing the short, sharp techniques of the stage hypnotists for therapeutic purposes. That which took the early mesmerists hours to achieve could now be done in seconds.
Hypnosis in the 21st century tends to follow the pattern laid down by Erickson and Elman, and the others who followed in their wake. It is a brief, solution-focused practice, using rapid or indirect techniques, and totally guided by the client. In this respect, it is different from the authoritarian and lengthy methods of the 19th century, but it's essentially doing the same thing - bringing about profound healing and change.
Spinning feelings is a set of simple, quick and efficient techniques that can be used to deal with a wide range of personal issues. There are some variants, but I’ll focus one I like and have used a lot. The basic idea is this. You focus your attention on a feeling in the body, discover how it rotates, then pretend to move it out of the body, switch the direction of the rotation and finally put it back in the same place again. The point with this trick is that the feeling cannot be entirely still – it must move in some way or it would attenuate. But since it can’t rotate in two opposite directions at once, the old pattern is interrupted and the feeling disappears.
I’m not entirely sure who came up with this idea to begin with, but I’ve seen descriptions in similar terms in various places. Although it may have older roots, I first learned it from a video taped seminar with Richard Bandler. The other parts and details in the description below are mostly what I’ve arrived at from my own experience. So the following is a step by step description of the method I’ve used.
Cancer is an illness that affects millions of Americans, whether they are currently being treated or in remission. Two of the most common symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments are pain and nausea. Hypnotherapy has been proven to help cancer patients reduce the severity of their cancer symptoms including pain and nausea. It is important that alternative methods are explored in order to help people naturally improve their symptoms.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 560,000 Americans will die from cancer in 2009. Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States behind heart disease. Men have a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer in their lifetime and women have a 1 in 3 chance of developing cancer in their lifetime.
A clinical trial tested the effectiveness of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on treating pain and nausea in cancer patients. The researchers evaluated whether hypnosis or CBT were effective in treating the symptoms of 67 cancer patients. The patients that participated in the clinical trial were recipients of a bone marrow transplant (Syrjala, Cummings, & Donaldson, 1992).
A bone marrow transplant is needed when a patient's bone marrow has been destroyed or is not functioning properly. Cancers that often require bone marrow transplants include leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. A transplant occurs when bone marrow is taken from a healthy individual and implanted into the cancer patient. This process involves many symptoms including pain and nausea (Medline Plus).
The clinical trial randomly divided the participants into 4 groups. Group one received hypnosis. Group two received CBT. Groups three and four served as control groups where group three had access to a therapist and group four received normal treatment. All patients participated in psychological and physical testing. Groups one, two, and three received their respective forms of therapy twice before their transplant operation. While in the hospital for their transplant, they also received 10 sessions.
At the end of the trial, 45 patients were still involved in the study. Results of the trial showed that hypnosis was effective at reducing pain experienced by bone marrow transplant patients. There was no difference between the hypnosis and the CBT groups in relation to reducing nausea. CBT was found to be ineffective at reducing pain with the participants (Syrjala et al., 1992).
This trial shows that hypnosis is an effective treatment in reducing pain. More research needs to be performed to find out all the potential benefits of hypnosis and pain. Treating pain with hypnosis is a natural and safe form of treatment.
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries