Self-hypnosis may also be used for more complex repatterning of beliefs. Emile Coué is famous for promoting, “Every day, in every way, I am feeling better and better.” Repeating such phrases can program a person for a more positive attitude.
Self-hypnosis can also achieve even more unusual physical effects. For instance, children with hemophilia, a congenital bleeding disorder, have been able to use self-hypnotic suggestions to reduce their need for transfusions to one-tenth of the units of blood they required in the previous year. Hemophilia is caused by the absence of a particular clotting factor in the blood. We have no understanding, as yet, how self-hypnosis could overcome the bleeding caused by the lack of this factor in the body.
To summarize: Suggestion can be a mechanism for the production of body symptoms - through frequent repetitions of a negative phrase such as "What a pain in the neck you are/this is."
Conversely, working on body symptoms through positive suggestions may lessen symptoms.
Body memory and energy cysts
The body may participate in memories in several ways.
If your back (or other body part) is injured or tense at the time of a traumatic experience, the emotional memory of that experience may become imprinted in that part of your body. This seems to happen more often when you don't allow yourself to fully experience or express your feelings. The painful emotional memories remain buried in your body, as though imprinted on a tape recording.
COMPOSITE CASE EXAMPLE:
"Sheila" was a 45 year old store owner who worked long hours. She was in a horrendous auto accident. Driving home from work late one night in the rain, she was stopped at a red light when a trailer truck skidded into the rear of her SUV, leading to a five-car pileup. Her car spun around and her head hit the side window. While physically battered, Sheila wasn’t seriously injured because she had her seat belt buckled. Two drivers, a woman passenger and her baby in the cars ahead of her in the pileup were less fortunate. They were pulled from their cars with multiple, bloody facial injuries and fractures, moaning and screaming.
Sheila was severely shaken, but calm and able to assist some of the injured until the ambulance crew took over. She required no treatment and was released after a brief exam in the emergency room.
Three months later, Sheila started to have severe headaches at the base of her skull, and in the back of her neck. Multiple examinations and pain medicines over a period of years were of no avail. She was referred to a pain management clinic, where relaxation exercises and massage were prescribed. During her first massage, vivid memories of the accident suddenly surfaced, with strong feelings of fear and anger. As the massage progressed, she started weeping, recalling that the baby had been pronounced dead on arrival in the emergency room.
As the massage continued, she suddenly recalled having had a spontaneous abortion many years earlier, after a minor auto accident in which she had also been rear-ended while stopped at a light. This memory was accompanied by wrenching sobs, as Sheila released grief that had been unacknowledged, unexpressed and buried beneath her conscious awareness for years.
Following this massage, she no longer had headaches or neck pain.
This is not an uncommon experience in massage and other bodywork therapies. Another, more profound example of an emotional release with massage is given by Peter Clothier, in an earlier issue of the IJHC (2001).