Whats wrong with this picture?

  • Thread starter Cyrus
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  • #1
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An email I got:

Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 00:01:18 -0400
From: fyi-poster@umd.edu
Subject: Meditation - Balancing of Chakras

Subject : Meditation - Balancing of Chakras
When : Thursday, May 22, 2008
Where : Health Center : Rm #3120 Sahet
Event Type(s) : Health

Come and experience a relaxing period of meditation with Edie Anderson connecting in mind, body and spirit to promote your health and wellbeing.

For more information, contact:
Edie Anderson
UHC
+1 301 314 9629
eanderson@health.umd.edu
www.health.umd.edu

Notice the parts in bold. I really should send them an email saying what f' is a health center at a university doing promoting such bullshizza as 'chakras'.

Better not upset the fung-sway of my charkas or the bhraman buddist gods of tea leaves might be angry! :rolleyes:
 
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  • #2
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New Age garbage has been intruding into actual medicine for a while now. The reason? People are idiots.

 
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  • #3
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I sent them an email saying this is not respected by the medical community, and it looks very poorly for a university health center to promote such nonsense.

Its too bad the summer started, or Id write to the school paper.
 
  • #4
Evo
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Balancing of chakras, eh? I'd go and demand proof. :rofl:
 
  • #5
Is it bad that I read Chakra and the first thing that came to mind was Fight Club?
 
  • #6
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I don't remember that word being in that movie. Now, if you had said Naruto, or Final Fantasy Tactics or something, then sure.
 
  • #7
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Eh, eastern medicine works, its not all crap... Feng shui has nothing to do with it...
 
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  • #8
Defennder
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I don't see anything wrong with the email. Meditation does provide genuine medical physiological benefits, if you disregard all the new age philosphical BS surrounding it. It's just that they chose to name the session "Balancing of Chakras". Why does the name matter?
 
  • #9
Because meditation relaxes you and provides its benefits regardless of how balanced your chakra is and how tuned in you are to your inner spirit. As an educational institution, a university should emphasize the former and not the latter.

To me the worst is how all this stuff is creeping into the mainstream media. Has anyone seen The Secret? :yuck: I almost puked during that movie.
 
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  • #10
Evo
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Meditation does provide genuine medical physiological benefits, if you disregard all the new age philosphical BS surrounding it.
Post a link to scientific studies showing that this is consistantly medically proven. Maybe sometimes, depending on how suggestive the person is. But that is the key, how suggestive the person is. I had the top clinical hypnotist in the US, a well known psychologist, try to hypnotize me. Told me he had never been unable to put anyone under. I was his first failure.

Meditation wouldn't work for me. My mind is too active to artificially shut it down. You have to want and believe and be very suggestive for meditation to work, so it's not something that actually works for anyone that tries it.
 
  • #11
Defennder
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It's just a name, I really don't see anything wrong with it. On the other hand, if they start handing out or selling New Age DVDs, books during the meditation session then of course that's objectionable. For the record, I don't know what chakras are, but I do agree to a certain extent that they could have written it as "Balancing the Chakras" with quotation marks if they wanted it to be nothing more than just a meditation session.
 
  • #12
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It's just a name, I really don't see anything wrong with it. On the other hand, if they start handing out or selling New Age DVDs, books during the meditation session then of course that's objectionable. For the record, I don't know what chakras are, but I do agree to a certain extent that they could have written it as "Balancing the Chakras" with quotation marks if they wanted it to be nothing more than just a meditation session.

Yes, its just a name. Until some non-science based students take it, think they feel better and start buying into that 'sh!tcra' nonsense. Woops, did I spell it wrong. :devil:

You SHOULD see something wrong with a university promoting what amounts to a pile of crap. Its a slap in the face to the biology deparment.
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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Meditation does provide genuine medical physiological benefits, if you disregard all the new age philosphical BS surrounding it. It's just that they chose to name the session "Balancing of Chakras". Why does the name matter?
So it is ok because it is only half crap? Why not actually just have a class on meditation?

Teacher: What you are going to learn today is half crap.
Student: [raises hand] Could you cover all the crap in the morning session so I can skip it and come back for the afternoon session?
Teacher: Sorry, no - you won't have any way of knowing which part is the crap, and I'm not going to tell you.
 
  • #14
Defennder
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Post a link to scientific studies showing that this is consistantly medically proven.

This isn't my area of expertise, so I am not directly acquainted with such studies. But on the other hand a quick search in ScienceDirect using my college's login shows the following:

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume 74 said:
Passage Meditation Reduces Perceived Stress in Health Professionals: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Abstract:
The authors evaluated an 8-week, 2-hr per week training for physicians, nurses, chaplains, and other health professionals using nonsectarian, spiritually based self-management tools based on passage meditation (E. Easwaran, 1978/1991). Participants were randomized to intervention (n = 27) or waiting list (n = 31). Pretest, posttest, and 8- and 19-week follow-up data were gathered on 8 measures, including perceived stress, burnout, mental health, and psychological well-being. Aggregated across examinations, beneficial treatment effects were observed on stress (p = .0013) and mental health (p = .03). Treatment effects on stress were mediated by adherence to practices (p < .05). Stress reductions remained large at 19 weeks (84% of the pretest standard deviation, p = .006). Evidence suggests this program reduces stress and may enhance mental health.

The New Scientist Volume 196 said:
Meditation really does reduce stress

Available online 12 October 2007.

Volunteers trained in a Chinese meditation technique for just five days produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol when asked to perform difficult mental arithmetic

NEED to chill out and pay attention too? Just five days of training in a Chinese meditation technique can help.

Previous studies have suggested that various forms of meditation can improve attention and reduce stress, but there have been few randomised controlled trials – the best way of testing a treatment's effectiveness.

So a team led by Yi-Yuan Tang of the Dalian University of Technology in north-east China teamed up with psychologist Michael Posner of the University of Oregon, Eugene, to put a meditative technique called integrated body-mind training (IBMT) to a controlled test. The team randomly assigned 80 students to 20 minutes per day of tuition, either in how to relax the body's muscle groups or in IBMT.

After five days, those trained in IBMT scored better on tests of attention and mood. They also produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol when asked to perform some difficult mental arithmetic (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0707678104).

Other researchers are intrigued, but say it is unclear whether these positive effects are transient. Another question is whether longer periods of training would produce bigger or more profound cognitive changes. “The real goodies come with long-term practice,” suggests Roger Walsh, a psychiatrist who studies meditation at the University of California, Irvine.

Behaviour Research and Therapy Volume 45 said:
Randomized trial of a meditation-based stress reduction program and cognitive behavior therapy in generalized social anxiety disorder

Abstract:
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been reported to reduce anxiety in a broad range of clinical populations. However, its efficacy in alleviating core symptoms of specific anxiety disorders is not well established. We conducted a randomized trial to evaluate how well MBSR compared to a first-line psychological intervention for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Fifty-three patients with DSM-IV generalized SAD were randomized to an 8-week course of MBSR or 12 weekly sessions of cognitive–behavioral group therapy (CBGT). Although patients in both treatment groups improved, patients receiving CBGT had significantly lower scores on clinician- and patient-rated measures of social anxiety. Response and remission rates were also significantly greater with CBGT. Both interventions were comparable in improving mood, functionality and quality of life. The results confirm that CBGT is the treatment of choice of generalized SAD and suggest that MBSR may have some benefit in the treatment of generalized SAD.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/daily/2006/01/23-meditation.html" [Broken]
Harvard University Gazette, January 23, 2006

http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050138&ct=1 said:
Mental Training Affects Distribution of Limited Brain Resources

Author Summary: Meditation includes the mental training of attention, which involves the selection of goal-relevant information from the array of inputs that bombard our sensory systems. One of the major limitations of the attentional system concerns the ability to process two temporally close, task-relevant stimuli. When the second of two target stimuli is presented within a half second of the first one in a rapid sequence of events, it is often not detected. This so-called “attentional-blink” deficit is thought to result from competition between stimuli for limited attentional resources. We measured the effects of intense meditation on performance and scalp-recorded brain potentials in an attentional-blink task. We found that three months of intensive meditation reduced brain-resource allocation to the first target, enabling practitioners to more often detect the second target with no compromise in their ability to detect the first target. These findings demonstrate that meditative training can improve performance on a novel task that requires the trained attentional abilities.

There isn't an abstract for this article, probably because it's rather short, and I can't post it here for fear of copyright violation. If you have access you might want to check this out.
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice Volume 78 said:
Effects of yoga and meditation on clinical and biochemical parameters of metabolic syndrome

Journal of Psychosomatic Research Volume 62 said:
A pilot randomized control trial investigating the effect of mindfulness practice on pain tolerance, psychological well-being, and physiological activity

Abstract
Objective
To investigate the effect of mindfulness training on pain tolerance, psychological well-being, physiological activity, and the acquisition of mindfulness skills.

Methods
Forty-two asymptomatic University students participated in a randomized, single-blind, active control pilot study. Participants in the experimental condition were offered six (1-h) mindfulness sessions; control participants were offered two (1-h) Guided Visual Imagery sessions. Both groups were provided with practice CDs and encouraged to practice daily. Pre–post pain tolerance (cold pressor test), mood, blood pressure, pulse, and mindfulness skills were obtained.

Results
Pain tolerance significantly increased in the mindfulness condition only. There was a strong trend indicating that mindfulness skills increased in the mindfulness condition, but this was not related to improved pain tolerance. Diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased in both conditions.

Conclusion
Mindfulness training did increase pain tolerance, but this was not related to the acquisition of mindfulness skills.

Yes, its just a name. Until some non-science based students take it, think they feel better and start buying into that 'sh!tcra' nonsense. Woops, did I spell it wrong. :devil:

You SHOULD see something wrong with a university promoting what amounts to a pile of crap. Its a slap in the face to the biology deparment.
I don't have any idea how the session would be conducted and whether it's largely going to be meditation alone or with plenty of New Age philosophical garbage thrown in. I doubt you know this either, unless you've actually been to or have heard from those who have been to similar meditation sessions organised by health centre.

I myself have been to a couple of Buddhist meditation sessions, and while I don't believe in their philosophy and religion, I find meditation itself to be rather calming. Maybe it's psychological, but it does work for me.

So it is ok because it is only half crap? Why not actually just have a class on meditation?
I would agree that it'll be better if they left out the New Age stuff. But then again anyone who finds it nonsensical can simply ignore the New Age crap and focus on the meditative practice. I did this when I attended a couple of Buddhist meditative sessions.
 
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  • #15
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This isn't my area of expertise, so I am not directly acquainted with such studies. But on the other hand a quick search in ScienceDirect using my college's login shows the following:







http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/daily/2006/01/23-meditation.html" [Broken]
Harvard University Gazette, January 23, 2006



There isn't an abstract for this article, probably because it's rather short, and I can't post it here for fear of copyright violation. If you have access you might want to check this out.




I don't have any idea how the session would be conducted and whether it's largely going to be meditation alone or with plenty of New Age philosophical garbage thrown in. I doubt you know this either, unless you've actually been to or have heard from those who have been to similar meditation sessions organised by health centre.

I myself have been to a couple of Buddhist meditation sessions, and while I don't believe in their philosophy and religion, I find meditation itself to be rather calming. Maybe it's psychological, but it does work for me.

I would agree that it'll be better if they left out the New Age stuff. But then again anyone who finds it nonsensical can simply ignore the New Age crap and focus on the meditative practice. I did this when I attended a couple of Buddhist meditative sessions.

Sadly, you missed the point of this thread entirely. Im not talking about meditation, nor am I complaining about meditation.
 
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  • #16
Evo
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I guess people wanting to try it are already half way there, they are willing to let their minds go. Hey, if they can and want to do that , more power to them. They are a drop in barrel though.
 
  • #17
Defennder
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Sadly, you missed the point of this thread entirely. Im not talking about meditation, nor am I complaining about meditation.
Cyrus, that part of my reply was not addressed to you. It was in response to Evo, which I quoted in my post. Anyway, I can't vouch for the veracity of these studies, since this isn't my field. It's just something I could dig up with ScienceDirect.
 
  • #18
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Cyrus, that part of my reply was not addressed to you. It was in response to Evo, which I quoted in my post. Anyway, I can't vouch for the veracity of these studies, since this isn't my field. It's just something I could dig up with ScienceDirect.

I dont doubt that meditation can relax a person, lowering stress related problems health-wise.
 
  • #19
Gokul43201
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Post a link to scientific studies showing that this is consistantly medically proven.
I think it has been pretty well established that meditation provides stress relief that is statistically significant compared to a control group with no meditation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11305069
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus

Meditation wouldn't work for me.
This alone does not invalidate it as a medical treatment. There are probably hundreds of perfectly good treatments out there that do not work on any particular individual.

It's one thing to teach medically verified meditation techniques and another thing altogether to put your chakras on a tight-rope.
 
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  • #20
Evo
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I think it has been pretty well established that meditation provides stress relief that is statistically significant compared to a control group with no meditation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11305069
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...med.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus

This alone does not invalidate it as a medical treatment. There are probably hundreds of perfectly good treatments out there that do not work on any particular individual.

It's one thing to teach medically verified meditation techniques and another thing altogether to put your chakras on a tight-rope.
I don't doubt that it can relax people that buy into it. But what about the majority of the public it doesnt work for?
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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I think you all need your chakras balanced... and a dose of Almighty Cleanse.
 
  • #22
Evo
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I think you all need your chakras balanced... and a dose of Almighty Cleanse.
:rofl:
 
  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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I'd been hypnotizing myself for years before I tried regular hypnosis. In the end I really couldn't tell the difference.
 
  • #24
Gokul43201
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I don't doubt that it can relax people that buy into it. But what about the majority of the public it doesnt work for?
The medical studies show precisely that it works for a majority of people, not a minority. That is almost the point of such a statistical study!
 
  • #25
JasonRox
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http://thetrainingdoctor.com/pages/TTD_I_can't_Be_Hypnotized [Broken]

If you can't be hypnotized whatsoever, that's not a bad thing. It's actually a sad thing.
 
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  • #26
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Why would you say it's a sad thing?
 
  • #27
Evo
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The medical studies show precisely that it works for a majority of people, not a minority. That is almost the point of such a statistical study!
gokul, I looked through your links but didn't see one where they had tracked patients that were being treated for anxiety with medication alone and those being treated either with a combination of medication and relaxation therapy or relaxation therapy alone.

Except for one link that claimed
(1) reductions in overall psychological symptomatology; (2) increase in overall domain-specific sense of control and utilization of an accepting or yielding mode of control in their lives, and (3) higher scores on a measure of spiritual experiences. :bugeye:
I can't read anything but the abstract. It appears on the other links that they were mainly looking at the differences between "meditation" and simple relaxation. I could probably show equal stress reduction by working in my garden daily.

Also, what I meant by majority, is if the majority of humans are highly suggestive or not. I guess looking at how popular belief in the supernatural is, perhaps I am just a freak. :redface:
 
  • #28
Evo
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http://thetrainingdoctor.com/pages/TTD_I_can't_Be_Hypnotized [Broken]

If you can't be hypnotized whatsoever, that's not a bad thing. It's actually a sad thing.
This is saying what I am saying , that you "have to WANT to be hypnotized to the point that you let someone else start telling you what to think, that you are wanting to receive auto suggestions. I was watching a show about it just last night. There was a famous scientist you'd recognize, whose name of course escapes me right now, that was debunking hypnosis as nothing more than being fed false memories by the hypnotists. In self hypnosis, you are the one feeding yourself the suggestions which you want to make yourself believe.

Like I said, if it works for you, go for it. It doesn't work for me. I actually wanted to be hypnotized to see if it was real or if it was just following instructions. It's just following instructions. I let the psychologist do his thing for quite a while before I told him, "you do realize that I'm not hynotized, right?" He turned a couple of shades of red.
 
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  • #29
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A number of years ago I learned to use relaxation and meditation methods regularly. It was surprising how much control I could have over my heart rate and blood pressure.

There was an incident where I had chest pain and my wife took me into the emergency room. They immediately wired me up to a heart monitor. The problem later turned out to be insignificant (rib inflammation).

They put me in the ICU unit for an overnight observation. The next morning I woke up feeling pretty good. I started doing my relaxation routine to play with the pulse and BP numbers on the machine.

I got my heart rate so low it set off the alarm. A nurse came rushing in and I was too embarrassed to tell her what I had done.:cool:
 
  • #30
Gokul43201
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It appears on the other links that they were mainly looking at the differences between "meditation" and simple relaxation. I could probably show equal stress reduction by working in my garden daily.
If that is substantiated, then gardening may also be prescribed as a stress-reduction technique. The difference in evaluating the medical efficacy of meditation is that is is difficult to set up a placebo. I haven't yet seen a study that eliminated the placebo effect from suggestion, so I don't know how much of it is psychological. What has been established though, is that meditation is better than no meditation.

There was a paper I came across that did a neurological study, and the answer may be in there, but I can't seem to find it now.
 
  • #31
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The key is simply to finish what you started:

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on a Medical TV show, I have finally found inner peace.

A Doctor proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started.

So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished and, before leaving the house this morning,

I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Shhhardonay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of vocka, a pockage of Prunglies, tha mainder of bot Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res of the Chesescke an a bax a cholates.

Yu haf no idr who gud I fel.

:biggrin:
 
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  • #32
Evo
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If that is substantiated, then gardening may also be prescribed as a stress-reduction technique. The difference in evaluating the medical efficacy of meditation is that is is difficult to set up a placebo. I haven't yet seen a study that eliminated the placebo effect from suggestion, so I don't know how much of it is psychological. What has been established though, is that meditation is better than no meditation.

There was a paper I came across that did a neurological study, and the answer may be in there, but I can't seem to find it now.
That's ok. I agree some form of relaxation, whether it is sitting with your legs crossed and opening your third eye, or pulling weeds, or chopping wood, (one of my tricks when I get upset is to imagine myself chopping wood, of course the ax always gets stuck and I have to apply a lot of force to pull it out, and it's a good anger release, of course the anger is then replaced with stress) can relax a person, then it really goes back to the OP. Where do we draw the line from learning what form of relaxation works for an individual to creating a belief in mystic hand waving?
 
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  • #33
Evo
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  • #34
JasonRox
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"have to WANT to be hypnotized to the point that you let someone else start telling you what to think, that you are wanting to receive auto suggestions. I was watching a show about it just last night. There was a famous scientist you'd recognize, whose name of course escapes me right now, that was debunking hypnosis as nothing more than being fed false memories by the hypnotists. In self hypnosis, you are the one feeding yourself the suggestions which you want to make yourself believe.

You're quoting whom? I don't see that in my link.

You have daydreamed before right? To the point you lost track of your surroundings? Please say yes.
 
  • #35
Danger
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Is it bad that I read Chakra and the first thing that came to mind was Fight Club?
Yes, that is bad. My first thought was 'Xena'. Each to his own, though.

I'm with Evo in that anything that you believe will work can help. The placebo effect is very real, and is, in my opinion, a demonstration of self-hypnosis.
I've already mentioned my experience of having to play a baseball tournament with a broken finger, and convincing myself that 'pain' would be interpreted by my brain as 'heat'. It worked great. What I didn't relate was that I was involved in a bar scrap last year and ended up bleeding fairly seriously. A couple of off-duty paramedics (damned cute ones, at that :tongue2:) sat me down and were all concerned that I had to stay still. I thanked them for their attention and told them that I was just going to make it stop. Sure enough, within about 45 seconds it stopped. I didn't know the exact physiological mechanism involved, but I envisioned muscles in the area clamping off the vessels. Whatever, my brain subconsciously knew what action to take and did its thing.
If W hadn't been there, I would have just let it bleed to keep those young ladies around. :devil:
 

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