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Many illnesses have for some time been recognized as "nervous" or functional disorders. That is, disorders for which there is no known organic bases. Many of you have probably experienced "nervous headaches." The relationship of insomnia to worry is well known. What is perhaps not so well known is that worry is one of the greatest causes of illness and fatigue. Some people have chronic illnesses or have loved ones that are ill or away at war. We can hardly expect such people to stop worrying. However, there are many people that have developed a habit of worrying. They constantly worry over needless or foolish things, and as a result make themselves sick. Many people worry about something every day of their lives. If they can't find something real to worry about they will usually make up something.
A wealthy woman of 55 with an affectionate family, a beautiful home and perfect health worried herself sick. She felt since good fortune had smiled on her all her life, it was about time some disaster befell her or one of her loved ones. As a result, every time the telephone rang she went all to pieces for fear it would bring news of some disaster that had overtaken her husband or one of her children.
I have seen hundreds of very unhappy people who feel because of bad judgment on their part; they have contributed to the illness or death of a parent, husband or wife. They keep saying over and over, "If I had only called another physician, or refused to permit the operation, the disaster would not have happened." They do not seem to realize that the Good Lord only expects us to do the very best we can. He does not expect us to have the ability to look into the future.
Many people will worry for years over some problem that could be solved in a few minutes by their physician, lawyer or banker. People can and do literally worry themselves to death over nothing. Such chronic worrying is a conditioned response that can easily be changed with self-hypnosis and autosuggestion.
Many psychosomatic disorders are well known. Some of you may know people who at some time or another have suffered from psychogenic varieties of diarrhea, asthma, hives, constipation, hay fever, peptic ulcer, or high blood pressure. The list is long and growing day by day. Less generally appreciated is the manner in which mental activity can influence the course of an organic disease such as tuberculosis or cancer. Well known, but less understood is a wide class of diseases known as hysteria. A person suffering from this disorder can become suddenly blind, paralyzed, or deaf. As suddenly as the symptom may disappear only to be replaced by another hysterical symptom.
It is through the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that the physical dysfunctions are initiated and aggravated by our mental activity. In order to better understand how this comes about we will take a closer look at some of the specific functions of the two branches of the ANS and at the phenomenon of parasympathetic overcompensation.
If we were to examine each psychosomatic disorder individually we would fine the ANS involved in each of them. The following three examples are presented in order that you may gain some understanding of how the ANS is involved in psychosomatic disorders. The three examples are: (1) Activity of the sweat glands, which are enervated solely by the sympathetic branch. (2) The secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is under the control of the parasympathetic branch. (3) The mucous membrane lining of the lungs, which is under the control of both branches of the ANS.
It is very well known that sweat changes are very reliable indicators of ANS activity and can readably be measured and recorded electronically. Some individuals due to past conditioning have extremely reactive sweat glands. Even in the resting state the electrical resistance of their palms is low and with any emotional situation which activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), it drops even lower as they sweat more profusely from their palms and soles of their feet, armpits and some facial areas. Sweating from the hands is particularly noticeable. If such a person should fine himself in an intense emotional situation he sweats so profusely from his hands that it becomes intolerable to him. The beads of perspiration appear almost immediately at the onset of any emotional situation that affects the SNS, and will remain as long as the emotional tension lasts. Such an individual may only have dry hands while asleep.
This condition of hyperhydrolsis is typical in many individuals that are hyper-emotional. Such a condition may be helped by drugs or surgically by cutting the nerves that supply such areas. However, this will not change other SNS activity that accompanies such a condition. Nor will it greatly alter the emotional reactivity of the individual.
|The instructions presented are from the personal collections and writing library of Mr. Robert E. Cutter, who died December 13, 2001, while in the process of completing the transfer of his work to the internet. These are offered as educational instruction only. The purpose of this instruction is the effective learning and use of hypnotic techniques for vocational or avocational self-improvement. This instruction is not offered as a substitute for, nor as a supplement to, any form of therapy concerned with physical, mental, nervous or emotional illness. Robert E. Cutter served as web consultant for American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association for three years. His hypnosis education came through the training he provided at a school he owned in the 1950's in Los Angeles, California, along with his wife who preceded him in death in 1980. Robert Cutter was not a psychologist and did not practice psychotherapy, but his interest in hypnosis motivated him to provide free resources materials for others who wanted to learn to use the power of their minds to improve well being and health-related issues.|
Michael A. Robinson, R.N.- BC Psychiatry
Licensed Texas State Nursing Board Registered Nurse
Texas State Nursing Board Certified in Psychiatry
In Honor and Memory of Robert E. Cutter, B.S. 1923-d.2001
From the Writings of Robert Cutter's Self Hypnosis Center
About Feelings Network
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Phone (956) 203-0608
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