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Hypnosis, Healing and Intuition

by John Benest(more info)

listed in hypnosis, originally published in issue 36 - January 1999

Mind-Body Pathways

Your mind can help you recover from illness and bring about a state of wellbeing. Clinical Hypnosis will enable you to get in touch with the resources within the deeper part of your mind. The latest research in the fields of biological and neural sciences for psychotherapy, brought together by Ernest Rossi Ph.D., shows that the Limbic-Hypothalamus system of the brain is responsible for the Mind-Body connection, via the autonomic, endocrine, immune and neuropeptide systems. A person's emotional state will affect the limbic-hypothalamus system which will in turn then modulate the body chemistry and hormones accordingly.

Kirlian photograph of the author's finger-tip

Kirlian photograph of the author's finger-tip

Therapeutic Trance

The therapeutic trance state has been utilised for thousands of years, however, it is only in the last 200 years that modern hypnotherapy has evolved. Its founder, Franz Anton Mesmer, used theatrical methods to bring about the trance state. Nowadays the therapist will use more gentle ways to make the conscious part of the mind less active to facilitate communication with other parts of the mind. Before the invention of anaesthesia, James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon who founded the Calcutta Mesmeric Hospital, performed several hundred operations with the patient in a Hypnotic Trance and feeling no pain. His method of inducing the trance was to move his hands in a downward stroking movement just above the patient's body within the human energy field. This could take over half an hour before a sufficient depth of trance was attained and each person varied in the depth they were able to reach.


Energies flow through and around the Human Body and can be seen using a process called Kirlian photography. A Kirlian camera places a high voltage electrical field around the subject and is able to photograph the body's subtle energy field as it interacts with energy generated.

Other pathways of energy are the acupuncture meridians and these can be charted on the surface of the body by plotting points which show variations in electrical resistance. These energies are called Chi by the Chinese and Ki by the Japanese. The Russians call them Bio-Energy. Dr Ion Dumitescu from Romania pioneered mapping of the electro-magnetic changes that occur in tissue using a single pulse low-voltage impulse. He found that he was able to diagnose disease by means of the electronographically exposed acupuncture points. Eastern medicine is based on the free-flow of these natural energies and is seen in the Chinese concept of meridians and acupuncture and the Tibetan chakra system. In the chakra system each major chakra (energy centre) is associated with a major nerve plexus or endocrine gland. Many complementary therapies, including healing by touch, are based on these concepts. I have frequently noted when I am giving healing and working on a patient's energy field that the person goes into an altered state of consciousness and I then become aware of a link between a patient's mind and my own.

Healing and Intuition

A healer, when giving healing, first enters an altered state of consciousness called attunement in order to become more sensitive to a patient's energy flow and state of mind. Attunement is a state similar to meditation where both hemispheres of the brain are producing predominantly Alpha brainwave rhythms (8—13 Hz.). In 1974, Maxwell Cade developed an electroencephalograph called the Mind Mirror, which was designed to simultaneously display the brain rhythms of both hemispheres of the cortex, using 24 rows of light-emitting diodes. He noted that when receiving healing the patient's brain waves would become similar to those of the healer. Maxwell Cade found that a healer frequently added Delta rhythms to his Alpha brain pattern when bringing about changes in the patient's condition. Sometimes Beta waves appeared in only the right hemisphere. Maxwell Cade believed this indicated that the healer was using Intuition. One definition of intuition is 'direct understanding without reasoning'. Reasoning can be considered a logical function carried out by the left hemisphere of the brain. This implies that Intuition is a right-brain activity.

I recall, several years ago, visiting a lady who had requested that I give her healing. She sat on her sofa across the room from me and I was sitting relaxed in an armchair. As I looked at her, I must have entered an altered state of consciousness, because I found that to my vision, she appeared transparent and I could see the pattern of the sofa through her. At that instant I became aware of the cause of her problems. Did I experience a negative hallucination or was this Intuition at its strongest?


When hypnotherapy is mentioned many people only think of Smoking Cessation or Weight Control. I feel it has a great deal more to offer.

Since 1982, I have been a practitioner with the Wessex Cancer Help Centre and I find that I am able to help cancer sufferers even when doctors have informed them that nothing more can be done. When all hope is taken away the emotional reaction to this news will, via the hypothalamus, cause negative effects throughout the mind and body. This can result in a lowering of the immune response and ultimately may hasten death. I believe there is always some way to help a patient maintain the optimum quality of life that their condition will allow. A combination of Hypnotherapy and Healing can also help patients suffering with Arthritis, M.E., I.B.S. and Pain. Emotional hurts from the past, that are still in some way intruding into the present, can also be helped. In order to ensure a patient's anonymity I have changed names and some details in the two case studies.


Throughout the 1990s there has been much scientific progress made in understanding altered states of consciousness and subtle energy fields. It will be interesting to observe how medical treatment will evolve in the next century from these discoveries. Conventional medicine is already experimenting in the treatment of depression by using a magnetic field around the patient's head to alter their mood. Weak electrical fields are being utilised to help knit together broken bones that will not heal. In Japan, Dr Hiroshi Motoyama has created equipment to measure the emission of energy from chakras. Many doctors who practise complementary medicine are using magnetic energies in the treatment of cancer and employing frequencies of light and sound to alter or harmonise the patient's subtle energy.


Hypnosis, Healing and Intuition can be validated and clearly have a role to play in complementary medicine. Clinical Hypnosis can bring release from past emotional hurts and assist with the healing of physical conditions. By integrating the Mind-Body link in a positive Intuitive way with the Bio-Energy we are able to help Nature accelerate the healing process.

Case Study 1

Peter had been diagnosed as having terminal cancer and was under the care of the Royal Marsden Hospital. He came to see me, as despite using a syringe-driver to administer pain-relieving drugs he was still experiencing severe pain. He insisted that he continue working as he believed that when he could no longer work, he would have reached the end of the road. His employer was sympathetic towards him and found him a lighter job. Another plus factor was that he had formed a relationship with a lady who gave him constant support. When I gave him healing he found that there was a significant reduction of pain. Then, after teaching him self-hypnosis and using N.L.P. techniques he was able to reduce the pain even more. With his consultant's permission, we also used visualisation to restrict the blood-flow to the tumour. He found this enabled him to continue at work for a few more months. One day he decided that he had carried out the fight for long enough and said to me that he had had enough. His condition rapidly deteriorated.

Case Study 2

Margaret has a spasmodic condition that started 10 years ago, at a time when she was experiencing great stress. It is with her from waking until she is able to get to sleep. Her doctor is unable to give her any real help and despite trying complementary therapies, including healing, Margaret has been unable to obtain much relief. I firstly used hypnosis to ask her mind what it believed was the cause of this problem. She told me it was emotional. As I checked her energy fields I found that the energy over the pelvic area was chaotic and I intuitively knew that this was linked to the cause of her problem. When I asked her if her pelvic area had ever experienced trauma she was able to share the details with me. Even as she was speaking, the energies started to change, as she was able to safely release past hurts locked in her mind. She tells me that she is now experiencing positive changes to her condition and when she now receives healing, finds that it is at last beneficial.


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About John Benest

John Benest is a practitioner of Mind-Body Therapies who uses a combination of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and Healing with a special interest in the interaction between a person’s emotions and their immune system. He is an associate of the Wessex Cancer Help Centre and Chairman of the Havant N.F.S.H. Centre. John runs a private practice in Waterlooville, Hampshire and can be contacted on 01705 253921.

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