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Using the Body Syndrome Theory in Hypnotherapy
by Stephanie Jourdan, Ph.D.

The body syndrome theory postulates that modern people have adapted to their computer-paced lives to the extent that it feels natural to push through trauma. Consequently, it is no longer instinctual or even a priority to set time aside to feel all of the feelings of the day's upsets and stresses. Many patients report an inability to feel or even recognize their feelings. These individuals have learned to rationalize their traumas, including rejection, cruelty, death, and fear.

Medical hypnotherapy has always been concerned with enhancing patients' awareness as to how they respond to stress, both mild and severe. The body syndrome theory goes one step further and correlates how the body stores the cellular memory of repressed stress, and especially trauma, within the physical body. these correlations can be used as direct suggestions for the patient to age regress to the very first time conditions existed predisposing the current chronic ailment.

The body syndromes are:

Crying syndrome: the subject repressed significant sadness accompanied by a belief that it was not safe to express that sadness. Oftentimes, the original event causing the subject to repress the sadness also caused him or her to believe he could not make a decision s/he needed to make.

For example, a woman with unrelenting migraine headaches was age regressed to the very first time she was unable to safely feel the sadness in her life. She immediately remembered the time when her dog died when she was three years old. Her dad was returning from the dog groomer's with the poodle in the passenger seat. He was about to turn left into the driveway and had paused to let an oncoming car pass. The pet poodle saw the little girl in the front yard and jumped over the dad, through the window, into the path of the oncoming car. She witnessed her pet's death and was wailing in agony. Her father, filled with guilt, became agitated by her grief, and told her to stop crying as it was only making matters worse. She continued to cry and he resorted to that old 50's threat, "stop crying or I'll really give you something to cry about!"

In her fear, she stiffly inhaled her sadness. Her mom then explained that it was pepper's time to go ... God wanted him and so he had to go." Her mind now filled with images of God taking her the same way and a belief that she has no power in deciding what she is allowed to feel bad about because her mom is telling her she should be happy that pepper is with God now.

Crying syndrome encompasses the head, neck, chest and breasts and all the organs contained therein. Chronic ailments such as headaches, sinusitis, eczema, sore throats, asthma, or TMJ, may respond better to medication when hypnotherapy is employed with suggestions to regress to overwhelming sadness.

Atlas syndrome: the subject repressed the natural inclinations towards fun and frivolity and instead assumed an identity of seriousness and extreme responsibility or took on the belief that s/he could not handle responsibility and assumed an identity as a worrier and fretter.

Atlas syndrome encompasses the back from the waist up and the shoulders. Patients complaining of chronic back and shoulder pain should be regressed with hypnotic suggestions to return to the very first time that they formed the belief that they had to accept responsibility that didn't belong to them or the formation of the belief that they were incapable of coping with responsibility for themselves.

Reaching syndrome: the patient has repressed the instinct to reach out and take what she needs and instead emotionally withdraws when what s/he needs is not offered. A belief was created in his or her past that he or she is not really entitled to have his/her needs met.

Reaching syndrome encompasses the upper extremities. Pertinent chronic ailments of carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, warts, arthritis, etc., fall under this syndrome.

Frustration and guilt syndrome: the subject has repressed feelings of frustration, anger, resentment, sexual acceptance, and/or self-acceptance. Often s/he grew up in a home where anger was unacceptable or sex was never discussed.

Frustration and guilt syndrome encompasses the torso from the waist down to mid-thigh. The repression of frustration and guilt may manifest in conditions of gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome, disproportional fat accumulation, reproductive disorders, diabetes, sciatica, hip bursitis, etc.

Flight syndrome: patient has repressed the need to walk away from threatening or unhealthy situations or people. often created in early childhood during times of discipline. The mind is signaling danger (a threatening lecture, spanking, beating, etc.) and is unable to escape because survival is dependent upon the origin of the danger. In other words, mom or dad is saying, "You just stand right here young man (or lady) until I am done taking to you. This is going to hurt me more than you." The parent is the origin of the danger and the child can not escape because s/he is dependent upon that parent for survival.

Flight syndrome encompasses the legs from the mid-thigh down to the feet and toes and includes chronic complaints, such as knee/ankle/foot tendonitis/bursitis, varicose veins, bunions, hammer toes, fallen arches, etc.

Regression includes:

1. identifying the original trauma and the time of its onset.

2. identifying the belief(s) the client formed about him- or herself as a result.

3. enabling the client to sense the impact of that belief.

4. enabling the client to identify the truth about the event as perceived by his or her adult mind.

5. enabling the client to feel his or her stored feelings.

6. guiding the client to ask the affected part of the body for an image that would permit the release of the trauma.

7. offering the client suggestions for comfort and ease in that area of the body while preserving any signaling function of pain.


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