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The Healthy Hypnotic Home

It’s Not What You May Think

More and more researchers are finding that the secret to a healthy home may not be having a sterile, clean, and quiet place. In fact, having a sometimes messy, chaotic and lively place to live and learn may be the true secret to a longer and healthier life.

An article in the February 2018 issue of Science reported on the work of cancer research Lei Cao at Ohio State University. Instead of the usual lab rat sterile, boring cages, Cao and her team built a large mouse playground with mazes, running wheels and colorful igloos. In this place that Cao’s daughter called “Disneyland for mice,” Cao’s mice were free to socialize with other mice and build their own nests where they chose. In a surprising discovery, when injected with cancer cells, the mice in “Disneyland” grew tumors that were 80 percent smaller than mice in a controlled, sterile lab. Some of the play-space mice didn’t even develop tumors at all.

Cao’s work is not unique. Research in Australia found that a stimulating environment stalled or slowed the development of Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, depression, and autism in mice. Cao and Australian researcher Anthony Hannan point to the social and physical environment’s stimulation of the hypothalamus—which regulates hormones and mood—as a possible source of this incredible health benefit. The hypothalamus has also been shown to have a significant role in cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes.

“We’ve always known that there was a strong link between stress, disease, and the brain,” explains Beverly Craddock, a Master Hypnotist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center. “Hypnotists frequently report positive health outcomes in clients only to be scoffed at as charlatans. Unfortunately, traditional medicine has only recently begun to explore the real value of things like hypnosis, meditation, prayer, yoga, or socialization.”

The recent proliferation of therapy animals further points to people feeling better when they’ve got something to keep them calm and give them feelings of love. Even major hospitals have therapy animal programs and have reported more positive outcomes in patients who are given the chance to pet a puppy or kitten.

“The mere thought of taking a dog into a hospital was seen as deadly just a decade ago,” Beverly says. “If you want to live, you’ve got to not only treat the disease, you’ve got to enhance the environment in which the patient lives. Hypnotists have been doing that for years by reducing stress, changing habits, reframing fears, and releasing past traumas.”

Dr. Patch Adams is considered an early pioneer in the area of enhancing the environment to improve patient outcomes. Adams, who was portrayed by actor Robin Williams in a 1998 movie, has long championed humor as a way to help patients heal and fight disease. Adams went from wearing a clown nose and telling silly jokes on his hospital rounds to leading a global organization that focuses on making laughter, joy, and creativity part of the health care environment.

“From Patch Adams to scientific lab mice, we’re seeing that fighting disease through how a patient feels is extremely important,” Beverly says. “What may be more important is creating our own personal spaces and experiences in a way that could actually prevent the disease in the first place.”

As an expert in relationships, Beverly has seen in her clients that having healthy relationships at home leads to better health, better educational outcomes, and better earning potential for entire families.

“When clients find strength in themselves, they take down the walls that harm their relationships,” she explains. “When a marriage is better, children feel more stability, which improves their focus and learning in school. That better home life also provides workplace stability and positivity for family members, which has a positive impact on everything from increased sales to a higher chance of promotion.”

Beverly concludes by saying that the analogy between mice in a lab and a person here in Hawaii isn’t too hard to see.

“How often do we feel like a mouse in a wheel, running fast and going nowhere?” she asks. “What if your mind began to see your whole environment in a positive new way? We could all laugh more and live longer if the stress was less. This is our job as hypnotists. It’s what the animal researchers are finally learning: Improving lives is so much better than just trying to cure the symptoms.”

Randy Hampton is a writer, social scientist, hypnotist and blogger living in Honolulu. Visit HawaiiHypnosisCenter.com

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