Yes, this really happened. I’m not 100% sure he was a vegan, but he was definitely a fanatical health nut (if you know what I mean) – and the result of my session with him was nothing short of shocking!
It was 9 years ago this month, and I was reminded of this comical but enlightening “event” while pondering my current circumstances and goals.
Rewind to the fall of 2010… I was in an incredibly bad place, and had been for about four months. I saw 7 doctors in 5 days with no luck, the last of which was a mental health treatment center where I tried to admit myself – and was turned away.
That’s when I started considering alternative solutions, and made this appointment with the hypnotist. I knew nothing about him outside of the fact that he came highly recommended by someone else.
I’d never been to a hypnotist before, but I was desperate for help – and open minded about it.
We had a brief chat and I explained my problem(s), but he felt that was too big to tackle (for now) and suggested we start with just a basic session. So I just went with it.
It was an interesting experience, like those times when you’re asleep and also aware of your surroundings – but you can’t move or talk. Have you ever dreamed you were awake, or been in a half wake/sleep state like that? Yeah: except I don’t remember specifics about what he was saying, just that he was there.
After the session I felt fine and good, quite refreshed even – not unlike the way you feel after a therapeutic or deep tissue massage.
I left, walked down to my car feeling light and feeling hopeful, got in and got everything situated for the drive home, took a sip of my Diet Dr.Pepper and… SPEWED IT OUT.
It tasted AWFUL! ?
I thought it was just a fluke, but nope – I could not drink it, not then and not for all of the next week. Just the thought of diet soda turned my stomach!
On the way home I felt a little hungry and realized it was about dinnertime, so I thought I’d stop by Hardee’s and grab a Low Carb Grilled Chicken Club which comes in a lettuce wrap.
Hardee’s always has big fresh, crisp lettuce leaves wrapping their sandwiches and I got fixated on that, thinking: maybe I’ll get EXTRA lettuce.
Then I thought, “or forget the chicken actually… I just want ALL THE LETTUCE!”
I got that chicken sandwich (with extra lettuce) and enjoyed it immensely.
As if I don’t eat those all the time, lol – but seriously, I totally DEVOURED all those layers of crisp lettuce like it was chocolate cake or something. ?
The craving for lettuce (and water) continued, and it was an intense craving.
I could literally eat a head of lettuce… like an apple!
I went through who knows how many gallons of water that week, and FIVE FULL HEADS OF LETTUCE.
It was to the point of complete ridiculousness.
I mean… lettuce?
Yes: plain old iceberg LETTUCE.
I could NOT get enough of it!
And I still couldn’t even WANT to take a sip of diet soda. Blech! ?
It was obvious the guy did a number on me.
I was definitely a believer in hypnosis at that point (lol)… but wondered, of all things, why he would take the opportunity to do THAT to me.
Mind Over Matter
(Or: How Easily Our Mind Can Be Manipulated)
I’ve shared this story with friends countless times over the years, anytime the topic of hypnosis comes up, because yes – I now believe it actually works!! (lol)
It came back to mind two different times over the last week while working out solutions for my current situation / circumstances. Namely my gut health issue, plus a few personal goals – while mapping out a potential action plan for those things.
The fact is, I’m still sick.
I had a brief spell where I thought the issue was totally resolved, or at least that I was well on my way to complete recovery. Followed by the realization that I was NOT.
I was talking about that earlier this week, which made me wonder WHY the all natural supplement I was taking STOPPED working for me (or did it?).
The other thing that crossed my screen a few times, because I’ve followed Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work for years, is his newest book titled You Are The Placebo – along with a few videos from him on the topic, which were fascinating, and incredibly thought provoking.
If you read the description on the book page, it starts out: “Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. Similarly, Dr. Joe tells of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse—or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use…” continue reading
That reminded me of what I said months ago in my post about my gut health, and how I was going to revisit his Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself book – for that very reason.
Because I already KNOW that you can think yourself sick, or think yourself well, think yourself unhappy, think yourself MORE happy, or basically that you have WAY more control over your mental AND physical health than you might believe.
Here’s the thing…
I’ve been “living sick.”
I worry about it, I talk about it openly, I avoid certain foods because of the physical effect they have on my body, it’s on my mind CONSTANTLY.
I’m no longer excited about recovering like I was after my visits with the GI specialist over the summer. Instead, I’ve fallen into a state of acceptance that: I AM SICK and this is going to TAKE A LONG TIME to resolve itself.
Followed by wondering if this will EVER resolve itself, or if I should go back and see the doctor again – or what in the world is wrong with me?!
It has basically consumed me to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. Which isn’t helping matters.
I’m a very practical woman, by the way. I did a strict elimination diet in a very disciplined way, identified the culprits aggravating my gut health issue, consulted with a specialist, went in for extensive testing, etc, etc, etc.
I took all the “common sense” steps.
And I DID feel better! In fact I felt AMAZING when I left my first appointment with the specialist. I felt on top of the world, with a “fix” in hand that gave me HOPE – and I felt HUNGRY for the first time in MONTHS.
I literally felt high on life that week, in contrast to the four full months of complete misery prior to that doctor’s appointment that filled me with hope – and solutions.
My body felt better, I had more energy, my bloating went down, my digestive system started working again. I felt fully confident the all natural supplement was a miracle worker!
So what happened?
The very first time I experienced a digestive issue after that, which came on after a bout of stress/anxiety (also a trigger for my digestive problems, in addition to most green vegetables)… doubt and fear crept back in.
From that first tummy rumble, sharp pain and bloated feeling I started worrying “it was back.” I started watching for signs.
I started being super cautious again – where I was freely eating a wider range of vegetables the week before with no problem whatsoever.
Science, Spirituality or Religion?
I’m not big into woo-woo stuff, for the record. I tend to go by personal experience, historical data and science.
Dr. Dispenza is all about the neuroscience behind why what we believe becomes our truth.
But consider also what the Bible teaches about both doubt and faith. I won’t get religious here, but I don’t mind to admit that biblical history is one of my side passions and the teachings totally fascinate me.
In the book of James it says that if you have doubt when you ask or pray, you’ll receive nothing – because you are unstable or double sided. Likewise the Bible has much to say about faith.
Consider the miracles Jesus performed, healing people instantly, and how they came to him because they believed they would be healed.
In the book of Matthew it was reported that Jesus said, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
This is basically what Dr. Joe Dispenza is saying in “You Are The Placebo” but from a scientific perspective, based in neuroscience.
What you believe will be true.
I am sick.
… and so I am?
Is it really that simple?
Asking that ^ made me realize my DOUBTS.
Regardless of whether you come at this from a religious, spiritual or scientific perspective (or all of the above, like me) faith and doubt are an all or nothing thing.
The slightest bit of doubt negates the faith completely.
With all of this going through my head after talking publicly about still being sick, and Joe’s new book & videos crossing my screen several times… I was reminded of my hypnosis experience.
If a complete stranger could totally change my taste buds, cravings and desires (ie alter my mind) – why can’t I?
I don’t know much about hypnosis, but I do know that he was talking to my subconscious. Had I been totally lucid (thinking with my conscious mind), I would have argued back with some of his (weird) points. I probably would have been defensive, rationalized my choices, and maybe even laughed at him. ?
But I wasn’t and I didn’t.
My mind believed everything he said to it (whatever that was) and responded accordingly. In a way I did not feel I had any real control over – he simply changed things about me, by changing my mind. ?
This is not the first time I’ve had a dramatic experience that impacted my belief on standards or norms. I’ve shared in bits & pieces how I had a miraculous recovery following a near-fatal accident that left me paralyzed and with brain damage from a head trauma.
There’s a difference between a healing and a miraculous recovery, btw – both physically and spiritually speaking. Healing takes an amount of time, to heal. A miracle does not require the standard amount of time for a normal healing process.
What I experienced was most definitely “a miracle” and totally stumped my surgeons.
Faith, Doubt, Reality & Solutions
I don’t have all the answers, I’m just talking out loud here.
Science junkie, religious, or not – follow along with me here for another minute. ?
In the midst of all of this, me “being sick” and talking publicly about how miserable it’s been and IS, reading up on Joe’s work about the neuroscience behind self-healing, remembering my LETTUCE CRAZE hypnosis experience, etc…
Something else happened.
I was having a chat with someone about their experience with a different gut health issue, and how they did a 7-day water fast as a detox, to heal from and/or flush out the issue.
Obviously, fasting is a HOT topic in keto communities lately, so I’ve read up plenty on it over the last few months. So this conversation did pique my curiosity at least – and kind of stuck in the back of my mind as an option.
I had all but decided I’d do a water fast when I get back from my next trip, and just be DONE with this illness once and for all!
Whether I would ever speak publicly about that, I wasn’t sure. I’m not big on “fasting for weight loss” and don’t want to send any mixed signals. And what if it didn’t work? What if I couldn’t do it – ie, failed? I figured I’d wait and see how it went first.
Besides, I’ve always believed fasting should be a private thing. Especially when it’s for spiritual reasons, and I feel my decision would definitely be a combination of both: spiritual AND physical. It’s time to STOP being sick, holistically speaking. And also because my choice to do it is more than JUST about my gut health problem, and involves other (personal) things as well.
So this private chat about water fasting intrigued me.
I was thinking about Joe’s new book, and “I am the placebo.”
I went and picked up a new probiotic too, even after going through three bottles months ago with NO improvement to my gut problem, because I needed “a placebo” to work with. Besides this was a new and better one, and I could fully believe IT would work.
I was also thinking a lot about faith and doubt (and mustard seeds and mountains)…
So I decided to refresh myself on the Scripture that crossed my mind, while reading up on the science and referencing my lettuce memories and such.
Check this out…
Notice anything missing?!
This is from a favorite archeological bible, NIV because this one I read more like a book. Did I mention I’m big into history AND science? ?
Anyway, in case you missed it: verse 21 is NOT there.
Yup – totally missing. It goes straight from verse 20 to verse 22 (in most bibles actually).
To give you some context, Jesus gave his disciples the power to heal sickness and cast out demons like he did. But they couldn’t drive this demon out of a boy, so Jesus had to step in and do it for them.
The disciples went to Jesus in private after that, asking ‘why couldn’t WE do it then, since you gave us the power to?’ To which he replied because they didn’t have ENOUGH faith. And if they DID, then NOTHING would be impossible.
So what’s missing, in the mysterious Verse 21?
What’s missing is a controversial verse that isn’t documented in ALL sources or accounts from witnesses, which is something like this:
“But this kind (of demon) never comes out except by prayer and fasting.”
So they were given the power to do it, which made them believe they could do it, so they set out to do it… but failed. Why? A seed of doubt maybe? Or not physically and/or spiritually prepared to USE that power?
(I don’t pretend to know the answer to that.)
Do you see how all of this ties together?
Looking up that missing verse, and the context of when/why it was removed from many versions of the bible, combined with my considering an extended fast and studying the concept of self-healing, etc, etc, etc…
I am the placebo.
If I believe this will work, then it will.
But only with prayer, faith and fasting.
Mind over matter.
I know all of this is a little unconventional, or “out there” but… what if it’s true?
What if I can just decide to be over it, to be DONE being sick, to choose to make a radical shift in my life and heal this (and other things) in the process?
How cool would THAT be?
And so simple!
It’s in line with my thinking on “how prayer works” too, from both a spiritual AND scientific perspective. It was a study on quantum physics that made me see thoughts as a tangible thing (energy) that can indeed influence what happens to you – and even affect things around you.
There were some fascinating studies in Japan on how thought alone affected plants for example, and water/ice. Which made me that much more a believer in the power or prayer, and gave me an understanding of how that can actually WORK (from a sort of mechanical perspective).
I say simple, but we all know how hard faith can be, and how strong doubt can be. Or we make it hard perhaps.
Interestingly though, going back to that weirdo hypnotist, someone else can get past your over-thinking conscious mind full of doubts and defenses and rationalizations… and go straight to your subconscious and CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK AND ACT.
So why can’t I do that for myself?
Not that I want to hypnotize myself -lol, but you know: surely we possess the power to control the bodies we live in, vs being controlled by them. Everything I read from every source tells me that is true.
Food for thought today…
Oh – and if you pray, or meditate, or think positive thoughts, or any of that… I’ll gladly accept any you want to point in my direction. ?
I think the bottom line in all of this for me, and perhaps the point I’d most like you to consider as well, is this:
Will we control our bodies and our minds, or BE controlled by them?
p.s. Do you believe in mere coincidence, or when things keep coming up in different ways all at the same time… do you stop and PAY ATTENTION?
Obviously this combination of things grabbed mine. I love the concept that maybe, probably, perhaps I can simply STOP being sick.
If any of this intrigued you, you might enjoy watching What The BLEEP Do We Know (but don’t expect to EVER think the same again!) – and for a book I highly recommend starting with this one by Dr. Joe Dispenza: Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself.
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