Self Hypnosis

April 23, 2006 at 08:06 PM · A CD currently making the rounds of a few professional musicians I know is a CD called "Selfhypnosisformusicians." I borrowed a copy. Not surprisingly, it works. Performance anxiety, practicing woes, etc., it gets you less anxious and back on the practicing track.

Way back when, I majored in Air Science and Psychology at the Univ. of Tulsa. My Senior Thesis was on the medical aspects of hypnosis. It works, folks.

I hate plugging a product, but I think this one has a lot going for it. The principles behind each track on the CD are Psychologically sound. I like the warning that comes with it, "Don't listen to this while (whilst) driving a car. Sound advice.

Replies (30)

April 23, 2006 at 10:54 PM · A very appropiate warning. People get arrested here in england all the time for doing stuff while driving, such as applying make up, shaving, or eating breakfast for example. Playing the violin would just take the biscuit.

April 23, 2006 at 10:58 PM · Whoa, Ray, you went to TU? I live in Tulsa! :)

MG

April 24, 2006 at 12:23 AM · Hey, I did too, for 23 years!

April 24, 2006 at 02:58 AM · Holy cow, you guys. We TU folks are rare, it seams. Yes, I was there during the Glory Years of TU football. In the stands. Played in the Tulsa Philharmonic which, unfortunately, is kaput.

We'll have to talk sometime.

Ray

April 24, 2006 at 05:00 AM · I never lived in Tulsa, but I learned self hypnosis years ago for intractable pain. It worked for a while, but eventually the pain outstripped it. Nevertheless, it's a great relaxation technique, probably the same as (or very similar to) TM and the alpha response. How many of you know about or remember TM or the alpha response? They're considerably safer than LSD, marihuana, etc. It's very interesting how one can learn to operate on two levels at the same time. Really. If you're laughing as you read this, be assured that I'm laughing even harder.

April 24, 2006 at 05:40 AM · The download on the website is interesting.

April 24, 2006 at 06:11 AM · Greetings,

I have a set of CDs called the brainwave suite which I keep running in the background while I practice. The problem with the alpha stuff was that it was only part of the picture. For enhanced mentla performance you need to practice witrh all the levels and utilize combinations of them. It can be done

Alcohol helps...

Cheers,

Burp

April 24, 2006 at 03:13 PM · Hypnosis (and self-hypnosis) is a potentially very useful tool in psychology, medicine, and various kinds of self-improvement. But the key to making any hypnotic or self-hypnotic procedure work is attention. It can be very helpful for a variety of problems and goals, but the key is how you focus your attention and what you focus it on.

The reason that procedures like this seem to lose their effectiveness over time is that you begin to go through the ritual procedures without the same focus of attention. It's the attention that makes it work. Ever had a paper cut and not know you have it? No pain, UNTIL you notice it. Attention is very, very powerful, and in fact is crucial in learning and playing the violin.

Any everyday state of highly focused attention has hypnoidal characteristics to it, and potentially an expert can turn these everyday phenomena into genuine hypnotic experiences.

If you're interested in learning about the power of this, check out the collected papers (in 4 volumes, sorry) of Dr. Milton Erickson. Most of his articles are not difficult to read, and are in the form of case studies (he was a good writer, too).

Hope that helps.

Cordially, Sandy

PS. I went to a small college in Ohio. We had no regular ongoing sports teams, because of a school-wide work-study program. But I recall that we did get together an ad-hoc baseball team to play the visiting Philadelphia Orchestra. As I recall, they killed us.

April 24, 2006 at 12:56 PM · Ray, TU football HAD glory years??? :)

April 24, 2006 at 01:23 PM · http://www.selfhypnosisformusicians.co.uk/

April 24, 2006 at 04:26 PM · Hey Tulsa people--

Lise G. the oboe player plays in my summer opera orchestra... also Sue L., violinist.

Talk about "degrees of separation."

April 24, 2006 at 04:28 PM · Good grief! I know both of them! Small world or what?!

April 24, 2006 at 06:27 PM · More tulsa people: I'm not from there myself, but my violinist relative was the concertmaster of the Tulsa symphony (formerly 1st violin of claremont quartet). After the symphony went kaput, he started this new group which combined classical concerts with jazz events. It was doing well supposedly. Maybe some of you played in it?

April 24, 2006 at 06:53 PM · I just read the website about self hypnosis for musicians, and I agree with most of what the author said. (Self) hypnosis is a powerful but benign mental state which got some very bad and misleading press years ago. The examples of hypnosis in everyday life that the author gives are suggestive but nowhere near as intense as the real thing. The word "concentrate" is misleading, too. You can not force yourself to relax. You can create a mental state in which you let certain things happen. The failure of self hypnosis to ease my physical pain after it had worked successfully was not due to a loss of concentration. Concentration is not what was happening. "Mindful relaxation" is a better description, but our language does not have adequate words to describe this mental state. People have probably been experiencing it in all cultures throughout history. Trance, mysticism, meditation, and yoga are a few examples. It requires a willingness, but not a concentrated effort, on the part of the person who experiences it. To achieve this state, it is often helpful to let go or hand control over to someone or something. For me, it is my yoga teacher/guru, music with a strong rhythm, or some sounds, including a stream or brook. A lot of Bach's music will do it for me. It is a very deep relaxation mingled with excitement that takes me out of myself. My mental state at these times is probably similar to Delphic oracles or whirling Dervishes. It is so powerful, taking me out of myself and yet joining me with other people and the cosmos at the same time. It is easy to understand why such experiences are strong in many religions. I find it very hard to describe in words. It truly is a mystical experience.

April 24, 2006 at 07:33 PM · violincat, I know who you mean! Mr. Gottlieb!! :)

April 24, 2006 at 07:48 PM · TU Football glory years, 1961-1964. We were in the top twenty, went to a few good bowls. Numerous TU players then went to the pros. Jerry Rhome was the Quarterback.

April 24, 2006 at 09:51 PM · Wow, you're old.

No offense meant of course! ;)

MG

April 24, 2006 at 10:08 PM · Wow, you're young! No offense.

April 24, 2006 at 10:36 PM · LOL!

Yeah, I'm tired, bored and confused. So I'm just posting stupid stuff on internet message boards. Sorry. :)

April 24, 2006 at 10:44 PM · Plot some way to meet Joshua Bell or something:)

April 24, 2006 at 10:46 PM · Well, I've done plenty of plotting for how to meet Maxim Vengerov...it's all fallen through so far. *sigh...* someday, Maxim....... :)

April 25, 2006 at 04:22 AM · Wait, I am so confused. How the heck do you hypnotize yourself? Do you continually talk to yourself doing that "go down deeper and deeper as I count to three to myself, and imagine myself descending a bunch of stairs deeper and deeper into relaxation..." Uh, how does that work on yourself if you're supposed to be relaxed, but alert enough to give yourself instructions to become more relaxed?

April 25, 2006 at 04:28 AM · I always have Jack Daniels hypnotize me. If he's not available I have Ron Bacardi do it. Works every time

April 25, 2006 at 10:48 AM · Buy the CD and try it out. Maybe it's a good whammy.

April 25, 2006 at 02:12 PM · The issue is attention, not necessarily concentration. It's the attention that makes it work. There's nothing magical about it.

What we pay attention to we experience more intensely than what we don't pay attention to. That's part of how hypnosis is used to alter the sensation of pain and other kinds of discomfort.

The way I teach relaxation (physical and mental) is not to get people to relax. It is, first, to simply notice or pay some attention to the relaxation that is already present in the body.

A good place to start is feet and toes. They are almost always relaxed. When we feel tension in our feet and toes, what do we do? We will wiggle them around until the tension is gone, and then forget about them. But if you pay attention to your feet and toes, just pay attention to the normal relaxation that is already there, you can notice several things - such as a tingling on the surface of the skin, a sense of warmth (or coolness sometimes), a sense of numbness here and there (especially in the toes).

These are the normal effects of relaxation that is already there. You don't have to make it happen.

Next, you pay attention to other parts of the body that are usually relaxed but that we pay no attention to: elbows, even hands.

Then, you pay attention to your normal breathing. I don't mean deep, deep breaths (those aren't relaxing). Just normal breathing, with maybe an ordinary everyday sigh. The key is simply to notice the subtle physical and psychological differences between inhaling and exhaling.

The point is that at the end of this simple procedure, almost everyone feels a lot more relaxed, and has gained better control over their attention.

What I meant by relaxation procedures losing their effectiveness is that it becomes a rote procedure, and there is not the same attention to the subtle effects. We just start "going through the motions."

I believe that guiding your attention - in a similar manner to the way I have described it - will enhance the effectiveness of ANY relaxation or meditation procedure.

Hope that clarifies it.

Cordially, Sandy.

PS. I believe that if more people used any of the techniques I and others have mentioned on this page, it would put the tranquilizer companies out of business.

PPS. I don't know anybody from Tulsa.

April 25, 2006 at 03:34 PM · All right Sandor, so come to Tulsa and check us out! It's actually a rather nice little city, if you don't mind Bible-belt weirdness occasionally. :)

April 25, 2006 at 04:20 PM · Now that I've had this CD for a week I find that it is really helpful. Your body relaxes to help absorb the instructions given on the various tracks of the CD. You really don't play or practice while in a so-called trance even though the speaker uses that term. I would call it a slightly heightened state of awareness and calmness which ALLOWS your abilities ALREADY THERE to come through unhindered. You are not out of touch under hypnosis at all, just in a state of higher suggestability.

Gotta go bark like a dog and act like a chicken now. I think that's what the last track told me to do.

Just kidding.

April 25, 2006 at 04:56 PM · Hypnosis is probably the only topic in which you are a success if your audience falls asleep.

You know, I've always had a secret dream to visit Tulsa, especially when I'm in a trance. Can anyone explain that?

April 25, 2006 at 05:11 PM · Maura: yup, small world. :)

Sorry to be so O/T

April 25, 2006 at 05:44 PM · If all you lot come to Tulsa, maybe my orchestra would have a decent violin section for once. How about it? ;)

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