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Triamterene (Triamterene, Hydrochlorothiazide)

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ANGINA AND RELAXATION SKILLS: SELF-HYPNOSIS
The term ‘hypnosis’ conjures up images of people in zombie-like states, performing childlike, often degrading acts against their will. Whilst this may happen in show performances, this is not what you will be expected to learn in this article. Because hypnosis has had such a bad press people are either reluctant to use it and may be frightened of it or they may expect it to perform miracles. Some of the myths about it will be examined in this section.
Myth No. 1. You have to be a ‘certain type’ of person to be hypnotized
Not true. People are certainly different in the degree to which they respond to hypnotic suggestions but it is not only one type of person who will respond. Suggestibility can be measured and a good hypnotherapist would test your powers of self-suggestion before teaching hypnosis. Suggestibility is not related to gullibility, or intelligence, or your sex, or any of the other misconceptions you may have heard. It is correlated with a good imagination and people differ in the degree to which they can imagine things in their mind’s eye.
Myth No. 2. Hypnotists are in control of your mind Not true. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, or self-suggestion, and you are at all times in control of what you are doing. When participants in stage shows of hypnosis do ridiculous things, they are simply going along with suggestions the hypnotist has made. If the hypnotist made a suggestion that the participant did not want to comply with, they simply would not do it.
Myth No. 3. You may be stuck in a trance
Not true. Whilst it is agreed that suggestions can be very
powerful and the hypnotic state can be very deep, if there was
danger of any sort present the respondent would come out of the
state. Hypnosis will not reduce you to a zombie. People often
drift into sleep under hypnosis then sleep and wake up quite
normally.
Myth No. 4. When you are in a trance you don’t know what’s happening
Not true. You may be less aware of some events going on around you at first but generally as you become more practised your senses sharpen. The hypnotic state may be so pleasant and relaxing that you choose not to accept some sounds or sights around you. But at the first sign of danger you would respond as though you were fully awake. Hypnosis is an altered, intensified state of consciousness which most users of hypnosis find stimulating and deeply relaxing.
Myth No. 5. You cannot hypnotize yourself Not true. You will be taught how to induce the state of hypnosis yourself. All hypnosis is listening to your mind making suggestions and your body going along with those suggestions. It may help to have someone make the suggestions for you, but it is not essential.
Listening to your own suggestions
Before launching into self-hypnosis it helps to train your mind to focus on your suggestions and this can be done by learning passive relaxation. It is called passive because it does not involve tensing the muscle groups but relies on your ability to induce relaxation by your thoughts alone.
Step 1. Begin as you would for the active, progressive relaxation technique. Place yourself in a comfortable, warm, private place. Step 2. Bring your attention to your body and its sensations and try to shut out the sounds around you. Close your eyes. Begin by doing a couple of deep breaths.
Step 3. Imagine that you are lying in a secluded position in the warmth of the sun. You may choose your garden at home, a beach or a hill top somewhere. The place doesn’t matter but it should be one that you can see with your mind’s eye. Concentrate on the sounds, sights, smells or tastes you would experience in this place.
Now imagine the sun bathing your body with warmth. Begin by feeling it over your toes and feet, up over your shins, calves, knees and thighs, over your lower abdomen, hands, forearms, upper arms, chest, shoulders, neck and face. Try slowly to let this warmth caress your body and as you feel the warmth also feel the sensation of lightness in your body. Feel your body becoming free and light, almost lifting off the ground. Imagine you are floating on a cushion of air between you and the ground.
Try to conjure up the sights you would see, the sounds, perhaps of the birds or waves, the smells of the grass or salt air and even the colours of the sky, the grass, the sand. Keep the scene as vivid in your mind as you can and just enjoy the feeling of being relaxed by your mind and body. Step 4. After a couple of minutes begin to bring your attention back to the room you are in, take one or two deep breaths and come back to feeling fully alert and refreshed.
This exercise, if practised, will prepare you for self-hypnosis.
How to carry out self-hypnosis
Step 1. Begin this exercise as you would any of the others. Find a quiet, warm, comfortable room where you won’t be disturbed. You can do this exercise lying or sitting. It may be best to learn it by using your usual relaxation posture.
Step 2. Pick a spot on the wall or ceiling which is almost out of your field of vision, so that you have to strain to see it. Fix your eyes on that spot and in doing so fix your concentration. Begin by taking five deep breaths, slowly and deeply, as you have learned before. With each breath feel your body become more relaxed, also feel the strain on your eyes as you hold your gaze on that spot. When you get to the third breath feel your eyes flicker, blink and water. At five close your eyes and use this as a cue to quickly bring on the deep relaxation. Take a further deep breath as you focus on the sensation of body relaxation.
Now imagine that you are at the top of five steps. You will take five further deep breaths and with each one imagine yourself descending one of the steps. Take this slowly and feel the sensation of greater relaxation with each step down.
Picture yourself approaching a lakeside. Take, in your mind, 20 steps towards the lake. As you do so, imagine the number turning over in your mind and with each one feel yourself become more relaxed. At 20 you will have reached the waterside. Gaze at the water and imagine the ripples caressing your body and taking your troubles away. Just enjoy this feeling of care-freeness and deep relaxation. As you do this the next step will be to learn how to bring yourself out of this state and very quickly back into it.
Step 3. Pick a colour or sight that you can see in this lakeside scene or use your cue word and concentrate on it for a few seconds. Feel as fully relaxed as you are able, for as long as you wish. Think of a word that sums up how you feel. It may be your cue word. This word will become your cue to be as relaxed as you are now, when you use it at other times. (That is called a posthypnotic suggestion.)
You can also suggest to yourself how relaxed and comfortable and vigorous you would like to feel in situations where you often experience angina. You will also find you will learn to relax more quickly if you can suggest to yourself, while under self-hypnosis, that you will feel more relaxed, more deeply, more easily, each time you practise these exercises. Then begin to wake yourself up gently and slowly. Take three deep breaths and as you do so count yourself from ‘five’ to ‘one’. With each number feel yourself become more alert and relaxed. Once you reach ‘one’ let your eyes open and stretch your limbs.
Step 4. If you choose to, you can go even deeper, more quickly, by fixing your eyes on that same spot as before. Take those same five deep breaths and as you do so feel your eyes ache and flicker. Feel your eyelids get heavier and at the fifth breath let them close. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation as it caresses your body with warmth and lightness. Take yourself back to your scene, staying for a few moments.
Step 5. Finally, bring your attention back to your surroundings. Take a couple of deep breaths, feel your lungs expand with the cool invigorating air and notice how much sharper your concentration is, how alert you have become.
This exercise is just one way of using your own suggestions to help yourself achieve relaxation. Practise as often as you can. The more you practise the more expert you will become.
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