Maggie Ferenczi Articles

Believe it or not, you can actually read this.

"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?"


By Maggie Ferenczi 4/14/2006

So, what are you doing with the rest of your life? Have you ever taken time off from your busy schedule to think back, back to a time when you were younger? What were your wishes then? What did you dream of becoming? How did you envision your future? Did you visualize a happy person? A successful person, who succeeds with every endeavor? A person who loves his profession? A person who is a source of strength for friends, fellow co-workers or employees? A. person who could light up a room, spreading laughter, love and happiness just by entering?. A person that people look up to and respect? A person that others want to spend time with? A loyal, dependable friend? A person who has time for both work and play? A great family life? A true friend? A kind, caring, nurturing parent? A wonderful, passionate spouse who can magically transform any negative situation into a positive one?

So, are your dreams a reality? Or, have you discovered that you are not the person you had hoped you could be? Don’t fret. I have great news. You can easily change yourself and become the person you’ve dreamed of. I know, you have a million things to do and could never find time to work on yourself. Besides, those were just silly dreams anyway. Right?…..Wrong!!! I ask you, how can you be truly happy if your dreams and passions are buried deep inside of you? Yes, you may be satisfied with your life as it is, but could you imagine how wonderful it would be if you could make your dreams a reality?

Well guess what, if you allow yourself to come on a short journey with me, you will realize that what you’ve dreamed of will become reality. But before we begin our journey, I have a gift for you. This gift is a special, magical gift. This gift is for you and the little child that has been hiding inside of you, the child who has been waiting patiently all these years, to be nurtured, loved and remembered, your inner child. What name shall we call that child?… Great!!! Now imagine yourself , as that child, opening the magical gift, the gift that will transform your life. Feel the excitement!!! Feel the electrifying surge of power rushing through you!! What a wonderful , energizing feeling!!! Look at the magical gift carefully. Remember its shape, its colors. How does it feel? Is it soft? Is it rough? Can it make any sounds? Does it chime like a singing bowl or when tapped gently, does it have the music of a fine crystal glass, filled with wonderful tasting, wonderful smelling aromatic wine? Does it feel cool, like an ocean breeze, or warm, like a cup of soothing hot chocolate on a cold day? How fortunate you are to receive such a wonderful gift!! But you know what, this gift is invisible to all except for you. If you wish, this gift can stay with you always.

If you wish, this gift can be there for you any time you need advice, any time you need words of encouragement, or just a friend to talk to. What would you like to name your gift? Great!! Now let’s close our eyes and allow this gift to make itself comfortable in its new, loving, wonderful, welcoming, happy, successful home, in your subconscious mind. What a perfect, wonderful location to house your gift, right in your subconscious mind!! Did you ever hear the adage, “What the mind can conceive, the person can achieve?” Well guess what. From now on you can achieve anything you desire merely by putting your mind to it. Just call on your gift, focus on your desire, concentrate on what you want and what you need . Feel it, see it, taste it. Make your desire stronger and stronger. Strengthen and strengthen and strengthen your desire. Make it real!! Visualize what you want, what you need, and what must happen to succeed. Now see it become a reality. What a wonderful feeling!! See how happy you are!! Stand up and cheer , YAY, HOORAY, as you visualize the success. Keep cheering and begin clapping loudly. Feel the success. See the success. What a wonderful feeling to know you have accomplished what you put your mind to. See yourself celebrating your accomplishment. Feel the happiness. Feel the pride surging throughout your entire body. What a wonderful electrifying, invigorating feeling!! That feeling of accomplishment. A feeling that anything is possible.

Now take your right hand and place your pinky on your lap. While holding it down, feel the excitement, the confidence and yell out loud, on the top of your lungs ,“I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.” Feel it, see it, experience it fully. Feel how wonderful it feels, this sense of accomplishment. Now repeat the same thing with each finger of the right hand, feeling, seeing, tasting the success. Make it stronger with each additional finger. Now repeat with the fingers of the left hand. Know that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Now, think backwards and see how you did it. What steps did you take, what needed to be done to reach your goal? …And now that you‘ve already succeeded you know exactly what to do and how to do it. Believe in yourself. Believe you will succeed, and you will.

You will find that the more you let go of negative thoughts and surrender your wishes to your magical gift, the easier it will be to accomplish anything. Each time you tap your fingers, a surge of confidence and empowerment will rush through your body. You will have more time to focus on that which is important and enjoyable to you, since you will no longer waste your time worrying, and procrastinating. You will find that you will soar like an eagle high in the sky, feeling free, free from limiting beliefs, free from I can’t and I should and I have to. From now on, you do what is good for you. Always remember, the special gift you possess, is not an ordinary gift, and you are not an ordinary person!!!

Hypnosis found to alter the brain: Subjects see color where none exists
By William J. Cromie Gazette Staff

People have been hypnotized to see color where only shades of gray exist, and to see gray when actually looking at brightly colored rectangles.

That result wouldn't be so surprising at a carnival or stage show, but it comes from a tightly controlled scientific experiment done at a Harvard University medical facility.

Researchers separately hypnotized eight people as they lay in a scanning machine that recorded activity in their brains. These subjects then tried to drain bright color from pictures, or see color where none existed. They also attempted to do the same thing when not hypnotized. The records of cerebral activity clearly show that hypnosis can change the state of the brain.

"Hypnosis has a contentious history," notes Stephen Kosslyn, professor of psychology at Harvard and leader of the study. "Some insist it's a state of mind that differs from normal states and involves unique consequences; others say it's nothing more than state-show gimmickry."

Color test

COLOR ME HYNOTIZED: Under hypnosis, some people see only shades of gray in this pattern of brightly-colored rectangles. Such a result shows that hypnosis can change the state of the brain.

AAs an example, if you give some men a brick and ask them to hold it at arm's length for as long as they can, they will be able to do it for about five minutes. But if you hypnotize them, they will hold the brick out for 15-20 minutes. That result favors the idea that hypnotism creates a unique state of mind.

Color test

However, if you tell males that some females who were just tested held the brick out for 20 minutes, they, too, will hold it for that long without being hypnotized. That result favors a suggestibility, or role-playing explanation. br>
"It all comes down to the question of whether the brain is doing something different," Kossyln says. The answer apparently is yes, at least in the case of color perception.

How the brain changes

To show how controversial hypnotism is among scientists, Kosslyn and colleagues had great difficulty in getting their research published. Two of the world's largest scientific journals wouldn't publish the results.

"One of them asked for three separate revisions," notes William Thompson, a research assistant in Harvard's department of psychology. "Then they still turned down our report even after we answered all their criticisms." After three years, their study has finally been published as the cover story in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Both Kosslyn and Thompson emphasize that the experiment worked only on "highly hypnotizable" people, a category that includes only about 8 percent of all people. "We pre-tested 125 subjects and for those who scored lowest in hypnotizability, the results were just garbage," Kosslyn says. "They couldn't do the task."

The highly hypnotizables slid horizontally into a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard teaching hospital in Boston. They inhaled a short-lived, slightly radioactive type of oxygen. The oxygen traces blood flow and makes visible the most active parts of the brain when a subject is hypnotized and not hypnotized.

It took between two and ten minutes to hypnotize the people while they lay in the scanner. A computer screen overhead then presented them with a pattern of yellow, red, blue, and green rectangles, similar to a painting by the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. They tried to "drain" the color from what they saw on the screen while the PET scanner recorded their brain activity. Under the same conditions, they saw the rectangles in various shades of gray and had to color them with their minds.

When not under hypnosis, people asked to perceive color – whether they actually saw color or not – showed activity on only the right side of their brains. (The brain is split into right and left hemispheres by a furrow filled with nerve fibers that connect the two halves.) When told to see gray, whether looking at color or gray, again changes in activity occurred on the right side only.

That result was expected on the basis of previous research. However, under hypnotism the researchers found what Kosslyn calls "a curious tweak." Both the left and right hemispheres responded. In other words, the right side of the brain alone responded to what the subjects saw when they were not hypnotized, but both sides responded under hypnosis.

"The left hemisphere color area registered what people were told to see only when they were hypnotized. The right hemisphere registered what people were told to see [independently of what they actually saw] whether or not they were hypnotized," Kosslyn explains. "If you ask people [who are not hypnotized] to visualize color in a gray pattern, or vice versa, only the right hemisphere is activated during the task. Thus, our findings in the left hemisphere could not have been produced by mental imagery alone.

"What we have shown for the first time," Kosslyn concludes, "is that hypnosis changes conscious experience in a way not possible when we are not under hypnosis."

How hypnosis works

Why the hemispheric differences? Kosslyn and his colleagues think that the right hemisphere is more sensitive to goals and expectations. This part of the brain finds it easier to reinterpret sensory experience to match the images a person wants to perceive – to see color where none exists, or to color a gray palette. This idea fits with the fact that, in most people, the left side deals more with logic and reason, so may require an extra boost from hypnosis to disassociate itself from the senses, i.e., to change what is actually seen.

Such disassociation of senses, Kosslyn and Thompson speculate, may account for the success of hypnosis in reducing pain and anxiety, combating insomnia, and helping some people to quit smoking. Pain, anxiety, insomnia, and smoking, might be reduced by the same type of brain activity that allows some people to drain color from brilliantly hued rectangles.

Highly hypnotizables apparently would be better at this than most people or those who show the lowest levels of submission. Thompson is studying the brain differences between high and low hypnotizables. So far, he has found that the middle-part of a brain area called the cingulate gyrus shows more activity in the highs than lows. This area deals with attention and emotion.

Does changing a brain by hypnosis mean hypnotizables can gain more control over what are normally involuntary functions of the brain – responses to stress, regulation of hormones, control of the immune system, for instance? Maybe. David Spiegel of Stanford University School of Medicine, who collaborated on the color experiments, is interested in the possibility of bolstering the body's defenses against disease by psychological means that might include hypnosis. Evidence exists that strengthening these defenses may reduce the rate of growth of cancer tumor.

At this point, anything beyond changing color perception is pure speculation, Kosslyn and Thompson insist. However, Kosslyn refers to their study as "the thin edge of a wedge that shows that conscious experience can be changed in a willfully directed way by hypnosis."

Other researchers who participated in these experiments include Associate Professor of Radiology Nathaniel Alpert of Harvard Medical School and Maria Costantini-Ferrando of Weill Medical College, Cornell University. The research was made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
SEEING RED Dr. Amir Raz, rear, and Miguel Moeno demonstrate the hypnosis test.

The new experiments, which used brain imaging, found that people who were hypnotized "saw" colors where there were none. Others lost the ability to make simple decisions. Some people looked at common English words and thought that they were gibberish.

"The idea that perceptions can be manipulated by expectations" is fundamental to the study of cognition, said Michael I. Posner, an emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Oregon and expert on attention. "But now we're really getting at the mechanisms."

Even with little understanding of how it works, hypnosis has been used in medicine since the 1950's to treat pain and, more recently, as a treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, irritable bowel syndrome and eating disorders.

There is, however, still disagreement about what exactly the hypnotic state is or, indeed, whether it is anything more than an effort to please the hypnotist or a natural form of extreme concentration where people become oblivious to their surroundings while lost in thought.

Hypnosis had a false start in the 18th century when a German physician, Dr. Franz Mesmer, devised a miraculous cure for people suffering all manner of unexplained medical problems. Amid dim lights and ethereal music played on a glass harmonica, he infused them with an invisible "magnetic fluid" that only he was able to muster. Thus mesmerized, clients were cured.

Although Dr. Mesmer was eventually discredited, he was the first person to show that the mind could be manipulated by suggestion to affect the body, historians say. This central finding was resurrected by Dr. James Braid, an English ophthalmologist who in 1842 coined the word hypnosis after the Greek word for sleep.

Braid reportedly put people into trances by staring at them intently, but he did not have a clue as to how it worked. In this vacuum, hypnosis was adopted by spiritualists and stage magicians who used dangling gold watches to induce hypnotic states in volunteers from the audience, and make them dance, sing or pretend to be someone else, only to awaken at a hand clap and laughter from the crowd.

In medical hands, hypnosis was no laughing matter. In the 19th century, physicians in India successfully used hypnosis as anesthesia, even for limb amputations. The practice fell from favor only when ether was discovered.

Now, Dr. Posner and others said, new research on hypnosis and suggestion is providing a new view into the cogs and wheels of normal brain function.

One area that it may have illuminated is the processing of sensory data. Information from the eyes, ears and body is carried to primary sensory regions in the brain. From there, it is carried to so-called higher regions where interpretation occurs.

For example, photons bouncing off a flower first reach the eye, where they are turned into a pattern that is sent to the primary visual cortex. There, the rough shape of the flower is recognized. The pattern is next sent to a higher - in terms of function - region, where color is recognized, and then to a higher region, where the flower's identity is encoded along with other knowledge about the particular bloom.

The same processing stream, from lower to higher regions, exists for sounds, touch and other sensory information. Researchers call this direction of flow feed forward. As raw sensory data is carried to a part of the brain that creates a comprehensible, conscious impression, the data is moving from bottom to top.

Bundles of nerve cells dedicated to each sense carry sensory information. The surprise is the amount of traffic the other way, from top to bottom, called feedback. There are 10 times as many nerve fibers carrying information down as there are carrying it up.

These extensive feedback circuits mean that consciousness, what people see, hear, feel and believe, is based on what neuroscientists call "top down processing." What you see is not always what you get, because what you see depends on a framework built by experience that stands ready to interpret the raw information - as a flower or a hammer or a face.

This Is Your Brain Under Hypnosis
Hypnosis, with its long and checkered history in medicine and entertainment, is receiving some new respect from neuroscientists. Recent brain studies of people who are susceptible to suggestion indicate that when they act on the suggestions their brains show profound changes in how they process information. The suggestions, researchers report, literally change what people see, hear, feel and believe to be true..

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Recipient of the “Hypnotist of the Year Award” will enlighten  you about the Scientifically Proven Facts regarding the Truth About The Effectiveness, Safety and Ease of Hypnosis