How Hypnosis Can Diminish the
Psychological and Physical Symptoms of Shock
What Happens When A Person Goes into Shock?
Many different types of situations or events can put someone in a state of shock. Have you ever been stunned by receiving a phone call announcing the sudden passing of a dear friend or relative, or that your child was in a serious car accident?
At first, though you might be very surprised, you manage to go about your daily routine. Until, that is, the reality of the event sets in. Because of the shock to your nervous system, you begin to experience a profoundly stressful physiological response, such as shallow breathing and an increase in your blood pressure.
Slowly, as your brain absorbs the long-term impact of how this might affect your life, a wave of anxiety and panic rush through your system. Over time, going into shock could gradually affect the functioning of your immune and nervous system, resulting in serious repercussions.
The Experience of Going into Shock Originates in Your Reptilian Brain
The experience of going into shock is part of your reptilian brain’s “fight or flight response mechanism.” Near your frontal lobe, are two very important organs: the hippocampus, and the amygdala.
The hippocampus helps you process emotions, while the amygdala also regulates emotions such as experiencing fear. The initial effects of going into shock can result in obsessive-compulsive thinking (i.e. “why did I let my son go out to play?”) and self-blame (i.e. “Why didn’t I see this coming?”) Unfortunately, this constant focus on what went wrong, and how things spiraled out of control keeps you locked in the same “thought-cycle” over and over.
If you’re focusing on the “threat response,” your brain is unable to relax. From 911 to ISIS to the latest bombing, we’re all being exposed to a low-level threat response daily. During these stressful periods, it’s important to adopt a calmer perspective to life events that are so difficult to accept. At times this might mean turning off your cell phone, avoiding news channels and taking a break from Facebook.
There are Various Types of Shock
Doctors have identified many different psychological states which can be classified as being in a “state of shock.” I’ve included just a few here as illustrations. For example, if someone has been physically or emotionally abused as a child, or exposed to domestic violence, they have experienced Sympathetic Shock. One might not even detect that this person experienced trauma unless you knew them very well.
Meanwhile, another manifestation of Sympathetic Shock is what “work-a-holics” experience daily: people who scurry around, running from one task to another without being fully “present” for any of them. Hasn’t everyone experienced this, at some point? As your pulse rate increases, you begin to feel anxious and constantly hyper-aware of what tasks need to be completed.
Parasympathetic Shock occurs when your nervous system is very overloaded, causing you to feel exhausted, numb or depressed. In this form of shock, you can’t seem to focus or get anything done. To take this one step further, isn’t it easy to see how most of us resort to eating sugary sweets and fast food just to give ourselves a temporary lift out of being in Sympathetic/Parasympathetic Shock?
Going into Shock is Serious Business
The most serious forms of shock are Neurogenic shock, which occurs after damage to the central nervous system, (i.e. a spinal cord injury), and Circulatory Shock, which is actually classified as a life-threatening medical emergency. Circulatory Shock has actually been identified as one of the most common causes of death for the critically ill; and therefore immediate treatment of its symptoms is critical to survival.
How Hypnosis Addresses the Core Reasons for Going into Shock
Hypnotherapy helps with pre-and post-shock symptoms as it allows individuals to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories we may have hidden from our conscious minds. Using guided relaxation and metaphorical stories, hypnotherapy is highly effective in treating the deeper emotions and experiences that caused this state of shock. Hypnotic regression also enables the client to view the original trauma experience from a different perspective, diminishing their need to revisit the memory. The emotional release of becoming free from these memories, sometimes suppressed for many years, can be life changing.
Regaining Equilibrium through Other Trauma Reducing Techniques
Other processes are also used to assist in neutralizing highly sensitizing memories. One of these, called The Rewind Technique, enables your subconscious mind to return to a more tranquil state acknowledging that “life is more normal now.” Thus begins the process of returning your nervous system to equilibrium. One of the most primary needs of all human beings is the knowledge that their basic needs are being met (i.e. food, water, shelter), and that “life is good; thus, life is normal.”
Seeking the Advice of a Medical Professional May be Very Important
Depending upon the seriousness of the traumatic impact to the client’s psyche, a hypnotist may need to contact their primary physician to obtain permission prior to treatment. In the event of encountering someone suffering from either Neurogenic or Circulatory shock, it would be advisable to immediately seek medical attention. Though professionally trained hypnotists are skilled in assisting highly anxious clients, they may not possess adequate knowledge of human anatomy and nervous system functioning to work at a deeper level with the client/patient. Some hypnotists are actually trained in Medical Hypnosis, and even work in hospitals.
Please check out the following video by its creator, Terence Watts, on this very effective, highly acclaimed process:
Want to hear more about how hypnotherapy and other therapeutic processes can relieve you of the symptoms of being in shock? Contact Katie at (503) 349-4619.