We rarely think of exactly how our ancient ancestors managed to survive the extremely harsh conditions of gathering food, hunting wooly mammoths, childbirth, and avoiding disease. While the odds of survival were much less likely than today, those who did make it had incredibly strong willpower.
The concept I’m about to share with you was introduced to me a few years ago by Terence Watts, whose reputation many of you are familiar with. Instinct is a very strong determinant of behavior. This is evidenced by the fact that a specific species of sea turtles have laid their eggs on the exact same beach for thousands of years.
Instinct played an equally important role in the evolution of Neanderthals. Yet, as they wandered the terrain of Eurasia, this group of primitive humans could be divided into 3 groups, each exhibiting strong behavioral characteristics:
- Some aggressively defended their group from invading marauders at all costs
- Some formed communities in fertile areas to grow food, but were less likely to defend themselves
- Some preferred to wander off alone or in very small groups, following their own rules for survival.
These three ancestral groups could be broadly categorized as:
Given the evolution of each group over time, various distinct behavioral traits emerged among each group. Warriors exhibited tendencies to be determined, decisive and strategic thinkers. Settlers were creative, sought approval from others, and tended to avoid conflict. Nomads could be very individualistic, charismatic, and anti-authoritative.
It’s quite likely that your personality contains dominant characteristics from one of these three groups, while also containing some traits from the remaining two groups.
No one group is more important than the other two. Yet, as you become more aware of the traits you possess as a Warrior, Settler or Nomad, you may find yourself wondering how you can become a better parent, be more creative or be more decisive by adopting characteristics from one of these three groups.
I invite you to explore this very important concept and to reach out to me with any of your thoughts or questions. I’ll be revealing even more ideas about this in the near future.
How long has the powerful, trance-inducing experience called hypnosis been practiced? That, in fact, might be hard to determine. It is known, however, that 4,000 years ago sleep temples were used by the Egyptians in Heliopolis to facilitate dream interpretation and meditation. In some cases, individuals visited particular temples to have their ailments treated by way of chanting, and thus entering a trance-like state. Ancient written records suggest that practices resembling hypnosis, albeit by a different name, originated not only with the Egyptians but also with the Chinese, Hindus, and Greeks along with other cultures of the Middle East.
While hypnotic processes continued to spread through Europe during the dark ages and middle ages, it was notably during the 18th century when both physicians and philosophers helped craft and hone the fledgling science. During this time, Dr. Frantz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician, started experimenting with magnets to remove ailments by putting the human body into a trance-like state. He theorized that the human body possessed an etheric current which he later called “animal magnetism” that flowed from the head to the feet: Mesmer held large “salons” where patients lined up to be treated for various conditions. Despite the fact his work stirred up much controversy, Mesmer did receive credit for helping to establish a connection between the treatment of the emotions and a patient’s physical health.
Meanwhile, in 1842 a Scottish surgeon named Dr. James Braid expanded upon Mesmer’s work and coined the term “hypnosis” based on the Greek word, “Hypnos” for sleep. Braid misconstrued the idea of hypnosis as a tool to induce a sleep-like state, which led to a brief period of time where members of the medical community utilized hypnosis as a sedation tool for surgical procedures. Other significant thinkers of the era, including Sigmund Freud, also attempted to better understand the benefits of hypnosis. As we now well know, psychoanalysis became one of Freud’s greatest achievements.
In the early 19th Century, Dr. James Esdaile, a British physician, used hypnosis to induce surgical anesthesia in over 300 patients in India. Meanwhile, in the United States, the first extensive medical application of hypnosis alongside anesthesia occurred during the Civil War. This effort was spearheaded by Dr. Henry Munroe, a dentist trained in hypnotherapy. Dr. Munroe hypnotized his patients into a very deeply relaxed state, enabling them to feel numbness in their jaw prior to dental surgery. As a result, he administered a much lower dosage of chloroform. Dr. Munroe also taught hypnosis to two young men, the Mayo brothers, who proceeded to assist thousands of patients during dental surgery. Later these two brilliant, enterprising young men founded the Mayo Clinic.
Today, hypnotherapy is highly regarded by JAMA (The Journal of American Medicine) for its effectiveness in pain management.
Why is hypnosis so effective? Simply put, once you are deeply relaxed, your subconscious mind facilitates a deeper connection between both your body and your mind. This heightened state of awareness, along with powerful hypnotic suggestions, promotes transformation and healing at very deep levels.