By Clement D’Souza
Reprogamme your life with NLP by healing yourself of phobias and negative memories and by upgrading your positivity quotient, says Clement D’Souza
Nitish Varma (fictitious name) was admitted as a student to a local medical college in August 2004. But the sight of dead bodies and the strong odour of formalin in the anatomy class had an unnerving effect on his mind. He began to skip classes with more and more regularity despite treatment by psychiatrists and counsellors. After seven months, when nothing seemed to work, his father, a senior IAS officer, advised his son to give up medical studies. A colleague of mine referred him to me. It took me only 10 minutes to cure him of his phobia and now he is a doctor.
What did I do in 10 minutes? I used a simple technique, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), originally developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the late 1970s. NLP is an incredible set of ideas and insights into human thinking, feelings and behavior. Within the last 35 years it has spread all over the world and now it enjoys the reputation of being the “most comprehensive synthesis of psychological knowledge today”. It is widely used in therapeutic interventions, business, sales, negotiations, sports coaching, teaching and learning.
NLP deals with the structure of human subjective experience. What are the components of human experience? They are three – neurology, language and programming. NLP studies how we organise our thoughts (neuro), what meaning we give to our thoughts that produce our emotions and how we express them verbally and non-verbally (linguistics) and how these two together produce our behavior (programming), both conscious and unconscious.
Reprogramme your brain
“Programming” comes from computer science. There is a consistency in the way we think and behave. These are patterns or programmes in our brain. Our brains are bio-computers. Our experience is processed, coded, transformed and stored just
|Our brains are bio-computers. Our experience is processed, coded, transformed and stored just like softwares or programmes|
like softwares or programmes. These mental softwares or programmes (the structure of experience) are called internal representations in NLP. These internal representations determine our thinking and behavior. Hence, programming here refers to deleting or upgrading programmes (IRs) and thereby changing the way we think, and as a result, act and behave. The mind is nothing but a computer.
Medical science acknowledges the fact that nearly 70 to 80 per cent of all diseases (dis-ease) are psychosomatic in nature. Psycho means mind and soma means body. Hence, in most cases, when we change our internal representations or programmes (psycho) we heal our body (soma). NLP believes that mind and body are inseparable. They are parts of the same system. A phobia of any kind is a good example of how our mind runs a programme and our behavior. A particular situation or trigger, say the sight of a dog in the case of a dog phobia, elevator in the case of an elevator phobia, produces a strong physical response like palpitation, sweating or fear. This is a classic case of mind-body connection. Medical science and most therapies including counselling, look at the behavior (physical symptoms or response) as the problem. No, the cure is in the mind, not in the body!
Most construction workers in Mangalore come from North Karnataka, where job availability is meagre. Average wage per day here is Rs. 250. Even when they have high fever, they go to work and run to a doctor in the evening for treatment. Their belief in the efficacy of the injection is very strong. Knowing this, the standard treatment by most doctors is to give them appropriate medicine along with an injection of sterilised water. The fever disappears in a matter of minutes in most cases. This is the classic placebo effect.
Some children who are not happy in school develop fever, stomach ache or diarrhea on Monday morning. The physical symptom is real. Yet, if the mother were to permit the child to stay home, the ailment would vanish within minutes.
A 70-year-old lady sought remedy for her elevator phobia on the first day of my NLP workshop last year at Andheri in Mumbai. She used to live on the 11th floor and one day, 10 years ago she got stuck in the elevator. That was the last day she used the elevator. She took a flat on the first floor on lease. Her two sons live close by, one on the seventh floor and another on the eighth. Visiting them was an impossible task. She longed for company but had to wait until every Sunday when her sons and grandchildren visited her. Her treatment took only a few minutes. I met her this February when I went again to Andheri to conduct my NLP workshop. Now she has gone back to her own flat on the 11th floor. “NLP has changed my life,” she said.
|Prof. Clement D’Souza is a NLP |
master practitioner and teacher,
hypnotherapist and teacher, PLR therapist, reiki master,pranic healer, sujok practioner and a yoga teacher
How does it happen?
Experience has a structure – visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory (VAKOG). We experience the world in terms of seeing-hearing-feeling-smelling and tasting. NLP calls them Representational Systems or Modalities of Perception. Within each modality there are finer distinctions or qualities known as submodalities. For example, a picture has a brightness, distance, depth, and colour. A sound has pressure, location, tone, and direction. A feeling has pressure, location, and temperature. Experience is represented and coded at the submodality level. These submodalities give or create meaning to the experience and in turn send signals to the body on how to feel, respond and behave. Can’t you change the quality of tea, for example, by varying the quality or quantity of one component?
Most of the time, submodalities are not conscious. By becoming aware of them you can bring them up to consciousness. With this awareness, we can alter the submodality structure of our experience. Using a process of combining and sequencing these neural representations, we can change behavior, skills and competencies.
Here is a simple technique. Sit straight and close your eyes. Recall a phobic experience or something that bothers you often. Let us restrict ourselves to the visual part of the experience. Make a mental picture. You may see it inside or outside of you. As said earlier, a mental picture has depth, distance, colour, size, etc.
First, increase the size, make it bright and colourful and draw it closer. Your unpleasantness will get amplified.
Second, make the picture small, black and white and push it far. Now, there is no discomfort or less of it. Swish it out to the horizon rapidly with a sound shoo… Repeat four to five times. Open your eyes, look around and take a deep breath. Now, close your eyes and recall the phobia. There is no phobia! This is called ‘distance swish’ in NLP.
NLP has remedies for phobias, traumas, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs), some types of depression, migraines, allergies, some inexplicable body pains, some types of chronic irritable bowel syndromes, and low self-image. Medical science has no answer for psychosomatic disorders. Even counselling is a poor substitute to deal with these kinds of problems. Medical science now gives increased attention to psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).
Your cells can store and heal
NLP believes that you cannot separate mind from the body – they are a cybernetic loop. What affects one, affects the other. Until recently, medical science thought that mind existed in the brain. Dr. Candace Pert, the famous scientist, discovered that mind exists throughout the body. Healing can be done at the cellular level. Dr. Deepak Chopra popularised this subject. Emotions and memories are stored in many parts of the body, in fact in the cells of those parts. The emotions and memories may be hurt feelings, frustrations, remorse, revenge, lack of forgiveness or fear. When released, healing occurs. There are many documented cases, even of people healing of cancer.
A gentleman working as an accountant elsewhere was transferred to a hospital in Mangalore. When he was writing the duty report that day, he found that his right hand was not moving properly. He was surprised. On the third day his right hand became totally ineffective while writing. He sought medical help. He was diagnosed with writer’s cramp. He consulted several specialists – orthopaedicians, neurologists, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Nothing seemed to work. Within three months he became a psychological wreck. Since his job consisted of mainly writing, he felt more and more frustrated. On using time regression on him, I found that he had gone to the same hospital around the age of seven to see his uncle who had been admitted in a bad condition. The boy had been frightened. The memory got triggered now.
What can NLP do for you?
NLP is an art and science that can help people change their lives. It is a behavioural science and technology. It has its roots in real-life behavior not just theory and research. NLP will:
• Help you change your motivation, empower your goals and create a compelling future.
• Help you enjoy and excel in persuasion and com munication skills whether intrapersonal, interper-sonal or on stage.
• Help you listen to yourself and be aware of what is going on inside your mind, become more congruent and also help you to know what is going on in the minds of others. These skills will enable you to build up a good rapport and relationships at home and at work place.
• Improve self-appreciation, self-esteem and create a strong mental framework.
• Erase past negative experiences like phobias, trau-mas, OCDs, limiting beliefs and negative thinking which sabotage your life and replace them with more empowering ones.
NLP works. For more on how it works, read one of Bandler’s latest books Get the Life You Want – The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change’, Harper Collins and NLP – The New Technology of Achievement by Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner, Nicholas Brealey.
So go ahead and have the best life you can.
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