by David Lesser,
First published in the Hypnotherapy Journal
Issue 4, February, 1987
(The Newsletter of Association Qualified Curative Hypnotherapists –
a registered charity [No. 294512] which existed from 1985 to 2007)
A quarter of a century ago, back in July 1960, the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports and the Council of Mental Health of the American Medical Association, condemned the use of hypnotism on the grounds that it caused athletes to suffer cases of exhaustion and muscular strain. In other words, the hypnotists working with these athletes, were using hypnosis to tell competitors that they could achieve more, without doing anything to find out why they were not achieving their maximum potential.
They must have been treating symptoms by the dangerous practice of suggestion or visualisation only, leaving them with two distinct sets of information – the one saying ‘I can’, but the deeper reactions of the subconscious, by denying this, were causing conflict and confusion which resulted in the problems mentioned.
This sort of ‘treatment’ still goes on under many guises. Pain in a leg can be disguised
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