Body/Mind Connection by Anne Spencer




by Anne H. Spencer, Ph.D.

Lilly Tomlin once said, “When I speak to God, they call it prayer. When God speaks to me, they call it schizophrenia!”

A decade ago when I told clients that we could talk to their immune cells and make a change for the better, their doctors thought I was schizophrenic. Times have changed. Now mainstream America is fully aware that traditional medicine is not the only answer. Alapathic medicine is one of perhaps several solutions to a current medical challenge.


Every day in the popular press, (newspapers, magazines, radio and TV), we are hearing of amazing results when alternative therapies are used to heal. It seems that all of these therapies have one common ingredient. It is: The patient wants to get better and is willing to go along with the new protocol, having hope and faith that it will bring a better quality of life. Some call this self-hypnosis at its best! I would agree.

When a form of hypnosis is used with the healing prescription there are positive results. Hypnosis is given many names these days. They are: relaxation response, stress reduction imagery, mental imagery, guided meditation, visual prayer, guided prayer, trance, visualization, imagery, journeying, safe place imagery, becoming centered, the list goes on… It matters not the name, as long as the desired results are achieved.

Because of all the positive results that have been achieved through alternative medicine the National Institutes of Health have created an Office of Alternative Medicine. Larry Dossey, MD is an internal medicine physician and co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. He says that they are gearing up to do research into alternative therapies that up until recently have been considered “fringe” and unorthodox. Areas of study will include meditation, biofeedback, psychotherapy, hypnosis, prayer, distant or psychic healing, art, music, and dance, to name a few. Senator Harkin head of the Senate Appropriations Committee which controls the purse strings of the NIH issued the following mandate.

“The committee is not satisfied that the conventional medical community as symbolized by NIH has fully explored the potential that exists in unconventional medical practices…In order to more adequately explore these unconventional medical practices the committee requests that NIH establish within the office of the director an office to fully investigate and validate these practices. The committee further directs that the NIH convene and establish an advisory panel

to screen and select the procedures for investigation and to recommend a research program to fully test the most promising unconventional medical practices.”

Dossey adds: “It is crucial that lay persons realize that the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine was created not by developments from within medicine but by pressures from outside the profession.


This means your efforts can have a major impact. Write your senators and representatives. Key points you should make: * Educate them. Many have never heard of the new NIH Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM). * Urge them to support funding for the NIH-OAM. Without it, these developments will die on the vine. * Ask them to take a serious look at the formal report due out from the Office. It will document the scientific evidence underlying many alternative therapies. * Above all, point out that many alternative methods not only work and are extremely safe, they are cost effective as well. In this era of escalating health care cost, cost effectiveness is a compelling argument in favor of alternative medicine.”

May I add, that as a hypnotherapists it is imperative for you to be in close contact with your state and national elected officials. They are your servants, you elected them, you have a profession that is fast being recognized for its benefits to medicine. Now is the time to make your voice heard. If you wait, some other profession will take up the banner and you’ll be left on the sideline wondering why.

Larry Dossey, M.D. is on the honorary board of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association. As we have talked he assures me that Hypnosis is being carefully studied and documented for its place in the Alternative Protocols. A door marked HYPNOTHERAPIST in every health care facility worldwide is now more than a dream. It is well on its way to becoming a reality. It will require well trained professionals in the art and science of Hypnosis. I expect that many of you will be among those who will staff these facilities. It is part of the aim of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association to be the source of recruitment for these health care providers.