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I am always looking for new, innovative techniques to treat PTSD. Since each of us is so individual we need many methods to choose from so we can design our recovery process! Today, a look at a possible tool for your PTSD treatment toolbox….
TOP-NO-SIS is a unique toy/tool whereby the player transfers her energy to the angular momentum of the LSX top by manipulating the surface it’s spinning on. Once the skill is learned, the LSX will keep spinning for as long as the player keeps playing.
Originally created as a toy, I realized, early on, that playing had a dramatic effect on the player. I’d begin to play, making conscious choices about which way to steer the spinning top, and the next thing I knew it was twenty minutes later. The top was still spinning, so I must have been playing well, but I had no recollection of having done so, because I was so immersed, revisiting a happy moment that occurred earlier in the week.
By definition, I was in a trance similar to when your thoughts wander while you’re driving. You can’t recall navigating the exit, yet you must have, because you’re home! Trance is a spontaneous state of mind that many of us experience six or seven or more times a day. Topnosis is a hair-trigger mechanism for that state of mind, thus the name.
So, an interesting question is: who’s doing the driving(playing) while you’re totally immersed in your daydream? And the answer is: your unconscious, who’s quite capable, a good friend actually, always makes good decisions for you. Your conscious mind, the part that’s having the daydream, brings all your emotional baggage (neuroses, obsessions) with it.
If a hypnotherapist was a passenger in your car, while you were having your daydream, and she made positive suggestions to you (you won’t remember them, just like you didn’t remember getting off the exit), your unconscious part will hear her and say, “Yes! Yes!” to the positive suggestions, because all your emotional baggage is off having the daydream, so there’s none to resist the positive suggestion. If the hypnotherapist didn’t perform efficiently, and you heard and remembered her suggestions consciously, you’d probably tell her, “Heck, no! Perhaps I’ll do that next week.” In essence, that’s the secret of hypnosis.
This is how you can use Topnosis to help fight various PTSD symptoms including the lessening of anxiety and depression, and defusing panic attacks,
Spin the top. Make it travel in a fairly large, clockwise circle, like the man who’s sitting and playing in the video. Visually track the movement of the top (be sure to mark it at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions each time it goes around). Feel the vibrations as it passes over your fingers. Listen to the warm, relaxing hummmmmmmmm the top emits, similar to the loud purring of a cat. If your thoughts begin to wander to a place you appreciate, that’s cool, hang there and re-experience the moment.
If your thoughts take you to a place that’s disturbing, refocus on the movement of the top, begin to count its revolutions, and synchronize your breathing to them: i.e. inhale through your nose for three revolutions, and exhale through your mouth for five. (Adjust the numbers for personal comfort). Whenever you inhale, imagine you are taking in positive thoughts (or, perhaps, picture inhaling a bunch of friendly icons like smiley faces), and when you exhale, imagine you are ridding yourself of negative thoughts (or nasty icons).
Eventually, you will lose track of the count and of your breathing as well, because your mind will wander, but it will wander to healthy places more often than not. Just as your body attempts to heal itself, there is an internal, dynamic drive toward mental health that Topnosis helps to trigger.
* Once your muscle memory is firmly entrenched, and you can imagine yourself playing—including visualizing the top, feeling the vibrations, and hearing the warm, relaxing hum—you will find that you can accomplish similar therapeutic goals w/o Topnosis in your hands.
Ed, 64, is a retired hypnotherapist, inventor, and new author who received his certification training at the Access and Wellness Center in New Paltz, New York in 1994. These days, he spends most of his time at home, a farmhouse built in 1813, writing the sequel to his new novel, venting on his blog (http://tinyurl.com/2373ter), networking on Twitter (Writemakesmight), and playing with his cats. Occasionally, he still practices, but will only accept bartered goods or services in return.
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