What’s the most amazing thing about your immune system?
It remembers every microbe it has ever encountered and defeated.
And that’s true whether you’re 5, 25 or 125 years old.
The immune system’s job is to protect your body from disease and to keep your cells healthy.
And while it can do that pretty well on its own most of the time, it’s not always as effective as it might be.
One of the main reasons for that is stress.
However, research has shown the value of hypnosis for immune system functionality.
Hypnosis boosts the immune system because it has the ability to lower stress and the hormones that cause stress.
It can also help to increase your white blood cell activity which is essential for the immune system to operate well.
That’s significant, because your immune system detects and reacts to any foreign objects, bacteria, viruses or pathogens that invade your system.
But it doesn’t just stand guard for the bad guys: it looks after all of your healthy tissue too.
Which is why it helps when you have a proven technique such as hypnosis to give it a boost when a boost is needed.
This blog will explore how hypnosis can improve the way your immune system functions and reduce your body’s susceptibility to illness.
Let’s kick things off by getting to know a little bit more about the immune system and how it works.
Understanding The Immune System & Its Significance In Overall Health
Another amazing fact about the immune system is that it can distinguish healthy tissue from any unwanted intruders.
It’s literally your body’s main tool for preventing or limiting infection.
Simply put, without an immune system to protect you, you would be vulnerable to every germ, bacteria and virus out there.
You’d probably experience some or all of the following:
- Feel under a lot of stress
- Get plenty of colds
- Feel tired all the time
- Find that wounds take longer to heal
- Find yourself battling off one infection after another
A severely weakened immune system leaves you at risk of contracting things such as the COVID-19 virus or similar infections that might ultimately result in death.
Sometimes the immune system gets it wrong, however, such as when you have an allergy.
At such times it mistakes healthy tissue for unhealthy tissue and launches an attack, leading to what can be unpleasant and often threatening symptoms.
That’s how the immune system operates in general, but what is it exactly?
Working Components Of The Immune System
Your immune system is made up of a range of components that work together to keep you healthy. They include the following:
- White blood cells
- Bone marrow
- Lymphatic system
- Tonsils, adenoids and appendix
According to this article on Medical News Today, white blood cells circulate throughout your body in the blood and the lymphatic vessels.
These white blood cells are like hunters, constantly on the lookout for pathogens. When they locate one they start to multiply and send signals to other cells to do the same.
Despite this, however, your immune system doesn’t always perform at its best. But why not?
Factors That Can Weaken Your Immune System
As mentioned above, a weakened immune system leaves you vulnerable to infections and disease. So what kinds of things can weaken or suppress it?
- Lack of sleep – sleep is necessary to give your body time to make certain antibodies. Without enough of it, you’re more likely to get infections and to take longer to recover.
- Too much stress – stress has been shown to weaken immune systems and makes it more difficult for you to fight off things like the flu and other types of viruses.
- Not enough fruit and veg – these foods help your body to produce white blood cells which are essential for a healthy immune system. With nuts and seeds, they contain many of the vitamins and minerals needed to help fend off infections and disease.
- Smoking and alcohol – nicotine and other chemicals can be harmful since they negatively impact your body’s ability to fight germs and to repair itself.
- Too little time outdoors – it’s thought that sunlight helps boost the T-cells that help your body to fight infection. It’s also a great source of vitamin D, needed for bone growth and for reducing inflammation.
- Not enough exercise – regular exercise has been shown to be effective at keeping your blood circulating around your body, which helps distribute germ-fighting substances to all the right places.
It’s clear that keeping the immune system functioning properly is an important consideration. But where does hypnosis fit into the picture?
The Science Behind Hypnosis & The Immune System
As this online article points out, research has shown that focused hypnosis combined with visualization techniques can keep your immune system from weakening.
The article goes on to say that hypnosis seems to boost the immune system in hypnosis subjects compared to subjects who don’t undergo hypnosis.
This research, reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2001, also notes that the more frequently participants practiced hypnosis, the better their immune response became.
In another report, a patient had fallen and broken her ankle and tibia, requiring extensive surgery. Her leg was put in a cast and she had to use crutches and a wheelchair.
After 3 months her leg was x-rayed to see how things were going and to prepare her for wearing a boot, followed by months of physical therapy to promote mending.
But the consultant was amazed to discover that the patient’s leg had completely healed. He asked what she had been doing in the meantime.
The patient replied that her hypnotherapist had given her hypnosis tapes that included visualizing her bones knitting together and suggestions around boosting her immune system.
These are all real and verifiable results, but how is it that hypnosis is able to boost a person’s immune system in the first place?
How Hypnosis Can Positively Influence Your Immune System
You can use hypnosis to boost your immune system in a bunch of different ways.
1. Lifestyle factors – your immune system can be adversely affected by diet, exercise and sleep, all of which can be improved using various hypnosis techniques.
2. Stress – too much stress can seriously weaken your immune system. When you’re stressed, your body produces extra cortisol and adrenaline, which both negatively affect how your immune system operates. Hypnosis is one the most efficient ways to reduce and even eliminate stress and stress producing hormones.
3. White blood cells – it’s been shown that hypnosis visualizations can be used to increase your body’s white blood cells, the very things needed for your immune system to fight off viruses and infections.
A review posted on the PubMed site notes that self-hypnosis training with targeted imagery for immune system functioning was used on medical students at exam time. The results showed that students who underwent the hypnosis enjoyed better all-round well-being and suffered fewer winter viral infections.
Specific Hypnosis Techniques For Immune System Enhancement
The evidence is clear: hypnosis really can boost your immune system. But how exactly does it do that?
Here are several hypnosis techniques that could be used individually or together to give your immune system a lift.
This is a technique that involves bombarding (blitzing) the person with hypnotic themes related to what they’re trying to achieve, in this case enhancing the immune system, using words and phrases such as strong, vigorous, hale & hearty, fighting fit, robust, and so on. The goal is to impact their future performance by helping them establish an abundance of positive self-talk.
Non-Awareness Set (NAS)
This creates a conscious/unconscious dissociation in the mind, turning your attention to something physically irrelevant (such as your breathing) so that your unconscious mind is free to operate. The NAS takes your attention away from an existing skill so you stop focusing on the problem and can let your instincts take over instead.
Dynamic Mental Imagery (DMI)
This is a kind of visualization, a hypnotic journey in which you find symbols that are relevant to boosting your immune system. Your unconscious responds to symbols particularly well, making this technique extremely effective.
Mind Bending Language (MBL)
This technique involves interrupting harmful thought loops to stop negative self-talk. It changes the way you perceive things so you’re unable to think in that old, harmful way, making it more difficult for negative self-talk to take over.
Another way to improve your immune health is through the use of positive affirmations and guided visualizations.
Affirmations are positive statements that get repeated over and over. Research shows that this simple tool is remarkably effective in helping promote positive changes in your overall well-being.
Guided visualizations are similar to the DMI mentioned above. Creating mental imagery in this way has been shown to strengthen neural pathways.
The more you use these pathways, the stronger they become. It’s also possible to create new pathways using this technique.
These types of visualization techniques are frequently used by performers and athletes to help them see themselves playing and performing better. Just imagining improvements in this way is enough to help them reach new levels of mastery.
The same technique can be used for boosting your immune system by simply focusing your thoughts on building more white cells and keeping yourself as stress-free as possible.
The Role Of Relaxation In Improving Immune System Function Using Hypnosis
Stress is a major factor that can weaken your immune system. That’s because it takes a lot of energy for your body to deal with and to try to eliminate stress.
And that highlights one of the reasons why hypnosis is so effective at boosting your immune system.
Studies show that hypnosis has a measurable effect on the immune system, able to increase the production of white blood cells. Hypnosis is also particularly useful at encouraging relaxation and reducing stress, which helps to keep your immune system stronger.
This naturally makes you feel healthier and more at ease, increasing your overall sense of well-being. And when you feel good, your body sends out more of those “feel-good” hormones, keeping your immune system ticking over nicely.
There’s no doubt about it. Hypnosis for immune system functionality is a safe and effective way to improve your body’s immune system, keeping you fit, healthy and free from the onset of disease or illness.
Your immune system is responsible for keeping you healthy by detecting and fighting off germs, viruses and bacteria.
It works by producing white blood cells that circulate in your bloodstream and ward off unwelcome invaders.
Hypnosis is able to improve your immune system’s effectiveness by helping it make more white blood cells and by helping you relax and remain free of stress.
A weakened immune system can make you feel:
- Highly stressed
- Frequently tired
- Prone to colds and infections
It’s likely that any wounds you have will take longer to heal than normal. You might also suffer from a weakened immune system if you:
- Don’t get enough sleep
- Don’t eat enough fruit and veg
- Don’t spend enough time outdoors
- Don’t get enough exercise
- Smoke or drink alcohol to excess
As well as contributing to the production of much needed white blood cells, hypnosis can positively influence your immune system in other ways.
It can be used to improve certain lifestyle factors such as diet and sleep.
It can regulate the release of stress hormones that have an adverse effect on the immune system’s operation.
Using visualization techniques, it’s possible to increase your body’s white blood cell count which is vital for fighting viruses and infections.
There are many hypnosis techniques that can improve your immune system’s functionality, including the Blitz, the Non-Awareness Set, Dynamic Mental Imagery, Mind Bending Language and so on.
You might also make use of positive affirmations to implant powerful suggestions into your unconscious mind.
However you look at it, hypnosis has the potential to play a significant role either on its own or as a complementary treatment to ensure your overall health and well-being.