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Preventing Heart Attacks Using Hypnosis: A Very Odd Approach

                                          By C. Devin Hastings, Minnesota hypnotist, author and educator


As the hypnotist slowly waved the toothbrush in front of his subject’s eyes, he said in a monotone: “Your eyes are getting heavy, droopy and drowsy.  And when you awaken, you will realize you want to brush your teeth.  In fact, you will have an incredible desire to brush your teeth 2-3 times a day because your teeth will be happy and your heart will be healthier.” 


Yes, it’s true: clean teeth have now been strongly linked to a healthy heart.  A large study in Scotland involving almost 12,000 people has revealed that persons who rarely or never brushed their teeth were 70% more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event.   (And yes, lifestyle factors such as whether a study participant was poor, a smoker, overweight, etc, were accounted for in the study.)


Now, prior to this comprehensive study led by Richard Watt, Ph.D., of University College London, it was known that periodontal disease was linked to heart disease. (Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition mainly caused by poor oral hygiene),


But what wasn’t known before Dr. Watt’s study is just how strong the link is between oral hygiene and heart health.  His study has made it obvious that brushing your teeth twice a day can have far more benefits than having “minty fresh breath.”


If you are a non-hypnotist reading this article you may wonder: “Can a hypnotist really bend someone to their will and make them brush their teeth?”


Well, if you are a parent, you know the answer to that question: No way.  My two year old son Thomas grows extra arms and legs and makes some fascinating but frightening sounds and faces when I bring a toothbrush near his mouth. 


Sadly our toddler does not yet understand the concept of bribery but his mother and I are working on that.  We figure we’ll give him a candy bar for each time he brushes his teeth J


In all seriousness, even though hypnosis never has and never will be able to make people do things that violate their morals, ethics and values, it can powerfully help a person to do those things they find acceptable. 


Another way that a hypnotist can help a client easily improve their health is by hypnotizing them to avoid excessive amounts of sugar; much of which is hidden in ordinary food.


According to The National Cancer Institute and based on a 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average person consumes 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar each day.  (It’s probably more now but this was the latest info I could find.) Picture yourself sitting down and literally scooping over 22 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth.   


As a reminder of how deadly too much sugar can be, keep in mind that common health risks associated with eating excess sugar include obesity, heart conditions, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and hypertension. It used to be that these diseases were found in older adults but now many are being reported in children and teenagers.


What is the maximum amount of sugar a person should have?  According to a 2009 study published by the American Heart Association, healthy adult women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar (six teaspoons) per day and healthy adult men should have no more than 37.5 grams (nine teaspoons) of sugar per day.


Have a look at that “healthy” yogurt you or a friend are eating.  Many I have seen contain at least 25 grams of sugar. 


Now you would think that because they’re growing, kids could have more sugar than adults.  Well, according to the American Heart Association kids should have no more than 12 grams (3 teaspoons) of sugar per day.  Teens should keep their intake to no more than 18-37 grams (5 teaspoons) of sugar per day.


What about juice with “natural” sugar?  Isn’t that healthy?  A little bit is.  Specifically, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children under 7 years of age should drink no more than 6 ounces of juice and children over the age of 7 should have no more than12 ounces of fruit juice each day.


The conclusion is clear: In a very safe and simple way, a hypnotist can make a powerful and profound contribution to a person’s health by helping them to eat less sugar and to brush more often (if necessary).


Following are some suggestions I use:


“Life is sweeter with less sugar.”


“You are forgetting to drink soda.”


“You can enjoy sweet things more by having less of them.”


“When you eat sweet things, you are doing so slowly and thoughtfully so that you are focusing on the flavor more and more.” 

(Many sweets are consumed almost mindlessly and my clients have remarked that as they focus more on the flavor, they eat less and less.)


“You are focusing on how easy it really is to brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes.”


“Have fun imagining your teeth sounding happy after you have brushed them.”


“You are easily remembering to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day.”


If possible, get your client’s dentist to offer you specific suggestions they want their patient to follow. 


Have an excellent day and smile because it makes people wonder what you’re up to J




P.S., Below is a link to another article I have written concerning hypnosis for dentistry:



The article author,  C. Devin Hastings, is the President of the Minnesota Institute of Advanced Communication Skills, owner of MindBody Hypnosis and creator of several hypnosis books and over 30 hypnosis/self-help audio and video programs.




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