PRINCEVILLE — Dr. Ran Anbar’s journey to clinical hypnosis began with a burger.
About 20 years ago, he realized that one of his patients, Paul, who was severely lactose-intolerant, could develop asthma attacks just from the thought of eating a cheeseburger.
Paul’s condition helped Anbar realize the extent to which a person’s mental state could impact physical health, and left him with the question: “If you can think your way into disease, can you think your way out?”
He only had a passing knowledge of clinical hypnosis at that point, but was encouraged by a fellow doctor to use the techniques to control Paul’s respiratory problems.
Anbar began practicing hypnosis with Paul, and saw immediate success. The sessions, in which Anbar would coach Paul to imagine a relaxing place, inducing him into a trance-like state, quickly calmed Paul down and helped him manage his anxiety.
His treatment of Paul began a long career in hypnosis that Anbar details in his book “Changing Children’s Lives with Hypnosis: A Journey to the Center,” which he will discuss Friday at the Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe from 5 to 7 p.m.
“Hypnosis in it’s modern form has been around 70 years. But hardly any doctor knows about it,” said Anbar in an interview in the lobby of his Princeville hotel. “I’m hoping that through this book people start to ask their physicians about it.”
The book covers Anbar’s 20 years of experience with the technique, during which he has treated 5,000 children.
He served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of pediatric pulmonology at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, for 21 years, and now practices at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California.
He has become a leader in the field of hypnosis, serving as a guest editor and advisory editor for the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, training more than a thousand health care providers and lecturing all over the world.
The technique involves putting patients in a trance-like state with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images.
“All good clinicians use hypnosis, whether they realize it or not,” Anbar said. “When you practice medicine or psychology, well, you’re using hypnotic elements.”
Key to the hypnosis process, Anbar says, is tapping into the subconscious mind, which can be a source of inspiration and wisdom.
Some of the results of Anbar’s treatment verge on the miraculous. One of his patients in the book was able to control frequent seizures by visualizing his favorite character, Spongebob Squarepants, as a protective shield around his head.
Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island