Here on the south coast of England, it is hot. Properly hot. We are experiencing a heatwave and it has hit 30 degrees a few times. I love Summer here, we get to spend time at our beach hut, wear shorts all day every day, go swimming, go out on the sea on my paddle board and so much more besides… At night time however, I struggle to sleep when it is so warm. I know that many, many of my friends who are also not used to this level of warmth say the same; my Facebook newsfeed is filled with comments relating to the heat at night. I often yearn for a pillow that feels as if it has been in the fridge.
I have been alleviating the issue with self-hypnosis, but you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?
A while back I wrote about how to use self-hypnosis to increase your body temperature, which you can go and read to advance what you read here. On one hand, you can do the same process I give you there except using a cool and/or cold source instead of a heat source, to lower your body temperature. That’ll give you one way of cooling yourself down.
This is not just some flight of fancy by the way. There are numerous studies that have examined the effects of hypnosis upon peripheral skin temperature and related blood supply and blood flow. In my consulting rooms and throughout my trainings, many clients and students often report a change in body temperature just as a bi-product of being hypnotised, some researchers have attempted to explore this and see if skin temperature is some sort of ‘bio-marker’ of hypnosis but have had mixed and inconclusive results (Reid & Curtisinger, 1968; Grabowska, 1971; Peters & Stern, 1974; Piedmont, Bregman & McAllister, 1985). However, of more interest to us here is whether or not (and how) hypnosis can be used to control or lower your body temperature. I have seen students in my classrooms conducting glove anaesthesia, using mental imagery of cold and numbness whereby the skin colour has changed dramatically and the hand has felt cold to the touch compared to the other hand and despite being in a warm room!
The evidence would generally suggest that hypnosis can be used to alter temperature (Barabasz & McGeorge, 1978; Dikel & Olness, 1980; Piedmont, 1983). One study suggested that hypnosis was less about actually altering temperature, rather it altered the perception of temperature (Wallace & Kokoszka, 1992). A study that I have mentioned before here even used hypnotically suggested hypothermia to control cancer metastases as a result of the blood withdrawing from those areas (August, 1975). As you can see then, despite many of the studies looking at warming up areas, there have been some that have looked at cooling temperature, which is great news for redhead self-hypnotists wanting to improve their ability to deal with heat waves! In general terms, the evidence is inconclusive regarding the direct effect of hypnosis upon actual peripheral skin temperature (though some studies would disagree), however, if (as some studies suggest) hypnosis simply alters the experience and perception of the individual, that is good enough for us, right?
I have drawn together the strategies used throughout the study methodologies to offer you up a process you can use to help lower your body temperature. Simply get yourself into a receptive, upright, seated position, with your arms and legs uncrossed, in a place where you’ll be undisturbed for the duration of this session and then follow these simple steps.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Use progressive relaxation to get settled, to deepen your hypnotic experience and also to create a foundation of cooling sensation that you are going to build upon. That is, use a cooling, soothing sense of relaxation to deepen your hypnotic experience. Imagine cool colours (white or blue, for example) to spread around your body as you relax your muscles in turn. Imagine that as your body relaxes, it is using less energy and so producing less heat. Gently assure yourself of all the steps you engage in with this process, do not grasp at them or force them to occur. Believe they are happening and use your imagination to make each step as vivid as possible.
Use your internal dialogue and self-talk in a soothing manner throughout your relaxation to suggest coolness and a soothing sense of relaxation. For example, words like “cooler” “chilled” and “cooling” are obviously ideal. Take your time to do this diligently, gently and thoroughly. You’ll be rewarded for your patience and for not attempting to force yourself to cool down here, which I am sure you can imagine may have the opposite effect.
Once you have done this step throughly, move on to the next one.
Important note here:
As I’ll say again at the end, not all of this imagery may be right for you, you can pick and choose which of steps 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 you do; I use all of them, the more sources I can draw upon to aid my cooling seems to suit me better, however, some of the imagery may not appeal to you or be imagery that you enjoy, therefore, use whatever you think is best for you. Do each of these steps in a thorough, diligent manner and take enough time (and be patient) to generate the effect required. Throughout any of the steps you follow, you might like to accompany each step with the idea of a mental thermostat and with each step you take, the thermostat shows your temperature gradually being reduced.
Imagine that you have a medical drip attached that is helping to cool your blood. it is cooling and spreading around your body. You might imagine accompanying colours and sensations that spread through the body.
If you find this objectionable or too medical, it can be much simpler to imagine drinking a really cold, or icy drink (like a slushy or ice cone) and imagine it cooling you down on the inside. Imagine it spreading through you and cooling your core.
Imagine having a novocaine injection administered that sends a distinctly cold, chilling sensation underneath your skin. Then imagine the coolness spreading and working it’s way through the body, cooling, chilling and soothing.
Imagine that you have air conditioning in the room you are in which is set to chill the air and you can really notice it. How do you recognise that it is on? What sensations tell you that the room you are in is cooling?
Really believe that there is a cool icy breeze blowing all around you.
Imagine that you administer ice packs to your skin. Pick areas that are key, or that you believe will affect the rest of your body. I imagine them on my forehead, in the centre of my chest and around my ankles.
Now either step in, or jump into an icy cold plunge pool, ice bath or step under a freezing cold shower. You may wish to avoid this step if you are doing this in bed at night and want to sleep, just in case you do it so well that you feel invigorated and awakened as a result!
I use my real-life memory and experience of stepping out of a sauna in the Finland countryside during winter and jumping into a lake where the surface ice had been cut through in order for us to get in. It took the breath away! It helps me to cool down greatly.
Now add more belief and use your cognitions in a relaxed fashion to advance all you have done so far. Use cognitions and believe that you are cooler and cooling further. Tell yourself you are. Believe that this is relaxing you, taking you deeper into hypnosis and also tell yourself that this cooling sensation continues healthily and appropriately for an hour or two after you have finished with the self-hypnosis session itself.
Exit hypnosis. If you follow my own protocol, then count yourself up and out from one through to five, otherwise, wiggle your fingers and toes, take some deeper breaths and open your eyes to bring the session to an end as you reorient yourself with your surroundings.
With steps 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, you can use all of just one of those things suggested (if you are uncomfortable with needles or drips, for example). As I say with many of these self-hypnosis processes, the evidence would suggest, and my experience with clients and students, is that regular practice enhances the results and responses you get with this kind of technique. Therefore, practice daily for several weeks to really be able to feel as if you have a good degree of control over your temperature, and if you experience a heatwave that you are not used to, I hope it helps you lower your body temperature and sleep at night 🙂
With some of the steps (ice packs, air conditioning, plunge pool) you might like to actually go and have some of those experiences and do them repeatedly so that you have as vivid a real-life experience to draw upon in your imagination when you use this self-hypnosis application. Pay close attention to the real-life experience, record as much detail as you can during the experience and it will give you more to apply in the self-hypnosis session and help to lower your body temperature.
Enjoy that, I’ll be back soon.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.
August, R. V. (1975) Hypnotic induction of hypothermia: an additional approach to postoperative control of cancer recurrence. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18: 52-55.
Barabasz, A. F. & McGeorge, C. M. (1978) Biofeedback, mediated feedback and hypnosis in peripheral vasodilation training. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 21: 28-37.
Dikel, W. & Olness, K. (1980) Self-hypnosis, biofeedback, and voluntary peripheral temperature control in children. Pediatrics, 66: 335-340.
Grabowska, M. J. (1971) The effects of hypnosis and hypnotic suggestion on the blood flow in the extremities. Polish Medical Journal, 10: 1044-1051.
Peters, J. E. & Stern, R. M. (1974) Peripheral skin temperature and vasomotor responses during hypnotic induction. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 21: 102-108.
Piedmont, R. L. (1983) Relationship between hypnotic susceptibility and thermal regulation: new directions for research. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56: 627-631.
Reid, A. F. & Curtisinger, G. (1968) Physiological changes associated with hypnosis: the effect of hypnosis on temperature. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16: 111-119.
Wallace, B. & Kokoszka, A. (1992) Experience of peripheral temperature change during hypnotic analgesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40: 180-193.