Stream of Consciousness Blog

Using Integrated Energy Medicine Techniques to Address PMS

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Most non-Western medical traditions recognize that physical imbalance, particularly in chronic conditions, is just the tip of the iceberg. They recognize that physical illness is the last and most serious condition in a long line of manifestations by a particular imbalance. Non-Western and shamanic healing traditions, including Chinese medicine, all suggest that physical illness originates in the spirit. My work confirms this position as well.

Creating Safety: A Glimpse of the Role of Energy in the Process of Self-Transformation

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

One important aspect of creating safety in the process of opening to the inner world is the development of ways of perceiving information that can be significantly different than the ways in which we gather information in a waking state. One way of perceiving information which is known about, but minimized, in conscious-mind reality, is through what is referred to as “the sixth sense.” This is the sense that you use to gather information without being consciously aware. You may have had the experience of sitting with your back to the door reading or writing or involved in a project. You don’t hear anything, you don’t see anything, but you know someone is standing in the doorway. And you turn around, and, indeed, someone is there.

Quack Like a Duck

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Hypnotherapy is an ancient art. The Ebers Papyrus from 3000 BCE describes the way it was used as a “sleep cure” to help with a variety of ailments in ancient Egypt. In Greece, hypnosis was used to treat soldiers returning from war who were suffering from the effects of being exposed to the trauma of the battlefield.

More recently, Western Europeans became exposed to the art of hypnotherapy through their colonization of other countries with ancient healing traditions that contained hypnosis as a treatment option.

Hypnosis: The Secular Sacrament

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I often think of hypnosis as a secular sacrament. At first glance, “secular sacrament” appears to be an oxymoron. How can something sacred, and therefore traditionally a part of the religious community within a society, be the same thing as something secular, and therefore a part of the political and socioeconomic community of a society? This chapter will show how hypnosis functions as a secular sacrament, yet remains outside of the trappings of the larger cultural and social realities.

Opening the Doors to the Self - The Shamanic Journey

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

We understand the breadth and depth of the self in many ways through many types of experiences. Often, we come to understand our experience as human beings by directing or projecting parts of ourselves either outward or inward. The self at a soul level reveals, through the language of images, which parts of ourselves are seeking understanding at ever-deepening levels. In relationships with others, we project these parts outward in the form of images. In dreams, we project these parts inward in the form of images. The reflection we receive back gives us information on which we base our sense of self.

Opening the Doors to the Self - Dreams

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Widening our definitions of reality to include phenomena which are regularly perceived by the unconscious can help us find the path back to the self at a soul level. This is true even if these phenomena are discounted by the conscious mind. Dreams provide a valuable perspective on this journey and their messages are available to us on a regular basis. In order to decipher those messages, we must allow the defenses of the conscious mind to rest. This allows us to use its acuity to organize the information we are receiving in dreams. By using hypnosis to gain access to dream images generated during sleep, we can perceive that we are actually developing a relationship with profound and utterly personal guidance.

Opening the Doors to the Self - Spirit Involvement

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As we have seen, there are many paths to self-knowledge. Understanding the self is a complex process because the self is so complex. There are many facets to our being that our conscious-mind awareness generally blocks out. It must do this in order to deal with the very complicated external world we must negotiate in our daily life. The creation of a vehicle from which to explore the external world is one of the primary tasks we have to accomplish as part of our development. For many of us, this development is not as linear or logical as we would like to believe.

Opening the Doors to the Self - Pain as a Guidepost

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As we have seen, one of the most valuable tools in this journey to the encounter of the self at a soul level is the ability to create an atmosphere where it is safe. We must feel safe in order to remain present with pain long enough to be able to understand its origins. Within the framework of hypnosis, the path through pain or imbalance can reveal itself safely. It can lead us across the field of the pain through the psyche to the encounter with the self at a soul level. To begin this journey, it is important to examine the kinds of relationships we have with pain.

Opening the Doors to the Self - Habits

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Given the few opportunities to experience ourselves authentically at a soul level in most modern Western cultures, where are we to find an opening to the pathways to the sacred experience of ourselves? The doorways which hypnosis opens for us to begin the journey to the experience of ourselves at a soul level are numerous. They are most often found in unexpected places: in “bad” habits, phobias, panic, compulsive or imbalanced behaviors, and even physical pain.

Opening the Doors to the Self - Relationships

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Recently I heard an interview on National Public Radio’s program Fresh Air, with the Dalai Lama’s official translator. The interviewer, Terry Gross, asked him if there were ever Western concepts he had trouble translating into Tibetan. The translator said the hardest concept he had ever tried to convey emerged from a conference on Buddhism and psychology held in the United States. He had enormous difficulty trying to translate the words which described the concept of self-loathing. It took him almost half an hour to find the words to help the Dalai Lama understand this concept.

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