This specific technique has been found useful with patients in whom the underlying dynamic for the eating disorder has been found to be related to past trauma. This can be done by using hypnosis as a diagnostic tool with the aid of such techniques as the affect bridge (Watkins, 1978; Channon, 1981) and other methods of hypnoanalytic exploration in conjunction with ideomotor signalling (Cheek & Le Cron, 1968; Barnett, 1981; Brown & Fromm, 1986). Once this has been identified, the patient can be guided with the use of age regression to the original trauma to which the eating disorder is being related. Many patients then have a chance to fully abreact emotions attached to the original trauma, and the emotional catharsis in the abreaction itself already produces some relief. At times, a significant improvement (although not a full cure) of the eating disorder symptoms is apparent. This has been described in previous publications on the special subgroup of patients with eating disorders in whom the eating disorder symptoms may be a manifestation of an underlying post-traumatic stress disorder (Torem & Curdue, 1988). To make this specific technique work, additional methods should be attached such as cognitive restructuring, and other methods which use hypnotic suggestion for personal growth, healing, recovery, letting go of the past and being liberated from the traumatic memories (Watkins, 1980).
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HYPNOTISM is by no means a new art. True, it has been developed into a science in comparatively recent years. But the principles of thought control have been used for thousands of years in India, ancient Egypt, among the Persians, Chinese and in many other ancient lands. Miracles of healing by the spoken word and laying on of hands are recorded in many early writings.