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Wed, 12th April 2017

"Hypnosis" has been around for thousands of years. However, about 150 years ago Dr Mesmer "re-invented" it as "animal magnetism", with the claim it could alleviate unwanted medical symptoms. The patient held a metal bar which was supposed to give special magnetic powers. It was considered freakish and banned, specially by churches who considered it the work of the evil one.

However, mid last century, it regained respectability when Dr John Hartland and other prominent British physicians in Britain indicated it did have medical benefits. This reflected in Australia, where it gained a foothold in 1968, under Professor Hammer at the University of NSW, and grew rapidly into what is now the Australian Society of Hypnosis (ASH) composed of doctors, psychologists and some dentists.

The patient reclines in an easy chair, with the operator talking in a dull monotone voice. The patient soon falls into a "deep sleep" - not conscious, not unconscious but the in between "subconscious" state. This is the level where memories are stored, where the negatives are deeply rooted. By "removing" these (with positive oral input), they may be permanently erased. Then, "ego strengthening", and positive thoughts are instilled.

Many situations, specially everyday stresses scar the subconscious, leading to symptoms. Such as fears ("phobias") of many issues (travel in lifts, traffic, confined spaces, crowds, spiders), abdominal and chest upsets (panic attack, abdominal discomfort). It may also help asthmatics, headache, migraine, insomnia, and even has benefited some cancer patients.

Today, as it is so time consuming, it has waned in popularity. When seeing patients, I would record the session, and this would be re-played by the patient at bedtime via headphones, reinforcing the positive suggestions. It sure beats medication in appropriate cases. However, it is also used in conjunction with a prescription. Ideally attend a doctor.



What colour is a baby when born?


Baby is a bluish colour (usually coated with white creamy stuff). At the first few gulps of air (usually with as few mighty yells), this rapidly turns to pink. Fresh re-oxygenated blood starts to surge through the system. Air now comes via the mouth, nose and airways, compared to blood received previously via the umbilical cord. This cord is quickly clamped and cut the scar remaining as the navel. We remain a healthy pink for the rest of life.

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I teach and use my voice all day. Yesterday morning I woke up and it was husky and I could not talk. Will this last long?


This is laryngitis, inflammation of the vocal cords where air enters the respiratory tree. It may become inflamed, probably from a mild viral attack (after "getting a chill"). Gargle the throat with warm salty water 3 times a day. Inhale water vapour. To 250 mL of boiling water, add five drops of friars balsam, eucalyptus, or Vicks, and inhale via a paper funnel or with a towel over the head - close the eyes. This medicated vapour soothes the cords. Don't talk for a few days. Majority recover. Antibiotics are not needed. Do not smoke. Wipe face with cold facecloth on conclusion.

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We often hear about "catching a chill". But is this possible?


The eternal parents caution to their kids! The body works within a very tight temperature range. If this drops, even for a few minutes, germs - always present in the throat and air - double their rate of reproduction, and the body's immune response is temporarily dulled. So, an infection, usually sore throat, cold, or "the flu" rapidly ensues. It might take 12-24 hours to develop. "Keep warm, keep dry and keep out of drafts" I have been advising my patients for years.

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A friend had skin cancers removed after applying a special cream for a few weeks.


This has been around for several years, and yes, it is successful in removing many superficial skin cancers. However, it may also dull the body's immune response. Many very adverse side effects have been reported. It is best not to compromise this vital system. Ideally, skin cancers should be surgically removed, and examined under the microscope to make certain it has been totally removed.

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It seems there is no totally "safe" treatment for osteoporosis which afflict millions of men and women.


Make sure you get some sunshine on your skin each day (which builds up Vitamin D in the system, and strengthens bone). Ostelin is a capsule alternative. Calcium tablets (such as caltrate or similar) up to 1800 mg a day are often recommended. Keep exercising, walking is best, but go easy on bending or lifting anything heavy. Many "bisphosphonates" are available, but many have long term adverse side effects. This applies also to intravenous medications. They certainly help, but some adversely affect the bone of the lower jaw, causing irreparable "necrosis" (it rots away).

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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.



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