The medical establishment is recognising more and more that stress and other psychological factors play a significant role in the creation of chronic or persistent illnesses and conditions. High blood pressure, psoriasis, recurrent colds and flu, migraines, irritable bowel, impotence and slow wound healing are just some of the types of ailments that can be said to be at least partly caused or aggravated by psychological processes.
Hypnotherapists are often challenged to find a way of helping clients with these problems, and one of the best tools they can use is a technique called the 7 Common Causes (or Keys) of Psychosomatic Disorders.
This technique is credited to psychologist and hypnotherapist Leslie LeCron, who identified seven key issues that give rise to illness and chronic conditions.
To use the 7 keys, you induce hypnosis in the client and then set up ideomotor signalling. Ideomotor signalling is the use of finger movements to indicate yes, no and “can’t say yet” answers. Once the signals have been set up, you proceed to go through the keys one by one, explaining what each one means and then asking whether the client’s inner mind senses this issue is affecting them. If the client answers yes to any of the questions, you probe deeper to find when the issue began.
The 7 keys
Here are the 7 keys to unlocking any psychosomatic condition:
A conflict occurs when someone feels they should do something but they really want to do the opposite. They are pulled in two directions, and this creates discomfort and loss of energy.
2. Organ language
Symptoms can be caused by organ language – phrases in our everyday conversation that use a body part or organ in a negative way. For example, we say things like, My mother-in-law is a pain in the neck.
Something else that can cause symptoms is what we call motivation. We are motivated to have a symptom in order to solve a problem. For example, children getting sick to avoid school.
4. Past experience
One of the causes of symptoms is a very emotional episode that occurred in the past that is still affecting a person. It leaves an imprint in the mind and body.
Identification occurs when we have a strong emotional attachment to another person who had or has the same symptom.
Sometimes a discomforting symptom can seem necessary to compensate for a feeling of guilt. We feel we need to punish ourselves for something that happened.
A suggestion is an idea that has been accepted at a subconscious level; it is imprinted into our deepest memory. A suggestion is often introduced at a highly emotional time, and can be given by an authority figure or by the client themselves.
The 7 Keys technique is one of the most powerful tools a hypnotherapist can use to unlock a client’s symptoms. The technique is described in detail in the book Ideomotor Signals for Rapid Hypnoanalysis by Dabney M. Ewin and Bruce N. Eimer.