Your 90 minute healing cycle
You sleep at night and are awake during the day (normally). This is the ‘circadian rhythm’ – happening once every 24 hours. And there are many other natural rhythms, often regulated by hormones (like the menstrual cycle).
And then there are healing rhythms.
Every 90 to 120 minutes we all shift into an altered state of consciousness for around 20 minutes.
During this time, your blood pressure lowers, your immune response is refreshed, and there’s a natural shift in brain hemisphere dominance from left to right – from logical to creative. You might start to daydream, or throw coffee down your throat, or feel like taking a break.
These natural rhythmic cycles receive little or no focus in our modern, fast paced lives. Stress, caffeine, nicotine, pressures to ‘stay focussed’ – all lead us to ignore these healing rhythms at the expense of our health, our productivity and our creativity. But the fact is that the more we block and ignore these gentle but powerful rising/ebbing tides of the mind and body, the less genuinely effective we become. Those who spend their time rushing around, meeting deadlines and filling their diary in an ever increasing need to be busy are missing out on this wonderful, natural healing process we all have access to.
Okay, so we should all chill out sometimes during the day. Now and then going with rather than fighting against your body’s natural rhythms will make you more, not less, productive. When you appear to be doing nothing is often when you are really doing something. Mindfulness is a relatively new buzz word, but the concept is ancient, and is still practiced as a part of daily life in many cultures. We should perhaps take a tip from our pets, especially dogs, who seem to sit and stare at nothing in particular in between long snoozes!
We can all utilise this natural trance-like state not just to encourage the body to do what it needs to do, but also when we are studying and learning, or when we have major decisions to make. We can use it to appeal to the quiet inner wisdom that’s so often drowned out by the noise and fast pace of the 21st century.
We make emotional and physical changes on the inside. When we use progressive relaxation or meditation or hypnotic inner work, the ‘inner’ portion of the experience usually lasts around 20 minutes. This fits harmoniously with the natural ultradian cycle. And this is how we can use the natural window of opportunity that these rhythms open for us.
Making self-hypnosis a part of your daily routine will enable you to notice and go with your body’s natural change in rhythms. Notice when you seem to be unable to focus, when your brain feels tired – that’s the best time to relax, even if only for a few minutes.
This exercise is a great way to enable your mind and body to relax, and doesn’t take very long – enjoy!
Lie down, or sit in a comfortable chair, where your head can rest in a comfortable position. Find a spot on the ceiling or opposite wall, and keep your eyes focussed on that spot. As you begin to relax, notice 3 things that you can see in your peripheral vision, and then 3 things you can hear, and finally 3 things you can physically feel. Take your time doing this. All the time you are focussing on each sensory input your body is moving into relaxation as the natural rhythms are allowed to flow. When you’re ready, close your eyes, and imagine the following:
- The smell of coffee
- The shape of a heart
- The sound of a dog barking
- The sound of waves lapping against the shore
- The taste of lemon
- The smell of freshly cut grass
- The shape of the letters in the word ‘R E L A X’
- The feel of a cats fur
- The feel of soft velvet
- The pattern of a single snowflake
- The feel of walking on fresh snow
You can make up your own list of sensory experiences, and your imagination will provide you with the same feeling as if it were real!
Breathe deeply as you relax for a few more minutes, and then allow yourself to become aware of your surroundings, wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes. As your natural rhythms rise again you will feel energised and refreshed.
Lynda Roberts Cert Ed. SQHP (GHR). CNHC
Lynda is an established and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist and Trainer, helping clients to feel good about themselves from her busy practice in Colchester, Essex. Skype sessions are available for those clients living outside of the area.
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