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The KEY Questions: Must we live with pain?

15 January 17

If there’s one thing hypnotherapy has taught me over many years of study and daily practice, it’s that we humans are open to suggestion to a very large degree. To some this may seem like a trivial observation, even a cliché. To me it’s an absolute truth, one that I’ve proved to my own satisfaction hundreds of times.

It’s the basis of faith healing on the lighter side of the spectrum, and on the darker side, voodoo or so-called ‘black magic’, where the subject is literally persuaded that he or she is going to die, and very often goes on to do just that, sometimes frighteningly quickly. It’s powerful, universal and quite extraordinary.

But it’s not magic.

At least not in the sense of a mysterious, external force acting on the person, for good or evil. What’s really going on is happening 100% in the mind, the result of the individual’s susceptibility to a thought that’s been firmly planted, then nurtured, usually by someone that they trust, (or in some cases fear. It’s sad to think that we humans are generally better at convincing ourselves we are ill than we are at knowing ourselves to be fit and well).

If you accept, as I do, that the mind and body are deeply interconnected, so much so that there’s really nothing to divide them, then it’s easy to see how the mechanism works. Take my own practice of NLP. We use various techniques to help a client’s mind and body to connect. If, as a result, they start to feel a little better, the body sends a signal back to the mind, ‘it’s working’, which then reinforces the original thought, setting in motion a positive feedback loop. I have seen people making the most extraordinary recoveries from all kinds of medical and physical problems in this way.

At the time of writing, a well-known politician has been quoted in the press as saying that due to an old spinal injury he will most likely live with back pain for the rest of his life. A doctor told him so. Given the relatively high status of the patient it would have been a senior doctor who gave this diagnosis, no doubt an expert in his field, with letters after his name and framed qualifications on the wall of his surgery. In other words it would be someone to whom the politician was very willing to surrender his trust.

Here’s my question: Is the doctor’s confident (but negative) prediction more, or less, likely to help the politician’s recovery, put his mind at rest, or lessen his pain in any way?

If it was my back, and if I was to have total faith in such a diagnosis, it could amount to a life sentence, for no other reason than the strength of my own belief.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for those people who dedicate their lives to the study of medicine and the workings of the human body. I would never wish to cast doubt on their hard-won knowledge or indeed their sincerity. But knowing from personal experience how easy it is to bring about a fundamental change in a person simply by using the power of suggestion, bypassing their logical brain to access their body’s unconscious desire to be well, I can’t help feeling that kind of glib diagnosis is irresponsible at best, at worst criminal.

What is the ‘cure’ for back pain? Is there one? I can’t say for sure but in my experience a large component of all physical pain is psychological. If I’m able to help someone using hypnotherapy as a way of realigning their mind and body, easing their pain by altering their mindset, does it mean that they will never suffer pain again, in their back or elsewhere?

Sadly no. We’re living beings and we all suffer aches and pains from time to time. But if our powerful minds are able to condemn us to a life of pain, simply by holding on to a thought that has been implanted, then surely planting the opposite thought can have an equally powerful effect. So I ask you …

Must we live with pain?



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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
    Lucia Pohrebnyak

  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
    Sue Bee

  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
    Phillip Warris

  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.