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                                              Tourette's, Poison Ivy, Employee Wellness and Hypnosis

          by Devin Hastings







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My beautiful boys are now aged 5 and 8. I have aged approximately 5 years to each 1 of theirs. Why? Well, it appears that Our Creator Is Evil because He designed little boys to inflict maximum damage on their daddies.

Why did He do this? Because He Was Bored. But now He can watch America's Funniest Home Videos and laugh his butt off (and text other lesser deities: "Hey Gabriel! Watch this video! ROFLMFAO".)

Or, it could be that my darling little boys figured out how to prevent more little boys from being made. Or both.

My point? I developed a form of Tourette's because of my boys' accidental (?) administrations of childhood glee. You see, whenever my boys make a loud sound and/or come running at me with an insane look in their eyes I begin to make uncontrollable chirping sounds while I jerk and twitch and cover up The Place On A Man That Must Never Be Hit.

But that's not all. Now, if I'm alone shopping say, in a Target (how apt, eh?) and any little kid squeals, I start chirping, twitching and covering up. That's usually when store security starts following me.

Fortunately hypnosis can help. I just turn around and zap the security guys to forget what happened. Kind of like Men In Black only no weird monsters.

Can hypnosis help with Tourette's symptoms as well? Yes. In one study of 33 children and adolescents, 79% responded positively to hypnosis (1). Almost 50% (12 of the 26 positive responders) met positive response criteria after the second training session and 25 of 26 responded after three sessions.

Of the 33 children, 27 were boys. All of the patients had motor tics, and three also had vocal tics. The tics had an average length of 6.4 years. Sounds like the parents could use hypnosis for stress relief as well.

12 of the 26 positive responders were children under the age of 10. In one patient who achieved tic control, a new tic emerged 9 months later. This too was ameliorated after a "booster" session.

Tics however, present a pleasant alternative to the world's most annoying sound: whining. Seriously, studies show whining to be very, very annoying (2). By the way, for the fun of it, you should Google "world's most annoying sound". It just proves that some people have waaaay too much time on their hands.

Now, I bet there are parents out there who have broken out in headaches and/or poison ivy like rashes whenever their kids whined. (How many of you are nodding your head "yes" right now?)

This is called the "Nocebo Effect" which is Latin for "I Must Not Kill My Children". The Nocebo Effect is frequently followed by the, "Just wait until your father/mother gets home!!" Effect.

Actually, Nocebo really means, "I shall (self) harm". And yes, it is very possible for someone to do make themselves break out in a rash, experience a sudden headache and much more (3). The Nocebo Effect is the direct opposite of the Placebo Effect (I Shall Drink When My Children Annoy Me.)

Many years ago, a study (4) was conducted in Japan on 13 high school boys who were very allergic to poison ivy. Here's the kicker: Each was rubbed on one arm with a harmless leaf but they were told it was poison ivy. The other arm was rubbed with poison ivy but they were told it was harmless. All 13 broke out in rash where the harmless leaf contacted their skin. Only two reacted to the poison leaves.

Amazing isn't it? And this brings up another point that must be seriously acknowledged: How we talk to ourselves is incredibly important. "You are such a pain in the neck!" "Get off my back for crying out loud!" "This traffic is burning me up big time! "I can't stand it…."

What are your "Nocebo Effect Self-Hypnosis Suggestions"? When I am with a client I listen intently for their harmful self-hypnosis suggestions and then I seek to either modify or eliminate them. Why at times only modify? Because sometimes there can be a lot of useful power in a self-suggestion - if it's redirected in a useful way.

Given what we've covered so far, could encouraging employee wellness save corporations a lot of money? Absolutely yes. For example, Aetna's CEO Mark Bertolini made the benefits of acupuncture, meditation and yoga available to his 34,000 employees. He did this because in 2004 he broke his neck during a skiing accident and he benefited from those healing modalities.

Bertolini later brought in Duke University to conduct a study on the cost benefits of making his employees feel better. The results? A 7 percent drop in health care costs in 2012 and 69 minutes of additional productivity per day for participants. (5)

What if Bertolini had learned about the clinically documented benefits of hypnosis? How much more would have been saved?

Hypnotists can help so many people in so many ways - It's a great career!


(1) Self-Hypnosis Shows Promise for Tourette Patients

Published: Jul 13, 2010

By Charles Bankhead , Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner



(2) Whining May Be World’s Most Annoying Sound

Published: 06.21.11

By Alice Vincent, Wired UK



(3) Nocebo and Nocebo Effect

Last updated 22-Jan-2014

"Research has...shown that the nocebo effect can reverse the body's response to true medical treatment from positive to negative." (Root-Bernstein 1998)


(4) Placebos Prove So Powerful Even Experts Are Surprised; New Studies Explore the Brain's Triumph Over Reality

October 13, 1998

By Sandra Blakeslee



(5) Burnout: The Disease of Our Civilization

Posted: 08/21/2013 7:04 pm

By Arianna Huffington



Devin Hastings has written 4 books and created over 30 audio/visual products on the applications of hypnosis and behavioral change methods and he is an international speaker on these subjects.  He has given presentations to AT&T, the Better Business Bureau, Law enforcement agencies and many others. 


Devin is the president of the MN Institute of Advanced Communication Schools, a Minnesota hypnosis/NLP

school licensed by the state of Minnesota.


He has also created the following websites with many self-help articles addressing issues such as anxiety, diabetes, depression, OCD, resentment and more:








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