Questions and Answers

How to use Aurelis

The best attitude for using Aurelis is in fact, very common. Nothing special is necessary or even desirable. Spontaneity and an attitude of curious expectation are ideal. Even relaxation during a session is not a necessary condition. There are, as a matter of fact, many people for whom relaxation is practically impossible. For these people, Aurelis can also be used purely towards motivation and concentration. Over the course of time they can nevertheless experience some relaxation at their own pace. One can be sure that they are the ones who need it most.

If you experience an inner resistance to an Aurelis-experience, then this will have no effect upon you. On the other hand, only a minimum of collaboration is needed. It is not necessary to let yourself entirely ‘go’. The best attitude is simply being your own natural self, with an open mind and healthy curiosity. It is suitable not to nourish too highly strung expectations, because this reduces your spontaneity. Your first good experience will come over you like a light breeze, without any effort. If you already have some experience with one form or another of meditation, then you will probably notice that you encounter a pleasant memory of this in your Aurelis sessions. That is normal, but it is not necessary. Aurelis-sessions can also mutually give you the same feeling. They can also be surprisingly different each time. This is also better in the long run. Each new opening to your own inner strength can make you more flexible as a person. It gives you new resources. At the other hand, it is also good to make yourself well versed in a limited number of techniques, so that you can enjoy these in an optimal way and make use of them each time you feel the need.

It is suitable that you are focused entirely on the essence of the text itself. That is to say to the meaning this text has for you. This does not have to correspond with the exact meaning of what is told. You partially fill in the story yourself without necessarily realizing this. If for example, you hear something that does not apply to you, you can simply ignore that. You ‘hear’ what your subconscious wants you to hear in order to realize your aim as efficiently as possible and in the beginning that aim is to simply relax a bit, and that’s all.

It is very interesting for you to adopt a ‘yes-attitude’ during a large part of the session, without forcing this, however. Say ‘yes’ to what you hear, not because this doctor says so, but because this way you also say ‘yes’ to yourself. ‘Yes I can do this.’ ‘Yes I want this.’ ‘Yes this is right for me in this sense.’ This attitude doesn’t mean that you simply and uncritically adopt everything, but that you are continuously open to how what you hear is right for you.

Try to analyze as little as possible during a session, especially (and that is also the only reason) if you experience that that impedes your spontaneity. Of course, you can analyze it before and after a session. This has no importance on the effectiveness. It hardly interferes with what happens during a session. But if you nevertheless cannot avoid considering again and again what you are busy with during the sessions, then you can benefit from one or several of the concentration exercises. These help you to keep your attention focused on the here and now in a natural way.

Directly involve your symptom in the session. If, for instance, you do a session about palpitations, then think of your own heart. If possible, feel your heart. Focus on your palpitations and involve them in the session. How do they react? Do they decrease or increase? Every change is proof for you that your ‘heart’ reacts to the session, that your symptom becomes loose and that you get the occasion to grow as a person. The eventual intention of Aurelis lies in this growth to beyond where the symptom is still necessary, as a result of which, it spontaneously disappears. By involving your symptom as concretely as possible - but spontaneously, without forcing it! - at the session, you strongly raise the chance on this growth.

‘Practicing’ with Aurelis is: simply proceeding, certainly in the beginning. If a kind of relaxation doesn’t succeed the first time or a next time, that is by no means an indication that you will not benefit from it. Eventually, this exercise can develop into one of your favorite exercises. You can first try some other ways and then afterwards come back to this one. Of course, that is always possible whenever you feel like it.

In any case, it is appropriate to at least have five or six good relaxation-experiences before you start with goal-specific suggestions in the first place, because these suggestions are much more effective in an agreeable state of relaxation and concentration. In addition to this, you generally need some experience with Aurelis to be able to work purposefully. Concerning the effect of goal-oriented suggestions, it is never advisable to make a final evaluation before you have practiced regularly for some weeks with a certain method. Inner strength has no strict time scale. In a positive sense, this also means that sometimes you can almost immediately experience some effect. Sometimes this is only clear if you let yourself be entirely open to it. However, you can never force it.
No. You don’t get a special sensation in the belly, because the effect of Aurelis appears completely from the inside, you can in fact pose that it happens very spontaneously. How can you know that it works? Simply, if you use Aurelis to become slimmer, you see that your appetite diminishes. The fight against the calorie devil diminishes or disappears. At best circumstances, you even experience that your pleasure in eating remarkably increases, while you nevertheless feel less of a need for it in order to feel emotionally strong.

What you can feel, however, is a kind of euphoria. This does not come through the use of Aurelis itself, but through feeling and knowing with your whole being, that you have taken a new direction, a direction that probably conducts you to the desired result. That euphoria is sometimes mixed with a sad feeling. You shouldn’t be scared by this. It is very momentary and can have several causes. You can feel sad because of the years you have ‘lost’ in fighting against yourself. It can also be caused by your feeling that you are going to take leave of your self-image with which you have lived for years, even if that self-image is the thing against which you have fought all those years. A slightly depressed, unsettling feeling is furthermore something that occurs in everyone sometimes at the occasion of a big change. It doesn’t necessarily need to have an assignable reason. It’s simply something that belongs to it. If you don’t fight against it, it can even feel pleasant and can quickly pass.

If you use Aurelis, it is best to simply and freely wait for the result that will announce itself by simply being there. If a feeling of success is important to you, then I advise as a criterion for realization: losing a stipulated part of your excess weight, without using much will power or without it being really painful in any way. Until now, the measure for success has probably only been stipulated by the amount of lost weight. To lose that weight, you perhaps did as little effort as possible, or perhaps you found the effort important as long as the overweight disappeared. With Aurelis, however, the ease with which you lose the weight is a substantial component of your success, because through this, you know that you can easily keep away the lost weight.
The intention of the music is to create an environment of relaxation, openness and confidence in yourself. It is always desirable to create such an environment. Aurelis music has been specifically composed to fulfill this aim. It is always very gentle and repetitive with a minimal melody. We get many good comments about this.

However, if the Aurelis music doesn’t evoke the right atmosphere for you, then it is better to turn it off if possible (not on the CD of course). You can of course also use another music (in the cd-player of your computer for instance). Of course, you should take care that this music doesn’t hamper your understanding of the text. Music with a clear melody or a clear progression (such as classical music that you already know well) can cause your attention to be pulled away from the text (and from your interpretation of it) too much. This can be annoying. However, it is up to you to experiment with this, if you wish.

An additional advantage of music is that after some sessions it brings you even faster in the right mental attitude. In other words: it works slightly ‘conditioning’. That is good in this case, because you are doing it in complete openness.
That depends entirely on you. Take care that it’s a time that you are not very nervous, but nevertheless also not too tired. It’s important that you don’t fall asleep each time, unless, of course, that is your intention.

It’s interesting to use Aurelis in that part of the day when you are most ‘clear of mind’. Are you a morning- or an evening person? That is for you the best time, with one reservation: take care that you don’t give yourself the impression that Aurelis is standing in the way of ‘more important things’. Your health and well-being are themselves very important in any way. The fact that with Aurelis you don’t have the impression of ‘working’, doesn’t mean you are not busy efficiently.

It is advantageous (but certainly not necessary) to ‘aurelis’ always at approximately the same time of the day. Your mind automatically orients itself to this and takes care that you are ‘ready’ at the right time. It also helps you not forget your ‘Aurelis-moment’.
If you are a smoker for a long time, you have probably already stopped smoking several times and each time restarted - hence your concern that, to remain stopped with a good method, you continuously need to keep busy with it.

Using Aurelis, however, you do not simply quit smoking. You change yourself, not only concerning a certain external behaviour, but concerning the way in which you relate to smoking. You have been a smoker. You become a non-smoker and that is nothing less than a new state of being. I make a distinction between the terms ‘non-smoker’ and ‘ex-smoker’. ‘Ex-smoker’ indicates a description of external behaviour, namely the not lighting of a cigarette during a short or long time. Everyone who doesn’t smoke for some hours, is in fact already somewhat an ex-smoker. Someone can have stopped smoking for years and still be an ex-smoker (in contrast to a non-smoker).

In light of this distinction, it is clear that you do not have to regularly keep using Aurelis to become free of smoking. You don’t become an ex-smoker, but a non-smoker.

On the other hand it is, however, the case that people continuously change, as well as the situations in which they live, think, work, have pleasure and encounter grievances and circumstances that make them long for what may have been alleged advantages of smoking. It is good to never deem yourself immune to addiction. Also people who have never in their life been addicted to something, are not immune. A quasi-immunity, as a matter of fact, would testify of a hardness that is for most of us inhuman. I advise to continue to ‘observe’ yourself with a healthy mind, with which I simply mean that you have to remain attentive to your own needs and frustrations. That is very human. If you feel that you have a need to start smoking again, you can better reflect on this in time, clarify your own motivations and, yes, use Aurelis again to adapt your conscious and subconscious intentions to each other. That can certainly be useful preventively, and I strongly advise it.

If you have nevertheless fallen again into smoking behaviour, you can use Aurelis with as much usefulness as you did the first time. If you need it again, then do not consider this a failure, but a chance to grow as a person. Try to learn from previous experiences. Perhaps it is important for you to be busy with autosuggestion somewhat longer, more intensively, or with another attitude. It is not Aurelis that makes you stop smoking: you are the one who has to learn to use the strength within yourself towards this end. Therefore, no standard recommendation can be given about how long or how often you should use Aurelis, and whether you should use it regularly for some time after you have stopped smoking.

That, among other things, depends on the degree of your being a non-smoker when you lit your last cigarette. I advise you to light the last cigarette only when you feel 99% certain that you are a non-smoker. After that, I would still (for at least three weeks) do a couple of session weekly. At such a moment you will however, be sufficiently motivated to persevere. Specific sessions to quit smoking are not necessary then, on condition that before each session you take up one idea or another that has personally touched you on your way towards being a non-smoker. You don’t have to do anything more with that idea than to rekindle it in your memory and then to simply let it loose.
It is very normal that a relaxation doesn’t ‘succeed’ if you assume that it has to meet certain requirements such as ‘excluding oneself from the outside world’. For some, that ‘excluding oneself’ is easy, for others not.

For me, for example, it almost never succeeds, but nevertheless I clearly feel the relaxation in itself and the further practical advantages of suggestion. The first time that I tried to go into a ‘trance’ through the accompaniment of a colleague therapist in training, I was worried about this, but that quickly passed.

You probably expected a detachment from the outside world, especially because you have that idea of a hypnotic trance. But this is no hypnosis! Critical research also shows that at hypnosis with trance, that trance has no direct influence on the effectiveness, for example in order to quit smoking.

This means:

1) Someone who easily experiences a detachment from the outside world, will on average also experience other effects more easily, but not through the detachment.

2) Someone who experiences no detachment, will eventually not have less effect of (auto)suggestion, unless he has of course, the expectation that the detachment is necessary.

And that is a very regrettable matter concerning the way in which hypnosis has grown during the past two centuries, namely: that it has put that expectation central, that as a result of this, it has made itself more important than it is, and at the same time has curtailed its own advantages for many people. I think that your expectation concerning the importance of detachment is the direct consequence of this. I myself am proof that that expectation is not appropriate. In addition to this, a lot of professional literature exists about this issue (especially by Barber & Spanos *).

Actively avoiding to think of other things, keeps you from letting yourself go. It is advisable to be as open-minded as possible. The story of the session doesn’t even need to be followed. It is enough that you go to it now and then. You fill up the holes in the tale yourself. Therefore, you are in every respect, particularly  letting yourself go, more active than someone who in a weak-willed manner is ‘handed over’ to the will of the hypnotist. After a time - hopefully - you too will come to the conclusion that at a certain level you are in fact never more active than during and as a result of, deep ‘relaxation’. But I let it be (inevitably) up to you to dig this out for yourself.

If it doesn’t ‘succeed’ the first time for one reason or another, or if you have that impression, try to not look at what happened as a ‘failure’. At working with your own subconscious, there is actually never a failure. That is a term that simply has no meaning on this domain, unless as a negative suggestion.

Therefore, I advise you to simply continue, but with short sessions in the beginning. A longer session has no sense if you are not spontaneously persuaded that it fits you.

* T. X. Barber, N. P. Spanos, J. F.Chaves Hypnosis - Imagination and Human Potentialities. New-York: Pergamon Press, 1974:191.
This can have several causes. It should, however, under no circumstances lead to your thinking that relaxation is not for you. I think that in this case some insight in the causes can more easily help to neutralize that tension.

Many people are already so long and continuously nervous that they no longer know how it feels to be relaxed.

What feels as the ‘normal relaxation’ of, for example a weekend out, is in fact filled with a number of new tensions and a continuation of the tensions that are always present. A real relaxation is, for these people, as it were a new experience, something that they can feel unaccustomed to and that as a result of this deters them. The first response can therefore exist in a tension brought about by the unknown.

Western culture puts the emphasis on action. ‘Doing nothing’ is something that is not done. We are all thoroughly conditioned to this by our education. Simply relaxing, deeply relaxing, and seemingly or effectively being involved in ‘nothing’ looks like loathed inactivity and can as a result, consciously or subconsciously, lead to feelings of guilt and tensions.

For people who are tensed for a long time, the tension can eventually become a kind of addiction, mentally by feeling at home in this state, and perhaps even physically by the continuous production of stress hormones (adrenalin, noradrenaline, cortisol...). Suddenly stopping this addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as, secondarily, an increase in tension which automatically passes after a short while.

Tensions are often the consequence of oppressing other tensions. For instance, the tension caused by ‘suffering’ from overweight can, for a woman, be a way to deflect the energy of tensions in the marital relationship. This deflection of tensions is a process that often happens to a large degree subconsciously. If the more ‘superficial’ tensions are taken away, as a result of this, the suppression of the deeper tensions also disappears and can arise as an apparently new tension.

In all these cases, it looks as if the tension originates strangely enough from the attempt to relax. Within a broader look, this is clearly not the case. If a deeper relaxation makes you nervous time after time, I advise to proceed slowly. Take for yourself the time that you need and try to process the feelings that arise within you. I don’t mean that you should spend much time on this, but that you better start with, for example, a few deep relaxations weekly rather than daily.

Take care also that you have a sufficient night's rest, because the processing of new feelings and points of view happens more easily during and with the use of REM and NREM sleep. It is, of course, also good and interesting if you can discuss your feelings in such a period more intensively with someone in whom you have much confidence, your spouse, a friend or perhaps a therapist.
[ From ` heal yourself: ].

While relaxing, all kinds of problems may turn up that are especially annoying since they can hamper the smooth cause of the relaxation, or that could even lead to giving up autorelaxation altogether. They are all small problems that can be avoided or handled easily. I will list the most frequent ones, while proposing what can be done about them.

coughing or hacking

Try not to restrain this. Autorelaxation does not imply sitting or lying motionless. Concentration always fluctuates and when you are distracted for a moment by a cough, you can return straightaway to that condition of deep concentration and relaxation.

itching, pain

Here too, moving will not do any harm. After being distracted, returning to relaxation can be seen as a deepening. In other words, it can help you to reach an even deeper level of relaxation.

distracting noises in the background

Try to ignore noises in the background, or to include them in your relaxation. Noises in the surroundings can be interpreted e.g. as a background that enhances your inner peace and silence.

muscle contractions

Slight muscle contractions are normal symptoms with deep relaxation. They sometimes occur with someone who just fell asleep. If it annoys you, you can simply stretch the muscle slightly, keep it like this for a short while, and then slowly relax it.

obtrusive thoughts

Try in any case not to oppress these thoughts through willpower. Simply let them come and go, even if this means that in this session you do not get round to a deep relaxation. By handling disturbing thoughts this way, you will notice that your concentration will be improved without much effort. You will actually profit from enhanced concentration, even outside your relaxations.

disorientation and unwanted dissociation

These symptoms are to a small extent quite normal with deep relaxation. If this makes you anxious, you had better briefly return from relaxation to let them disappear naturally, what happens all the time. Learn how you can always return from a deep relaxation, until your potential fear fades away naturally. The symptoms can be interpreted as an indication that your relaxation is deep and that it may be of good use to you.

fear of loss of control during relaxation

It could happen that relaxation makes someone more nervous. This can be explained by the fact that deep relaxation takes away the normal diversion from worries and fears, thus enabling fears and emotions that have been blocked for a long time to emerge. If the control of these blocked fears and emotions threatens to be reduced, it is only normal that this should be converted in nervousness. If relaxation comes to you always accompanied with some nervousness, then it is advisable to proceed slowly and start with auto-relaxations that are not much longer than 10 minutes. If you feel an acute anxiety during a session, then it is better to stop for the time being. If this happens only once or twice, you can just continue after a few days. However, if you suffer from an acute anxiety every time you try to relax, I advise you to discuss this with a good psychotherapist.

falling to sleep

Falling to sleep during a relaxation exercise means that in fact, you suffer from an acute or chronic lack of sleep. Your body immediately reacts to the occasion to try and catch up with sleep. Do not start a session when you really are very tired. If during a relaxation you fall asleep, take this message from your body seriously and from this moment on, try to get sufficient sleep at night.

increasing pain

With some kinds of nerve pain, it is possible that the pain increases during the relaxation. This happens very rarely. If you intend to relieve your pain with the use of mental power, you can learn to apply some cognitive strategies without relaxation. Relaxation is beneficial for this, but not necessary.
That is very normal. Subjective time is very extendable. If you are sunk into a good book or a tense film, time also ‘progresses quickly’. It’s a sign (but not necessarily) that you are using Aurelis well. It’s also completely not dangerous.

After the speech, the music simply runs further (in AurelisOnLine). You have passed an exit, but if you wish so and while listening to the music, you can keep musing about what you heard and have just experienced. Pay attention, however: this is not necessary for the good functioning of a session. Do it if you like it and if you feel a need for it from inside. And then do not lose track of time, because before you know it, half an hour has passed and perhaps that was not the intention beforehand.
Take a pain-killer (if necessary a very powerful one) that allows you to use Aurelis. It is not necessary that you are in pain at your Aurelis-moment to alleviate that pain. You work with Aurelis in the first place on yourself, with the intention of reducing the pain that comes, to the level that you really need. You can be sure of this: that level is generally much lower than what someone with chronic pain experiences.

If you do not really succeed to concentrate, then it is not a good idea to try to force this. You would then get some frustrating experiences and those can prevent you from experiencing an optimally efficient influence of Aurelis at other moments. Be satisfied if necessary, with a pain-killer and some diversion.

If however, you can slightly concentrate on a session, even if only partially, then you can obtain a favorable influence from this by not making your expectations all too highly strung. No, the pain will not disappear entirely and immediately. But by doing a session with an open expectation, the pain will be diminished after a quarter of an hour. Be grateful (especially to yourself) for what you get, how much or how little it may be. Consider also that each good session is one that helps all following sessions be more efficient. A good session does not necessarily have an immediate and visible effect. It may be that it is only ‘good’ in the depth, but eventually it is there that it is most important to you.
If you look at the duration of a session (that you always get exactly in advance and afterwards) and you compare this with the time that the session has subjectively lasted for you, then it can strike you that it looked much shorter than it was in reality. That difference is an indication of a contact with your deeper self. Also, if you have absolutely no subjective feeling about how long a session lasted, this indicates a deeper contact.

The above question can mean: ‘when do I know for certain whether I’m doing it well?' Then it is possibly a question that originates from a specific cultural attitude that puts the emphasis on guilt: ‘you are wrong; you should have done it differently.’ This, in principle, does not correspond to the philosophy of Aurelis, where the emphasis lies precisely on spontaneous growth and even on the impossibility of guilt (but not of responsibility!). It is advisable to not ask yourself the above question during a session. In other words, asking the question itself during a session prevents, to a large degree, that you are ‘doing well’. It’s better to let it be completely unimportant during a session. Open yourself as best you can to the story and to what spontaneously reaches you.

During the use of Aurelis, the ‘being in contact with your deeper self’ can come over you as a conviction, an inner certainty, simply from within yourself. You don’t need any further indications. You simply know it and that is also the most pleasant and significant way to come to know it.

Of course, you generally use Aurelis because of a problem and then you want to know when you are raising your chances to a solution as well as possible. See for this the question: ‘What is the best attitude to use Aurelis?’.
That occurs sometimes and is easily avoidable. The cause lies in a tension of the neck muscles. During an Aurelis session, it can happen that you are much less mobile than otherwise. Some people have the idea that one has to remain as motionless as possible during a deep relaxation. In itself, there is no need for this. You can without any problem move a bit now and then, remove yourself if you feel some pressure or so here or there. During the next session, try to think of simply moving your head now and then. Perhaps this diminishes the depth of your relaxation, but that is absolutely harmless. Most likely, your headache will be entirely gone afterwards.

What also can contribute, is a tension that appears through high expectations and the urge to do it well at whatever cost. In this case, try to reduce your expectations. Think of a relaxed, open and spontaneous attitude that promotes the effect of Aurelis.

For most of the people who are burdened by a light headache during the first sessions, this feeling spontaneously disappears after some time. Mind and body simply adapt.
It’s possible. The relaxation is in itself not necessary, only favorable. With AurelisOnLine, however, you have to choose an intro, but you can take one that only lasts a number of seconds. Then you are immediately busy quitting smoking. During the session, if you wish, you don’t pay attention to the aspect of relaxation. If you concentrate yourself, without relaxation, on experiencing what the session is about, then that is perfect.

You can, however, wonder why a deep relaxation says nothing to you. Do you have a bad experience with it or are you frightened to ‘entirely lose touch with the world’? You may look a bit further around in this Q&A or on the website. Probably part of the reasons will disappear and you can enjoy the advantages that a deep relaxation can give you.

In absolutely no case does a fear for deeper relaxation need to keep you from using Aurelis. Whenever you feel uncomfortable during a session, it can absolutely not do any harm to just briefly interrupt this session or stop it. It can then be interesting to discuss your experiences with a good friend or therapist.
You can use Aurelis for several indications at the same time. However, as long as you still have no experience with it, it is advisable to not want to go ahead too quickly. The changes that you are about to carry out, are no small changes. The decision to quit smoking is very different from the decision to buy a loaf of bread. It is respectful to your own individuality that you take time for this. At the same time, working on several indications may be a sign of impatience, and that is not a good basis for personal growth.

I find this very important: using autosuggestion for instance, to quit smoking is more than just quitting smoking. It is also a way to grow as a person: to obtain a bigger oneness, to become less ‘dissociated’. (‘Dissociated’ is someone who, with a part of himself for example, wants to quit smoking, but with another part wants to continue smoking.) To be able to stand entirely behind what you want, is a characteristic of a healthy mind and, I think, this immediately transfers into a healthier body. It is normal that you have to take the time for that and that you cannot expect everything all of a sudden.

Therefore, it is good for you to keep matters somewhat separated and for instance, work first on quitting smoking, afterwards on losing weight.

Both can, however, flow into each other during some time. If you feel that you are already much less dependent on smoking, you can immediately use this success (because this ís a big success) as a motivation to also tackle losing weight. Let this motivation simmer a bit further and immediately after effectively quitting smoking, you are ready for the next change. The after treatment of quitting smoking flows over into the beginning of your travel towards a slimmer figure.

Perhaps you have an earlier experience that you increased in weight by quitting smoking. There is insufficient experience with Aurelis to be able to claim that this does not occur with this method. However, in view of the fact that with a correct use of autosuggestion you do not impose any frustration on yourself in the least (like that is the case with other methods), it is very plausible that any increase in weight occurs much less.
Autosuggestion can be applied apart from or with, pain-killers. There is absolutely no negative interaction. On the contrary, in Aurelis you find strategies to raise the effectiveness of the pain-killers that you take, by better using their placebo phenomenon. Through this, it is no longer a placebo fraud, but a conscious application. Of course, you can also apply other autosuggestive strategies to alleviate pain. It is even very interesting to practice several of those strategies for pain relief.

If you take a pain-killer, then you can graft your autosuggestion on it in a visualization by say, imagining it as little bullets that go towards the pain and dissolve. This is just an example; there are many possibilities. If you take a pain-killer with the positive expectation that it helps you, then that expectation itself is already an effective autosuggestion. You can consider the pain-killer as a message, as an indicator of a direction, namely towards a state of reduced pain. Since a pain-killer really has a biochemically analgesic effect, it is a good indicator of the direction. In other words, the subconscious gets a first little push and then does the rest of the work. It’s best to look at it this way. The pain-killer is ‘only’ the self-starter. The real engine towards healing (here: pain relief) is your own mental strength.

Of course, autosuggestion is effective beside a pain-killer. Especially with chronic pain, where the mental aspects of the pain are always very pronounced. If you already take pain-killers for a long time, I advise that you start combining these with the use of autosuggestion. If you feel that you can even slightly influence the pain by own strength, you can slowly reduce the amount of pain-killers. Of course, it makes no sense to let this go together with periods of heightened pain. Since the chronic use of pain-killers ALWAYS has side effects, autosuggestion is a very valuable alternative. It’s already significant if you can reduce the amount of your medication through this. If you can abolish them, so much the better, but that has to be seen for each individual case.
Certainly. Aurelis can be used together with anything else. On the other hand, the basic attitude of Aurelis is one of non-aggression. Depending on how you apply your diet, it can be fairly aggressive to you. Hopefully, Aurelis helps you continue the diet in a more friendly way. This implies that you take yourself into account as a complete person. Look at the diet as an additional instrument to use towards your goal and not as something you impose on yourself, cost what may. With Aurelis, you change more from within. If you do it well, sooner or later you spontaneously notice another attitude of yourself towards diets in general. You will need them much less. Your body (deeper self) takes care of itself much more automatically than before.

But whether that will happen or not, is not so important at this moment. You can, of course, use Aurelis with your diet. There is absolutely no reason not to.
That is indeed an interesting way to proceed. Aurelis is only an instrument to reach autosuggestive self-help. Don’t feel obliged to continue listening in an attempt ‘to use it as well as possible’. If you feel that you can do a session equally well without listening to it, then it is valuable to do it this way. It actually depends upon you.

On the other hand, if you think that listening remains important to you, then that is also the case. For most people, it is not easy to work quite as effectively without aid of the voice. I would then only want to ask you to avoid the feeling of dependence. That is not the intention of the whole Aurelis project. You are central in your own healing. Aurelis is at best a good and temporary aid in this.

If you know several techniques quite well, then you can combine them with each other in one self-made session. I have already experienced more than once myself that this is really very effective, for instance, in the case of acute violent pain.

If you feel yourself helped, then it is meaningful to repeat a session once more from time to time, at yourself, or while listening to Aurelis. Then this last is interesting if meanwhile you have somewhat forgotten what a session is really about. A good quality of symbolism is very important to reach your own subconscious in a good way.

AURELIS general

In the first place: not AURELIS 'works', but you. You yourself are a very important part in your healing. The question may therefore be put anew as: are you open to grow? Everything depends on this. Although you are the author of the above question, you are also the person who determines the answer.

Of one thing you can be certain: if you take good care of the communication with your deeper self, than you get a positive result. This certainty (faith, hope, expectation) is itself a very important autosuggestion. It doesn’t need to be expressed as such. Autosuggestion doesn’t come only in the form of words, but much more in the form of underlying meanings. A certainty as unuttered inner conviction is an example of this. If however, you completely shut yourself off, then the use of AURELIS will have no influence upon you.

Can anyone apply AURELIS with a favorable result? In principle: Yes. The fact that you have a psyche and you can read this text, is sufficient. It means that you are able to a certain degree of relaxation, concentration and motivation. Take these three together in a good and intense manner and AURELIS 'works' for you, guaranteed.

It is on the other hand, quite common that medication only works in 70% of cases. It is often only after many side effects that you find out whether medication works for you. This is costly in wellbeing and quality of life. Furthermore, about 25% of all hospital admissions are due to side-effects of medication. It is therefore, certainly worth the effort to verify whether AURELIS means a solution for you too. 
How would you know when the pain was reduced after taking a new medicine? The answer is that you never can know with absolute certainty. You can have faith in the medicine and in the philosophy behind it. It is just the same with AURELIS...

And yet not completely. What makes things more complex in the case of AURELIS, is that the change occurs 'spontaneously'. It comes down to advancing self-healing. That may give the impression that 'nothing special happened'. Combine this with the fact that AURELIS is not tangible. You cannot touch it. You cannot ingest it. It looks like 'nothing'.

Believing in AURELIS does not mean to believe in an authority, but in the first place in yourself. In the western culture faith in oneself has been suppressed for millennia. That makes it difficult to suddenly be open to it. An advantage is that you can be very proud of yourself for any change or growth. No one did it but you yourself. Believe in yourself.

Of course we would like to get the recognition that we worked well on the instrument that you have used for your self-healing. That you are released from your pain, and this even in an ideal way according to us, however, is much more important. Do give AURELIS at least the advantage of serious doubt. Together with many others you can then convert these doubts in quasi-security."
Make sure you that you let the sessions be pleasant by themselves. Look at them as a goal by itself. Look forward to a session as a short time that you spend completely on yourself. Feelings of guilt about 'lost time' are not in place. You are busy with something important: your own health and wellbeing. But actually at the same time, a lot more than that: by working on a unification of yourself, you are at your own island working on a better world.

If you use AURELIS for a particular problem, we recommend doing a session on a daily basis for 2 weeks. After that, it depends on yourself. It is not at all necessary to remain busy with AURELIS forever. After 2 weeks, you may feel tired of it. It doesn’t matter - AURELIS is something very different from taking a pill.

For instance, take a pill for high blood pressure. Once you have lowered your blood pressure, you need to take the medication without interruption if you wish your blood pressure to remain low. Soon after stopping the drug, your blood pressure increases once again to the previous level. Anti-hypertensive drugs are not causal therapy. They work purely 'symptomatic': only the symptom is tackled.

AURELIS goes much further. With AURELIS, you change as a total person, also if you take the indication 'high blood pressure'. With AURELIS, a symptom is always treated as a symbol, this is: through the symptom and at the same time, you reach the underlying: your deeper self. As long as this deeper self remains changed, you will continue feeling the impact on your blood pressure. With symbols of good quality (for which I have done my best), and a great deal of openness (which depends on you and you alone), this change is thorough and permanent. This is not a change of one or another expression. It is a change in the core of the matter.

With a good communication to yourself, this is achieved reasonably quickly. It is recommended to continue using AURELIS now and then following this, but it doesn’t have to be on a daily basis anymore. The needed frequency is than very different for each person; you can in fact only feel that yourself. Take care of this situation and decide for yourself whether the use of AURELIS is worth the trouble to you.
Yes! AURELIS can, in principle, be used by everyone. You do not need to have a special qualities such as a large 'daydream-power'. People with the most different backgrounds have benefit. Some contra-indications are very exceptional conditions, mainly people with a serious nerve disease.

With AURELIS, you have an instrument to communicate with your deeper self in a targeted way. That communication is not new or extraordinary by itself. In fact, it is something you do day in and day out, when you concentrate on something or when you let yourself go in a daydream. What is new is that you learn to master and direct this capacity much better. Anyone can do this, the one faster than the other. AURELIS is specially made to be very flexible to meet many individual differences. Whether you're more rational, or more a type that makes much use of its own imagination, still you will find which AURELIS techniques are best suited to you. As a computer system, AURELIS is very easy to use and based on a general weblook. The complexity of the program is hidden behind a number of intuitive screens. In fact, everyone who can surf the internet for example, can also easily use AURELIS.

Is everyone susceptible to auto-suggestion? For a long time it was thought not to be so. Currently, most researchers recognize that everyone is susceptible, provided that the autosuggestion is made sufficiently flexible so each person is respected in his individuality. There are still various tests to ‘measure’ the 'suggestibiliteit' of a person. These tests are drawn up for the purposes of research and therefore are necessarily standardized. In real life, there is nothing more flexible than the unconscious and the communication with it. Therefore, AURELIS contains for any indication a number of techniques, each being a different way to communicate with your deeper self. With a standard suggestibility test this can never be recognized. Therefore, if you ever have done such a test and received a low score, then this would certainly not mean that you could do nothing with autosuggestion. It only means that you need more flexibility than a standard situation can offer. I think we all have this need if we fully want to enjoy our huge psychological possibilities.
There is a big chance that ‘it’ also works for her. To believe in it is not necessary. On the other hand, by actively not believing in it, one can avoid any effect from it. That is a pity for that person, because he thereby misses the benefits of autosuggestion. It is even more regrettable if it means that this person does in fact not believe in himself. In our culture this is a widespread phenomenon. We are used to trusting in external things such as medicines for this and for that. This diminishes the feeling of self-reliability. We know even less than previous generations that we have a lot of healing power within ourselves.

At different places I have cited faith as an active factor in the healing process. The faith in or the expectation of progress, plays an important role as autosuggestion. But faith is only one kind of autosuggestion. It is not necessary. What is needed is an attitude of open-minded expectation. Too tense a faith can, by the tension that emerges from it, as well prevent something from happening. An active unbelief therefore also reduces the chance. On the other hand one can ask whether an active unbelief isn’t the result of an underlying belief that one wishes to oppress. Why should one otherwise not simply be open-minded? That oppression may arise from a conscious or unconscious fear to ‘change’, because the newer 'I' is not fully known. With this fear, if it is present, is best taken appropriately into account. It is a pity if this is the only reason for a person not to change, not to grow toward an 'I' that actually better belongs to himself than previously. Once more I would like to point the finger at our culture, which can work so alienating that people in the end no longer know themselves.

In order to take this fear of change into account or take it away fully, I think the best way is an 'ecological validation'. Ecological validation consists of imagining oneself one way or the other into the situation after the change. For instance, if you would like to be slimmer then you can imagine yourself already having lost weight. You can practice that in visualization exercises (such as during an AURELIS-session) and then, why not, just for ten minutes during your daily activities. How does it feel? How do you respond? How do others respond? By doing this, the fear of change can disappear and thereby also an important reason for 'disbelief'.

Having said that, I believe that the best evidence of effectiveness is to be a living proof oneself. That is worth more than any theoretical discussion. You need to be careful for one situation though: that through your desire to prove yourself you do not become cramped. You better postpone any discussion with an 'infidel' -and that can be your own doctor!- until you reach the desired change yourself."
When using AURELIS, there is of course nothing that forces you to do anything. If you are using AURELIS to quit smoking, it is also not the case that AURELIS makes you stop. You are fully the source of any change, even much more than with any other method. The power to change comes completely from within yourself and the change is a change towards more who you really are! With AURELIS you point your subconscious in the same direction as your conscious motivation. Opposite orientations in themselves are the main reason why many smokers who wish they could stop, still do not do so. The sheer physical addiction to nicotine, contrary to common belief, is not that important in comparison with the psychological addiction.

If you compare this with e.g. nicotine in chewing gum or plasters, it is clear that this is something extrinsic. It is a way to force yourself to temporarily retrieve the nicotine from elsewhere than from the cigarette. You consciously decide to use the nicotine in a form other than through cigarette smoke, but on the other hand do you do that just because you are addicted -or think that you are- to the nicotine. I don’t see addiction as freedom. To put it bluntly, nicotine in chewing gum or plasters has little to do with a free decision.

To become a non-smoker is a way towards more freedom [cf. 'Become a non-smoker - use autosuggestion']. Maybe you have already been a smoker for many years. Then you are already many years addicted, as many years unfree to stop when you wanted to do so. If you already stopped one or several times using only willpower, then there is a great chance that you changed from smoker to 'ex-smoker' and then back to smoker. Also an ex-smoker is not free because he preserves the urge to smoke, only he has now learned to oppress this desire. Sooner or later he comes into a difficult situation and then the urge returns. Then it takes a great deal of strength to overcome the situation.

With AURELIS, you are not being forced towards anything; nothing happens if you are not open to change. For this 'opening' it is sufficient that you are more or less motivated, that you 'want' to stop smoking. It is pointless to use AURELIS to stop smoking (or to achieve any other change at yourself) if you do not feel somewhere within yourself that this is what you want.

You can always increase your chances to stop smoking by clarifying your own motivation to this purpose. AURELIS, and autosuggestion in general, is perfectly compatible with the use of willpower. In AURELIS, you even find possibilities to work on this motivation, e.g. by imagining yourself in a future without addiction and thus feeling how it will make you feel better. Also the 'not really wanting to stop' is something you have to put very clearly to yourself. It can mean very different things. Perhaps especially the addiction is present behind this and then the 'not wanting' is to be seen as a 'not doing what you would really like to do’. Perhaps there is a fear for the withdrawal symptoms or for a 'life without cigarette' of which you are having a falsely negative idea.
I think it is very important that a kind of healing is 'ethical'. I am referring to 2 things: 1) It needs to be truthful. It may not claim to work in accordance to principles that are clearly not the principles according to which it works. 2) It needs to be advantageous for the 'Patient' as a whole person and even more: also to the system around that person, in a broad sense: family, friends, the whole society.

Is it important for a medicine to be 'truthful'? Definitely. It is quite insufficient to ‘feel helped'. In fact, a drug addict also feels helped by his drug. A scared person feels helped by anyone who claims to be able to defeat the enemy, also if that person / that organization itself is the enemy in disguise. Feeling helped (the main argument for many alternative as well as regular healers) is insufficient. Being actually helped is important. A direct consequence of the basic philosophy of AURELIS is that to this end truthfulness in medicine ultimately is strictly necessary!

Think of the drug addict: in a very narrow vision he is ‘being helped’ by his drug. In a broad vision absolutely not. Say you have chronic headaches and you regularly take a pain killer. The headache disappears and you feel helped. Are you in a wider sense however, also helped? In accordance with the philosophy of AURELIS this depends on the attitude with which you take the pill. The headache has a meaning. It is a call to change, namely in your attitude toward yourself and / or the world around you. If by taking a pill you smother that call, then the real problem still exist and is growing worse. This criticism is in one form or another often made in relation to regular, mainly symptomatic medicine. I think that it is appropriate. AURELIS is an attempt to fill in as good as possible for what is lacking, namely: attention for deeper meaning. AURELIS does not take a stand against regular medicine, but to a very strong degree against too narrow an application of it.

A non-truthful medicine has a negative influence on individuals and society. This hypothesis is difficult to prove, but it also has never been ruled out. It should be taken seriously, because there are serious arguments for it. What lives in a society is the impact of how individuals relate to each other and to themselves. In this sense we are all a little responsible for how our society will evolve. For instance, whether fear and discrimination can easily gain a foothold. For instance, whether within a society much attention is given to human factors apart from the purely economic. For instance, whether our community tends to search enemies and wage war, be it military or economic. 

Fear, discrimination, poor attention to the human, the search of a 'enemy', all of this is alive in a community because it lives in individuals. The idea that 'disease' immediately is the enemy that needs to be removed, is part of this. This idea lies at the basis of the entire Western medicine. Is it a morally high-level basis? That remains to be seen...

According to the AURELIS-philosophy, 'disease' in general is NOT immediately the enemy, but an opportunity for the sick person to grow beyond it. For an infectious disease for instance this means: a strengthening of the immune system. For a psychosomatic disorder, it means something much more important: changing the entire individual, growing into a more valuable person. After the disease, you do not return to the state as before - you grow. The being-ill is as it were a kind of encouragement to spiritual growth. If you ignore this incentive, you get poorer as an individual and there is an impoverishment of the society around you. What a medicine in any case must do first is to help this growth, not reduce or prevent it. To me, this is the first meaning of 'primam non nocere' [foremost do not harm].

So there is a moral aspect related to the way you 'heal'. A method of treatment has a moral content that may be high or low. AURELIS is an attempt to make this level high. This is an integral part of the whole project, both overall and in every detail of it. Never within AURELIS are you being encouraged towards a healing that does not invite you to spiritual growth. The purpose is a spiritual growth where both you yourself, your environment, and the wider society takes advantage. Therefore, I think AURELIS is a kind of medicine of high moral value.
No. We are very clear in this. At the basis of AURELIS, lies a complete openness to the user. What you hear is what you get. We basically do not make use of 'subliminal suggestions'. These are suggestions that are (supposed to be) present just below the audibility limit and are observed only by the subconscious and not by consciousness. The intention behind 'subliminal suggestions' is to bamboozle conscious awareness and change the subconscious without criticism of consciousness. That is completely at odds with the intention of AURELIS.

Moreover 'subliminal suggestion' is, according to us, mainly an example of placebo: it simply doesn’t work this way. If there are people who experience something from it, it is mainly because they expect to experience something. It is easy to disprove, in regard to the big differences in hearing sharpness between listeners. Suppose that you use it, then there are always people who knowingly hear it and many people who absolutely don’t hear anything. It doesn’t fit.

Also 'alpha-waves' we do not use. Their effectiveness is not proven and the theory is not correct at all. Wherever these two occur together, to us the placebo effect offers a much more obvious explanation. The same with 'alpha-waves': the expectation that they work, is what works, and not the waves themselves. We stick to this until someone proves that they work. That evidence in case of accuracy is easy and not supplied.

AURELIS is quite full of technique, also the technique of correct formulation and speaking of autosuggestion. AURELIS is a powerful instrument for you as a whole person: consciously and subconsciously, and above all: in full openness.
If you notify us and we also get the demand from others regarding the same indication, then we will do what we can to ensure that the indication gets ready for AurelisOnLine as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, you can already look around whether another indication can already give you some alleviation. 'General pain' you can apply to any form of pain. 'Pure relaxation' can also be useful. Maybe your symptom is stress-related, then you can take a look at 'stress tolerance'.

You can contact us personally for guidance. This is no 'therapy'. We can work with you in search of some good directions and appropriate symbolism.

The book 'Heal yourself' is a general introduction to autosuggestion and the AURELIS philosophy. If you read this before personal guidance, then we are already one step further.
AURELIS is suitable for chronic pain, which is much more psychologically co-determined than in the case of acute pain. But in response to the question: Yes. Every pain is a feeling of pain. So it is a subjective interpretation. This is also the case in the event of acute pain, in the one case already more than the other. You may not think however that after a single use of AURELIS right before your visit to the dentist you will be redeemed of all pain. So it takes some preparation: at least starting from a week before.

Yet a further note: the 'pain' at the dentist, certainly with modern methods, is almost fully avoidable. What remains is the pain of the anesthetic injection. What probably scares you is not the physical pain, but the whole environment that might remind you of previous experiences at the doctor’s or the dentist’s, or the connotations stemming from your own imagination and/or stories heard long ago.

In other words, your problem is perhaps more your fear of pain than the pain itself. This fear can become a phobia or close to it, then you are more helped by the indication 'phobia'.
Yes. Each kind of pain has psychological aspects. Each kind of pain has a significance for the sufferer, even if the origin of the pain is purely physical. For a soldier on the battlefield a  wound may bring much less pain than the same wound for someone involved in a traffic accident. The soldier interprets it as a result of an already present danger. It also means that he, at least temporarily, will be able to withdraw from that dangerous situation. For the citizen in the traffic accident, it is totally a catastrophe at clear sky.

Cancer can lead to pain in many different ways, such as by the damage of nerve fibers or by growing into a hollow organ, soft-tissue or bone tissue. Also the treatment of cancer may be painful. These are very physical causes of pain. However, you can also say that these causes, as indeed every kind of chronic pain, are determined to a large extent by expectations, interpretations, anxieties etc. In other words, the psychological influence within the existing pain is large. This provides a lot of starting points to be able to mentally work upon the pain sensation. In addition, it is more than likely the case that using autosuggestion, even the purely physical components of the pain, may be influenced.

On a purely physical domain, there are many ways to reduce this pain and you should certainly not disregard them when using autosuggestion. I recommend you to not be too cautious with morphine in case of cancer pain. People who really need it should not be deprived of this painkilling. Studies show that, from an unjustified fear of ‘addiction’, these people sometimes receive too little morphine and are thus, unnecessarily burdened with much suffering. In the event of a terminally ill patient with a lot of pain, one should administer morphine every 4 hours because otherwise pain-episodes occur which are completely unnecessary. The reason for not using morphine in sufficient dose for a full painkilling, is the occurrence of adverse effects. Psychological dependence of morphine in cancer patients occurs surprisingly little.

Since the cause of cancer pain however, often is continuous, it is not obvious to diminish this pain very much, not with autosuggestion, nor with any other method. But we need to look at each individual case and never say at the outset that something is not possible. There are people known to be freed of severe pain purely by their faith (in God, in science, in themselves), even after medication or other analgesic methods proved to be insufficiently effective. This is also (auto) suggestion of course and is a proof of the enormous power which it can be assumed to have efficiently directed.

Pain reduction is one of the indications of AURELIS. So you can get started right away. You will find 28 techniques to point your deeper self into the direction that you wish. Certainly for severe and chronic pain it is recommended to learn various techniques well and apply them successively or possibly even at the same time. It is not the intention to keep needing AURELIS all the time. After a while, you can apply a technique when and where you need it.

For cancer patients, the use of autosuggestion is extra advantageous because it can also be applied outside the pain for inconveniences that these patients often have to deal with. Examples include insomnia or the nausea of chemotherapy.
In the case of AURELIS, in no way are there ‘miracles’ in the sense of a direct interference from outside (a god, a force, a principle...) in your life or health. Everything that happens, comes from your deeper self.

At the other hand, we find ‘miraculous’ enough what is possible if you unleash the power of your deeper self in an appropriate manner. The biggest 'miracle' in the world is you. There is no reason to resort to the esoteric or supernatural. On the contrary, such an explanation diminishes your self-worth.

At the other side, you can say that the 'above natural' is probably present in your deeper self, or that it shows itself in you through this deeper self. You can say this with good reasons BUT then you may not confuse important levels. On the purely physical level it is nonsense. On the symbolic level, it is correct. The 'deeper itself' is also just a symbol to indicate what no one knows: 'the subconscious'. You don’t know whether it ends and if so, where it ends and where something else starts. The 'deeper self' is in any case very spacious. The question whether there are limits, is ultimately a materialistic question, raised from a misunderstanding of the symbolic level. A genuine symbol has no borders and does not need them.

Is AURELIS a kind of magic? That depends on the interpretation that you attach to the word 'magic'. In the purest sense we would say 'yes', provided that you keep in mind two important things: 1) The Magic is not in AURELIS, but completely in you. 2) Real magic is absolutely not 'supernatural', but lies at the basis of nature itself and even most of all of the natural-within-you.

Anyone who is busy with 'magic', may still further deepen this by looking at it from a symbolic viewpoint. In the end, we all meet each other and that will be a pleasant meeting in a new, limitless world. The people who are busy with it now, can already do their best to ensure that it is also a peaceful world.
There are a number of very different definitions of 'alternative medicine', sometimes also called 'complementary medicine'. So: if you would like to answer the question in a reasonable way, you have to make it clear what definition you give to this term. A possible definition is: 'not commonly taught at universities'. In this case AURELIS is still ‘alternative’.

Also at the following definition: 'not proven according to the currently accepted experimental scientific methods' (placebo controlled double-blind studies). But here something begins to wring anyway. On the other hand, at the following definition things immediately become problematic: 'not working according to the principles but according to what pretends to work'. For instance, a slimming product of which the producer claims that it works in a natural way, while there are artificial appetite inhibitors and metabolism boosters in it. Or, colored water of which the seller on the market claims that it works against 'everything from outside, everything from within and everything in between’. Thus, charlatanism. 

I think that the last definition is very important, because it contains the idea that a medicine also should be rationally and morally correct. All quackeries have at times been 'taught' and 'proven'. The last definition goes beyond that, however. It corresponds to a humanist ideal. No authority determines what is correct, but rationality and strict morality. So not what you or I would like, but what is true in the eyes of people who do not wish to be dependent of money, power and own interest.

Non-alternative is only a method that works according to the principles to which it claims to work. In practice this means that in regard to the average placebo effect of more than 50% for medication in general, regular medicine itself is mainly alternative in relation to this standard. It also means that AURELIS, in view of its complete openness to placebo, is the only method of treatment that, according to this schema is non-alternative. Regular medicine stands in between AURELIS and the so-called ‘alternative medicines'.

Is AURELIS alternative? That depends on the definition, which one dares to uphold and the evidence that one dares to face. Is it important for a medicine to be 'truthful'? Definitely. (See "Why do you call AURELIS a 'moral kind of medicine'?").
Caution: The 'bond' between client and practitioner in psychotherapy is not altogether an advantage. Therapists can, for example, have a bad day or react (unconscious resistance?) against their client, undermining the healing process. There are many more potential disadvantages, but the most important is that the person of the therapist can stand in the way of the client's self-help. In other words, the client is depending on the therapist. Many psychotherapists see in this a central necessity for the therapy, a given that speaks volumes by itself (*). The AURELIS-philosophy is fully against it. We see therapeutic dependence mainly as an easy way to bind needy people long term and build a stable practice. At 'short therapy' this plays a much less important role that is already one big advantage.

Psychotherapists generally tend to see eye contact as very important, even to consider it essential for their activities. This is human. If they were to ignore this, their actions would at least lose considerable aura, perhaps even become obsolete. The claim that their physical presence is crucial in this sense is an understandable desire. Therefore, it is not definitely a serious argument. In the case of on-line psychotherapy, one sees that the results do not differ from those of psychotherapy with a therapist.

A more or less longing of professional psychotherapists is the belief in the scientific basis of the own form of psychotherapy. Research shows that most forms of psychotherapy are NOT based on scientific grounds. The once so 'scientific' psychoanalysis for instance, is in the second half of the twentieth century almost entirely thrown of its pedestal.

We did not claim that eye contact-psychotherapy is principally nonsense. AurelisOnLine is completely different at different levels. AURELIS does not cut out a disease. The individual grows beyond needing the disease. The question can then be put whether the instigator of this 'spontaneous growth' (AURELIS philosophy), is a kind of 'therapy' at all. This question is superfluous in light of another question: is the client helped by it (**)?

Well then, if someone doesn’t have any computer at his disposal, he may not use AurelisOnLine and the absence of the therapist is a disadvantage. If someone is conditioned in the idea that eye contact is necessary, and he would not use AurelisOnLine (seriously), then that is also a disadvantage, so one can think of a number of situations.

We dare to say: if someone uses AurelisOnLine seriously, then he is helped. The question then becomes pointless. Of course, the user can, in addition to visiting a psychotherapist or coach, use AurelisOnLine if he wishes to. He can then talk about his experience with AurelisOnLine in a hopefully meaningful manner.

(*) Think for instance of the ‘transfer’ within psycho-analysis.

(**) what is otherwise something very different from ‘feeling helped’.
In a limited number of cases (+/- 5%) a cause for high blood pressure is found in physical or technical research. In the other cases, one speaks of 'idiopathic hypertension'. This simply means that the high blood pressure comes 'by itself'. You can take two opposite attitudes regarding this. At the first extreme attitude one assumes that idiopathic hypertension forms a category of high blood pressure for which there is yet no physical cause being found. The idea is that by increasingly in-depth scientific research ultimately for all cases a physical cause will be discovered. The opposite attitude is to believe that in all those cases there is simply no physical cause. Purely psychological factors would be sufficient to achieve the high blood pressure in all of these cases.

The truth lies in neither of these extremes. For a number of cases that there will certainly be found a physical cause. In those cases, it is of course better to treat these causes, if possible.

On the other side, it is clear that stress (however vague this term is) is generally responsible for an increase in blood pressure. It is therefore evident that relaxation can decrease the blood pressure. This is sufficiently proven in scientific research. Among others in the case of autogenic training the blood pressure lowering effect has been clearly demonstrated.

So I would say if your doctor finds a light to moderately elevated blood pressure and no physical cause is found, then certainly never use medication immediately! Start with relaxation exercises. In AURELIS you will find a lot of possibilities to do this, that you can learn when you want or need to; so you do not need to go to a therapist to do this. In addition to relaxation, autosuggestion is certainly interesting. Different strategies are possible.

A warning is in place here: take care if you use relaxation and autosuggestion for a while together with applying antihypertensive drugs. With relaxation and autosuggestion alone you achieve a basic blood pressure that corresponds to you. You will not get lower than the lower blood pressure that your body itself is asking. Medicines are typically not that good natured. Someone with a normal blood pressure can by the medication evolve towards a blood pressure that is too low. This can be dangerous, both directly for your health (organs are receiving insufficient oxygen) and by an increased risk of falling and e.g. breaking a leg. Especially in the elderly this is really dangerous. So make sure that at this combination you get a regular check of your blood pressure. If you have a good instrument to take your own blood pressure and that has recently been recalibrated, then you better look at the values of your blood pressure as taken at home than at those taken in the consultation room of a physician. At home and at rest the blood pressure is often already slightly lower than at a doctor’s. It is better to tolerate a little too high blood pressure for some time than to run the risk of hypotension (too low blood pressure). Reduce the medication slowly enough, but also quickly enough. The only determining indicator for this purpose is your own blood pressure. When you get somewhat dizzy by standing up, that also indicate low blood pressure.

If you manage to dramatically reduce your medication or even eliminate it, don’t forget to continue checking your blood pressure. Especially if you are in a period of increased stress your blood pressure can increase again. In AURELIS you find a number of strategies to increase your own stress resistance. Of course that also has an indirect effect on your blood pressure. Yet as a doctor I must give the council: if you have had high blood pressure, that means you are sensitive to it. If you have a blood pressure monitor, use it at least once every quarter as a control.
You cannot tolerate any antidepressant. That happens regularly. You must know that a number of antidepressants especially at the beginning of the treatment have side effects and thereafter these diminish for most people.

If in addition to or in place of antidepressants you want to use autosuggestive methods, then that is in any case a good idea. Antidepressants are often presented by biological psychiatrists as the only conceivable solution for a depression. After a period of acute depression the patient has to continue taking the antidepressants for a while. After 3 episodes of depression it is even advised to continue taking antidepressants lifelong preventively, because otherwise the risk of recurrence would be too large. The question can be asked whether the taking of antidepressants does not increase the chance to get a new attack, in comparison with people who emerge of their depression on their own or with the help of psychotherapy. What is known, indeed points into this direction [1].

Scientific studies have shown that certain forms of psychotherapy (i.e. 'cognitive behavioral therapy' and 'interpersonal psychotherapy') are at least as effective as antidepressants, both as regards the cure of an attack of depression and as regards the prevention of new attacks,. The principles of operation of these psychotherapies are not clear. Many psychologists are of the opinion that all psychotherapies (there are more than 500) operate through what they call 'generic factors'. I.e. the degree to which the therapist can create for the patient an environment of change, an environment in which the change in the first place is hoped or expected. Hopes and expectations of course belong to the phere of autosuggestion.

One can see depression as a kind of communication disorder, not in the first place to the outside, but to the inside, toward the own deeper self. By wanting the contact with deeper self, but not attaining it, the person gets into a state of despair and self blame, energy loss, concentration disorders, insomnia, appetite disorders etc. All these are symptoms that fall under a conglomerate of what is generally called 'depression'. It is especially the tension between desire and inability that can make someone really ill. What can help someone with a depression in the first place is the restoration of the faulty contact. The culturally given ways to do this - religion or deep personal contact with e.g. nature or with others have become very difficult for many people. We see a strong increase in the number of depressives in western culture. In addition to this, ‘hidden depression' is more and more by the scientific world as 'cause' of all kinds of psychosomatic ailments. This seems to me to be very logical and also very sad.

Who has already read something of me, will not be surprise by the following: autosuggestion IS an open way of communication with the unconscious. I am not saying that it is very evident and that it will solve all problems, but autosuggestion is what a depressed person is lacking.

[1] Igodt P Psychotherapeutic approach of depression. In Depression & Psychosomatics. Guarant, 1997.
No, there is no question of habituation, as is the case with medication. Once you have found a few techniques that fit your personality, you will use them for a long time to obtain (in principle, on the whole) the same effect. This effect may of course vary from day to day and from situation to situation, largely dependent on your own specific expectations. Through repetition you will start to respond better and better to the use of autosuggestion. It is a bit like learning a new language: by using it you will learn to express yourself better. Actually, autosuggestion IS a language, albeit a very special one. It is a communication with your unconscious. By regularly doing it, you will learn in which circumstances it is most effective, how it feels when the 'contact' with your own deeper self is open, and how to best assume an attitude of 'unprejudiced expectation'.

For an optimum long term effect it is interesting to switch strategies or to combine them. In this way you will always have a number of different approaches available. Compare it with judo: If you apply the same technique or headlock all the time, you will have little flexibility. The more moves you know, the more 'weak spots' of your opponent you can reach. Of course, you should not view yourself as an opponent in the sense of 'enemy', but rather as a 'co-practitioner' in a process that is best referred to as life. In this life you will better learn to use yourself as a total person by practicing communication between your conscious and unconscious, simply by working on it.

An additional advantage of the use of auto-suggestion for a specific indication is that it will help you along with other indications. For instance, by applying autosuggestion to quit smoking you will subsequently find it easier to also use it in order to lose weight or to resolve sleep problems.
There are many types of medication that are used in an effort to reduce the symptoms of rheumatism. The most important group are the anti-inflammatory drugs (cortisone, gold salts, chloroquine, NSAIDs such as aspirin and indocid, etc.). These drugs will not cure you and are not supposed to cure you. In addition there are also drugs that are supposed to have a more causal effect (e.g. azathioprine). But it is far from certain that their action is causal. In fact, from a scientific viewpoint, rheumatism is still a very badly understood disorder. Very likely it is a type of autoimmune disease. The defense mechanism of the patient attacks the patient’s own body cells. At first sight it would be logical to take a drug to suppress the immune system, but things are not that simple. First, we need our immune system to clean up infections and cancer cells. Second, the immune system is enormously complex. Suppression of one element of the system can result in a more intense activation of other elements. A temporary suppression of one part of the system may subsequently lead to an intensified reaction. The road to a causal treatment of rheumatism by the use of drugs is still very long; that type of solution will certainly not be forthcoming in the next few years.

One can ask the question: does the description 'autoimmune disorder' actually imply a cause? Do these attacks on proper body cells simply come about, as though falling out of thin air? No, even that phenomenon must have a cause. In this case, we might even speak of a multiplicity of causes, but also of triggering factors, perpetuating factors or "self-perpetuating patterns': multiple factors which mutually reinforce one another. This is a tangle difficult to unravel. What mainly interests us here is the psychological side of things. Do not understand this as a way of attributing of guilt. I hope that readers of 'Connect Yourself’ will be fully convinced that guilt has nothing to do with it.

Research has clearly demonstrated that there is a psychological dimension in all aspects of rheumatism, both as regards the pain and the loss of functionality, as well as the experience of being-ill and its treatment [1].

Rheumatism is a condition the symptoms of which constantly intensify and abate. That makes it very difficult to determine whether a particular drug or a certain procedure actually brings about improvement. It is often the case that a new drug offers a temporary improvement, after which the complaints regress to the previous level. Over the years most rheumatism-patients will suffer from increasing symptoms. Spontaneous healing is very rare, but it happens, so the possibility is there for each and every patient!

It is not because there is an anatomical defect in combination with pain or a loss of function that this defect necessarily is the cause of the pain or that particular loss of function. In the medical world rheumatism is very noted for this. Many people, with minor defects on radiological images, still experience a lot of pain and suffering in the conduct of their daily activities. Others, with more anomalies on RX, experience little more than only aesthetic trouble.

There is as yet no long-term experience with the use of autosuggestion by rheumatism-patients. There are clear elements to indicate that the source of rheumatism can be repaired through the use of autosuggestion. The psyche is very close to the immune system. Research shows that both general stress as well as specific cognitions have an influence on all sorts of factors of the immune system. Also the placebo effect of drugs has a clearly perceptible influence on the level of inflammation. I estimate the probability is very high that a proper use of autosuggestion will be very effective for rheumatism-patients as regards both their immediate complaints as well as the general evolution of their disease. It presupposes they work at it and with a certain regularity for a long period of time .

Auto-suggestion can in any case be used to reduce the pain of rheumatism. It has a very clear effect on both the reduction of pain as on the degree of autonomy that goes with it.

[1] Young LD Psychological Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 1992(60). P 619-27
I sympathize with you. I have quite a number of patients with this disorder and in each of these cases it meant enormous suffering to the patient. It is difficult for outsiders to get a good idea of this misery. However I would no longer speak of 'spastic colon' , but use the more modern term 'irritable bowel syndrome'. The disorder involves more than just spasms of the intestine. Besides, more parts of the intestine are affected than the colon. 'Spastic colon' also has awfully negative connotations.

Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (sometimes also called 'IGS’ in English) with the aid of drugs or of any other therapy has pitifully few results. In addition, the chronic use of drugs also saddles patients with side effects .

Is IGS (‘irritable gut/ bowel syndrome’) mainly a psychosomatic disease? There is a lot that seems to point that way. For example the following. In the intestinal wall of IGS patients there are clear physical changes, -in particular in the autonomic nervous system-. These changes sometimes also occur in people who do not suffer from the syndrome but are almost always people with personality characteristics quite specific to IGS patients, such as a fearful sensitivity or excessive rigor and a tendency to depression. This very strongly indicates a combination of psychological characteristics and physical symptoms.

In that case, can autosuggestion be useful? Definitely. But I am saying: 'can'. If you make optimal use of the principles of autosuggestion, then I would even say: 'MUST'. But of course this is going round in circles a bit, because how to make optimal use of autosuggestion? Well, there is not a simple and easy answer to that question. I hope to have made clear a lot of things in my book 'Connect Your Self'. But the book is not written to give a direct and straightforward solution to this type of problem. I think (hope) that it can significantly benefit you, but then you will have to translate the information to your specific problem. The book that details these translations will probably not be written within the next few years.

If I may give you some advice, even without knowing you but based on my experiences with patients that are in a similar situation, I would like to say the following: Try to do something that gives you a lot, but really a lot of joy, something that makes you happy at least once a day. That can be listening to a nice song, or even being together with a loved person and really, deeply enjoy this for a few minutes. Consider this as your personal right. Do everything you can to achieve it. This may require some practice and maybe after a few weeks you will notice that your idea of 'really a lot of joy' has taken on a new dimension. I have the impression that people with the IGS syndrome are often also people who have difficulty enjoying themselves freely and who, perhaps without knowing about it, intensely suffer from that difficulty. After all, you are often such sensitive persons.

Is what I just told you also autosuggestion? Yes. Autosuggestion is everything that constitutes an effective inward communication. By allowing yourself a deep enjoyment, you show your deeper self that it is quite OK, that from now on you find you are well worth it and that you do not have to pay with pain and trouble for each suppressed desire of true happiness.
The correct application of autosuggestion does not mean that the struggle and the use of willpower will disappear overnight. What will disappear though is the way you were forcing yourself, the auto-aggression. A mountaineer fights the mountain, but in reality he fights himself: he fights his urge to give up, he fights his desire to sit cosily on his coach at home with a hot cup of coffee in his hand to watch ... a documentary on mountaineers. He 'overcomes’ the mountain, but it is actually a victory over himself. Mountain climbing is a fight with yourself, but it is not an aggressive struggle. After all, you do not want to harm the mountain. You don’t want to ‘cut it out’. While, on the other hand, a battle against, for example, your smoke-addiction (or any another addiction or psychosomatic symptom) is a battle aimed against yourself, because the addiction is rooted and tangled deep within yourself. But even if you could cut out the addiction you would, in doing that, very seriously mutilate yourself. But what happens is that the addiction is suppressed. The addiction will offer strong opposition, using a considerable amount of energy. It aggressively fights back, in the same way all suppressed psychic contents do. Only: the addiction has a tremendous amount of energy. You stay behind with a bomb within yourself, a bomb that can explode many, many times.

This auto-aggression is avoided through the use of the AURELIS-method. You turn your addiction into a friend and benefit from its energy (which ultimately is your own energy) in order to grow into someone who no longer needs the addiction.
AURELIS has several advantages as compared to drugs. Some of the most important are:

- AURELIS goes deeper than the symptom itself.

>< Apart from drugs against cancer and micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses,...) there is no causal medication. Ask your own doctor. AURELIS, on the other hand, is fully focused on a causal approach. This prevents, particularly in the case of chronic diseases, that you simply replace one disease with another.

- AURELIS is no placebo.

>< Drugs have a large placebo effect. Traditionally it is assumed that the real placebo effect (independent from the natural evolution of disease) constitutes on average 40-60% of the total effect of a drug. Modern studies often indicate even greater percentages: up to 80% and more (*)! The real placebo effect is the effect not caused by the drug itself, but by you: autosuggestively, in the form of expectations, meanings,... With AURELIS you can produce this effect in a direct way. So: no need for the side effects of expensive medication and also no need for the veil of placebo-deception.

- AURELIS is not aggressive.

>< a drug is often 'anti-'. It is a weapon in an aggressive battle against the disease. To the extent that this disease is psychosomatic, it is in reality an aggression against yourself. Also autosuggestion (one of the central elements of AURELIS) can be used in an attack against yourself. However, as a matter of principle AURELIS is non-aggressive. In this sense it is not a therapy' (**), but an intense incitement of your unconscious for growth beyond the disease. The disease is not cut out, but transformed into inner strength. That is, after all, its natural intent.

(*) M. Enserink Can the Placebo Be the Cure? Science 284:238-240, 1999

(**) Therapy: medical treatment... aimed at the elimination of the cause of disease ... or at the fight of disease-symptoms. (Pinkhof-Hilfman Medical Dictionary, 9th edition)

Autosuggestion and Psychosomatics

Psychosomatics, indicating that the mind influences the body in disease and in health, is a wide domain with vague boundaries. Many people immediately think of a kind of 'magic' influence, or of something like telekinesis within their own body, something dark and incomprehensible. In reality the largest part of this influence is not by way of telekinesis but works in ways we can understand.

Some of the possible ways in which the mind influences the body are summed up here. I have discussed these in more detail in my book ‘Connect Your Self’. The following examples are not meant to imply that these diseases always have a psychological cause. But it is always possible that the psyche does play a role, directly or indirectly. Psychological factors can negative influence physical health by or through:

- incorrect postures (e.g. neck pain cause by long-term labor with a curved back).

- short or long-term strain (e.g. writer’s cramp)

- unnatural movement (e.g. tennis elbow)

- lack of physical movement (e.g. low back ache which gets worse because of too much rest)

- local muscle tension of skeletal muscles (e.g. tension headaches)

- local muscle tension of smooth muscles (e.g. certain forms of abdominal pain)

- changes in perfusion (e.g. chilblained hands)

- changes in endocrine secretion (e.g. diabetes)

- eating and drinking habits (e.g. vitamin deficiencies by unbalanced food intake) - influence on the hormonal, neurological, immunological systems (e.g. higher susceptibility to infections, autoimmune disorders)

- relationships, other people who unconsciously encourage you to overstrain yourself.

The psyche can in all theses instances play a role as cause, occasion, trigger, perpetuating or aggravating factor. Often it is part of a self-perpetuating pattern including psychological and somatic elements. For instance, in recent years there was a lot of talk about a specific type of bacteria being the cause of stomach ulcer. Apparently the existence of this bacteria is sufficient reason for many to remove 'stress' as a cause of stomach ulcer from the medical textbooks. But it is really quite evident that one does not exclude the other. For instance, stress can prepare the ground (in this case: the stomach wall) for the development of already present bacteria. On the other hand, bacteria can turn the stomach wall into a weak spot where stress can find a hold. So: no bacteria, no stomach ulcer. But just as well: no stress, no stomach ulcer. What then is 'the' cause? This is a far too complex issue for simple answers.

And this is also true in case of other psychological causes of illness. The above list may be clear in itself, but each individual case, each psychosomatic illness, is complex. People are extremely complex creatures, and not in the least 'between the ears'.
This has been scientifically proven. Some sources go even further and speak of 90 to 99%. It depends on what we call ‘psychosomatics’. One can, for instance, also label as ‘psychosomatic’ a chronic bronchitis that is the result of years of smoking, because the long-term smoking behavior is the result of an addiction that is mainly psychological in origin [cf. 'Become a Non-smoker'].

During my years of clinical practice I myself have clearly witnessed that most of my patients came to see me with problems that were both physical and mental. Of course, it is true that the initial complaint voiced during a consultation is usually situated in the physical domain. This can lead to different situations. The patient himself feels that his complaint can fully, only in part, or not at all be expressed in mental terms just as well as in physical terms. The doctor can, from his perspective, see the underlying suffering or he can, perhaps because of time constraints, be content with a quick prescription. Doctors who do 'fast' consultations are often convinced that their patients present only physical problems. That is unsurprising, because the psychological dimension usually becomes clear only after the first 5 or even 10 minutes of the consultation, assuming that there is at that moment still sufficient openness and sufficient occasion. If consultations only take up 5 to 10 minutes, then we will simply never realize the true nature of being-ill, let alone have the possibility to interact with it.

Yes, it is true that at least 70% of the patients come to their general practitioner with psychosomatic complaints. It is also true that a ‘physically oriented’ doctor ignores the real nature of illness in most of these people. This is indeed a major reason for the increasing success of holistic or alternative medicine. My answer to this is a plea for self-help. That does not mean that you should no longer consult your doctor. Your doctor still is an indispensable expert in physical disease and at best also as a friend and counselor in everything concerning illness and good health. A good doctor is worth his or her weight in gold. On the other hand, a visit to the doctor can never absolve you of your own responsibility for your health. If being ill is psychosomatic, this means that you, through the use of your own mental power, can also do something about it. That is not only effective for a faster healing. It is also preventive, because the next time you threaten to become ill, you will have all the tools ‘at hand’ to prevent worse.
I find this rather cynical. People do not want:

. ≪to be deceived>.

Many people do want, rightly so:

. ≪to be deceived if no valuable alternative is offered as a way to better health.>

In a world where this alternative does not exist, one might say that the people who decide to put up with the deception, act in an understandable and even 'healthy' way. But what if an alternative does exists, is being offered, and made readily accessible? Could you then still maintain that the deception should not be denounced, because people just want to be deceived? No, no, a thousand times no.

Well, I maintain that autosuggestion is a valuable alternative. That is of course a matter up for discussion. You can rightly claim that, in principle, by emphasizing autosuggestion the effect of medication could be reduced. It is a repeatedly proven scientific fact that the placebo effect represents more than 50% of the total effect of many drugs. The faith in drugs is therefore, to a very large degree, not borne out by the strictly biochemical working of the drug. If you start to shake the belief in drugs, you will also ‘shake’ the actual impact people experience from these drugs. Is the game worth the candle?

I believe so. Please note, I have nothing against medication. But I do have something against its unbridled abuse. Many drugs quickly acquire a reputation that they are indispensable, that you cannot do without, that you are dependent on them - even if only for quick symptom relief. Take sleeping pills for instance. People swallow more than 500 tonnes (!) of sleeping pills worldwide each year. Many people find that they cannot sleep without a pill. Insomnia seems to be the only alternative that is open to them. So do they want to be deceived? No, they just want to have a good night’s sleep. Why then are they dependent on sleeping pills? Because they take their pill with the purpose of sleeping very well that night. I think this is, with all due respect, a wrong attitude to take, not because I begrudge these people their good night’s sleep. Taking a pill to sleep makes you dependent. I would like to propose another attitude, namely: taking a pill to LEARN how to sleep. This attitude shift, I think, can readily be made clear to everyone. The action is the same: you take a sleeping pill - for as short a time as possible. The train of thought and the final outcome are completely different. Instead of undergoing the effect of the pill as a guillotine that chops of your head (as it were), you use the pill as a lever for your own sleeping power. By using this lever in an effective way, with the help of autosuggestion techniques, you strongly increase your sleeping power. By realizing that sleeping pills too depend for a large part on the placebo-effect, you unmask this deception and put yourself in a position to make your own use of the power behind the placebo in a much better way. Instead of dependence, you create for yourself an image of good sleep. This has two major advantages:

- You can, by focusing on the drug-as-aid, obtain more effect from you sleeping pill for as long as you take it.

- You will be able to get a good night’s sleep without a sleeping pill a lot sooner.

So I think autosuggestion is a good alternative. The emphasis on auto-suggestion can in principle reduce the effectiveness of a drug, but, if used properly, autosuggestion can also strongly amplify the drug’s effect. In the past it occasionally happened that I took stronger stuff against a headache than a 5-grain aspirin tablet. Nowadays I am quite satisfied with 1/4 of that dosage. I have come to think of drugs more and more as a sort of ‘turn signal’ you give yourself. You use the drug to indicate the right direction (e.g. less pain) and leave it to your deeper self to spontaneously take that route.
If you already suffering from a headache for many years, it is important that sufficient efforts are made to exclude physical causes. The person who is best placed to discuss this with, is your own doctor. It is possible that, even after a single conversation with you, your doctor will come to the conclusion that further physical examinations are unnecessary. It is equally possible that he proposes, for instance, to take a blood sample or a CT-scan. I hope you have great confidence in your doctor. That is very important.

If a sound physical check-up has shown that there is no direct physical cause for your headache, then accept it and don’t go any further down that road. Like a lot of other people - more and more people every day actually - you suffer from chronic tension headaches.

In the first place, it is important to recognize that this is not a 'disease' but a symptom. Neither is it a symptom of an underlying disease. There is absolutely no disease. The chronic tension headache is something that currently belongs to you. It is not something external that befalls you the same way a malicious virus or bacteria would. It is part of you. It comes from within. For you it is a very normal response to circumstances, which are formed both by you as by what is happening all around you and the interpretations you give to all kinds of things.

When I say that chronic tension headaches currently are a part of you, this obviously does not imply that you should be permanently stuck with them. What it does mean, however, is that a strategy of 'attack’ is in any case going to lead you nowhere. Large-scale studies show that the total amount of headache you will eventually experience is not diminished by taking painkillers. By taking a painkiller you may temporarily reduce or suppress your headaches but ... but the headache will come back faster. It is as if your body is claiming a particular amount of headache. If you attack the headache, the headache will fight back. I am of the opinion that, by applying this strategy, you will even remove yourself further and further from a real solution.

Using 'autosuggestion' is exactly the opposite of applying a strategy of attack. In fact, you might even say that this is a quite apt definition of autosuggestion - as I understand it. Autosuggestion = not-attacking a symptom and therefore not-attacking yourself. Auto-suggestion = asking the cooperation of your own deeper self to arrive at a solution that is satisfactory to your total person (conscious and unconscious). Because chronic tension headaches are something very unpleasant, this solution implies that you will get rid of them, on condition that you know how to use autosuggestion correctly.

I know that this is a lot of theory and that your question has also practical intentions, obviously. However, I can say only a few generalities here.

Do not attempt to flee the pain. The pain is there with a reason. However strange, outdated or simply 'wrong' that reason may be, it is there and will not go away even if you try to suppress everything. If you feel the pain come on once again, imagine that the pain does not increase all of a sudden from 0% pain to 100% pain. The pain, for instance, rises from 0% to 10%, 10% to 20%, to 30% etc. At each stage you have the possibility, instead of going against it or trying to run away from it (which actually is also 'against’ it), to go towards your pain. Do not accept your pain in a masochistic way, but in a way in which you also would like to be accepted by a person you love very much. Look at the pain as a very deep part of yourself. That deep part does not want the pain, but -apparently- it knows no other way to get your attention.

'Ask' your pain what it actually is. Chronic tension headache is usually a difficult to understand 'translation' of emotional pain. Think through very deeply for yourself what this could mean. Be confident that if you ask this question in a proper way, you will feel that your symptom already becomes much lighter. Please note that I am not talking about 'insight' here. You need not necessarily 'comprehend' what your pain means. Neither is there some kind of psycho-analytical dictionary where you can look this up. No, the most important thing is not the striving for 'knowledge', but the way in which you give attention. If your deeper self finds a conscious insight more important, then you will get that spontaneously. For instance: is the pain a pain of concrete hatred or fear or disappointment? It is something that you carry with you from the past, or something of today?

An appropriate attention (I would venture to call it 'respect'?), together with the conviction that this appropriate attention will help you, is, I think, a very good first -and perhaps even the only necessary- step for a lot of people with chronic tension headaches.
In any case, you rightly ask whether your low back pain might still be psychosomatic. There are many people who on RX of CT scan have a herniated disc and who are not affected by low back pain. To people who are affected AND who have a herniated disc, it is often assumed far too quickly that the hernia is the cause of the suffering. That is a logical error.

Neither can the effects of a possible operation ever have probative force as to the exact cause. Let us go over a few relevant things. After a hernia operation the following situations can occur:

- The patient feels much better. The hernia was actually the cause and the surgery freed the patient from it.

- The patient feels much better. The hernia was absolutely not the cause but by the enormous placebo effect of surgery made the patient really feel much better. But this is pure treatment of symptoms. There is a good chance that after some time the patient will suffer from a replace-symptom such as chronic tension headaches. Probably neither the patient nor the doctors will ever establish the link between the old and the new symptoms.

- the patient still has a lot (the same degree) of pain. The hernia was the cause but the operation simply failed. There is, for instance, a rest-hernia or immediately there is a new herniated disc (this happens). Nerves can be damaged during the operation or subsequently by scar tissue.

- the patient still has a lot (the same degree) of pain. The hernia was not the cause and the operation has been completely useless.

I fear that the second situation in which the patient feel much better because of the placebo effect rather than by the operation itself, is frequent. An operation is very invasive, both for the spirit as well as for the body. You give yourself over to a kind of 'sorcerer' with a great deal of authority and also very much power over you during the operation. You are completely helpless in a situation which in different circumstances you would probably not survive. Only the professionalism of the surgeon (and the assisting team of course) can save you. In addition it all happens in a temple of modern medicine, and within that temple in the most special place...

As you can see it is very difficult, even after an operation, to prove that the cause of low back pain is the hernia or not. There are, however, enough serious scientists who claim that chronic low back pain is almost always psychosomatic. Even if there is an initial physical trigger for the acute low back pain, then the psyche is still a frequent cause of the chronic pain, which over time grafts itself onto the episode(s) of acute pain.

So I would be very reluctant to advise surgery, except if the surgeon can demonstrate that there is in fact an acute emergency situation. But even then, better ask a second opinion first from your doctor or from another surgeon.

In case of chronic low back pain never neglect the psychological side, even if everything points to a purely physical cause. Whatever way you look at it, chronic pain (and actually any pain) always has a psychological component that deserves your attention. You can never be sure how large that component is. But you can always make meaningful work of.
We understand motivation as: ""whatever reason someone can cite as the reason for a specific behavior or a change in behavior"". For instance, if you buy a new car typical motivations are: the cost (cheap or not), the technical possibilities, the fact that your neighbor has purchased a similar model (or not), etc.

I studied 'human decision science' in 1997 (in my second life as a student of Artificial Intelligence). It is striking that at the beginning of this century a big confusion still reigns in this domain. About every 10 years we witness a large shift in the relevant theories that are in vogue in scientific publications. There is one major constant which points into the right direction, namely: research increasingly shows that people are less rational in their decisions than we previously thought, much less rational too than what the decision-maker thinks about it himself. This direction fits properly with the distinction that can be made between motivations and autosuggestion. By motivations I mean the strictly rational reasons which are cited in support of a decision. Auto-suggestion can be defined as the way in which some of these reasons, or perhaps totally other reasons, effectively lead to one or other decision.

An autosuggestion can be understood as a kind of motivation, but there is indeed a big difference with ordinary motivation. The latter transforms into a suggestion if it is really lived through. If, for instance, the technical capabilities of a new type of car only are information available on paper, than they still not represent a motivation for someone who does not understand what is especially good about having 6 valves. For someone who does understand, it may be a motivation to choose for that model.

This motivation becomes suggestive, for instance by already imagining oneself behind the wheel of the vehicle or to imagine oneself talking (bragging) about the performance - or the price of the car, or the price reduction one got, or whatever- with others. By repeatedly imagining this and other scenes -visualization- the model will become more and more desirable. Advertising makes use of this by making sure that the vehicle regularly comes into the picture and that a number of pleasant associations are made, such as personal strength and masculinity, being a member of a select and fortunate club of people, becoming attractive to beautiful women. (This is simply part of human nature, and it works!).

We may assume that a purely rational motivation does not work, i.e. that it won’t enable someone to take a decision. A motivation only starts to work when it begins to live, in other words if it becomes important to the unconscious as a source of enjoyment or fear reduction. To the extent that a motivation is a communication to the unconscious, it is an autosuggestion. There is no clear border, but a gradual transition between a strict motivation and a real autosuggestion.
The difference between suggestion and autosuggestion is in fact artificial. You may assume that all suggestion, in order to be effective, must be autosuggestion. That’s because there is no such thing as a peculiar 'energy' that a therapist would send to a patient by means of suggestion. If something happens within the patient, then that must also be generated within the patient. If suggestion is applied within a therapeutic relation (and in fact suggestion in one way or another is applied within every therapeutic relation) than the sole merit of the therapist lies in preparing the patient to apply autosuggestion to himself. It is the 'only' merit, but if it is done well, it is extremely useful!

An example: Any drug that is taken by a patient, has in addition to its physical activity also an activity which is triggered by the significance of that drug to this specific patient and within this specific context. That interpretation consists of the patient’s belief that by ingesting the drug he may expect to get better. In other words the placebo effect of the drug is not generated by the drug, but by the patient himself, namely by the interpretation the patient attaches to the whole event. The placebo effect is an example of autosuggestion.

This seems to be a one-way street: from suggestion to autosuggestion to efficacy. Looked at it from the other side, however, we could say that all autosuggestion is a kind of suggestion. Autosuggestion is a form of monologue. You voice the suggestions to yourself, but who within yourself is voicing the suggestions to whom?
In experimental situations it was found that a placebo-injection showed 50% of the analgesic effect of an injection with a standard dose of morphine. Given the significance of the pain-event itself, and the motivation of the patient to get rid of his pain, it is evident that this will also be the case in clinical situations. Autosuggestion not only depends on the product 'morphine', but is also based on faith in the power of this product, in the doctor who prescribes it, the nurse who administers it, the environment in which all this takes place, etc.

Does this mean we should inject people with a biochemically ineffective product (physiologic serum) and deceive them by saying it is morphine? Or should we alternate the 'true' with the 'false' morphine ? I do not think it would be good practice to do this systematically with a patient. The administration of a placebo is and remains a form of deception. The doctor who does this in full consciousness, can consciously or unconsciously get the impression that the patient is weak or naive. Such an impression certainly plays a role in the doctor-patient relationship. The patient may also, if the truth gets out, loose his confidence in the physician or even in medicine as a whole and thus loose a very active factor in his process of self-healing.

In general I find autosuggestion a too important phenomenon to consciously hide it behind no matter what, unless it is not possible otherwise, as in the case of terminally ill patients. I also think that this obscuring often has to do with, to put it bluntly, a power struggle between caregiver and the one who is being cared for, between therapist and patient. In fact, auto-suggestion completely IS the inner strength of the patient; it is a very important own right. By hiding this in a placebo (be it a drug or any other therapeutic act) means depriving the person in whom it originates from this force and assign it to the person who prescribes or administers the placebo. This is a delicate matter. On the one hand, the patient is indeed helped by the pain reduction from the placebo; on the other hand many opportunities might be taken away from him. This of course also depends on how the placebo happens. It already makes a very big difference whether this is applied in a very authoritarian way, or whether it is tolerated that the patient is his own co-therapist and whether -in the first place- is informed about his medication as well as possible and to the degree he wants.
Absolutely. Smoking is simply a form of addiction. The same principles put someone to it and keep it going. I have discussed elsewhere how autosuggestion plays a major role in this. It is therefore logical that there are corresponding autosuggestive principles for quitting.

Suddenly stopping a drug addiction without preparation is of little value in my eyes. The person who is put into that kind of detox goes through a real hell and I do think that it also has this function: being a hell - but that is totally unjustified. In this hell the addict is expected to burn away his sins. This is working out a medieval idea. I personally believe in heaven, in a very particular way, but not in hell. Hell is senseless if, before that, you are able through a good and efficient communication with your own deeper self to change from e.g. an addict into a non-addict.

Some of you probably think that detox should serve as a deterrent to potential new drug addicts. This reasoning is completely topsy-turvy. First, the importance, the effect of this deterrence on the prevention of new addictions, is very small, if only because detox is at that moment still a thing of the remote future. Second, it is indeed a horror for the addict, a reason to remain addicted or even to commit suicide, rather than to walk wide-eyed through the gates of hell.

There is a fine example of a situation which makes it clear that the 'withdrawal effects' of even such a powerful drug as heroin are very heavily dependent on expectations - autosuggestion- about them. It is a well known fact that many soldiers during the war in Vietnam used heroin on a regular basis. For many it was probably a way to endure the horrors of that incredibly dirty war and to still preserve some humanity. It was a flight and a form of anesthesia. The army command was afraid that after the war these soldiers would face enormous problems with detoxification of what had often grown into a serious addiction. These problems however revealed to be much smaller than expected. Many ex-soldier-addicts simply did not experience the effects of detoxification. How is that possible? The most important factor was probably a change of emotional environment. The war with all its horrors was suddenly over and therefore also the reason for the use of heroin. The soldiers who returned were usually quickly reintegrated into society, suddenly had new prospects, other relationships, etc. In short, they had become other people and there was no need for the symptoms of detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms did occur in those who were not so fortunate to get quickly reintegrated or in those who were psychologically broken by the war in other ways.
In the group of addictive products a distinction can be made between the physically addictive products and the psychologically addictive products. The first category makes you physically dependent on the product. Meaning that, if you agree to stop taking them, you will with certainty experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Heroin and nicotine are good examples of this. Products for which you learn to crave only psychologically belong to the second category. In the event of a sudden stop they give no physical backlash. An example of this is marijuana. The physically addictive products are of course not free of psychological addiction either.

A psychological addiction always has to do with autosuggestion. The addictive product brings the promise of bliss, the anesthesia of unwanted feelings or 'expansion of consciousness'. How a drug impacts someone increasingly seems to depend on expectations. This at least I read in the reports of these people. It is also reflected in the reports of, for instance, Indians who within the context of their religion ingested consciousness-expanding mushrooms. The emotional environment, the proximity of friends, the interpretation of the event, for instance, under the protective canopy of religion... it all has a huge influence on the impact of the drug. It gives me the impression that context has much more influence than the biochemical working of the drug itself. But the whole pattern of expectations and the context are of course a clear instance of autosuggestion. The drug itself is but a key. What happens when the door opens, is an entirely different matter.

I have the impression that in general physical dependency on drugs is greatly exaggerated. Of course, it is present in a number of drugs, such as heroin, nicotine or alcohol. In the case of nicotine for instance physical addiction is clearly much smaller than usually thought. A whole industry is built on this misunderstanding, namely that of nicotine substitution drugs. In fact, nicotine is a drug with a half-life of +/- 20 minutes. This means that the urge for the next cigarette is to a large part a desire to eliminate withdrawal symptoms (and to attain the blissful condition that existed before one even took up smoking). Such a short half-life also means that after a couple of days at the latest all physical withdrawal symptoms will be completely over. The withdrawal effect which is then still felt, is psychological (note: but therefore no less real!). Rendering this type of withdrawal superfluous is a very good starting point for the use of autosuggestion.

One can of course prolong the physical withdrawal symptoms by taking nicotine replacement products. These are often taken for months, sometimes much longer than a year. I don’t see the point of it.
No antidepressant is effective for everyone. The percentages of people that are helped by them, fluctuate around 70%. So in case of depression it is not as if you only had to swallow a pill and, as a result, you will shed your depression as though it were a worn coat you no longer need. For a lot of people antidepressants simply do not work. On the other hand antidepressants are known for their large placebo effect. Extensive studies have demonstrated placebo effects of 60% or more. In other words, taking a sugar pill 'prescribed’ by a doctor has at least 60% of the effectiveness of an antidepressant. But wait a minute: 60% placebo effect; 70% of the people feel helped. For the actual product remains: 10%. Can we then say that it works?

A great authority in the domain of anxiety and depression once confided in me that most antidepressants prescribed by non-psychiatrists, can only work through placebo. This is because they are prescribed for too short periods or in insufficient doses to have any effect. That authority said this in a light bantering tone. But I think this is a very serious matter.

The same day I spoke with an agent of a company producing antidepressants (other than Prozac). I obliquely asked her whether she received a lot of information about the placebo-phenomenon. Of course not. I also asked how important the placebo effect was according to her. She took on a serious expression and said that she had it from a good source that the placebo effect existed and in exceptional cases could account for 10 to 20% of the effectiveness of a drug, but that this, of course, did not apply to any of the drugs produced by her company. This is typical for the knowledge and attitude of many agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I have seen lots of them during my years of medical practice and sometimes could not refrain from asking a prickly question. Most of them did not even seem to realize that my questions might represent a fundamental challenge to the products they came to sell.

Of course Prozac works. The only question is: how? How and why an antidepressant 'works' is not clear. There are different products with very different biochemical points of reference in the brain. Newer generations mainly work by increasing the level of serotonins in the brain. Antidepressants are not 'invented' after thorough study of the biological mechanism of depression. On the contrary, assumptions about physical causes of depression (e.g.: there is something wrong with the serotonin in the brain) have been derived from the biochemistry of antidepressants. No scientist who takes herself seriously can find this to be reasonable evidence. It is not because a molecule has particular biochemical effect AND has a particular clinical effect, that former is the direct cause of the latter. For instance, suppose a depression stems from an imbalance between the desire and the potential to achieve something (I am thinking here of inner integration). In theory an antidepressant could work by bringing the desired goal within closer reach. But it could also ‘work’ by reducing the desire! Is this a cure? Or is it perhaps dehumanization? This is a very important question and nobody may or can ignore it nowadays, because it has NOT been answered: Is an antidepressant effective by its alleged effect, or rather indirectly because of its side effects? As an example you may think of a side effect that is common to many antidepressants: a reduction of sexual libido.

Possible conclusion: an antidepressant works by fitting the depressive person back into the straitjacket of active, productive citizen. The depressive person feels better because he can live on ‘happily’ but on a lower level, far below its actual human capabilities. How far removed is this from Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'?
When they hear ‘relaxation’, most people think of sitting motionlessly and with their thoughts more or less fixed on a single point. This offers a good opportunity for autosuggestion, but it is certainly not necessary. It is of course necessary if you use AURELIS for autosuggestion sessions, but that is because you will have to listen with some attention to a voice and preferably with as little distraction as possible.

In principle, however, autosuggestion can happen'in full action'. I am reminded here, for instance, of the 'fire walk' that is practiced at different places in the world as a supposedly supernatural phenomenon, as part of a religion or cult-affirmation. A much simpler explanation is autosuggestion, reducing the fear (and therefore also preventing hesitation which would soon lead to burns), by reducing any potential pain, and at best also through the local narrowing of blood vessels. Another example, closer to home for most people, is very banal: all the advertising which is fired at us while we are occupied doing other things, the panels along the motorway, the magazines we read on the train, the radio that is playing during work or hobby, etc. The prime goal of advertising is of course not to inform us, but to make us buy things. It is suggestion, and it works while we are very active.

(Auto)suggestion therefore works both at rest and in action. I think that relaxation, relaxation in the sense of mental concentration, has the big advantage that one is attentive for what happens here and now, instead of having one’s thoughts jump around like monkeys in a tree from branch to branch. This is a form of relaxation that can to together with external rest or action, it really does not matter much. This form of relaxation makes that you are able respond to what happens as a total person, that you are more involved in your growth as an individual and that this growth is more organic, less artificial than is often the case with advertising. An organic growth has the important advantage that the change (e.g. to stop smoking) is achieved easier and will be more permanent. Another advantage is that your personality gets better integrated, that, for example, your motivations become more coordinated, that you do not wish consciously for one thing and unconsciously desire the other.
This is an extremely difficult problem. I consider this answer as nothing more than a personal attempt to answer.

Children of this age are almost without exception very susceptible to suggestion. Apart from this (and I really mean: apart from) their critical ability to perceive and understand risk is still in its infancy. They are among other things very sensitive to role models, although they often would deny or ignore this. Now I find a certain degree of sensitivity for role models not that bad, if it is accompanied by a sufficiently critical (and sometimes also somewhat cynical) understanding that is necessary for surviving unscathed in modern society. But I think that, based on the fact of childlike sensitivity, there are already some lessons to be learned, which I will describe now.

There is blame attached to the fact that children start smoking. This blame, however, cannot be attached to the child itself, but to the presence of smoke behavior in general. In other words: adults who smoke not only impose the harmful effects of smoking on themselves but also on innocent children (who are indeed still ‘innocent’ in a very literal sense: they do not know yet what could ‘nocere’ = ‘harm’ them). An adult who smokes in the presence of a child is far from innocent. I think for instance of parents and teachers, but also politicians and others, who are shamelessly smoking during interviews on television. I am thinking of movies. I am thinking of the advertising which still disfigures our streets. Everything that brings children into contact with smoking as a 'what-you-should-do-phenomenon’, effectively makes children start smoking.

What we can teach our children, is the ability to be critical: thinking about things, making responsible decisions, learning to say 'no'. Perhaps they will then say ‘no’ once too often, but consider this to be their way of achieving a more balanced yes / no.

I think that such a thing as anti-smoking-lessons should be encouraged. However, the risk cannot be ruled out that this might incite some children to take up smoking. First, attention is - once again - drawn to smoking. Second, being schoolmarmish is for many children an additional reason to start smoking (to defy authority in an underhand way). On the other hand, deliberately avoiding all discussion of smoking might also be an indirect way to draw attention to it. Difficult, difficult.

I think that children should be given an accurate picture of the harmful effects of smoking from a very early age: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic bronchitis, etc. But a patronizing tone would be extremely counter-productive. Acknowledge that only the child itself can decide not to smoke. Show your concern without getting the idea that you must ensure this, because you can’t.

I think that it is even better, to let children (11 years or younger!) smoke, rather than letting them smoke in secret. If you have a good relation with the child, and if you are present at the first 'experiment', you will be in a position to immediately voice your concerns. A child not so needs your help, than the fact that your help is on offer. This may sound rather idealistic, but in many cases it certainly is not unrealistic.

Another difficult point is how to talk to children about adults who do smoke. Don’t start putting these adults down. Try to to make it clear to the child what an addiction does to you, and especially how it limits your freedom. Almost all adults who smoke would have quit a long time ago if it was not for their addiction.

I have already pointed out that children are very sensitive to suggestion, in both a positive and a negative sense. In general, 'bad' suggestion predominantly comes from the outside (advertising, addiction, ...). Each really 'good' suggestion on the other hand is a kind of growth process that can only come from the inside. Young children still live in a somewhat symbiotic world with the adults that are really important to them. I therefore think that an 'important adult', whether he is a smoker or not, has the following task: the show their own feelings to the child, from an adult perspective but at the same time at the level of understanding of the child, to discuss repeatedly what matters to you most.

I therefore believe that informing these 'important adults' (publishing a small brochure from time to time?) would certainly do no harm.
This question has already been asked a number of times. I am just a little afraid that by simplifying matters too much I will give a wrong picture. Please keep this so please note when reading of what follows.

Autosuggestion is communication with the unconscious. Another way to say this: autosuggestion is touching the own deeper self. That immediately sounds rather heavy, but it is actually very light and simply. An example: when you see someone yawning, you can immediately experience a tendency to yawn yourself. How does this work? There is of course no direct physical interaction. You are not obliged to yawn. Neither is it a conscious decision, although you could consciously (try to) block your reaction. So what is it? When seeing someone else yawn or even by only speaking about it, you picture within yourself ‘a yawn'. That image is transmitted inward and has the effect of triggering a yawn reaction. This is a nice example of autosuggestion everyone may experience now and then by oneself, maybe even while reading this short text.

From the example of 'yawning' already some of the general characteristics of autosuggestion become clear. First, it is something which affects everyone in everyday life. So you don’t have to be in some special condition to experience autosuggestion. Second, it is not difficult to open yourself to a targeted autosuggestion. Third, spontaneous autosuggestion can only be effective on condition that we do not firmly resist it. In other words: if you really do not want it to happen, then it will not happen.

You 'deeper self' is not something you can talk to like you talk to your colleagues at work. The 'language' that applies here, is the language of poetry, the language of fairy tales, the language of the imagination, also the language of physical symptoms. It is the language of countless small things with which the life of everyone is filled. It is the language of a yawn that triggers another yawn, the language of a spontaneous blush when someone feels ashamed, the language of a sudden increase in blood pressure in a situation of stress or fear, etc., etc.

Autosuggestion is always close to the body and is only the logical consequence of the fact that a person is one indivisible whole in mind and body. Even if modern Western people often perceive themselves as being divided, and even though they are often fragmented as a matter of fact, yet that deeper unity is an indisputable fact. Everyday life testifies abundantly to this.

You may wonder what autosuggestion, if it is that common and ordinary, may actually have to do with the 'cure' of, for instance, something as chronic psychosomatic pain. How can something that simple do such important things? A few important characteristics that enable autosuggestion to work in this way are as follows:

- a targeted use. The 'autosuggestion of daily life' is very chaotic and unfortunately can therefore also work negatively (for instance by contributing to the persistence of chronic pain). But don't confuse 'targeted use' with attacking the (pain-)symptom. It is not wise to think of autosuggestion as some sort of gun.

- intensification. A large number of specific techniques enables us to improve the efficiency of the daily phenomenon.

- a specific openness. This is meant in a more negative sense: not to forcefully block oneself from the own deeper self. Quite a few people unfortunately present an attitude of negative helplessness. This does not preclude the possibility to open oneself, but openness is then no longer directly self-evident. However, if often see, to my own surprise, how fast this self-evident openness can be retrieved.

You can infer from this that it is really not difficult to apply autosuggestion in a targeted and effective way. But do not assume that it is simple in practice. If you want to prepare a delicious dish, is not sufficient to know what the ingredients are. You also must know what to do with them. This is what the entire project AURELIS is about.
First: you usually do not need antibiotics for a sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and antibiotics have not the least effect on viruses. During the first three days of a sore throat antibiotics are certainly useless and therefore only harmful. They might even predispose to a bacterial throat infection by killing the normal bacteria that would otherwise provide a natural defense against the ill-making microbes. During the first three days a sore throat is practically always viral. The ill-making microbes only attack when the throat is weakened by the viruses and the inflammation.

It is a sad fact that far too many antibiotics are prescribed for a simple sore throat. That is not only the fault of the doctors. Often the patient demands a 'strong medicine’ to heal quickly and puts subtle (or not too subtle) pressure on his doctor to give in to that demand. I know. I was there. Sometimes you feel or know as a doctor that you will make the patient sick of misery by not giving in to his 'rightful desire". Prescribing a strong medicine then becomes a material token of concern, therefore also with a large placebo- (suggestion!) effect. That is not an easy situation: when you see someone with a 2-day history of sore throat and signs of a beginning bacterial infection, or someone who already comes to the surgery the first day because last time he developed a bacterial infection anyhow after a few days, etc. Such cases make the profession of a competent, sensitive and tactful doctor all the more important. As a patient, never put your doctor under pressure to prescribe antibiotics or another ‘strong medicine’. If they are really necessary, rest assured that the doctor will prescribe them. However, you do better to avoid a doctor who always prescribes antibiotics immediately.

It is a scientifically proven fact that mental stress contributes to a sore throat, causes it to become bacterial sooner, and can also make it last a lot longer. So the psyche most certainly has a substantial effect on a sore throat. I believe that the best advice I can give in case of a sore throat, is: care properly for your throat both physically as well as mentally. Physically you should drink a lot, avoid sudden chills and certainly stop smoking too. Mentally you could particularly try to avoid all unnecessary stress. It might be a good time to relax a bit and to reflect on the need for all stressful agitation in your life. Perhaps your throat inflammation might even have the 'intention' (very abstractly put) to lead you to such a reflection. The few days of rest that a throat infection provides in a natural way, might be used to give your immediate future a new turn in some aspects. How could you bring some more fun, happiness, satisfaction into your life? A trivial matter may already be sufficient. Prolonged, near-catatonic channel-zapping is not what I have in mind. Take the commitment to give extra good care to yourself for at least an extra half-hour every day in all peace and endless calm: go for a stroll, for example, listen to your favorite soothing music, take a delicious long hot shower or bath, cuddle up to your partner just before going to sleep without any obligation, chatting totally relaxed about whatever subject. Take up the responsibility for this yourself and certainly do not expect others to ‘owe’ it to you.

And what about autosuggestion? Well, that IS already autosuggestion: giving attention to and caring for (or daring to care for) yourself in a deep, beneficial way and seeing your symptom as a friendly messenger rather than as a bad enemy. A lot of other things are possible with autosuggestion, but I will discuss these another time.
Omeprazole (as illustrative for every modern drug against gastric acid) reliefs heartburn purely in a superficial, symptomatic manner. After a one-year treatment there is a high risk that the pain will still return. On the other hand, your doctor is right: heartburn that lasts for several years (slightly) increases the risk of a malignant degeneration of the lining of the esophagus.

I hope that you will take the hygienic measures your doctor has most likely given you, such as: slightly raise the head of your bed, avoid heavy meals and overweight, be moderate with alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. If you suffer from a lot of stress, please give that sufficient attention too. It has been know a long time that stress has an important impact on heartburn. You could, for instance, teach yourself some effective stress resistance techniques.

A full year of non-stop treatment with omeprazole is, in my opinion, greatly exaggerated. This is an example of the pressure which, among others, the pharmaceutical industry exerts on the thinking of medics and that makes you forget that a human being is much more than an element in a statistic or, in this case, a piece of an esophagus. Of course, you can always find studies that show that such therapy objectively results in a healthier mucous membrane of the esophagus. But that is not to say that the treatment itself is rational. Such a study takes no account of, for instance:

- the reduction of the chance of a more inclusive healing, namely a healing that comes about in a non-artificial way and that heals the person rather than purely his symptom.

- the possibility (or even the high probability) that the underlying cause in the meantime translates into other symptoms such as a low backache or a downright depression. Possibly even a less efficient operation of the immune system with all the consequences this entails.

I think it happens very often that a symptom transforms into another symptom after a superficial healing. Scientific studies hardly ever take this into account, partly because it is very difficult for methodological reasons to carry out such research. It is, however, very rational and, if you take autosuggestion into account, very obvious. If you change something on the surface without taking into account what is happening underneath, your only hope is that the underlying element will disappear spontaneously. On the other hand, it is very probable that the underlying element will surface in a different way. The conclusion is that you should take medication as needed but should avoid it wherever possible.

I do not recommend that omeprazole (or a similar drug) should be completely discarded. However, do not ingest more than what is sufficient to keep your symptoms under control. I definitely advise against a standard overdose. Every time you take a drug such as omeprazole, you should remind yourself that you are only taking it as a temporary aid. If you are really healed, than you are healing yourself. It is not the drug that does that for you. Try to find, preferably in dialog with a comprehending doctor or specialist, your optimal therapy mix.

Are you not sure that your mind is able to exert an influence on your heartburn? Think about the fact that, if you are hungry, just by watching food you not only start to salivate, but also trigger a complex hormonal reaction that stimulates the secretion of all kinds of digestive juices as well as the secretion of gastric acid. At the same time small contractions will start to occur in the muscles of the stomach and intestine wall. This already constitutes a link with two elements that cause heartburn: a high production of gastric acid and a defective coordination of esophageal contractions. Please note: the phenomenon just described starts BEFORE you start with your actual meal! This is a clear instance of the everyday influence of your mind on your body. There is nothing magic about it. It is wholly attributable to autosuggestion. It is undeniably the meaning ('message') of the food that causes physical changes even before you put something in your mouth.

-see also the question: 'How to apply autosuggestion in case of heartburn?'-

As I know the person who asks this question a little better, I can include some personal elements. Each case is different and everyone must decide for oneself what this answer means.

View your heartburn in the first place as something to which you will have to provide an emotional response. It is a very penetrating but difficult question that requires an answer from you as a total person. Since you are suffering from it for a long time, it has probably to do with a challenge you do not succeed to ignore. Is there anything that puts pressure on you, because you cannot let go of it while you still think that letting go is necessary?

If you can answer this question, do not expect that this response, this 'knowledge', will translate right away into a reduction of your symptom. 'Knowledge is power', but power is not a healing factor for the deeper elements of a psychosomatic disorder. Moreover, perhaps you have already known the answer for many years without this knowledge having the least influence on your symptom. Not knowledge is healing, but integration. However, also beware of the first or most obvious answer. The question that a symptom raises, is rarely or perhaps never fully evident. Even if you know the answer, then do not consider this an answer. Do not be surprised if after a certain period of time it turns into a different answer and then, again, into the first answer. Progress on a personal level often occurs in a spiral: you wind your way back past the same things, but they are different.

'Integration' means that you shouldn’t try to cut out your symptom as a sick spot from your body and your life. That would mean a mutilation, perhaps a irreparable mutilation. Try to accept the underlying meaning of your heartburn (whatever it may be). Try not to fight it (any longer). But do try to fight for a 'better me' in whom the symptom as such is no longer needed.

In concrete terms, you could start by entering into a very relaxed state and by directing your attention to your pain. Do not try to change the pain. Just try to be close to it with your full attention. If your thoughts slide from your mind, just slide them back. Please note: do not underestimate this exercise. In ordinary circumstances thoughts are just like unrestrained monkeys that continuously jump from branch to branch. The ‘unwinding’ of this process is not immediately obvious, but you don’t have to force yourself. Besides, that would have a contrary effect. So keep returning to the pain and feel how it might change slightly. Accept each type of change in whatever direction. Perhaps the pain recedes, or, on the contrary, increases? Is there any change of aspect, such as: less burning, or less concentrated in that single spot? Perhaps the pain itself does not change, but only your perception of it? Does the pain feel more or less ‘hopeless’, less ‘overpowering’, less as an ‘enemy'? Everything is possible, everything allowed. Establish for yourself ('be sure') that if you perform this exercise very well, the episode of heartburn will be as good as over before an hour has passed and will be slower to return. Do not try to understand why this is so. Just try to be grateful to yourself.

Dear friend, I think you would do well repeating this exercise a few times. Allocate for instance a quarter of an hour to it each time. In the beginning you will notice that a quarter of an hour is already long. After some exercise, the opposite may be true: you will find to your surprise that you already occupied for a longer time while you have the impression that you only started 5 minutes ago.

It does not end here. Together we will go a long way, we will come to know some further techniques and we will probably both learn a lot about the incommensurably big domain that is our self. I will come back to this in a following answer.

Finally this. Maybe it is better not to get totally rid of your heartburn (but it is OK if this is indeed the case). You might regard your own heartburn as an alarm light that sends out a warning when you are again supposed to work on a change in yourself or in your life; a light that indicates when it is time for attention. Your occasional heartburn will then become your best friend.
A number of smokers claim that they are only smoking because they like it. It is often very difficult to distinguish between being addicted and liking. Being addicted is rooted very deeply within you and manipulates the degree to which you think you like to do something or not. So it is very important for your autonomy to know whether you want to stop or not. Hence this test.

Try to establish which of the following 10 items are applicable to you. Be very honest. Let each sentence act upon you and try to let the answer arise as spontaneously as possible. Possibly you could apply - with caution - the principles of ‘rational balancing’.

- I regret that I already smoke for a long time / for many years.

- 5 or 10 years from now I will wish that I had stopped smoking now.

- I have already stopped a number of times and then started again.

- I think that my exemplary role towards the young is much more important than the 'pleasure' of continuing to smoke.

- I feel that the 'pleasure' of smoking is in reality mainly a symptom of my addiction.

- Others have found for a long time that I should stop. This is the cause of severe tensions between me and my loved ones.

- I smoke more than 10 cigarettes on average per day and know that this is very bad for my health and wellbeing.

- I remember that I feel much better in periods without smoking.

- I find it hard to feel like 'an addict'.

- If I could choose in all spontaneity between being a smoker or being a non-smoker, I would opt for the second.

If you confirm one of these items, it is already important for you to grow into a condition of being a non-smoker.

If you agree with several items, you can be sure that you, as a total person, are strongly behind the decision to become a non-smoker. If you do stay smoking, it is because you are addicted. Mistrust this addiction. Do what you can to get rid of it. You will not become someone else because of it. On the contrary, you will become more like the ‘me’ that you are in truth.
For most men an erection is not possible without sexual fantasy. Erections that occur at night and in the morning are also connected to dream phases, into sexual fantasies. Sexual fantasy is therefore a means that you do not ignore, still more, that it is necessary to resolve erectile dysfunction.

A fantasy is not reality. You never need to be ashamed of your imagination, however debauched or perverse. In our Western culture, however, for many centuries efforts have been made to curtail sexual fantasies. As I have said earlier, this still has a deep impact on many people today. It may also lead to an over-reaction, to exaggerated fantasies that don’t feel comfortable with. Still, it is interesting to accept these fantasies at first. Opposing them will only keep them alive longer. Accepted them as you would better accept a symptom too: as a message from your deeper self. It is not the purpose of that message to pester you indefinitely. In the first place the message wants to be heard, intellectually and emotionally. If you can listen well, you will make your own symptoms superfluous.

What message does your fantasy have? It is best to respond to it by taking over in a visualization, in other words in deep relaxation, elements from your imagination and to let them speak to you. Who knows, it is perhaps even possible to recognize your 'inner counsel’ behind a shape from your fantasy.

Fantasies you feel comfortable with, you can let run freely. Couples do not share elements their sexual fantasies often enough. This implies a degree of openness which even within couples is not always obvious. Make sure that you never impose a fantasy against your partner’s will. Also make sure that you fully respect your partner’s fantasy. Never make fun of it. The sharing of fantasy can bring people very close together and in a very sensitive way. Beware fireworks!
I am generally not a supporter of hypnosis, although I find it acceptable in practical situations and even admirable, for instance when a colleague dares to work under this flag. I would also venture to do hypnosis myself, BUT only in the absence of a workable alternative AND while remaining very critical of almost all its central ideas. To put not too fine a point on it: for me the only thing that works in hypnosis is suggestion. All the rest is a hocus-pocus, unnecessary and even harmful. Also in its core, suggestion itself, I think that the world of hypnosis in general - which I have studied extensively - is not at all thorough.

If at all possible, I think that all therapists should avoid the term 'hypnosis'. 'Hypnosis' simply has far too many connotations. These connotations (expectations, suggestions in other words) form to a significant extent, whether you like it or not, the hypnotic practice. It is the hypnotist who pulls the strings and who by his willpower and / or all kinds of tricks heals the hypnotized in the manner of you-are-sick-and-I-heal-you. Then the hypnotized is a person-who-undergoes. He comes with his phobia, addiction, his being-ill to the mighty hypnotist who solves the problem. This obviously results in symptomatic treatment, because if you are not profoundly involved in your own healing process, then your problem can only be treated on the outside. Then your 'deeper self' - in fact: you as a total person, whether you're ware of it or not - is left behind and frustrated. Because you are not treated where, in yourself, your suffering is playing out. Even more: you are being seriously ignored. Your power for self-healing is not used and will even be constrained in the future by this ratification of negative expectations. The only way to transcend the symptomatic, is by letting the sick cure himself as much as possible from the inside out. And with good techniques and a good attitude possibilities here are enormous.

One of the other connotations of classic hypnosis is that one should enter into a 'trance'. Otherwise the therapy has actually 'failed'. Classic hypnotherapists attach a lot of importance to inducing this 'trance', whose existence as a special state of consciousness has never been proven. In this, the classic hypnosis differs from the new ('new hypnosis'*), which sees the classic 'trance' as a marginal phenomenon and on the contrary makes use of ordinary relaxation and concentration, like the one you experience when reading a book or watching a movie. You can bring someone into a 'trance’ with the use of suggestion. You can also ask someone just to stand on one leg for a few minutes and then call this situation 'trance'. Is this condition necessary to bring some form of 'healing’ to the sick? No, or better: only if you manage to make that sick person believe firmly that it is so. As with any other placebo.

Still another connotation of hypnosis, and this is the last I will discuss here, is one that also new hypnosis - although not all its practitioners - is guilty of. It consists of the fact that consciousness is bypassed with the intention of repairing the sick unconscious. Suggestion is thus thought of as a kind of tube with reinforced walls that is driven right through consciousness. An 'endoscopic operation’ so to speak. In this case the human spirit is not seen as a natural unity (as does AURELIS). Somewhere inside a broken bulb is searched and replaced, preferably in the most mechanical way possible. But this is not how things work and if you still try to force it than you reduce the complex phenomenon 'human being' in a horrible manner and with serious consequences.

*As it has already been applied and propagated for decades by among others Barber, Spanos, Chaves, Araoz, Edelstien... - this for those who are very interested.
[Uit 'Stressionele Intelligentie']

Stress plays its most important role in becoming-ill by being part of self-perpetuating patterns. For instance, stress causes a micro-climate in the stomach that facilitates the growth of certain bacteria. Autosuggestion (understood as something that is force-fed to me!) increases the impact of stress in the stomach. In the event of another suggestion another weak spot would give in under the stress. Here we see how different elements interact with one another to exert a final impact:

- an external factor: the bacteria

- a physical factor of sensitivity: the weak spot

- a psychological influence in the form of autosuggestion.

The experience of a modicum of stomach trouble directs increased attention to the stomach and orients stress towards it. The bacteria receive a more favorable climate and develop further in the stomach, making the stomach into an even weaker spot. If this condition is not resolved, a spiral of ever increasing complaints is created. What is THE cause of the stomach trouble / gastric ulcer in this story? It is fair to say that the bacteria are necessary to put the self-perpetuating pattern in motion and to let it evolve. But the same can be said about the stress. The weak spot is also a necessary element in all this. Eliminating one of the elements can stop the self-perpetuating pattern and 'cure’ the patient. A few years back specific bacteria were discovered in the stomach of people who suffered from stomach ulcer. The hypothesis was brought forward that these bacteria were the 'cause' of stomach ulcer. On the basis of this hypothesis antibiotics were given, and as a result the stomach ulcer disappeared. This is now regarded as evidence that bacteria are actually THE cause. According to the presentation of facts just given, this is wrong. Moreover: by seeing bacteria as THE cause and by treating them accordingly, the other factors of the self-perpetuating pattern are being ignored. These factors can then look for another door (weak spot) to express themselves. It is easy to guess what the result will be. Of course: in the statistics you will see high cure rates of this symptom after the administration of antibiotics. Is such a cure not a Pyrrhic victory (*)?

(*) Pyrrhic victory: a victory that, because of the exhaustion of the victor, finally results in defeat.
Yes. If you aggressively fight one addiction and suppress it, then you will first suffer intensely on the surface. Say: withdrawal symptoms. These can last months, even years. We all know people who have undergone this torment for such a long time or are still undergoing it. It is terrible that people by a lack of proper information and suitable tools inflict this nightmare on themselves. And for many smokers it is a sufficient deterrent to not even try quitting, which in itself is already a tragedy because longterm smoking is of course very bad for your health.

But did you know that withdrawal symptoms on a physical basis are only possible in the first 2 to 3 days after you stop smoking? All misery that lasts longer, is merely the result of the interior struggle. This is a fact. And it is also very good news because it means that something can be done about it. Additionally? it also means that even during the first days withdrawal symptoms have little or NO physical basis. If you don’t have to aggressively fight your addiction when you stop smoking, you will experience far less or no withdrawal symptoms and you will subsequently have much less chance for weight gain or relapse.

As far as the latter is concerned, the same principle applies as to dieting. A lot of research has been done into that. Nowadays it is a given that dieting presents a serious risk for the development of (more) overweight. But this also depends to a large extent on the way you diet. If you aggressively fight your overweight, then in fact you enter into an aggressive fight against your own deeper self. A battle you are bound to lose! Aggression, counter-aggression, counter-counter-aggression. And that all within yourself. You chop and cut on all sides simultaneously as with a knife into your own mind. Then what do you expect?

If you try to stop smoking by making the smoking of a cigarette into your enemy, you do something that is very much like it. You start an aggressive fight against your own deeper self and the counter-attack will be very violent.

Withdrawal symptoms and relapse are not even the main negative effects. In the depth, where the addiction really is present, the longer-term effects are really disastrous. Usually very little or even no attention is paid to this danger. This danger is multiple: the rest of your life you will have a seriously increased risk of depression and/or of all kinds of psychosomatic illnesses, meaning: diseases which are reflected in your body but caused by your mind. These are quite a few. The current state of medical science is such that it recognizes psychosomatic factors in most illnesses. Since there may be years in-between, the connection with the having stop smoking is incredibly difficult to make hard in experiments. Then one should not ignore the matter of course, but try to think about it as rationally as possible. And then you can only come to one conclusion: that until now we have overlooked something very serious as far as our methods to stop smoking are concerned.
A conclusion of this philosophy is that it is better to determine the stop date too long in advance. The help a strict stop date possibly gives, is of the placebo-type: it 'helps' only because you tell yourself that it helps. It helps to deceive you. However, in itself, it does not help. On the contrary, if you are not ready yet to stop on that precise day, then you will force things to stop anyhow. This won’t help you to get rid of the addiction and if you don’t succeed in stopping on that day, or you relapse soon afterwards, you will start looking for a scapegoat thinking that, for instance, you lack willpower. In other words, you reduce your chances of permanently getting rid of smoking.

If a stop date is involved, then it is better that the smoker does not choose the stop date, but that the stop date chooses itself. I mean that the stop date will spontaneously arise in you as a certainty that the time is ripe THEN (or right now). The stop date will then be an expression of certainty. The movement is completely from the inside out and not vice versa. There are very powerful autosuggestion techniques to ‘work with’ the stop date in this way.
The answer to the question whether a person wants to stop smoking, is very dependent on the connotations to that question. Suppose:

1) Do you want to have very drawn-out withdrawal symptoms, a lifelong aching deep in yourself for something that you deny yourself with still risk to relapse and to consider yourself a looser? Do you want to lose the pleasure that you think smoking gives you and become frustrated for the rest of your life every time you see someone else smoking? Answer: a hesitant no.

2) Do you want to stop smoking using a method which does not involve a long-term fight against relapse after one cigarette, etc.? Answer: a clear yes.

At 1) and 2) the question is actually the same: Do you want to quit smoking? What I just described, are the different connotations people may have on this question. I have often experienced myself that, when further clarification about the question according to 2) is given, the answer changed from 'no' to 'yes'. I conclude from this that in fact almost every smoker wants to stop smoking. Every year 25% of smokers make a serious attempt to stop. Approximately 90% of them fail. Many of the others experience trouble for many years afterwards. Again, there are a little more people who start smoking than smokers who quit. A bleak truth...

If you are not a smoker you can ‘want’ a cigarette. However, if you smoke more than, say, 10 cigarettes a day, then you are no longer in a position to just 'want'. You lost your own choice. You are unfree. The smoking has brainwashed and mastered your free will. Without addiction you would not ‘want’ to smoke that much. If in that case you say 'I want to smoke' or 'I find smoking enjoyable', then in fact you are saying 'I am hooked'. The 'willing' has itself become part of the addiction.

Very many smokers want to stop, but fail - or relapse immediately. Others believe that it is easy ... until they try.
No. It is true that at AURELIS the emphasis often is on 'spontaneous' and 'automatic' healing. However, this does not mean that you may no longer apply willpower. Willpower is even recommended, but only where it is really effective. In this respect I like to use the image of the gardener. He can do a lot of work in his garden. He provides for the right conditions, water and fertilizers if needed, pulling the weeds etc. But there is one thing that he cannot do: he cannot 'grow the flowers'. Only the flowers and other plants in the garden itself, spontaneously and automatically if the conditions are good.

In the most general terms you cannot force any changes in nature. You can only give them direction. The gardener can ensure that flowers grow and other plants. But he cannot ‘do’ the growth process himself.

The deeper self acts and responds like plants in a garden. It is the most natural part of yourself. The goal can be to become a non-smoker, meaning someone in whom the addiction only remains minimally. This goal can be set consciously. It can, however, only be attained by the deeper self in on a organic way, so from an outward perspective only ‘spontaneously', 'automatically'.

The only way to accomplish this, to optimize the conditions like a good gardener does, is to learn to speak the language of your deeper self, namely: autosuggestion.

If your response to that is 'only' willpower, then this will drown in the addiction. On such a basis, you will never get rid of the addiction. You can - most often temporarily - stop smoking cigarettes, but you cannot overcome your addiction like that. Furthermore, you are then aggressively fighting yourself. You lose twice. This is what often happens in case of for instance 'cold turkey'. Result: serious withdrawal symptoms and a life-long smoldering of the oppressed addiction.

But with the AURELIS-method you spontaneously change into a non-smoker. No-longer-smoking is merely an automatic consequence of this.
Double-blind studies(*) are the state of the art of experimental science in medicine. They are the theoretical and practical basis of modern regular medicine. In regular medicine a restriction is taken place meaning that a number of doctors focus only on 'evidence-based medicine' (EBM). This is to say: within what can be proven, only that what is proven, is acceptable. A harder core tends to forget the first part of this sentence, which obviously leads to absurdity, namely: if something cannot be proven, it will immediately be dismissed as nonsense.

Focusing on what is proven within a domain where this is appropriate, is of course an admirable starting-point. Nothing can be said against that. Of course, the value of proof primarily depends on the quality of the evidence. That means today: the quality of double-blind studies conform to current requirements: double-blind, randomized and checked. Well, the 'double-blind’ is fundamentally flawed. That flaw is directly related to the denial of the unconscious. The consequences of this denial are very serious, because double-blind studies are completely jeopardized because of them, and therefore also the basis of modern regular medicine.

At first sight it seems that the 'double blind' of well conducted research studies is implemented correctly. Neither the physician nor the patient is informed of the fact whether the patient belongs to the drug- or to the placebo-group. However, this solves only part of the problem (namely item 1 of 3: see below). Reasoning from the AURELIS-philosophy and practice, however, the remaining part is VERY LARGE (**). That is why AURELIS is well-placed to formulate a critical vision on double-blind studies.

What every drug-taking patient experiences as a total person, is:

What the doctor tells him. So, if the doctor does not know it himself, he will say nothing.

What he experiences (consciously / unconsciously) with regard to the effect of the drug.

What he experiences (consciously / unconsciously) with regard to the side-effects of the drug.

Every active drug has effects AND side-effects. A (passive) placebo has not. We are talking here about the physical effects, so the body 'detects'. Well then: IF the unconscious detects this AND responds, THEN the double-blind studies are no longer double-blind to the total person (by the way: detection does not need to be exclusively unconscious, but that is sufficient). This would put be a huge part of experimental scientific medicine in jeopardy. From an AURELIS-perspective (from which the unconscious has a very large influence on all domains) this hypothesis is very plausible. Very few scientific studies have been carried on this. However, what emerges from these studies, very strong points in the same direction. Of great importance are 'double-blind' studies in which a passive (totally ineffective placebo) is compared with an active placebo (which has no effects, but still has side-effects). Well, here we can see that the intended effect of an active placebo is much larger than that of passive placebo. This means that side-effects are indeed detected AND reacted to. SO double-blind studies are not double-blind for the total person!

I have elaborated the point here as regards side-effects. The same argument is certainly also true for the actual effect of the drug. The effects resulting from both are placebo-effects. This means that in a double-blind study the placebo effect of the drug group is potentially much greater than that of the placebo group. Exactly how large these effects are, we do not know. Therefore, neither do we know how large the probative force of double-blind studies is. It is in any case greatly exaggerated. So: the pharmacological effects of drugs is generally greatly exaggerated, at the expense of the proper inner strength of the patient. This is VERY problematic!

(*) These are studies where both physician and patient does not know whether the active drug or a placebo is administered to each individual patient. A number of patients will receive one; a number of other patients will receive the other. Both groups are then compared with the intention of separating the placebo-effect from the pharmacological effect.

(**) I cannot address this any further in this short text. Anyone interested is referred to additional literature, for instance on our website.
Here I distinguish 2 types of of homeopathy: the 'pure' and the derived. ‘Pure' homeopathy is the original one, as developed by the founder of homeopathy (*). The concentrations being used here are 'infinitesimally small' (a term from this form of homeopathy itself, which means: immeasurably small). The derived forms generally use substances with much greater concentrations. I am now going to talk about pure homeopathy, which is still widely practiced. I have a lot more personal respect for this form of homeopathy than for the derived forms, which in my eyes are almost purely the result of commercial thinking.

Well now, the substances prescribed by a 'pure’ homeopath are tangible. They can, therefore, partly because of their special nature, perfectly be the object of experimental-scientific study. That is to say: if they are in any way more effective than pure solvent (meaning: water), that will be extremely easy to prove. This is done as follows: when customers come to pick up their remedies, divide these customers into 2 groups. One group will receive pure water, the other the 'pure' homeopathic remedy. See whether there is a difference in terms of effect. This is a double-blind study which is unique in its perfection, because in this case there are no complicating side-effects (see "What is your opinion about double-blind studies?"). Well, such studies have never proven that a purely homeopathic remedy is effective. In other words: pure homeopaths base their claims solely on rational plausibility.

Let us make the matter clear. What is more plausible: 1) that a remedy which contains less than the minimum (**) of a certain substance is, still is effective because of the former presence of that substance, or 2) that there is another explanation as to why people 'feel helped' by the ingestion of the contents of the little jar?

Is the second hypothesis plausible? Well, from the perspective of the AURELIS-philosophy it is extremely evident. Compare this with the first hypothesis which, to each rational person, is extremely IN-evident. 'Extremely inevident' does not necessarily mean 'certainly wrong'. But from the perspective of the AURELIS-philosophy there can be no real doubt about it. That is to say: if you start from the premise that autosuggestive phenomena really exist, then this form of homeopathy is immediately undermined. If you start from the premise that autosuggestive phenomena are substantial, then pure homeopathic remedies have NO reason to exist anymore, unless you assume that people who ask for help can be deceived endlessly, 'as long as it brings in the money' or 'as long as they feel better'. One could still live with the latter, but not if one wants to combine it with my own insights.

I'm very adamant about this: from the AURELIS-perspective pure homeopathy has no reason to survive and should be removed as soon as reasonably possible (but not earlier) from all medical practice.

(*) Samuel Hahnemann, early 19th century

(**) Meaning: less than one molecule. In other words: less than what is chemically required to talk of ‘presence’. In other words: if you have several pots, one will contain one molecule of the product, in the other pots there is absolutely nothing of the product.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

In principle autosuggestion has nothing to do with simulation, since simulation is a non-spontaneous choice to behave differently than one actually is. So someone can simulate a disease to get rid of a tedious job and to fit into a good social system. Autosuggestion on the other hand leads to a spontaneous 'choice' to behave EXACTLY AS one actually is. Nevertheless both domains are sometimes confused. Previously, when autosuggestion wasn’t well understood, it was even generally assumed within the medical wordl that the reaction of a patient on a fake-medicinal product should be considered as ‘evidence' of the patient being a malingerer. Even now there are still doctors sharing this conviction. In the meantime it is scientifically clear that suggestion has nothing to do with simulation.

In stage-hypnosis quite a lot of simulation is shown as a response to 'hypnotic suggestions'. People on the stage can feel obliged, as it were, to participate in the show in order 'not to spoil the fun'. Some grab at the chance to behave particularly crazily in a socially acceptable way, because, after all, are they not 'in trance'? Stage-hypnosis is a mixture of suggestion and simulation. But they remain two different phenomena.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

People used to think that suggestibility was a property or character trait of a minority of people. This suggestibility was seen more as a negative character trait, a sign of 'credulity' or 'gullibility', in each case a sign of a weak personality or even of pathology.

In the meantime it has become clear that this is not the case at all. Most critical people can choose to open themselves to a dialog with the self. On the other hand, the most gullible people can be so anxious as to experience difficulties to ‘let go’ to the degree needed for the suggestive process. Ultimately it will be the more intelligent people who can make faster use of the advantages that correctly applied autosuggestion offers.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

In a general sense we might say that everyone is susceptible to suggestion. It is even doubtful whether without suggestion life would be possible even for a single day. Still, the extent to which a person is susceptible to a therapeutic use of suggestion, is dependent on the 'techniques' used, the situation and the time. Thus some people are more susceptible to suggestions given in an authoritarian way, while others, or the same persons in other situations, are more susceptible to open suggestions. If one can take a sufficiently flexible attitude, then anyone can be helped by an approach that explicitly uses or teaches autosuggestion.

In a panic or in emotional turmoil, people may enter into a state of increased susceptibility to suggestion, especially to suggestions that are not already by nature integrated in the total personality. These are moments when someone can incur psychological trauma, not only because of the meaning of the traumatic situation itself, but also because of the increased suggestibility that occurs especially at that moment. This gives the meaning of the situation all the more influence, an influence that can lead to permanent ‘post-traumatic stress' symptoms. An example of this is 'shell shock' from which many soldiers during the two world wars suffered and which was all too often was dismissed as simulation or even attempted desertion.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

'Doctor curat, natura sanat.' The doctor treats, Nature heals. A sign with this text should actually be given place of honor in the waiting room of every practicing colleague-physician. This becomes clear when you consider how many drugs only relieve symptoms, until the sick person heals himself in body and mind in the natural way.

The following is a more or less complete overview of the current range of medication on offer, starting with the symptomatic drugs and then followed by the non-symptomatic drugs.

Among the symptomatic drug one finds the tranquilizers, the pain killers, and the corticosteroids, antihistamines, the bronchial dilatators, anti-cough drugs, anti-gout drugs and the immunosuppressives. In addition a doctor can prescribe drugs against acne, itching, dry flaking skin, bruising, angina, heart rhythm disorders, vascular disorders, high blood pressure, heart failure, high cholesterol, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, migraine, stomach acid, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, runny nose, depression and schizophrenia. In replacement of some deficit, a doctor can also prescribe all kinds of hormones, digestive enzymes, minerals and vitamins.

So let there be no mistake that ALL these remedies only relief symptoms. None, really not a single one of them, removes the physical or psychological cause. This means that, if you take one of these drugs and you stop taking it after a shorter or longer period of time, there are only 3 options:

- You immediately or fairly soon will exhibit the same symptoms which you already had before you started on the drug.

- In the meantime you haven been cured and you are now free from the symptoms for which you took the drug.

- In the meantime you have received another non-drug treatment, such as psychotherapy, an operation or irradiation, which ‘removed’ the mental or physical cause for the symptoms. But even these treatments are often symptomatic.

We now come to the list of drugs that DO remove a physical cause. This list is much shorter than the previous. It consists of the drugs against infections and the drugs against malignant tumors.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

First: when I say 'accepting' I do not mean that you should be resigned to you symptom. On the contrary, resignation without further action is as good as ignoring the symptom completely.. It means that you are not (or no longer) interacting with it, that there is no more dialog and no more possible growth or progress. Accepting a symptom means that you start from the premise that it always has a cause or a goal, or both at the same time. Cause and goal form the symbolic 'message' that you know is there, but of which you also need to know that you can only feel or experience it.

Accepting a symptom means that you are not looking for something that is in principle independent of it, such as an underlying psychoanalytic interpretation which will remain the same, regardless of the symptom through which the meaning expresses itself. The symptom that presents itself as a symbol also IS the symbolized. Creeping behind the symptom with your intellect means that you do not take the symptom itself seriously. A symptom and what lies behind it belongs to the world of the unconscious. And an unconscious is not a library where you can browse at your heart’s content once you have obtained the key to the door. The unconscious is also to a large extent that what-cannot-be-made-conscious, what in principle cannot become known, cannot be captured in words.

'Accepting your symptom' is not to say that you do not want to be healthy (or do not want to be free of that symptom). Of course that is what you want. 'Accepting your symptom' means in the first place that you already love yourself with the symptom. You do not want to wait with loving yourself until the symptom goes away. You accept yourself (WITH or without the symptom) and you love yourself and that is the only attitude from which you can start a real change. Accept yourself WITH the symptom means that you are going to change based on the idea that 'I want to change', as opposed to: 'I must change because otherwise I would be of lesser worth'. The first is much more enjoyable, more efficient and more complete. It is a change with your total being. The changed part of yourself is integrated in the whole and as a result will automatically also be more permanent.
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

A number of the characteristics of the 'good practice of suggestibility' corresponds to the characteristics of prayer that have spontaneously developed within the major world-religions. In praying, as in autosuggestion, repetition is important but not necessary. Usually the message comes across a lot better if one ‘proves’ through repetition that one is serious in one’s request. Also through repetition a clearer pattern of what is requested is formed. One gets more time to meditate and to determine for oneself whether the desired is indeed what is called for, or whether perhaps something is behind it. If, for instance, a sick person asks for a cure, does he simply wants to be cured from his sickness, the reparation of a defect in the same way he expects a mechanic to repair his car? Or does he really wants to 'grow' more by his sickness, without being consciously aware of it? In each case it is clear that, if the thing that is sought after does not correspond to what is deeply desired within oneself, then neither the prayer, nor autosuggestion will be very effective.

Faith, confidence and positive expectation are very important. In the domain of suggestion there even is a 'law of the opposite effect': the more you strive to achieve something, while not really believing in it, the greater the risk that you will never reach your goal. What is meant with faith in the context of the prayer is clear. As far as autosuggestion is concerned, faith refers in the first place to a positive attitude, which is increased, among other things, by the belief in an underlying explanatory model and in the knowledge that others have already been helped in this way.

In formulating a good suggestion it is important to orient oneself to the result. One ‘asks’ for the result, without requiring a way by which this result ought to be achieved. In a good suggestive phrasing, it is only the ‘what’ which counts and not the ‘how’. It is possible to work with partial results and thus give at least some direction to the way in which the final result is obtained. Still, for obtaining partial results a good suggestion always requires a certain degree of openness, of uncontrollable spontaneity In a prayer you also ask for a result. You don’t expect to contribute much to the precise manner in which God achieves this result.

Closely connected with the previous is the requirement to ‘let oneself go’ to some extent, to take the hands of the steering wheel for a while. A suggestive effect has nothing to do with the willpower by which one can 'overcome oneself'. It is just the same as with falling sleep. The more you try to force yourself to fall asleep by exerting willpower, the .
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

F.J.Evans [*] analyzed 22 published scientific studies in which the effect of a painkiller was compared with placebo. He came to very remarkable conclusions: the effect of the placebo varied considerably with the strenght of the painkiller in question. Over the whole spectrum of weak to very strong painkillers (of aspirin to injections of morphine) the placebo very surprisingly retained 55-60% of the strength of the active product! This was more than the at that time generally accepted placebo-effect of 30%. In other studies Evans also found that placebos were 59% as effective as antidepressants (meta-analysis of 93 studies). These were studies predating 1985. However, more recent antidepressants are not thought to be much more effective than they were then. Furthermore, in these studies (as even today in most studies) almost no use was made of active placebos (placebos with their own side-effects), which generally exhibit an even greater activity than placebos without their own side effects.

In the meantime it has become clear that the placebo effect can vary greatly depending on the route of administration of a drug and even of subtle differences in its presentation. Thus capsules with colored balls are more placebo-effective than colored tablets, which themselves are more effective than white tablets with edges, which again are more effective than round white tablets. Intravenous administration of a drug is more effective than intramuscular administration of the same drug. Intramuscular administration is more effective than ingestion by mouth. Two placebo tablets often have more effect than one. Bitter pills are more effective than tasteless pills, etc.

The largest placebo effect is obtained, very logically, when expectations are highest. In clinical reports of treatments, which were generally accepted once but whose effect was subsequently proven to be entirely placebogenic, there are very large placebo effects. So a remarkable improvement was found in 82% (!) of patients treated for angina (angina pectoris) with drugs that subsequently were shown to be ineffective [**].

The history of a new treatment (for example for angina or rheumatism) exhibits a frequently recurring pattern that is a good illustration of the placebo effect. Immediately after it is launched on the market optimism is high. A good effect is seen in the majority of patients (with averages of 70-90% effectiveness, for instance on pain relief). Then better controlled studies are carried out by 'skeptics', under conditions which minimize the placebo effect. These studies show that the new therapy does not score any better than placebo (with 30-40% effectiveness on average). Subsequently, the effectiveness of the drug more or less increases, so that its final effectiveness is slightly higher than a pure placebo. This pattern of initial but short-term effectiveness was already recognized at the end of the nineteenth century by the French doctor Armand Trousseau, who advised to "cure as many patients as possible as long as the new remedy still has the power to heal.""

[*] Evans FJ The Placebo Response in Pain Reduction. In: Bonica JJ (ed) Pain. New York: Raven Press, 1974

[**] Benson H; McCallie, D.P., Jr. Angina Pectoris and the Placebo Effect. New England Journal of Medicine. 1979, 300. P 1424-9
[From 'Heal Yourself':]

Some people believe that it is better not to draw attention to the mental possibilities in the domain of illness and health. Their argument is that the patient, in addition to the burden of his disorder, will also have to shoulder a burden of debt, of being guilty of his own disease. Because is he then not himself, for instance by not expressing his aggression or negative autosuggestions (such as his own imprints or expectations), responsible for his cancer? Patients’ self-blame can be as large than life: 'If only I had been more positive.' These accusations themselves can negatively influence prognosis. It is already the case that chronic patients often have very ambivalent feelings including feelings of guilt, shame or despair. This is often encouraged by the not too positive influence of their immediate surroundings and sometimes even of their doctor.

It is clear one should take sufficient care concerning these feelings. It makes no sense to accuse people that they fall ill because of a poor use of their own inner strength if at the same time they have never been given the opportunity to recognize this inner strength and to use it. The notion ‘guilt’ also means that someone has consciously decided to make oneself ill. That is not the case here. The ways in which someone exerts psychological influence on his cancer process is almost certainly the result of unconsciously determined habits and ideas.

Things are different, for instance, for a smoker. Almost everyone knows that cigarettes can cause cancer and chronic bronchitis. If someone then still is a heavy smoker, he consciously chooses to nearly double his chances of a serious disorder. We can even go further and lay blame on a sedentary life style, stress and wrong eating habits as a cause of heart and vascular disorders. Soon we will all be constantly guilty of behavior that causes disease, because in order to have pleasure in life it is necessary to do unhealthy things once in a while (unless you are a cheerful hermit). Should everyone then feel guilty? I think it is an absurd idea. Nor should the cancer patient feel guilty about his possible psychological share in a disorder with many causes (coincidence, genetic or other kinds of predestination, contact with carcinogenic products, psychological factors).

Viewing chronic illness as guilt is only possible if the illness itself is perceived as bad (wrong, weak, morally poor) is respect. This is a legacy of a centuries-old vision of illness and health. Only if illness is not seen as something morally bad, only then will it become possible to be innocent of being ill.

It is therefore, in this context, completely senseless to feel ‘guilty' for something that has been. But, on the contrary, it is certainly sensible to feel ‘responsible’ for what is yet to come. Someone who feels responsible in this context will be on the lookout for possibilities to use psychological means to remedy his condition, preventively or curatively. That is independent of any guilt about the past. It also requires courage, the courage to go ways in the future that are not generally acknowledged. Seeking contact with the unconscious requires courage, because in our society the unconscious has been totally disregarded and repressed for so long. Taking responsibility requires courage, because the notion of responsibility in our society is still often confused with the notion of guilt. I would like, dear reader, that you might be able to disconnect one from the other in everything that affects health, if only because an exaggerated feeling of guilt is in itself an illness-provoking suggestion ("”I am guilty. I deserve no better than this disease.""). And that is exactly what should be avoided from a right sense of responsibility.
This question is still asked very frequently, partly because the influence of the mind on the body remains for many ‘none of their business’. After a number of years of denial there is today already a great deal of evidence for this influence. The influence appears to be very large, both in breadth as well as in depth. There is almost no medical domain left where this influence has not been repeatedly demonstrated.

The more clarity one gains in mental aspects, the greater the effect that one can find in scientific evidence. It is our hope and also our aim that, through the use of AURELIS as an instrument in scientific research, we will be able to demonstrate even better how thorough and widespread this influence is, as well as what can practically be done with it.

This concerns the influence of the deeper self on the body. The influence of the conscious is clear: I want to move my arm. I move my arm. Done. However, I cannot consciously decide to directly modify my immune system, for instance. That requires communication with the deeper which in turn will exert the necessary influence on the immune system. Autosuggestion, the communication with the deeper self, thus plays a central role in the influence of the mind on the body.

The influence of the mind on the body may seem strange for someone who sticks to a dualist (*) view on humankind. However, this view has become completely obsolete in current science. What we call 'mind', is simply the functioning of the body viewed from a specific angle. So: everything what influences the mind, also influences the body (**). The influence of the one on the other is not only evident, but even inevitable.

(*) dualistic: assuming that there is a total separation between the immaterial mind and the material body. Then it is strange that one could influence the other. But: how would I then be able to move my arm? Besides, Descartes, who was at the origin of dualist thinking, talked of the ‘soul’ instead of the ‘mind’.

(**) for the computer scientists among you: there is no distinction between 'software' and 'hardware’ in a human person . The software IS the hardware.
That depends on a case by case basis. I never advise to just stop taking a drug and immediately replace it by the use of autosuggestion. What you could do, for instance, in case of painkillers or sleeping pills, is to use drugs and AURELIS jointly for some time. Whenever you feel that you need less medication, than you can gradually taper off the dose. If the drugs have been prescribed by a doctor, you are advised to do this in consultation with your doctor.

Sometimes you should take extra care when using medication and AURELIS together. For instance, drugs against high blood pressure will decrease your blood pressure even if that has become normal. If your blood pressure has become normal through the use of AURELIS, medication may cause your blood pressure to become too low. So in that case check your blood pressure regularly.

I dare to say very clearly: in almost all cases in which you chronically use drugs, it is advisable also to apply AURELIS and secondly to strive to reduce or stop medication. The average placebo effect of medication is responsible for 40-60% of its total effect I think you will find that in the future, with a better understanding of the placebo effect, the average rate will be even higher. Now you can already see that a number of drugs show a placebo effect that is 2 as large as their pharmacological effect. Achieving this placebo through the use of AURELIS, has multiple advantages, such as: no side-effects, lower cost, appropriate use of yourself, more than symptomatic healing ... Remember also that placebo-expectancy is just one form - and then only a very unsophisticated one - of autosuggestion. AURELIS will take you a lot further than that.
In ancient China acupuncture was in the first place a symbolically charged philosophy. This was based on a world view that fitted well within that culture and in which the symbols used were immediately recognizable and usable by everyone. 'Acupuncture' could be situated on the boundary between matter and symbol.

The modern Western variant is of a much more materialistic signature. People are for instance searching for the meridians as things that really exist in the world. The 'energy' on which the whole is based ('Qi' in China), has more characteristics of electricity than of a poetic - philosophical symbol. The Western acupuncturist looks at the complaint independently from the totality of the person and attacks the symptom, completely in the spirit of Western war medicine. In fact, acupuncture can be assimilated to Western regular medicine, but with different weapons. These weapons are drawn from a very different context. However, little remains of that context. What remains is only the aura of ancient wisdom and exoticism. If there is no depth in this, it will go no further than the stage of placebo-deception.

Despite claims of certain acupuncturists, there is still no scientific proof that acupuncture is more effective than placebo Of course, one can indeed see a certain effect in people who undergo acupuncture To that effect, however, it is important that needles are placed, but not where they are placed This points to a 100% placebo-effect, at least for this form of acupuncture.

Some acupuncturists argue that it also works in animals. Animals don’t know about meridians and stuff, do they? They will not be influenced by exoticism, will they? No, not directly. But the people they come into contact with will. Animals are very suggestible. In animals contact with the unconscious is not disturbed by all kinds of conscious prejudices. The transfer of suggestions between humans and animals is of course not of a verbal kind, but that is not a problem for suggestion. Animals ‘feel’ what people expect of them, in what frame of mind they are, etc. The same argument can be applied to small children even before they reach the stage of speech recognition. Small children are also very suggestible, but on a non-verbal level.

In view of previous efforts at scientific validation and the absence of success in this regard, I conclude that the Western way of acupuncture is a phenomenon that entirely consists of suggestion. I would like to add that the more acupuncture is practiced with a symbolic attitude, the more truthful I think it is. The acupuncturist then becomes increasingly less the direct cause of healing, but the client himself - as a total person - all the more.