Alice's elbows were red raw. Her skin was generally very fair. Her hair was very blonde. Her face was covered in acne (which she was treating with prescription medication). She was the friend of a colleague who brought her to me.
I thought that if I could remove the irritation Alice would stop scratching and the inflammation would take care of itself. There's a pain relief technique I often use with headaches which doesn't use hypnosis but does rely on visualization. About two thirds of people are good visualizers but Alice wasn't one of them so that avenue was blocked.
I put her into trance using a tactile induction that worked very well for her. I told her that my hands were cooling sponges that would take both the heat and the irritation out of her elbows and then spent a few minutes cradling each elbow in turn in my hands.
I saw Alice half an hour later and asked how her elbows were. She looked surprised at first and then laughed that she had forgotten about them.
Alice came to see me a week later. Her elbows were fine but that wasn't why she had come. She wanted to know if it was anything I had done that had caused her acne to clear up. Completely! I have rarely seen anyone so happy.
Was it something I did? Perhaps. The skin and the central nervous system develop from the same part of the embryo and anxiety can often show up as a skin condition as a consequence. Then again it could have been the cream she was using. But it is my experience that when you rewire the brain to resolve one one issue you often find that other conditions clear up in sympathy. (See also Karate Kid.)
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