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In this episode we are joined by Juan Acosta, who joins us to bring his unique skill set and his knowledge on the mind and body and an approach that can help us on a daily basis. How do we actually go about feeling better? And how do you get the results that you want? Well on today’s show Juan will help you with just that. So with that, lets get going on this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Dentistry!
— Transcript of Today’s Show —
Good morning, San Diego. This is Juan Acosta guest hosting one more time for Dr. Marvin. He was out of town and asked me if I would do this show. I said, “Of course, I would love to come and show the people of San Diego a cool little experience about how to feel better any time that they’re going to the dentist. My name is Juan Acosta, and I work with dental patients to help them relieve anxiety about going to the dentist. I help them remove their gag reflex, help them with fears and phobias (such as fear of the needles), and just in general provide them with a natural approach to fixing their ailment and to going to the dentist without having that worry.
This is sponsored by the Center for Natural Dentistry, where Dr. Marvin works. If you have any dental questions or anything like that, please direct them to them. Today we’re going to be talking about a mind and body approach that helps us control our thought patterns. We feel better, so we take better actions, so we get the results that we want. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 1-866-KPRAISE. That is 1-866-577-2473. I’d be happy to take your questions on air. We’ll hold them for a minute, then they’ll patch them to me, and I will answer your questions.
Today I want to talk to you about this mind and body approach, and how we actually go about feeling better about anything. Any time that something happens that takes you off of your game, maybe takes you in a direction that you don’t want to go, it’s most likely because you are having thoughts that are not empowering, thoughts that are taking you away from a good feeling.
I want to talk to you about something that is an association to a positive feeling. It’s called an anchor. If you remember the story about the Russian scientist, Pavlov, who trained his dogs by ringing a bell. He would ring the bell, the dogs would come and he would feed them. He did that repeatedly. Several repetitions later he would ring the bell, and the dogs would come and start salivating, start creating that emotional response without even having the food in front of them. It was just connected that the ringing of the bell created the salivation.
In humans we can do essentially the same thing. If you think about something that you’ve remembered for a long time, let’s say a song. One of those things that you say, “Oh, honey, this is our song.” Maybe a picture or a smell, something that reminds you of something else. Those are the types of associations that I’m talking about. If you ever catch your self feeling badly or in a state of anxiety, depression, whatever, you can sort of push this button that instantly helps you to relieve great feelings and bring out great emotions inside.
I’m going to teach you how to do this association. I thought it would be really neat to give you a cool experience, something you can take away with you from the show today. It is a skill, it is not magic. It’s something that may seem magical when you do it. It works and you notice it, because every time you notice it, it becomes better an better. It’s not magic. It’s something that you have to work on, have to do yourself, and put an effort to actually get it done in order for you to know it.
Let’s begin right now by creating an association to something that you absolutely love. Think about anything you like: something you enjoy doing, people that you enjoy being with. It could be an outing, it could be a sport, it could be a family event, anything like that. Just put yourself in that moment. Just remember how good it feels when you are doing performing or participating in that activity. Think about that, and put all the details that you can on to it. Imagine all the things that you see around you, all the people that you see around you, if there are people. Imagine all the things that you hear, the sounds that are around. Remember the feelings that gives you. That feeling of whatever it is: satisfaction, confidence, relaxation or happiness. All of those feelings that that image and activity brings to you is what I’d like for you to think about right now. Put yourself in a state of mind where you’re just think about all of these great things that are happening, all the things that you’re grateful for, all the things that just make you smile, all the things that make you laugh, the people that you love, the things that you enjoy. When you’re feeling all of those things really strong, just pay attention to where in your body that feeling is.
Emotion is just energy in motion, right? E-motion. If there is no motion, then there is no feeling. Pay attention to where the feeling is inside. Notice it. Sometimes it’s in the chest. Sometimes it’s in the stomach. Sometimes it may be in the throat. Just try to pay attention to where it is. It may be moving. It may be moving in a cyclical way. It may be moving up and down. I don’t know. It’s different for everybody. Pay attention to how feeling this good feels inside your body. If it’s cyclical, pay attention to where it starts and where it continues to and how it goes back to the same place. Notice which direction it’s moving, and notice that if you move it faster and faster, if you actually work on moving it faster and faster, you can do that, and you feel even better.
Let’s do that right now. Think about all the great things we were thinking about just a minute ago. The activities, the people you love, all of the things that you really enjoy. Let those feelings build up inside and notice where that feeling of like, that feeling of joy and feeling great is inside. Notice it and make it spin or move a little faster in the same direction that it’s moving. You can make it move and move, and the faster it goes, the better you feel. The better you feel, the faster it goes. It’s cyclical. When you’re feeling really good, when you have a big smile on your face, you’re showing all your teeth, and you’re just really enjoying the moment, go ahead and tighten up your right fist. Pay close attention to all of those feelings. Look at those feelings in your hand. If you actually look at that fist, imagine that all of those great feelings and emotion you’re having is now on your fist. As you look at those, you can notice that you have them there. They’re there for the taking at any time that you chose to. Go ahead and relax that fist, and let those feelings go away for just a moment.
I’m going to make you change your mind a little bit, so that you’ll get out of that state. Then we’ll come back and create that association even stronger. Text me if you’d like a free audio program. I’m going to send you just a ten minute audio program that is called a reset button. Even if you’ve texted me before and received an audio from me, this is actually a new one that I just recorded. It’s a lot of fun. It’s something that helps you sort of reboot your system, kind of take a power nap. It’s just ten minutes long. Text me your name and email to 858-461-9861. Text me your name and your email, and I will send you a free audio program that helps you reset your system, take that quick power nap without really taking a nap. It’s a really fantastic tool to have.
Alright, let’s go back to that association. Think about one thing specifically. The last thing we did was very broad. We had a lot of things that you liked, a lot of things that you love all put together. For this one, let’s think of something that you like specifically. One thing that you really love. Let’s think about maybe an activity that you enjoy, something that you can get lost in doing. One of those things where you start doing it, then it could be for hours later and you’re thinking, “Oh, we just started playing!” I’m sure you have one of those activities. So think about one of those and put it inside of your mind.
Start spinning it in the same direction. Notice what that activity does for you. Pay attention to the things you see, the things you hear, all the things you feel that remind you of that activity, that actually give you a clue. Hey, this is the activity we’re on, because it feels so good. Think about those feelings. Think about feeling so good, doing that activity, whatever it is, and just imagine all the details. Look at the things, hear the things around you, and feel the sensations in your body that let you know, “Wow, this feels really great.” Allow those feelings to spin or move in the same direction that they are, faster and faster and faster and faster, noticing that every time you make it move faster, it makes you feel better. The better you feel, the faster they move. Like I said, it’s cyclical. Once you’re feeling really fantastic, once you have all of those feelings inside and you’re just pumped up and loving the moment, go ahead and tighten up your right fist one more time. Nice and tight, just hold it tight for a moment.
Look at that fist, look at those feelings, look at that emotion inside your fist. Notice how good it feels. Now go ahead and release your fist and just relax. Go ahead and think about your phone number backwards. That’s enough, you don’t need to think about it too much. I don’t need to know your phone number.
If you want to ask me any questions live you can do so by calling 866-KPRAISE. That’s 1-866-577-2473. Going back to that association, this is something that requires repetition, right? Pavlov didn’t ring the bell and make the dogs start salivating immediately. It’s something that required a few repetitions in order to become effective.
The other thing that will make it most effective is if you are able to create a really strong emotional state, what is called a ‘peak state.’ Maybe this time think about something that reminds you of happiness, maybe a song. There are a lot of those songs that really pump you up, that are just the right tempo for you, your style and your taste. Those songs just make you feel good, feel pumped, feel ready to go, feel excited about life. Think about one of those songs. It may be something else for you; just think about something that brings that feeling.
For now I’m going to focus on a song. Think of one song, something that is really upbeat, really gets you going, gets you excited, or reminds you of something that you love from the past or of a great event that you enjoyed, one of those songs. Just pay attention to that song playing inside your head. You can maybe even hum it a little bit, if you will. Nobody’s listening, it’s OK. Go ahead and hum it out a little bit; just get really in the mood of that song. Notice what feelings that song brings you. Notice inside if it’s in your chest, your stomach, your throat, anywhere in your body where those feelings are. Those feelings of excitement, of being ready to go, of being excited about live. Those feelings have that movement, that emotion. Think about that and make it spin or move faster and faster. The faster it spins, the better you feel, and the better you feel, the faster it spins. It’s cyclical, remember? When you’re feeling really good, really strongly about that song and maybe by now you’re just yelling it out and everybody’s looking at you like you’re crazy. That’s the time to do it, so go ahead and stick out your hand. Tighten up your fist nice and tight one more time. I’m feeling so good.
Look at those feelings inside your fist and notice how good you can feel at any time, just by tightening up your fist. Just by tightening up your fist, you can let all of those feelings come up. Notice that it’s not just these feelings. Now it’s the feelings that are joining up, the feelings that we were building on before. The feeling of that activity that you love, and the feeling of all the great things that make your life so great. Looking at those feelings in that hand, just notice how they build up and build up. Every time that we put something in there, that hand is just becoming stronger. Every time you want to feel this great, you just tighten up that hand.
Let’s talk about how you can actually use this in your daily life. It’s great now that you know you can tighten up your fist and you’ll bring up all these great feelings, but can we actually use it to get through challenge, get through limiting beliefs, get through fears, and things like that? Things that are perceived as negative, such as fear, anxiety, or a bad habit are things that happen in a pattern. There’s always a certain pattern to things where you’ll notice, ‘OK, every time that I take out the trash, I feel angry.’ You pattern is that every time you take out the trash, you feel angry. Once you realize that’s the pattern, once you’re aware of that, which is obviously your job. Just pay attention to yourself and decide what it is that’s making you that angry. Then you know that every time you take out the trash now, when you take out the trash and notice yourself being angry in some way, you just tighten up your fist and you’ll remember, ‘You know what? Life is actually pretty great. I have all this excitement, I have all this happiness, I have all these things that are just fantastic about my live.’ Tightening up your fist at a moment when you notice that pattern emerging– I’m not saying break the pattern by not taking out the trash. I’m saying take out the trash, and when you notice the pattern is about to take effect and you’re about to become angry, then you tighten up that fist nice and tight. Notice those feelings come back. As soon as you tighten up the fist, you’ll be feeling just the same way that you feel right now when you think about them spinning or moving in whichever direction they are.
Let’s go back to doing one more of these associations, because, again, repetition is what’s going to make this skill really valuable, and it’s going to make it stick for you.
Let’s start now by thinking of somebody that you love. Maybe somebody that loves you as well, but someone that you love unconditionally, somebody that you could spend all your time with. Well, I know there are people in your life that you can’t spend all your time with, even though you love them so much. Let’s not do that, let’s do that about someone that you love, somebody that you really enjoy, whose company you enjoy, that you want to spend time with. Imagine your time with them. Just imagine a moment with them where you were really happy, really ecstatic to be there, and it was just one of those really good moments in time. As you think about that, you can put all the details. You might even be able to hear what this other person is saying. You might be able to feel all of those sensations, all of those feelings and emotions inside that this interaction with this person is bringing to you. Then you can also see all the things visually that are there. You might be able to see this person, see even what they were wearing that day. You might be able to look at yourself and see what you were wearing that day. Think about that experience, that one moment in time with this person that you really enjoy. Just put yourself in that space. Put yourself in that mental place where you are back again with this person. You’re just thoroughly enjoying your time with them.
As you notice those positive feelings inside, allow them to spin or move a little faster, and a little faster. The faster they move, the better you feel, and the better you feel, the faster they move. Notice as those feelings become stronger and stronger, that if you put them in your fist (tighten up your fist), you can keep them there for your use at any time.
Look down at your fist, notice all those great feelings of unconditional love, that moment that you’re truly enjoying with this person, that emotion inside is what I want you to put in to that fist. Allow it to travel down your arm if you have to, then put it in your fist nice and tight, knowing that at anytime from this point forward in your life that you want to tighten up that fist, it will easily remind you of those feelings.
Alright, now go ahead and release your fist for a moment. Since this is something that is skill, what happens? How is it that people become good at skills? People become good at skills, because they practice them, right? I’m going to give you some homework. If you’re truly committed to feeling this great all the time, then the homework will be really easy for you. If you’re not truly committed, then the homework is not for you. Here’s how you do it:
Throughout your day any time that you want to, just set up a scheduled alarm just to remind you that says, “tighten up your fist,” or “your association.” Whatever reminds you of actually using that tightening of the fist. I do this thing on my calendar that’s five minutes of mindfulness, so I have a calendar alarm set that goes on at noon that says, “5 minutes of mindfulness” and I have it going off two hours before. When it goes off at 10:00 it reminds me that I have to practice five minutes at least of just mindfulness, just sitting down and just being for a moment and taking in whatever that brings me. Sort of a meditation, if you will. I have an alarm set for that, then at noon it goes off again, so it gives me basically two times to feel that great. It gives me two times to enjoy that same feeling.
I think we have a caller; that’s why I was kind of taken off my game a little bit. Who’s this? Hello?
Caller: Hi, this is Fabio Ortiz.
Juan: Fabio Ortiz, welcome to the show. How are you?
Caller: I’m very well, thank you. How are you?
Juan: I’m doing fantastic, thank you so much. So Fabio, tell us a little bit about what you’re calling about.
Caller: I’m a clinical and medical therapist here in Miami, Florida. I think, like you mentioned– I focus on pain management and what can be gained through some hypnosis. I was listening to your show, and listening to this grand technique that you’re sharing with all of us. It’s one of those things that can be used with pain management, as well.
Juan: Fantastic. I understand; let me fill the audience in a little bit. Fabio is a colleague of mine, a fellow clinical hypnotherapist, and we talked about showing up on the show today, because he just went through major surgery, a major dental surgery without the use of any chemical anesthesia. They used only mind/body approaches to achieve the same kind of anesthesia that a doctor would achieve with chemicals in order to have that kind of surgery. Fabio, tell us a little bit about that experience. First of all, what was the surgery? How do you achieve that?
Caller: The surgery was a dental implant on one of my lower teeth. I’ll give you a little bit of background as to what the reasoning was for me to do the surgery without any anesthesia. The reason was around trying to show that… There’s a certain number of people in the population that are skeptical toward hypnosis phenomenon; they are analytical and very logical. I am also analytical and logical, so I wanted to really prove that use of this phenomenon, even as a substitute for anesthesia is very possible. It’s an option that is available to many people out there.
With that in mind, I spend two weeks preparing for the operation. I used a variety of different techniques, such as Get Control Theory, Utilization of Positive Association, and hypnotized my self to achieve that effect of anesthesia on my body.
Juan: Wow, that’s crazy. So Fabio, the process that I’m taking the listeners through today is the process of association, of anchoring of a positive feeling. Do you think that’s something similar to where you where able to anchor that state of disassociation, that state of ‘I don’t feel anything,’ and actually recall that feeling, sort of like tightening up your fist, like we’re doing with these people right now. Is that something that you were able to recall at will when you were at the dentist office, or how does that work?
Caller: Exactly, exactly. The whole concept of the Take Control Theory is allowing certain impulses to course through your neurons and others to be blocked. If you think of the pain receptors, the way that the pain moves through those receptors is that they have to go through a small fiber, then a relatively large fiber . While using this technique the body negates the ability of the pain to travel through. In your case, the exercise that you’re doing enables you to block out pain impulses while allowing those positive emotions to travel through instead.
Juan: That’s fantastic. As far as the actual experience went, when you were in the dentist chair about to get surgery, tell me a little bit about what was going through your mind. How easy do you find it to be to actually get into that state to where you didn’t need anesthesia for the doctors to start operating? That’s fascinating to me.
Caller: It was very interesting for me, as well, being in the other side of the chair. It’s a great experience to be able to see it from the patient’s perspective. I got a huge amount of learning. From a patient perspective, it was really surprising, because under normal anesthesia you feel your jaw going completely numb. It feels quite swollen. Using hypnotherapy it still felt completely normal. The only difference is that when the trauma happens, it just feels like pressure, like light pressure. The dentist couldn’t believe it. He was completely flabbergasted.
Juan: I bet. It’s something where you feel the sensation, you know that something is happening, but you actually don’t feel the signal of pain. Is that what I’m understanding?
Caller: That’s correct, completely correct.
Juan: That’s fantastic. Well thank you so much, Fabio, for calling in. We’re cutting off the show in just a couple of minutes, so I have to finish up, but thank you so much. I really appreciate you being a guest today.
Caller: My pleasure.
Juan: Alright, talk to you soon.
How cool a story is that? That’s a moment when you could use this idea of tightening up your fist. Let’s finish up our association exercise, just so you’ll have that to take away with you. Bringing back some great feelings, great memories, let’s do the one that is broad one more time.
All of these things are just coming into a vat, and you’re just mixing in all of these great feelings: excitement, happiness, love, whatever all those great, positive feelings are inside of you, and noticing where they are inside, noticing how they move around. Just feel them. Just allow yourself to really feel them. Notice where they are, make them spin, make them move a little faster, a little faster, and a little faster. I’m going to just keep talking like this, and you just let them move faster. The faster I talk the faster they move, the faster, they move, the better you feel, the better you feel, the faster they move, and they just become so good, so strong, they make you feel so amazing inside. Everything is just awesome. Then go ahead an tighten up your fist nice and tight. Your fist is nice and tight. Looking at those feelings inside your hand, allowing all of the feelings that you had inside to flow down your body, into your hand, into your fist, holding them nice and tight, then releasing them as you’re feeling so good. Now you know that you can use that fist at any time. You’ll think about me, which is a plus, every time you’re feeling not so good. You’ll just tighten up your fist and you’ll go, “Man, that guy Juan on the radio, he’s actually helping me feel good right now.” That’s all I want is for you to feel better about anything else that might be going on in your life.
I’m going to give you a quick offer, in case you want to call in and have an actual session, a private session with me. I would love to do that, and what I want to offer you is $50 of a session, an introductory session. Your first session is usually about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half with me in my office in Salina Beach, or I can do it over Skype if you’re a little bit further away. I want to offer you $50 off, if you call within 24 hours and you book your session with me, and you mention the Dr. Marvin show.
The number to call to book a session is 858-461-9861. It’s the same number I gave you to text me earlier if you wanted that free audio program, which you can still do, by the way. You can send me your name and email, or you can call me and set up a session, and I will be happy to do a free consultation for you. Then we’ll book a session where you’ll begin to make all of these great changes in your life. The Center for Natural Dentistry is available all the time to help you with your dental issues. Please give them a call. They’re right in Encinitas, and Dr. Marvin and Dr. Staci take fantastic care of their patients.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Remember, any time you can just tighten up that fist and feel great. I’m signing off.