The Relevance Of NLP In Health And Healing
The Origins Of NLP
This approach to communication, personal development and psychotherapy was first introduced by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970’s. They were both from California, United States. Their theory states that there is a connection between our language (linguistic), neurological processes(neuro), and behavioral patterns through experience (programming), and through NLP these can be altered to achieve a particular goal in life.
Grinder and Bandler claimed that this method can model the traits and skills of extraordinary people, so it can be redirected to anyone – giving them a chance to acquire those skills and traits. NLP can also treat psychological problems like depression, phobias, psychosomatic illnesses, habit disorders, allergies, and learning disorders.
Through the years, Bandler and Grinder formalized this technique and called it “Neuro-Linguistic Programming.” They even wrote a series of books, including NLP Vol. 1, Using Your Brain, and Frogs Into Princes. NLP had transformed into a powerful skills and tools for communication and change in a variety of professions including: psychotheraphy, counseling, health, creativity, education, management, sales, law, parenting and leadership.
Currently, NLP is in its third decade and it had evolved since its early beginning in the mid 70s. It had spread to different parts of the world and had changed the lives of millions of people. During the 1990’s, a new generation of NLP had emerged and this new method paved the way for practitioners to address systematic and generative application that focuses on high level issues within an organization such as mission, vision and identity.
NLP A Multi-Dimensional Process
Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is composed of three influential factors that are involved in creating human experience and these will include: language, neurology and programming. Neurology is responsible in regulating our bodies function, while language is used as an interface for communicating with other people. Programming has a distinct role, since it determines the kinds of models to be used in the world that will be created. NLP describes the basic dynamics between the language and mind and how these two components can affect our behavior and body through programming.
NLP is considered as a pragmatic approach to health and wellness, because it addresses the many levels involved in a human body. This technique is used to develop behavioral competence and flexibility as well as strategic thinking and understanding of the cognitive process behind behavior.
It can also be used as a tool to develop individual excellence, empowering beliefs and presuppositions concerning the true purpose of life. NLP is all about exploring identity, self-discovery and understanding the “spiritual” part of the human experience. It reaches to any sector of our society: individual, family, community and global systems.
As human beings, we are limited and we can never know reality, because we only have perceptions of reality. Our experiences and response to the world is primarily through our senses. However, through our “neuro-linguistic” maps of reality that we can identify ourselves and how we should behave, it is not reality itself that limits us or empower us, but it’s our map of reality.
Our Mind And Life Are Systemic Processes
As human beings, we should understand that the processes that happen to us and our environment are systemic. Our societies, bodies, and our universe created a complex system of ecology that these components mutually influence each other. Although, we can never isolate any component from the rest of the system, because the system is based on “self-organizing” principles that naturally seek homeostasis and balance.
The techniques that are being used in NLP sessions are based on the combination of distinct principles. NLP cannot be used as a tool to know objective reality; the ecology, ethics, and wisdom cannot be derived from the one correct map of the world. We are not capable of making one, but our main goals is to create the most realistic map possible that respects the systemic ecology and nature of ourselves and the environment that we live in.
NLP is most effective on people who have a map of the world that allows them to choose a number of perspectives and available choice. Through NLP, those choices can be enriched because it is perceived as available in the world around them. Always remember, excellence comes from having many choices, so as wisdom comes from multiple perspectives.
There are many types of NLP techniques, but each be used for various purposes. Each technique can be combined with another NLP technique to produce and effective method of “getting inside the mind.”
Some of the most common techniques will include:
This method can induce a certain frame of emotion or mind like relaxation and happiness. It’s usually done through gesture, touch, words and make it as anchor to bookmark a desired emotion. The practitioner can later recall that desired emotion by using the same achor.
Pattern interruption is an effective NLP technique for storing key words into a listener’s subconscious mind. This can be combined with other NLP techniques such as anchoring for some excellent party tricks, or to give someone a message that for reasons unknown to them appears very heart-felt or significant.
The Swish Pattern is a technique that is very useful because it’s used to replace a negative behavior or emotion with a more favorable one. With a little creativity, it can provide useful scenarios like making certain foods taste better or going to the gym much easier.
This technique is still considered experimental, because it lets a practitioner stop or change an unconscious process. It breaks a process that our body uses naturally by entering into different alpha brain states like fear, anxiety, rage, anger and stress.
Framing is a method that amplifies emotions and rebuild links between our amygdala and hippocampus to our limbic system.
This therapeutic technique can help us understand other people’s issues by helping them under their own issues better. Through this method, we can deconstruct a person by communicating with them and determining the cause of their problems by the way they talk.
Presuppositions are included in the classic NLP syllabus, and often misunderstood by many. This method uses hypnosis and suggestion, and because of this particular process – it became a target of scrutiny and debate.
The most useful NLP technique so far is mirroring, and if a practitioner is good at mirroring, they became more likable. Mirroring has been part of the NLP syllabus, and had been used innately throughout history. Through this method, one can mimic other peoples habits, traits, and even replicate their routines.