Most people do not understand how our conscious and subconscious minds work. How they are not independent – but interdependent; how the conscious mind, which tells us what to do and how to do it when we are awake, is being almost exclusively “told what to do” by the subconscious mind; how the experiences, messages and influences from earlier in our lives, especially those that occurred before the age of seven, can become habits, both positive and negative, in the subconscious mind and influence us for the rest of our lives.
Invariably, in my work with clients, the presenting issue is merely a symptom of something else: thoughts, perceptions, experiences, and messages that took hold as habits in the subconscious mind, perhaps by the age of 3 – 4, and have continued to negatively impact a person throughout his/her life. Those influences eventually, through repetitive compounding, cause dis-ease in the mind and body.
Neuroscience has recognized that the subconscious mind controls 95% of our lives.”Jesuits used to say, ‘Give me a child until age six or seven and he’ll be with the church for the rest of his life.”  Some people, Louise Hay for one, believe our subconscious minds are pretty much programmed by the age of three. Our conscious minds tell us what to do and how to do it while we are awake. But they are like the messenger. They have no idea they are being controlled by subconscious programming virtually all the time. “So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level – citing affirmations and telling yourself you are healthy – there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.” 
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., states: “In other words, your thoughts and perceptions have a direct and overwhelmingly significant affect on cells.”  He suggests that once you become aware that invisible programs from the subconscious mind are running your life, then you can master them. “Becoming aware means accessing the behavioral programs in your subconscious minds so that you can change the underlying limiting or self-sabotaging thoughts that don’t serve you.” 
Other experts say the same thing. Michael Gabriel, author of Remembering Your Life Before Birth, (How your womb memories have shaped your life and how to heal them.), previously titled Voices from the Womb, expressed similar thoughts in a fascinating way: “The periods of infancy, birth and the nine months in the womb that produce birth, frequently reveal intense core experiences – experiences that fuel our emotional responses to life. Until we go back and resolve these emotional experiences, we may continue to live our lives like puppets controlled by the invisible strings of a forgotten past.” “Hypnotic regression offers a deep, clear intensely felt reliving of early experiences, leading to a deep level of emotional release.” 
Hypnotherapist Stephen C. Parkhill describes that process in his book ANSWER CANCER.” Therefore, the general cause for disease and disorder is an execution of a subconscious calling for self-mutilation or punishment or limitation. The specific cause of disease is a compounding of perception, built from accumulated experience that is all viewed through a filter called the critical faculty. That filter learns which ideas to accept and which to reject from the initial happenings of the individual’s life. So the attachments that we find ourselves stuck to – all of them, good and bad – are the prescriptions of thought. Disease and disorder are the tools the subconscious mind has at its disposal when it is programmed to punish, or hold back or sabotage. Health and ease remain the fruit of life when a mind is programmed to look for the good in life, in self and in others. When we see the doctor-identified disorders as creatively selected tools of the subconscious mind, the subconscious motive becomes the important issue. The individual labels that separate one disease from another become unimportant. Whatever the look of the symptom, buried in that symptom is memory of a circumstance with unresolved issues that are calling for mutilation. The symptom is the answer to that calling.”
Bruce Lipton, in his book, The Biology of Belief. comprehensively details the process described above. “You need more than just ‘positive thinking’ to harness control of your body and your life. It is important for our health and well-being to shift our mind’s energy toward positive, life-generating thoughts and eliminate ever-present, energy-draining, and debilitating negative thoughts. But, and I mean that in the biggest sense of ‘BUT,’ the mere thinking of positive thoughts will not necessarily have any impact on our lives at all! In fact, sometimes people who ‘flunk’ positive thinking become more debilitated because now they think their situation is hopeless – they believe they have exhausted all mind and body remedies.
What these positive-thinking dropouts haven’t understood is that the seemingly ‘separate’ subdivisions of the mind, the conscious and the subconscious are interdependent. The conscious mind – which represents the seat of our personal identity, source, or spirit – is the creative mind. It can see into the future, review the past, or disconnect from the present moment as it solves problems in our head. In its creative capacity, the conscious mind holds out wishes, desires, and aspirations for our lives. It is the mind that conjures up our ‘positive thoughts”.
In contrast, the subconscious mind is primarily a repository of stimulus-response tapes derived from instincts and learned experiences. The subconscious mind is fundamentally habitual; it will play the same behavioral responses to life’s signals over and over again, much to our chagrin. How many times have you found yourself going ballistic over something trivial like an open toothpaste tube? You have been trained since childhood to replace the cap. When you find the tube with its cap left off, your ‘buttons are pushed” and you automatically fly into a rage. You’ve just experienced the simple stimulus-response of a behavior program stored in the subconscious mind.
When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is more than a million times more powerful than the conscious mind. If the desires of the conscious mind conflict with the programs in the subconscious mind, which ‘mind’ do you think will win out? You can repeat the affirmation that you are loveable over and over or that your cancer tumor will shrink. But if, as a child, you repeatedly heard that you were worthless and sickly, those messages programmed in your subconscious mind will undermine your best conscious efforts to change your life. Remember how quickly your last New Year’s resolution to eat less food fell by the wayside as the aroma of the baking turkey dissolved your resolve?
I believe the greatest problem we face is that we think we are running our lives with the wishes, desires, and aspirations created by our conscious mind. When we struggle or fail to obtain our goals, we are generally led to conclude that we are victims of outside forces preventing us from reaching our destination. However, neuroscience has now established that the conscious mind runs the show, at best, only about 5 percent of the time. It turns out that the programs acquired by the subconscious mind shape 95 percent or more of our life experiences. (Szegedy-Maszak 2005)
Since subconscious programs operate without the necessity of observation or control by the conscious mind, we are completely unaware that our subconscious minds are making our everyday decisions. Our lives are essentially a printout of our subconscious programs, behaviors that were fundamentally acquired from others (our parents, family, and community) before we were six years old. As psychologists recognize, a majority of these developmental programs are limiting and disempowering”. 
Joseph Mercola, D.O., and founder of www.mercola.com, the world’s most visited natural-health site, had these words of praise for Bruce Lipton’s book: “Finally, a compelling and easy-to-understand explanation of how your emotions regulate your genetic expression. You need to read this book to truly appreciate that you are not a victim of your genes but instead have unlimited capacity to live a life overflowing with peace, happiness, and love.” 
And finally, Carol Ginandes, Ph.D, research psychologist at Harvard Medical School, suggests as an answer to the conscious – subconscious challenge: “If somebody told you there was a medication that could treat 100 different conditions, didn’t require a prescription, was free, and had no bad side effects, you wouldn’t believe them” says Harvard Medical School psychologist Carol Ginandes, PhD. “I don’t want to sound like a snake oil salesman, because hypnosis is not a magic wand. But it should be made available as a supplementary treatment for all patients who could benefit. Right now.”
 You Can Change Your Genes: The Power of Epigenetics, by Leigh Fortson, Well-Being Journal, Sept/Oct 2013, p. 7
 Ibid. p. 6.
 Ibid. p. 8.
 Gabriel, Michael, M.A. Voices from the Womb. Lower Lake, CA: Aslan Publishing, 1992, p. 14.
 Ibid. p. 182.
 Parkhill, Stephen C. (1995) Answer Cancer. DeLond, Fl: Omni Hypnosis Press. p. 80 – 81
 Lipton, Bruce H., Ph.D. (2005) The Biology of Belief. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. p.97 – 98.
 Ibid. Praise for The Biology of Belief pages.
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Hugh Sadlier, M.Ed., BCCH Hypno-Health
Board Certified Consulting Hypnotist
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