As I type this (the night before the post goes live), I’m very stressed.  I’m not going to go into the cause, as that is work-related and I don’t discuss work items on my blog.  Suffice it to say that I’m stressed out and when I’m stressed out, my back spasms.

Personally, I could do with a nice, long massage.  Sadly, B has problems with her wrists so pushing hard on my back will just wind up with my back hurting slightly less and her wrists hurting much more.  Alternatively, I could use a heating pad on my back, but they don’t tend to stay in place.  In the past, a nice long bath in a dark room worked wonders as well.

Back in high school and college, I learned a technique for relaxation that I used to use quite a bit: self hypnosis.  Now, hypnosis has a mythos built around it.  People think “hypnotism” and think of a person being compelled to do weird things.  There are basically one rule of hypnotism: It’s voluntary.  You can’t be hypnotized if you don’t want to be and you can’t be hypnotized to do something you don’t want to do.

Since it’s a voluntary state, if you know just the right technique, you can actually hypnotize yourself.  I’ve achieved a self-induced state of hypnosis a few times.  It’s extremely relaxing.  Kind of like being deep asleep yet still aware of everything.

My first step is to close my eyes and calm my mind.  I push aside all worries and thoughts.  Then, I begin purposefully breathing in and out slowly.  I recite “one” in my head with each breath as something to focus my mind on (otherwise those pushed-aside thoughts creep back in).  As I continue doing this, I get more and more relaxed.

Have you ever been hypnotized or tried self-hypnosis?

I might try a few of my relaxation techniques tonight to see if I can’t unknot these spasming back muscles.