The Incredible Shrinking Syringe

Drawing the Syringes
Image by johnnyalive via Flickr

A client of mine is undergoing chemotherapy. Every three weeks she gets injections of three drugs into a drip line inserted into the wrist.

The drugs have to go into the drip line because there is quite a volume of medication and the syringes holding them are big, about six inches long and an inch across, arriving in a plastic tray with the needles, tubes and other bits and pieces.

The day before her second round of chemo  she told me that just the thought of those injections was making her feel very nauseous.

She said: “The syringe is this *$!*%$# long!“. Moving her hands about two feet apart, in the style of a fisherman telling you about the one that got away.

I asked her if the syringe was that big in her mind’s eye. She told me it was. I suggested to her that she shrink that image of the syringe down to it’s actual size. She did this easily. Commenting that the syringe now fitted in the tray.

Then she told me that her nausea linked to the treatment had completely disappeared!

This is an excellent demonstration of a fundamental principal of NLP: How you represent the outside world in your inner world will powerfully affect your subjective experience.

Do some things make you unnecessarily anxious and afraid? How are they depicted in your imagination? Are they too big? Closer than they should be? More vivid in some way? Do they sound louder than they are in real life?  These qualities of our experience, known as submodalities in NLP, can be understood and changed to change the quality of our lives.

In my clients case, changing her representation of that syringe changed the way she felt about it.  It’s a simple enough change to make if you know it’s possible. The best way to learn how to make changes like that is to attend an NLP Practitioner training. Click on the link to learn more about IntegrityNLP NLP Practitioner trainings.

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