Thursday, March 30, 2017

Body Syndromes: Fight and Reaching Syndrome

(This blog was originally posted on October 16, 2015)

Image courtesy of Microsoft

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., whenever a person represses or does not express an emotion the displaced energy from that experience is converted into a physical “symptom” of that emotional trauma. The phenomenon is called a body syndrome. There are no nerve endings in the brain; however, sensory perception (e.g., smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch) that begin there send electric impulses that carry this information through the body. These impulses ultimately begin to manifest physical discomfort in areas of the body that are specifically associated with a certain repressed emotion. Once we are aware of which emotion is being manifested, we can treat the syndrome, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder stated.

The Fight/Reaching Syndrome affects the arms and hands. Physiological symptoms and diseases that are characterized by these syndromes include: arthritis, blisters, nail-biting, rheumatism, skin rashes or warts.  According to the premise of Body Syndromes, the symptoms of someone who has a Fight Syndrome manifest the sufferer’s subconscious need to defend her- or himself, such as from verbal or physical abuse. Someone who is metaphorically “reaching” for something that is unobtainable, such as a rejecting lover or a promotion the person was denied, might experience one of those physical ailments as a manifestation of Reaching Syndrome.  

People generally do not know what causes this presenting issue when they seek hypnotherapy. Since it is out of my scope of expertise as a certified hypnotherapist to recognize/identify specific symptoms that have a psychological or physiological basis, I refer clients to an appropriate licensed professional to make this diagnosis. However, once this other expert has ruled out a medical etiology of your symptom and provided an appropriate treatment, I can continue to work with you in hypnotherapy with a follow-up referral from that licensed professional. In addition to providing complementary therapeutic benefits and help to alleviate and/or control your discomfort, I can also use hypnosis and therapeutic guided-imagery techniques to help you achieve vocational and avocational self-improvement goals. 

My first step to treating someone who is manifesting a Fight or Reaching Syndrome is to explore what the client is subconsciously fighting or reaching for. Once the possible cause(s) or motivation(s) has been established, I would use systematic desensitization to help the client neutralize the intensity of the stimulus that triggers his or her physical symptom of this syndrome. I would also incorporate guided therapeutic imagery and teach the emotional freedom technique to increase the person’s perception of being able to control and prevail over the emotional triggers of this syndrome. Therapeutic guided-imagery techniques would also be useful tools with which the client can explore different options for resolving the conflict so he or she could focus on and achieve vocational and avocational self-improvement goals.


Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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