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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Learn to combat nightmares


Banish fear, panic, sleep can experience that people who have suffered trauma, and train the brain to dream only possible positive and some scientists doubt that can become a routine clinical practice in the future .

The "lucid dreaming"-that is the name by which psychologists have named this technique, is achieved through the sleeping brain stimulation with low intensity electrical currents, a technique, the researchers maintain, absolutely risk free and that the patient distinguishes "always" is real and what is dream.

One of the researchers who has turned part of his work over the past years in this new technique is the German Ursula Voss, Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn, Madrid has been invited by CosmoCaixa .

In an interview with EFE, Voss said they are already checking the results and will soon publish research findings in a scientific journal.

"The therapy is very good for trauma patients: those returning from war, those who have suffered sexual violence or who have had a painful loss and thus suffer anxiety disorders, depression and nightmares."

If sleep is necessary "dreaming is healthy," says the German professor, but stresses the need to overcome anxiety and panic to the dream and the opportunity that this therapy offers to train the body to be able, thanks to those induction techniques, to "generate" lucid dreaming.

And does not imply that lucid dreams have to be pleasant, says the researcher, and this is precisely the person to bring a psychological state "in which he knows he is dreaming and dreaming."

Therapy does not involve any risk, the professor insisted, but also warns of internet proliferation in apparently similar techniques but yet lacking any scientific basis.

"We also know that is a dream and that nothing can happen," said Voss, for whom this technique can be "key" to science "because it gives us the opportunity to observe the brain. In the dream, no future and no past, all what happens is here and now. "

In his opinion, one of the keys of psychology is to define exactly what is consciousness, such a level that distinguishes humans from animals or artificial intelligence.

"We are not better by being smarter, but because we are aware, the consciousness does not necessarily make us better, but different," and situated on land between consciousness and unconsciousness the technique of "lucid dreaming", a therapy that compared with hypnosis and with the successful operation it has been shown to treat many psychological traumas.

The "lucid dreaming", which are already being implemented in clinics in several countries, are no substitute for medication that has scheduled a patient, but do allow the psychologist-ensures-enter at the bottom of a patient. "It's a very powerful tool because it reaches the subconscious and the patient has some control over the states that frighten you."

And of course the professor insists that this is a therapy that will be useful to overcome such psychological trauma, but "never" to work on the damaged brains of those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

During therapy the psychologist can even identify the brain structures involved in a "lucid dream", he explained Ursula Voss, who has stressed that the patient often "wake up" euphoric, "and that is the time when he can help to change a mood, enhance their self-esteem and make him feel able to control your dreams "

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