The following research results highlight the modern understanding of hypnosis and mindfulness, and do not reflect the effects of VICA (Virtual Calisthenics) specifically. The suggestions used during hypnosis and mindfulness are customized to the issues or contexts surrounding their usage, and in this regard hypnosis audio recording are produced specifically for the desired usage. While the best effort to translate the research has been made, the accuracy of the information presented cannot be guaranteed or it may be out of date. Many studies on hypnosis and mindfulness are conducted using hypnosis with another person present, and results may not directly apply to VICA audio sessions. The specific effects of VICA have not been tested by placebo-controlled trials. VICA sessions are used for behavior modification, self-improvement, habit correction, learning techniques, and simple relaxation. VICA sessions are not used to treat, diagnose, mitigate, or prevent disease or abnormal conditions. Personal results will vary.

Hypnosis Research

     Hypnosis is a mindfulness-practice that uses a guided progression into deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness. The state of deep relaxation inducted into by hypnosis, has been shown for allowing increased impression to suggestions without using your critical factor (Vickers, Zollman, & Payne, 2001). Hypnosis has been defined as, ”a focused experience of attentional absorption that invites people to respond experientially on multiple levels to amplify and utilize their personal resources in a goal-driected fashion.” (Yapko, 2012). Hypnosis has had exaggerated benefits and risks, and has been shown to be successful in research for altering physical sensations, moderating stress reactions, and enhancing emotional sensitivity (Spiegel, 1998). Hypnosis practiced daily has been shown in research to improve stress (Vickers, Zollman, & Payne, 2001). Hypnosis has been shown to be different than an awake state neurophysiologically with changes in attention, relaxation and cognitive dissociation (Gruzellier, 2000). Hypnosis began with Franz Mesmer in the late 1700s practicing animal magnetism (Harris, 2016).Clinical hypnosis practiced by doctors, dentists and health care professionals directly with patients may treat a psychological or physical problem (American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 2015). Buddhist meditation practices of concentration and mindfulness are discussed as similar to hypnosis, in the state of altered consciousness they produce including imaginative involvement and expectations (Holroyd, 2003). Mindfulness-based hypnosis has been described as Western psychological practice meets Eastern meditative disciplines, and is cross-culturally appropriate (Alladin, 2014). Buddhist meditation practices like samatha, vipassana, Zen, and ton-len have been compared to the conscious experience of hypnosis (Otani, 2003). People have compared hypnosis and mindfulness meditation with similar altered consciousness, mood, attention, awareness, rationality and memory (Renelli, 2013). As compared to mindfulness meditation, people have experienced more vivid imagery and physical relaxation (Renelli, 2013).
     Hypnosis has been described as a promising catalyst for developing attention and mindfulness (Lynn, Barnes, Deming, & Accardi, 2010). Body effects of self hypnosis have been shown to be similar to those using hypnosis performed by another person (Luna, 2009). The placebo effect and hypnosis affect the brain differently, with the placebo effect involving the pre frontal cortex and hypnosis involving other areas (Parris, 2016). Self hypnosis has in research been used effectively by students for stress and mood when during exam time (Naito, et al., 2003). Hypnotic suggestions have been used effectively to increase the amount and duration of slow wave sleep in a middle of the day nap (Cordi, Schlarb, & Rasch, 2014). Hypnosis, however is not a sleep state (Baghdadi & Nasrabadi, 2009). During deep relaxation, your feet often start pointing upwards and may move to pointing outwards as you relax more and more or curl up (Banyan, & Kein, 2001).
     All hypnosis has been described as being self hypnosis, because the user maintains control using their will (Hunter, 2011). The fear of control has been named the biggest misconception of hypnosis (Yapko, 2012). However it has been found that no direct power is taken directly over a user (Yapko, 2012). This means that the user is allowing the experience to unfold, and there is no control but personal control. In stage hypnotism, participants are choosing to place themselves into a scenario to be directed by the stage hypnotist, and are exhibiting performance abilities in response to direct suggestions and abilities of their subconscious mind. Stage hypnosis identifies the power of social influence in performance, which is highly adaptable for athletic, personal and social performance. The user controls the depth and level of experience in hypnosis, by their desire, willingness and mood, the hypnotist does not have the power (Yapko, 2012). Beliefs about hypnosis have been discussed as related to hypnotizability (Shimizu, 2016). It has been shown that the same techniques when labeled as ”hypnosis”, rather than ”relaxation”, produce a more effective response to suggestions (Gandhi & Oakley, 2005). It has been found people have control over when they are hypnotized, and if hypnotized people can later resist it (Yapko, 2012). Using hypnosis opens you up to suggestions so its key to use the most professional, quality and positive hypnosis.
     Psychology Today has stated that the problem with hypnosis is that there is no formal standard of induction to the trance state, no way of knowing when you are in the trance state, and no formal hypnosis protocol of procedure (Harary, 1992). Vica’s process of induction uses a formal approach that is appropriate for all people, guiding the user into a deep state of relaxation that is easily identifiable, and using a variety of the most effective mindfulness and hypnosis techniques, including progressive body relaxation, visualization/virtualization, and more. Vica has taken the most effective elements of mindfulness and hypnosis to address the users body, mind and emotions for the best effects. People with psychosis or personality disorders have been recommended not to use hypnosis (NHS, 2015).

Mindfulness Research

     Mindfulness is a practice of self reflecting on yourself. Mindfulness includes a lot of different mind/body medicine techniques including hypnosis, yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Mindfulness and relaxation have both been shown to be able to reduce distress and increase positive mood (Jain, et al., 2007). Mindfulness teaches us how to be unconditionally present, and aware and accepting of who we already are in the moment (Wegela, 2010). Mindfulness has been shown to be able to affect attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and self perspective change (Holzel, et al., 2011). Mindfulness has been shown effective for providing a framework for addressing problems in living and reducing stress and negative affect generally (Jay Lynn, et al., 2006). Research suggests mindfulness produces beneficial effects on physical health, mental health and cognitive performance (Tang, 2015). Everyday mindfulness has been shown to correlate positively with agreeableness and conscientiousness, with negative correlation to neuroticism (Thompson & Waltz, 2007). Hypnosis, focused breathing, mindfulness and meditation have been used effectively for thinking about unwanted thoughts rather than suppressing them and by doing so, setting them free (Wegner, 2011). The brain regions and networks within mindfulness meditation are beginning to be investigated in neuroscience (Tang, 2015). Neuroplastic changes from mindfulness practice have been seen in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, tempoparietal junction, fronto-limbic network, and default mode network structures (Holzel, et al., 2011).
     Mindfulness in research has been associated with better movement performance, through an increase in monitoring of body states, slowed movement, and optimizing of the movement trajectory making movements more accurate (Naranjo & Schmidt, 2012). People report practicing mindfulness for alleviating emotion distress and enhancing emotion regulation (Pepping, Walters, Davis, & O’Donovan, 2016). Few people report spiritual or religious reasons for continuing mindfulness, but instead state enhancing wellbeing (Pepping, Walters, Davis, & O’Donovan, 2016). Adverse events from relaxation techniques are said to be uncommon (Vickers, Zollman, & Payne, 2001). Complementary and alternative medicines are being integrated into mainstream medicine, in places where they have proven to be scientifically effective (Graz, 2016).
     Children 10-11 year old were found to have significant improvements in short term memory with 12-sessions of progressive muscle relaxation (Hashim & Zainol, 2015). An online mindfulness skills training program was shown effective for acute improvements in stress, mindfulness, empathy, and resilience in health professionals (Kempler & Khirallah, 2015). In medical students, mindfulness training has been shown effective for improving distress tolerance over control students (Kraemer, et al., 2016). Health-care participants reported small significant benefits in stress, anxiety, empathy, self-efficacy from an online guided imagery training program (up to 3-hours) (Rao, 2016). Mindfulness practiced within a person’s lifestyle has been shown to have positive effects on wellness.

Thetawaves Research

     Your brain emits brainwaves characteristic of your state of consciousness. Thetawaves are characteristic of deep relaxation, and are found in that state of consciousness before falling asleep. Heightened thetawaves were found in research for people using self-hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation (Batty, Bonnington, Tang, Hawken, & Gruzellier, 2006). Thetawaves are apparent while practicing transcendental meditation (Murphy, 1984). Experienced meditators have shown increased theta power in the left temporal lobe using binaural beats (Lavalle, Koren, & Persinger, 2011). Thetawaves are seen in cats in association with rapid eye movements while napping (Sakai, Sano, & Iwahara, 1973). People’s brain regions actually emit an array of brainwaves during hypnosis, and not all regions are seen to be emitting pure thetawaves (Baghdadi & Nasrabadi, 2009). Deltawave and betawave changes have also been seen during hypnosis (Baghdadi & Nasrabadi, 2009). Hypnosis has shown to increase the power in thetawaves and changes 40-Hz gammawaves activity, which is thought to play a role in declarative memory and the emotional limbic circuits (Jensen, Adachi, & Hakimian, 2015). The altered state of consciousness of hypnosis and mindfulness has been associated with that state of waking and sleeping and characteristic with thetawaves.
     Hypnotizability refers to how readily a person will enter a state of thetawaves, and is a trait and a skill that can be developed with practice. High hypnotizability has been associated with higher thetawaves while awake and in hypnosis in research (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford, & Pribram, 1990). High hypnotizable people have been shown to produce a greater theta and lesser alphawave amplitude in their frontal and right-posterior regions (De Pascalis, Ray, Tranquillo, & D’Amico, 1998). 40-Hz gammawaves amplitude has also been found to be related to hypnotizability (Pascalis, Ray, Tranquillo, & Amico, 1997). People with high hypnotizability have been found to have greater duration of attention (Crawford, Clarke, Kitner-Triolo, 1995). People with high hypnotizability have not been found to be associated with dissociation or cognitive inhibition (Dienes, et al., 2009). People with high hypnotizability have been found to access emotional memories more rapidly (Pascalis, Marucci, & Penna, 1988). The trait of hypnotizability can allow you to enter a deeply relaxed state rapidly and can be practiced and developed.
     Thetawaves are characteristically emitted by the brain in the state of consciousness of deep relaxation, in the place before deep sleep. Heightened thetawaves were found in research in self-hypnosis and progressive body/muscle relaxation (Batty, Bonnington, Tang, Hawken, & Gruzellier, 2006). People with high or low hypnotizability in research showed higher thetawaves during hypnosis (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford, & Pribram, 1990). People with high hypnotizability have shown higher thetawaves during both waking and hypnosis (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford, & Pribram, 1990). Thetawaves are seen in cats in association with rapid eye movements while napping (Sakai, Sano, & Iwahara, 1973). Thetawaves are apparent while practicing transcendental meditation (Murphy, 1984). Experienced meditators have shown increased theta power in the left temporal lobe using binaural beats (Lavalle, Koren, & Persinger, 2011). Different brain regions actually respond differently during hypnosis, and not all parts are emitting pure thetawaves (Baghdadi & Nasrabadi, 2009).
     High hypnotizable subjects produce a greater theta amplitude (4-6 Hz) in left/right frontal and right-posterior areas, with smaller alpha amplitude (De Pascalis, Ray, Tranquillo, & D’Amico, 1998). 40-Hz gammawave amplitude has also been found to be related to hypnotizability (Pascalis, Ray, Tranquillo, & Amico, 1997). Delta and beta wave changes were seen in hypnosis (Baghdadi & Nasrabadi, 2009). Hypnosis increases power in the theta band and changes 40-Hz gamma activity, which is thought to play a role in declarative memory and the emotional limbic circuits (Jensen, Adachi, & Hakimian, 2015).

Performance Research

     Hypnosis and mindfulness have been shown to improve performance in research for an array of effects. Mental imagery has been used in athletics for performance enhancement, arousal regulation, affective and cognitive modification, and rehabilitation (Jones & Stuth, 1997). Research suggests long-term mindfulness promotes executive functioning and sustaining attention (Zeidan, et al., 2010). Brief mindfulness training (4 sessions) in research showed improvements in fatigue, anxiety, mindfulness, visuospatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning (Zeidan, et al., 2010). People who practice mindfulness have been found to have higher attentional performance and cognitive flexibility (Moore & Malinowski, 2008). Research suggests mindfulness may enhance working memory capacity and accuracy in physical performance (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011). Hypnotizability has also been found to be related to singing improvisation (Friese, 1994). Mindfulness activities that allow the user to deeply relax and positively reflect on themselves, behaviours and feelings, allows for positive influence upon performance.
     For athletes, hypnosis techniques have been recommended for learning new information for competitions and relaxation to enhance performance (Newmark & Bogacki, 2005). Athletic performance hypnosis is described as having athletes targeting to enter the optimal performance zone at will, thus increasing the likelihood for perk performance (Anglero, 2007). For athletes doing sprint tests in an experiment, those athletes who used mindfulness performed better (Pelka, 2016). Athletes performing progressive muscle relaxation, power napping, yoga, and systematic breathing interventions in the experiment allowed participants to perform significantly better than control athletes (Pelka, et al., 2016). While athletic trainers have been shown to identify the need for psychological intervention in athletes, they have had low scores for intended course of action implementation with athletes (Cormier & Zizzi, 2015). Hypnosis and mindfulness are becoming utilized by athletes to work on attaining peak performance in their abilities.

Binaural Beats Research

     Binaural beats are an auditory phenomenon that occurs when different tones are listened to by each ear, and the brain produces a third harmonious tone. Alpha and theta binaural beats have been showed to be able to enhance interhemispheric coherence between the auditory cortexes (Solca, Mottaz, & Guggisberg, 2016). Alpha wave frequency binaural beats have been shown to be able to improve working memory capacity (Kraus & Porubanova, 2015). Binaural beats are perceived by the superior olivary nucleus in each brain hemisphere (Carter, 2008). In an experiment, athletes after exercising listened to binaural beats over 20-minutes and showed better relaxation, parasympathetic activation/sympathetic withdrawal for rest, but it did not affect resting heart rate (McConnell, Froelgier, Garland, Ives, & Sforzo, 2014). Binaural beats alone have been shown not to affect heart rate or blood pressure (Carter, 2008). Brainwave entrainment by binaural beats is known to occur with thetawaves (deep relaxation) and deltawaves (sleep), but in an experiment binaural beats were not able to entrain people’s brainwaves on an EEG into alphawaves (thinking) or betawaves (light relaxation) (Vernon, Peryer, Louch & Shaw, 2014). However, alphawaves and betawaves binaural beats may other effects. Beta binaural beats have been showed to improve conscious attention, while theta binaural beats to decrease attention (Lane, Kasian, Owens, & Marsh, 1998). This makes sense because betawaves are associated with being awake and thinking, while being deeply relaxing is associated with thetawaves. Hearing researchers have suggested listening to binaural beats at low volume for risk of noise-induced hearing loss with extreme volumes for long periods being a risk factor (Atcherson, 2012). Binaural beats are used for affecting the mood and brainwaves, especially for deep relaxation and sleep.