There are so many different descriptions of the state of hypnosis that even hypnotists and hypnotherapists will have their own definitions of hypnosis. As hypnotherapists we tend to define it more in relation to the particular way we do our work.
I could put someone into a relaxing trance. Or mesmerise them with the positive changes they could make in their lives. Or hypnotise them so they can recall or forget to remember a past memory.
Although the typical picture of someone in hypnosis will be eyes closed and seemingly fast asleep on a reclining chair I tend to favour the word trance since we are all experiencing different states of trance on a daily basis. The American term “Highway Hypnosis” sums up how we can be wide awake but in a trance at the same time, even when safely driving.
In fact reading the heading at the top of this post will put you in a light trance as your mind diverts itself from the first question and just for a fleeting moment responds to the second question with “or do I?”
Did you go into a state of hypnosis, trance, focused awareness or heightened imagination? Or perhaps you were expecting to be told to forget something or repeat an action or remember something from the past.
“And” (a hypnotist’s favourite word because it simply and easily joins each point with a natural flow) as you were reading the previous sentence your mind was probably taking you very rapidly through all sorts of mental pictures, thoughts and conundrums.
So does it matter whether it is hypnosis, hypnotherapy, mesmerism, sleep, autosuggestion, trance or focused awareness? The interesting thing is that in reality we will automatically find ourselves using our natural favoured way of dreaming, or daydreaming. Everyone has their preferred way of going into trance and will be unconsciously using it throughout the day.
That’s the way the brain works.
We just go there and that is a place that knows a lot about you.
The Vagus nerve
Vagus in Latin means “wandering” and most of us will have heard of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic divisions of the nervous system but perhaps not the Vagus nerve.
This nerve, which has only scientifically been researched in more depth over the last 20 years, is critical to our physical and emotional feelings of well being as beneath our awareness it efficiently and smoothly sends messages to the brain, gut, heart and other organs of the body. So the fact that it is “in touch” with so many of our vital organs tells us how vitally important it is.
The relatively recent research of Stephen Porges has brought to our attention the pivotal role this superhighway has on every area of our body and therefore our life.
So what does it do for us?
When the vagus nerve is operating at it’s best it is connecting the messages from our organs, our thoughts, our conscious and our unconscious into one smooth multi level pathway of health, calm and ease on a daily basis.
And isn’t that what we have been looking for?
A few of the issues toning the Vagus Nerve can help with
Sound too good to be true?
Well my research and work on myself and clients has really helped take what I do up another level. Resolving past issues, helping the body operate physically with more balance and connection, quicker healing, less anxiety and more pleasure and satisfaction in life are major goals that most of us would like to aim for.
What can I do to tone my Vagus Nerve?
Heart Rate Variability breathing – High Coherence Breathing. (Heart Math)
Simple crossing the Mid line Exercises eg BrainGym
Gargling – anything that stimulates your vocal cords is good.
Meditation – Loving kindness meditation
Washing your face with icy water–cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve–remember this next time you’re feeling really stressed out.
Emotional Freedom Technique and Hypnosis
My work building a raft of trance based techniques including Hypnosis, NLP and Emotional Freedom Technique has been dedicated to helping clients move forward in their lives. The addition of working with and toning the Vagus Nerve has been another major addition to helping clients access even more meaningful and simple yet empowering tools that they can use on a daily basis to help turn their lives around.
If you would like to know more just email or call me and I will be very happy to help.
The words eating disorder tend to automatically direct our attention to anorexia and bulimia. However eating disorder can cover any eating habits that are “disordered and not under control”. Eating too much involves a disorder of our relationship with food as does eating too little or eating unhealthily.
When we are ready to lose weight, or change unhealthy eating habits, it is one thing to “go on a diet” but is this going to be an eating plan that we will be able to stick to for the rest of our lives? Diets can be transitory but having the tools, strength and beliefs to make and keep the changes are all important to support us into the future.
Hypnosis, EFT, and NLP are very powerful ways that can help make important and valuable changes in many areas of our lives. Engaging the creative unconscious means we can communicate with and change our internal language and habits. Just one of the strengths in these tools is that they can be used in our everyday life to continue making healthy change on a daily basis.
Hypnosis will help engage the unconscious creative mind to remove the negative trance that we have been “feeding” ourselves all this time. Telling ourselves to stop an ingrained habit is very hard since that requires us to override our conscious mind which is being “fed” by our unconscious mind. Our conscious cognitive thinking mind usually knows what we would like to do but the creative unconscious is the part of us that holds the keys to actually making the change.When a long standing habit has been hard wired into the brain we need to find the best ways to reprogramme it. To help change one’s “disordered eating” we need not only the tools and Hypnosis, NLP or Emotional Freedom Technique are great ways to start to help change our old patterns, but also to find the resilience and patience to keep working on it.
Finding an experienced and qualified professional hypnotherapist could well help open the doors to letting go of old habits.
A recent article in the i Newspaper (3rd November 2016) by Eve Simmons highlights a real lack of information regarding men with eating disorders.
Statistics appear skewed probably partly by the male psyche and society’s unconscious restrictions on men “owning up” to having any sort of mental health issues. So understandably a lot of eating disorder information is aimed at women but as Eve Simmons article points out “men get eating disorders too.”
Figures from The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence estimate 11% of eating disorder sufferers are male and 6.4 percent of all adults displayed some form of an eating disorder. So as they point out those figures in fact point to more like a 25% figure for males.
The good news is that it is possible to recover from an eating disorder and with the right help and focus remove this often devastating illness from your life.
Here is a copy of the SCOFF questionnaire developed by John Morgan at Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust that can help sufferers check if they have some or all of these pointers
* Do you ever make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full
*Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
*Have you recently lost more than one stone in a three month period?
*Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are thin?
*Would you say that food dominates your life?
According to SCOFF a positive of two or more answers to these questions should raise your awareness of a possible issue.
Mental/health Awareness week will take place May 8 – 14th in 2017.
On Thursday this week (February 4th 2016) it will be “Time To Talk” day. Time To Talk day has been organised for the last three years by charities Mind, and Rethink Mental Illness under the umbrella Time To Change and the aim is to encourage people to share their feelings and discuss their stories and personal experiences about mental health in person and via Facebook and Twitter.
Although this is primarily a project that has been been organised in England over the last three years, in Scotland, England and Wales one in four people will suffer from some sort of mental health issue and encouraging people to talk about it can only help break down the taboos and difficulties around discussing mental illness.
For various reasons people find it hard to talk openly about mental illness so engaging everyone helps bring into the open a subject that has been in need of more awareness and understanding for a long time now. It is really much more common than we think and this initiative can only help and encourage a greater understanding and support for anyone going through difficult times. Knowing that you are not alone is invaluable in helping support the healing process.
According to a Time to Change survey 60% of those interviewed found the stigma and discrimination around issues such as depression, anorexia and anxiety were as debilitating as the symptoms they were suffering. If we have a physical illness we are much less likely to keep it to ourselves than a mental one because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Talking with friends and family is a great therapy but there is a point when one needs to take the next step and that is of course seeing your GP, and or appropriate professional organisation who will be able to help you get the best treatment.
The three charities below are a good place to start if you or someone you know is having difficulty in getting the support and advice they need.
For more about Time To Talk day follow this link
Time to Talk
See me Scotland is a Scottish charity also with the aim of ending mental health stigma and discrimination and for Wales follow the link below for more information
This week (11-17 October 2015) is OCD Awareness week and already there have been suggestions that this emotionally painful and destructive condition is still being served up with a mild “vanilla” flavouring!
That is the sort of phrase that is often thrown into a conversation but in truth is way off the mark. Unless we find that what we imagine are our “OCD” compulsions and repetitive thoughts are leaving us feeling anxious to the point of exhaustion, powerless, helpless and continually burdened with a feeling of guilt (and these are just a few of the debilitating symptoms sufferers experience) it is unlikely that our being “a bit OCD” has very much resemblance at all to what it really feels like to suffer OCD on a daily basis.
A recent BBC Horizon programme about OCD was titled “A Monster in my Mind” and that title really sums up the daily experience that invades the life of someone with OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder “hijacks” the logical and cognitive thinking processes often virtually rendering the ability to get on with one’s everyday life almost impossible.
A list of some common symptoms of OCD
Fears that you might murder someone
Thoughts of sexual violence
Worrying you may have run someone over
Worry that you may have offended God
Worries that you may have contracted a serious illness.
Fear of contamination
These are just a few of the thinking patterns that get stuck in a loop in the mind.
The choices of treatments on the NHS are mainly medication and cognitive behavioral therapy and OCD can take over someone’s thoughts and actions so powerfully that there is often a case for medication to help calm the system even to get treatment started.
According to recent research we have a primal operating system in the brain that is continually checking in the background for anything that might be dangerous to our survival. So in one sense we are all operating with the same equipment and perhaps are “a bit OCD” but if this equipment is switched on permanently at full tilt it becomes a recipe for continuous mental torture.
I use a range of techniques and strategies that are designed to help quieten these overactive messages.
If you would like more information about how Hypnosis, EFT and NLP can help you please contact me.
There is a post doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment that says “want a bikini body? Put on a bikini and stop giving a s*** what everyone else thinks!!”
Fighting talk, and amusing enough if you don’t actually care what people think. However many people worry very much about “what everyone else thinks” and it can be very hard to acquire the confidence and thick skin to ignore those thoughts. “What other people think of me is none of my business” is one of my favourite quotes but we live in a culture that celebrates celebrity. We have celebrities on our TVs and ipads every moment of the day setting new trends in fashion, body image and status. Also we may be struggling with past conditioning without even knowing what it is that is keeping us in a low self esteem, lack of confidence mindset.
Lack of confidence in ourselves emotionally and lack of confidence on a physical level will have a profound effect on how we act, react and communicate in pretty much all our everyday communications, social and business . This obsession with body image and how we perceive ourselves and imagine others perceive us can easily tip over into even more destructive issues such as depression and eating disorders so it is important to get good professional help to turn this around and get one’s life back.
No one should have to spend their lives short changing themselves on confidence, happiness and self respect and although the reasons behind these feelings may be complex that does not mean it need take a long time and a lot of therapy sessions to turn this around. Techniques such as Hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can help achieve real and positive freedom from this state often in a remarkably short period of time.
All these techniques have a positive track record in achieving rapid and lasting change that other therapies cannot always match. If we could change just by thinking consciously and knowing consciously what we want to change then it would not in most cease be a problem. However it is rarely as simple as that. However the reason that change can be so rapid and effective with these therapies is that they all help connect with our creative unconscious, the very part of us that has the tools to reprogramme our feelings and thoughts.
It may feel a daunting task to turn something such as this round but with the right help it can be a life affirming experience that has the promise to make massive change in a very healthy way.
If you would like any more information just call or email and I will be very happy to help.
“I can’t believe so much has changed in my thinking in the last few weeks., and I feel in a different place again. I am so much more confident and positive. Thank you.” – DG
People can become addicted to a wide range of substances and behaviours and these substances and behaviours are often things that most of us partake in on a daily basis. They may be drinking, gambling, sex or drugs and although the majority of us don’t engage in class A drug even food, sugar, prescription drugs are all substances that one can become addicted to in an unhealthy way.
There is plenty of debate around whether addiction is a mental illness or a “brain disease” and it is interesting to note that people can often readily switch from one addiction to another. At AA many in the group may well have switched their addiction from drinking alcohol to smoking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. A shopping addict may turn to gambling. It is not necessarily the particular substance or behaviour that is important. Getting the hit is the prize.
In fact an addict is always chasing the experience of their first hit, that almost primal experience that took them out of themselves and the reality of the world they found it hard to be part of. Of course the first hit will never be repeated for intensity and experience so looking to repeat it only continues the cycle.
I work with eating disorders, gambling, prescription drug taking etc. and many of my clients have “done the rounds” of therapies talking about their experiences and being talked to about how to change their lives. However sometimes things can better be “said without saying” which is why I thought it worth posting this video.
Please watch this short video if you or someone you know could be suffering from an addiction
The answers are not in the drug of choice but in our own feelings of self worth and value. Addressing these issues is the first step to freedom from the nightmare of addiction.
The issues that immediately spring to mind when considering hypnotherapy are stopping smoking, phobias and weight loss. However there are a surprising number of other conditions that hypnosis can help resolve or at the very least assist in experiencing a better quality of life. In fact there is are few issues that hypnotherapy will not have some form of positive effect on in one way or another. Even the stress and pain of a serious physical problem can be alleviated to some degree with hypnosis. In fact I saw a cancer patient last year and we did some deep relaxation hypnosis and he could not believe how good it felt to just go in his mind to a place of wonderful quiet and relaxation after all the anxiety and troubles that he had been through. A lady with scoliosis and persistent pain since she could remember found she could now enjoy sitting with her daughter right through a television programme without having to continually get up and leave the room just to alleviate the discomfort she had been experiencing.
Other areas that hypnosis can help achieve powerful results in are eating disorders, alcoholism and gambling. These are always notoriously tricky areas for therapists of any modality to treat. However if a client is ready to make a change I have found extremely good results can be achieved using hypnosis. The difference is that hypnosis works via the unconscious creative mind. When given the right tools and information to work with, the creative mind is able to make powerful changes where the conscious mind may have failed. Virtually every smoker knows consciously that they would like to stop but the conscious mind does not always have the tools to make this change. The unconscious creative mind has a different set of tools and is reached by accessing the slower alpha and delta waves the brain generates when we enter a trance state. This part of our mind tends to drive the right side of the brain, the “artist”, whilst the left side is driven more by the “accountant”. There is obviously a lot more to it but you can understand that your accountant is invaluable when it comes to presenting your accounts at the end of the year but you would not commission your accountant to paint a Michelangelo fresco on your ceiling! It is the creative part in us that more often than not holds the key to achieving change where other attempts have failed.
Because our psychological and physical health is so intertwined there is much that can be done to help problems such as Dystonia and my personal view on this issue is that although it is a physical manifestation dystonia can be linked to past programmes that are running unconsciously and creating an internal conflict. Focal Dystonia is a form of dystonia found in musicians and this is obviously career threatening when your fingers will not obey your brain. Similarly so with “the yips” which golfers can suffer from when putting. Here again past experiences can be exerting an unconscious resistance or interference between the muscles and the messages form the brain. Tourettes has a similar effect and there have been many instances of hypnosis massively alleviating the twitches and uncontrolled impulse that result in the sufferer finding themselves unable to prevent shouting out profanities or unintelligible noises in public. Performance, public speaking, procrastination, confidence and anxiety are amongst the many areas I help my clients on a daily basis. They often come to me having tried everything else knowingat using hypnotherapy can bring very rapid results and results that last.
Below is a list of just some of the issues hypnotherapists can help with so whatever the problem locate a qualified and expert practitioner to find out how they could help.
Addictions * Alcohol abuse * Anger management Anxiety * Blushing Bruxism Chronic Fatigue Syndrome * Depression * Drug abuse * Eating disorders * Exam nerves Fear of flying Food addiction * Gambling addiction * Insomnia * Internet addiction * Irritable Bowel Syndrome Low self-confidence * Low self-esteem Obsessions and compulsions * Panic attacks * Phobias * Post-traumatic stress disorder * Public speaking Quit smoking Relationship issues Sex addiction * Sexual issues * Sleep disorders * Sports performance Stress * Stuttering * Weight-loss *
Always check with your medical practitioner if you have any of the * issues above before starting complimentary treatment. For more information just call me on 07970218451 or email me and I will be happy to help you and discuss what positive changes hypnosis could make for you and your life.
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can be very difficult to treat and many people suffering in this area may never fully recover control over the problem. There are many different reasons and conjectures about the causes of an eating disorder so it is important that medical advice is taken since they are not just injurious to a person’s health but can be fatal.
Treatment can for eating disorders can be ongoing for months or years without a satisfactory outcome leaving family and sufferer in a very difficult place. However I have worked with very good results with a number of eating disorder clients and below is a case study of a recent client who came to me with bulimia.
(Names and some incidents are altered to protect client anonymity)
Ann, a young lady in her late twenties came to see me after having suffered from an unhealthy preoccupation with her eating habits since she was a young girl. She had always been on and off diets and had resorted to binge eating and then vomiting to control her weight. She was feeling helpless with the situation and although she held down a responsible job her self confidence and self belief was dipping lower and lower .
In our first session I took notes and information about how long this had been an issue and information about her past background and experiences although I always let my clients reveal whatever past issues they may have had in their own time. In fact they may not even remember some of this information consciously and if they do not wish to discuss certain things then that is fine and we can still work without that information.
Ann had the internal message that she had “always been big” and this to me is the sort of phrase that tells me a lot about where an issue is coming from. Our speech patterns and the phrases we use will give us plenty of clues about where to look and how to resolve the underlying issues once we are attuned to them.
In a situation such as this there are two important elements, one is releasing any past trauma physical or emotional around the issue and two, building a client’s confidence. One of the techniques I use is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I think is a wonderful tool that can truly help clear past issues very rapidly and instil confidence sometimes with almost miraculous speed. And not only can we work with it in the sessions but the client can take the technique with them and use it on a n everyday basis themselves to help continue the work between sessions. This not only speeds up the process but involves the client in the process giving them control that they may well have felt unable to access previously.
After the first session Ann returned two weeks later to report that things had been much better and that the tools I had given her had really helped her take control whenever she had any of these urges to binge. However she had experienced a relapse for three days but using the techniques she had got herself back on track again. In this second session I started helping her develop her confidence and self belief and the next time we met she had not binged at all and said she felt normal and much more relaxed. We then scheduled another appointment although due to other commitments she could not come back for a month. At this stage I would have preferred to see her a little sooner but that was not possible. However I always let clients know that they can email or call me if they are experiencing any issues between sessions. This is important since I would rather they do not loose time getting stuck when they can continue building on the changes they are already making.
When Ann came back to see me four weeks later I could immediately see in her a much happier and grounded person than the one that had walked in just four sessions previously. She had applied for a new job so for our final session we discussed how she was feeling about things went over anything that needed any “tidying up” and then worked on simple but powerful ways she could take this new found confidence into the job interview and also continue to develop it in her everyday life.
Ann emailed me a month later to say that she had got the job and was feeling really good and much happier than before. This may seem a simple process and in many ways it was although every person I see has a different story and a different history. For me there is no set routine but rather an understanding that every one who walks into my office is an individual with their own personal needs and desires. Starting from that place I can use hypnosis, NLP, or EFT and my own unique techniques in a way that will offer individual opportunities for personal change whatever the issue.
If you would like to discuss further how I can help you, or someone close to you who has an eating disorder please call 07970218451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to discuss any aspect of this or any other issue with you.
A really interesting article about a technique to help weight loss appeared in the Mail On Sunday yesterday. (12/05/14) “Beat yo-yo dieting – by tapping your face” (Link below)
Tapping on your face? Well that is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) a technique that I use virtually every day to help many of my clients in my hypnotherapy practice in Glasgow.
So let me tell you how my experience of using EFT with clients (and for myself) makes it such a valuable technique that therapists and public are beginning to incorporate into their clinical practices and daily lives on an ever increasing basis.
EFT is an energy psychology therapy which really means that it harnesses the natural energy and resources of the mind and body to aid healing and transformation. If you have not seen how it works before it can look a little strange at first as we literally tap on “energy points” or meridian points around the body with the fingers. This in effect is exactly what an acupuncturist would do but they will gently place a needle in these points thereby helping to energise these points and promote the body’s natural healing resources. This is something Chinese medicine has been doing for thousands of years to great effect.
EFT is now becoming much more mainstream thanks to it’s founder Gary Craig’s generosity and enthusiasm in promoting it’s use, not just for practitioners but for the general public to have access to. I have worked with numerous medical professionals demonstrating to them how to use it and I know many who use it to help their own patients. Not only can it help with issues such as stopping smoking and weight loss but also anxiety, confidence and, in the USA it is used to great effect helping servicemen recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One of the major advantages with EFT along with how effectively and rapidly it can get results is it’s simplicity. As we tap on each accupressure point we will basically be just reciting out loud or to ourselves how we feel about any particular issue and as we tap the on these points this helps calm the part of the brain, the amygdala, that triggers our “fight or flight” response. The beauty of this is that clients can then take home a simple process that will help them continue their progress with whatever they are working on, thus accelerating their recovery and also empowering themselves at the same time.
A great starter book if you would like to know more is “EFT in your Pocket” by Isy Grig (available from Amazon, Kindle just £3 08p) and the title really sums up how EFT can become something that you literally can have “up your sleeve” or “in your pocket” wherever you are.
To learn more about how EFT could really help you with weight loss and how you can use the technique to help release yourself from yo-yo dieting here is the article link. Mail on Sunday Beat yo-yo dieting
If you would like to know more about EFT and also how it can help many other issues just email
email@example.com or call me on 07970218451 and I will be happy to chat with you.
It can be really valuable to initially work with an experienced practitioner to get the very best understanding and results using EFT. However it is a wonderful way to not only help yourself but to put yourself “in the driving seat.” This then sets you up with a technique that you can use for the rest of your life whatever the situation. And there are not many techniques out there that are any simpler or more effective than EFT. A technique that virtually anyone can use at any time for any situation.
Listening the other day to a woman talking about her experience of abuse when she was eleven years old, as she described how the events of the past still affected her everyday life she encapsulated in her phrases the many traumatising feelings that victims can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
“Frozen in shock” sums up how the body stores past trauma and until this can be unlocked there will always be a state of “Fight or Flight” operating throughout the nervous system.
“Carrying the secret” is a cross that victims of abuse may have to bear for the rest of their lives unless they can “lock it away in a mental compartment” to help them continue their lives with some form of internal safety. Otherwise it can be almost too much to bear.
“Fear of not being believed” when they were children alienates and “isolates” them from family and friends often along with “rejection from other family members.”
“Lack of Trust” becomes even more pervasive when the perpetrator was a family member.
“Depression” can then become a common illness with anyone who has been in this situation.
I have successfully worked with many clients who have been victims of abuse. Using hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NLP with knowledge and understanding can help achieve enormously important change.
I always work in a way that is symapathetic and mindful of my clients’ feelings and also in ways that can achieve the best results with the absolute minimum of distress. In fact it is often not even necessary to discuss or reveal any difficult detail at all to help clear past experiences. Having to go through the distressing details is probably one of the major worries that keeps many people from seeking help through therapy but for a skilled practitioner it is not necessary to do so to achieve powerful results. In my experience the old techniques of talking through the trauma in detail and almost reliving it are out of place and uneccesary.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with these issues I will be very happy to diiscuss how I help my clients achieve remarkable changes in their lives. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970218451 for a confidential chat.
I have been seeing more and more clients for weight loss in the past few months and in many cases I get good results in one or two sessions. If one is eating too many calories through old messages such as “clean your plate” or “there are starving people out there” it is usually fairly simple to change these types of patterns in our thinking.
However, as I mention on my website, eating disorders, whether bingeing, overeating, or anorexic behaviours generally have little to do with food and all to do with a desperate need to numb one’s emotions. The frightening emotions that are buried in the psyche may be just too painful to bring to consciousness so there needs to be some way of avoiding having to think about them. A part of you will then look for a behaviour that helps keep these feelings at bay. Clients can often feel worried that hypnosis will “make” them open up with all sorts of information that they are either not aware of or would rather keep to themselves. But our unconscious mind is there to protect us and is programmed to keep this sort of information safely where it is until we are mentally and emotionally ready to deal with it. What is more, an experienced therapist will only move at the rate a client feels safe and comfortable with.
Letting go of these unresolved feelings is so often key to reprogramming our relationship with food but there are many techniques at the therapist’s disposal that will allow this to be done in a safe and comfortable way, allowing the client to move at their own speed and within their own comfort zone.
If you find yourself forever “yoyo” dieting, repeating the same destructive patterns or eating to make yourself “feel better” then finding out how you can really resolve the issues behind the actions will most likely be the key to turning your life around.