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.
If you haven’t experienced hypnotherapy before it can be a little daunting wondering what will happen and how you will feel when in hypnosis. Most of us have seen stage shows and hypnotists on television so understandably one may feel a little wary. However hypnosis could be one of the most relaxing experiences you have had but unfortunately the thoughts of “will I cluck like a chicken or tell all my darkest secrets” can make us somewhat guarded at that first appointment.
Now, a professional hypnotherapist would not make any of their clients cluck like a chicken and you certainly will not be telling anybody anything that you would rather keep to yourself.
However these worries can set up an unconscious resistance before we even cross the threshold so it is best to be aware of these thoughts to help allow yourself to participate as comfortably as you like in the session.
First, remember that the therapist is there to help you and has your best interests at heart. One of the strengths that Milton Erickson, the founder of modern hypnosis had, along with his remarkable skills was his ability to unconsciously convey to his clients how much he cared that they achieve the very best results.
Consciously knowing this means that there will be no need to “do battle” with the hypnotherapist. Just think how much more relaxed will you feel and how much easier it will be when both of you are working together. Those who arrive with arms folded and a “well fix me then” look on their face will take up valuable time in their session when they could be making valuable changes instead.
One reason for this resistance is that our logical thinking mind may not want us to do this work since our logical mind may not want to hand over control to the creative mind. (Yes you can relax, it will still be your mind not the hypnotherapists’!) What the logical mind can find hard to grasp at times is that accessing the power of our creative mind will help free our logical mind thereby encouraging the whole brain to work more harmoniously. The vast majority of clients are very easy to work with and if there is any discomfort then as professionals it is our job to help put the client at ease so they will leave the session happier and more relaxed than when they came so helping them achieve their best results.
So all you have to do is bring along the belief that you will be exploring wonderful and powerful ways to help let go of the issues you will be working on plus three experiences that will help you get the best possible results –
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 email@example.com and I will be happy to discuss any aspect of this or any other issue with you.
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.