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.
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 –
Andy Murray competing in the 2016 French Open tennis quarter finals was heard to shout “Absolute Turnip” to himself as he fought to break the serve of big hitter John Isner. Apparently this is a phrase he has been using for a few years now, presumably for shots that were not his best and it certainly worked on this occasion.
However, how often during the day do we talk to ourselves and are we really listening to what we say to ourselves carefully? Pretty much everything we say to ourselves will have some unconscious effect on our perception of ourselves and our skills. It may not be enough for us to notice any immediate difference but the “drip, drip” effect of this self talk can easily make a big difference to our confidence and self esteem over time.
Now we may find it amusing to call ourselves or our tennis game “absolute turnip” but remember that your unconscious mind is listening to everything you say and may not be translating it the way you expect.
Have you ever told a child “now don’t drop those plates”? Seems to be very good advice and a very good suggestion. But what message does the unsuspecting youngster hear first? Drop the plates!! Why, because the brain will first do a quick rehearsal of “drop the plates” before adding in “don’t”. Too late! The plates are on the floor and broken before the conscious mind has a chance to save the situation.
There is a very good book “Your body believes every word you say” and if we think about it for a moment we cannot have an emotional feeling without a physical reaction any more than we can experience something physical without some sort sort of emotional experience. Plus, our mind is constantly making decisions for us before we know we have even thought of them. This is a very useful thing since this leaves the prefrontal cortex free to make our executive decisions and operate hopefully with our best interests in mind, while we carry on doing our everyday tasks like walking downstairs or washing up.
So it’s well worth paying a little more attention to your “self talk” bearing in mind that there are lots of different parts of you listening to what you say and interpreting that information perhaps not in the way you expect. Maybe saying our tennis is “absolute turnip” is no big deal but saying derogatory statements about ourselves and our skills certainly is. We all deserve better so make sure you do a bit of weeding around that unconscious vegetable patch and grow some more positive thoughts. It really will make a difference.
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.
On January 14th this year 2014 Eric Lawson, an actor who appeared in the Marlboro Man advertisements, died of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) age 72. He was one of various professional actors and actual cowboys who were hired to depict the all American healthy, tough and rugged male smoker of Marlboro cigarettes through the 50’s into at least the 90’s and beyond in one or two countries.
The Marlboro Man adverts were brought about in 1949 to help reposition the brand as a cigarette that men as well as women could smoke. The Marlboro brand had, since it’s introduction in 1924 been marketed as a cigarette for women but by the late 40’s as the dangers of smoking became more apparent it was thought (mistakenly) that a filter offered some protection against the toxic dangers of smoking tobacco. While other manufacturers were busy promoting the supposed health benefits of filter cigarettes Philip Morris used the ingenious marketing ploy of making the whole idea of smoking their brand masculine and depicting freedom. By using the image of the healthy outdoor life coupled with the iconic masculine image of the cowboy the Marlboro brand began to appeal to men and from 1955 to 1957 sales rocketed achieving a staggering 300% increase.
It is interesting to see a clip of one of these original adverts (youtube). Notice how the ad hooks the viewers unconscious attention from curiosity to confusion, through frustration and then to resolution. This advertising trick is designed to hook us in and then rely on our natural unconscious need for resolution. Having been drawn through curiosity, confusion and frustration unconsciously we are looking for resolution and here everything we are being sold along with the promised experience (freedom, masculinity, the great outdoors and nature) is linked at the end to what is being sold – cigarettes. Very clever when we realise that freedom, masculinity, the great outdoors and nature has anything to do with smoking a cigarette! (Cigarette advertising has been banned in the UK since 1970 and is also banned or restricted in many other countries)
I have been using hypnosis for the last twenty years to successfully help hundreds of clients quit smoking. Now that we are all so much more aware of the dangers of smoking and smokers are hit with the ever increasing price of a pack there is really nothing left to imagine can commend them. If you are ready right now to stop smoking just call or email me and I will be happy to help you kick this unpleasant and dangerous habit. It may have looked attractive all those years ago in the adverts but there is nothing attractive about the dangers to one’s health that we are now so much more aware of. I aim to help everyone I see to quit in one session.
Many see the unfortunate deaths of some of the “Marlboro Men” from smoking related disease as an apt irony to the way cigarettes and smoking has been depicted in the past. Now we are all a lot wiser about the dangers of smoking than we ever were and have much more knowledge and information available to help us make our own informed decisions.
If you are ready to make that decision I look forward to hearing from 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.
Most of the clients who come to see me for hypnotherapy to stop smoking have at various times in their lives attempted to stop without success or have in fact stopped for a period of time but started again after a few months and sometimes even years later. They invariably report that as non smokers they felt healthier, fitter and did not miss smoking at all. But that is until a voice in their head said “one won’t hurt” or “just this once to help calm me down.
I am sure we all recognise this scenario from personal experience or from someone we know who has fallen into this trap. What we don’t know is that this trap has most likely been set the moment we gave up! In fact when we stopped we actually hypnotised ourselves unconsciously to give ourselves permission to start at a later date. So how did this happen and how can we avoid it?
First I will ask you a question. How often do you talk to yourself? “Most of the time I think” is the standard answer that we would probably give. When we talk to ourselves we are using what sounds like our own voice. Now think of it this way, there are occasions when this inner voice sounds like someone else’s voice. For instance if we are internally mimicking what someone else has said to us.
So who’s voice is this? It’s your old smoking voice, the one that used to say “I’m getting a bit low I’ll just go out and get another pack to make sure I have enough.” It’s the voice that said “I’m feeling really stressed I must have a cigarettes.” Remember? It was telling you what to do all the time and just popped back up when you were least expecting it. When we stop smoking there is often a minefield of excuses left behind waiting to trip us up at at any moment we are not paying attention.
In a session will suggest to my clients that they never listen to that voice again and now they are aware of it,how it works and what it does they will be able to deal with it. So if you are about to quit or are already well into your new life as a non smoker make sure you are prepared for that old smoking voice if it tries to hijack all your good work in the future.
Some people may think that being hypnotised means that they have no control and someone is going to tell them what to do. The only thing a hypnotherapist will suggest to a client is what the client really wants to do and experience (as long it is for their own good) and that will always be prearranged between both parties. But isn’t it interesting how we are doing so many things on a daily basis without conscious awareness? Yes, we are very good at putting ourselves into trance without even knowing it.
If you would like to stop smoking with the help of hypnosis and the power of your own mind please call me on 07970218451 or you can email to either book an appointment or for more information.
There is an interesting recent article from Stanford School of Medicine relating to research into smoking and it’s effects on patients who are in mental health care. Contrary to the long held assumptions that smoking can help some psychiatric patients with their recovery new research comes to the conclusion that this is not necessarily a valid assumption.
The article Psychiatric patients given smoking-cessation treatment less likely to be rehospitalized, scientist finds is worth reading and some of the points it raises show very much the thinking going on in every smoker’s minds before they quit.
Did you know that smoking just two cigarettes a day can still leave you in danger from smoking related illness? Research by The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found that there was still calculable risk from casual smoking even at two cigarettes a day. And apparently living with a smoker can leave a non smoker vulnerable to inhaling up to a third of the smoker’s smoke! smoker’s smoke!
When working with clients who are ready to quit smoking for good, the easiest thing about stopping is that unlike food, if one is trying to lose weight, there is no to ever smoke a cigarette again. This in effect makes it a simple change to make. We all have to eat but none of us has to smoke.
So there really is no need to hang on to those one or two “now and again” cigarettes. They are still harmful and stopping completely helps the ex smoker let go of a lot of unconscious guilt and anxiety around cigarettes.
Another important psychological change is that once we stop doing something it tends to become less and less present in our conscious mind. If you don’t like a certain food you probably won’t even notice it when out shopping because it simply is no longer in your awareness. The same with cigarettes. Once we don’t “do them” any more we begin not to notice them.
Roger successfully helps clients to Stop Smoking. If you would like more information just call 0141 571 1138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
When you are ready to stop smoking an important part of the process is to make a plan. Making a plan and writing it down will greatly enhance your chances of success. If you intend to cut down gradually mark the numbers you decide on in your diary and tick each success off. To stop smoking completely and immediately mark down the day you made or are going to make that decision so that it becomes registered in your mind. Some people like to tell friends and family to help focus on taking responsibility for getting a result and others just like to quietly go about it with no fuss or peer pressure. It is your choice and the clearer in your mind the steps you take the easier you will find it to get your result.
Planning will make it a lot easier and will help keep you focused. If you would like more help to quit smoking using hypnosis then call me on 07970 218451 or email email@example.com and I will be happy to help you kick the habit.
“Smoking kills” has been a familiar sight on cigarette packets. Yes, Smoking kills five times more people than road accidents, overdoses, murder,suicide and HIV put together. (i newspaper 30/08/11)
Something to think about?