Why might we have “burgers for brains!” ?

Eating burgers for your brain is no better than eating burgers for your body.

Burgers for brains? What on earth am I talking about? Well probably most of us are guilty of doing exactly that with our choice of words. And whoops, I’ve just done exactly that in the previous sentence by using the word guilty. Oh dear, there I go again! Burgers for brain

Yes the word is GUILTY ! Everything we say about ourselves and others is being monitored by our brain and nervous system.

The title of the excellent book “Your body believes every word you say” by Barbara Levine describes it perfectly. Our bodies and brains are constantly exchanging messages to alert and signal to our body chemistry to take the appropriate action for a positive message or a negative message.

This is a primal response that is hard wired into the system to keep us safe when we’re in the jungle. If there is even a subtle scent of danger in the air my body will need to respond immediately to escape.

So what is going on that triggers the body into this negative state?

One thing is that the three vertebrae at the top of your spine, C1 C2 C3, are sitting one on top of the other. In a dangerous situation, and also with negative thoughts these 3 vertebrae will instantly respond by shifting slightly to close off some of the blood flow to the brain. Well it makes sense because if I’m confronted by a tiger I don’t want to think, I want to run! The “Fight or Flight” response is immediately activated and the muscles get more blood and my body gets more adrenaline and cortisol.

Unfortunately fed constant negativity, whether from outside sources or from our own internal thinking begins will over time lock us into a negative state. Then the vertebrae will find it difficult to move back to their parasympathetic relaxation resting place because we are continually triggering them into “fight and flight”. This is extremely wearing for our whole body and mind system.

The other point is that we can get dopamine hits from negativity as well as positivity. Imagine if we are constantly “liking” comments on Facebook because we agree with someone’s negative point of view. Then we become addicted to “unearned dopamine”. This negative dopamine makes us feel “one up” but like any drug we will always want another hit.

Dopamine is great when we earn it by achieving something worthwhile and working towards a goal. But just like being addicted to drugs, cigarettes and anything else, we can soon become that “rat in the lab” pressing the lever to get the next hit.

Gossip, arguing, negative self talk, negative words are all keeping us locked in that lab as our own actions try to get our next hit.

Physically feeding our bodies with burgers all day doesn’t keep us fit and mentally feeding our mind and body with negative thoughts has the same effect on our whole system.

Here are a couple of simple strategies we can put in place to help “clean up our act”
One I regularly give clients is the phrase “That thought is not available”. Any negative thought and you just say that back to yourself as many times as you need.

This works because the conscious mind doesn’t understand what it means but the creative mind does. Soon the conscious mind will get tired of trying to work it out and then your creative mind can do what it does best, create positive alternatives. Even saying to yourself “the weather is crazy out there” is much better than “it’s really miserable outside”

You could also use the elastic band on wrist favourite, and give yourself a quick reminder by flicking it against your skin any time you think something negatively.

Even better swap the band to the opposite wrist each time you have a negative thought. I can tell you from experience this becomes pretty tedious and it’s easier to just drop the negative words! We won’t clear them all out but your brain will soon begin to get what this is all about and you will literally start thinking, saying and using more new positive patterns in your everyday language.

Have Fun cleaning up your selftalk vocabulary.
For information about my online and one to one work
www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk rogerfoxwell.therapy@gmail.com

Hypnosis for Anger

Hypnosis for anger

Can hypnotherapy help someone with anger issues?

Hypnosis is an ideal tool for helping clients with anger issues. Although anger is a natural human emotion if it gets out of control it can have severe and devastating effects on our health, relationships, self esteem and even our employment prospects.

Once the rush of brain chemicals takes over and the “red mist” descends it can be impossible to step back and take stock of a situation in any reasonable manner.

However if we can find strategies and techniques to help guide our body and mind back to more balanced feelings then it is possible to dissipate these negative feelings. This will then help lead us away from situations that at best could be very uncomfortable and at worst cause us a lot more trouble than we could imagine.

Using hypnosis to learn how to interrupt those old patterns will really help you control those negative emotions and save you from spinning out of control.

The PROBLEM with Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

The problem with Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Is there a problem with hypnosis and hypnotherapy? Not at all, as long as it is done ethically.

The problem in our mind comes when we muddle hypnotherapy up with what we see on television and with stage hypnosis. A short clip of someone resolving an issue on television or YouTube is just that. It’s short, and it is a only a clip. So we are not privy to the actual work done backstage and the time and the techniques used to elicit trance.

Hypnosis is a remarkable tool that gives a skilled hypnotherapist the opportunity to help clients make rapid and lasting change. However there are many other tools a hypnotherapist must have if they want to work with the wide range of issues that clients bring to their office.

Another factor equally important is the client. The client is not just someone who is going to be told what to do and how to feel. Like anything we learn in life it involves the active participation of both therapist and client. To get the most from a hypnotherapy session we must be willing and ready to engage in the process.

Watching from the comfort of our armchair as a hypnotist taps a line of participants on the shoulder and says “sleep” can be very entertaining as one by one heads nod forward and they are put into trance. But this is stage hypnosis not hypnotherapy and only about 1 in 10 people are able to reach that state as rapidly as we see on stage. Even on stage as a third of the audience run forward to be “hypnotised” most will be sent back to their seats. A skilled hypnotist knows instantly the ones who will naturally and rapidly respond to their commands.

However virtually anyone can go into trance. In fact it would be difficult to operate in our daily life if we couldn’t. We are all experiencing different trances throughout the day. Driving, socialising, watching TV are all forms of trance that help us enter and engage appropriately with each experience we are in at any given moment.

Hypnotherapy is a two lane highway where client and therapist work alongside each other to help achieve the client’s goals. This work is a process of connecting new empowering and positive neural pathways just like learning any skills. We practise any skill not just with our muscles but with our mind.

Your mind, given the right keys to release the changes you are looking for, already has that knowledge and it is available to you now.

Addiction – Is there a hypnotic loop that drives us?

Addction

Addiction and Dopamine

Addiction can be one of the hardest things in our lives to turn round. We may be able to rapidly “switch off” a phobia using hypnosis. And we may be surprised how quickly and effectively it is possible to release ourselves from anxiety and stress once we have the right tools to do so.

So why do addictions often take more time to resolve?

One reason is the complex neural and mental programmes working beneath our awareness and continuing to drive us however hard we try to resist.

We all live with addiction of some sort. Food, TV, Facebook, Video games, Alcohol etc. These are not bad habits as long they are under a certain amount of control. But when they are accompanied by negative changes in our daily life then it really is time to address them.

Do you recognise a warm relaxing feeling of pleasure and reward that your addiction gives you?

That feeling is the brain chemical dopamine and it plays a large part in the reason we get addicted. Addiction will follow the easy way to get dopamine hits. A dopamine hit that we have to earn is not as attractive as a dopamine hit we can get instantly. And soon we are locked into a cycle that takes over the brain and literally starts rewiring it!

Think this dopamine model doesn’t apply to you?

To change an addictive behaviour it is important to recognise what is happening on an unconscious level and bring it to a conscious level. For instance I just walked away from my computer to take some washing out of the machine. Nothing abnormal about that but…I then realised that emptying the machine gave me a little more dopamine reward than writing this post. When I have finished this post I will get a feeling of satisfaction and reward. But I will have to wait for that reward until I have finished.

Emptying the washing machine gives me feeling of satisfaction and reward that I can get NOW! And the point is that it is fractionally more than I get from relentlessly typing on the computer keyboard!

Just start to notice these subtle triggers in your daily life

Now is the time to start controlling any destructive habits. Hypnosis, NLP, EFT and EMDR are powerful tools to help you kick the old habits.  As you start to recognise these subtle triggers you may be very surprised at what is happening.

Knowledge is the first key to achieving change. The second is having the tools to make the change. A good professional therapist will have the tools and knowledge to help guide and support you all the way.

Roger Foxwell MBSCH Dhyp DHP

Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP, EMDR

Life Coaching and Hypnotherapy

Therapist

Is a Therapist a Life Coach and is a Life Coach a Therapist?

Well yes and no.

A Therapist will need therapy credentials to be able to set up their practice and a Life Coach will presumably have been through certain training before setting up their practice.

The more I have developed my Hypnotherapy practice and brought in various other trance based modalities the more I realise how much EVERYTHING COUNTS. For instance if I am working with a business client who feels nervous giving a presentation then one of the many things I need to offer that client are tools to manage their anxiety otherwise all their valuable work could be overwhelmed by their fear of public speaking. On the other hand if I am a Life Coach helping a business client feel comfortable in these situations they also will require to offer, for example voice projection and presentation tools. And so here we begin to see that success for the client is supported by both the coaching aspect and the therapy aspect of their treatment.

When I continued to bring in more techniques and tools that covered more eventualities the results began to speak for themselves.

So I found myself joining tools for life coaching and tools for therapy together. As they say, “you only get one chance to make a good impression” whether it is interviewing for a job or speaking to a few hundred people in a packed auditorium. To grasp that opportunity how much better to have a powerful selection of tools, coaching and therapy, that cover as many eventualities as possible.

Some people are looking for coaching to help them and some are looking for therapy to help them. Yet Hypnosis, Life Coaching and Therapy can begin to easily and fluidly become one and the same thing. Trance is a state of Hypnosis and Life Coaching is a form of therapy. Hypnosis is a state of trance and therapy is a form of Life Coaching.

Everything overlaps and extending one’s skills in overlapping areas will help give clients more information and power to develop the changes they are looking for.

Some people will be looking for a Life Coach and some for a Hypnotherapist but where does one end and the other begin. The titles may be different but the real differences are more likely to be in the personalities and specialties of each practitioner.

So the best advice is first look for recommendations you can trust. Engage your intuition to help you get the best match for you and your issue whether a Therapist, Hypnotherapist or Life Coach.

Or perhaps you would like all three?

So you think you know what Hypnosis is?

 

Or do you?

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.

It does, doesn’t it?

Hypnosis, Trance, and the Vagus Nerve

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

Anxiety

Digestion

Blood pressure

Memory

Reducing inflammation

Panic attacks

Stress

Voice issues

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?

  1. Humming, Singing

  2. Heart Rate Variability breathing – High Coherence Breathing. (Heart Math)

  3. Simple crossing the Mid line Exercises eg BrainGym

  4. Gargling – anything that stimulates your vocal cords is good.

  5. Meditation – Loving kindness meditation

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Help Relieve past trauma with Hypnosis, EFT and EMDR

Help Relieve past trauma

 Hypnosis, EFT and EMDR can help relieve PTSD 

The problem for clients wishing to relieve (without reliving!) and let go of past trauma in therapy is that it can feel very uncomfortable to speak about something that has left a deep and uncomfortable impression on one’s life. Also the thought of unburdening deep and painful experiences to a stranger can mean that one to one therapy may be impossible to even contemplate.

However using a mix of Hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing I have put together a way of letting the unconscious mind do the work of putting space between oneself and the past without even having to consciously think or talk about it.

This may seem a little strange. However, how long would it take us to cover every aspect and every one of our past traumas in talking therapy? And how would we know if we have covered them all? And what about the ones we don’t remember plus the ones passed on genetically from our parents and their parents?

As a hypnotherapist if people wish to talk about past experiences that is fine but not everybody does. In fact I regularly work with clients who would prefer not to talk through the past and it is amazing the changes that can occur as their unconscious quietly goes about the task of reprocessing this information and releasing it with virtually no emotional involvement. In fact it is not unusual for me to know very little, if anything about the personal depth of the issues we are working on.

Therapy is always moving forward and just as the days of the hypnotist’s swinging watch and chain are gone so there are new and extremely effective ways of dealing with many, many issues.

For more information about this or any other issues just call or email and I will be happy to help.

Always seek appropriate medical advice.

Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT Tapping

EFT (Tapping) helps former Apprentice star

 

As complimentary therapies become more popular so techniques like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) become more well known. Although there are still a number of my clients who have not heard about it when they first come they are very soon won over by it’s simplicity and effectiveness. Once they understand how to use it and how useful it is it soon becomes a daily practice in their lives.

Here in this article former Apprentice star Jessica Cunningham explains how EFT played a large part in helping her control her health anxiety.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5634123/Former-Apprentice-star-Jessica-Cunningham-reveals-suffers-hypochondria.html

EFT, or “tapping” for short, is a technique developed in America by engineer Gary Craig and works by gently tapping on acupressure points around the body. As an acupuncturist would apply needles to these points so, just by gently tapping on them with one’s fingers one can get amazing relief from many issues physical and emotional that can be resistant to other forms of treatment. It also works very well alongside many other treatments such as hypnosis and can even help boost the effectiveness of such treatments. One of the biggest bonuses of EFT is that clients can learn it themselves and continue to safely use it when they are at home.

As you will read in the article Jessica was using it for Health Anxiety issues which is a not at all uncommon and I regularly find it extremely effective helping clients overcome panic attacks, anxiety, stress, depression and performance issues. In fact it really can be of benefit with virtually all of the issues that clients bring to my office.

If you would like help for any of the above problems or other issues in your life and would also like a tool that you can take with you and use yourself, find a good EFT practitioner and they will be able to help you by using it in the therapy room and also showing you how you can take it away and use it yourself to great effect.

Three things to bring with you to a hypnotherapy session

Therapy Session

And get the best results when working with your hypnotherapist

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 –

Focus, relaxation and imagination.