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.

How Hypnosis can help with Fear of Flying

Hypnosis and Fear

Hypnosis and Fear of Flying

Although I am someone who doesn’t experience a fear of flying I know how it feels because I certainly used to experience it.

At the time I was a professional violinist. Touring obviously entailed regular flights which was pretty tiring for the nervous system. However as my career change developed I found using hypnosis on myself was beginning to positively affect my nervous system and I was becoming less and less worried about flying. (And a lot of other things!)

Whether we have a feeling of being trapped, or if it is related to past flying experience or even things we have seen on the TV we will be experiencing the same feelings of fear, helpessness, panic and dread on the flight.

Of course rationally we know that flying is probably one of the safest modes of transport available but that won’t cut it with our logical mind because our thoughts will already have been hijacked by our sympathetic “fight and flight” nervous system. In a nutshell, the primal part of our brain is telling us “I am not safe” and that message is so strong that it is overriding all other thoughts. The body is then flooded with cortisol and adrenaline –  game over! This cocktail of chemicals would be very valuable if we were being chased by a lion but not when we are sitting on a plane.

So if we can’t tell our brain to turn off this way of thinking which part of the mind can we communicate with to help get out of this loop?

Hypnosis engages the creative side of the brain plus the relaxation “parasympathetic” response helping the mind and body to respond in a much more relaxed manner than previously.

Hypnosis, NLP, EFT and toning of the Vagus Nerve help make changes that can have a dramatic affect on one’s life and feelings of well being. And these are all techniques that will not only help positively impact on your flying experiences but also on many other areas in your life.

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.

Panic Attacks and Hypnosis

Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks can be one of the most frightening experiences one can have and can appear, as it were, out of nowhere. To suddenly become aware of your heart beating faster, a loss of control and feeling disconnected from your surroundings is a very uncomfortable experience. Plus, once we have had one panic attack our body and brain remembers it and this can set up a loop whereby the brain stem continues to be alert and on the lookout for anything that might trigger a panic attack again. Unfortunately that only compounds the problem and we can become more liable to having them on a regular basis.

This experience is a message from our primal brain saying it does not, for whatever reason feel safe. Once the primal brain is activated like this it is very hard to switch off because it is in effect four times stronger than our frontal “thinking” cortex at getting it’s message across to the body.

Basically the frontal cortex, which can think logically for us, resides in the front of the skull and the primal primitive brain at the back of the skull. So once a panic attack begins generally no amount of logical thinking will turn it off and we just have to go through the experience until the body runs out of adrenaline and we can begin to calm down.

However there is a lot we can do ourselves to bring those feelings into check and manage them until they become fewer and fewer in our lives. Using hypnosis is a perfect tool to help calm the nervous system and regain control of the uncomfortable physical and emotional feelings. Also there are breathing strategies available that will help us to breath in a way that relaxes rather then excites the nervous system. Also subtle trance based ways of thinking can help us turn this around.

The beauty of using trance based techniques such as hypnotherapy is that not only does it make it easier to slip into a comfortable state of relaxation but also the trance state helps us bypass the conscious mind and generate change on a deeper unconscious level.

Stay calm

If you would like to know more about hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP and other ways of engaging your creative mind for relaxation and change do feel free to contact me and I will be very happy to help.

Always seek medical advice when appropriate.

Does anxiety take the pleasure out of your life and how Hypnotherapy can help.

Anxiety

You can make powerful and lasting change with Hypnotherapy, NLP and EFT

Anyone who suffers or has suffered from anxiety knows the feeling that tells you that you are the only person experiencing it. Obviously our logical mind knows that it cannot be true but the problem is that our primal brain will generally respond to a non life threatening experience and a life threatening experience with pretty much the same intensity either way.

So here is the point, although we cognitively know that the situation we are experiencing is not a matter of life and death it is very difficult, if not impossible, to ‘think our way out of it’. We can tell ourselves all we like “not to worry”, “I’ll be fine” etc, but the primal brain easily wins the contest. If we could turn it round with our thinking we would not need hypnotherapy, NLP, psychotherapy, counselling or any other therapy to help change these  embedded thinking patterns. Wouldn’t it be easy if we could just tell ourselves that it wasn’t so and everything would be sorted?

However we know it is not as simple as that. So how would you like to turn your thinking round and clear any intrusive thinking that has been preventing you from enjoying your life as much as you would like?

I am a hypnotherapist, NLP and EFT (Emotional FreedomTechnique) practitioner so obviously these are my chosen modalities to help clients make change. In fact I strongly believe that the royal road to healthy change is first and foremost to engage the creative unconscious mind in helping make the change. Your creative mind only needs to go into a light eyes open trance to help you open up a hidden treasure trove of creative tools and knowledge. This can help you engage more of the feelings and experiences you want and fewer and fewer of the ones you don’t want.

If you would like to achieve real and empowering change in your present and your future, now is the time to help yourself. Discover how an experienced professional can give you the tools to help rapidly and effectively turn this thinking around.

My message to clients “This is serious work, have some fun doing it!”

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.

Have you pressed your “Like” button today?

Now this could be my shortest post yet and it could also be the shortest and simplest way to helping you on your way to finding much more pleasure in your life.

Question. How much time do you spend on Facebook? (Just skip this if you’re not on Facebook, it won’t matter!) How often do you “like” someone’s post? How often do you receive a message saying someone “Likes” your post. How does that make you feel?

Now if you want to create more pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction in your life start to notice today, starting right now any small pleasurable experience however seemingly insignificant, any satisfying achievement that happens and just press your own internal “Like” button. This simple thought process will send a subtle but powerful surge of Alpha (dreamy) waves through your brain and you just rewired your brain right?

As a hypnotherapist and mind coach, clients come to see me to help them change their experience of the world they are in. How can we do that?

A/ By letting go of past issues that are keeping us stuck where we are.

B/ By reorganising our thinking patterns which in turn rewires our brain.

Do this on a daily basis and see what happens. Start right now.

Press your own “LIKE” button.

(And press it twice if you liked this post!)

Hypnosis helps to calm stress and anxiety

Stress and Anxiety

Stress

I am getting more and more enquiries about help for stress related issues. Some will be about stress at work, some stress in relationships and many just a feeling of being generally overwhelmed with nothing the client can put a finger on.

To cope effectively with pressure, motivation and excitement in our lives and to get things done, perform at work and deal with everyday issues effectively we need the mind and body to be able to “wind up” to a certain level that will give us the energy to do the things that need doing. However, the problem is being able to let go of the excess tension at the appropriate moments, to be able to calm the body and mind so that we do not get locked in an internal “flight or flight” loop that seems impossible to get out of.

Ideally we should be able to move reasonably easily from a state of medium or even high internal tension to a more relaxed state of being since there is nothing inherently wrong with the state of stress in itself. In fact it is an indication that our body is doing all the right things, it just means that it is not doing “all the right things in the right order” and that is when we get stuck in a primal part of the brain that is only designed to “save” us but does not have the tools to make rational and organised decisions. Hence, we feel as if we are out of control.

Feeling out of control is an extremely uncomfortable feeling and if we have no tools or strategies to help us regain some feeling of being in control then we will be left feeling helpless and hopeless. This then leads to a series of physical, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive symptoms to which there seems no way out. (Always first consult your GP in any case.) So what is the answer to this problem and what techniques can help?

It can also be useful to use more than one technique that will support and help a client achieve the best results. There are many therapies such as acupuncture, CBT, counselling and massage out there that will help with stress but in my opinion for stress and anxiety issues Hypnotherapy is one of the most simple, safe and effective ways to help rapidly calm and heal the mind and body. (If you would like to sample a free hypnosis experience there is a download at the top of the home page of my website.) Meditation, mindfulness and yoga are very popular now and any one or combination of these other techniques with the right professional practitioner will help alleviate the symptoms of stress. Sometimes it can be beneficial to use a variety of techniques to help strengthen the parasympathetic (relaxation part) nervous system and achieve a more dynamic balance over the whole system.

We will all come up against many times of stress during our lives and they may be big or small instances but learning how to deal with them is the key.

If you would like any more information on how I am helping clients deal with stress and anxiety and how Hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique and my own simple and powerful strategies designed to help turn your thinking around on a daily basis please call or email and I will be happy to help.

Are you talking “Absolute Turnip”?

Have you thought about changing your thoughts?

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.