Why it’s hard to lose weight only using will power and what you can do about it

Weight Loss

Hypnosis – Emotional Freedom Technique – NLP

It takes a lot of energy and continued vigilance to use the conscious mind to help with weight loss, and the chances for long term success are, as we all know, not good. Dieting is notorious for being able to achieve short term results but not necessarily so good for the long term. Counting calories is difficult and it is hard work to keep the momentum going.

Although making any worthwhile change is likely to need some will power finding the most efficient and successful option is especially important for weight control.

Hypnosis is a favourite way to change old habits and replace them with new healthy ones. However we have to know how to engage the brain chemicals we want and disengage the ones we don’t want.

Sounds complicated but with the right information it can be done. Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins and Oxytocin are all “feel good chemicals” being constantly triggered in the body. We just aren’t always consciously aware when they are operating and how to make them work to our advantage.

Dopamine gives us a “feel good” hit. But what we don’t always have is a buffer to first check if this is a healthy dopamine fix or just a short term gain? The question we must ask is am I going to enjoy that hit in a healthy way or am I just fuelling an addiction? Our brains are wired to look for dopamine hits but our brains are not always listening to our cognitive thinking process. We need to be able to weigh up whether something is healthy for us or not and be able to act on that information.

By eating that chocolate or doughnut when we feel sad, disappointed or bored we have been getting our shot of dopamine. But that is a fake hit that literally will continually need feeding. And unfortunately it will be followed by regret and an unpleasant shot of cortisol that tells us we have failed again.

The key is knowing how to recognise these “feel good chemicals” (feelings) and be able to respond appropriately by using them to our advantage. If we can do this then we will start to have some control over our unconscious thinking processes and achieve much better results.

Hypnosis, EFT and NLP are great tools to help us engage in this sort of work. They help our mind and body coordinate and connect so we can make powerful unconscious changes. This does not mean that we just close our eyes and it all happens. An important part of exploring these good feelings is our own engagement in the process.

So knowing how to engage your happy chemicals you will be able to engage your will power. This will really help you achieve the results you have been looking for. Knowing how to use these brain chemicals in the best way for your personal health and satisfaction will help you make more of the healthy choices you deserve.

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

 

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 specialities 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?

HYPNOSIS and what really happens in a hypnotherapy session

So you’ve been watching videos and television clips of hypnotists at work and with a command to “SLEEP” or a tug of the arm the person in front of them flops down on the couch, becomes totally rooted to the spot or they completely forget their name.

Amazing, you think to yourself. If I go see a hypnotherapist I could have my smoking habit, my anxiety and my phobia sorted by lunchtime and I will be a new person!

Does it really happen like this?

Well yes and no.

Yes, I have clients who after we have been working in a session for a while who, for a few moments, can’t remember what their issue was. However this means the issue is now not in the forefront of their mind so we are making good progress. Or some who are already drifting into a trance as we continue talking. I may at that part of the session have to reorient them “back into the room” since that may not be the best moment for that particular state to engage. Or later, after doing a deep body relax they quite probably feel so comfortable that they might not want to open their eyes. I will then suggest they take their time “as they come back into the room.”

What is happening? We will be engaging certain states of mind that will have been appropriately introduced depending on what we are working on. Sometimes a client may only be in “eyes closed” for few moments during a full session. But we will be choosing the trance just as you unconsciously are choosing your own trance as you read this post or when you drive your car.

I remember a client telling me he didn’t think he had been hypnotised so I asked him “and what did I say?” Looking a bit perplexed he said “I don’t know”.

Hypnosis or trance is happening all the time within us. Even the organising of the words in this post are designed to attract the attention in a way that helps draw you and your imagination into the story. To facilitate change we must harness the creative and cognitive parts of our mind to work together. This skill will help us achieve the changes and goals in life we are looking for.

The job of the hypnotherapist is to give clients the tools that they can use to enable them to engage their own inner knowledge and “arrange their own story” in the very best way they can for the future.

And, by the way, enjoy the process at the same time.

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.

Three things to bring with you to a hypnotherapy 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.

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.

Mental Health, let’s talk about it!

Talk about mental health with Time to Talk

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 

Time to Change Wales