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.

How Hypnosis can help with Fear of Flying

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

 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.

Eating disorders, Hypnosis. EFT and NLP

Hypnosis eating disorders

What is an eating disorder and can Hypnotherapy help?

The words eating disorder tend to automatically direct our attention to anorexia and bulimia. However eating disorder can cover any eating habits that are “disordered and not under control”. Eating too much involves a disorder of our relationship with food as does eating too little or eating unhealthily.

When we are ready to lose weight, or change unhealthy eating habits, it is one thing to “go on a diet” but is this going to be an eating plan that we will be able to stick to for the rest of our lives? Diets can be transitory but having the tools, strength and beliefs to make and keep the changes are all important to support us into the future.

Hypnosis, EFT, and NLP are very powerful ways that can help make important and valuable changes in many areas of our lives. Engaging the creative unconscious means we can communicate with and change our internal language and habits. Just one of the strengths in these tools is that they can be used in our everyday life to continue making healthy change on a daily basis.

Hypnosis will help engage the unconscious creative mind to remove the negative trance that we have been “feeding” ourselves all this time. Telling ourselves to stop an ingrained habit is very hard since that requires us to override our conscious mind which is being “fed” by our unconscious mind. Our conscious cognitive thinking mind usually knows what we would like to do but the creative unconscious is the part of us that holds the keys to actually making the change.When a long standing habit has been hard wired into the brain we need to find the best ways to reprogramme it. To help change one’s “disordered eating” we need not only the tools and Hypnosis, NLP or Emotional Freedom Technique are great ways to start to help change our old patterns, but also to find the resilience and patience to keep working on it.

Finding an experienced and qualified professional hypnotherapist could well help open the doors to letting go of old habits.

Panic Attacks and Hypnosis

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.

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) 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.

Men, controlled by your eating?

Eating disorders

A recent article in the i Newspaper (3rd November 2016) by Eve Simmons highlights a real lack of information regarding men with eating disorders.

 

Statistics appear skewed probably partly by the male psyche and society’s unconscious restrictions on men “owning up” to having any sort of mental health issues. So understandably a lot of eating disorder information is aimed at women but as Eve Simmons article points out “men get eating disorders too.”

Figures from The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence estimate 11% of eating disorder sufferers are male and 6.4 percent of all adults displayed some form of an eating disorder. So as they point out those figures in fact point to more like a 25% figure for males.

The good news is that it is possible to recover from an eating disorder and with the right help and focus remove this often devastating illness from your life.

Here is a copy of the SCOFF questionnaire developed by John Morgan at Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust that can help sufferers check if they have some or all of these pointers

 

* Do you ever make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full

*Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?

*Have you recently lost more than one stone in a three month period?

*Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are thin?

*Would you say that food dominates your life?

According to SCOFF a positive of two or more answers to these questions should raise your awareness of a possible issue.

 

Mental/health Awareness week will take place May 8 – 14th in 2017.

 

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.