Ernie Els gets the yips at the Masters.

Snakes in the brain

“Snakes in the brain” was one way the genial and talented prolific winner on the PGA tour Ernie Els described his putting meltdown on the first green at Augusta National golf course as he started the second round of the 2016 Masters golf tournament.

It took six putts to get the ball in the hole from just 3 feet and any golfer watching, amateur or professional would have felt like turning their eyes away as a four times Major winner and previous number one in the world had a disastrous meltdown with his putting stroke.

7 putts on first hole for Ernie Els

Well Ernie is not the only illustrious player to suffer with what in golfing terms is called “the yips” where the brain seems unable to convey to the muscles the clean and precise movement required to make the stroke. Last season Tiger Woods struggled with his chip shots which at times seemed to give the ball a mind of it’s own which did not include heading anywhere in the direction of the hole.

And golfers are not the only sports people to struggle with this problem in their careers. It can suddenly appear in the games of professional and amateur snooker, darts and cricket players. In fact any skill requiring a high level of subtle muscle, eye and brain co-ordination can become plagued by this seemingly irrational inability to carry out a movement that may have been working perfectly for years.

So what is going on here? Basically there is some sort of neurological interference with the regular messages that pass through the brain to the muscles resulting in a conflict between those messages and the movements that we have pre programmed into the muscles.

Now if you think you may be suffering from a Functional Neurological Disorder then the first step is to seek help from your medical practitioner. However this particular issue can be as much psychological as physical and I offer processes and techniques designed to help return the brain signals back to smooth natural communication. This is an area that I specialise in for musicians and sports people. In fact any situation that involves high levels of performance which could be winning a golf tournament or just writing one’s name in front of other people. Anything where pressure seems to break down the natural communications between body and brain.

To help get the body and brain back to clear communication it is not only the muscles and thinking that need to be examined but also our psychological state. The golfers yips or the violinist’s “pearlies” are often just the presenting symptoms of unconscious issues from past experiences that, unless resolved will continue to sabotage our best efforts to think clearly and act smoothly under pressure.

I work regularly in this area with professional and amateur golfers, snooker players, footballers musicians and have also presented workshops to performers and sports persons at Universities and Colleges around the country. In fact for any discipline that calls on us to perform at times out of our comfort zone and requires clear thinking, confidence and clarity of physical movement I offer a range of powerful strategies and techniques designed to take performance to the next level.

For more information just call or email me, 07970218451,  roger@rogerfoxwell.co.uk and I will be very happy to discuss this further.

Learn how a simple change in awareness can help you feel better about life

A mindful tip to enhance your happiness and add a little extra pleasure to your life

Although there is no doubt that it could make our lives more comfortable we have all heard the saying “money can’t buy you happiness”. So if money can’t make us happy what can and what can we do to get more of this thing called happiness? After all if we can find the secret to happiness it should be easy shouldn’t it? Just follow a simple set of rules and just be – well, happy?

But what does it actually feel like and what do we have to do that will “switch on” that feeling of pleasure, satisfaction and real meaning in our lives? Of course if I knew the answer to that I would be an extremely rich person and also have the “answer” to happiness! A win, win situation don’t you think?

However I do have one or two useful tips that I use to help myself and my clients engage with a mindfulness mindset that helps one highlight and acknowledge the subtle things that are happening around us all the time that will give us pleasure if we allow ourselves a few moments to acknowledge them.

By now we should pretty much on the same page and agreed that money and consumer items may give a passing experience of pleasure but there is often still a feeling that something is missing.

A few years ago while I was wrestling with my thoughts over this conundrum it suddenly struck me that the experiences I was looking for were happening all around me pretty much all the time but the problem was that I just wasn’t paying enough attention to them. For instance when I walked out of the front door and the sun was shining it may have registered somewhere in my brain that it was a pleasant experience but had I truly connected with it and acknowledged it in a way that would help me experience a meaningful difference to my day?

Then I realised the answer was staring me in the face at which point it all looked so obvious. If I could make that subtle and almost imperceptible fleeting experience just a little stronger and last a just a little longer what would happen and how would it impact the rest of my day? One thing I did know was that every time we get a pleasurable experience the mind subtly switches gear and sends an alpha wave (pleasant dreamy feeling) across the brain.

Now there was still one small problem, how would I, without interrupting my stride, simply and easily strengthen this message?

For those of us on Facebook we all know that there is a “like” button and Facebook knows a lot more about what is going on in our brains than we might want to imagine. When you press the “like button” or someone reciprocates a pleasurable alpha wave automatically and unconsciously flits across your brain giving you a little dose of the feel good factor (dopamine). Simple isn’t it? So there and then I just started pressing my own “like” button in my mind whenever I saw the opportunity. It may have been the sun coming out, noticing the colour of a flower or enjoying a pleasant coffee break, in fact anything that was simple and pleasurable that I may have missed or discounted as trivial or had just been passing me by while my ego had been focusing on “important stuff.”

So why is it so effective and yet so simple? Because your creative mind “likes” simple (or rather creative) and doesn’t need a mathematical formula or algorithm to make powerful change.

So try it out. It is simple, it takes up no time, no one knows you are doing it and it could help you experience a little more happiness and pleasure in your day, every day.

Press your own “like” button and have fun.

If you would like more information about how Hypnosis, EFT and NLP could make a real difference in your life just call me on 07970218451 or email and I will be happy to help.

 

Hypnosis and help for anger

Don’t get angry or get even – “get even tempered” with hypnosis!

How angry are you? Do you “lose it” over the slightest thing? Do you find yourself seething inside feeling as if no one ever understands you? Is your driving getting scarily aggressive and is everyone on the road “in your way”?

These are just a few of the symptoms we can experience when anger gets out of control and if so it is time to get to work on it before things get much worse.

There are lots of ways we can express our anger, and anger is a natural human expression. It is also a very powerful primal instinct designed to keep us safe from dangerous situations and if it gets out of control can create havoc in our life and for the lives of those around us. In our modern world we are no longer in day to day hostile environment but “acting out” as if were can lead to many situations that are unhealthy, unsafe and dangerous.

Unchecked anger can ruin relationships, health and the enjoyment of life. It drives away family and friends, can lead to loss of jobs and income and even our freedom by making us do things we regret later. Controlling anger is not usually a difficult thing to do and once we have the skills and understanding about what is going. With this in place then life can begin to turn around into a pleasure rather than literally a continuous fight.

Anger triggers the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response which when left unchecked starts to operates on an uncontrollable “hair trigger” and that is a very dangerous situation to get into.

Since we all are programmed to experience some anger it is important thing to be able to manage and control it in a healthy way. When we have the tools to do this the anger can be diffused and will not be able to hijack our emotions as it may have done in the past.

There are many ways to help guide one’s mind and thinking into a more relaxed and healthier pattern such as exercise, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and finding a hobby. However it can also be important to get some professional help. I use a variety of techniques such as hypnosis, EFT and NLP that are all designed to help clients regain control and enjoy their lives on a daily basis. Hypnosis is an exceptionally valuable tool to help teach the body’s nervous system how to relax and also release physically and emotionally. An expert professional will often be able to turn this around in two or three sessions and give you the tools to continue these changes on a daily basis.

If you would like any more information on this subject and the help available to enable you to make a remarkable difference in your life then please call or email and I will be very happy to help.

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

Hypnosis, alcohol addiction and “dry January”

So here we are halfway through January 2016 but also halfway through “dry January” which means taking up the challenge not to drink any alcohol until February. Alcohol Concern who are running The campaign point out the significant benefits such as weight loss, better sleep and of course more money in your pocket.

The question is, what happens on February 1st? On that day many people will make an important change in their habits and from their experience of “dry January” take stock of their situation. Having experienced the benefits of moderate drinking or even not drinking at they will make the decision to stop or cut down on their habit.

However writing in The British Medical Journal Ian Hamilton, lecturer at York University  raises the question whether after this 31 days abstinence it might just give some people unconscious permission to continue with their dangerous levels of drinking until the next New Year’s Day.

The good news is that according to research by Public Health England after the 2015 campaign 67%  of participants actually continued the changes they had made in January and were still maintaining a more healthy level of drinking after 6 months.

However if you find you are using drink to support or ignore other issues in your life this self medication is not a healthy way to deal with problems in one’s life especially on a long-term basis.

There is help available and just taking that first step to get help is the most important thing to do in this situation. There is a wide variety of options available from an appointment with your Doctor, a visit to AA and other specialist organisations that have the skills and knowledge to help. The sooner one deals with this the better and the sooner, as one long term alcoholic described it, the sooner one will be released from “living in the madness”

There can be many reasons why one may use alcohol but it is almost always to divert one’s attention from issues that at some point will need addressing. With the right help one can start to put one’s life back together and learn the skills that will make the difference between fulfilment and pleasure in life or a steady descent into “the madness”.

If you feel you may be “Living in the Madness” and would like to know more about how I help clients with addictions I will be pleased to discuss this with you. I offer powerful tools, strategies and techniques that have helped many of my clients completely rebuild their self belief, confidence and their lives. Please call or email and I will tell you how I can help you.

Why do New Year Resolutions often fail?

Happy New Year everybody. (January 2016)

Have you made a resolution yet? We are all definitely going to the gym every single day from now on,we are going to  stop eating those chocolate cakes and we are giving up the ciggies! Yes?

Luckily I don’t smoke and I exercise at home but.. chocolate. Hmm. See why I don’t normally make New Year Resolutions? Because like you I know how easy it is to break them and forget them.

So why do New Year Resolutions fail and why is it a smoker finds it so hard to stop doing something that they know is ruining their health and taking their hard earned money? They have probably tried to stop various times but have succumbed to temptation and soon been back to where they left off or worse. And why is it that by the end of January that daily visit to the gym is just a distant memory or those chocolate cakes that we struggled to “not buy” for three weeks seem to have magically appeared back in the cupboard?

One of the biggest reasons is that if we only use our conscious mind to make the change then we are missing out on a very important part of our mind that can help us make these changes easier, quicker and permanently. (And we all want it sorted quicker and easier don’t we?) The part that we are probably not using is our unconscious creative mind.

The unconscious creative sounds a bit scary or strange doesn’t it but in fact you have an unconscious creative mind that you are using all the time. If you want to get a newspaper you will start by creating a picture of the newspaper shop in your mind (think about it, it’s there already isn’t it?). Otherwise you would not be able to get there or even know you wanted a newspaper. Your unconscious mind is in charge of a massive proportion of the information you are experiencing every moment in your daily life which leaves you free to get on with making the everyday decisions that we all make in our lives. For instance which TV programme do I want to watch!

So here are a few answers to questions that you may have been asking yourself about hypnosis, and connecting with the unconscious mind to help you make effective and powerful change.

Question: So how can I engage that part of me and use it to make change?

Answer: There are lots of different ways and going into a trance (if you are in trance you are in hypnosis) is one of the most powerful.

Question: How do I go into a trance?

Answer: Just close your eyes right now and imagine a very relaxing and pleasant picture or feeling. There you are; do that and you have already engaged the alpha waves in your brain which are a sign that you are slipping into a daydream or trance. We are doing it all the time.

Question: Hypnosis? Won’t I be doing something that puts me under someone else’s control?

Answer: No, hypnosis is a natural state and we are all in various states of trance during the day. Hypnosis is just a method of utilising and channeling that experience in a way that works for you. You will create your own particular creative experience to make the change. Some people will use pictures, some sounds, some feelings or a mixture of all three. The therapist is just there to help guide the client into their own modality of creating change.

Question: Is it really that simple?

Answer: Yes. It certainly can be as many of my clients will testify. However it is important when making this change (or any other change you want) to have the firm decision that you really intend it to work and will do whatever is required to achieve your aim. Once that mindset is in place then it really does not matter whether you think you have very little willpower or that you never managed to achieve your goal before. Your unconscious creative mind is your real powerhouse of change.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment then please call or email me and I will be very happy to help.

Self Hypnosis, EFT and NLP can help OCD

OCD Awareness Week

This week (11-17 October 2015) is OCD Awareness week and already there have been suggestions that this emotionally painful and destructive condition is still being served up with a mild “vanilla” flavouring!

OCD Awareness Week

“We’re all a bit OCD”

That is the sort of phrase that is often thrown into a conversation but in truth is way off the mark. Unless we find that what we imagine are our “OCD” compulsions and repetitive thoughts are leaving us feeling anxious to the point of exhaustion, powerless, helpless and continually burdened with a feeling of guilt (and these are just a few of the debilitating symptoms sufferers experience) it is unlikely that our being “a bit OCD” has very much resemblance at all to what it really feels like to suffer OCD on a daily basis.

A recent BBC Horizon programme about OCD was titled “A Monster in my Mind” and that title really sums up the daily experience that invades the life of someone with OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder “hijacks” the logical and cognitive thinking processes often virtually rendering the ability to get on with one’s everyday life almost impossible.

A list of some common symptoms of OCD

Fears that you might murder someone
Thoughts of sexual violence
Worrying you may have run someone over
Continuous checking
Worry that you may have offended God
Worries that you may have contracted a serious illness.
Fear of contamination

These are just a few of the thinking patterns that get stuck in a loop in the mind.
The choices of treatments on the NHS are mainly medication and cognitive behavioral therapy and OCD can take over someone’s thoughts and actions so powerfully that there is often a case for medication to help calm the system even to get treatment started.

According to recent research we have a primal operating system in the brain that is continually checking in the background for anything that might be dangerous to our survival. So in one sense we are all operating with the same equipment and perhaps are “a bit OCD” but if this equipment is switched on permanently at full tilt it becomes a recipe for continuous mental torture.

I use a range of techniques and strategies that are designed to help quieten these overactive messages.
If you would like more information about how Hypnosis, EFT and NLP can help you please contact me.

Even Tiger Woods can get the “Yips”

Even Tiger Woods can fall victim to the “Yips”

Tiger Woods has had his fair share of golfing problems recently how Tiger got the yips Hainey and now to add to that it appears that he has been suffering from the yips around the greens. Once the master of the most any shot in the bag it seems that at one point recently even a simple chip shot was not always guaranteed to land on the green for him.

What it must feel like for a pro of any standing let alone Tiger’s it is hard to imagine but for the amateur whose head gets infiltrated with this toxic experience it may not be the end of their profession but it will certainly take out a major percentage of the pleasure in their golf game.

There seems only limited expert help out there for this problem and working with a pro on your stroke whether putting or chipping is important to help you to have a clear idea of the correct way execute the stroke. However it is not guaranteed that the brain will obey these instructions once the problem has started and this is where finding someone with the knowledge of the psychology of the game, and with knowledge of techniques to help the brain and body re route these mistimed messages whilst quietening the “demons in the head” that seem to sabotage every thought of hitting a clean shot is invaluable.

I work very successfully in this area with pro and amateur golfers and also in such sports as snooker, darts and tennis. The first thing is to halt the stream of negative self talk that drains any possibility of confidence and for this I use a simple mental phrases that you can take with you and say to yourself wherever you are and whatever the situation. Instead of using the usual “pump me up” power phrases such as “let’s go for it” and “in the hole” try saying to yourself any time you have a negative thought “that thought is not available”. You will be able to use the other phrases later but one step at a time.

Sounds too simple to be true doesn’t it but the reason it works so effectively is that it is a post hypnotic suggestion. In other words it bypasses the conscious mind and embeds itself in the unconscious whereas anything like the previous phrase will just get batted backwards and forwards round the conscious mind. And it is imperative to clear the negative debris that has been left from past negative experience before we can start putting in positive affirmations that we will believe.

Part of my work in this area deals with “mind tips and techniques” that will help tune the mind and thoughts to a much more positive level The other part is using very simple but specialist techniques to reconfigure the brain circuits. Because the proprioceptive messages from brain to body that trigger the muscular responses are jumbled and distorted then we must have ways available that will cancel out the misdirected information and set up a clear path for clean messages to take their place. How would it feel to have available available simple techniques that will help build a much closer connection and feeling of what your muscles are doing that can literally begin to rewire your physical responses?

I know how powerful these techniques are simply because I have developed and used them successfully over the years in my own experience of years performing in front of large audiences as a professional musician. (Yes musicians can suffer from their own forms of the yips as well) This has meant my developing a unique but powerful set of tools, techniques and strategies aimed at helping performers in all areas achieve their best outcome for their skills and pleasure in their hobby or profession.
For more information just call or email and I will be happy to help you in person or over Skype.

“Sorry I’ve not been in touch, but it’s really just to say thanks. Since we met I have worked away at the swing thoughts we spoke about and have banished completely my short game problem. I don’t even acknowledge that word anymore my game is great even if its not went as well as I would have liked. I don’t have the same feeling of dread I used to have on approaching short shots or chips and my enjoyment of the game has improved greatly. So thanks again Roger.” CW

Gary Player used self hypnosis to help win the US Open 1965

Today I am sharing a link featuring one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport. Gary player  was a regular PGA tour winner from 1958 through to 1978 with nine Majors to his name. He was also the only golfer in the 20th century to win the British Open in three different decades.

At 80 years old he still puts himself through a punishing fitness routine that exemplifies the mindset that he has used all his life to create his amazing success. And what else did he use? Self hypnosis.

For anyone looking for inspiration to help achieve their goals this is a must read and inspiring article. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Gary Player used self hypnosis to help win the US Open

EFT can help you make remarkable changes in your life

I have been using EFT in my practice for many years now and it never ceases to amaze me how simple and effective this technique is. If you want a technique that you can use and take with you “in your back pocket” wherever you are and whatever circumstances you are in then EFT is the obvious choice.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has been around now for 20 years and was developed by Gary Craig from Roger Callaghan’s Thought Field Therapy. It is termed as an energy psychology and works by tapping on certain acupressure points around the body whilst verbalising (internally or out loud) the issues you are working on.

It is a favourite technique of mine and often clients will come in with no knowledge of it and I will demonstrate to them without initially explaining it a simple round of tapping on the specific points to see what experience they get. They may look a bit perplexed as we begin the “round” tapping on the side of the hand then tapping with the fingers on 7 points around the body whilst reciting the problem out loud. The interesting thing is that even after one or two rounds which will take only a minute of two at most, their face and body will relax and when I ask them how they feel they will usually say, with a pleasantly surprised look on their face, “well, I seem to feel a bit more relaxed”.
This almost instant reduction in the discomfort of the problem is to me proof that meaningful and powerful change has already begun. We may have only just started the session and the work we will do but now my client is also learning a technique that will help empower them on a daily basis. And this will be a technique they will soon learn and be able to take with them and use without me having to be there. As I say to clients “I don’t know what you will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow any more than I know what I will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow” but if it is something you want to deal with then EFT can help you deal with it on the spot.

The well respected complimentary medicine and nutrition expert, osteopath and best selling author Dr Mercola has written various articles about the benefits of EFT and has a video and information about how effective it can be for relieving stress and tension headaches.

EFT can help with many issues including:

Phobia – Sickness phobia – Animals phobia – Insects phobia
Fear of water – Fear of darkness – Social phobia – Night phobia – Fear of plants – Any simple or complex Phobia
Stress – Anxiety – Tenseness – Insecurity – Nervousness – Anger – Hate – Grief – Depression – Guilt – Feeling incompetent
Fear of abandonment – Fear of the future – Fear of persons – Fear of the unknown – Fear of death
Traumatic memory: Rejection, Failure, Duress, Abandonment, Accident, Abuse, Rape, Love pain
Headache – Nervous stomach-ache – Back pain – Pain in the neck – Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pre-menstrual syndrome – Physical pain with no organic cause – Constipation – Irritable bowel – Jaw tightness
Asthma – Constricted breath – Dyspnoea – Chronic diseases – Hypertension – Hypotension – tachycardia – Arrhythmia
Sexual problems (non organic) – Myopia – Vision problems – Allergies of any kind
Dyslexia – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – Learning problems – Low school grades
Panic attacks – Bulimia  – Cravings – Anorexia nervosa – Overeating – Specific food dislike
Drugs – Alcohol – Smoking – Addictive food – Nervous habits
Plus general improvement and happiness in one’s personal and professional life: 

Self-confidence – Self-image – Better relationships – Forgiveness – Procrastination – Goal achievement – Work performance – Sport performance – Personal peace
To find out more about how Emotional Freedom Technique can help you just get in touch and I will be happy help.

Have been meaning to get back to you for ages to say thank you so much for your support with myChronic Fatigue Syndrome. As you know we met just before a very big trip abroad. The two sessions really helped lift my energy levels pretty much from zero to high enough to allow me to pack and get myself to the airport, which was looking a bit doubtful at that point in time.Your techniques supported me throughout the 3 months I was away and I would recommend your methods and support for anyone living with this condition.
Thanks again