How Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique can help stimulate the vagus nerve

Hypnotherapy and EFT

Vagus in Latin means wandering and the vagus nerve is the body’s 10th cranial nerve. It runs from the brain down the body connecting with virtually all the organs from the larynx to the digestive tract. It helps regulate our breathing, our heart rate, blood pressure and digestive system. Even our voice and hearing.

The vagus nerve has a profound effect on the body helping calm us by engaging the parasympathetic (relaxation) part of our nervous system. It is interesting that until the research by Stephen Porges the vagus was almost like the forgotten nerve in the body which seems quite remarkable since it has such an effect on our everyday life.

In a medical environment the vagus nerve can be stimulated with mild pulses of electricity to help with epilepsy and major depression. However we can all stimulate the vagus in a healthy way using very simple everyday exercises without any medical intervention.

Modalities such as Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Yoga all help activate the relaxation ability of the vagus. When we are in relaxation with hypnosis we are helping to engage the part of the vagus nerve which can switch off the “Fight and Flight” response. This helps return mind and body to a state of safety. We then feel ready and comfortable to re-engage fully and naturally in our lives and with the people around us.

This is why Porges calls it the “social engagement” nerve. We don’t want to be stuck in our primal brain all day looking out for danger. Healthy communication engages our ”happy” body chemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin rather than adrenaline and cortisol.

Interestingly our voice can also change and develop a more relaxed and resonant frequency in this state. Working with clients in a therapy session I often hear the change and so can they. This change is important for our confidence and when our voice is resonating and relaxed this extra resonance will feed back to us and give us more confidence. Extremely valuable if we are giving a wedding speech or a work presentation.
Many people look for hypnosis for help giving a speech which is not surprising since it ranks as the number one phobia)

A toned vagus nerve will adjust our hearing to relax and filter out the “danger” frequencies so that we can “leave the jungle” response where we would need to be on constant alert. (No need to worry though, your “fight and flight” system will always switch on instantly if required) We just don’t want it switched on all the time.

We can easily tone or engage the vagus nerve by using such simple exercises as humming or singing, diaphragm breathing, yoga and dancing. Healthy and rewarding social relationships also contribute to our everyday life satisfaction and that is the vagus nerve at work.

If you would like to find out how you can use a few of these simple techniques there are short videos below.

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

Building Confidence and Self Esteem with Hypnosis

Self Esteem

Hypnosis can really help you regain confidence

There are many books and YouTube videos out there showing different ways and strategies to help build your confidence and self esteem with many useful tips to help deal with issues such as these. A book or video can only take us so far since making changes without releasing past experiences and causes that got us into that position are likely to block us from the next step. We will know all about how we want to feel but very likely find that there is a “road block” keeping us from putting all the changes into action.

We have different therapies and modalities available to us to help us make the changes we are looking for but in my point of view we don’t necessarily need to spend five years on the psychotherapist’s couch trying to resolve past experiences and issues.

Now this is not to say that this type of therapy is not valuable and many people find it useful to talk about their past to help clear the present. However even if we do spend that amount of time working on our past we would have no hope of discovering every little issue, disappointment and trauma that occurred along the way in our lives. We may have clear recollection of certain incidents from our past that could have been significant but some of our issues will have been passed down through our parents DNA, their parents DNA and all the experiences we had when young.

Having said that, there is a part of us that knows all about every one of these experiences and that is our unconscious mind. Often called the creative unconscious the creative unconscious is the part of us that knows how to let go of any unconscious material that may be restricting how to create the confident and comfortable self that we know we could be.

Hypnosis, in the form of hypnotherapy is one of the quickest, safest and most effective ways to make empowering and deep change safely and rapidly. (This is not to be confused with stage hypnosis which uses the hypnotic part of the mind but obviously not the therapy work)

The changes we are looking for are in our imagination as are the blocks that have been keeping us disconnected from them. If I want to go to the shop I need to make a picture in my mind of what the shop looks, I need to roughly imagine the route I will take otherwise I would never get past the front door!

With hypnosis you have the opportunity to open up that route and replace the “road blocks” with more of the feelings and experiences that you know you deserve to bring into your life.

And this is why Hypnotherapy and working with a qualified and expert practitioner is a safe, powerful and rapid therapy that helps many, many people achieve so much more in their lives every day.

And if you would like to sample the experience of relaxation and trance you can try my –

Now Simply Relax – Deep Relaxation Video on YouTube

I hope you enjoy it

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.

Hypnosis, Mind Coaching, Performance Enhancement and Life

Hypnosis

 

Hypnosis EFT and NLP can help enhance your sport, your life and your career

Tennis star Johanna Konta has come back from a slump in her performance and is looking in very good form for the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

So what is it that has been influencing this resurgence in her form? An important part of the answer seems to be that working with her new Mind Coach, Lorenzo Beltrame, is helping get her game back on track.

Sadly her previous mind coach Juan Coto died at the end of 2016, aged just 47, and from that time Konta’s results began to gradually decline until  Beltrame took up the mantle which has coincided with her latest upsurge in form.

The vast majority of sports people these days take very seriously the fact that working on the mental side of the game can make a tremendous difference to results. I work regularly with sports and performing arts clients, professional and amateur but also, a large number of my clients see me to help deal with their daily life issues of anxiety, stress, depression and confidence etc.

Interestingly I have found more and more that there really is not as much difference as one might think between the techniques and strategies we need to perform in a sporting context as the techniques and strategies we need to perform to our best in actual life situations. There are just three words that the brain is evaluating at all times that govern how comfortable we feel not, only on the big stage but in our everyday life.

Those three words are “am I safe”.

If you can turn “am I safe” into “I am safe”, whether you are on the tennis court at Wimbledon or in your everyday life the payback can be immense. 

There are many empowering and fascinating ways to do this and if you would like more information about how you could make the changes in your life you deserve please feel free to contact me. 

 

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?

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.