How Can Hypnotherapy Help You?
Become a non-smoker
Mind over Medicine
Become a non-smoker
If you are a smoker consider this:
The price of a carton of cigarettes is around $35.00 so if you smoke a pack a day, you're spending $1277.50 a year!
At 2 packs a day, you're spending $2555.00 a year!
Now 3 packs a day means you're spending $3832.50 a year!
Ok, so of course, you might be buying the less expensive brands,
so lets refigure this based on $22.00 a carton (including tax):
A pack a day = $803.00 a year
2 packs a day = $1606.00 a year!
3 packs a day = $2409.00 a year!
The method I use to help you stop usually requires 2 - 3 sessions, your cost being no more than $130.00 for the three sessions.
Now, at that rate, even a pack a day smoker buying the cheaper brands can afford to become a non-smoker? Is the possibility of adding extra years to your life span worth the $300.00 fee? If the answer is yes, then lets get together and help you to become a non-smoker!
The use of hypnotherapy to assist in the cessation of smoking is now quite common and readily accepted by most people. However there are numerous dfferent approaches that can be taken. One is to use hypnotic suggestions to make the act of smoking repugnant, via foul tastes or other physical unpleasantness. While often effective in the short term the long-term results tend to be similar to that of a crash diet as the subject is fighting their cravings.
I start with a discussion to establish the reasons why you wish to stop smoking and the benefits you expect. The most important cigarettes in the your day are also identified (the first in the morning, the one after dinner perhaps) and acceptable (or even enjoyable) substitute activities are negotiated. I use regression therapy combined with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to uncover the things that keep the need for the habit going and to nullify them. Hypnotic suggestion is then used to enable you to prefer your alternatives to lighting up and to emphasis the benefits of becoming a non-smoker.
If you approach this treatment with the right attitude and a genuine desire to stop smoking the program will work for you. You WILL become a non-smoker.
Why Do So Many People Fail Then?
The missing part of the solution is the psychological addiction that develops from associating smoking with a particular feeling such as relaxation and then reinforcing that association many times a day over a long period, sometimes years. Unless this is tackled head-on, this psychological addiction can be a major barrier to giving up.
Becoming a Non-Smoker
Patches may provide some short-term help in overcoming the physical effects of stopping smoking, but to truly becoming a non-smoker means leaving behind unconscious 'pull' toward a cigarette in a particular situation. A hypnotherapist will show you how you can free yourself from that 'pull' and become not simply a smoker who is trying not to smoke, but a non-smoker whose only feelings about cigarettes are either indifference or a pride in no longer being under their control.
Hypnosis is a terrific way to lose those extra pounds and become trim again. Diets do not work for most people because they feel deprived of enjoyment and once they are near their weight goal the old bad eating habits can creep back in. With hypnosis we help change those bad habits into healthy ones so the weight loss can be permanent.
So often if we're overeating we are eating for reasons other than hunger. Consider how often you may be reaching for food for reasons such as boredom, depression, anxiety, stress, reward, companionship, time of day or other people. These can be stimulants that trigger a habit mechanism in the subconscious mind. With hypnosis it can be a fairly simple process to change these habitual responses. Hypnosis is also wonderful for building feelings of self-esteem and self confidence which will go a long way in creating desire and motivation to be healthy and trim.
Sometimes the subconscious mind has been programmed to believe that you need to be overweight and will actually work against your conscious desires to be trim. This can be due to past experiences or even simply something that was said to you, perhaps as a small child. Once again, there is probably nothing more effective than hypnosis for changing that subconscious programming. When that program has been changed, the inner battle is gone and it becomes so easy to take the weight off once and for all.
Realize that the hypnotist cannot control you and make you not overeat if you do not consciously choose to eat less. But when you are ready to improve your appearance and health and have more energy, your hypnotist can help you achieve your goal weight much more easily. Once you have achieved that goal with hypnosis, the bad habits do not return and it's easy to stay at that healthy weight.
Phobias are a common problem and are very disturbing for the sufferer. While someone may be logically aware that there is no need to be afraid of something, they are unable to suppress the overwhelming physical sensations of fear when they come into contact with it. The split between the person's logical awareness and their dramatic reaction can be very unpleasant. Thankfully, they are well understood and easily cured.
Our logical brains are very powerful problem-solving tools but it is easy to forget that they are the icing on our psychological cake. In evolutionary terms, there would have been no point being very intelligent, only to be caught by a bear so the brain has a short-cut, rapid-reaction response for emergency situations, controlled through the amygdala in the centre of the hippocampus. If it senses danger, it does not stop to think. It immediately triggers a massive outpouring of adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream and directs the blood supply to the major muscles like the legs and arms (which is what causes trembling) ready to fight the danger or run away from it in what is termed the 'fight-or-flight' response. This response bypasses the logical, more complex parts of the brain, which is why people can have very real responses even when they know it is irrational.
There are few times in our modern lives when we are faced with immediate, real danger but the survival mechanism developed for more dangerous times remains intact and can sometimes latch onto an inappropriate trigger through a process called faulty pattern matching. This is why people can sometimes suffer phobias of things that are not dangerous at all, like ties or plastic buttons. It is not 'crazy'; it is simply the evolutionary survival short-cut being applied inappropriately.
Because they are not based in the logical brain, it is very difficult to overcome phobias through a long process of exposure. Indeed, this can be counterproductive. Hypnosis, on the other hand, can dispel phobias very quickly, easily and painlessly. Most phobias can be lifted in one simple session of around 60-90 minutes.
Increasing numbers of people say they suffer from stress. Stress is the most common reason for people taking time off work. The second most common reason is colds and viruses, the severity of which is magnified by stress
The Causes of Stress
The stress response is the mind-body reaction that has been vital for our survival as a species. When the mind goes on red alert, it pours out adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, priming the muscles for action. Blood flow is directed away from non-urgent functions like the digestive system and towards the major muscle groups in the so-called 'fight or flight' response. This enabled our ancestors to be at peak performance when under attack. It also enables a footballer to run that bit faster in a big match than he or she would normally be able to and athletes to regularly break longstanding records at the Olympics. It is designed to provide peak physical performance and mental focus during brief periods of crisis.v
Thankfully, we are not often in real physical danger these days but our minds initiate a red alert to trigger an emergency boost when we believe we may not be able to cope with a situation. In modern life, this can entail several problems. Firstly, without frequent life-threatening, our minds can become attuned to a lower level of pressure and trigger off the same response for situations that do not present any real danger like the threat of an exam, a bullying boss or the danger of losing your job. Secondly, there is often no physical outlet for this state of heightened tension. Thirdly, these situations are long-term in nature and a response that was designed for brief periods of peak performance is being activated over an extended period.
The increased blood pressure, redirection of blood away from the digestive system and the suppression of white blood cell production from which our ancestors could easily recuperate after a short burst of the hormones lead to high blood pressure, increased susceptibility to colds and viruses, back pain, poor sleep, depression and digestive problems like IBS.
Although the stress hormones are chemical, it is important to remember that the trigger for pouring them into the bloodstream comes from the mind. There is by no means a correlation between the amount of pressure someone is under and the level of stress they experience. A stress audit of the civil service revealed that average stress levels among staff decreased in successively higher levels of the organisation. The most senior staff had some of the lowest levels of stress. The opportunity to influence a situation greatly increases our tolerance of pressure. Most people could tolerate being in a small room if they could leave at will but if they discovered that the door was locked, their stress levels would soar. Equally, shopfloor workers often experience much greater levels of stress than their bosses, who have more influence over their situation. Remember how stressful it is to be stuck in a traffic jam even though there is nothing at all to do!
What to Do?
To function at top performance we need to be able to allow our minds to trigger stress reactions to give us a boost for specific short-term events but to stop them going into crisis mode on an on-going basis. Exercise is a simple, powerful way to provide a natural outlet for pent-up tension and the endorphins it produces provide a natural, deep relaxation and sense of well-being. Being able to say 'no' can be equally important, not so much for the reduction in a person's workload but in order to regain that feeling of control that boosts a person's pressure-tolerance level. A good therapist will help you look at your perceptions of what you are and are not capable of coping with and your skills for dealing with controlling and influencing a situation. In addition to this, a hypnotherapist will be able to teach you how to use self-hypnosis to switch off and relax whenever you want to and if there are any specific situations that provoke a stress reaction in you, he or she will show you how to use hypnosis to learn to feel inwardly relaxed while coping with that situation.
Incidence of depression has risen ten-fold since the end of the Second World War. This has been attributed to the breaking down of traditional social networks, higher levels or reporting and people having higher expectations from life but whatever the reasons, there can be no doubt what a destructive and painful effect the experience of depression has on the sufferer and those close to him or her. People who are may experience feelings of worthlessness and guilt, recurrent thoughts of suicide, lethargy and a lack of pleasure or interest in their lives.
What Is Depression?
The vast increase in the incidence of depression over the last fifty years indicates that it is not primarily a biological illness. It is brought on by life experiences and how we deal with them.
Sadness is a natural part of life and is as normal and human as happiness, anger or calm. A life entirely without sadness would be a very two-dimensional experience indeed. What distinguishes depression from sadness is its self-perpetuating nature. Depressed people will typically find themselves ruminating about a certain emotive issue or event. The surfeit of stored-up emotion causes the person to dream much more than usual as their unconscious mind tries to discharge these feelings. This active overdreaming deprives the depressed person of the deep slow-wave sleep the body needs to recuperate overnight, leaving them exhausted the next day. This exhaustion then leads sufferers to drop interests, isolate themselves from friends and family and become increasingly swamped by the negative emotional rumination, thus worsening the cycle. It is a seemingly never-ending cycle of pain and
Just as the body will repair broken bones and tissue, the mind too tends towards healthiness and productive functioning. An average depression, if left completely untreated, will lift after around eight months.
The most common approach to treating depression is, of course, to use anti-depressant drugs like Prozac, which result in higher levels of serotonin, the body's natural 'happy' chemical. This is fairly effective, temporarily raising a person's mood and therefore giving them an opportunity to jump out of the cycle of depression themselves. Drawbacks to a purely chemical approach are possible unpleasant side-effects, a danger of dependency and, most crucially, that they do nothing to change the patterns in a person's life that brought the depression on in the first place, thus leaving them prone to more suffering in the future. This is why some people can find themselves taking anti-depressants for long periods of time -- nothing is really changing.
Analytical ('insight') therapy, which looks into the past to find reasons for a present problem, is counter-indicated in treating depression. One of the key problems the depressed person is suffering from is the pattern of ineffectively ruminating about a certain issue. Doing more of it with a therapist is likely to deepen and prolong the depression.
The most comprehensive survey ever published on treating depression found cognitive and behavioural therapy to be the most effective technique even where depression is severe and that sufferers who had received cognitive therapy were less likely to relapse than those who had taken medication.
A good therapist treating depression will use cognitive, behavioural and hypnotic techniques concretely and effectively to help sufferers free themselves from the misery of depression and avoid sinking back into it in the future.
Insomnia currently affects nearly 20% of the adult population in North America. Poor sleep impairs our ability to react creatively and appropriately to situations and has dramatically negative effect on a person's physical health. It leaves someone tired, anxious and feeling emotionally unstable.
Poor sleep patterns can be triggered by a number of factors including worry, depression or simply noise. In order to go to sleep, we need to relax, so if someone is constantly worrying they will prevent the natural process of sleep. People suffering from depression will often over-dream, resulting in exhaustion the next day. In order to compensate for this, the body will sometimes wake them up before too much dreaming has taken place, a problem that is called early-morning-waking syndrome. If someone has suffered disturbed sleep for a while, they can become anxious in advance about whether or not they will have a good night's sleep, which can lead to the problem continuing even after the initial cause has disappeared.
Sleeping pills will put you to sleep but they also inhibit deep sleep and REM, reducing the quality of the sleep. Furthermore, the body develops a tolerance to them, necessitating larger and larger doses to have an effect. For these reasons, they should only be viewed as a short-term solution to specific situations.
A real solution means relearning how to do something as easy and natural as breathing. A hypnotherapist will be able to show you how you can do this and give you some useful practical advice so that you can once again look forward to bedtime.
There is no intrinsic reason why speaking in public should be frightening just as there's no reason for anyone to be afraid of a spider or to be more afraid of flying than driving a car. But it is not a rational reaction. People who are afraid of public speaking usually know that there is no need to be afraid but cannot prevent the unconscious fear reaction.
The Fear Reaction
Another function that is inessential in a (perceived) highly dangerous situation is thought. The neo-cortex, which is the part of the brain that produces logical thoughts such as 'There is no need to feel anxious, stop it!,' operates much more slowly than the limbic system, which is the older, inner part of our brain, one which we share with other less intelligent animals like reptiles. This older part of our brain can react incredibly quickly to get out of danger -- just try and catch a lizard! Normally instincts are passed from the limbic system and then through the neo-cortex where they are weighed up and judged intelligently. This takes time, however. So in an emergency, the limbic system can bypass the neo-cortex and take direct control. This is why, however right they are, logical thoughts rarely succeed in helping someone to calm down.
How To Regain Control
The inappropriate fear reaction can be changed, however, by altering the unconscious mind's reaction to the situation. The thought of speaking in public may trigger a fear reaction while the thought of going on holiday may trigger a relaxation reaction. With my help, my clients quickly learn to use hypnosis to associate the situation with a different unconscious emotion allowing them to enjoy having the feeling they want at the time they want it.
It would be strange to have no emotion at the thought of a significant event in the day. Anyone who was utterly indifferent to how they performed would be a very boring speaker. Too much anxiety, though, renders the speaker tongue-tied and the process traumatic. NLP and hypnotherapy will help you achieve an optimum point of being sharp and alert but not overanxious.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) affects around one in four of the population at some time and varies in degree from slight discomfort to considerable pain. Despite being so prevalent, however, it is little understood.
The Allergy Theory
There are theories that the root of the problem is the bowel being allergic to certain food products. This is certainly sometimes the case and some people have claimed success for diets that are wheat-free or that avoid other food product. The fact that, despite their best efforts, some people find it impossible to isolate any clear allergen, however, indicate that this is sometimes an overly reductive approach.
The Psychological Theory
Emotional states are not located solely (or even mainly) in the brain. Some people develop tense shoulders when they are under pressure, others get acid stomachaches, still others carry tension in their gut. When we are under pressure, the body focuses on pumping blood to the major muscle groups in the fight or flight response. In order to secure the resources for this, it downgrades the priority it attaches to non-urgent activities like digestion, which further exacerbates digestive problems.
Hypnotherapy will let you learn how to relax deeply and remain inwardly calm even under pressure, thus alleviating the part of the problem being caused by the stress response. When people are in a relaxed hypnotic state, the body redirects blood back to the vital long-term functions like digestion. Hearing your stomach gurgling nicely is one of the many signs that will let you know you have relaxed into trance! Being able to deal with previously difficult situations without letting them leave you tense for the rest of the day will show you how you have learned to react to situations in a way that is less damaging for your digestive system.
What To Do?
These understandings are by no means mutually exclusive. IBS conditions generally comprise certain proportions of both dietary and psychological factors so the most effective solution should comprise both approaches.
If you are experiencing bowel discomfort, you should first of all visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Ask yourself if the discomfort seems to follow any pattern and, if your doctor agrees, experiment with cutting certain foods like citrus, dairy, yeast, wheat, or other grains out of your diet and taking supplements of friendly bacteria such as the acidophilus bacteria.
In addition to this, hypnotherapy routinely produces positive results in over 80% of IBS sufferers who use it. It has been so overwhelmingly successful for IBS symptom-alleviation that Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, chair of the National Women's Health Network in Washington, DC, says that hypnosis should be the treatment of choice for IBS cases that have not responded to conventional therapy.
Mind over Medicine
Hypnosis as an alternative to sedation is making a comeback in the operating room. Here's how it works
By Sara Song - Time Magazine - 27 March 2006 issue.
Shelley Thomas, 53, was wheeled into an anteroom at London's Middlesex Hospital in preparation for pelvic surgery. A patient going into that operation is usually given a mix of painkilling narcotics and nerve-quelling tranquilizers. But not Thomas. Instead she rested on a gurney, alert and calm, taking deep breaths at her hypnotherapist's instruction. Thomas counted aloud, "One hundred, deep sleep; 99, deeper sleep; 98 ..."
"By the time I got to 95, the words and numbers had all gone," says Thomas. "It's quite peculiar. They all go."
Minutes later, thoroughly hypnotized, Thomas was rolled into the operating room. There she underwent a 30-min. procedure with no anesthetics and no discernible pain. Her hypnotherapist stayed by her side throughout, monitoring her trance state and refocusing her mind when it drifted.
Thomas' story is not as extraordinary as you might think. Since the early 1990s, thousands of patients have opted for hypnosis--either as a substitute for or (more typically) as a complement to anesthesia--in a wide variety of surgical procedures, from repairing hernias to removing tumors. At the University Hospital of Liége in Belgium, a team of doctors led by Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville has logged more than 5,100 surgeries by hypnosedation, a technique Faymonville developed that replaces general anesthesia with hypnosis, local anesthesia and a mild sedative. "Patients tell us that it is a very special experience," says Faymonville. "We now have people coming from all over the world."
Hypnosis was first used as a surgical anesthetic in India in 1845 but was quickly abandoned with the introduction of ether the following year. The practice languished for decades, becoming, at least in the public eye, little more than a parlor trick. In 1958 it was sanctioned by the American Medical Association for use in medicine and dentistry. Since then, doctors have hypnotized patients to help ease such ills as migraines, depression, anxiety and chronic cancer pain.
But it is in Europe that surgical applications of hypnosis have flourished. The new interest stems in part from studies showing that hypnosedated patients suffer fewer side effects than fully sedated ones do. According to Faymonville, hypnotized patients can get by on less than 1% of the standard medications required for general anesthesia, thus avoiding such aftereffects as nausea, fatigue, lack of coordination and cognitive impairment. In a 1999 study of thyroid patients, Faymonville found that the typical hypnosedated patient returned to work 15 days after surgery, compared with 28 days for a fully anesthetized patient.
Meanwhile, studies using advanced scanning technology have shed new light on how hypnosis works to block pain. In a report published two years ago in the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Dr. Sebastian Schulz-Stübner of the University of Iowa reported using heat-producing thermodes to measure the pain thresholds of 12 healthy volunteers ("painful" stimuli earning a rating of 8 or higher on a 10-point scale). When the participants were hypnotized and re-exposed to the thermodes, all 12 reported feeling significantly reduced pain (with ratings of 3 or lower) or no pain at all.
The differences in the subjects' brain scans were equally striking. The typical pain signal follows a well-worn path from the brain stem through the midbrain and into the cortex, where conscious feelings of pain arise. In Schulz-Stübner's study, the hypnotized group showed subcortical brain activity similar to that of nonhypnotized volunteers, but the primary sensory cortex stayed quiet. The "ouch" message wasn't making it past the midbrain and into consciousness.
The new findings have fostered interest in the U.S., where doctors are using hypnosis for procedures in which sedation is inappropriate or for patients who are allergic to anesthetics. Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, hypnotizes Parkinson's sufferers during the implantation of deep-brain electrodes--a process that requires tremulous patients to remain conscious and calm. He has also coaxed children into imagining that a balloon tied to their wrist will fly them to their favorite places, a hypnotic technique that has lessened anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing bladder catheterizations. In Iowa, Schulz-Stübner hypnotizes patients to reduce pain and anxiety while they receive presurgery nerve blocks, such as epidurals. He finds that the calming effects of hypnosis often last through the entire operation.
Yet even the most enthusiastic proponents of hypnosedation don't suggest that it replace anesthesia entirely. For one thing, not everybody can be hypnotized. Some 60% of patients are hypnotizable to some degree, Spiegel says; an additional 15%, highly so. The rest seem to be unresponsive. Moreover, many patients are fully sedated before surgery not because the surgeon requires it but because they choose to be. "People don't want to feel or hear anything. They want to be out," says Schulz-Stübner. "That's what you hear most of the time."