Why Are Our Beliefs So Important?


Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis.

The concept of belief presumes a subject (a person) and an object of belief (the idea). So, like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs (that are actively thought about) and dispositional beliefs (that may be ascribed to someone who has not thought about the issue). For example, if I asked you “do you believe tigers wear high heels?” you might answer that you don’t, despite the fact you’ve never had to think about this situation before.

This has important implications for understanding the neuropsychology and neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent, then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail.

Philosopher Lynne Rudder baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief:

Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct – Sometimes called the “mental sentence theory,” in this conception, beliefs exist as coherent entities, and the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view.

Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions – This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we know it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says “I believe that snow is white” and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour. Most notably, philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong and will be completely superseded by a radically different theory that will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it – Known as eliminativism, this view (most notably proposed by Paul and Patricia Churchland) argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine, or the phlogiston theory of combustion. In these cases science hasn’t provided us with a more detailed account of these theories, but completely rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by entirely different accounts. The Churchlands argue that our common-sense concept of belief is similar in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain, the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong; however, treating people, animals, and even computers as if they had beliefs is often a successful strategy – The major proponents of this view, Daniel Dennett and Lynne Rudder Baker are both eliminativists in that they hold that beliefs are not a scientifically valid concept, but they don’t go as far as rejecting the concept of belief as a predictive device. Dennett gives the example of playing a computer at chess. While few people would agree that the computer held beliefs, treating the computer as if it did (e.g. that the computer believes that taking the opposition’s queen will give it a considerable advantage) is likely to be a successful and predictive strategy. In this understanding of belief, named by Dennett the intentional stance, belief-based explanations of mind and behaviour are at a different level of explanation and are not reducible to those based on fundamental neuroscience, although both may be explanatory at their own level.

So after all that, how do we define Belief?

Definition: A belief is a Driver (usually Unconscious) we hold and deeply trust about something. They can trigger our Values, Emotions & Behaviours. Beliefs tend to be buried deep within the subconscious. We seldom question beliefs; we hold them to be truths even when there is no solid evidence to support the belief.

A Belief is aroused by an Event e.g. without being aware of it, Andy held the belief that it was ok to openly criticise people. Alienation of his friends caused him to identify, question, and change this belief about what is acceptable to others.

We each behave as though our beliefs are true. What we perceive defines what we believe and this belief or perception is what guides our behaviour. A Belief is a form of judging something to be true, sitting somewhere between opinion and knowledge. Opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. Knowledge is learnt expertise, skills, facts and information.

A simple definition for a belief is: A belief is an assumed truth. We create beliefs to anchor our understanding of the world around us and thus, once we have formed a belief, we will tend to persevere with that belief, sometimes even when holding onto that belief is detrimental to us.

Change begins with awareness. Awareness begins with learning about how beliefs and emotional reaction are created by choice.

Some fundamental information about beliefs:

  • They may or may not be based on truth
  • They can also be easily formed out of emotion relating to one or many incidents
  • They may or may not be supported by irrefutable evidence
  • They usually have an emotional attachment, which strengthens belief
  • They do not update themselves automatically and therefore are stored at the initial stage (emotional state, etc.)

There are 3 Basic Types of Beliefs

1. Casual Beliefs: Everyday, practical beliefs that don‘t matter much if we get them wrong such as – I believe it will rain tomorrow

2. Conditioned Beliefs: These come from an assessment of what has happened in the past and then predicts the same results in the future. So we get beliefs such as I‘m no good at this or I can‘t do that. These beliefs, if negative, can stifle our potential and limit our lives.

3. Core Beliefs: Can be positive or negative, lead us to be an optimist or pessimist and decide the answers to such questions as Who am I?, What is life about? What we learn and experience in early life shapes beliefs about the world and ourselves. Core beliefs are like a mental framework that supports our thoughts, beliefs, values and perception. Core beliefs are the deepest of all because what we believe “deep down inside” underpins our value system and our attitudes and opinions. This is one of the reasons why core beliefs are seldom questioned even when they are causing enormous problems within the person who holds that core belief.

Last of all, there is a fourth type of belief that overlaps all three previous types and these are Limiting Beliefs. These can be hugely destructive and even lead us to the point of complete hopelessness and suicide. Now of course, this does not have to be the case and is rare in the grand scheme of things, however, these limiting beliefs that we all have from time to time can really hold us back from achieving what we want to achieve in life.

“Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.”

Damn right it does.

The one common false belief holding you back is that you think that your past determines who you are. If that were true, no one would ever overcome adversity, benefit from a second chance, or improve themselves through education, self-discipline, or perseverance.

Your past actions, good and bad, can be judged by you and by others. You can learn from your errors as well as your successes. Others can think what they will, but neither your reflections on your past nor others’ opinions of you determine who you are now or in the future.

Believing that your past defines who you are is a toxic fallacy. Consider a circus elephant chained by one leg to a stake in the ground: Why doesn’t the elephant just pull the stake loose and wander away? Because it couldn’t do so when it was young. And so the adult elephant is still restrained—not by the chain, but by its past, or rather, the learned associations from its past (Chain around leg means “can’t walk”).

Cognitive dissonance is the culprit that motivates us to maintain the belief that what we were in the past is all that we ever will be. Leon Festinger originated the concept back in the 1950s. He also proposed the principle of cognitive consistency—that is, that we seek to maintain mental and emotional balance by thinking and acting in compliance with who we think we are. And who do we think we are? The same person we have always been. And so when we attempt to think and act differently, cognitive dissonance sets in.

Here’s the trick— metacognition. That simply means being able to observe one’s own thinking and feelings objectively and unemotionally, so that one can assess what may be “pushing our buttons.” If you want to change but experience cognitive dissonance in the process, metacognition can help you identify dissonance as a normal but unhelpful reaction. With effort you can then master the dissonance and proceed with the changes you want to make, until those changes become the new normal.

Are you chained to the past? If so, that chain exists only in your mind. You can remember and reflect on the past without being defined and limited by it.

What’s stopping you? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Negative_thinking-limiting-beliefs

Limiting Beliefs are beliefs we have that limit the way we live, or from being, doing or having what we want. We all have limiting beliefs from time to time in our lives, particularly when we have to learn something new that is way out of our comfort zone, beyond our current skill set or just so completely different from anything we’ve done before.

If you speak to any Olympic athlete they will tell you that there have been times when they wanted to quit because at times they felt it was just too hard to achieve that small improvement in performance to throw or jump further, to swim or run faster. They constantly have help from their coaches to reframe these negative thoughts that create limiting beliefs.

I remember very clearly several occasions during my time in basic training to become a Royal Marine where I wanted to quit. There were a couple of key tests that pushed me way beyond my limits at that time and the self induced pressure from that put my mind into a negative spiral of doubt and self criticism. My training team new I could do it, it was purely that stress and pressure had sown that seed of doubt and reframed my usual positive outlook into a limiting belief about these key tests. Just as the Olympic coaches do with their athletes, my training did the same for me and reminded me of everything I had achieved so far and what I was working so hard for, that elusive and exclusive Green Beret. Something I had wanted for a long time and this stirred the fire in my belly and revved up my determination, motivation, commitment and desire to refuse to quit until I had that beret on my head. They reminded me of the Royal Marines Corps Spirit, Values and Ethos which are:

The Commando Spirit

These four elements of the Commando Spirit; courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, were etched into my mind during my basic eight months training and are well known to all Royal Marine recruits by the time they complete their Commando training. But these constituents of the ‘Commando Spirit’ are what make the Royal Marines individual ‘commandos’. What shapes the way they work as a team, giving the Royal Marines its special identity, the way they carry their duties, is a second set of group values laid out below. They should seem quite familiar. It is the combination of individual Commando Spirit qualities, coupled with these group values, that together forms the Royal Marine ethos.

Royal Marine ethos = Individual Commando Sprit + Collective Group Values

  • Courage
  • Unity
  • Determination
  • Adaptability
  • Unselfishness
  • Humility
  • Cheerfulness in the Face of Adversity
  • Professional Standards
  • Fortitude
  • Commando Humour

These elements collectively are what have stood the test of time for me and all of my clients that I have worked with over the last twenty years in smashing Limiting Beliefs, these beliefs fall into five main categories:

1. Any ‘feelings’ that you can’t feel: If the description you give yourself or someone else gives you which, when you “try it on,” is something you cannot feel without hallucinating substantially. Eg ‘I feel I have to worry’. Also, where the word ‘feel’ could be replaced by ‘believe’ and the sentence still makes sense, then that could indicate a limiting belief. Eg ‘I feel (believe) people don’t like me’.

2. Negations: Anytime there is a negation describing anything, which might be an emotion eg ‘I’m not clever’, ‘I can’t have a good relationship’

3. Comparatives: Whenever there are comparisons. Eg ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t make enough money/friends’

4. Limiting Decisions: Whenever a Limiting Belief is adopted, a Limiting Decision preceded that acceptance. A Limiting Decision preceded even the beliefs that were adopted from other people. Eg ‘I should know all the answers’, ‘I should get it right every time’.

5. Modal Operators of Necessity: Words such as have to, got to, must, ought, should.

The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people (such as children, students, or employees) the better they perform. The Pygmalion effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regard to education and social class. The principle works in both ways, if you have high expectations then people will generally respond positively and achieve what’s expected, equally on the other side of the coin, if we have low expectations of people then they will respond according to our attitude and behaviour towards them.

Pygmalion_Effect

Some examples of Limiting Beliefs are as follows:

I must stay the way I don’t want to be because__________________________________

I can’t get what I want because______________________________________________

I’ll never get better because_________________________________________________

My biggest problem is______________because_________________________________

I’ll always have this problem because__________________________________________

I don’t deserve_________________because____________________________________

I’m not good enough to_____________________________________________________

NB. It is important to distinguish between statements of fact/truth, and limiting beliefs, for example:

POSSIBLE TRUTH/FACT ————————— LIMITING DECISION

I don’t have any money ———————— I can’t make any money.

I am not a good athlete ———————— I cannot become a good athlete.

I don’t have any qualifications —————- I need qualifications to succeed.

I don’t trust people ——————————- People are not trustworthy

Below is a little exercise that explains how to change or reframe a limiting belief so that you change your beliefs/thinking/attitude/feelings which changes your actions/behaviours which changes the results you achieve in your life.

Beliefs-Behaviours-Results

I would really like you to  consider this exercise and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief or had a long held, conditioned limiting belief that held you back from achieving something you really wanted, perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. Use this exercise to draw out the detail of a limiting belief/s and use this knowledge to reframe it into an empowering belief that drives your life in the direction you want it to go.

EXERCISE:

Every single one of your beliefs is important to you because what you believe determines who and how you are.

I would like you to use this cheat sheet and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief/s that have held you back from achieving something you really wanted. Perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. I recommend writing a description of each belief in as much detail as possible so that you really understand what it is made of, this makes it much easier to identify what you can, want and need to change in order to reframe it and change it into a positive, empowering belief.

Answer the following questions and write your answers down:

  • How does it make you feel when you think about that limiting belief?
  • Can you identify what changed and when, if it did?
  • What limiting belief/s do you have right now? How does that make you feel?
  • What do you want to believe about that situation, person, people etc that would change the outcome to one that is positive for you?
  • How does changing the belief about that situation make you feel?

Part 1: What are My Limiting Beliefs

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Part 2: Now I Know My Limiting Beliefs, What Can I Reframe Them Into Empowering Beliefs

Use this section to reframe and rewrite your old limiting beliefs into new Empowering beliefs that bring a whole new spin, a new energy to them as they transform you and lead your life in a direction that you may have been striving for and now it will happen all by itself as you change your thinking, behaviour and results.

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My final thought is this.

Screenshot 2017-03-28 12.24.49

References:

Bell, V.; Halligan, P. W.; Ellis, H. D. (2006). “A Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief”. In Halligan, Peter W.; Aylward, Mansel. The Power of Belief: Psychological Influence on Illness, Disability, and Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-853010-2.
Jump up: Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07320-1.

Life Design


For a long time I thought I was happy with my job, I was doing what I’d set to do in joining the Royal Marines. I worked with like-minded people, got paid to stay exceptionally fit, got fed four times a day and was provided with a roof over my head. The trade-off was that I was expected to do what I was told do whether I liked it or not and, some of the things I was asked to do I really didn’t like. However I was still happy living my dream.

Or so I thought.

Continue reading Life Design

It Takes Perseverance to Conquer Your Mountains



It’s been a personally tough time over the last eighteen months with a huge dip in business due to the impact of the state of the oil and gas industry in the north east of Scotland and the quite significant tsunami of destruction that it sent outwards. It’s been tough particularly recently with injuries, surgery and personal issues to sort out and with not being able to drive at the moment and with not sleeping well after having my shoulder repaired yet again, I have had plenty of time to think about what’s going on and look for ways to resolve the problems. I have looked back at how I resolved other problems in my life, what I did and what it took for me to resolve them. 

It’s actually something I enjoy doing, taking time in the early hours, a way to spend some time for myself and get refocused. This morning I found myself focusing on what it takes to be successful in any endeavour and I kept coming back to the word perseverance.

Being a Royal Marine took a huge amount of perseverance and there were times in training, the few times you get any time to yourself,which was usually sat on the toilet, where I thought to myself ‘what the fuck am I doing here, this is insane?!!’
 8 months of patience and staying focused and I finally completed Royal Marines Basic Training and I can not tell you how amazing that feels when it’s done and you are handed your Green Beret.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a military training course, a black belt or a weight loss/ body composition goal… at the very heart of it is perseverance.
Since then I’ve completed many courses, some extremely physically demanding, some mentally and some a mix of both. Since then I’ve set myself challenges in business and in my personal life and almost everything I set my heart on achieving I have achieved so far. There have been some heroic failures along the way and some goals I haven’t yet reached and no matter how frustrating that is I never lose sight of what I’m aiming for, well, not completely anyway. 

This is what got me thinking this morning, I realised I have lost my way a little recently, I’ve lost sight of what I’m aiming for in business and in my personal life. I’ve begun to doubt myself. Doubt whether I really want what I’d set myself, doubt my ability to even get anywhere near it. I felt myself feeling like giving up because it’s taking too much out of me. Needless to say this morning was a bit of an emotional roller coaster that left me reeling, spinning and not knowing the difference between my arse and my elbow. In all honesty I found it a bit disturbing.
I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I was in a similar situation then as well so in hindsight, it’s not surprising that I flipped back in time to that same emotional state.
I’ve had to dig deep into my reserves of perseverance many times in my life. I’ve lost my way before and at one point I was fat and out of shape, disillusioned, angry, probably depressed and a nightmare to live with.
So this afternoon as I have done before, I made the decision to change the track of my thoughts, and as it was before, it wasn’t easy. But I persevered and I still am.

 So what does it take. Some magical ability to simply head down a road with your blinkers on and just get shit done?

Not entirely, although at times this can help too.
 There is a system involved which ultimately allows you to persevere through anything. It’s a mindset that you must be willing to adopt.

The mindset is comprised of a few key elements. These include grit, determination, optimism and realism.
 The process runs like this:

You set your goal – It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s passing a course or losing 60 lbs. 

You make your plan and begin to take the small steps toward it every single day, until you arrive there. What happens in the middle is called perseverance, it’s not reserved for the super-elite. We can all learn this life altering trait.

 

Grit, determination, optimism and realism are the foundation of perseverance.

 Let me talk you through them to see if you might have these traits hiding inside you too. (I’ll let you into a little secret…yes you do)

 The dictionary defines Grit as having courage, resolve and strength of character. Icon early think that grit is an awesome word and very apt.

Courage is simply having fear and pushing through it no matter what and harassing and channelising that energy to drive you towards your goal.
Resolve is the mental strength and strength of character is knowing that once you commit to something, you must do what you say you will do. Keeping the promise to yourself most importantly and then to others secondly.
 Determination is having a firmness of purpose. You make your decision to achieve your goal and you will not be swayed.

Optimism is having hopefulness and confidence about what it is that you are doing and that you will be successful. It doesn’t matter if you are in a body transformation phase or seeking a promotion at work. If you are optimistic about it, that energy is carried throughout your body and to those around you.
Realism is the attitude and practice of taking something as it is and moving forward accordingly. For example, you missed a workout…who cares, we all do. Get back on the train and continue moving forward.
 Now not all of you will be able to relate to this yet some of you will. Can you imagine for a second what it would take to persevere through an armed conflict or a lengthy battle with a determined enemy. Even the residual issues many soldiers and medics face upon arriving home having been exposed to multiple atrocities, suffering the mental anguish and pushing through it to continue to serve their fellow man.

 Our country was built on the backs of soldiers who could persevere, and having been one I know what it takes…and the fact is you can do it too… Every soldier would want you to learn that from them.

 So this week be thankful and learn to apply the elements that make up the recipe for perseverance, dish yourself up a large serving and use it to get you through whatever you set your mind to.

 Be bold, be strong, be brave, persevere and fight for what you want in this life.

Simon

Hypnosis and Control of Bleeding and Haemophilia


There are numerous accounts of the human ability to affect blood flow using mind-body techniques. Stories such as Milton Erickson, MDʼs well known account of using hypnosis to control severe bleeding in his hemophiliac son after an accident, to Martin Rossman, MDʼs less well known but equally dramatic story of using hypnosis in the Emergency Room with a woman to stop her haemorrhaging. However, the widespread use of techniques such as Guided Imagery and Hypnosis for blood control will not be embraced by the medical community without hard science to back up the contentions.

Fortunately, several published studies present corroborating evidence. Biofeedback training, of course, has a long and well-documented history of being able to affect perfusion.

A recent study showed that biofeedback-assisted relaxation training was 87.5% effective in increasing peripheral perfusion (and, thereby, healing) in patients with foot ulcers. The field of hypnosis also has many studies related to pain management in surgery, and studies showing hypnosisʼ ability to affect blood flow are beginning to show up in the literature. Studies with burn patients have shown that hypnosis can significantly improve wound healing by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Subjects were able to achieve significant increases in hand warming using hypnotically-induced vasodilation. Haemo-dynamic measurements of systolic blood pressure, arterial blood flow, and resistance all changed appropriately when hypnotised subjects believed they were donating blood.

As an indication that these so-called autonomic functions can be patient controlled during surgery, one matched, controlled study of maxillofacial surgery patients receiving pre-, post- and/or peri-operative hypnotic suggestion had up to a 30% reduction in blood loss. The health benefits to the patient and savings to hospitals with these kinds of blood loss reductions are considerable. A further study showed that intra-operative and post-op capillary bleeding can be reduced using hypnosis, even in haemophiliac dental patients.

A most impressive study is one in which 121 patients used hypnosedation during endocrine surgical procedures. It has become an expectation from patients who use mind-body modalities for these patients needed significantly less pain medication. Of even greater implication, however, is the fact that all surgeons in these 121 procedures reported better operating conditions (estimated by the visual analog scale), and the researchers attributed this to reduced bleeding in the operative field. Furthermore, no patients were required to convert to general anesthesia during any of the procedures.

These and other factors — high patient satisfaction, better surgical convalescence, turn beds faster, lower use of resources, fewer demands on personnel, fewer follow-up visits by physicians — reduce the socio-economic impact of patient treatment, especially in the area of in- patient surgery.

References

Rice B, Kalker AJ, Schindler JV, Dixon RM. “Effect of biofeedback-assisted relaxation training on foot ulcer healing.” J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2001 Mar;91(3):132-41.
Moore L and Kaplan J. Hypnotically Accelerated Burn Wound Healing. Am J Clin Hypn 1983 Jul;26(1):16-9.

Moore LE, Wiesner SL. Hypnotically-induced vasodilation in the treatment of repetitive strain injuries. Am J Clin Hypn 1996 Oct;39(2):97-104. Casiglia E, Mazza A, Ginocchio G, Onesto C, Pessina AC, Rossi A, Cavatton G, Marotti A. “Hemodynamics following real and hypnosis- simulated phlebotomy.” Am J Clin Hypn 1997 Jul;40(1):368-75.

Enqvist B, von Konow L, Bystedt H. “Pre- and perioperative suggestion in maxillofacial surgery: effects on blood loss and recovery.” Int J Clin Exp Hypn 1995 Jul;43(3):284-94.
Lucas ON. “The use of hypnosis in hemophilia dental care.” Ann N Y Acad Sci 1975 Jan 20;240:263-6.
Meurisse M. Faymonville ME, Joris J, Nguyen Dang D, Defechereux T, Hamoir E. “Service de Chirurgie des Glandes Endocrines et Transplantation, Centre

Hospitalier Universitaire de Liege, Belgique.” Ann Endocrinol (Paris) 1996;57(6):494-501.

Haemophilia

Study 1: Suggestions Reduce Blood Loss in Surgery
Preoperative Instructions for Decreased Bleeding During Spine Surgery
http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Citation/1986/09001/Preoperative_Instructions_for_Decreased_Bleeding.244.aspx

Results: Those who were given preoperative suggestions for the blood to move away during surgery – so the body could conserve blood – lost significantly less blood than those in both the control and relaxation groups.

Notes: Ninety-two patients who were scheduled for spinal surgery were randomly divided into three groups. One served as the control, the second were given suggestions for relaxation, while the third were given preoperative suggestions that the blood would leave the area where the surgery was to take place at the start of the operation and then remain away until it was complete. This third group was also given suggestions about the importance of blood conservation. The authors note that generally blood loss during surgical procedures can vary wildly between different patients and is unpredictable. For certain types of surgeries, this blood loss often requires transfusions. Giving preoperative suggestions about decreased bleeding could help with these issues.

Anaesthesiology, Sept. 1986, Vol.65 A246
By: H. L. Bennett, Ph.D., D. R. Benson, D. A. Kuiken, Dept. of Anesthesiology and Orthopedic Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento California

Study 2: Case Study – Hypnosis to Treat Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Hypnotic Control of Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage: A Case Report
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1984.10402584?journalCode=ujhy20

Results: After treatment with hypnosis, the patient (who was suffering from upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding) was discharged from the hospital without the need for surgical intervention.

Notes: This paper presents the successful treatment with hypnosis of a patient with upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding. After treatment, the patient was discharged from the hospital without the need for surgical intervention.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 27, Issue 1, 1984
By: Emil G. Bishay M.D.a, Grant Stevensa and Chingmuh Lee, UCLA School of Medicine

Hemophilia Disorder Disease Word in Blood Stream in Red Cells

Study 3: Hypnosis Helps Hemophiliacs Avoid Transfusions, Decreases Risk of Other Health Problems, and Increases Quality of Life
The Use of Hypnosis with Hemophilia
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1289965

Results: The hemophiliacs using hypnosis realized a reduction in the need for transfusions, which results in a decrease in the development of inhibitors, less potential exposure to dangers such as the AIDS virus and a lower incidence of liver and kidney damage. A decrease in the frequency and severity of bleeding episodes results in less morbidity and better coping in the face of HIV infection. Self-hypnosis has provided many bleeders with increased feelings of control and confidence and improved the quality of their lives.

Notes: The Colorado Health Sciences Center’s program to treat hemophiliacs using hypnosis is described.

Psychiatr Med. 1992;10(4):89-98
By: W. LaBaw, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver

Study 4: Hypnosis for Hemophilia Dental Care to Decrease Bleeding
The Use of Hypnosis in Hemophilia Dental Care
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1975.tb53358.x/abstract

Results: This paper discusses how hypnosis can decrease bleeding during dental care and lower the anxiety of hemophiliacs about dental procedures.

Notes: The author describes the experiences of a dental clinic that uses hypnosis for hemophiliacs undergoing dental surgical procedures.

Ann N Y Acad Sci,1975 , 240;263-6, Volume 240
By: Oscar N. Lucas, University of Oregon Dental School

Hypnotic blood flow control

Study 5: Hypnosis to Reduce Blood Loss in Maxillofacial (Neck, Head, Jaw, etc.) Surgery
Pre and perioperative suggestion in maxillofacial surgery: Effects on blood loss and recovery
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7635580

Results: The patients who received hypnotic suggestions were compared to a group of matched control patients. The patients who received preoperative hypnotic suggestions exhibited a 30% reduction in blood loss. A 26% reduction in blood loss was shown in the group of patients receiving pre- and perioperative suggestions, and the group of patients receiving perioperative suggestions only showed a 9% reduction in blood loss.

Notes: The basic assumption underlying the present study was that emotional factors may influence not only recovery but also blood loss and blood pressure in maxillofacial surgery patients, where the surgery was performed under general anesthesia. Eighteen patients (group 1) were administered a hypnosis tape containing preoperative therapeutic suggestions, 18 patients (group 2) were administered hypnosis tapes containing pre- and perioperative (note “perioperative” generally means the time of hospitalization until discharge) suggestions, and 24 patients (group 3) were administered a hypnosis tape containing perioperative suggestions only. Groups 1 and 2 listened to the audiotape 1-2 times daily for the two weeks before surgery. The audiotapes provided therapeutic suggestions for improved healing, less bleeding, lower blood pressure, and faster recovery. The audiotape was 17 minutes in length. During surgery, group 2 also heard an audiotape, which contained similar positive therapeutic suggestions.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 1995 Jul;43(3):284-94
By: B. Enqvist, L. von Konow, H. Bystedt, Eastman Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Hypnosis and Claustrophobia


Claustrophobia is usually defined as the irrational fear of confined spaces. It can be rational to fear being trapped when circumstances carry genuine threat. However, in claustrophobia, people experience fear even when there is no obvious or realistic danger in a particular situation.

People who experience claustrophobia generally go out of their way to avoid a long list of confined spaces, including lifts, tunnels, tube trains, revolving doors, public toilets, MRI scanners, and even don’t like to wear crash helmets. Unfortunately, avoidance may reinforce the fear.

Claustrophobia may arise from a one-off trauma at any age, developed when the person was a child (for example growing up with one or more claustrophobic parents) or emerge as someone gets older. Around 10% of the population may experience claustrophobia during their lifetime.

Simple Self Diagnosis

If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by claustrophobia.

During the past 6 months, did any of the following make you feel anxious:

  • Being in a confined space such as being in a tunnel, on the underground etc.?
  • Being in crowded places?
  • Did you avoid being in any of the above situations?

Physical Symptoms

Panic attacks are common among people with claustrophobia. They can be very frightening and distressing and symptoms often occur without warning.
As well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a panic attack can also cause:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat
  • chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest
  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • nausea
  • headaches and dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness or pins and needles
  • dry mouth
  • a need to go to the toilet
  • ringing in your ears
  • feeling confused or disorientated

Psychological Symptoms
People with severe claustrophobia may also experience psychological symptoms such as:

  • fear of losing control
  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying

For many people, the aspect of embarrassment over their phobia is as debilitating as the the phobic condition itself. Some sufferers recognise that their fears are overblown and irrational, but cannot seem to stay in control. The reason for this is because phobias are rooted deep within the unconscious, which no amount of conscious effort can be fully effective in controlling. This makes treating phobias particularly challenging.

Claustrophobia is usually treated with anti-anxiety drugs or counseling. Hypnotherapy is an ideal, safe and non-invasive form of therapy with no harmful side effects. It works by pinpointing the root causes of fear in the unconscious to rapidly cure a phobia. In particular, a program that utilises Ericksonian hypnotherapy techniques and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can be used to cure a phobia. This uses numerous hypnotic techniques to help people beat their fears.

The initial step in curing a phobia is helping the sufferer feel relaxed and anxiety-free. Hypnotherapy has long been used as a form of stress-reducing therapy, to help people clear their minds and focus deeply.

Conventional hypnosis techniques have used direct, post-hypnotic suggestions to help cure phobias. The disadvantage of the direct approach is that the mind tends to reject being merely “told” how to behave. Many people put up mental blocks and ignore suggestions. In today’s society, both children and adults are especially likely to ignore direct suggestions since we are mostly independent people who question authority.

Deep relaxation is the essence of the hypnotic state. Once in the relaxed state, instead of using direct post-hypnotic suggestions, a better approach known as systematic desensitisation can help extinguish a phobia through visual imagery.

Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses a more innovative approach than conventional techniques. It utilises indirect suggestions concealed in captivating stories and metaphors to interest the unconscious and convince it to adopt a desirable, phobia-free line of thinking. Due to the fact that indirect suggestions don’t need to be adapted to a single phobia like direct suggestions do, a single good Ericksonian hypnotherapy program will work to beat any phobia or even multiple phobias.

NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is an innovative form of therapy that many well trained hypnotherapists have begun to use. The best NLP technique for overcoming a phobia is called the Visual – Kinesthetic Disassociation, also referred to as the V/K. The V/K is recognised as the single session phobia cure, and for good reason. Phobic or panic reactions (attacks) occur because traumatic experiences are attached to and aggravated by mental images. With the V/K, the traumatic experiences are disconnected from the mental images – often in one simple session, and the fear is essentially extinguished.

Those fighting with claustrophobia can find relief with hypnotherapy. The combination of Ericksonian hypnosis therapy with NLP techniques will help all people beat their phobias. Hypnosis therapy has helped countless users feel safe and secure in situations where earlier, they would’ve suffered a breakdown. Hypnosis techniques have provided phenomenal benefits for people afflicted with phobias and continue to improve lives each and every day.

Study 1: Hypnosis and Claustrophobia in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs)

Hypnosis for management of claustrophobia in magnetic resonance imaging (Study developed at Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-39842010000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Results: Out of the sample, 18 (90%) patients were susceptible to the technique. Of the 16 hypnotizable subjects who were submitted to magnetic resonance imaging, 15 (93.8%) could complete the examination under hypnotic trance, with no sign of claustrophobia and without need of sedative drugs.

Conclusion: Hypnosis is an alternative to anesthetic sedation for claustrophobic patients who must undergo magnetic resonance imaging.

Notes: The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of hypnosis for management of claustrophobia in patients submitted to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Twenty claustrophobic patients referred for magnetic resonance imaging under sedation were submitted to hypnosis The patients susceptible to hypnosis were submitted to magnetic resonance imaging under hypnotic trance without using sedative drugs.

After hypnotic induction, the patients underwent ideosensory activities, with induction of vivid, pleasant visual and kinesthetic sensations (walk through a relaxing, safe and welcoming landscape) associated with a sensation of peace, tranquility and safety. After the establishment of the hypnogenic signal, the patients were dehypnotized for assessment of the depth and efficacy of the induced hypnotic trance. Subsequently, hypnosis was induced again, this time by means of the hypnogenic signal. In this second procedure (double induction technique), the patients were introduced to the different phases of the MRI examination which are resignified and associated with the relaxing sensation achieved in the previous ideosensory activity. On the occasion of the procedure, the patient was hypnotized with utilization of the hypnogenic signal in a preparation room, and taken on a wheelchair to the MRI equipment, being dehypnotized once the procedure was completed.

Radiologia Brasileira, Vol. 43, No. 1, São Paulo Jan./Feb. 2010
By: Luiz Guilherme Carneiro Velloso (Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Maria de Lourdes DupratII (Psychologist, Group of Medical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy of Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Ricardo Martins (Biomedical Scientist, Unit of Imaging Diagnosis – Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Luiz Scoppetta (MD, Radiologist, Unit of Imaging Diagnosis – Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)

Study 2: More Hypnosis for MRI Procedures
Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Improved Patient Tolerance Utilizing Medical Hypnosis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2270840

Results: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical procedure where patients are required to lie on their backs in a tight cylinder (with only a few inches of space between their face and the top of the chamber) for up to an hour. Between one and ten percent of patients experience feelings of panic and other claustrophobic reactions. Many are unable to complete the procedure. This study reports on how hypnosis was used to help ten claustrophobic patients successfully undergo this procedure.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1990 Oct;33(2):80-4
By: P. J. Friday, W. S. Kubal , Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Study 3: More Hypnosis for MRI Procedures
Hypnosis Using a Communication Device to Increase Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tolerance with a Claustrophobic Patient.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9922650

The paper reports on the case of a woman who was unable to have an MRI because she was claustrophobic and panicked in such confined environments. She was then hypnotized twice and given post-hypnotic suggestions to increase her sense of comfort and relaxation and gain control over her body’s responses. She was then hypnotized through headphones when she entered the MRI unit where she was able to complete the procedure. This patient was successfully able to cope with this procedure and reported great satisfaction with treatment.

Mil Med. 1999 Jan;164(1):71-2
By: E. P. Simon, Clinical Psychology Department, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96859, USA

There’s More to Maintaining Your Ideal Body than Just Input and Output


For some reason, even with all the science and information available out there, diet and exercise are still the main focus of attention when it comes to fat loss. The thing is as important a part as they do play in the process, it’s just not as simple as “burn more calories than you consume.” I still meet people on a regular basis who live by this misguided rule, now I’m not saying it doesn’t work, however, it generally only works in the short to medium term, not indefinitely. It’s an outdated model because there’s so much more to fat loss than just diet and exercise.

During my research and development for my book I discovered a number of things that, when factored into your fat loss and maintenance programme, make a huge difference in your ability to achieve and hold onto your desired outcome. So here I want to share with you four key elements that I drill into all my clients from day one to ensure that they continue to make progress.

Sleeping Baby

1. Quality Deep Restorative sleep. Sleep Like a Baby.
Now I know some of you may be thinking, what is he on about, sleep is sleep. Well there is a big difference and there is a common misunderstanding about sleep, and that is how much do we need and also that it should be constant sleep throughout the night. When we sleep we go through different depths during a 90 minute cycle called the ‘Ultradian Rhythm’. What this means is that we drift off into a light sleep, drop down into REM or Dream Sleep and then into Deep Restorative Sleep and this is where your brain and body recharge, repair and restore themselves. Without this quality deep restorative sleep we can wake up more tired than when we went to bed because we have been dreaming too much and never getting into that deep sleep. When we remain in that light sleep and REM sleep states we can be interrupted by our dreams and by outside noises that bring us up into conscious awareness and break that natural sleep pattern. I want you to understand that this is a normal part of the cycle and it is why we don’t have 7-8 hours of completely uninterrupted sleep, we wake up and go back to sleep a few times throughout the night. What is really important is that we go into the Deep Restorative Sleep state and recharge, repair and restore. This is why sleep is one of the first things I discuss with a new client, because it really is that important.

If you’re really serious about optimising your health and/or losing fat, then you really need to pay more attention to your sleep patterns and habits and make changes here first before doing anything else in order to get maximum benefit from your training and nutrition.

If my client’s fat loss stalls and/or they’re losing momentum and energy, I don’t start analysing their nutrition plan or increasing their exercise frequency or intensity. I look at their sleep quality and quantity, and their chronic stress level to see where we can make some changes.

As a society we are chronically sleep-deprived and over-stressed. Individually these elements can cause severe health problems and hinder fat loss. When you combine them they are disastrous for your overall health and your fat loss goals

Have you noticed that when you are exhausted you feel hungrier than usual? This is not your imagination. Not getting enough sleep affects leptin and ghrelin, which are  your hunger hormones.

A consistent lack of sleep will make you hungrier and much more impulsive, and you will have an almost insatiable craving for high-carbohydrate foods. This makes avoiding the muffins and cakes at the coffee shop or turning down the bacon rolls at the office a nearly impossible feat. Being chronically sleep-deprived also significantly elevates your cortisol levels  and insulin resistance and this affects your fat loss and your overall physical and mental health.

If this doesn’t make you want to go to bed a bit earlier, another reason is that adequate sleep is also crucial for cognitive function, maintaining a positive outlook, and having a steady supply of energy so that you can keep up with your kids, run around with your dog, lift heavier weights, run faster/longer and all the other active things you love to do.

Reflective Questions:
• Am I getting quality deep restorative sleep each night within an average of 7 hours sleep?
• If not, what am I prepared to change to ensure I get that quality sleep? (For example: Stop watching TV in bed. No phones, kindles, iPads etc in the bedroom at night to avoid the temptation to stay up interacting with social media)

Train Smart

2. Don’t Train Harder, Train Smarter. That Includes Variety.
When I was serving in the Royal Marines, particularly during basic training, I couldn’t eat enough because the amount of physical exercise was phenomenal. It was almost impossible to consume enough calories in a day to match my output. The same thing happened when I was racing in Triathlons, the problem was that it increased my appetite so much that all wanted I to do was eat and sometimes I simply didn’t have the time.

I finally understood a few years ago that high-intensity, steady-state exercise is not the best model for me, it turns me into a black hole for food. It was potentially far too easy for me to “out-eat” my training, which meant I was breaking even at best and running myself into the ground.

I recommend to my clients applying the Minimum Effective Dose Model to their training. Meaning, I totally understand that you love exercise and it’s important that you do just enough to elicit the desired results while keeping your hormones happy and your appetite in check.

For most people (who train regularly), this typically means two or three heavy strength-training days, one or two short-duration HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions, and no more than a couple of moderate-intensity, steady-state cardio sessions per week.
Getting too aggressive with exercise and doing an obscene amount of cardio, spending hours in the weight room each day, or doing two-a-day training sessions can lead to a voracious appetite, run down your immune system and lead to overtraining, which I’m guessing is probably not in line with your goals.

Reflective Questions:

  •  Is any type of exercise that I’m doing increasing my appetite to the point that it may be sabotaging, instead of supporting, my goals?
  •  What kind of exercise can I do instead to see how that makes me feel? (Example: Instead of running for 45 minutes, how about trying 15 minutes of intervals? Instead of that 60-minute Spin class, how about breaking it up into two 30-minute moderate-intensity cardio sessions throughout the week?)

Healthy eating

3. Eat Food That You Enjoy, Is Nutritious and Fills you Up.
When you think of fat loss, do you think it means eating the same boring foods, every day? Chicken breast, sweet potato, broccoli, egg whites, oats, and protein powder, day in and day out?

This absolutely can work because there’s nothing nutritionally wrong with it, in fact it’s full of great nutrients. What I can promise you is this. It won’t work for long, unless you actually love to eat like this and truly feel satisfied. Generally we can only tolerate so much bland, boring food that we don’t necessarily enjoy before we frantically wave the white flag and dive into a pile of junk food, never to return to it again…until the next time we want to lose fat!!

The key to making  your nutrition a sustainable part of your lifestyle is to ensure that you love what you’re eating. You have to enjoy your food in order to be satisfied and for me food is meant to be enjoyed. If you force down a meal that you hate because someone told you or you read somewhere that this is the way to lose fat, there is a high probability that you’ll be raiding your cupboards and fridge afterward for something to satisfy your palate.

Emjoy your meal

Fortunately on the Internet, there are millions of recipes right at your fingertips. While it may take you 20 minutes to bake a week’s worth of bland chicken breasts, it would only take you an additional few minutes to whip up a tasty sauce for them, try a new seasoning blend, or another way of cooking them. You can bake, broil, roast, slow cook, grill, steam, or sauté your food into an explosion of flavour with just a tiny bit more thought and effort. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Reflective Questions:

  • Am I currently eating foods I can’t stand but eat them anyway because I feel like I’m “supposed” to?
  • What can I do to those foods, or what can I substitute, to make eating an enjoyable experience again?
  • Can I spare an extra 20 minutes per day to improve the taste of my food? ( The answer is yes by the way.)

4. Choose the Right Form of and Amount of Cardio.
Cardio is a funny thing. For a while, it’s all many people wanted to do. Thankfully, times have changed and in particular, women have embraced the empowering feeling and advantages of strength training. The only downside to that is that cardio has started to get kicked to the curb to a degree. Cardio, like most forms of exercise, can be a wonderful tool when used correctly.
Is cardio necessary for everyone who wants to get leaner? Not really. But if you find that you’re a bit stuck, incorporating a couple of sessions per week could help.

Moderate-intensity, steady-state cardio is a way to burn calories, sure. More importantly, it improves work capacity, which can mean improved training. It can also aid in recovery from your strength workouts.

This is not a pass for a cardio free-for-all. Whatever form of cardio you choose, please make sure you’re doing the type that keeps stress low and your hunger under control.

steeplechase-1033335__180cycling-840975__180

Reflective Questions:

  • What kind of cardio do I enjoy most? Walking, biking, cycling, swimming, rowing, running?
    Can I spare 20 minutes 2-3 times a week to incorporate some moderate-intensity cardio?
  • Am I prepared to do fasted cardio (train before eating to boost your fat burning capabilities) in the morning?
  • How did that cardio make me feel? Do I feel in control of my appetite? Do I feel energised? If the answer to those questions is yes, stick with it for a few weeks and see what changes you notice.

As you can see, when it comes to fat loss, there is more to the equation than simply restricting food intake and doing more exercise. If you find yourself stuck and not making any progress, take a look at these four things and see if making a few changes can help push you forwards and out of your rut.

As always, making changes in  your body begins with making changes in your brain in terms of how you think about and perceive all the different elements required to achieve your aim. Without starting with your brain and mind, you are almost certainly going to fail backwards at some point and have to start again and fall foul of the Yo-Yo process that millions of us get trapped in year after year.

One last but important note: Once you make a change, stick with it for at least four weeks, and then evaluate your progress before making any more changes.

For more advice and to find out about my Lifestyle Coaching Program that works your from the top down so that you make the changes in your brain/mind first setting you on the right path, with the right mindset right from the beginning, you can email me directly  at simon@simonmaryan.com

Have a fantastic weekend

Simon

Hypnosis and Bedwetting


Key Causes

Study 1: Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis for Bedwetting (Enuresis) – Children Aged 5 to 16
Hypnosis and self-hypnosis in the management of nocturnal enuresis: a comparative study with imipramine therapy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259762

Results: Of the patients treated with imipramine (a prescription antidepressant medication), 76% had a positive response (all dry beds); for patients treated with hypnotic strategies, 72% responded positively. At the 9-month follow-up, 68% of patients in the hypnosis group maintained a positive response, whereas only 24% of the imipramine group did.

Notes: Enuretic (bedwetting) children, ranging in age from 5 to 16 years, underwent 3 months of therapy with imipramine (N = 25) or hypnosis (N = 25). After termination of the active treatment, the hypnosis group continued practicing self-hypnosis daily during the follow-up period of another 6 months.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1993 Oct;36(2):113-9
By: S. Banerjee, A. Srivastav, B. M. Palan, Pramukhswami Medical College, India

Study 2: Hypnosis and Bedwetting – Boys Aged 8 to 13
Hypnotherapy as a Treatment for Enuresis.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1985.tb01635.x/abstract

Results: Results indicated that hypnotherapy was significantly effective over 6 months in decreasing nocturnal enuresis, compared with both pretreatment baseline enuresis frequency and no-treatment controls.

Notes: The main objective of this study was to provide an adequately controlled experimental and clinical study to assess the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the treatment of nocturnal enuresis. Subjects were 48 nocturnal enuretic boys, aged 8-13 yr. Treatment consisted of six standardized sessions, one hourly session per subject per week.

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 161-170, January 1985
By: S. D. Edwards, Department of Psychology, University of Zululand, South Africa
H. I. J. Vander Spuvy, Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Study 3: Hypnotherapy and Refractory Nocturnal Enuresis – Boys Aged 8 to 16
Hypnotherapy in the treatment of refractory nocturnal enuresis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14983195

Results: At follow-up after three months and one year, nine out of 12 patients had respectively 6-7/7, and 7/7 dry nights per week. Three patients had nocturnal enuresis at follow-up; two of them were referred to a pediatric surgeon for their overactive urine bladder and one was referred to his local psychiatric clinic because of ongoing family conflicts.

Notes: Twelve boys, median age 12 years (range 8-16), eight with primary nocturnal enuresis and four with primary nocturnal and diurnal enuresis, reported at referral a median of 0 (range 0-3) dry nights per week They underwent hypnotherapy with a median of six sessions (range 2-8), followed by median one month with self-hypnosis exercises. Hypnotherapy had lasting effects for boys with chronic and complex forms of nocturnal enuresis.

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004 Feb 19;124(4):488-91. (Article in Norwegian)
By: T. H. Diseth, I. H. Vandvik, Barne-og ungdomspsykiatrisk seksjon, Barneavdelingen, Rikshospitalet, Oslo

Addictions and Hypnosis


Addiction-300x232

This is a subject that is highly relevant to my work at the moment as I am involved in a pilot project in Aberdeenshire working with drug and alcohol addiction, so I have been re-reading these research papers again myself. There are many levels to addiction and also influence from and transference from other presenting issues in an addicts lifestyle that can complicate the recovery process.

So What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?

Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

Medical News Today wrote a great article about addiction.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.

This is a fascinating topic that I hope you will again find interesting reading in terms of the application of and the success in the use of hypnosis. 

Study 1: Hypnosis and Cocaine
Hypnosis For Cocaine Addiction Documented Case Study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259763

Notes: Hypnosis was successfully used to overcome a $500 (five grams) per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her twenties. After approximately 8 months of addiction, she decided to use hypnosis in an attempt to overcome the addiction itself. Over the next 4 months, she used hypnosis three times a day and at the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1993 Oct;36(2):120-3
By: G. W. Handley, Ohio State University, Lima, OH USA 45804

Study 2: Hypnosis and Methadone
A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts.
http://www.hypnosis-review-quarterly.com/drug-addiction-hypnosis-studies.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6486078

Notes: Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9
By: A. J. Manganiello

Study 3: Hypnosis and Marijuana, Cocaine and Alcohol
Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4584094/Potter-Intensive_therapy_Utilizing_hypnosis_substance_abuse_disorders.pdf

Results: All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.

Notes: This paper reports on 18 cases over a 7-year period where hypnosis was used to treat a variety of addictions. Fifteen cases involved alcohol, two involved cocaine and one involved marijuana. All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.
Tools: The following tools and suggestions are given for use in hypnosis;

(A) Direct Suggestion. Direct suggestion can be used for creating a positive expectancy. The therapist can also use direct suggestion to inspire confidence, commitment, motivation, and perseverance in the client to achieve the stated goals, as well as encourage the proper behavioral changes.

(B) Anchors. In hypnosis, anchoring happens when a posthypnotic suggestion is paired to a feeling state. Therefore, when an individual has a craving for the drug, the posthypnotic suggestion is used to bring about the anchored feelings

(C) Metaphors A metaphor used in therapy usually consists of a story that has a short metaphor embedded within. The whole story is not metaphoric, but captures the client’s attention so the metaphoric message can be subconsciously embedded. For example, Wallas’s (1985) “The Boy Who Lost His Way.” All metaphors are altered, paraphrased and structured to fit the individual’s situation in order to make a therapeutic impact. For example, for female clients “the boy” in the metaphor becomes a girl.

(D) Reframes. There may be many issues that arise while working with addictions that can be reframed. For example, the way a person views New Year’s Eve; or what it means to go fishing or boating. Any situation in which the client has consumed alcohol or used their drug of choice can be reframed to exclude the substance.

(E) Affect Bridge. The affect bridge (Watkins, 1971) is used with clients who have particular emotions associated with the use of drugs. By following the emotion through the affect bridge to the first time the client felt that particular emotion before using the drug, the client can become more aware of and break the connection with that emotion and the drug.

(F) Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis is routinely taught to all clients. It is left up to the clients as to how they use it.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004 vol.47(1) :21-28
By: G. Potter

Study 4: Self-Hypnosis for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training With Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect. and Relapse.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190730

Results: While the rate of relapse for all four groups was roughly the same (13%), those who were taught self-hypnosis and who listened to self-hypnosis recordings at home 3 to 5 times a week were more serene, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had greater control over anger and impulsive behavior.

Notes: This study recruited 261 veterans who were admitted into a residential program for substance abuse. The aim was to find out if self-hypnosis could help chronic abusers of drugs and alcohol improve their sense of self-esteem, control their emotions and prevent relapses. Participants were broken into four groups and were assessed before and after they entered the program and then again 7 weeks later.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97
By: R. J. Pekala, R. Maurer, V. K. Kumar, N. C. Elliott, E. Masten, E. Moon, M. Salinger, Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA

Study 5: Case Study – Hypnosis for Chemical Dependency (and future related Imagery)
Refraining of an Addiction via Hypnotherapy: A Case Presentation
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402944#preview

Notes: “A chemically dependent man was treated using hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic techniques The majority of the sessions focused on age regressing the patient to events correlating to drug and alcohol abuse. During these events I introduced myself via hypnosis as “the voice from the future” to redefine the events and extract the useful learnings. With a new-found positive self-image, the patient was hypnotically age progressed to review future scenes. In each scene he successfully abstained from drug and alcohol use. The patient remained drug and alcohol free during treatment and the 6-month and one-year follow-ups.”

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 33, Issue 4, 1991, pages 263-271
By: David J. Orman

Study 6: Hypnosis and Heroin
The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: brief clinical description of a single case
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.69/abstract

Notes: This paper describes the use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user. This client was finding it very difficult to keep to his methadone prescription and was frequently using heroin ‘on top’. He received three sessions of hypnosis in order to facilitate relaxation and visualization, and resolution of ambivalence concerning his drug use. The results suggest the client has responded well to treatment. Details both of the client and of the three hypnosis sessions are given and the outcome is discussed.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 198-201, October 1996
By: Bill Drysdale, Clinical Psychologist, Barnet Drug and Alcohol Service, Woodlands, Colindale Hospital, Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 SHG

Addiction-CyclesAdditional References:

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/addiction

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/home.aspx

http://www.bps.org.uk/search/apachesolr_search/Addiction

Life Design Enables Mastering of Self-renewal and Generativity


10 skills  required to change yourself …

Managing the change cycle is a self-renewing process. It empowers people to be self-confident and generative. Generativity is defined as a process whereby we learn to follow our deeper interests and longings and bring about change. It helps us to avoid the dangers of self-absorption and stagnation because we learn to live in new ways that expand our horizons. The following are 10 skills for managing the change cycle. Each skill has a time in the cycle when it performs a critical function, however, all 10 skills are important at all times because to some degree parts of our lives are simultaneously at various places in the cycle.

Visioning or Dreaming the Plan – The dream or vision is the driving force for the life structure, a source of passion and values. The plan is the plot for making the dream happen.

Launching – Launching puts the plan to action; it requires commitment and personal mission.

Plateauing – Plateauing is the art of sustaining a successful life structure…. It is knowing when and how to keep enriching the dream/plan for as long as it makes sense to do so.

Managing the Doldrums – This requires coming to terms with decline, negative emotions, and feeling trapped in an increasingly dysfunctional life structure.

Sorting Things Out – Choosing what to keep, what to eliminate or change, what to add, and how to proceed into a revitalised life structure is the task of this step of the change cycle.

Ending a Life Structure – This requires an ability to say farewell with gratitude and clarity, which frees you to consider your next options.

Restructuring – This mini-transition can be used if the life structure could be improved through some specific changes.

Cocooning – The transition into a new life structure requires turning inward to take stock, to identify your own basic values, and to disengage emotionally and mentally from the former life structure.

Self-Renewal – Following successful cocooning, this step involves a rebirth of self-esteem, a re-evaluation of core issues and beliefs, and the recovery of hope and purpose.

Experimenting – Creativity, learning, risk taking, and networking give one a sense of purpose and power in creating a new life structure.

SELF-RENEWAL FOR COACHING AND SELF-COACHING

Finding meaning in our work is critical if we are to avoid stagnation and boredom (Bergquist et al. 1993). It is the responsibility of each individual to effect the change necessary to reinvent work so that it has personal relevance. Many companies are now requiring that employees take responsibility for their own professional development.

Some critical strategies required when being coached:

  • Honest assessment of self and skills
  • Genuine motivation and drive to establish and pursue a goal
  • Understanding and knowledge of the strategic challenges of their position and business
  • Commitment to establishing an action plan that is built upon realistic expectations and that draws upon available resources, both within and outside the company
  • Being able to accomplish successful career/professional development transitions within an existing organisation/life structure
  • Creating a new organisation/life structure requires personal motivation.
  • Successful transition is linked with one’s sense of autonomy or internal locus of control, and manifested in a willingness to learn and a positive attitude. It is the force that propels individuals to take the initiative in directing their own lives and careers.

Many people find value in their work as a source of new learning and challenge. “They return to school, enter training programs, or enroll in workshops and seminars to keep up to date in their current jobs or strike out on their own” (Bergquist). Others, hampered by lack of drive, fear of failure, or reluctance to exit company retirement plans by terminating employment, stay in unsatisfying and/or stressful jobs. Bergquist et al. ask if the sacrifice is necessary or worthwhile. “When does the time come for us to cease deferring gratification for the future and begin actually living the fabled future?”. Whatever their age, adults must find meaning and community in their work if they want to be generative and alive. Therefore, they must look toward continued opportunities to reinvent work as a central part of reinventing themselves.

“Life Design” takes all these factors into account both personally and professionally and helps you make the right choices for your future.

10 Things That Hold You Back from Your Success


If I could show you how you can become an outrageous success, would you be interested?

You see, human beings are naturally happy when everything negative is removed. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. As soon as you let go, it pops back up to the surface.

So imagine yourself being a success and all that it brings with it. It feels good, doesn’t it? You can have that, and much more, if you would just let go of the things that hold you back.

  1. Lack of Vision – The number one thing that holds most people back is lack of vision. You have to get a clear image in your mind’s eye about what success means to you. I’m not talking about having tons of money, five cars, and a huge house somewhere expensive.I’m talking about the life that you truly want to live. Think about how you would feel if you already had all that.In the end all we want is to feel good now.

2. Negative Expectations – We’ve been conditioned to talk negatively to ourselves all day long. Some people don’t believe in affirmations, but they go around telling themselves that they aren’t good enough, that they can’t accomplish anything, and that nothing is worth doing.Try saying those things to yourself right now and see how you feel. Positive expectations will make good things happen.

3. Blame – There’s no one to blame. You alone are responsible for not only the business success you have, but also how much you enjoy life right now. Even if someone did something wrong to you in the past, it doesn’t mean that you have to be mad at them for the rest of your life.The only one suffering from you blaming others is you.

4. Negative Beliefs – Everyone has their own set of negative beliefs. Figure out what yours are and start letting them go. There are a lot of ways out there that you can use to let go your negative beliefs.Many of them work. I personally help people do just this with NLP and sometimes EFT and the results are powerful, but the change starts with you making the decision.The problem is that most people like their negative beliefs, because they have benefits and feel familiar. They haven’t realized that by letting go of these negative beliefs, you can feel even better and become even more successful.

5. Familiarity – Familiarity holds everyone back, because feeling like you’re safe and comfortable is nice, but it ultimately keeps you stuck. And it’s nowhere near as nice as when you take action, face your fears, and build a life that you truly desire.Feeling uncomfortable when you do something new is a part of the game. It’s just a sign that you’re changing and making progress.

6. No Trust – It’s essential that you trust the process. You don’t have to know exactly how you’re going to earn more and become more successful.Your heart already knows where to go. Listen to your heart and follow your highest excitement.Trust yourself, because you are the only one who knows what’s right for you.

7. Lack of Focus – Another big stumbling block that may hold you back from outrageous success is the lack of focus. You have to have smart goals.If you begin a new project or start a new business, you have to put on the blinders and focus on nothing else.I’ve found that the more I focus, the better I do. It’s easy to get distracted and sidetracked, I get that, but if you want success, you have to have laser-sharp focus.

8. Wrong View of Happiness – Happiness doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside.Think about what you truly want when it comes to business success, and ask yourself what that will give you that you wouldn’t otherwise have.Keep asking that question until you reach the end, which is usually peace of mind, happiness, joy, or something like fulfillment.The truth of the matter is that we all want to feel good, and we can feel good right away. You don’t have to get stuff or accomplish things to do so.

9. Settling for Mediocrity – This goes hand in hand with familiarity. It’s easy to settle for mediocrity, because you may have felt that you weren’t good enough up until now.You can change that whenever you want. Success isn’t what you thought it was. It can be fun and enjoyable. Everything we believe is just a map of reality, and the map is never the territory.

10. Passion Procrastination – The most successful people are those who are passionate about what they do. Now, there are people out there that don’t love what they do and are widely successful. The only problem with them is that they kind of hate life.Being successful is not about making a lot of money, it’s about doing what you love, and feeling fulfilled.The funny thing is that when you do something you love and get really good at it, the money tends to follow.

You can become an outrageous success. All you have to do is make the decision today.