What’s the Deal With Hypnotherapy?


Lets face it, none of us are perfect and being brutally honest, no one is. Just like me, I am sure that there are things you know you could change, small tweaks that might make your life more satisfying, more rewarding and fulfilling.

Perhaps changing a bad habit for a useful new one, overcoming a long-standing phobia, or maybe finding the right motivators to change what you eat so that you can lose that excess fat and keep it off.

We all have something we’d like to change or improve, but how do you do it? How can you break what might be the habit of a lifetime, or find the strength to resist temptation?
And even more importantly, how do you make sure your new habit/behaviour sticks?

If you’ve ever tried to do it on your own, you’ll know it’s no easy feat and as difficult as it seems, it’s not impossible, especially when you get the right kind of help.

What Is Hypnotherapy?
Look at the word “hypnotherapy” and you’ll see it’s actually a combination of two words.
Hypnosis – and therapy.In a nutshell it’s a complementary therapy that utilities the power of hypnosis by instilling positive suggestions into your unconscious mind.

With the right suggestions, it’s possible to alter:
The way you think
The way you feel
The way you behave

And this is why hypnotherapy is such a potent tool for change, because when you can change your thoughts, your feelings, and your behaviours – you can move mountains, you can overcome any obstacle that blocks your way, because it enables you to tackle things that you once thought impossible. Plus, when used by a well trained, certified professional, hypnotherapy can help with every one of the following:
Addictions
Childbirth
Obsessions
Compulsions
Anger management
Depression
Eating disorders
Confidence building
Self-esteem boosting
Anxiety relief
Exam nerves
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Fears and phobias
Pain management
Sexual issues
Relaxation
Stuttering
Tinnitus
Sleep disorders
Stress reduction
Weight loss

Now that’s quite a list, so the next question is, how can it be so effective? How can it deal with ALL of those things? The answer is simple.

Hypnotherapy gets to the bottom of whatever the issue is. It bypasses your critical conscious mind and connects you with your unconscious. It changes your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours from the inside out. This means it tackles the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms, and deals with it. And to top it off, it often does that better than almost any other form of therapy.

Hypnotherapy Comes Out On Top

Dr. Alfred A. Barrios conducted a survey of psychotherapy literature. He discovered that:
93% of clients recover after 6 sessions of hypnotherapy
72% of clients recover after 22 sessions of behavioural therapy
38% of clients recover after 600 sessions of psychoanalysis

That blew my mind when I first read that, it’s quite amazing. Not only does hypnotherapy work faster – 6 sessions compared to 22 or more – but it works for a larger percentage of people.

It’s four times faster than behavioural therapy and a massive 100 times faster than psychoanalysis.

That might explain why the practice has been certified worldwide as an alternative way to manage so many conditions:
In 1996, the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association introduced a peer-group accreditation system for professional Australian hypnotherapists.
In the UK, the Department for Education and Skills developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy in 2002.
In the USA, hypnotherapy regulation and certification is carried out by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (A.C.H.E.). The first state-licensed hypnotherapy center was the Hypnotism Training Institute of Los Angeles, licensed way back in 1976.

So hypnotherapy is not just useful. It’s recognised worldwide as a bona fide treatment method for tackling issues in many areas of your life, including:

Mental and emotional health
Physical well-being
Spiritual development
Creativity
Motivation
Business concerns
Goal achievement
And lots more besides.

Now I’m pretty sure you’re wondering, “wait a minute, there other ways to deal with this stuff aren’t there? What about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, psychoanalysis & NLP?
the people who provide these services need to be qualified and certified too don’t they?
So how come they aren’t as effective as hypnotherapy?

To answer this question, you need to look at how the other three work.

Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychoanalysis & NLP
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT) is used to change the way you think and behave, it helps you deal with your problems in a more positive light. It’s commonly used to treat anxiety and depression by giving you practical ways to deal with life on a daily basis. The idea is to break down larger issues into smaller parts so they’re easier to cope with.
This enables you to manage them one at a time and gradually improve the way you feel.
It doesn’t remove the problems, but it gives you valid coping mechanisms so you can learn to manage them more easily.

Psychoanalysis is also widely used to treat anxiety and depression, but with a different approach.
Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud and the principle behind psychoanalysis is uncovering repressed emotions and experiences. So while CBT deals with problems in the present, the here and now, psychoanalysis delves into your past and in many cases, your childhood. It attempts to try to find the reasons why you feel anxious or depressed and by letting those repressed emotions come to the surface you can confront them and finally put them to rest.

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Neuro refers to your nervous system, the link between your brain and body.
Linguistic refers to the language you use.
Programming refers to learned behaviours and the way you respond to stimuli.
So NLP aims to change your behaviour (your programming) by altering the way your brain responds to what’s going on around you. It uses techniques like anchors and disassociation to achieve this. NLP is particularly useful for breaking habits and overcoming fears, which is great. What’s interesting though, is this, NLP often combines its techniques with hypnosis and self-hypnosis.

CBT has been proven more effective when used in conjunction with hypnotherapy. Even psychoanalysis works better when you’re under hypnosis, because you’re more in touch with your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is where all those memories and conflicts are stored and it seems that no matter which therapy is employed, the end result is the same. When you add a bit of hypnotherapy, you hugely increase your chances of success.

So Why Choose Hypnotherapy?
Let’s be honest here, when it comes to therapy, there are so many choices available today and Hypnotherapy is just one of the options. So why should you choose Hypnotherapy above any other treatment form?

There are at least three very good reasons:
It’s faster than other forms of therapy
It addresses more issues than other forms of therapy
It gets right to the heart of the problem and deals with it directly

During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist starts by talking to you and asking you questions in order to find out what the problem is. This allows them to learn about you and your life and this helps them decide the best way to help you overcome whatever issue you’re having. Once they know that, they’ll move on to hypnosis where they will lead you into a mild trance where your critical conscious mind can just switch off. This is basically a state of heightened awareness where you can access your unconscious and make deep-seated and lasting changes.

When you can do that, the possibilities are endless.
You can:
Find solutions to long-standing problems
Wipe away old limiting beliefs
Turn negative thoughts into positive ones
Develop new and healthier habits
Set realistic and achievable goals
Take active control of your health, your career, your relationships, and your life in general

And like the other therapies mentioned above, it works for anxiety and depression too. In fact, if you can think of a problem or an issue, hypnotherapy can probably help.
It can help you make better decisions
Get increased concentration
Unleash your imagination
Feel more relaxed, and more at peace with yourself
Wipe away stress
Feel healthier in mind and body
Boost your self-belief
Sleep better and function at your peak more often
Find the stability that will allow you to truly live your life, rather than just going through the motions

Because even though nobody’s perfect, there’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence by making one small change at a time through the power of hypnosis.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)


One of the most simple and easily learned techniques for relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a widely-used procedure today that was originally developed by Jacobson in 1939.

The PMR procedure teaches you to relax your muscles through a two-step process. First you deliberately apply tension to certain muscle groups, and then you stop the tension and turn your attention to noticing how the muscles relax as the tension flows away.

Through repetitive practice you quickly learn to recognise—and distinguish—the associated feelings of a tensed muscle and a completely relaxed muscle. With this simple knowledge, you can then induce physical muscular relaxation at the first signs of the tension that accompanies anxiety. And with physical relaxation comes mental calmness—in any situation.

Before practicing PMR, consult with your physician if you have a history of serious injuries, muscle spasms, or back problems, because the deliberate muscle tensing of the PMR procedure could exacerbate any of these pre-existing conditions.

If you continue with this procedure, you do so at your own risk.

There are two steps in the self-administered Progressive Muscle Relaxation procedure:

(a) deliberately tensing muscle groups

(b) releasing the induced tension

This two-step process will be described after you are introduced to the muscle groups.

After learning the full PMR procedure as follows, you will spend about 10 minutes a day maintaining your proficiency by practicing a shortened form of the procedure (given in the next section below). As you practice the short procedure, you will be simultaneously learning cue-controlled relaxation. Ultimately, you will acquire something that will probably become an indispensable part of your daily life, and the initial drudgery of practice will be long-forgotten.

Suggestions for Practice

It is recommended that you practice full PMR twice a day for about a week before moving on to the shortened form (below). Of course, the time needed to master the full PMR procedure varies from person to person.

Here are some suggestions for practice:

Always practice full PMR in a quiet place, alone, with no electronic distractions, not even background music
Remove your shoes and wear loose clothing
Avoid eating, smoking, or drinking. It’s best to practice before meals rather than after, for the sake of your digestive processes
Never practice after using any intoxicants
Sit in a comfortable chair if possible. You may practice lying down, but this increases the likelihood of falling asleep
If you fall asleep, give yourself credit for the work you did up to the point of sleep
If you practice in bed at night, plan on falling asleep before you complete your cycle. Therefore, consider a practice session at night, in bed, to be in addition to your basic practice
When you finish a session, relax with your eyes closed for a few seconds, and then get up slowly. (Orthostatic hypotension—a sudden drop in blood pressure due to standing up quickly—can cause you to faint.) Some people like to count backwards from 5 to 1, timed to slow, deep breathing, and then say, “Eyes open. Supremely calm. Fully alert.”

Muscle Groups

You will be working with most all the major muscle groups in your body, but for convenience you will make a systematic progression from your feet upwards. Here is the most popular recommended sequence:

Right foot
Right lower leg and foot
Entire right leg
Left foot
Left lower leg and foot
Entire left leg
Right hand
Right forearm and hand
Entire right arm
Left hand
Left forearm and hand
Entire left arm
Abdomen
Chest
Neck and shoulders
Face
Note. If you are left-handed, you might want to begin with your left foot, and so on.

Tension–Relaxation Procedure

Step One: Tension. The process of applying tension to a muscle is essentially the same regardless of which muscle group you are using. First, focus your mind on the muscle group; for example, your right hand. Then inhale and simply squeeze the muscles as hard as you can for about 8 seconds; in the example, this would involve making a tight fist with your hand.

Note. Beginners usually make the mistake of allowing muscles other than the intended group to tense as well; in the example, this would be tensing muscles in your right arm and shoulder, not just in your right hand. With practice you will learn to make very fine discriminations among muscles; for the moment just do the best you can.

It can be very frustrating for a beginner to try to experience a fine degree of muscle separation.

Because neglect of the body is an almost universal cultural attitude, it is usually very difficult to begin learning how to take responsibility for body “mechanics.” So take heart and realise that learning fine muscle distinction is in itself a major part of the overall PMR learning process. PMR isn’t just about tension and relaxation—it is also about muscle discernment.

But also relax a bit and realise that no part of the body is an isolated unit; the muscles of the hand, for example, do have connections in the forearm, so when you tense your hand there will always be some small tension occurring in the forearm. When PMR asks that the hand be tensed without tensing the arm, it is really speaking to the “clumsy” beginner who, out of total body ignorance, will unthinkingly tense everything in the whole arm.

So if you accept the fact that you are simply in the beginner phase—rather than perceive yourself as somehow inept—then you can have the patience to discern the fine muscles with practice.

It’s important to really feel the tension. Done properly, the tension procedure will cause the muscles to start to shake, and you will feel some pain.

Note. Be careful not to hurt yourself, as compared to feeling mild pain. Contracting the muscles in your feet and your back, especially, can cause serious problems if not done carefully; i.e., gently but deliberately.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation, stress management

Step Two: Releasing the Tension. This is the best part because it is actually pleasurable. After the 8 seconds, just quickly and suddenly let go. Let all the tightness and pain flow out of the muscles as you simultaneously exhale. In the example, this would be imagining tightness and pain flowing out of your hand through your fingertips as you exhale. Feel the muscles relax and become loose and limp, tension flowing away like water out of a faucet. Focus on and notice the difference between tension and relaxation.

Note. The point here is to really focus on the change that occurs as the tension is let go. Do this very deliberately, because you are trying to learn to make some very subtle distinctions between muscular tension and muscular relaxation.

Stay relaxed for about 15 seconds, and then repeat the tension-relaxation cycle. You’ll probably notice more sensations the second time.

The Full PMR Schedule

Once you understand the muscle groups and the tension-relaxation procedure, then you are ready to begin the full PMR training. Simply follow the list of muscle groups in the sequence given and work through your entire body. Practice twice a day for a week. Spend extra time, if necessary, until you can achieve a deep sense of physical relaxation; then you can move on to the Shortened PMR schedule.

The Shortened PMR Schedule

In the shortened form of PMR, you will (a) work with summary groups of muscles rather than individual muscle groups, and (b) begin to use cue-controlled relaxation.

The summary muscle groups. The four summary muscle groups are as follows:

Lower limbs
Abdomen and Chest
Arms, Shoulders, and Neck
Face
Instead of working with just one specific part of your body at a time, focus on the complete group. In Group 1, for example, focus on both legs and feet all at once.

Cue-controlled relaxation. Use the same tension-relaxation procedure as full PMR, but work with the summary groups of muscles. In addition, focus on your breathing during both tension and relaxation. Inhale slowly as you apply and hold the tension. Then, when you let the tension go and exhale, say a cue word to yourself (below). This will help you to associate the cue word with a state of relaxation, so that eventually the cue word alone will produce a relaxed state.

Many people find that cue-controlled relaxation does not have to depend on only one word; it may actually be more helpful in some situations to use a particular phrase. Some suggestions for cue words/phrases are:

Relax
Let it go
It’s OK
Stay calm
All things are passing
Trust in yourself

Summary

Initially, you should practice the shortened form of PMR under the same conditions as you practiced full PMR. After about a week of twice-daily practice you will then have enough proficiency to practice it under other conditions and with distractions. Or you might want to move on to the final process of Deep Muscle Relaxation.

Hypnosis Has Many Benefits That Can Help You Lose Fat and Keep It Off


Booklet Cover

Maintaining your optimal composition is very important for your overall health and well-being. Being overweight or obese can have detrimental effects on your physical health, mental health, and lifestyle. As important as losing fat is for your health, for some people it is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. The healthiest methods for losing excess fat involve natural methods such as diet and exercise. Research has shown that hypnosis is an effective tool to use in order to lose excess fat and continue to lose that fat and keep it off in the long-term.

Carrying extra pounds has a negative effect on your health and can to lead to life-threatening problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and diabetes. Losing excess fat can also help improve joint health, reduce your risk of getting certain kinds of cancer, and improve your ability to sleep (Life Clinic).

Many studies have been conducted to study the effect that hypnotherapy has on a person’s ability to lose excess fat and their ability to keep it off in the long-term. In 1998, a study involved 60 obese participants. The patients were randomly divided into one of three groups. One group received hypnosis that focused on stress reduction; another group received hypnosis that focused on energy intake reduction, and the third group received only dietary advice.

Researchers studied the percent of body weight lost at 7 different follow-ups from 1-month to 18-months after the treatment. At the 3-month follow-up, all participants in the three groups had lost 2-3% of their baseline body weight. However, at the 18-month follow-up, the group that had received hypnotherapy and stress reduction reported continued significant fat loss compared to no change in the other two groups. This study shows that when hypnotherapy is used in combination with stress relief suggestions, fat loss is significant in the long-term (Stradling, Roberts, Wilson, & Lovelock, 1998).

In a meta-analysis of two studies involving hypnotherapy and fat loss, Kirsch (1996) found a significant difference in amount of pounds lost comparing participants who received hypnosis and those who did not receive hypnosis. The initial follow-up showed the average fat loss to be 6.00 pounds in the non-hypnosis group and 11.83 pounds in the hypnosis group. The last follow-up conducted with the studies showed that the non-hypnosis group lost an average of 6.03 pounds and the hypnosis group lost an average of 14.88 pounds. This meta-analysis showed that use of hypnotherapy greatly increased amount of fat lost over time.

These studies show that hypnotherapy is a valid form of fat loss treatment and has lasting effects in the long-term. Hypnosis takes only a few sessions and has a long-term effect that helps patients continue to lose excess fat through addressing the psychological issues related to the excess fat gain. This is an effective and natural method of losing fat and keeping it off.

Sources

“benefits of losing weight.” Life Clinic Health Management Systems. Retrieved on July 6, 2009:http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutrition/losing-weight.asp

Kirsch, I. (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments: Another meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(3), 517-519.

Stradling, J., Roberts, D., Wilson, A., & Lovelock, F. (1998). Controlled trial of hypnotherapy for weight loss in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorder, 22(3), 278-281.

For information on my Hypnosis & Nutrition Weight Management Program using my Brain2Body System, drop me an email on simon@simonmaryan.com

Keys To Successful Fatloss Part 1: Introduction


The Effects of Cortisol On our Mind and Body


Depression

Over the last few months, I have been working more and more with stressed out people. I have been stunned at the age range to be honest as they have ranged from 10 – 80 years old.

I began to notice the increase early this year when many people started being made redundant in the Oil and Gas Industry in Aberdeen, where I am based. The downturn has created a huge amount of uncertainty which has lead to people feeling nervous, anxious, stressed and depressed and the knock on effects are quite significant. Many of my clients this year, on top of the initial stress have become insomniacs, they have either lost or gained large amounts of weight, have unexplained aches and pains, erratic mood swings, failed relationships…the list goes on.

This turns into a vicious circle, because the initial cause of the stress is still there and then the additional physical, mental and emotional symptoms add more stress into the mix and obviously compound the whole situation.

I have also recently started working with schools in Aberdeenshire running Stress Perception Workshops for both staff and pupils. It seems that the Curriculum for Excellence is creating and excellently high level of stress for all concerned and some pupils are becoming more and more stressed, depressed, suicidal and some resorting to self harming.

The self harming has also become something of a trend and there is a certain element of peer pressure to conform, and as you can imagine, this pressure is highly stressful for someone who really has no desire to self harm in the first place, yet in order to fit in they feel they have to run with the herd. This level of stress is extremely detrimental to the pupils ability to focus, concentrate, learn and absorb in formation and to remember it, this then adds more stress because they either feel they can’t pass they exams or they actually fail them. Pressure upon pressure upon pressure, until they break.

So after doing much reading, I have written this post today that I hope will help some of you to some degree or other and/or, perhaps help you help someone else.

STRESS
The stress hormone, cortisol, is a sneaky, insidious little bugger that creeps up on you. Even low levels over a long period of time can have hugely detrimental affects on your entire system of body and mind. Scientists have known for years that increased cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease… and the list is significantly longer.

Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels are also responsible for an increased risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. Recently two separate studies were published in Science linking elevated cortisol levels as a potential trigger for mental illness and decreased resilience—especially in adolescence.

You can find research papers here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sciencejournals&y=0&fulltext=Stress%20and%20mental%20illness&x=0&journalcode=sci&journalcode=sigtrans&journalcode=scitransmed&submit=yes

Our body releases cortisol through the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress as part of our fight-or-flight mechanism. The fight-or-flight mechanism is part of the general adaptation syndrome defined in 1936 by Canadian biochemist Hans Selye of McGill University in Montreal. He published his findings in a short seventy-four line article in Nature, in which he defined two types of “stress”: eustress (good stress) and distress (bad stress).

Both eustress and distress release cortisol as part of this general adaption syndrome. As soon as our fight or flight alarm system signals our body to release cortisol, your body becomes mobilised and ready for action, however, there has to be a physical release of fight or flight. Otherwise, cortisol levels build up in the blood which wreaks havoc on your mind and body.

Eustress creates a “seize-the-day” heightened state of arousal, which is exciting, invigorating and often linked with an achievable goal. Cortisol returns to normal when we’ve completed the task. Distress, or free floating anxiety, doesn’t provide any outlet for the cortisol and causes the fight-or-flight mechanism to backfire. Ironically, our own biology, which was designed to insure our survival as hunters and gatherers, is actually sabotaging our own bodies and minds in this sedentary, technology oriented age. So what can we do to put the pin back in this socially engineered hand grenade?

Fortunately, there are a few simple lifestyle choices you can make that will help you to reduce your stress, anxiety and lower your cortisol levels. Below are some tips to help you reduce your cortisol levels:

1. Regular Exercise: Martial arts and any martial arts based exercise classes, boxing, sparring, or a punching bag are fantastic ways to recreate the “fight” response by letting out aggression (without beating the crap out of anyone) and to reduce cortisol.
Any aerobic activity, like walking, jogging, swimming, biking etc are great ways to recreate the ‘flight’ outlet and burn-up cortisol.  A little bit of cardio goes a long way. Just 20-30 minutes of activity most days of the week pays huge dividends by lowering cortisol every day and in the long term.

I recommend a short burst of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. There are an abundance of training methods under this banner and you can find a host of them on Youtube. This gets your heart rate up high, gives minimal rest and puts your body and mind under pressure. The pay off is that your body also releases endorphins which make you feel good, so this is a form of Eustress (good stress) and is highly beneficial for you both physically and mentally.

Fear increases cortisol. Regular physical activity will decrease fear by increasing your self-confidence, resilience, and fortitude, which will reduce your cortisol levels. Yoga will have similar benefits with added benefits of mindfulness training.

If your schedule is too hectic to squeeze in a continuous exercise session, you can build up the same benefits by breaking daily activity into smaller doses. A simple way to guarantee regular activity is to build your normal routine activity into your daily exercise routine. Where possible start riding a bike to work, walking to the shops and walk at lunchtime, this also gets you out of the office and away from your desk and will get you thinking about other things instead of work. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or the lift.If you normally eat your lunch at your desk, maybe you could go to the gym at lunchtime and eat your lunch at your desk afterwards instead. All these things will add up and help you to reduce your cortisol levels throughout the day.

2. Mindfulness and Self Hypnosis: Any type of meditation will reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels. Simply taking a few deep breaths engages the Vagus nerve which triggers a signal within your nervous system to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreases cortisol. The next time you feel yourself in a stressful situation that activates your ‘Fight-or-Flight’ response take 10 deep breaths and feel your entire body relax, calm down and slow down.

Setting aside 5-15 minutes to practice mindfulness meditation or self hypnosis will develop a sense of calm throughout your nervous system, mind, and brain. There are many different types of meditation. “Meditating” doesn’t have to be a sacred or tree huggey experience. I’m often asked as to specifically what kind of meditation or self hypnosis do I use and how do I do it/use it. There are so many techniques/methods and to be honest it is best to explore and find what works for you and then refine it and make it your own. I suggest that you do more research, and fine-tune a daily meditation/self hypnosis routine that fits your schedule and personality.

3. Social Connectivity: Two studies have been published in the journal Science illustrate that social agression and isolation lead to increased levels of cortisol in mice that trigger a cascade of potential mental health problems—especially in adolescence.

Follow the link here to find theses papers and many more:
http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sciencejournals&y=0&fulltext=Social%20aggression%20and%20isolation&x=0&journalcode=sci&journalcode=sigtrans&journalcode=scitransmed&submit=yes

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins established that elevated levels of cortisol in adolescence change the expression of numerous genes linked to mental illness in some people. They discovered that these changes in young adulthood, which is a crucial time for brain development, could cause severe mental illness in those predisposed to it. These findings, reported in the January 2013 journal Science, could have wide-reaching implications in both prevention and treatment of schizophrenia, severe depression and other mental illnesses.

Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his team set out to simulate social isolation associated with the difficult years of adolescence in human teens. They found that isolating mice known to have a genetic predisposition for mental illness during their adolescence triggered ‘abnormal behaviours’ that continued even when returned to the group. They found that the effects of adolescent isolation lasted into the equivalent of mouse adulthood.

https://bbrfoundation.org/scientific-council/akira-sawa

“We have discovered a mechanism for how environmental factors, such as stress hormones, can affect the brain’s physiology and bring about mental illness,” says Sawa, the study leader. “We’ve shown in mice that stress in adolescence can affect the expression of a gene that codes for a key neurotransmitter related to mental function and psychiatric illness. While many genes are believed to be involved in the development of mental illness, my gut feeling is environmental factors are critically important to the process.”

To shed light on how and why some mice got better, Sawa and his team studied the link between cortisol and the release of dopamine. Sawa says the new study suggests that we need to think about better preventative care for teenagers who have mental illness in their families, including efforts to protect them from social stressors, such as neglect. Meanwhile, by understanding the flood of events that occurs when cortisol levels are elevated, researchers may be able to develop new compounds to target tough-to-treat psychiatric disorders with fewer side effects.

In another study, published on January 18, 2013 in the journal Science researchers from France revealed that mice who were subjected to aggression, by specific mice bred to be ‘bullies’ released cortisol which triggered a response that led to social aversion to all other mice. The exact cascade of neurobiological changes was complex but also involved dopamine. The researchers found that if they blocked the cortisol receptors that the ‘bullied’ mice became more resilient and no longer avoided their fellow creatures.

Close knit human bonds, whether it be family, friendship or a romantic partner, are vital for your physical and mental health at any age.  Recent studies have shown that the Vagus nerve also responds to human connectivity and physical touch to relax your parasympathetic nervous system.

The “tend-and-befriend” response is the exact opposite to “fight-or-flight”. The “tend-and-befriend” response increases oxytocin and reduces cortisol. Make an effort to spend real face-to-face time with loved ones whenever you can, however, even phone calls and Facebook can reduce cortisol if they foster a feeling of genuine connectivity.

4. Have Fun and Laugh Often: Having fun and laughing reduces cortisol levels. Dr. William Fry is an American psychiatrist who has been studying the benefits of laughter for the past 30 years and has found links to laughter and lowered levels of stress hormones. Many studies have shown the benefits of having a sense of humor, laughter and levity. Try to find ways in your daily life to laugh and joke as much as possible and you’ll lower cortisol levels. Watch your favourite comedy movie, favourite comedian or anything on Youtube for example that makes you laugh, feel good and happy, as this will begin to reduce your cortisol levels.

5. Music: Listening to Music that you love, and fits whatever mood you’re in, has been shown to lower cortisol levels. We all know the power of music to improve mood and reduce stress. Add reducing your cortisol levels as another reason to keep the music playing as a soundtrack of health and happiness in your life.

6. Quality Nutrition: What we eat and the quality of that food is important when life is good and we’re happy and content. When life throws a curve ball at you and you’re stressed, depressed, anxious and nervous, it is even more important to eat high quality nutrition.

Society has change much in recent years and life and work is becoming faster paced, we often look for the quick, easy and convenient option for food which is not necessarily the best option. So, to combat this, it is beneficial for you to look at high quality nutritional supplements that help to keep the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety at bay. When you feel good on the inside it makes you much more capable of dealing with the stresses of the outside world and one of the downsides of eating too much wheat, soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol etc, is that it puts your body’s PH out of balance and leads you into an acidic state. When your body is too acidic it promotes the growth of unhealthy bacteria, virus, fungus etc in your gut and causes joint pain and inflammation of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Also our gut becomes unable to fully and efficiently absorb the nutrients from the food we eat, which further runs down our immune system and metabolism.

When you redress that balance and return it to a slightly alkaline state, as you can see in the image below, our bodies return to a state of equilibrium that allows our gut to absorb nutrients efficiently and effectively which means we get everything we need to stay in the optimum state of health.

PH Range

Conclusion
The ripple effect of a fearful, isolated and stressed out society increases cortisol levels across the board for all of us and this creates a public health crisis and a huge drain on the economy. So, if we all work individually, and together, to reduce cortisol our levels we will all benefit and we will reduce the amount of stress hormones flowing around in our society and in individual lives.

In short, when we feel socially connected, safe, and self-reliant it reduces our cortisol levels. I hope the top tips presented above will help you make lifestyle choices that reduce your own levels of stress hormone and help you to help your friends, family work colleagues and perhaps even some strangers to reduce theirs and feel happier and healthier.

References:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sciencejournals&y=0&fulltext=Stress%20and%20mental%20illness&x=0&journalcode=sci&journalcode=sigtrans&journalcode=scitransmed&submit=yes

http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sciencejournals&y=0&fulltext=Social%20aggression%20and%20isolation&x=0&journalcode=sci&journalcode=sigtrans&journalcode=scitransmed&submit=yes

https://bbrfoundation.org/scientific-council/akira-sawa

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/why-is-the-teen-brain-so-vulnerable

Harness The Power of Your Unconscious Mind


Brain
Human beings are different from the rest of the animals on our planets in so many ways, and, one significant difference is that we have, and kind of understand, the difference between our conscious and unconscious minds.

Your conscious mind helps you live a happy and healthy life. You really wouldn’t be able to survive without it. Sigmund Freud is famed for his use the idea of the iceberg to distinguish the conscious mind from the unconscious mind and it is one model that makes it very easy to explain.

freud Iceberg

The “tip” of the iceberg that extends above the water represents the conscious thinking mind. This part of your mind is the objective or thinking mind. It only holds one thought at a time. It also identifies information, and processes it through the senses or through sight, sound, smell, touch or taste.

This part of your mind is constantly observing, matching patterns and categorising what is going on around you. The unconscious mind, which is the part of the iceberg below the water, represents everything else – which is a hell of a lot.

Even though the conscious mind helps you as you go through your day, it can also hold you back by keeping you stuck in unhealthy patterns. Learning how to break through these limitations is critical when using self-hypnosis because the conscious mind can interfere with all your good work.

Preventing Conscious Interference

Just for example you decide to plant flowers in your garden. There are a several ways you can go about it. You could research different seeds and figure out the best ones to plant, and then even add some fertiliser into your soil if it’s lacking nutrients for the plants.

Now, let’s look at different approach you could take. After following all of the steps above, you chose to go out into the garden everyday and dig up the seeds to check on their progress. Every time you did this, you would reassure yourself that everything was going to plan. However, as you can see, your constant interference actually did more harm than good, because if you took this approach, your garden would never progress.

The same thing that happens when you overthink something. This is your conscious mind interfering. If you want your mental garden to thrive and prosper, you need to leave it alone so it has space and time to grow.

The same thing applies when using self-hypnosis. In a sense you are placing an order just like you would at a restaurant. If you ever worked for someone who micro-managed you, how much work actually gets done as a result of them constantly interrupting and sing for progress checks all the time, wanting to review what you’ve done and constantly adding to your workload because they want to make changes and add other things in. It’s a bloody nightmare, frustrating and a complete waste of time and effort.

When you give your mind an order and constantly worry about how the order will be fulfilled, you are in a sense doing the same thing, you’re micro-managing yourself. If you find yourself doing this, there are some steps you can take to counteract this…

1. Keep Your Conscious Mind Busy

When you do keep your conscious mind busy, it can’t interfere as much. What you need to do is find other things to get involved in, this way your conscious mind is focused elsewhere and not on the problem.

If you have time, go for a walk or get stuck into a different task; this allows you to let it go and allow the unconscious mind to work its magic.

2. Stay Focused and Engaged

It’s important to trust your unconscious, and yes I know that it can be frustrating “waiting” for the unconscious mind to work its magic. If you find yourself in this little cycle, and you decide to try a different approach before the first method has finished, you are actually disengaging from the process which keeps leading you further from your goal.

The key is to keep yourself engaged, without being too engaged.

3. Utilise Ancient Chinese Secrets

The Chinese philosophy Taoism is based on the idea of trusting your inner nature and letting your unconscious mind do its work. This approach allows the conscious mind to sit back and appreciate things, setting the scene and then letting events play out as they will.

I appreciate that this may be easier said than done at times, however, here are few tips to help explain this…

Act without acting
This is also known as doing without doing or “Wei Wu Wei”. This might be a tad confusing at first, because it may be hard to imagine doing something without really doing it. When you hand the responsibility over to your unconscious mind, you are trusting that it knows how to do its job.

Know without knowing
This is also known as “Pu.” In the Tao philosophy, there is a saying that goes:

“The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”

What this means is that if your intellect can grasp it, feel it away and put it into a neat and tidy box, then you have probably missed the entire point.

The Four Taoist Stages

The Pre-Hypnotic Suggestion
Hypnotic Questions
Emotional Streaming
The Big Drift
Pre-hypnotic suggestions: These generally involve positive affirmations, visualisations and self motivational talk. Affirmations are statements that emulate the state of mind or condition you want to be in, and they are always set in the present tense. Affirmations can be incredibly effective and they are easy to create and use.

Hypnotic questions: These are sometimes called afformations, are also a great way to keep the conscious mind busy. You can say statements like:

“How quickly am I mastering the power of self-hypnosis?”
“Why is it that I am such a master of self-hypnosis?”

These are simple to create and by saying them, it actually gives your mind something to answer.

Emotional streaming or Emo-streaming: This is similar to the principle of hypnotic questions, except it’s based on emotions and moods. For those who find themselves getting stuck on the content of the goal, emo-streaming works well.

For example, imagine yourself at a certain point in the future, say a year or so down the road. Take yourself there in your mind and ask yourself how you would be feeling having already achieved your goal. Avoid “thinking” and focus on “feeling” instead.

You can even imagine yourself going way beyond that goal, imagining how you feel having achieved that all-important milestone.

The Big Drift: This involves allowing your mind to become a casual observer, noticing the responses that are happening, without making any judgments. In other words, you’re just allowing things to happen in their own time and way.

Trusting in the process of the unconscious mind is what this is all about. The Big Drift allows you to create a space in your mind where new possibilities can appear.

7 stages of the Big Drift

Prepare yourself
Review resources
Review your purpose or problem
Review possibilities
Choose a behavior or action
Integrate everything
Get on with your life!
All of these techniques work through the process of distraction. In the Big Drift, you start by preparing yourself by raising your hands up infant of your face, palms facing you and looking at your hands as if they weren’t really your hands. In step two allow oner arm to lower automatically, while you review your life lessons.

Once your arm reaches your lap, you can then review your problem or purpose for self-hypnosis. Step four involves allowing your second arm to descend while you review the myriad of possibilities.

The next step involves you simply choosing for yourself a new behavioural pattern. Step six involves closing your eyes, if you haven’t already done so and integrating all of the steps together.

Step seven is all about learning how to “let go” and learning how to get on with your life. Focusing on something too intently only slows the process down; so there is no need to think too much about your issue once you finish your session.

In order to listen to your unconscious mind, you need to begin tuning into your intuition and paying attention to your gut feelings about whatever is bothering you. The messages of the unconscious can be subtle, but other times they may metaphorically slap you in the face.

When you use self-hypnosis you really have no idea how your unconscious mind will present the opportunity or change to you. Using these methods allows you to open up your mind to a host of new possibilities – possibilities that your conscious mind could never come up with!

A top tip is not to take self-hypnosis or yourself too seriously, it’s meant to be a fun process. You can take as many or as few of these tips as you want, because only you know what works for you and you will only really find out what works for you when you play around with them all and practice with these techniques. This will enable you to find the combination that works best for you. With your conscious mind out of the way – anything is possible!

You need your conscious mind to help you make important decisions throughout your day. Without it, you could not function. Always keep in mind though that your unconscious mind is vastly larger than your conscious thinking mind. Using the idea of the iceberg once again, you can clearly see that your unconscious mind plays a huge role in your life.

Programming your unconscious mind is easy, once you decide what you want to work on. The truth of the matter is that many problems you have can be solved using self-hypnosis because your unconscious mind is quite brilliant and it can help you achieve any goal.

The trick is getting your conscious mind out of the way and these techniques can help you do exactly that.

One Final Word

Obviously I am a firm believer in what we can achieve when we learn to access and harness the power of our unconscious minds. However, sometimes we need a little outside assistance because when we are the root of our own problem/s, it can be extremely difficult to solve it from inside our own minds. If this is the case for you, then I strongly recommend that you do your homework and find yourself a Hypnotherapist in your area that you feel comfortable working with and use their knowledge and experience to help you resolve your problem/s and make the changes you want and need to make.

Whatever path you choose, I wish you every success and much happiness.

Simon

References:

Adapted from a post by the Hypnosis Training Academy

Emotional Release Technique


mind body balance

I have recently recorded a session with a client using my Emotional Release Technique, which was created using the work of Ernest Rossi Ph.D. and his 3 Step Problem Solving Method as a foundation.

I really like his methodology and approach and I found that by adapting it to suit my own style and approach, and adding in various techniques and methods that I have adopted over the years, that this technique was born.

There is a lot built into it and it is still a relatively simple process to follow, it is what is going on behind the scenes so to speak, in the client mind and with the language used to guide them.I have used this with great success over the last few years and wanted to share something positive and useful for everyone.

I hope you enjoy the video and your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Simon

 

Professional Community Cooperation to Enhance Healthcare


brain2body-cover-smoking-a4

Community healthcare can be a hot topic at times, particularly with waiting lists varying from area to area and the NHS being continuously stretched. I have heard from many clients that they have waited months to be seen for an initial consultation with a specialist in the NHS, and I do appreciate that the NHS is over stretched and the people working in the service are doing everything they can to provide the best service possible.

While this is the case, it is so important that other healthcare professionals are made available to the public as an alternative for those who either do not want to or can not wait to be treated.

This is why I have been extremely happy to work with my local Pharmacist in Turriff, Johnathan Laird. Over the last year he has invited myself and other local healthcare professionals to take part in health and well being days which have highlighted to the public that there are other options that they can pursue, either while they wait or instead of waiting.

Jonathan Laird is extremely proactive and encourages healthcare providers to get out there and make themselves known to the community, which obviously raises community awareness of who and what else is on their doorstep.

This has been extremely useful for me as a clinical hypnotist with a base in psychology and psychotherapy, as hypnosis still has a tendency too freak some people out. So my first job is to enlighten the public as a whole as to what its actually about, with my main focus to reinforce the point that hypnosis gives you more control of your mind rather than the other way round, which is what most people have been led to believe.

I see clients for many reasons and one of the most frequent is for Smoking Cessation and surprisingly, there are many people who continue to smoke despite have breathing difficulties through a variety of conditions. One such condition that is multi-faceted is COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

I wanted to write a short piece below to explain how hypnosis can help people with COPD that continue to smoke, to find a way to make that choice for themselves to stop. This information is taken from an article by Alan B. Densky, CH – http://www.neuro-vision.us/wordpress/2010/07/copd-hypnosis-stop-smoking-is-the-best-way-to-treat-copd/

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic health problem that develops as a result of damage to the lungs. The acronym is used to identify three medical diagnoses categorised as COPD. These include emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.

Asthma starts when a person’s body views something in its environment, such as chemicals, cigarette smoke, or foods, as hazardous. The immune system begins to release proteins known as histamines. These proteins produce inflammation in lung tissues to help the body ward off invaders. This stiffens lung tissues and weakens breathing.

People can be diagnosed with asthma at any point in life. One of the best ways that family and friends can help individuals with this condition is to quit smoking, because even secondhand smoke kills. If someone just diagnosed with this condition does smoke, he or she must stop smoking as soon as possible in order to better manage the condition.

Physicians also classify chronic bronchitis as a form of COPD. This condition develops in people who have smoked for a number of years. Tobacco smoke causes tar and bacteria to become trapped in the lungs. This bacteria causes recurrent inflammation of the bronchi, or airway tubes, of a person’s lungs.

Chronic bronchitis irritates and stiffens these passages and people with this disease find deep breathing and exercise difficult, because their lung tissues are stiff and irritated, they become short of breath with even a small amount of exertion. Sometimes, when these people stop smoking, some of their breathing difficulties will diminish.

The third lung disease categorized as COPD is emphysema. A person’s lungs have air sacs at the end of the bronchial tubes. These grape-shaped sacs, called alveoli, inflate and deflate as an individual inhales and exhales. A person with emphysema becomes short of breath and unable to breathe deeply or exhale completely since air stays trapped in these alveoli. If these people find ways to stop smoking, their symptoms may get better.

Medication and breathing exercises may help people who have COPD. In spite of these therapies, however, these people continue to have significant anxiety levels. Having COPD is like trying to breathe underwater. Even though you try to stay under longer, you feel you must breathe – now! Therefore, you swim toward the surface and take a deep breath. Those who have COPD, however, cannot swim to the surface and take a deep breath.

There are several stop smoking programs to treat clients with COPD. Most COPD patients understand that smoking increases their breathing problems and most have been smoking for many years, however, which often makes consciously quitting extremely hard.

Many stop smoking programs are available. Most encourage people to utilise the conscious mind to stop smoking. Since the dependency on smoking is etched strongly in the unconscious mind, few people who stop smoking with the help of these types of approaches stay stopped without making changes at the unconscious level. Moreover, the majority of these programs center on the smoker’s physical addiction to nicotine, which comprises only about one-tenth of their smoking addiction.

A number of stop smoking programs claim to help people to relax better. The most effective ones use Ericksonian hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. Polarity responses often happen with traditional hypnotherapy and straightforward post-hypnotic suggestions.

Ericksonian hypnosis uses metaphors that relay suggested thoughts that promote peace to the unconscious to help people to overcome the propensity to do the opposite of what is suggested. Often, people who learn to relax are able to decrease anxiety and panic attacks better. Therefore, they breathe more easily.

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy provides an innovative alternative strategy for helping individuals learn how to stop smoking. Professionals who teach this understand that the patients problem is rooted in their unconscious. Therefore, they assist people at this level, through stop smoking hypnosis. Contrary to the techniques used by traditional approaches, hypnosis to stop smoking focuses on stress reduction, mental addiction, and the habit, which together make up 90 percent of one’s smoking habit.

Through Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP, these patients can live a better life. These approaches coach individuals with breathing problems to decrease anxiety. In addition, they assist in eliminating unconscious associations between cigarettes, specific contexts, situations, mental and emotional states and environmental factors. This extinguishes nicotine cravings. These treatments provide increased hope for people with COPD.

For more information on my Break Free from Smoking Programme and a free PDF outlining how the programme works, email me on simon@simonmaryan.com

 Also take a look at the link below to the Hypnotherapy Directory for their Stop Smoking page, I am also registered with them and you will find my profile there:

http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/articles/smoking.html

Brain2Body Lifestyle Nutrition & Exercise Manual – 2nd Edition coming soon!!


brain2body-cover

I have been working on the 2nd edition of my Lifestyle Nutrition and Exercise Manual, with the main focus having been on updating the supplements section later on in the book. This now emphasises health supplementation as opposed to more sports based supplements in the 1st edition and this update is based heavily on my research into this form of supplementation.

Having health issues myself, I have wanted to find ways to enhance my bodies’ ability to recover, repair and regenerate and what I found really made me smile, and feel good. So, I am almost ready to get this new version published and I will keep you all posted when it is ready.

Thanks again to everyone who bought the 1st edition and I am confident that you will find this new edition enlightening as well.

Simon

Coconut Oil and Your Thinking


Your probably thinking that I’ve lost the plot completely with the title of this blog post, and you may be right. However, as what I do is all about the connection between the mind and body, I am very interested in physical as well as mental health. So, what’s the connection between coconut oil and your thinking I hear you ask?

For most people right now, probably nothing.

Yet this article will put a very different slant on most people’s perception of that, at the moment, tenuous connection.

You see coconut oil — although being a saturated fat — is quite different from most other saturated fats. Most (96%) of the other saturated fats have a molecular structure that is made up of what are called long chain fatty acids.

On the other hand..

Coconut oil is a saturated fat that has a unique molecular structure that is made up of MEDIUM chain fatty acids. Where LONG chain fatty acids are stored in the human body as fat deposits (and incur all the associated health risks)…

MEDIUM chain fatty acids instead, are immediately processed by the liver to produce energy (they do NOT get stored as body fat).

MEDIUM chain fatty acids, when ingested, also have a thermodynamic effect on the body — i.e., they raise your body’s metabolism. In other words, coconut oil (as a medium chain fatty acid) is absorbed and utilised by the human body in a completely different and better (health-beneficial) way than other saturated fats that contain long chain fatty acids.

But so what?

What has that got to do with your thinking?

Well, in a way the way you think can be very much like either the medium chain fatty acids that are found in coconut oil, or the long chain fatty acids of the other 96% of saturated fats. Thinking in the way a medium chain fatty acid works means that you observe, experience, absorb and process in your mind in far different and better ways than many other people out there do. You won’t attract negativity in thoughts, people, behaviours, emotions, feelings that drag you down, make you feel like shit and affect your physical and mental health….

Instead you will feel positively, think positively, behave positively, experience positive emotions and attract positive people that you enjoy being with, learning from and sharing knowledge and experience with.

Whereas negative thinking runs the massive risk of clogging up your mind with “negative fat”; positive thinking and thoughts “cut out all the unhealthy (useless) fat” and fire up your mind to work in better, more efficient ways that enhance your life right across the board.

That is why my therapy practice and my training company are doing so well. I apply the principles I teach people on my courses and in therapy to myself, so in essence I am my own proof that changing the way you think works.

My courses have been run in a wide variety of countries now about to head to Central America which is a big achievement for ANY training organisation.

I’m also working on developing home-study programs to make life easier for those who can not travel to the locations that I run courses.

Something to think about when you are considering where to go to get a “healthy dose” of energising hypnosis and coaching training.

Have a brilliant day

Simon 🙂