A moderate amount of stress or anxiety is normally an advantage in promoting positive responses and good performances in situations that we meet. When stress or anxiety is excessive, normal functions of the body decline drastically.
Symptoms of stress and anxiety may be associated with a particular incident for example a car crash, a phobia or a panic attack or may be generalised and experienced over an extended period of time.
When anxiety is excessive, emotion becomes very strong to the extent that the logical rational brain is no longer able to operate normally. We instinctively know that the anxiety is over the top, but our natural brain, our normal intelligence is simply unable to function and reduce the anxiety.
The key to managing anxiety is relaxation which calms emotion and allows the rational mind to function again. Amongst a number of ways to calm down and relax are
(i) 7/11 breathing i.e. breathing in for 7 seconds and breathing out for 11 seconds for 2 or 3 minutes. The important thing is to breath out longer than breathing in as breathing out engages the parasympathetic nervous system which relaxes muscles in the body or
(ii) self hypnosis which can easily be taught by a professional hypnotherapist.
Where anxiety is caused by a particular severe incident e.g. a bad car crash, and post traumatic stress is experienced with nightmares and flashbacks, hypnotherapy is particularly successful through the use of a technique called the Visual and Kinetic Disassociation Technique. In spite of the long technical name, it is easy to use and basically consists of going through the event backwards and forwards at varying speeds in a very relaxed state. This technique has an extremely high success rate.
Hypnotherapy for panic attacks (and phobias) also makes good use of the Technique.
Depression is caused by people experiencing a negative event. It is not the event itself which causes the depression but the way a person reacts to the event. Some are blessed with an ability to overcome such events better than others. The ones who become depressed find themselves thinking about the event a lot of the time and it begins to dominate their thinking. Their whole outlook becomes negative so that they do not notice the good experiences they have and focus on the bad ones leading to more depression, more worries, more fears and a feeling of hopelessness. These strong negative emotions then dominate.
One consequence of this is extended sleeping and excessive dreaming and the latter results in waking up feeling down, disinterested in doing anything and with little motivation.
The implications of the above for lifting depression are:
Depression is often accompanied by anxiety, and hypnosis is particularly effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression when they are combined.
Habits and drugs range from, for example, nail biting through smoking (including hash/weed) and alcoholism to hard drugs like heroin, crack and cocaine.
In general, the approach needed is based on the social learning model i.e. addiction is a response, a way of coping with yourself and the world; rather than the model which suggests addiction is a primary disease which people have inbred or catch somehow.
A common thread throughout the range is to make available to clients:
at a very intense level and at the times when temptation is strongest.
This is achieved through an anchoring or association technique.
For most smokers who want to quit smoking and can't, the anchoring or association technique is usually successful in breaking the habit.
For the minority of smokers trying to give up and for whom the above technique does not work there are two further approaches. The first one is the use of a multianchoring technique where a number of skills and experiences are used. The second is to regress the client back in time to an incident or event where an association or link between the incident or event and smoking was established and then break the link. Sometimes the event is the first cigarette smoked.
For treatment of those who are addicted to hard drugs, the original situation which caused the client to turn to drugs usually requires to be examined and resolved. It is also important to get clients "back into life" to have their basic emotional needs met i.e. connection to other people, attention, giving (time and skills for others), intimacy, status and being stretched.
Pain is a ‘multi’ experiential concept – it can be physical, psychological or personal. It is associated with time-remembered pain, current pain, anticipated pain or a combination of all three. Factors, which can be involved with pain, are beliefs, attitudes, personality, emotions etc. The common medical approach to pain is to abolish it completely.
In hypnosis the approach is rather to manage it by reducing it, changing it in some way or changing the area or place where pain is felt. A number of techniques can, depending on the circumstances, be used e.g. distraction, displacement to another part of the body, use of imagination/imagery/metaphors, time distortion, disassociation, fractionation/diminution, amnesia and analgesia. All of these can reduce and or alter the pain to something more comfortable and in a minority of cases, abolish it completely.
John advises all clients with pain to check out with their doctor that hypnosis is an appropriate treatment for them before accepting it..
The majority of people who wish to lose weight do so by going on a diet, denying themselves some of the things they really like and trying to lose weight quickly.
The usual outcome is short-term success, giving in to eating one of the forbidden foods, disappointment at failure, and being really hungry, ‘pigging out’ and eventually putting the weight back on again. Then after a while they do it all over again.
Apart from not working, this approach is doomed to failure and has health problems attached to it – ‘yo-yo’ dieting has been shown to be bad for both the heart and the immune system. Furthermore, fast weight reduction sends a message to the body saying in effect, there’s a famine here, we need to preserve the body, and as a consequence the fat cells are retained by the body and weight reduction slows up dramatically.
Weight reduction has to be a marathon not a sprint. The real objective is to adapt to a long-term healthy lifestyle of eating a balanced diet and incorporating a reasonable amount of exercise.
Hypnotherapy weight control can help you attain this long term health lifestyle approach, which over time will produce the body shape you want - and even allow you a little of what you really like from time to time – such as an occasional chocolate.
I have recently (2011) studied the Hypnotension High Blood Pressure Course. For details go to www.hypnotension.com
Doctors are unable to account for some 90% of cases of high blood pressure which are not caused by organic disease or malfunction and which are the result of emotional stress of some kind. They do not have sufficient time to unearth the causes. Using the knowledge contained in the course, I would expect to make a significant reduction in blood pressure in one, or maybe two, sessions.
I have also worked successfully with other problems such as headaches, sleeplessness, sexual problems and difficulties, phobias including agoraphobia, fear of flying, fear of heights and fear of moths, snakes, spiders etc, bullying, panic attacks, compulsive buying, pain in the stomach (unexplained by specialist medical practitioners for 30 years), self-esteem, presentational skills, confidence to speak in public, failure to pass driving tests, chocolate dependency, mood swings, confidence and anxiety, confidence in sport, stress at work, anger. I have recently had much sucess with psychosomatic problems (eg blushing, or any unexplained and/or unwelcome physiological body symptoms connected, not usually consciously by the client, to a previous event).
I am willing to treat nearly anything that a client brings. Only on one occasion have I refused – a request to lose half a stone in a week (as I believe fast weight loss is unhealthy).