Fly comfortably with hypnotherapy

Scared of flying, let hypnotherapy set you freeWith so many people off on their holidays I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a very common phobia – fear of flying.

In cognitive hypnotherapy whenever we deal with a phobia we are interested in when the fear started. If it started as a result of a (scary) single event, especially but not exclusively when you were young we call this the initial sensitising event. In some cases this event has nothing to do with flying at all.

Whilst dealing with my own fear of flying the initial sensitising event at first seemed completely unrelated to flying. I remember being at a fair on a Wurlitzer ride with a friend and being terrified. The guys running the ride thought it was funny that I was afraid and so spun the ride faster and faster. I couldn’t get off and felt totally out of control – the same way I realised that I felt on a plane.

Feeling out of control is something that people commonly cite as part of their problem with flying. However there are several other fears that can contribute to a fear of flying. These include; claustrophobia, fear of heights, fear of vomiting, fear of having a panic attack, fear of turbulence, fear of hijacking to name a few.

Although it is not uncommon for the initial event to be different from the actual fear, fear of flying can be triggered by a bad flight, a feeling of personal vulnerability which can sometimes be linked to increased responsibilities such as becoming a parent and even experiencing extreme reactions to press coverage of airline crashes.

Fear of flying not only occurs when in flight but can cause weeks of anxiety leading up to a flight. It can prevent both leisure and business travel and for some people it is a major obstacle in their lives. Hypnotherapy is a really effective therapy for dealing with fear of flying and I know from personal experience that it works. So don’t leave it until the last minute, book a session so that you can look forward to your flight instead of dreading it.

What’s a boulder got to do with Hypnotherapy?

What's a boulder got to do with Hypnotherapy? Quite often I meet people that are sceptical of hypnotherapy. They don’t see the point of ‘dragging up the past’ or having to go through painful memories again. Although I assure them that hypnotherapy isn’t always about reliving painful memories or digging around in the depths of their emotions some people won’t be swayed to the benefits of hypnotherapy.

That’s OK hypnotherapy isn’t for everyone, but if you are thinking about taking the plunge and are still unsure I wanted to share this story with you.

‘In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand- every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.’

So if you are considering hypnotherapy but think your issue is a boulder that is too big to move remember what is waiting for you underneath.

Gone in a flash

Hot flush hypnotherapyHot flashes or flushes as they are also known are often associated solely with women in menopause. But men can also suffer from them. Harvard medical School argues that although fewer men experience this condition than women some men find it as difficult to deal with as their counterparts.

Around 70% of women experience hot flashes as part of menopause as their estrogen levels decrease. Although men don’t experience a sharp decrease in their testosterone as they age it is common in men that have received treatment for prostate cancer. Harvard Medical School estimate that as many as 80% of men who are treated with androgen deprivation – reducing testosterone may experience hot flashes.

Hot flashes can come on suddenly, heavy sweating and reddening of the skin are common symptoms with the ‘heat’ of the flash being most commonly concentrated in the head and trunk. It can be distressing for both men and women but there is hope. Research has shown that hypnotic relaxation can be effective for both men and women.

This new research by Baylor university follows on from Elkins who conducted extensive research using hypnotic relaxation therapy with postmenopausal women and breast cancer survivors. The therapy was effective in providing a marked decrease in hot flashes. It reduced hot flashes by as much as 80 percent, and research findings also show it also improved participants’ quality of life and lessened anxiety and depression.

One participant said that the therapy ‘eliminated the flashes, calmed me down…The self -hypnosis was empowering’

So if you are suffering in silence, don’t why don’t you ring us for a chat.

The full article can be read here: Science Daily.

There are Monsters under my bed

Monsters under my bed - hypnosis can help you get rid of them.Monsters under my bed - hypnosis can help you get rid of themI was in Westerham last week talking to a friend of a friend and when she asked me what I did for a living she told me that she was terrified of being hypnotised as she was scared of what she might find.

It’s not an uncommon reaction and it reminded me of when I was a child and thought that there were monsters living under my bed. My fear was so real and my belief so strong that I started to think that they would follow me where ever I went. They followed me on holiday and I worried that when I was invited for a sleep-over I would bring my monsters to my friends house.

I carried that belief for probably 3 or 4 years until one day I confided in my friend that the reason I didn’t want to stay at her house was because I was worried that my monsters would find out where she lived and hide under her bed too. Instead of accepting my belief as true she challenged me to stay with her so that we could hunt and capture the monsters so that they would not bother me again.

Armed with torches, empty boxes to catch the monsters in and biscuits – well you need biscuits on a monster hunt, we lay in wait for the monsters to appear. We spent several hours hanging over the sides of the beds shining our torches in the spaces beneath. No matter what we did or how long we looked we could not find them. With my courage boosted I went home the next day with my borrowed torch and repeated the hunt. All I found under my own bed was an old jigsaw and a long forgotten teddy bear.

Often our fear is the thing that stops us from discovering that monsters under our bed don’t exist and it’s that same fear that stops us from discovering that monsters inside our head don’t exist either. When we use hypnosis as part of therapy it’s just like using the torch. It shines a light to illuminate the darker spaces that you are scared to look in.

Once you’ve discovered the old jigsaw or the forgotten teddy there’s nothing left to be scared of and you can be free to move on without the monsters following you wherever you go.

‘If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?’ W.Somerset Maugham

Warning – Forest operations

How hypnotherapy can help you find the motivation to change

I am fortunate that each day I get to walk my dog in beautiful countryside much of which belongs to the National Trust. One of our favourite places to walk is Limpsfield Chart. It is a large wooded area that consists of both native and non native trees. There are three main areas of non natives, predominately pines that provide a dense, dark and almost silent space in the woods. These are my dog Theo’s favourite, he rolls in the fallen pine needles and digs in the rotten tree stumps. Not much grows below the top third of the trees as it’s so dark.

Over the last few months there have been ongoing forest operations in the woods. They are stripping out the pine trees with a view to re-plant natives and encourage new growth and wildlife into those dead places.

It looks awful. Great swathes of trees have been cut down, the earth churned by the huge machinery needed to complete the task and branches and small trees have been crushed and lay fallen on the paths.

All of us that use the wood have felt the loss of those trees, of the shelter that they provide from the wind and the sun and the rain. All of us it seems are mourning the loss of what were essentially dead trees. Why? Because change can seem difficult.

Despite knowing that once the forest operations are complete and the replanting finished there will be a beautiful, alive and vibrant wood that will encourage and sustain wildlife it’s hard to trust the process.

For many of us knowing that the benefit of that change will far outweigh the short term turmoil is still not enough to motivate us to fell that first tree. So how do we find the courage to take that first step? Focus on your desired outcome. Think about your future just as you want it. Think about the things that you will be doing, the ways you will be behaving, how you will feel differently.

Somewhere in the near future once the forest operations are complete, all of us that use the wood will benefit from the changes that clearing out the dead wood will create.

Hypnotherapy and the power of thought

I was talking to a friend recently about her new neighbours. Let’s just say that relations between the two houses were not as she hoped they would be. As she was taking about them I realised that I had got caught up in her story of how rude they were and how unfortunate it was that they had moved in next to her.

So I started offering possible reasons why they may seem rude or unsocial – shy, introvert, feeling unwelcome etc. It reminded me that sometimes we do ourselves and those around us a disservice by thinking the way that we do.

When people choose hypnotherapy they often do so because they feel they have tried everything else. Part of the process that I go through with every client is to get them to try to think HOW and WHY they think what they do.

Understanding that you can change the way that you think is incredibly powerful if not always easy. So I wanted to share one of my favourite clips with you. Not only does it make me smile each time I see it but it carries an important message. We may not find it as easy to change our thinking as the lamb in the film but we can start to wonder if our thinking is the thing that is stopping us from doing more and boundin’.

Power of thought