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.

Why Smiling is good for you

Hypnotherapy Happiness

Not really in the mood to say cheese? You may want to have a rethink after reading these hidden advantages of cracking a smile.

Smiling doesn’t just show that you are happy, research suggests that smiling has lots of other benefits that may not be so obvious.

Next time you want to seem trustworthy, sociable or even more attractive, then smile. Here are our top 5 favourites.

1. Trust.

People who smile are perceived to be more generous and more extravert. Smiling sends a message that people can trust you and that you are co-operative. In one study it suggests that a smile increases people’s willingness to trust you by10%.

2. Live long and prosper.

Did you know that smiling helps you live longer, sound implausible? A study of pictures of basketball players in 1952 suggests that those that smiled outlived their non smiling counterparts by seven years.

3. Hurt? Laugh it off.

Due to something called the facial feedback hypothesis if we smile even when we don’t want to it is enough to give us a lift in mood. This may be something you want to try in private though. People who smile at something upsetting are less likely to be judged likeable by other people.

4. Been naughty? Flash that grin.

According to a study by LaFrance and Hecht (1995) we are more lenient with people that smile after they have done something bad.

It works because we find people who smile after breaking the rules more trustworthy than those that don’t and it doesn’t seem to matter if the smile is real, fake or rueful.

5. Share that smile.

When you smile at people, half of them will smile back. Why only half? We don’t really know but what we do know if that no one shares a frown so why not see how many smile’s you can collect today but showing yours first.

So next time you are feeling low, want someone to trust you or just boost your chances of working with someone, you know what to do 🙂

 

 

Persistent unwanted thoughts? Try these top tips to let them go.

Thinking Positive

Do you ever feel your thoughts are out of control?

Are you in a never ending circle of worry about something you should have done or something you should not have done? Are money worries, work worries or relationship worries filling your head?

It can seem impossible to think about anything else and for most of us the only option seems to be to try to push these thoughts out of our minds.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that thought suppression does not work. Trying to push thoughts from our minds just makes them come back stronger. It’s a bit like saying to someone don’t think of a pink elephant. What’s the first thing you think of? Yep a pink elephant.

So, what can we do instead?

Try these top tips

1. Delay.

Although suppressing a thought isn’t a good idea long term as it increases its intensity you can delay it.

Creating a 30 minute ‘worry period’ can be effective and bypass the need to suppress.

Knowing that you have a specific time where you are allowed to actively worry can allow your mind to relax the rest of the time.

Focussed worry in this way can be beneficial so why not set up your own ‘worry schedule’.

2. Paradoxical therapy.

Do you feel you need something a bit more hard-core? Then concentrate on the worry. This principle is based on the long-established practice of ‘exposure therapy’. By exposing ourselves slowly but regularly to something we fear it enables the fear to fade.

This method, research suggests can be particularly effective when tacking obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviour.

3. Acceptance.

If boot camp style isn’t your thing then why not try acceptance instead. Although it some ways it’s similar to Paradoxical therapy it is a much gentler approach.

Accepting that you have unwanted thoughts can be the first step in letting them go.

Imagine that you are looking up at a blue sky, your unwanted thoughts are the grey clouds passing overhead. You can’t make those clouds disappear you just have to watch and wait for them to pass so that you can see the blue sky again.

4. Focus on your good points.

Studies have shown that by recognising and focusing on all the good qualities we have it can increase our social confidence and improve self control.

This can have a knock on effect and help us manage our negative thoughts. So why not get a pen and paper and write down all the wonderful qualities you have?

5. Avoid Stress.

Although it may seem like a good idea to have so much to do or to think about so that you don’t have time to think about ‘the thing’ it isn’t an effective strategy.

Studies show that the more stressed we become the more likely it is for unwanted thoughts to resurface, so find some time to relax each day.

Want to know the science behind this? Have a look at the research here.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you so why not drop us a comment?

The Missing Keys

Hypnotherapy helps you rethink your directionAt some point in our lives we will probably find ourselves looking for something. This may be something as simple as keys but often we are seeking so much more.

Whether we are looking for happiness, fulfilment, success, wealth or any number of other things it doesn’t really matter because the way in which we search is as individual as the thing that we are searching for.

But how do we begin to look for the thing that we want or the thing that we have lost when sometimes we don’t even know what ‘it’ is. It can feel like we are searching in the dark.

When we are having difficulty we just need someone to direct us to look in the right place. As I use stories and metaphors in my work I thought I would share this one with you.

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The missing Keys

It was late and Nasrudin was down on all fours on the street in front of his house. It looked like he was searching for something.

‘What are you looking for?’ people asked him.

‘I have lost my keys,’ he answered.  

Some men bent down to assist him in the search. They looked everywhere, but could not find the missing keys.

Finally, growing tired, one of the men asked him, ‘Where exactly did you drop them?’

‘Inside my house.’

‘But then why are you looking over here?’

‘Obviously it is easier to look for them over here! There is more light here than inside my house!’

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For a no obligation chat why not give me a call.

Take care,

Kim

Do More Exercise

This weeks’ weight management blog focuses on exercise. Before you burst into tears because you’ve already tried it all, this isn’t about joining a gym, boot-camp or committing yourself to do 30 minutes of structured exercise in your already busy day.

This is about using what you already do in a more efficient way. Most of us do far more exercise than we are aware of we just have to maximise it.

Sunray Hypnotherapy Weight Loss

Obstacles to exercise

Despite knowing the many benefits that we get from exercise, most of us still see it as a chore. Common obstacles include not having enough time, exercise being too painful or difficult, being too tired, being too unhealthy to start, exercise being boring etc.

However to gain the benefits of exercise, you don’t need to devote hours to it or start a new regime. If you’re not ready or can’t commit to a structured exercise program, consider  physical activity as a lifestyle choice rather than a single task that you need to check off your to do list.

Everyday Exercise

Review your daily routine, you probably do more than you think you do. Even small activities can add up over a day.

Cleaning the house, tidying the garden, vacuuming or taking a walk around the block are all exercise. Use the mindfulness technique that you used last week to focus on your muscles and the parts of your body that you are using and then just increase the effort you put into it a bit.

The key to making exercise a habit is to commit to a little every day. Even if you don’t have time for structured exercise you can adapt your daily routine to be more effective.

Use your head

Still feeling unsure that you can increase your exercise and make a difference to your body? You may find the following study interesting, published in August 2011 in the journal Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology, a group of forty-three sports students were randomly assigned to one of four groups.

One group did real muscle contractions. Three groups combined real and imaginary contractions in ratios of either 1 real to 3 imaginary, 2 real to 2 imaginary, or 3 real and 1 imaginary.

The students “were instructed to imagine maximal contraction efforts as vividly as possible, using kinesthetic imagery (‘you should imagine the sensation associated with a contraction effort, but your muscles must stay relaxed’).” Observers checked to make sure that the imaginary contractions were not accompanied by small muscle movements. At the end of each workout session, the students rated the vividness of their kinesthetic images on a scale from 1 (no imagery could be performed) to 5 (vivid imagery could be performed). There was also a control group who did no exercise at all.

Results showed that imaginary contractions can have similar effects to the real thing. So next time you think you don’t have time to do physical exercise then use your mind instead.

Next week: What happens if nothing seems to work?

Stay healthy with Hypnotherapy

Boost your immune system with Hypnosis Flu season is coming – Boost your immune system with Hypnosis.

With a definite chill in the air, we are rapidly moving towards flu season. The Flusurvey surveillance project has been running for over 4 years. This year, coinciding with the NHS roll out of childhood flu vaccinations classrooms have been asked to take part in the survey to better understand its spread.

In order to help control and lower the impact of flu, the Flusurvey researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine want to understand what role children play in catching and spreading the disease. In 2012-13 it was the under 18 age group that reported the highest rates of infection

What are the effects of Flu?

  • Symptoms can include headache, fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints
  • For some people it can lead to more serious illnesses.
  • The most common complications of influenza are bronchitis and secondary bacterial pneumonia
  • These illnesses can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly, asthmatics and those in poor health and often need hospital treatment

Treatment options

Immunisation is common with a third of eligible ‘at risk’ adults and children receiving the vaccine as well as half of people in the over 65 age group. Figures also suggest a fifth of eligible two and three-year-olds have received their flu vaccine.

Each year a new vaccine is needed each year to protect against the flu viruses expected to be in circulation that winter and to boost the immune response. Did you know that research has shown that hypnosis can be used to boost your immune system and improve the body’s functioning further?

A research study from Washington State University in Pullman found that two different types of immune cells used for fighting disease were strengthened by using hypnosis.

Sixty five participants were randomly assigned into three groups. One group received hypnosis, one received relaxation therapy and the third group didn’t receive any form of therapy or treatment and served as a control group.

The results for the participants that received hypnosis showed an increase in two important types of white blood cells that help fight off disease (Ruzyla-Smith).

Further research from Ohio State University determined that hypnotherapy can boost the immune system and prevent it from weakening due to stress. This is an important finding as stress is a main contributor to a weakened immune system.

As it’s so important to keep your immune system strong so that you are able to fight off all those pesky viruses why not give yourself the best possible chance of a healthy and happy flu season by combining your vaccine with some hypnotherapy?