Cardiovascular Hypnosis

The heart lies at the center  of the cardiovascular system. It pumps blood throughout the body and is a transport system delivering oxygen and nutrients to all cells in  the body. and carries waste products and toxins to be eliminated.

The hearts performance can be affected by stress and emotions, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poor diet and smoking.  Hypnosis can play an important role in maintaining  a healthy heart, and can help aid the recovery from a variety of Cardiovascular diseases by helping to create a healthier life style.

It is important that cardiovascular hypnosis only be carried out with permission from the clients Doctor and a medical diagnosis.

Psychogenic Cardiovascular conditions are often seen after experiencing trauma, panic attacks, chest Pain, or after experiencing cardiovascular disease.  Often called cardiophobia, it is a fear of heart disease even though the heart is found to be healthy, and it distorts the normal awareness of different Cardiac responses.  Any heart activity that is not seen to be normal can trigger fear.  So if a person becomes aware of extrasystoles (additional beats of the heart), paroxysmal tachycardia (bursts of rapid heart activity), or palpitations, (an increased awareness of the beating of the heart, a normal reaction to fears, emotions or exertion ) They fear the worst.

Hypnotherapy can be useful with Cardiophobia  but only with a Doctors permission

Hypnotherapy can be used to desensitize any stressful situations that may cause the heart to exert itself.  These may be caused by internal conflicts or limiting beliefs about their live or any other triggers that cause discomfort.  We may help the client deal with past traumas causing present discomfort. (but only if the heart is healthy.)

We may use suggestions and imagery work to make lifestyle changes, and reduce the fear they hold of their future, and for healing and creating a healthy and strong body. If we help the client feel better about themselves so that they are more at ease, creating change becomes easier. So building Self Esteem is important.

Actual Cardiovascular Disease is often caused by smoking, obesity , poor lifestyle, and stress.  All help to cause or increase the affect of all  Cardiovascular disease conditions.

The aim of hypnotherapy is to help where it can with cardiovascular conditions. If we can help a person stop smoking their overall health will improve, as will helping an obese person return to a healthy normal weight so there is less strain on the body and less pressure on the heart. Hypnotherapy can make it easier to follow a Doctors instructions so other life style changes can be made. High blood pressures  can be reduced with regular  self hypnosis. With angina it is important to reduce stress and deal with any anticipatory anxiety if it arises With heart attacks we look at lifestyle changes and coming to terms with their situation. With post infarct syndrome various psychological problems can occur after having a heart attack. Some people become depressed. Some may experience fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, cardiophobia, poor concentration and avoid exercise. These symptoms may resolve themselves but if they don’t hypnotherapy can be helpful.

If we can help a person create healthier habits, deal with stress, anxiety, and other toxic emotions, while helping them increase their positive mental attitude they have a greater chance of increasing their cardiovascular health and living a more full life.

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Cancer and Hypnotherapy

To many people cancer is a frightening word. In the past it has been associated with death, but now most people recover from cancer if it is treated early enough. A person with cancer goes through a challenging time often having to deal with the affects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. They can feel helpless feeling that they have lost control. They experienced increased stress and anxiety which puts them under further pressure and weakens their immune system thus weakening their health. They may have to deal with common cancer and medication symptoms ie pain, nausea and diarrhoea , fatigue, and a weak immune system. Stress and anxiety may cause poor sleeping, resulting in exhaustion , lack of focus, and inability to think clearly.

In recent years the medical profession have realized that psychological factors can play an important role in the development , longevity and remission of tumours , while helping the person respond better to pain and pharmacological  interventions. Hypnotherapy is not a cure for cancer. Its importance lies as a means of helping the person with cancer improve there quality of life during and after treatment.

Areas to look at.  Stress and anxiety can be caused by worrying about cancer. They cloud the mind and weaken the body creating an inefficient  immune system. Anxiety also plays an important role in the perception of  pain making it feel worse. Hypnotherapy can help with managing anxiety and increasing the persons pain threshold.

Pain from cancer or surgery can be reduce by hypnosis, that has  good success rates for lowering pain thus also lowering  anxiety that pain causes, and if you can learn to reduce your own pain by self hypnosis you feel your beginning to take more control of your life and you begin to break the cycle of helplessness.

Management of nausea and diarrhoea. Nausea and diarrhoea often accompany interventions such as chemotherapy.  Hypnosis can play an important role in managing these unpleasant symptoms and can help interrupt  any anticipation of them that the person creates in their mind. It is bad enough having to experience nausea and diarrhoea without creating more of it by the way you think  You can imagine how much better a person feels when they have this under control.

The immune System. By managing stress and anxiety, you are on your way to reducing inflammation and strengthening your immune system. As the immune system protects your body from illness by cleansing your body from anything that would harm it, it is important at times of ill health that it is working efficiently.  A healthy immune system means a healthier body. In hypnotherapy we look at how to strengthen  the immune system. We may use imagery  to fully imagine  the body healing and becoming healthy or to see cancer cells being destroyed and expelled from the body. We may use  hypnotic suggestions to increase self esteem and to regain a feeling of control. What we are looking to do is to help the person believe in having a healthy body. Belief  is enormously strong when making changes to mind and body. You have probably heard of people giving up on life only to find their health going down hill more quickly. But what if you created a more healthy outlook  where you believe in your abilities to be mentally and physically stronger. How would this help you deal better with your  perceptions  of cancer? and because cancer or any other chronic illness can have an negative impact on self esteem and feelings of confidence, it is important that the person learns, and has the skills to feel better about themselves.

As I have said we are not trying to cure cancer, but if a person become stronger in mind and body they are more likely to deal with cancer in the best possible way. Although some valid and positive research has been done in the area of cancer and hypnotherapy there is  much more to do, and  because of the growing development of medical research and neuro science we are at a time where we are more able than ever to investigate the benefits of using  hypnotherapy on many conditions both medical and psychological.


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Stress Management and Hypnotherapy

Everyone gets stressed to some extent. Whether it is moderate stress that can motivate you towards your goals or excessive stress that over powers you and forces your body and brain to perform poorly.

The stress response is a natural protective mechanism that aids survival. Stress causes the fight or flight response that prepares you for immediate action in order to protect you  from danger be it real or psychological.

In modern times we are rarely faced with physical threat.Most of our stress occurs at a psychological level. Most of the time we are relatively safe, however psychological stressors (and we have many in our society) effect us in the same way as if we were being chased by a lion or we live in a war zone, and the fight or flight response is activated and stress hormones, Adrenaline, Nor Adrenaline and Cortisol  are pumped through our bodies.  In a real dangerous situation, we are ready for fight or flight and we break down these hormones by our actions, but when psychological stress (stress caused by the way we look at life) exists these chemicals act like poisons in our body and over time damage our physiological  and mental health.

The Autonomic Nervous System is responsible for maintaining the bodies balance. It is divided into two parts. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible  for  remaining alert and taking action and the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest and relaxation. They work together to maintain a state of equilibrium.

During periods of stress the SNS is dominant which is normal, but what if it stays dominant and isn’t re balanced by the PNS system after a stressful situation. There is no return to rest  and the stress response is maintained. It is on automatic and it can result in a damage to health.

Some modern stress triggers include

  • Work related issues ie poor line management and conflict between workers.
  • Environmental Issues. Noise, crowds, coffee, busy traffic.
  • Economic Issues. Debt, Poverty, Fear of loosing wealth.
  • Relationship Issues. Difference in expectations in a relationship or marriage.
  • Bereavement.
  • Poor health.

How the sympathetic nervous system responds during stress stress. When you are stressed your heart rate and blood pressure increase and blood is delivered to areas of the body that needs it during  activity. As blood is diverted to the brain, lungs and muscles, digestion slows down. More O2 is delivered to the muscles and an increase in muscular tension generates heat, which increases perspiration to cool the body down. An increase in muscle tone creates tension in preparation for action, but can create headaches and prevent oxygenated blood reaching the brain causing the brain to become sluggish and lack focus. As the body prepares for danger, clotting agents are released into the blood stream. Increases in levels of Adrenaline, Nor Adrenaline and Cortisol, great when dealing with danger, but have negative consequences  when they build up in the body due to psychological stress.

Some symptoms of stress.

  • Headaches   
  • Panic attacks
  • Stomach Problems
  • Anxiety
  • Poor Concentration
  • H B Pressure
  • Poor Self Image
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • A run down Immunity System

Non Hypnotic ways to reduce stress. Chronic stress  can make you feel there is not enough time in the day, so good time management is invaluable. This includes setting goals, prioritizing what is important, and using a diary.

Also diet is important. Many foods are stimulants that increase stress so reducing caffeine, sugar  and alcohol,and eating healthy foods all keep stress at bay.

Aerobic exercise is important in stress reduction. Activity removes stress hormones from the body by stimulating the PNS.

A stress journal can help you recognize triggers and thinking patterns that cause stress.

Breathing exercises can help balance the autonomic nervous system to bring calm to the body.

Hypnotherapy for stress An important part of working with stress or anxiety is to find the clients stress triggers. Whether you are stressed by a known event, or unknown causes working automatically to cause you stress, there is always a reason that triggers it off, even though we may not know what it is, so it is important to bring into consciousness its causes so that we can desensitize them to calm body and mind. Much of our work involves teaching self hypnosis skills. How to recognize stressors. How to desensitize them. How to develop deep relaxation to use in self hypnosis. How to use mental imagery  to imagine situations in more stress free ways. If there is internal conflict, how to communicate  with conflicting parts. Teaching mindfulness because of its positive results with stress, anxiety, and depression. We need to help our clients to regain control of their lives because having chronic stress can make the client feel helpless and out of control. it is also important to look for beliefs that maybe are causing stress. We also need to help the client increase their self esteem and regain their confidence, because when you are feeling really good and in control its more difficult for stress to get a hold in you.

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Changing Perceptional Positions

Changing perceptional positions is a method of learning how to see a situation involving other people, from different points of view. Often we are stuck in our limited thinking where we are feeling awkward in a situation that feels rigid. This method teaches you how to become more flexible in any situation with another person. That feeling of being stuck feels like you have blinkers on. You just can’t see beyond your limited point of view. Because we are looking at perceptions not at reality, our perceptions are seen through internal filters, one of which is our beliefs, and these can be changed. This method can be used in any situation where another person is involved. A parent may use it to get a better idea of how their child may be thinking or feeling in a certain situation, or you can use it when you are feeling stuck with your partner, or any other situation where there is conflict.

Step 1  Make yourself comfortable.Think of the difficult situation. Perhaps one that has repeated itself several times.

Step 2 Run this situation inside your mind from your point of view. Start at the beginning and and go through it to the end, like watching a movie.. The purpose of this is to gather as much information as possible.

Step 3 Experience this same situation again but from the position of the other person. Begin to become aware of the other person. Begin to notice as much as you can about them. Their posture, the sound of their voice, how they move, their breathing and any other information available to you that will help you to “become them”. Once you are ready step into the other person. Take a moment to become them. Experience what it feels like to be that other person. Now run through that situation from their point of view from start to finish. Take as much time as you need and notice what new information is available to you. From this new perspective what what do you learn? What do you notice about how you were in this situation as seen through the other persons eyes. What is new and useful information? Once you have experienced the other perceptions we move on to the next view point.

Step 4 Re experience this situation as an Observer.  We now run the situation again only this time from a neutral position. Watch and listen to the situation as if you are standing to one side so you experience the situation as a neutral observer. Watch both you and the other person interacting. Watch how they both respond to each other. What do you learn from this position. that is useful that you may not have been aware of before?

 Step 5 Making use of your information. By having gone through a difficult situation  from three very different and important positions, what new information is there that you didn’t know before and how does that new information change the way you see the situation now? Do you see the other person in a different light? How do you see yourself now? Has this information helped you find ways of dealing with the situation that you didn’t have before?

This is a way of using our imagination to become more flexible. The new information we have may not be true as no one really knows what others are thinking and feeling, but it can be helpful and aid communication. As you change your behaviour as you gain new insights, it’s highly likely that the other person will change theirs in response. Of course it may also be worth asking how the other person feels about the situation with you to open  up communication further.

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Hypnosis and Sports Performance

Sports improvement can be both physical and mental. With Hypnosis we focus on the mental aspects of sport performance so that we can improve the physical, because the way we think and what we believe about ourselves and the world can effect all areas of our lives, including sports. When we improve our positive mental attitude with regards to sport we have a far greater chance of enhancing our abilities . Hypnosis is one way to help you to reach peak performance.

Many sports people will come to hypnotherapy because they can’t focus on their sport. They become distracted easily. A golfer on Tennis player might worry about what others think about them, and the more they move up the competition rankings the more self conscious they become and the less they are able to perform because mental and physical discomfort has taken over. A boxer may love his sport but finds he hasn’t the motivation to train because of an unconscious limiting belief holding him back and causing  internal conflict. But he doesn’t know why.  A canoeist “paddler”can’t roll his canoe. He panics when he is upside down in water and just has to get out. An overwhelming fear leads him to believe ” I can’t roll” so he makes sure he don’t try.  An injured footballer after recovery fears damaging himself again so holds back during the game.

The golfer and tennis player may need to learn how to focus and at the same time minimize  what is interrupting their focus.  The boxer may need to find what is causing him conflict before regaining motivation.  The canoeist needs to deal with his fear and develop the confidence that he can roll.  The footballer may need to belief in his bodies abilities to heal and loose his fear of the possible consequences of future injury. So in hypnotherapy we could be working to increase focus, change limiting beliefs, and deal with fears and anxieties around their sport.

An important part of improving performance is in mental rehearsal.  Hypnosis can be used  to learn and increase ability to fully imagine being successful with all aspects of  your sport that needs improving.  It has now been proven that practicing success in your imagination can produce better results than in real practice. Why?  Because its easier to be successful and replicate that success in your mind.  Hence helping the sports person to develop mental rehearsal and self coaching skills is essential to improvement and continued self management.

So if you are a sports person with an issue, something that is holding you back, why not think about hypnotherapy. It costs nothing to get in touch and find out more.


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Alcohol and Hypnosis

Over 90% of the population in the UK drink alcohol to some extent. For most people it is fun and it makes socializing easier. It reduces inhibitions and allows people to “Party” Most of us have experienced that warm glow of friendliness induced by alcohol. That feeling of “everything is great” until you waken up the next day with a hangover or drained of energy.

The effects of alcohol on the central nervous system allows the drinker to be less inhibited.It’s a muscle relaxant which explains why the drinker feels so relaxed and easy within themselves and with other people. In small doses  it is relatively safe although judgement and decision making will be impaired. In higher doses it effects co ordination , judgement, attention, speech and memory.  In extremely high doses loss of consciousness and death may occur.

Some people drink a little too much and are sometimes above the recommended daily limit. Others drink far too much where alcohol can cause physical and mental harm, and social harm where relationships are destroyed and families break up . Some people will have a physical and psychological dependence and find it impossible to abstain and this can lead to alcohol related disorders. Alcohol is a poison and excessive consumption  can

  • increase the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Increase the risk of developing cancer.
  • increase the risk of death or injury due to accident.
  • Cause Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Cause Korsakoff’s Syndrome.
  • Cause Hypertension.
  • Cause  excessive distorted thinking leading to anger and violence.

When someone comes to Hypnotherapy for alcohol it is likely something has happened in there life that highlights a problem. It may be due to health issues, relationship issues, being arrested by the police or perhaps frustration at not being able to control consumption.

To have success with hypnotherapy the client must be sober first, then hypnotherapy can support them in their goal of remaining sober. Some people may need a medical detox to clear their body of the poison of alcohol. For others willpower and discipline may be enough, with an agreement of a certain period of abstinence. Being sober is a commitment that shows intent and that the client is willing to make changes in their live, and commitment is important to success. Being sober and having a clear head, hypnotherapy can now begin.

The aim of hypnotherapy is to guide the client from the problem state to the solution state. The problem state / pattern will contain negative beliefs around alcohol, and how they see themselves and the world. There may be unpleasant memories and perhaps critical voices berating them. The client may experience feelings of weakness and failure, feelings of loss of control, of fear and shame. We help the client to weaken there beliefs so we can help them see themselves in a different way. They create a new identity for themselves.

If we can help the client disrupt their problem pattern they are on their way to success.

The solution state. Many people who drink alcohol to excess can’t imagine  a future without it.  Their future may be dark and miserable.  An important part of working with alcohol is to help the client create a new future. If a person imagines something long enough and with real focus the imaginary becomes real within their  mind. We need to help them create the future they want.  A positive future where they see themselves as healthy, having great relationships, doing things that they love doing, being strong and confident with their abilities, and having a powerful sense of self worth. After creating strong future memories the client needs  to go into them and experience what that feels like, and as this experience becomes more real new beliefs develop and a new way of being is formed. An identity free of dependence on alcohol and the fear of relapse.  It is by interrupting the problem so that it weakens, and by creating a new healthy experience of  the clients future that success is more likely.

Hypnosis is not magic. There is no magic pill. No magic wand. The therapist isn’t doing anything to you. It is a collaborative relationship between therapist and client, working together to break the shackles of alcohol. There is more chance of success when the client realizes that the Hypnotherapist is there as a guide and it is the responsibility of  the client to play a part in the Hypnotic process.



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Self Talk

Everyone talks to themselves. They may not know it because they aren’t paying attention to what they are saying.

When children start to listen to sounds and make up words you will often hear them talking when no one is there. As they grow up the way their parents/ carers talk to them dictate how they talk to themselves. If they hear nurturing words, nurturing tones of voice they are likely to internalize this to create caring inner voices

If they hear criticism, anger or harsh words, what they internalize may cause them to treat themselves in a harsh critical way.

As an adult these voices are often out of consciousness. We don’t hear them because we aren’t looking for them. We feel bad but we don’t know why. With negative voices we push them away so we don’t have to listen to them, then often focus on something more pleasant.

Negative voices can make our lives hell. Nurturing voices help create wonderful lives. It is the troublesome critical voices that we are interested in here, and how we can change their structure to change their meaning to lessen their impact. And we are going to look at different ways of doing this.

Of course before you can do this it’s important to learn to listen for them. This is easy if you are an auditory person, and more of a challenge if you are visual or more aware of feelings or sensations. You can start of by whenever you are feeling bad ask yourself “what am I saying to myself” This may take some time so be patient with yourself.

I am going to talk about some of the ways you can work with a negative voice. A voice will always have a location. When I first started looking at internal voices at an NLP training and I was asked to find a critical voice and point to it I would point to it inside my head. I believed that is the only place it could be located. Developing a bit more awareness and looking into NLP further led me to realize there can be many locations for a voice.

There are several ways you can work with a critical voice. If you are listening to an internal critical voice the chances are the voice is facing you. As an experiment  you can imagine the voice turning away from you in the opposite direction and notice the effect this has. Most people will find relief. In the external world an angry voice is less scary if the person is facing away from you, and it is the same with internal voices.

Changing location inside your body. You can also take a voice and move it to another part of your body.Suppose a voice inside your head is uncomfortable. You can experiment by moving this voice to other locations.Perhaps to a knee  or foot or elbow ect. to find out what location increases or decreases your tension. Some areas will make the voice more intense and others can give relief. Experiment. Try it and see what happens. ( I know it sounds crazy)

You may find a voice is located outside your body. It took me a while to give up the belief that all voices were inside your head. Often they are not. If you become aware that a negative voice 2 feet in front of you, how would it be if you moved it to the opposite location behind you? If it is on your right move it to your left side and see if that makes a positive difference . If you have a voice above you, what happens if you move it below you? One voice may talk down to you and the other may talk up to you. Both positions may cause problems for you. You may find bringing the voice to eye level makes the voice easier to listen to.

With location comes distance. We know that in the external world a person talking to you from 2 feet away can feel too close and someone talking 30 yards away has less effect on you. So you can experiment with internal criticism by moving it away from you, making it more distant. Move it 10 feet away then 20 then 30 feet. How does that effect you? The chances are it will feel less tense and easier for you to handle the further away you move it.

I know what I am suggesting can feel alien to many people. If it is totally new to you it is worth putting aside doubt to “play” with these ideas.  As I have found myself, trying too hard inhibits results and may cause resistance, so you really need a relaxed “lets try it an see” attitude.

The difference between “I Am” and “you are.” Some voices will say “I am stupid” while others will say “you are stupid”.  The “I am” voice identifies with you, feeling more like it is part of you. While a “you are” voice is talking to you. It is more dissociated and there is a separateness there. You can take an “I am” voice and change it into a “you are” voice to find out if that dissociation reduces the voices intensity and gives you more breathing room.

Whose voice is this? If you listen closely to a voice ie listen to volume, tempo, tone, and the words used you may find clues to whose voice it is. ( A voice has to come from somewhere ) A voice can be an anchor of much information, and as you listen, unconscious associations may reveal themselves consciously at the time or in the near future.

Adding an image to the speaker. When investigating a difficult voice you can ask yourself “whose voice is this?” Then you can look at all the possibilities  until you find one that really fits and add that persons image to the voice, or more often, an image will come to you spontaneously. I  have a voice slightly to my right of me at eye level.  As I listened the face of the speaker showed itself ( My father). Seeing the image can make a voice easier to work with and can bring  more information to consciousness.

Adjusting location of an image. Often an image makes a voice easier to change. You can turn the image away from you so it is not talking directly to you.  You can move it above you and then below you or move it to eye level to see where is best to have the image. It may be easier to push the image into the distance than just the voice itself. It may also be easier to talk to a voice when you know whose voice it is and you can see that person.

Changing Volume can relate to distance and location. Almost everyone has had the experience of turning volume down on a TV, Radio, or Computer. What you can do in the external world you can do internally.  It’s called a reference experience. How could you turn down the volume in your mind if you hadn’t done it for real?  So why not take a troublesome voice and turn the volume up and down to see how that affects you.  If you can’t do it yet put the voice in an imaginary radio then change the volume. You can create imaginary nobs that change volume.  Make them as real as possible.  So real you can touch them. As distance is connected to volume the further away you move a voice the quieter it is likely to become. Try it and see.  You can imagine the voice in another room with the doors and windows shut.  That will likely quiet a voice, and allow you to respond better to it.

You may not always want to weaken the intensity of a voice. Suppose  you have a confident voice that makes you excited. With any positive voice you can use your skills to strengthen that voice. So what you learn about a negative voice can be applied to making a positive voice more powerful. So Pump up the volume. Bring the voice closer. Make the image brighter, larger or more colorful if it helps. Just don’t try too hard.

What happens when you want to install a voice with a  positive message to counter a negative voice? I have often found positive affirmation ineffective. If you have an internal message ” I hate myself ” or “your horrible ” and you find positive affirmations that are opposite ie  “I love myself ” or ” Your wonderful ” it is likely that the messages will conflict because the new positive is coming up against the “reality” of the old unconscious message.  This can only make the old deep rooted message stronger. If you change ” I love myself “to  “I can learn to love myself ” you are no longer in opposition to the old voice. ” You are horrible ” can be replaced with ” I am learning to be a more caring person ” Or what ever fits without causing conflict. It is important that two messages don’t clash because the old unconscious message will always win because it is likely a deep rooted belief. Probably a better way is to weaken the old message first and replace it with a more positive message. By weakening the old one enough there can be no conflict.

When a voice doesn’t want to change to something better. Often people make a change that doesn’t hold and goes back to its original location. vol ect. If so, there is likely a part of you that has a genuine concern. Perhaps you need to use language that implies change is happening ie “Soon you may notice that voice comfortably fixing itself in that new improved location ”  “and all parts of you can allow that change to become long lasting ”     “and that voice easily makes the change you desire ”  If a change in language hasn’t worked perhaps you need to talk to the voice or the part that controls the voice to find its positive intention. Imagining talking to the voice as a person makes this easier. When a critical voice wants to protect you, it’s unlikely that you will listen to it if it is harsh and puts you down. You may need to explain to it what kind of voice your more likely to listen to, so it has good reason to change. This may sound a bit weird if you are unfamiliar with parts therapy, but it has been proven time and time again to be effective.  If change is still proving difficult you may need a Therapist  or Hypnotherapist who works with voices to help you find what is holding you back. Sometimes you need help.

Developing skills takes time.  It can take time to develop any ability and practice and repetition are required.  Some people are familiar with voices, while others haven’t tuned into them yet and don’t know they exist. Have patience and practice practice practice and you will learn more about yourself and others.

These are just a few ways of working with critical voices. I hope you find them interesting. If you go into anything with a critical attitude it is unlikely you will find success. You have to be open to experimenting, trying things out to see what happens.




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Hypnotherapy and IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common Gut problem which can cause abdominal pain, bloating and sometimes diarrhoea or constipation.  Many people who experience IBS are embarrassed, feel anxious, and may be depressed. IBS can be the cause of anxiety and depression and they in turn can exacerbate the symptoms of IBS

Recent research by a team from The Withington Hospital has shown Hypnotherapy to be helpful with IBS,  having long term benefits.. It’s been found Hypnotherapy can reduce the symptom, improve the quality of life of the sufferer while reducing levels of anxiety and depression, and increasing self control. After hypnotherapy, patients took less medication and did not have to see their doctor so often.

Hypnotherapy is used to reduce stress and improve relaxation, and uses visualisation to imagine a healthy working gut. Suggestions can be given to regain confidence and control, with self hypnosis as a self help tool to build on the persons own capabilities. Suggestions can also be given for the improvement of the persons health and feeling better about themselves.

If pain is involved, pain control can be used on the specific area of abdominal discomfort, so that the pain is reduced to a slight discomfort. ( The client needs to be aware of bowel movements )

If more information is necessary to gain success we may need to look at the cause of the symptom, or what interferes with making the desired change. Is there possibly  something preventing  developing a healthy gut?

Breathing techniques  can be useful to relax the abdominal area and a diary can be used for recording trigger situations so they can be desensitised.

So if you have IBS  why not think about  Hypnotherapy as an option?




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Hypnosis and Skin Disorders

At the embryonic stage of life the Epidermis  of the skin and the nervous system originate from the substance known as the Ectoderm, and as we develop there is a strong connection and communication  between them, so that if the nervous system is out of balance the skin will be affected. To be affective in helping Skin disorders we need to look both symptom and what triggers the condition.

Hypnosis can be used to find the cause of the problem, to alleviate the condition itself and to decondition any conditioned responses.

Having a skin problem is a visual issue. People can see it. This can have a psychological impact that can be devastating and out of all proportion. It can cause intense distress and loss of self esteem and self confidence, and in a vicious circle psychological issues exacerbate skin problems and vice versa.

After a thorough  information taking that is focused on the symptom, the clients life, and how they want their future to be, suggestions can be given during hypnosis. This may be for reducing symptoms, to create success in this and future sessions, or for the client to feel better about themselves and to take more control of their life.

Anxiety can play a major factor in aggravating skin conditions, and because of the viscous loop of increased anxiety making the condition worse, creating more anxiety, one of the most effective ways of helping in reducing the symptom is by teaching self hypnosis for stress reduction and feeling better about themselves. It also reveals a willingness to take control over their life.

Hypnotherapy may also involve looking for the cause of the problem in the past or the present, and suggestions and visualisation ie imagining being in a bath of healing fluid or feeling sunlight on their skin can be helpful. We may need coping mechanisms for young people who are being bullied or abused or teased, encouraging isolation and low self esteem. Often when a person feels better about themselves and stress reduces the issue improves.

Also visiting a nutritionalist to eliminate those foods that feed inflammatory conditions and worsen the problem may be useful. Eradicating certain foods can be beneficial for clearing the skin.

So if you have a skin condition that is causing you problems why not try hypnotherapy. You may find it helps.

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My Favourite Method When Working With An Anxious Critical Voice

This method was created and made popular by Nick Kemp and is based on changing Tempo.

First find the anxious voice that is causing discomfort.  Have patience, this may take time, as for many people it is often out of consciousness.

When you have found it and you have experienced its effect, it is important to look for other situations in your life where a similar voice is causing difficulties. It is easy to generalize a voice from one situation to several, and what we want to do now is generalize the change.

Before changing a voice it is important to do an ecology check, asking if there is any part of yourself (or the client), objects to any change made. There may be a part that gains some benefit by keeping the voice as it is and doesn’t want change, and will prevent success. You will have to deal with any objections if they come up.

Access the anxious voice. Most often anxious voices are faster than normal and they tend to stimulate the nervous system.

If you are working with a client get them to notice if the voice is faster than normal. If it is slower you can reverse the technique. An anxious voice will be faster for most people.

Ask the client to think the sentence exactly as they normally do whilst noticing the effect on them. Then ask them to slow the speed by about one third and notice the difference. Then ask them to really slow it down so they put a couple of seconds between each pair of words, using an out breath on each space to encourage relaxation.

To make sure the client follows instructions you say the sentence out loud at the slower speeds so they hear what you want them to do. You can make the spaces at the end of the sentence even longer to see if that makes a difference.

Testing. Have the client think the sentence as they normally do and notice the difference. By changing the structure of the voice, we change its meaning, so content isn’t as important as structure here.

Visual Variation. Another way to do this is to see the sentence in front of you and change the structure visually.

Ask the client to see the sentence  in front of them. when they see the whole sentence ask them to lengthen the sentence by lengthening  the spaces between each word and focusing on the spaces rather than the words. We can take this further by lengthening each word, by lengthening the spaces between each letter. Then test for difference.

Kinesthetic Tactile Variation. Ask client to reach out and feel the words and letters in front of them as if the words are solid. Now have the client see their hands touch and spread the words out and then spread out the letters and feel the spaces between each letter.

You can use one, two or all three of these versions. The important thing is to test for difference and congruence, by rehearsing the new response in several situations that would have triggered the old response and dealing with any ecology objections if any. This is carried out by imagining these situations in the future.

If the inner voice has an negation or you want to remove a word, you can mentally remove it or white it out so it is no longer there  “I can’t—–” In this example you can remove the apostrophe in the second word and the T, being careful not to say the word, as you don’t want to recall it. This creates a more positive message.

This is a brief outline of a very useful method of working with an inner voice, that can be used with others or by yourself.



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