The way we think


Sometimes you just have to say “No.”
Whatever language you speak “No” is probably the single most powerful word you can use. It will conjure up all sorts of emotions both positive and negative such as anger, sadness, fear, resentment, disappointment, anxiety, and much, much more.

No one likes to be told “no”. Conversely, for a lot of people, saying “no” is difficult to do.

So why are we afraid of this two-letter word? Maybe you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings? Is it because you want to be liked? Maybe, and this is the most common reason, you don’t want to be seen as selfish, negative and uncooperative. Or is it because you think it’s important for your career or the relationship with your partner not to say “No.”

It is often considered to be one of the major causes of stress at work, at home, and in a social environment, to say “yes” when every emotional fibre screams at you to say “No”.
It may result in you committing to an increased workload when you are already maxed out, or agreeing to something you find morally or ethically wrong, concerns about, compromising your principles and values, and so many more possible outcomes of saying “yes” when you wanted to say “No”.

People may say “no” but in such a manner that is so weak and doesn’t commit, that they end up accommodating. In other words, you turn your no into a yes.

“No” is said aggressively or angrily. This blocks agreement and destroys relationships’.

To avoid conflict Nothing is said, neither yes nor no. So we leave people hanging, which doesn’t do justice to either party.

“No” is an essential word in our vocabulary that we must use. It helps protect us.

However, the challenge is to have the courage and effective communication skills to say “no” in a way that will not damage any relationship.

And that’s why hypnosis is such a powerful pain reliever.

Hypnosis empowers us to reframe our thoughts and expectations about pain. Thus, we can use hypnosis to reprogram how your mind responds to the “signal,” to have different expectations, to distract us from these sensations, to reframe them more positively, or to completely switch them off.

Using Hypnosis to Reframe Pain
The mind is stubborn. We have during our lives built and reinforced our beliefs, attitudes and expectations over a lifetime, and that’s true about how the mind thinks about pain.

When we stub a toe, we have expectations about how bad it will hurt, attitudes about how we should feel, and believe we will feel pain. Hypnosis works by unlocking and releasing those preconceived notions and allows us to work directly with the subconscious mind the part of the brain that controls the pain response. Through hypnosis, we can provide it with new and more effective ways of responding to pain stimulus.

For example, a chronic pain sufferer expects pain to persist and has an attitude that it won’t go away. This anxiety, in turn, activates the pain response. Those signals fire off regularly, and the pain persists. Hypnosis can then help the chronic pain sufferer to first recognize this unconscious response early, and empower them to understand how to use the unconscious and reduce the feeling of pain.

Hypnosis helps in two ways. Relaxation and perceptual alteration. First, by going into a hypnotic trance, the body relaxes. This reduces muscle tension a pain intensifier.

Once in a relaxed state, hypnotic suggestions will help to alter your perception of the pain sensation. A good hypnotherapist will use many techniques to alter perception tailored to the individual. Four of the most common and effective techniques include distraction, reframing, numbing and dissociation.
While serving in Northern Ireland one of our men had been shot in the shoulder, he was so preoccupied with what was going on he was able to return fire and run over 500 yards, before realising he had been wounded, such was the intensity of the distraction of the moment.
When we are distracted we can reduce or (as in the above case) completely push it from our thoughts. During hypnosis, we can ask the subconscious to think about other areas of the body or to imagine past experiences free of pain. By distracting the unconscious away from the pain, we can reduce or completely eliminate it and over time, by using distraction we can train the mind to alleviate pain.
Reframing: Pain hurts. That’s the sensation that we feel. But what if we could alter our perception of the sensation. What if that feeling of hurt, could be transformed into a sensation of numbness?
That’s the basic idea of reframing: Altering how the mind perceives pain sensations. The “father of modern hypnotherapy” Milton Erickson, for instance, once helped a motorcyclist who’d been in an accident reframe the “burning” pain he was feeling, into a lukewarm and ultimately a cool sensation. Hypnosis provides direct access to the subconscious where these sensations are formulated. Once a hypnotherapist accesses the subconscious, they can feed it with suggestions that override previous thoughts (that is to reframe your perception).

Numbing: What if you could apply a numbing sensation to any affected area? What if you could perceive numbing to reduce pain? That’s very possible in deep hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a lot like REM sleep the point in the sleep cycle when you begin to dream. As such, we feel a disconnect with the conscious mind. Numbing requires us to first remember a time we felt numbness, such as, after a dental injection or after holding an ice cube for too long. The hypnotherapist can suggest that this numbness spread to the afflicted area, helping to reduce or dull the sensation of pain.
Dissociation: Dentists will ask their patients to think about a good memory and “to go there,” while they perform a particularly painful procedure. This idea is similar to hypnotic dissociation. With dissociation, we ask ourselves to either, separate the painful area from the body or, to imagine an out-of-body experience.
This allows us to dissociate ourselves from the pain, and remove it, and over time, using this technique whether during one to one or self-hypnosis we can begin to gain control over the sensation and replace it with what we experience during dissociation.
All of these techniques have one thing in common: They allow us to process pain differently. When that signal shoots up to the brain, these techniques help to reprogram the natural, automatic response, and we’re able to reduce, numb, or experience pain in a different, more helpful way.
Does It Work?
Hypnosis for pain management might be the most researched areas of the field. High-quality scientific testing and trials have been performed for all types of pain, Back pain hypnotherapy, Hypno-anaesthesia for surgery, chronic pain hypnosis. You have a pain issue, then it’s been researched, and the evidence of efficacy is extremely compelling.
Numerous studies have shown a significant reduction of pain acknowledge for participants who have used hypnotherapy. Up to 75% in many trials show significant pain reduction, using hypnosis. Here is a sampling of hypnosis for a variety of different areas of chronic and acute pain:

Surgical Pain. A 2016 review of research founded that in a majority of studies hypnosis was shown to reduce procedural pain and that hypnotic anaesthetic (similar to what Dr Gibson used) was effective for minor procedures. Similarly, hypnosis has been shown to reduce bleeding and improve wound healing post-surgery, leading to faster recovery.

Another study, published in the journal Neurosurgery looked at how hypno sedation could help during awake brain procedures. The results: Hypnosis helped to reduce the impact of unpleasant parts of the surgery, help patients remain calm, and the pain was reduced.

Another recent study looked at using hypnosis for pain relief, following surgical procedures. The findings: Just a 15-minute hypnosis session resulted in a decrease in perceived pain similar to what you’d expect from opiate medication, patients reported an average of 29% reduction in perceived pain.
Back Pain. Chronic back pain is without doubt one of the most non-surgical causes of long term pain, and it’s a primary contributor to disability. Researchers have found a strong relationship between hypnosis and a reduction in back pain. A 2015 study examined how hypnosis could help OAP’s with back pain reduced the pain intensity. The results: Hypnosis significantly helped improve the quality of life and reduce pain intensity. More than 50% of participants reported a meaningful pain reduction that lasted longer than 6 months.
A 1983 study also found that self-hypnosis could reduce pain intensity, help improve sleep, and resulted in reduced medication following treatment.
Cancer. Ongoing cancer treatment often results in recurring and lasting pain, and treatment procedures themselves can be highly painful. Research has looked at both aspects: Pain caused by individual treatments, as well as ongoing and recurring pain.
In 1983, David Spiegel, a preeminent hypnotherapy researcher, examined how hypnosis could help breast cancer patients manage pain caused by treatment. Over the course of a year, patients who received self-hypnosis training were able to report significant reductions in pain and suffering, (although the duration and frequency of episodes didn’t change). Spiegel’s research did suggest hypnosis can be a powerful tool for pain management during cancer treatments.
Similarly, many individual treatments cause patient distress, anxiety and pain. A 1982 study examined if hypnosis before these treatments could help to reduce pain and anxiety. During bone marrow and lumbar puncture procedures, participants who utilized hypnosis reported significantly less pain.
Arthritis. In 2002, researchers conducted a study looking at the effect of three interventions of osteoarthritic pain: Hypnosis, relaxation and no treatment. Participants who received hypnosis 8 weekly hypnosis sessions reported a long-lasting and significant reduction in pain, even at the 4- and 6-month mark. Hypnosis was as effective as relaxation, which could suggest that a program of hypnosis with relaxation techniques could be a powerful option for arthritic pain.

Birth and Labor Pain. Hypnosis for labour pain offers two benefits. It can help reduce the intensity of pain during labour, and it can reduce the need for narcotics and analgesics for pain relief during labour. A 2004 systematic review looked at roughly 20 studies looking, finding that hypnosis helped to reduce pain intensity, as well as reduce opioid and analgesic use for relief.
If you have any questions about how hypnosis can help you manage pain please email or call… there is no such thing as a silly question

Can hypnotherapy help me reduce pain?

Can hypnotherapy help me reduce pain? This is a question I hear often.
And the simple truth is that it makes a lot of sense.
Chronic pain which according to the NHS estimate that almost 48% of the population are living with Chronic Pain with 14% of people living with chronic pain that is either moderately or severely debilitating. The researchers used data from 19 studies, across 140,000 people. As this study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing data, the results are only as reliable as the initial studies. The results in the individual studies varied, which means the data may not be 100% accurate, however, this does give us an insight into the prevalence of chronic pain.

The results of the study:
• Prevalence of chronic pain ranged from 35% to 51% in individual studies.
• Prevalence of chronic pain increased with age. Ranging from 14.3% in younger adults to 62% for those over 65.
• 14% of people had chronic widespread pain.
• 8.2 8.9% of people had neuropathic pain.
• 5.4% of people had fibromyalgia.
• Women were more likely to suffer from chronic pain than men.

Pain quite literally takes over the lives of sufferers. Pain invades the thoughts and will severely impact the quality of life.

But what options do those living with Chronic pain have for managing symptoms?

Traditionally, big Pharma has been developing narcotics and encouraging GP’s to hand them out like smarties. But more and more, sufferers are looking for non-pharmacological treatment options and the one hitting the top of the list is hypnosis.

And it works.

There is a compelling body of evidence proving time and again the efficacy of hypnosis to numb, reduce, or even eliminate chronic pain, and that’s why hypnosis should be considered as a potential treatment for all types of pain: Chronic, acute, labour pains and surgical pain, to name just a few. I have successfully used hypnosis for physical pain management for the near amputation of a foot, fibromyalgia, dental pain, chemotherapy, and tattooing
Now, you might be wondering, why? How can something like hypnotherapy which relies heavily on the power of an individual’s imagination be effective for pain management?

Read on to learn more as I provide an in-depth explanation of pain, how it’s controlled by your brain, how hypnosis will help, and what the research says.

Anxiety Airways.

The fear of flying, aerophobia or aviophobia is believed to affect one in ten of the population, however, the real total is possibly much higher. So, the next time you are at sat in the terminal waiting for your flight to be called, you have taken your Prozac and finished your third Vodka and tonic. Take some comfort that somewhere near you will be someone else with the same kind of worries.

Fear of flying is very often a combination of other smaller anxieties which have been taken over by the idea of sitting in a hermetically sealed metal tube (claustrophobia) up in the air (vertigo)  anxiety in crowds (enochlophobia)  and that little bit of (OCD) we all have.

Most of our fears are learned by experience, or an associated experience, Worst-case example I have had to help a client with what he thought was a fear of flying when the reality was the fear of not being able to get to a toilet (There is no fancy name, but it is surprisingly common)

So when dealing with a fear of flying, the fear is rarely if ever about the aircraft, or the actual flying. Most people with a fear of flying only experience difficulty after having already flown many times. What happens is this, something happens on a particular flight that triggers a previously held anxiety. It might be a sudden drop caused by turbulence,( basophobia)  or the engine noise is overwhelming, (ligyrophobia or sonophobia) the fear of loud noises or even something disturbing that you read or watch on the flight. (this might be why they never show the film Alive as the in-flight movie). Whatever the cause, it is your unconscious mind searching for something similar to that feeling, an older feeling so that your mind can know what to do immediately. But instead of finding a solution, your memory finds an old fear that was never dealt with. This, unfortunately, intensifies the original fear, and now links that original fear of flying. The Fancy name for this is (Afterwardsness.)

Seeking for A matching your memory increases the perceived importance or intensity of that original memory. So, If you are afraid of flying, then every time you re-activate the memory trace, you also make the original memory more frightening, your current fear of flying becomes more frightening. This process feeds on itself until it can become quite overwhelming.

This mechanism has been known for quite some time. Sigmund Freud called it Nachträglichkeit. In English, this becomes (Afterwardsness) or deferred action. the memory traces are revised after the fact in response to a fresh or new experience. The second event gives extra meaning to the original event, becoming more meaningful than it originally was.

The problem, of course, is that you cannot consciously recall the original event. So you are left puzzling why something today is giving you severe anxiety. In a wider sense, every time you think about something it gets stronger.

Breaking chains

The end goal of hypnosis and hypnotherapy is to help the client overcome those inner obstacles, and in so doing, enabling you to live your as you imagine it to be.
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy is the art, and science of providing a subjective experience of a new reality which will in turn influence the current objective experience of reality.
Hypnosis is a science as it is governed by fixed parameters such as in physics, or chemistry, they are the Laws of the Mind.
These laws are interconnected, that is why you are already influencing everything you are aware of from your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing to someone else’s irrespective of whether that other person is physically present or not.
The moment you think a thought, you are exerting an influence, The extent of your influence will depend upon the level of thought invested in what you are thinking, and any other relevant thoughts.
Hypnosis is an art because there is an incalculable number of ways in which you can work with and alter your subjective reality.
The secret of successful self-hypnosis is in learning how to work with your thoughts. You choose what you want to experience and imagine that it is real for you right now.

You have been using your imagination your entire life, often unconsciously and unknowingly. Those people around you also helped in various ways they influenced how they think you should think and act and feel, and then you continued to make choices and created experiences which validated that perception of the world you accepted.
Over time you have built a feed-back loop of circular thinking you have a thought, then look for something in the external world to validate it. This then, in turn, reinforces that original thought, and the same pattern repeats, you are continually reinforcing your learned beliefs about your reality. Those beliefs then influence your experience of reality automatically.
So If you don’t like what you are experiencing you can do one of two things. Put up with it, or begin changing your thoughts by choosing what you want to experience for yourself and taking control of your mind.

If you don’t take control of your thinking, others will work hard to do it for you.
It begins with your parents who do have your best interests at heart, though they can only teach you what they have already learned. It then continues with schools and colleges whose interest in you is creating a socially-productive individual who is dependent upon the external world.
Companies are investing billions of pounds each year advertising because it is a wonderful way of hypnotizing people influencing thoughts and emotions and it works. When you keep reinforcing an idea through words, pictures, music, TV, and films, day in and day out it becomes so familiar we accept it as our own.

You can do the same, but for yourself by reinforcing your ideas of those things you want in your life. You are now the only person responsible for your life. Let go of the past and embrace your authority to create the life you’d enjoy living now.