Posted tagged ‘hypnotherapy’

Not Sleeping? You need to read this.

September 10, 2014

insomnia

More and more studies are pointing out the importance of sleep and the harmful effects when we don’t get enough of it. Sleep insufficiency is widely linked to chronic health issues like heart disease, stroke and obesity, as well as vehicular accidents. Sleep problems are also a major cause of productivity loss among employees.

Sleep is essential to your health as food, air and water. Cell repair and healing takes place during sleep, that’s why we feel more energetic and refreshed as we wake up each morning. But this is not the case for many people, particularly those who have insomnia.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems. According to the NHS, about a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia. This sleeping disorder tends to be more common in women and more likely to occur with age. Untreated insomnia can cause serious problems to a person and may significantly affect his or her quality of life.

Below are some surprising facts about insomnia that you need to know, especially if you think you have it.

Insomnia and depression are linked.

It’s often hard to tell which one comes first. That’s because insomnia can lead to depression and depression can cause insomnia. In a 2014 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, insomnia was linked to depression, generalised anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in teenagers. The study authors note that “having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder.” Meanwhile, a 2013 Canadian study found that treating the two conditions simultaneously can improve symptoms of both.

Some people are predisposed to insomnia.

Bad news: sleep problems could also run in families. In a 2007 study published in the journal Sleep, researchers found that about 35% of those with insomnia had a family history of the said sleep disorder. Another study, which involved nearly 800 teens, found that those whose parents have insomnia have an increased risk for using prescribed sleeping pills, and having mental problems.

Sleeping pills won’t help you in the long term.

If you want to get rid of insomnia for good, medication isn’t the answer. Whilst sleeping pills can make you fall asleep easier, their effects can wear off if they’re used long-term. What’s better than popping pills is establishing healthy sleep habits. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, go to bed at the same time each night, don’t take too much caffeine, and don’t oversleep on weekends. Proper diet and regular exercise are also crucial. It’s also recommended that you see a GP regularly for check-up because some health conditions can cause sleep difficulties.

A ‘sleep ‘diary may help.

GPs recommend keeping a sleep diary so you gain a better understanding of your sleep patterns. This in turn helps you decide which method of treatment to use. The NHS recommend keeping track of the following: the time you go bed; how long it takes you to get to sleep; the number of times you wake up in the night; what time it is when you wake up episodes of daytime tiredness and naps; what time you eat meals, consume alcohol, take exercise and when you are stressed.

Women are more likely to have it.

Women are two times more likely to have insomnia than men, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Experts speculate that the reason may have to do with women’s hormones. Sleepless nights and daytime sleepiness have been linked with hormonal changes in a women’s life, including pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle. For instance, for women experiencing menopause, when hormone levels are erratic, sleep problems are a common complaint.

Chronic insomnia ups risk for alcohol abuse.

In 2012, researchers from Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, found that people who drink alcohol to help them get to sleep could wind up developing a drinking problem. An earlier study, published in 2001 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that participants with insomnia were about twice as likely to report using alcohol to sleep, compared with those without insomnia. Attempting to self-medicate insomnia with alcohol, however, will ultimately worsen insomnia, the study authors said.

Natural remedies are available.

Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking tart cherry juice before bed improved insomnia symptoms in older adults, and previous research has suggested that herbal remedies, like chamomile tea, may help as well. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, and in my own professional experience hypnotherapy has also been extremely effective.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

 

Find out how to create optimism!

December 23, 2013

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Everyone experiences challenges and difficulties in life which result to anger, frustration, disappointments, and the like. Sometimes we can’t avoid negative experiences. But despite hardships, happy individuals seem to get through them easily and bounce back to their happy and healthy life. Whilst it is not possible to avoid pessimism completely, here’s why we should all strive hard to inject optimism in our everyday life.

The Hidden Wonders of Optimism

Optimism has long been linked to low stress levels, whereas pessimism is known to boost the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream, resulting to poorer immunity and increased risk of health problems. But in what other ways does optimism promote good health?

Mounting evidence suggests that keeping a positive view of life could help people recover faster from surgery and effectively cope with serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and AIDS.

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published a study showing law students who were optimistic at the beginning of the school year had better functioning immune cells than their worried peers by the middle of the first semester.

Optimism also appears to play a crucial role in helping people cope with the challenges and frustrations, even failures that they experience in life.

The surprising thing is, these difficulties are also necessary for one to cultivate positivity. According to research, kids who are protected from failure and adversity are less likely to develop optimism. It’s because when these children make mistakes and learn from them, they develop the resilience needed to overcome the challenges that likely lie ahead.

How to Become More Optimistic

Being optimistic doesn’t mean we should all interpret each and every calamity as a blessing. It simply means that when calamity does strike, we don’t easily give in; rather, we try to learn from it.

And don’t worry if you find it hard to see the glass half full.  There are several ways to cultivate the ‘positive thinker’ in you.

One way is to recognise that your grief and pain, no matter how real and deep they are, are only part of the bigger picture. And that picture also has positive aspects – success, happiness, pleasure, etc. Many people who have developed serious illnesses are still able to find goodness in the painful experiences they have gone through.

For instance, some people who have suffered from life-threatening or incapacitating disease are able to value each day, appreciate the moment, spend more time doing things they are passionate about, inspire others, and get their priorities straight.

Another great strategy to develop optimism is to practice gratefulness. By recognising your strengths, as well as the positive experiences you had, no matter how small they are, you can teach yourself to become optimistic. Let go of the assumption that the world is against you, or you are born ‘loser’.

This assumption has no logical or scientific basis anyway.  Furthermore, understand that the past does not equal the future. You may have gone through difficult experiences in the past. But that doesn’t mean that the same events will happen now.

You can also practise positive affirmations. For example, write down at least three statements about what you want to change in your perspectives (e.g. “Anything is possible”, “I can live my life the way I choose to”, “Never say die!”). Put them in places where you can see them every day, such as your computer monitor (you can probably make a desktop background containing these affirmations), on your bathroom mirror, on your door, etc.

You may not be able to change the circumstances in your life today, but you can change your attitude towards them. If you need help, talk to a health professional to know what methods can help you. Hypnotherapy has been shown to rapidly help people develop a more positive outlook in life.

As always I welcome your thoughts and comments.

regards

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Follow me @RichGreymatterz or
www.facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

15 tips to a succesful marriage.

October 18, 2013
happy marriage

happy marriage

In her book “Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up”, relationship expert Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., talks about the simple rules for a remarkable couple relationship:

Be appreciative.

Make at least two positive comments each day. Tell your partner what you admire most about him or her. It could be the delicious barbecue your wife prepared last night or the stunning appearance of your husband in his new shirt.

Lie low on criticism.

Criticisms appear to be more helpful in the beginning of a romantic relationship. But it gets annoying over time. Lie low on giving criticisms, especially those you have already pointed out in the past. Also let go of the unimportant negative remarks that can make your partner feel embarrassed or could reduce his or her confidence.

Give a little more time for yourself. Connect with your friends and family. Pursue your passion. Do things you enjoy. Being married doesn’t mean you have to let go of your individuality.  When your energy is directed to living your life in the best way you can, you don’t get to “over-focus” on your partner in a negative way.

Listen.

Sometimes, the most powerful way to connect and comfort a person is to say nothing but listen.

Take time to listen to them without interrupting, or giving judgements. Listen with an open mind and an open heart. It’s where understanding, empathy and communication starts.

Do it when you say you would.

Never think that your contributions to the relationship compensates for the things you have failed to do or the promises you have broken.

Don’t hesitate to say “I am sorry”.

Even if you know your fault constitutes only 20 per cent of the entire problem. Remember the fact remains that you also did something wrong (no matter how small or insignificant it is) so it is just proper to apologise. This will also encourage your partner to do the same.

Don’t demand an apology.

Just because he or she doesn’t say the magic words “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t want to reconcile with you. Some people say “sorry” through deeds rather than words. Be more sensitive towards your spouse’s way of communicating his or her feelings.

Say it short.

A distant partner may avoid conversations because it may feel ‘awful’ to him or her. So slow down your speech, lower your tone, and speak gently.

Stop the emotional pursuit.

The more you chase a distant partner, the farther he or she gets away. So focus more on living your life in the best way you can. A distant partner is more likely to move towards you when he or she sees you are taking good care of yourself.

Exit a conversation when you start to feel you are being hit “below the belt”. During a heated argument, it’s easy to get flown away by emotions and say words we don’t really mean. If your partner starts to become rude, tell your partner that you are going to stop the conversation until he or she is ready to talk to you calmly and with respect. Be firm.

Cultivate good family values.

Take time to assess your dysfunctional family patterns and make effort to change them for the better.

Turn your partner “on”.

If it’s your partner who always initiates sex, be the one to do it sometimes. This will make your spouse feel more appreciated and loved.

Pursue your own hobbies, wants and goals.

Take a dance or a baking class, travel with friends – cherish life outside your relationship. Keeping the balance between your married and personal life can reduce your stress levels and boost your well-being.

Set boundaries with technology use.

Technology is essential to our daily life but too much of it can affect the quality of our personal relationships. Agree on “time-out rules” where each one of you is prohibited from using mobile phone, computer or any gadget. These rules are best during mealtimes, at least an hour before bedtime, during intimate moments, vacation trips, and the like.

Be willing to compromise for your partner.

But not to the extent that your core values, beliefs, goals and priorities are compromised. Set limits and let your partner know about them.

There you go, sounds quite simple. Do let me know how you get on.

Richard Scott

Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist

SNHS Dip.CH, SNHS Adv Dip.CH.Psy, PHPA, ICHM, NHSTA

GREY MATTERZ
Core Health Centre, 55 Beverley Road, Hull HU3 1XL

Hull Office:          01482 22 71 25
Or Mobile:           07843 012 712

Email: info@greymatterz.co.uk
Website: www.greymatterz.co.uk

Hypnotist puts himself into trance as surgeon saws through his ankle WITHOUT general anaesthetic

August 28, 2013

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A brave patient stayed wide awake as a surgeon sawed through his ankle bone, after using HYPNOSIS to numb the pain.

Trained hypnotherapist Alex Lenkei has gone under the knife without general anaesthetic an astonishing six times, saying he much prefers putting himself into a hypnotic trance to the traditional drugs used to bring about loss of consciousness.

And during his most recent operation to replace an ankle joint, he even asked consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dominic Neilsen: “How’s it going?”

Mr Neilsen, who performed the surgery at Surrey’s Epsom Hospital, admitted it was “nerve-wracking” make the first incision on a conscious patient.

He said: “He did amazingly well with the whole thing.

“To be honest, it was just like doing any other operation. Alex went through the process, which took a very short period of time, and he told us he was ready to go ahead.

“It was then a case of getting on and doing the operation. It sort of went out of my mind that he was awake and able to correspond.”

As well as checking on the progress of his own surgery Mr Lenkei, 66, also commented on the noise the saw was making.

“It was strange,” said surgeon Mr Neilsen. “He just seemed to put himself into a trance and just lay there and didn’t have any problems at all.”

An anaesthesiologist was on hand in case the hypnosis failed, but Mr Lenkei, who has been using self-hypnosis since the age of 17, said doctors had agreed to let him have the procedure without losing consciousness because he had a “track record”.

The six operations he has had without general anaesthesia include surgery on his hand, a hernia removal and freeing a trapped nerve near his elbow.

He said: “I’m not averse to anaesthetic – it’s just that my pain control is a hell of a lot better than the medical profession’s and I heal a lot quicker because my body doesn’t have to get rid of all the chemicals.

“The brain is a very sophisticated computer and if your press the right buttons it will do amazing things – if you press the right buttons it will switch certain things off.”

Mr Lenkei says he wants a scientific researcher to study his unusual form of sedation if he ever needs another operation.

 

If you wish to know more about hypnosis or would like to benefit from hypnotherapy please don’t hesitate to contact me through greymatterz.co.uk or the Core Health Centre.

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist at Grey Matterz
Part of the Core Health Centre

15 things that ruin your sex drive.

June 12, 2013

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For many people, sex drive is like a roller coaster ride. One second you’re up, another second you’re down. Well, there are plenty of factors that affect our sexual desire. Here is a compilation of the most common things that could ruin your sex life.

Relationship Issues

Among the top sex drive killers is relationship problems. Of course, no partner would be in the ‘mood’ when he or she is mad at the other. Reaching out with your partner and tackling issues as they arrive is critical for a happy, romantic relationship. Try not to let the night pass without resolving conflicts between you and your partner.

Poor Sleep

Anything that messes with a good night sleep also messes with sex. Sleep deprivation leads to poor energy, fatigue and stress. And when you are experiencing all these things, the last thing that would probably enter your mind is sex. Check with your doctor if you have sleeping disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnoea. Having a regular bedtime schedule, exercising, proper diet, and trying aromatherapy or self-hypnosis all help in promoting good sleep.

Medication

There are drugs that could reduce a person’s sex drive. They include blood pressure medications, chemotherapy and anti-HIV drugs, birth control pills, and antidepressants. Switching drugs or doses may help tackle this issue but it is always recommended to consult your doctor first.

Obesity

There are plenty of reasons why obesity could lead to low sex drive. It may be because it hinders a person from performing well in bed or it reduces self-esteem. Obese people tend to have poorer stamina which some see as being very important for satisfying sex.

Low Testosterone

In men, the T hormone fuels sex drive. As men age, their testosterone levels drop a bit. However, this does not always lead to reduced libido. But low testosterone could cause undesirable symptoms such as erectile dysfunction which slashes a man’s confidence to have sex.

Menopause

For many women, sex drive dims as they reach the menopausal stage. This is probably because of the symptoms that plague them, such as mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sex during pain. But then again, there are women whose sex lives are still thriving even during menopause. Most of the time, they are the ones who give high importance to their health.

Lack of Intimacy

There are couples who you wouldn’t notice that they are couples until they tell you. Lack of closeness and communication does not just spoil sex desire but could also trigger other conflicts that may lead to breakup or separation. If lack of closeness is your issue, try to find ways to express love without involving sex. Maybe you can travel together, talk about different things, snuggle, play a sport together, etc. When closeness is there, a satisfying sex comes next.

Depression

Being depressed can make a person feel disinterested on many things in life, including sex. It is important to seek appropriate therapy right away, hypnotherapy has been very successful in helping sufferers overcome depression. Just like lack of intimacy, depression does not just impact a couple’s sex life but everything else in their relationship.

Erectile Problems

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction often worry about how they will perform in bed so they choose not to have sex at all. But most of the time, this problem is treatable. There are plenty of treatments that can keep this problem from affecting a relationship.

Poor Body Image

Poor self image affects a woman or a man’s desire for sex as it takes away their confidence. Work on accepting your body as it is today even if you are in the process of improving your physical shape or appearance. Feeling good about yourself is a big factor that puts you in the mood for sex.

Having Kids

This does not directly affect a couple’s sex life of course but having less time together could. Consider hiring a babysitter once in awhile so you can have some intimate time with your spouse. Or, schedule ‘loving’ time when kids are in school or when the lights are out already.

Alcohol

Don’t think that alcohol can definitely turn you on. In most cases, when taken in excess, it does nothing but numb your sex drive. Perhaps you have a small shot of wine every night as part of a balanced health regime, but any more than the recommended alcohol intake is not going to help.

Stress

Who doesn’t get stressed? We all have our own stressors to face. Learning how to handle them is the trick. Don’t forget to give yourself a little ‘me’ time to relax and engage in enjoyable activities. When you are not stressed, you are more likely to be eager for sex.

Boredom

Doing the same thing over and over again leads to boredom and lack of desire to have sex. Maybe it’s time to be adventurous and try something different. Just make sure to gain consensus. Both of you should love what you are doing. Otherwise, it aggravates the problem.

Poor Health

Your body and your mind are connected. When you are healthy, you are more likely to experience positive mood on a regular basis (which helps turn your sexual drive on). If you’re ill, sex may not be a good option. Thus, making sure you and your partner are healthy is critical to a satisfying romantic life. Eating properly, exercising, not smoking, and getting quality sleep are some of the most essential lifestyle habits you should follow. 

As always I welcome your comments,

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapistwww.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Useful tips to beat your daily stress

May 16, 2013

ImageIt’s true that stress is always present in our life. It’s there everywhere we look, everywhere we go, and in everything we do. Even sleeping and doing nothing can become stressful at times. But stress doesn’t have to dismantle our life and prevent us from being happy and healthy. With the following easy techniques, you can cope with stress effectively and live life to the fullest!

Stretch it out.

Headache, fatigue, stiff neck, and cramps are all signs of stress. Chronic stress makes our muscles so tensed that they get swollen and become painful over time. This leads to undesirable symptoms, including pain. Stress also undermines blood circulation, which in turn makes your body more vulnerable to disease. Stretching out is a very convenient way to ease stress when you’re in the middle of a paperwork. Getting familiar with basic stretching techniques can significantly improve your blood flow, relax your tensed muscles and give you great relief.

Breathe, breathe, and breathe!

Before you open your mouth and say harsh words to someone, pause for a minute and take a deep gentle breath. It might be your usual reaction to take small, shallow breaths. But this can just aggravate your anxiety and make you feel more stressed. Take slow, deep breaths when you’re highly anxious. This calms your sympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation.

Laugh out loud.

Feeling stressed with your work or family responsibilities? It’s time to have a good laugh. Just as the old saying goes – laughter is the best medicine. Watch a funny movie, invite over some friends and talk about silly things, or read a comic book. Cracking up promotes blood circulation and increases oxygen flow to your organs – two mechanisms that relieve your body from stress. In fact, just the anticipation of laughter can already pull down your stress levels.

State a positive mantra.

Don’t underestimate the power of positive suggestion. Find a phrase that gives you a sense of relief and motivation. For example, when confronted with a stressful situation, say “All is well”, or “This too, shall pass”. When you feel irritated on your spouse, child or parent, just tell yourself “He/she may have done something wrong but that doesn’t make him/her a bad person.”

Divert your attention.

Can’t think of a nice way to start your report? Have a break and do something that uplifts your spirit. Maybe you can take a walk outside, read a book, do some gardening stuff, or draw your dream house – anything that will distract you from succumbing to stress.

Cite five things you are thankful of.

Feeling down? Close your eyes, place your hands over your chest, take five deep breaths, and cite five things in your life that you are so thankful of. Slowly open your eyes and become completely refreshed!

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Remember the law of attraction? Whatever you pay attention to grows. So if you pay attention to negative emotions, thoughts and feelings, they only get bigger and worse. But if you focus more on positivity, the whole universe conspires to help you become happier.

Focus on the present.

Whilst planning for the future is a good habit, when you’re stressed out it can become extremely overwhelming. Get in tune with your senses. Acknowledge what you feel – good or bad. Be aware of what’s happening deep inside you. Feel the ground beneath your feet, listen to your heartbeat, and feel the wind as it touches your skin. You can surely free yourself from stress by focusing on the now.

Stroke your pet.

When you spend even just a few minutes playing with your dog, or cat, your body releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin.  These hormones counter the damaging effects of stress and lower blood pressure and anxiety, and boost immunity.

Drink orange juice.

Vitamin C is effective in lowering your stress hormone levels, particularly cortisol. Apart from orange juice, you can also get vitamin C from grapefruit juice, strawberries, cabbage, and other green leafy vegetables. There’s actually more vitamin C to be found in in kale or red pepper than in an orange, Land these two are less acidic or sugary too.

Wishing you a stress free day.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Is your child suffering from Stress & Anxiety?

February 27, 2013

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Children experience various forms of anxiety and stress from the moment they are born?

Sometimes, it is easy to spot whether a child is anxious by their crying and clinging behaviour. But as they advance in age, children may start hiding their anxiety. Nevertheless, it will still reflect in their actions.

You can help your child effectively deal with anxiety and stress through the following:

Schedule a ‘fun’ time.

Piles of homework can certainly drain your child energy and make them prone to anxiety and stress. Even sports activities can be physically and mentally stressful too. So make sure they have time to have some ‘pure fun’. You can organise fun yet relaxing activities, such as drawing, painting, a tea party, build a secret ‘Den’ or even play some games that don’t require too much competition.

Teach your child to become his own superhero.

It is very common for children to have fears, just as adults do. But the problem with many parents is that they tend to encourage their kids to avoid their fears, instead of facing them. But the more they hide from their fears, the more they will be hunted by it. So slowly, help your child become used to the things they fear the most. Normally, anxiety is reduced in 20-45 minutes of staying in the fear-provoking situation. If your child is suffering from intense fear or phobia, it is advisable to seek therapy as soon as possible.

Emphasise their good side.

Children with severe anxiety tend to focus on their negative side – their flaws, things they cannot do, etc. Negative thinking makes your child hate herself and other people. You can help your child become more positive by giving attention to their good side – talents, skills and strengths. Congratulate your child for scoring high in their test, maybe teach them some new skills, and surround them with positive people.

Make sure your child sleeps on time.

Lack of sleep has been found to make children more irritable and stressed. It is important that they get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. To promote quality sleep, set a bedtime schedule that must be strictly followed even during weekends.

Enhance their problem-solving skills.

Critical thinking must be developed at the earliest age possible. If you keep on solving even the little problems your child encounters, they will just learn to become dependent on you. Now, what if she faces a problem at school and you aren’t there? It will make your child more anxious and exhausted. Allowing your child to solve their own problems (with your guidance of course) will greatly benefit them, especially as they grow older.

Organise relaxation exercises.

Perhaps one of the best relaxation techniques can be taught to your child at night in the form of a bedtime story. At night as your child closes their eyes to sleep, you may ask your child to think or imagine a very relaxing place, such as a garden or a magical place, and have them imagine what that place looks like. Ask them to listen to the sounds in this place, to describe any smells or tastes. Ask them if it’s a hot, cold or warm place or is it just right.

Have them create their own story about this place and encourage them to go exploring this safe and magical place.

This technique engages with the child’s imagination and these techniques are very commonly used in hypnotherapy, a discipline which has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety symptoms and relieve stress.

Be the role model.

You don’t expect your child to become free from stress and anxiety if you yourself are having similar issues! Children follow what their parents do. For them, anything you say or do is right. So be the role model of your own child. Positivity is contagious. If you are always positive, your child can easily acquire your personality through ‘transference’ without you having to do so much effort!

Never lose hope.

No matter how hard it is, never stop trying. Anxiety and stress can be very hard to overcome but it doesn’t mean your child wouldn’t be able to deal with them anymore. Just keep following these tips and discover a great difference.

Also, you may want to see a therapist to guide your child. A professional practitioner is equipped with the skills and knowledge to reduce anxiety and stress in children, just as they can effectively deal with adult issues.

I hope these tips help you to help your child back into a positively stress-free lifestyle. But remember, if you have any questions or would like to seek further help you can contact me through the methods below.

All the best,

 

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist at Grey Matterz
Part of the Core Health Centre.

http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

email: info@greymatterz.co.uk