When I work with a client to become a nonsmoker, I always ask them to call me on their first anniversary so we can celebrate together.  I just got off the phone with a gentleman who came in last Monday to quit smoking. He said, "I know you said call me on my first anniversary, but I just wanted you to know in an hour and a half, I will have been a nonsmoker for one week.  It was much easier than I had thought possible." I reminded him that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and that this was something he had done by using a powerful tool.  If you are thinking about getting free of cigarettes and smoking, remember hypnotherapy can be that tool. Stop smoking and BE WELL.

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Published by Jennifer Johnson at 7:36 AM under Behavior problems | Good Health | Hypnotherapy

     Often when clients come to me to make a change in their life, their first comment is
"I just don't have any willpower".  They feel that if they just had more willpower that they could change their behavior.  A study by Dutch researchers in 2011, gives new insight into willpower
and developing good habits.  The researchers conducted studies on people who had above average self-control and found that the high-self control subjects were not using large amounts of willpower to control their behavior.  Instead, these people spent their time and willpower establishing positive habits.  They were focusing on the positive rather than the negative.  By establishing positive habits, they became routine and the individuals no longer had to spend a great deal of willpower fighting negative habits.

    If you are trying to make a change in your life, rather than focusing on strong willpower to stop a negative, focus on creating positive autopilot habits.  An example might be, rather than focusing on willpower to stop drinking soft drinks, a person might focus on a good habit of keeping water easily available and drinking water regularly.  If you need help to establish positive habits, a hypnotherapist can help you.  Build great positive habits and Be Well!


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     Today, most people are aware that sexual abuse experienced recently or years ago can cause mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.  But there is growing evidence that sexual abuse including molestation and/or rape can also cause a large range of medical problems.

      Since it is estimated that one in six men and one in four women were sexually assaulted before they were eighteen, this is a significant population who may have physical as well as mental health issues stemming from sexual abuse.  It has been shown that traumatic experience including sexual abuse causes unstable levels of cortisol, the major stress hormone.  The elevated levels of cortisol can in turn lead to inflammation which is a major factor in many illnesses. The inflammation can be a contributing factor to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritis.

    Since survivors of sexual abuse have higher than average rates of tobacco use, drug and alcohol abuse and risky sexual behavior, the side effects of those habits can directly affect their physical health. Other physical healths often seen with sexual abuse survivors include: chronic daily headaches, obesity, eating disorders. gastrointestinal disorders, fibromyalgia and chronic pelvic pain.

     If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, be sure and talk honestly and completely to your medical doctor.  This will help your physician to be aware at the time of diagnosis and in preventative care planning.  This will also be of value for women having a Pap smear or a man having a prostate exam. 

    A person who has been sexually abused needs to make it a real goal to take care of him or herself.  Healthy habits including getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a healthy diet and meditating can help reduce your stress and cortisol production thus reducing your risk for health problems.  Hypnotherapy is often used in building these healthy lifestyle habits.

     If you have not dealt with your sexual abuse history, seek professional help from someone trained in sexual abuse treatment.  This may be a counselor, psychologist or certified sex therapist.  There are sexual abuse survivors' groups and online help.  These include:  the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (, Adult Survivors of Child Abuse ( and Survivors of Incest Anonymous ( You may also learn new strategies for living with a sexual abuse history with such recovery books as The Sexual Healing Journey:A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, The Courage to Heal and Victims No Longer.

     If you have not dealt with your sexual abuse history, seek professional help from someone trained in sexual abuse treatment.  This may be a counselor, psychologist or certified sex therapist.  As a hypnotherapist, I work with sexual abuse survivors as an adjunct therapy on referral from the person's primary therapist when that therapist believes hypnotherapy could be a valuable tool.  There is help available.  Don't let a history of sexual abuse affect your mental, emotional or physical health.  Heal your past and Be Well.


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     Are you hoping to have a lengthened life span because you don't smoke and are not obese?  Before you pat yourself on the back, know there is another habit that can shorten your life span.  In 2011, Lennert Veerman, MD, a senior research fellow at The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia, reported on a study of 11,000 adults ages 25 and older which compared lifestyle and health data.  The study found that for every hour of sedentary TV-watching per day, on average life expectancy was reduced by 22 minutes.  Which means that a six-hour daily TV habit after the age of 25 could be expected to reduce life expectancy by nearly five years. In other words, the cardiovascular risk for too much TV watching is as dangerous as smoking and obesity.

    It's time to cut back on television watching and begin to add in more healthy activities like spending time with your family and friends, exercising and meditating.  If you need help in making those changes, hypnotherapy can be a great tool to motivate you.  Get up.  Move.  Be Well.


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     What do pumpkin, collard greens and raspberries have in common?  The answer - they will all help you live longer.  A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011 by Chaoyang Li, MD, PhD reported that those foods were among fruits and vegetables that helped people live longer because they contained high levels of alpha-carotene.  Dr. Chaoyang Li is an epidemiologist in the division of behavioral surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and the leader of the study of 15,318 people.

     His report concluded that the people with the highest blood levels of alpha-carotene were 39% less likely to die from all causes over 14 years.  Among the foods with the most alpha-carotene were:  carrots, snap beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, collard greens, plantains, bell peppers, tomatoes, plantains, raspberries, peas, cornmeal and corn, tangerines and vegetable juice cocktail.

    Another study by Katherine Tucker, PhD, professor and chair, department of health sciences at Northeastern University Boston on 623 people was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In it Dr. Tucker, the senior author of the study, reported that people who ate at least three weekly servings of tuna, salmon or mackerel had smaller amounts of bone loss over four years than those who did not.  Those particular fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

    If you want the best chance at having a long, full and healthy life, these studies indicate, better food choices improve that chance.  If you are having trouble making those changes, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to help you improve those choices.  Eat well.  Be well.


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     A study recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine emphasized the message that smoking carries severe risks for smokers.  The study took the result of surveys of 217,000 adults collected for the federal National Health Interview Survey between 1997 and 2004 and linked them to the National Death Index which reports cause-of-death.  The results were scary.  Very few smokers reached the age of eighty.  In the nonsmoking population seventy percent of women who never smoked and sixty-one percent of men who never smoked reached the age of eighty.  Just thirty-eight percent of female smokers and twenty-six percent of male smokers celebrated their eightieth birthday.

    If you want to give yourself the best opportunity to live a longer, healthier life, it's time to consider quitting smoking.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in helping you get rid of this scary habit that can carry such grave risks.  Quit smoking, live long and BE WELL.


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     Most of us know or at least suspect that soft drinks are not good for us.  Whether we are talking about sugared sodas or diet drinks or even bottled teas or sports drinks, there are significant health risks to consuming those drinks.  Studies show that the average American consumes about fifty gallons of soft drinks in a year and 11.5 gallons of fruit juice and fruit beverages.  These drinks contain sugar or a sugar substitute and may also contain caffeine, phosphoric acid or high-fructose corn syrup. None of these things are good for us and may cause health problems.

    Our bodies are simply not created to process the sugars in sweetened drinks, the excess sugar negatively affects the body's chemical balance which can lead to a variety of serious illnesses including: pancreatic cancer, osteoporosis, leaky gut syndrom which can increase the risk for and/ or severity of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseaes, hypertension, asthma, gout and heart burn.  Diet sodas are no better with recent research indicating that people who drank diet soda daily were at much greater risk for stroke and heart attack. It is likely the sugar substitutes such as saccharin and aspartame and the phosphoric acid are the causes for this risk.

     If you are thinking of turning to sports drinks, be aware that a sixteen ounce bottle of lemon tea has 10.5 teaspoons of sugar and a twenty ounce bottle of Gatorade Original Lemon-Line contains 8.5 teaspoons.  If you have decided these health risks are to great, hypnotherapy can be a great tool whether you quit cold turkey or gradually.   


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    It's the time of the year when many of us begin to think about a new start.  Whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking, getting more exercise or one of a myriad resolutions, most of us consider the beginning of a new year an opportunity for change and new beginnings.  For most of us that process of change begins by identifying the bad habit.  To learn and  understand your habit, break it down.  Ask yourself "what are the triggers that cause me to (do whatever it is you want to change).  Next break down the actual behavior of the habit ( what do you do, where, when, are you alone or with others). Then think about why you have the habit - what are the rewards? Finally, identify how you are going to change the triggers, behaviors and rewards to attain your goals.  It is o.k. to look for help in making those changes.  Smart people use tools.  You can dig a hole with your fingernails.  It's a lot easier to use a backhoe.  So get help where you can - a personal trainer may help you to get started in an exercise program, a registered dietician may help you plan your meals.  A hypnotherapist can be another great tool in supporting new beginnings.  Be smart.  Get the help you need to make new beginnings.  And BE WELL. 


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Published by Jennifer Johnson at 8:12 AM under Behavior problems | Hypnotherapy

     Almost everyone in daily life will have some challenging temptation.  It could be an impulse purchase, an unhealthy snack, a cigarette.  Many of us believe we can resist these temptations by using willpower.  But know that using willpower alone is hard. Researchers in a study by L.F. Nordgren, et. al. at the Northwestern University Kellog School of Management found that many people think they have more willpower than they really do.

     The study found that college student participants often overestimated their ability to control their impulses and behavior.  This in turn caused a bigger problem.  Because they thought they could resist temptation, they tended to put themselves in situations where they were exposed to even more temptation which they couldn't handle.  The students who believed they had strong willpower were likely to make poorer choices like choosing to smoke, hang out at the bar,  buy the impulse purchase or eat an unhealthy snack.  Students who believed themselves to not have as much willpower were less likely to make those poor choices.

     So rather than rely on willpower, avoiding situations that have those temptations is easier.  I tell my clients that you would not send a new AA member to a bar.  Food junkies need to avoid donut shops and shopaholics need to avoid the mall.  Hypnotherapy can be a great tool for confirming these new methods for dealing with the temptations in your life.


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     This is a transcript of a recent phone call I wanted to share with you.  "Hi, Dr. Johnson. This is (client's  name withheld).  I was in to see you about six weeks ago to quit smoking.  It's been an amazing experience. Since I walked out of your office I haven't had an urge at all.  And my fingernails have grown to whole new lengths I've never had before.  I justed wanted to let you know.  Thank you very much.  My son and some friends are coming to see you.  Thanks again.  Have a wonderful day."  Hypnotherapy can help you change old bad habits as well. 


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