QUIT CIGAR SMOKING WITH HYPNOSIS

Some smokers have a very romanticized image of cigars and cigar smoking. They may see themselves as very sophisticated like elegant men in tuxedos shown in James Bond films. Some believe that smoking cigars emphasizes masculinity like that in movies like “Wolverine” and “Iron Man” . While others associate cigars with relaxing places like out on a deck or on a boat. And some women have seen Madonna and Demi Moore puffing away on cigars and consider cigar smoking glamorous. If you are ready to give up the “romance” of cigars, hypnotherapy can help.

Unfortunately, many cigar smokers think that they are at much less risk for health problems than that caused by cigarette smokers. This is simply wrong. Cigar smokers often tell me that it is alright to smoke a cigar because they don’t inhale. Certainly most cigar smokers do not inhale in the same way cigarette smokers do. But cigar smoking is linked to cancers that develop where the smoke traveled - the lip, tongue, mouth and throat as well as the lungs. Smoking cigars also increases the risk of heart and lung disease and pancreatic and bladder cancer.

Secondhand smoke from cigars is even more dangerous than cigarette smoke. This is true for a number of reasons One reason is that cigars are bigger so they contain more tobacco. Because it takes longer to puff through a cigar, a person’s exposure time to the toxic chemicals increases. In addition, a large cigar can contain up to 200 milligrams of nicotine. This is 23 times the amount of nicotine in a typical cigarette.

For all these reasons, smoking cigars is not a good alternative to smoking cigarettes. If you are ready to set yourself free from smoking cigars, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to stop smoking permanently.

HYPNOSIS FOR EXERCISE MOTIVATION

Are you trying to lose weight, boost your mood, get into physically better shape or get your heart beating faster? For those goals, nothing beats exercise. A study done in the U.K. reviewed several years of health research and found that 30 minutes of exercise on most days decreases the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Have you been thinking about starting to exercise? Is thinking as far as you have gone in actually getting started? Hypnosis can be used as a great motivator to get you going.

When you come to a hypnotherapist for exercise motivation, it helps to have thought clearly about what you hope to achieve in a session. Plan in advance what type of exercise you want to do. Make your goals as specific as possible. Rather than thinking, “I need to exercise’, think “I will walk four mornings a week from 9:00 till 9:30.”

Think about where you are going to do exercise, if you enjoy nature, your goal may be to walk in the park or on a nature trail. If you don’t like to get too cold or too hot, grab a mile in the mall. Most morning the mall is still relatively empty.

Set goals for distance. if you walk at a brisk pace for 15 minutes, you should have walked about one mile. A pedometer or electronic device like a Fit Bit or an app on your phone are great ways to keep track of your distance. One mile is about 2,000 steps. Health experts recommend 10, 000 steps a day.

Another tool to use keeping you moving is to keep track of your progress. Writing down weight lifted, reps repeated or miles walked in a log or updating your app can keep track of movement. Draw a happy face on your calendar when you have completed your exercise time. The reason children like gold stars is that they are motivating!

Working with your hypnotherapist you can design an exercise program that meets your needs and schedule. Whether your exercise goals include going to the gym, home equipment or videos, be clear about them so your hypnotherapist can incorporate those specific suggestions into your hypnosis session.

If you are ready to get moving and just need some motivation, hypnosis helps!

HYPNOSIS FOR PHYSICAL PROBLEMS

Sometimes people call asking if hypnosis can be used for a physical problems. My answer is always the same - “sometimes”. I tell prospective clients to see their general practitioner who will diagnose and perhaps refer them on to a specialist. Hypnotherapists are rarely medical doctors and should not be the first way to deal with a health problem. However, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in the tool box in dealing with a medical issue.

As I have mentioned before on other blog posts, I always start with a free consultation so people can understand the process and spend some time to be with me and get their questions answered. It is also a time for me to make sure that what they want from their session is an appropriate use for hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand. I often tell clients that I can’t make them fly by flapping their arms no matter how much hypnosis is done. It can be a great tool in dealing with medical issues. It can be used for everything from treating chronic pain like arthritis to acute pain experienced in childbirth. You can find a whole article on medical hypnosis in another post on this blog if you are interested.

Sometimes a client presents with a medical issue I have not worked with before. Recently, a woman came to me after being diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn to one side. She had had multiple treatments and was still in pain and uncomfortable.

I explained that if she wanted to proceed, we would do one session. The least she could expect was a nice, relaxing session with similar results to a massage. She chose to do one session. Here is the e-mail I received yesterday:

“Dear Dr. Johnson,

I wanted to touch base with you regarding my neck and the session I had with you.

It absolutely did make a difference. I am 75% improved. I can drive, turn my head,

relax easier. I have used the tape twice now. (Note: In actuality, my clients record

on their cell phone) You were right, with each session I am more relaxed. I will

continue to use it and am hopeful I can stay where I am physically. I am eager to

share my experience with you with my neurologist. I will keep you posted.”

Notice she did not say she was 100% cured. She had improvement which was exciting for her.

Notice she was going back to her neurologist. This is important. Hypnotherapy is an an adjunct

therapy to the medical care of her physicians.

If you are having a health or physical problem, ask your doctor if hypnotherapy might be another

tool in your tool box.

HYPNOSIS FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

A sports psychologist for a U.S. Olympic team once noted that 80 to 90 percent of an Olympic athlete’s performance is in the mind. In the 1960’s in East Germany, Olympic trainers were working with athletes using hypnosis. Today hypnotherapists work with trainers and sports psychologists at the college and professional levels as well as Olympic athletes. Using your mind to improve physical performance can be of real value to you. And hypnosis is a great way of using your mind.

An issue for which clients come to see me is improving athletic performance. I have seen people who are professionals wanting to improve their performance in every sport from football to golf. Students come to see me hoping to release fears about getting hit by a ball or a tackle or improving their skills enough for a scholarship. I have worked with Olympic hopefuls in diving, swimming and gymnastics. all recognize that hypnosis can be a valuable tool to improve their skills in their chosen sport.

There are a number of different ways that hypnosis can improve athletic performance. Using visualization is a key part of such improvement. Back in 1984, Mary Lou Retton competed in the Olympics. She described her nighttime ritual of visualizing her routines. “I see myself hitting all my routines, doing everything perfectly. I imagine all the moves and go through them with the image in my mind.” She did just that in competition. Note that the hypnotherapist does not need to know a great deal about your sport, you will give her a description and the words that will be used in your session.

Thomas Tutko and Umberto Tosi in their book SPORTS PSYCHING talked of using visualization which they called “Mental Rehearsal”. In this rehearsal, you picture your goal clearly, going through a routine, shot or stroke in exactly the same pattern as you hoped to do it in competition. In this mind rehearsal, every movement is clear and positive. These mental rehearsals improve neuromuscular coordination and emotional confidence and affirmation.

Using visualization can heighten your awareness of each movement and improve your technique. It can improve your coordination, concentration and agility. As these improve, it will also increase your enjoyment of your chosen sport as it eases the pressure of competition while increasing competitiveness.

Eliminating fears, anxieties and other obstacles which can hold you back from your best athletic performance is another way to use hypnotherapy. Over the years, I have seen many clients who had an actual fear of their sport. Little-leaguers afraid of being hit by a ball, gymnasts afraid of falling offf “the” horse or equestrians afraid of falling off “a” horse are some of those issues.

But there are other fears that may stand in the way of peak performance. Sometimes the fear is of failing. Some of the children I see have been competing in their sports for much of their lives. They know the many hours and much money that has been spent to get them to the competition and the pressure and fear of failing can be enormous. Professional athletes no prime performance is necessary to stay competitive and employed.

Sometimes the fear is of moving up to the next level and fear of a stronger and more powerful competition is causing problems for the athlete. Hypnosis can be used to eliminate those fears and allow the athlete to compete and enjoy their sport.

Other emotional issues can also be addressed when they are affecting athletic performance. Besides the fears mentioned above, anger and resentment can affect all areas of life including sports. Some children and adults feel pressures from parents or coaches and respond with distractedness, lack of self-confidence or inappropriate aggressiveness. Releasing these negative fears allows room to overcome fears and pressures and to develop a winning attitude.

Occasionally, a client will call because they are experiencing a slump. Golfers talk about “losing their game”. Baseball players lose the ability to play automatically which interferes with their ability to pitch or hit the ball as they had in the past. These issues can be addressed by regressing and reconnecting back to a time when they were pitching or hitting successfully.

Almost always as a part of the hypnosis session, I will have the client picture and imagine their perfect game or meet. Using very positive words and suggestions, I have the client go through the competition in their mind, “moving perfectly, in exactly the right way”. Using the terminology of their sport, I lead them through the competition with their body, strong yet relaxed, their mind clear and focused, playing the game with strength and power.

As Bob Reese, a New York Jets trainer, once commented, “There is no guarantee that if you create a vision in will happen. There is a guarantee that if you don’t have a vision, it will never happen.” Hypnotherapy is a way of creating that vision.

Some people may think, “I can’t use hypnosis for athletic performance because I don’t play baseball or compete in gymnastics.” But hypnosis works in much the same way for other competitions as well. Whether you are on a bowling team, go to the firing range, left weights or play indoor games like chess, bridge, Scrabble or on line, you may be amazed at the results of a hypnosis session to improve your performance.

SECOND-HAND SMOKE AND THE BRAIN

If you or someone you love have been exposed to second-hand smoke, you need to be concerned about the health risks associated with that exposure. If you share your home or your life with a smoker, please have them read this to learn how secondhand smoke can affect the people they love. If they are ready to stop smoking and eliminate the risk for those they love, hypnosis can help.

Exposing others to the risks of heart disease, stroke and brain damage are three important factors to consider in making the decision to become a healthy nonsmoker.

David J. Llewellyn, PhD, a research associate with the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, England, theorizes that second-hand smoke damages the brain as well as raises the risk for heart disease and stroke based on a study of 4,809 nonsmoking adults.

The study showed that the participants with the highest levels of nicotine by-product, cotinine, were 44% more likely to show memory problems and other cognitive impairment than those with the lowest levels..

If you have not chosen to stop smoking for yourself, perhaps you will decide the risk of second-hand smoke to your loved ones including young children is important enough to stop exposing them to toxins which could affect their health. If you want to stop, hypnosis can help you protect those you love and be a healthy nonsmoker.

SECOND-HAND SMOKE AND CHILDREN

If you have been concerned about how second-hand smoke could affect your children’s health, you have a legitimate reason for that concern. Hypnotherapy can help you stop smoking and no longer worry about exposing your children to the dangers of second-hand smoke.

You may have seen the news about the possibility of laws to make it illegal to smoke in a car which is carrying young children. Some smokers believe this would infringe on the personal rights of the smoker to make choices about one’s behavior on one’s own property and consider this a civil rights issue.

The fact is that if an adult smokes in a car with a young child, that child is also smoking. Poisons from the cigarette include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and benzene. When a child ingests these poisons through second-hand smoke, the smoke may trigger lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, decreased lung function and recurrent ear infections.

Allen Eskenazi, M.D., Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at University of Maryland Medical Center has reported that second-hand smoke is responsible for 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections each year in infants under 18 months. In addition, each year second-hand smoke is responsible for 16,000 new cases of asthma.

Your child deserves clean air and a chance at a healthy life. So do not smoke within the airspace of children. Choose the non-smoking section permanently. Better yet, become a healthy non-smoker so you no longer have to worry or feel guilty for exposing your children to the poisons in cigarettes.

If you are ready to stop smoking and if you do not want to use prescription medications with their side effects, hypnosis can be a valuable tool. Become a healthy non-smoker and you and your children can BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as been described as “a panic attack of the bowels.” If you have been diagnosed with IBS or told you have colitis, spastic colon or even a “nervous stomach”, you are likely aware how much the syndrome can affect your life.

Unfortunately, IBS affects 15% to 20% of the population. In fact, one in three women suffer from Irritable Bpwel Syndrome symptoms, And these symptoms can very negatively affect a sufferer’s life. Chronic pain, uncontrolled diarrhea, fecal incontinence and dehydration can severely limit a person’s activities. In fact, it is the second most commonly cited reason for missed work days.

The first step in addressing these issues is to see your physician for a conventional medical diagnosis. It is likely if an IBS diagnosis is given that the doctor will prescribe daily medications including prednisone. But researchers have found that IBS only responds to conventional medical treatment 25% of the time.

For those still suffering, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to relieve or even free the patient from symptoms. Hypnotherapy is to be used as an adjunct therapy in conjunction with your physician(s) and is not a replacement for conventional medical diagnosis and treatment. But hypnosis can help alleviate IBS symptoms or even help a sufferer become symptom free and BE WELL>

HYPNOSIS CAN HELP LOWER RISK FOR PREMATURE DEATH

If you want to have the best chance at a long, full healthy life, make positive lifestyle choices. That is the result of a study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study followed 4,886 adults for twenty years. Habits identified as unhealthy included smoking, alcohol consumption of three or more drinks per day for men and two or more for women, less than two hours of exercise per week and averaging less than three daily servings of vegetables and fruits. Hypnosis can help you make those changes.

The statistics are clear. During the twenty years, 1,080 of the participants in the study died. Those who scored poorly on all four standards and were identified as having the worst health habits compromised 29% of those who died. By contrast only eight percent of the 1,080 died from the category which had none of the four unhealthy standards.

The chances of dying earlier were greater in every category for people with the unhealthy habits. The risk was 10% greater because of poor diet, 18% from excessive alcohol consumption and 43% higher for both physical inactivity and smoking.

The researchers indicated that the study did not try to assess whether changing a poor lifestyle behavior would also change people’s risk for dying prematurely. They did conclude that the more unhealthy behaviors in which a person engages, the greater the risk for premature death.

If you are ready to lower your risk for premature death by changing poor lifestyle behavior, hypnosis can help you make the changes. Whether it’s quitting smoking, lowering alcohol consumption, exercising more or eating healthier, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to make those changes, lower your risk for premature death and BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS TO HELP YOU GAIN WEIGHT

Did you know that being underweight can be as dangerous as being overweight. Joel Ray, MD, associate professor at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, reported on a study comparing adults with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 with those of a normal BMI and those considered obese. The study did not include people who had chronic or terminal illness. If you are underweight, hypnotherapy can help you reach a reasonable, healthy goal weight.

A normal body mass index is between 18.5 and 24.9 Dr. Ray reported that people in the obese BMI range of 30 or above had a risk of dying that was 1.2 times higher than for those with a normal BMI while those who had a BMI of less than 18.5 were 1.8 times more likely to dies than those with a normal body mass index. In other words, being underweight carries more risk than being obese.

You can check your BMI by logging in to www.NHLBI.NIH.gov and search for the “BMI Calculator.” If you are either overweight or underweight, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to help your body have a reasonable amount of muscle mass and fat. Check your BMI and remember hypnosis can help you BE WELL.

AGING FROM SMOKING? STOP SMOKING WITH HYPNOSIS

Have you ever heard the term “smoker’s face”? Even if you have not, did you immediately get an idea of what the term means? Almost everyone knows someone who has smoked for years and has not aged well. Time to stop smoking? Hypnosis helps.

The combination of smoke damage and the component chemicals in cigarettes damages skin in several ways. These chemicals reduce the body’s ability to create collagen. As collagen, the skin’s main structural component, decreases, elastin, the long smooth fibers in the skin thicken and break apart. This can cause heavily wrinkled skin. When the elastin breaks apart it cuts estrogen levels in women, causing cracking and skin dryness which interferes with the skin’s ability to protect itself from oxidation.

Researchers have found that female smokers between the ages of 40 and 70 were three times as likely to have moderate to severe wrinkling as nonsmokers. Plastic surgeons verify this research in their practices reporting on more dramatic wrinkling in smokers than in nonsmokers.

In my own practice, I see a fair number of clients referred by plastic surgeons to stop smoking before having a face lift, tummy tuck or eye brow lift, Smoking increases the complication of all surgeries and since cosmetic surgery is elective, some surgeons ask this commitment before a surgical procedure.

If you are aging before your time or planning to have surgery, i may be tme to stop smoking. If you need a strong, non-invasive tool to help you become a nonsmoker, hypnotherapy helps.

TRANCE STATE AND HYPNOSIS

Many new clients that I see are very curious about hypnosis and particularly ask about the trance state - what it is and how it is experienced. Sometimes clients believe that when they are hypnotized, they will be unconscious. In actuality, people experience trance-like states all the time. When they go to a movie and get so involved with what is happening on the screen that they are no longer aware that they are in the theater, they are in a trance state.

I found that state while reading. Sometimes I can get so involved in a good book, I don’t hear someone speak or the phone ring.

Listening to music, attending a lecture, playing video games, working or playing on the computer can all trigger that “daydreamy” state of mind we call trance. A classic trance state that many people have experienced is when they are driving. “Oh, yeah. I found myself at a traffic light and didn’t remember driving the last couple of miles”, said one client. There is even the term “road hypnosis” to describe he trance state experienced by those who have driven hour after hour on interstate highways.

The only difference between those trance states and hypnosis is the way it is induced. It doesn’t make any difference whether it is induced by the extreme focus of a video game or book, the boredom of a long stretch of highway or a hypnotherapist’s induction. All can lead to trance.

Characteristics of hypnotic trance include: inner awareness, a context-free and literal understanding of words and phrases, an involvement in imagine events that can be vivid and realistic and the editing out of restrictions to abilities and responses imposed by the unconscious. A good hypnotherapy session is designed to use these characteristics of trance to full advantage.

Sometimes clients in traditional therapy are distracted and unable to focus their attention on critical issues because of defensiveness. They may spend much time consciously or unconsciously protecting their current perceptions and maintaining their commitment to the status quo.

Hypnotherapy allows the mind to go into trance state where the attention is more highly focused, In this state, that attention can focus on sensations, images or thoughts that might be ignored or denied during regular therapy. In the trance state, situations and evens can be merely observed, like an audience at the movies, rather than altered or censored.

Some real advantages occur in using hypnosis to change attitudes and states of mind. In trance, clients, can experience imagined events in very clear, realistic ways while being very relaxed. In this way, they can accept changes in belief and learning performance as if the situation had really happened. Clients will often comfortably accept statements from their hypnotherapist which might have been rejected in other therapies.

You can learn about and experience a trance state that will allow you to make real and positive changes in your life by making an appointment with a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis can help you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to BE WELL.

SMOKING, LUNG CANCER AND HYPNOSIS TO CHANGE

It’s not too late — that is the good news for those smokers age 50 or more who are thinking about quitting smoking. The statistics about smoking and lung cancer are truly terrifying. A report in the British Medical Journal shows that men who are lifelong smokers have a 16 percent chance of dying of lung cancer by the age of 75, and those who smoker more than 25 cigarettes a day have a 24 percent chance. Women smokers have a 10 percent chance of developing lung cancer which escalates to 19 percent by the age of 75 for heavy smokers.

Richard Peto, one of the authors of a study at Oxford University, on lung cancer risk for smokers states, “Even in middle age, stopping really works. This idea that adults can’t stop, that all you can do is prevent young people from starting smoking, is just really wrong.”

According to the study, quitting smoking at age 50 reduces the risk of dying and lung cancer to six percent for men, effectively cutting it by more than half. Quitting at age 30 lowers the chance of dying of lung cancer to 1.7 percent, which is far less than that of people who continue to smoke until age 75.

If you want the best chance at a long, full healthy life, it is time to become a non-smoker. Hypnosis is a valuable tool to quit smoking without putting other chemicals into your body. Use hypnosis to quit smoking and BE WELL.

LOSE BELLY FAT WITH HYPNOSIS

    If you are carrying extra weight through the midsection and dieting doesn't seem to work, it may help to understand why it's been so hard to lose your belly fat.  Though certainly chronic overeating or lack of exercise causes for an enlarged midsection, the underlying problem may be caused by stress.  Hypnosis can help with motivation for eating control, to help you exercise regularly and to deal with the stress in your life.

     Stress affects you not only mentally and emotionally but physically as well.  When a person is stressed, chemicals are released by the brain to the adrenal glands.  The adrenals then create their own chemicals including the key adrenal problem behind belly fat, the steroid, cortisol.

     Cortisol increases appetite and keeps blood sugar levels and insulin high which causes the storage of excess blood sugars as fat in the belly.  Unfortunately, diet changes alone do not affect belly fat and often frustrate a dieter when weight loss occurs but the belly still bulges.  In fact, in many cases, fixation on diet may actually increase stress producing even more cortisol and more belly fat.

     So how do you get out of this circle of frustration?  Certainly continuing to eat healthy foods in moderate portions and moving regularly should be part of your plan to lose belly fat.  Hypnosis can be a great tool to help with those goals.

     Research suggests using Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C.  Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and trout, walnuts and flax.  Supplementation can also be done with omega-3 fish oil supplements.  Be aware that fish oil has a blood thinner action.  So check with your doctor before using the supplement especially if you already take blood thinners.

    In addition, eat vitamin C rich foods which can help with stress and belly fat.  Studies have shown that adrenal glands register vitamin C deficiency as a stress problem and increase cortisol output.  Fruits such as peaches, oranges and strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C.  Vegetables including sweet red pepper, broccoli, tomatoes and cauliflower also are rich sources of vitamin C.  Supplementing with Vitamin C is also an easy option especially if you are not good about eating your fruits and vegetables.

 But when you are eating right and moving more, what else can you do? Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in dealing with the under lying problem of stress.  Hypnosis can help you create new tools to motivate you to build better self-care and to deal with the stress in your life by learning to control anxiety and trigger relaxation.  Lose that belly fat by making healthy changes and stopping the cycle of stress, cortisol production and belly fat.  Feel better, look good and BE WELL.  

     

HYPNOSIS FOR A BETTER SEX LIFE

     You may not have thought about hypnosis for improving your sex life. But clients come to see me with a variety of issues around this important aspect of their lives.  Some are dealing with physiological issues such as premature ejaculation, impotence, a lowered sex drive or inability to reach orgasm.  Others feel emotionally disconnected from their partners and no longer desire intimacy.  And many have a lifestyle that is so busy and demanding, that sex has long been put on the back burner.  If your sex life is not what you would like it to be, hypnosis can be a great tool to revive it.

    If you have a physical issue such as erectile dysfunction or lowered sex drive, don't give up.  Go to your family physician who will examine you and may give you medication or refer you to a clinic. Your physician may tell you that there seems to be no physical reason for your problem.  In that case, hypnosis may be valuable to help improve your sex life.

    Sometimes the relationship between partners becomes a battle ground.  Often, the disharmony and anger carry over into the bedroom and sex is not good or disappears completely. A marriage counselor will work on the relationship. But improving your sex life can be a part of that.  The sex act itself can produce emotional intimacy which in turn improves the relationship.  If emphasis in hypnosis is on pleasing your partner that intimacy can return quickly.

    Sexual addiction is another area of sexuality that can destroy a relationship. Some mental health professionals do not believe that sexual addiction exists.  They believe that it is actually some other emotional or psychological issue such as bipolar disorder or anxiety.  But The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity talks to people every day who describe their out of control sexuality as destroying relationships and causing deep problems in their lives.

    Their are specialists in sex and marriage therapy.  To find a sex therapist contact the American Association of Sex Education, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) at 319-895-407 or the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) at 202-452-0109. 

   Hypnosis can be an adjunct therapy to working with a medical doctor, marriage counselor or sex therapist.  It can help you make the positive changes you need for a better sex life. 

HYPNOSIS CAN HELP YOUR SHYNESS OR SOCIAL PHOBIA

   Do you struggle with making friends?  Do you have a hard time in maintaining friendships? Do you identify yourself as being shy?  Do you work from home and rarely interact with other people in person?  How isolated are you?  Hypnosis can help you to come out of the house and out of your shell.

    There are a number of reasons people struggle with shyness.  People perceive their world and place in it in different ways.  Researchers have found that even babies have different temperaments.  Some infants reach out to be held while others cry or crawl away.  Some preschoolers race into the school and never look back.  While others have great difficulty leaving their parents.

    Your basic temperament will determine your need for social contact.  Our lifestyles also can make it difficult to make and maintain friendships.  Some jobs require constant moves with demands for learning new skills and setting up a new home.  There is little time or energy for making new friends.  As people move and old friends also move, even close friendships may be hard to maintain. Isolation can become so familiar, people may no longer even make the effort to try to meet new people.  

     For many people, the combination of natural shyness and particular circumstance can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Studies have shown that this isolation from others can lead to a predisposition to illness.

       Social phobia is an anxiety disorder which may be described as extreme shyness. Psychologist Richard Heimberg defined social phobia s "shyness gone wild.  It cuts people off from the good things of life - social interaction, love."

    If you recognize yourself in this description, know that hypnosis can be a valuable tool to help you overcome the fears and anxieties that keep you from developing and maintaining friendships and enjoying social interaction with others.

      

      

HOW HYPNOSIS CAN HELP REDUCE RISK FOR KIDNEY STONES

     Most of us have heard of the tremendous pain that kidney stones can cause.  Whether it is continuous, throbbing pain or extremely severe spasms, no one wants to deal with them if they can be prevented.  Hypnosis can help reduce the risk for developing them by helping you get moving.

     A study of 84,225 women led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle reported on a way to reduce risk for kidney stones.  The study was published in JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY encouraging people to become more active.

     The researchers reported that active post-menopausal women were 16% to 31% less likely to develop kidney stones that sedentary women.  The women were followed for eight years and maximum effects were found in the most active subjects.  Best effects were found at the equivalent of four hours of light gardening, three hours a week of walking at a moderate-pace or one hour of moderate-paced jogging.

    So we have still another reason to get moving.  If you are having trouble starting or maintaining an exercise program, hypnosis can help.  Get a hypnosis session to get moving, protect yourself from the pain of kidney stones and BE WELL.    

WHEN HYPNOSIS IS NOT APPROPRIATE

    Hypnotherapy can be a wonderful tool to help people make changes in their lives.  But it is not appropriate for everyone.  There are a number of reasons that hypnosis may not be right for a client.

     Sometimes potential clients come to see me and rather than wanting to make a positive change in their life, they are just being pressured by someone else to be in my office.  Parents come in with teenagers saying, "make this kid quit running around with the wrong set of friends or drinking or drugging" while the child sits there with arms crossed and defiance radiating.  Sometimes people come to see me after getting an ultimatum- "If you don't quit (gambling, drinking, etc.) I'm going to leave you.  Or a doctor says "If you don't quit smoking or lose the weight, you are going to die."  Too often clients come not because they want to change but because someone has twisted their arm in to coming.  Hypnosis will not work unless the person, wants to change. 

    Another time that hypnotherapy is not appropriate is when the client wants someone else to change.  S/he believes that the solution to the problem depends entirely upon someone or something else.  If the client believes he has no responsibility or control over his own feelings, thoughts or behavior, s/he is not a good candidate for hypnosis.  I can only work with the person sitting in my office - not the boss, spouse or mother-in-law.

     There are some physiological problems that can cause limitations for hypnosis or hypnotherapy.  If a person has limited hearing, hypnosis can be challenging.  If the potential client has physical disabilities that make it difficult to sit comfortably, hypnosis may have to be very brief.  If the client suffers from neurological impairment, a loss of abstract reasoning abilities or a loss of verbal skills, hypnosis  may not be effective.

    Although hypnotherapy can be used with clients of below-average intelligence or vocabulary, the techniques and procedures used with them need to be direct and concrete.  Many hypnotherapy techniques require at least average vocabulary and intelligence.

    Psychotics and people with borderline personality disorders are not good candidates for hypnotherapy.  The use of trance with individuals who already are having difficulty with their conscious experiences can find hypnosis creates anxiety and paranoia.  I ask in my client in-take form about all medical personnel and therapists that the clients have worked with and any diagnoses that they have received.  If the client is working with a therapist, I ask for a referral and often have a phone conference with the therapist or physician before making a decision about whether hypnotherapy is appropriate.

    A Free Consultation with each prospective client, gives that person an opportunity to ask their questions and to be with me.  It is also my opportunity to identify any characteristics in the potential client's behavior or speech, that indicates to me that hypnosis is not a good therapy for that person.  There have have been times at the end of a session, where I told the prospective client that I did not believe hypnosis was not appropriate for the issue and that I would be happy to refer him or her for counseling or therapy.  Although this may cause disappointment, it is actually in the client's best interest.

    In spite of the "exceptions" I have mentioned, a great majority of people who visit my office for hypnotherapy will not have any of these issues.  For them, hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be a great way to create the changes they want in their lives.

STOP SMOKING WITH HYPNOSIS

    Are you ready to quit smoking?  Have you already tried and failed to become a nonsmoker?  Mark Twain once wrote, "It's easy to quit smoking.  I've done it thousands of times." And, nearly a century ago, the magazine Punch, reporting on a raise in the tobacco tax predicted, "All those people who gave up smoking last year will do so again this year."

   There are lots of ways to quit smoking from going cold turkey to going to a medical doctor for a prescription.  But you may not have thought of using hypnosis for smoking cessation.

    If you want an easy and simple way to quit smoking, hypnosis is a great method and has the added bonus of not putting chemicals in your body.  Clients often ask me what are the side effects of using hypnosis to become a nonsmoker.  The answer is simple, "you quit smoking."

   My program for smoking cessation is simple.  I ask a commitment to two sessions.  There is no hypnosis in the first session.  It is a clinical interview in which I will ask the client a lot of questions to understand their smoking habit.  What do you smoke?  How much do you smoke?  What do you like about smoking?  What do you dislike about smoking are just some of the questions that I will ask in the 90 minute interview.

    At the end of the first session, I give the clients some forms to bring back to their second session.  These will give me information about how they process stress, whether they are left or right brain dominant and whether their neurolinguistic learning channels are visual, auditory or kinesthetic.  These help me design their individual hypnosis session.

    The  second session is about 75 minutes and includes a 45 minute hypnosis session which many clients choose to record on their cellphone for reinforcement.  At the end of the second session, they will be nonsmokers.

  I am so confident of this, that I guarantee that I if they slip I will do a free session and get them started again.  Obviously, I couldn't do this if it happens often.  Last year I saw two people that needed to do a free session.  One started again when he picked up a cigarette at the funeral home when he was there for his mother's funeral.  The other went on an alcoholic binge and found that alcohol brings down inhibitions.  

   Every hypnotherapist will have their own process but hypnosis can work to help you be the healthy nonsmoker you want to be.  

     

EXTRA STEPS LOWER HEART ATTACK RISK

    Want to have the best chance at a long full healthy life?  THE LANCET reported on a study of 9,307 adults from 40 countries for six years conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester, UK.  They found that each time a person increased his or her activity by another 2,000 steps per day day, the risk for heart attack went down by another eight percent. Hypnosis can help that be a possibility.

    Just getting started helps, walking the first 2,000 extra steps a day lowered heart attack risk by ten per cent.  Since that is the equivalent of a twenty minute walk, this is a realistic goal for most people.

   So now you have another reason to get up and move.  If you need some motivation, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to get moving and lower your heart attack risk.