When people come to see me for weight loss there is usually a common theme, and that is "I've tried everything else."
The problem is that when people go on a diet or join a slimming club they are taught to focus on one thing - food. What you can eat, what you can't eat, times of day to eat, certain foods on certain days etc etc. No wonder dieting is so tiring and ineffective. If you're trying to reform a burglar released from prision do you make him think about burglary all day every day? No!
The thing is food is not and has never been the problem. Food is just a symptom. It's your decision to buy/eat the food that you know will add weight yet you can't stop yourself. Effective weight loss is about changing that decision to the right one for you. Poor choices in food selection can be put down to two things, habitual or emotional. Bad eating habits can be down to lifestyle or learnt behaviour. Emotional eating can be classed as using food to make yourself feel better - eating to fill an emotional need rather than fill your stomach.
In order for change to happen this can take the form of a suggestion for the subconscious to take on board, like a virtual gaastric band, or we might need to explore the reasons why you've got this poor decision making with food.
Whatever cycle of eating you are stuck in, good news, it CAN be broken!
You can make the right decisions about food again, just drop me a line and we can discuss how to move forward to making you feel the way you deserve to feel!
Inflammatory disease is a massive strain on the health service today. To name but a few are acne, asthma, vasculitis, IBS, Crohns, colitis, celiac disease, sarcoidosis, atheroschlerosis, allergies, myopathies the list just goes on depending on location and intensity of the inflammation.
The number of people suffering from chronic inflammatory disease has risen dramatically over the last three decades. Why is there such a massive problem though? What are we doing in our lifestyles that cause such a problem?
Modern man is exposed to an environment which has changed enormously since the time of the industrial revolution. In recent decades there has been a tremendous acceleration in innovations which have changed our lives completely. As a consequence, more than 75% of humans do not meet the minimum requirement of the estimated necessary daily physical activity, 72% of modern food types is new in human evolution, psycho-emotional stress has increased and man is exposed to an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis. All these factors combine to produce an environment full of modern danger signals which continuously activate the immune system. This continual activation keeps a low grade chronic inflammatory response in the body resulting in chronic inflammatory disease.
What’s the solution? Diet, exercise and relax! So let’s talk about diet.
Physicians in America have studied many trials and much information and are now recommending a plant based diet for optimal health. Most plant based foods decrease inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effect of plant-based diets is about more than just the power of plants. It’s also the avoidance of animal foods. Even a semi-vegetarian diet has extraordinary power to calm inflammatory bowel disease. We’ve known for 14 years that a single meal of meat, dairy, and eggs triggers an inflammatory reaction inside the body within hours of consumption. Within 5 or 6 hours, the inflammation starts to cool down, but then what happens? Lunchtime! At that point we can whack our bodies with another load of animal products for lunch. In this routine, we may be stuck in a chronic low-grade inflammation danger zone for most of our lives. This can set us up for inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers one meal at a time.
The most famous study into Whole Food Plant Based diets is The China Study, here’s a bit about it:
The China Study examines the supposed relationship between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate and bowel. The authors conclude that people who eat a whole-food, plant-based/vegan diet—avoiding all animal products, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates—will escape, reduce or reverse the development of numerous diseases. They write that "eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy.
China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a 20-year study – looked at mortality rates from cancer and other chronic diseases from 1973–75 in 65 counties in China; the data was correlated with 1983–84 dietary surveys and blood work from 100 people in each county. The research was conducted in those counties because they had genetically similar populations that tended, over generations, to live and eat in the same way in the same place. The study concluded that counties with a high consumption of animal-based foods in 1983–84 were more likely to have had higher death rates from "Western" diseases as of 1973–75, while the opposite was true for counties that ate more plant foods.
Of course the other problem with animal based products is that the animals are pumped so full of antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones and other chemicals that to many people the products are toxic to good emotional, physical and mental health.
The evidence is overwhelming to switch to a nutrient-rice, plant based diet with anti-inflammatory qualities.
A study was carried out to assess the diet-induced proinflammatory state and its contribution to chronic pain and degenerative disease:
The typical diet is deficient in fruits and vegetables and contains excessive amounts of meat, refined grain products, and dessert foods. Such a diet can have numerous adverse biochemical effects, all of which create a proinflammatory state and predispose the body to degenerative diseases. It appears that an inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables can result in a suboptimal intake of antioxidants and phytochemicals and an imbalanced intake of essential fatty acids. Through different mechanisms, each nutritional alteration can promote inflammation and disease.
We can no longer view different diseases as distinct biochemical entities. Nearly all degenerative diseases have the same underlying biochemical etiology, that is, a diet-induced proinflammatory state. Although specific diseases may require specific treatments, such as adjustments for hypomobile joints, beta-blockers for hypertension, and chemotherapy for cancer, the treatment program must also include nutritional protocols to reduce the proinflammatory state.
Isn’t about time you looked at your diet?
As a proud hypnotherapist I often come across a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) or similar proclaiming that their therapy is evidence based and hypnosis isn't.
I used to own a beautiful Honda CBR600F motorbike, black and red with full sports fairing, it was fast and I loved it!
Riding it was a little different to driving a car though. In a car you could look around and carry on moving forward, you had a nice protective shell, various safety mechanisms and people could see you coming. Driving an average car is hardly exhilarating.
With a motorbike, the opposite is almost true.
You are in possession of a powerful piece of machinery. No sooner do you think about going fast then you have the power to fly past everyone else. You have to be focused to get where you want. You have to look at the exact place you want to go. Wherever you look you will steer the bike, if you look right you will naturally go right, if you want to go left, then look left. If you look behind for more than a split second you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to go. You have to be aware that not many people will notice you so you have to make yourself seen.
This may seem like a lot of effort when you could just be ambling along in a safe, secure car, but with a motorbike you get the exhilaration, the joy, the focus, riding a bike is a passion.
This is why a motorbike is similar to life. Life should be a passion filled with joy and happiness and you can achieve it by learning the principles of riding a motorbike:
This ,my friends, is the key to a life of outrageous joy. YOU deserve it.
Your whole life up until this point is a culmination of the choices you’ve made. What are you going to choose to do next?
It is widely believed and accepted that in order to move on in our lives we need to forgive those that have wronged us. In fact, there is even a type of therapy called forgiveness therapy. Many therapy schools teach us therapists different ways to get our clients to forgive their tormentors/abusers/bullies in order to release the trauma caused by them.
The question I ask is this: "Do they deserve to be forgiven for what they have done?"
The trauma that people have lived through should be honoured and respected. Is forgiving the violent mother for 20 years of physical abuse respecting and honouring what happened to that child? In most cases, no. It's belittling it. What does that mother deserve? Forgiveness or punishment?
The priest who sexually abused young boys, does he deserve forgiveness?
The recent press cases about famous celebrities committing sexual crimes against the young, do they deserve forgiveness?
If you have whiplash from an accident on an icy road then you can forgive that, if you wanted to release the anger from your neck.
Prolonged, premeditated, criminal and life destroying abuse, should you really be asking your clients to forgive that?
I do not encourage forgiveness in any arena of therapy. I encourage my clients to find their own way of releasing stored emotion, I certainly do not push them into any direction. I ask them what they would like to do. Would they like to take the abuser to a metaphorical court for sentencing? Would they like to meet the abuser in an imaginary boxing match with the strength they were missing as a small child?
Sometimes, and quite frequently, my clients will have a rant to release the stored emotion then I'll ask "What does Mr Abuser say to that?". The abuser may then apologise and that will be the release the client is looking for.
Other times the client needs the abuser to go through the same, and sometimes worse, physical, emotional and psychological torture that they suffered. After all, preying on the vulnerable isn't fair and the playing fields sometimes need to be levelled.
So I guess what I'm saying is, to be a true client centred therapist we need to be asking our clients what they want to do. It's their trauma, not ours, if they want to forgive then we apply suitable methods to allow them to forgive. If they want to punish, then we give them what they need to punish.
As long as that client gets the release they need to move forward in their lives then the work of the therapist has been successful.
So if you're trapped by the past, give me a call for a chat to find out what you need to do to be able to move forward.
First let's look at what psoriasis is and the different types of the disorder.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back but can appear anywhere on your body. Most people are only affected in small patches. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old. The condition affects men and women equally. The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some people, it is just a minor irritation, for others it has a major impact on their quality of life. Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that usually involves periods when you have no symptoms or mild symptoms, followed by periods when symptoms are more severe.
Why it happens
Psoriasis occurs when the process by which the body produces skin cells is accelerated. Skin cells are normally made and replaced every three to four months, but in psoriasis this process only lasts about three to seven days. The resulting build-up of skin cells is what creates the patches associated with psoriasis.
Although the process is not fully understood, it is thought the increased production of skin cells is related to a problem with the immune system. The immune system is your body's defence against disease and infection, but in people with psoriasis it attacks healthy skin cells by mistake. As psoriasis can run in families, there is also thought to be a genetic element to psoriasis. However, the exact role that genetics plays in causing psoriasis is unclear. Many people's psoriasis symptoms start or become worse because of a certain event, known as a trigger. Possible triggers of psoriasis include an injury to your skin, throat infections and using certain medicines.
The condition is not contagious so it cannot be spread from person to person.
Types of Psoriasis
Plaque Psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that often starts in childhood or young adulthood. This is the second most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. About 10% of people who get psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis causes a rash formed of drop-shaped salmon-pink areas on the chest, arms, legs and scalp.
Inverse psoriasis (also known as intertriginous psoriasis) shows up as very red lesions in body folds. It may appear smooth and shiny. Many people have another type of psoriasis elsewhere on the body at the same time.
Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white pustules (blisters of non-infectious pus) surrounded by red skin. The pus consists of white blood cells. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects most of the body surface. It may occur in association with von Zumbusch pustular psoriasis. It is a rare type of psoriasis, occurring once or more during the lifetime of 3% of people who have psoriasis. It generally appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. This means the lesions are not clearly defined. Widespread, fiery redness and exfoliation of the skin characterize this form. Severe itching and pain often accompanies it.
Whilst it can be frustrating finding the right treatment for your psoriasis, and some can take a number of weeks before improvement can be seen, there is a wide range of treatments available.Treatments range from topical creams and shampoos, through to Ultra-Violet (UV) light therapy, systemic tablets and biologic injections. However, psoriasis tends to be very unique to the individual, and a treatment that works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another, because of this, treating psoriasis can be a process of trial and error, and it can be frustrating.
There may be times when your psoriasis gets you down, and when it can be hard to be motivated to use any treatment at all. However, above everything else, it’s important that you regularly see your doctor to review your condition, and be honest about your treatment. It’s the best way of making sure you get to try as many treatments as possible, and find one that makes a difference to you.
Psoriasis and Hypnosis
Of all the psoriasis types it's plaque psoriasis that the evidence is based on as this seems to be the type that has the most effective response to hypnosis. Studies have shown that in 80% of sufferers hypnosis can produce partial or complete remission, although there are many positive case studies around the other types as well.
Why is hypnosis so effective?
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder and as such the body produces an inflammatory reaction to the skin. It is well documented that hypnosis can control an inflammatory reaction and the NHS even uses this to help burns victims heal quicker and with less scarring.
Inflammatory cells are dispatched by the subconscious mind. All biological and chemical reactions within the body are controlled and regulated by the subconscious including hormonal and steroidal release. In hypnosis we have direct access to the subconscious and so we can affect what it releases into the body.
By controlling the inflammation the psoriasis doesn't have a pathway to the skin so the sufferer can feel the joy of having partial or completely clear skin! We also look at the triggers of outbreaks as these are usually emotionally/psychologically related.
One of my clients had been suffering with psoriasis for 26 years. It started with plaque psoriasis at the age of six then developed into pustular psoriasis at the age of 15. Her confidence was affected as was her attitude towards life. She had tried steroids and emollients, phototherapy, immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and biologics, all of which worked for 2 weeks at the most then her flare ups began again. After just 3 sessions with me she was able to come off her immunosuppressants and notice that her skin was 98% clear unaided by conventional treatment. She went swimming for the first time in 20 years and is now enjoying an active social life as she now has methods to control any further outbreaks.
Hypnosis is a vastly under-used modality in the treatment of psoriasis and I would be delighted to talk to you about the ways in which I can help you with the emotional, physical and psychological burdens of your disorder.
It is impossible to put a price on peace of mind and the joy of living a healthy life. Secondly, it is impossible to think of any element that supports a healthy life more than water. After all, the body is 70% water, and maintaining an adequate level of hydration is essential for the efficient regulation of your body’s normal physiological functions.
Water has always been my drink of choice. It just makes me feel good. I tell my clients to drink water if they have a craving, a headache, are constipated, hungry, etc. Water is so beneficial, so easy, so free yet so easily overlooked. It’s really a no brainer (actually your brain is 90% water!!!). Your body is about 70% water, the majority of your blood and every cell in your body is composed of water. Therefore, you need water to function properly.
I don’t get headaches and don’t own Paracetamol, Aspirin, etc. I believe it’s because I drink enough water.
As with most things, the amount of water for each person is very individual, but if your urine isn’t mostly clear or you have any of the symptoms I mentioned above, you most likely aren’t getting enough H2O. Some suggest 8 (8 oz) glasses a day while others suggest take your body weight (in pounds), divide it in half and drink that many ounces. Listen to what your body needs.
If you don’t care much for the taste of... nothing, then you can add a squirt of lemon, a squeeze of lime, a few sprigs of fresh mint or a cucumber or orange slice. You can even be so bold as to add a few berries or watermelon. Whatever gets you to drink it up. Cheers to your good health!
Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Water:
1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
2. Promotes Weight Loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
3. Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).
4. Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-ageing treatment around!
5. Maintains Regularity – Aids digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.
6. Boosts Immune System – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
7. Natural Headache Remedy – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.
8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains - Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.
9. Puts You in a Good Mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!
10. Save Money! - Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled latte!
About Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by immoderate food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted body self-perception. It typically involves excessive weight loss and usually occurs more in females than in males. Due to the fear of gaining weight, people with this disorder restrict the amount of food they consume.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and purging, or consuming a large amount of food in a short amount of time followed by an attempt to rid oneself of the food consumed (purging), typically by vomiting, taking a laxative, diuretic, or stimulant, and/or excessive exercise, because of an extensive concern for body weight.
Eating overly large quantities of (often sugary) food on a regular basis. People often plan binges and carry out binge eating over a short period of time in private, with specially bought binge food. They feel they have no control over the binge eating and often feel disgusted or guilty after. Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters do not make themselves sick after and often become overweight or obese. Men and women are affected equally by binge eating and it usually begins in later adulthood.
Selective Eating Disorder (SED)
Sufferers of SED have an inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based on color. Some may only like very hot or very cold food, or only very crunchy or hard-to-chew food, or very soft, or avoid sauces.
Most sufferers of SED will still maintain a healthy or normal body weight. There are no specific outward appearances associated with SED. Sufferers can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods such as retching, vomiting or gagging. Some studies have identified symptoms of social avoidance due to their eating habits. However, most do not desire to change their eating behaviours
What happens when you have an eating disorder?
There are different causes, symptoms and effects for different people and different disorders.
Anorexia can be caused by the way a person thinks, combined with pressure or expectation to be thin and further reinforced by a change in brain chemistry due to lack of a normal diet. People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin, usually believing they are 'fat', no matter how much weight they lose and believe that the thinner they are, the more other people will like them. Anorexia can lead to infertility, weakening of bones, kidney disease and heart failure, with about 5% dying from complications caused by malnutrition.
Some of the causes of bulimia include low self-esteem, stress, social pressure, depression, emotional problems, puberty, family environment and traumatic events. People with bulimia are extremely fearful pf putting on weight and set strict rules for dieting and exercising. When they fail, they enter a vicious cycle of bingeing, guilt and purging (through vomiting or laxatives). The effects of bulimia include dental problems (due to acid from vomiting), irregular periods and difficulty in becoming pregnant, poor skin and hair, tiredness, weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage, fits, bowel and heart problems.
Binge eating can be caused by anxiety, stress, low self-esteem or confidence, reaction to specific events, anger, boredom, sadness, trying to lose weight, or as a way of coping with unhappiness and depression. Frequently people become trapped in a cycle of bingeing, guilt, restraint and bingeing and experience effects such as intolerance to hot and cold, stomach pains, headaches and sugar cravings. Binge eating often results in obesity which leads to joint and back pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, as well as shortening your life expectancy.
Selective Eating Disorder may be triggered by trauma or unpleasant memories, for example if something was eaten while hearing bad news or if someone was sick as a child after eating a certain food. Also SED can develop following a dislike of a food which escalates into a fear or aversion. People with SED may find it extremely difficult to socialise normally, being unable to eat out or with friends and often wanting to hide their 'fussy eating' from others. SED can cause dental problems from excessive sugar, significant worry and even depression. Long term, SED has serious health risks associated, including malnutrition.
Why choose hypnotherapy to overcome your eating disorder?
If you have an eating disorder, as well as choosing hypnotherapy to help you, it is essential you contact your GP for additional specialist advice.
I have helped many people remove the allergic response that their body has to certain substances. Even when the allergy is severe, the process I use can be successful. In fact, most Hypnotherapists know how easily an allergic response can be removed. They use these techniques all the time, with great success to help people overcome their allergies to foods, cats, dogs, pollen, grasses, and most other allergens.
Your brain is making a mistake. An allergic response is a reaction that your immune system has to certain substances. If you have a cat allergy, your brain believes that this is a life threatening substance and your immune system goes into action to fight the substance. Your immune system produces histamines which are trying to remove the offending substance- thinking that this substance is life threatening.
Here is the truth about your allergies. Your brain is triggered by this substance, sends the message to your immune system which goes into immediate attack mode. You dont have to actually be exposed to the substance. In most cases just seeing or thinking about the allergen starts to produce the response. In a hypnosis session, if the therapist suggests you are in a field of flowers, you will begin to produce histamines and start sneezing!
Your brain does have the ability to change. Hypnotherapy produces amazing changes in the subconscious mind... changes that often amaze doctors. We don't really understand how the subconscious mind makes these changes, but the best part is that it works, it is extremely safe and you will be breathing freely, with a clear head, bright eyes
Imagine how good you will feel if you no longer dread the blooming flowers of spring, or going into a house that has cats, or being susceptible to certain foods?
Contact me now to discuss how you can start being allergy free!
Remember what it was like to be kid, running around without a care in the world? Well, stop remembering and start embracing your inner child! Here are some ideas for reconnecting with the trusting, fun-loving and perceptive part of you that may just have disappeared under piles of hard work and life's trials.
1 Retry the things you loved doing as a kid. Such things include going to the playground, the toy aisle or a cartoon movie session.
2 Stop obsessing over the small things. Kids are carefree! Let go of worries and see if the world around you tumbles. You'll be surprised that it doesn't. And maybe you'll regain some clarity and perspective.
3 Kids are able to feel something intensely and then move on quickly from it. Try it. Feel what you feel without judging the feeling ("I shouldn't feel this way") so that you can move on from that feeling without holding onto it. It works!
4 If you have kids, do the stuff they like to do. Swing with them or trick-or-treat with them. Look at the world through their eyes. Build castles and mud highways with them. Get dirty, blow bubbles, toss balls over the neighbor's fence and fetch them back sheepishly. Jump rope and eat snack-sized puddings.
5 Stop obsessing over calories. Have a lollipop. Have a chocolate fudge coated something that looks so fattening it just screams "eat me". Run around madly afterwards as a kid would do and you'll soon burn off those calories!
6 Never say the phrase "I'm too old". Try "I'm in my middle youth" instead.
7 Turn everyday chores into something fun:
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries