When you're mentally worn out from a tough week at work, a disagreement with a friend or just a long day, there are probably some steps you'll take to relax. You might have a bubble bath, talk to a friend or take a day off from your job. However, what if your skin is trying to tell you that it needs a break. A pesky breakout or itchy rash may be a sign that your skin is also fed up with whatever is stressing you out. Irritated skin usually sends people running to the chemist for quick relief, but a rising trend has some heading to therapists who specialise in psychodermatology -- therapists for your skin.
Psychodermatology is an approach to treating skin conditions that addresses the connection between mind and body and, in doing so, examines disorders that are exacerbated by psychological or emotional stress. The field's practitioners study the external stressors that often trigger skin conditions or inhibit the body's healing process. With these stressors in mind, a therapist creates a treatment plan that can involve anything from yoga to self-hypnosis, often in tandem with more traditional dermatology therapies, such as antibiotics. Although psychodermatology has been growing in popularity, it may be more effective for conditions that aren't responding well to medical treatment than for conditions that do.
Research has shown clear links between skin diseases and psychological factors. In one study, 50 to 90% of patients with chronic conditions, like psoriasis, acne, eczema and rosacea, had emotional triggers. This evidence is one of psychodermatologists' major arguments. They believe that these emotional stressors can make traditional medicines less effective, so removing the stressors has to be part of a patient's treatment. The American Academy of Dermatology concluded that when dermatologists treat both skin and the source of stress, the skin clears more quickly as stress decreases.
• Stress can manifest itself in one’s appearance in many ways, but primarily by making the skin more sensitive and more reactive. For example, stress can make psoriasis or rosacea worse, result in acne lesions that are more inflamed and more persistent, cause brittle nails and ridging of the nails, cause hair loss, cause or worsen hives, and cause excessive perspiration. Stress also is a known trigger or can be a worsening factor for fever blisters, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and has even been shown to impair skin barrier function and dehydrate the skin – allowing more irritants, allergens, and infectious agents to penetrate the skin and cause problems.
• Beyond the direct physiological effects of stress, patients under stress also tend to neglect or abuse their skin. For example, they often lack the energy and motivation to adhere to their skin-care regiments, and there also might be signs of stress-related behaviours – such as scratching, pulling or rubbing – that can exacerbate problems.
• Traditional dermatologic therapies should be used in conjunction with appropriate stress management therapies to successfully treat stress-related dermatologic conditions. When dermatologists treat both the skin and stress, the skin often clears more quickly and completely as the influences of stress are diminished. This, in turn, can help decrease a patient’s overall anxiety level, and the patient may start to feel better about how they look and how they feel emotionally.
• On a microscopic level, stress reduction can decrease the release of proinflammatory stress hormones and chemicals. For example, release of neuropeptides (or stress chemicals released from the nerve endings) can be reduced with stress management techniques. This often results in skin that looks and functions better. These interventions can reduce blood vessel over-activity, resulting in less blushing or flushing.
• With accurate diagnosis by a dermatologist, effective treatments improve the appearance and function of the skin. This alone can substantially reduce patients’ stress and improve their skin, hair and nail conditions. However, if stress is clearly interfering with patients’ overall well-being and ability to cope, simultaneous stress management interventions are warranted.
Hypnosis for skin conditions
Hypnosis can be used to increase healthy behaviours, to decrease situational stress, to reduce needle phobias, to control harmful habits (eg, scratching), to provide immediate and long-term analgesia, to ameliorate symptoms related to diseases (eg, pruritus), to accelerate recovery from surgery, and to enhance the mind-body connection to promote healing. Hypnosis can be especially helpful in dealing with skin diseases that have a psychosomatic aspect.
Direct suggestion while in the hypnotic state is a frequently used method of decreasing discomfort from pain, pruritus, burning sensations, anxiety, and insomnia. Again, post-hypnotic suggestion and repeated use of an audio-cassette tape for self-hypnosis help to reinforce the effectiveness of direct suggestion. Direct suggestion may produce a sufficiently deep anesthesia in highly hypnotisable individuals for cutaneous surgery. Direct suggestion can also be used to reduce repetitive acts of skin scratching or picking, nail biting or manipulating, and hair pulling or twisting. Unwanted psychophysiologic responses, such as hyperhidrosis, blushing, and some types of urticaria, can also be controlled by direct suggestion. Some skin lesions can even be induced to resolve by using direct suggestion; the classic example is verrucae.
Symptom substitution retrains the subconscious by means of hypnosis to replace a negative habit pattern with a more constructive one. For example, scratching can be replaced by another physical activity, such as grabbing onto something and holding it so tightly for a half minute that it almost hurts. Other stress relievers that can be substituted for scratching include athletic activities, artwork, verbal expression of feelings, or meditation.
Hypnotic Relaxation During Dermatologic Surgery
A variety of dermatologic procedures can produce pain or anxiety in patients. Skin procedures that are somewhat painful but usually do not require a local anaesthetic include moderate depth chemical peels, cryodestruction of skin lesions, curettage of molluscum, excision of skin tags, extrusion of comedones, incision and expression of milia, laser treatment of vascular lesions, strong microdermabrasion, and sclerotherapy. Dermatologic procedures that require a local anaesthetic include electrodesiccation and curettage, incision and drainage of an abscess, laser ablation of skin lesions, liposuction, punch biopsy, shave biopsy, surgical excision, and surgical repair. Cutaneous procedures that may require conscious sedation include deep chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and extensive liposuction. All of these procedures may be augmented by hypnotic relaxation and/or hypnotic analgesia.
Hypnosis for Specific Dermatologic Conditions
The early report by Sulzberger on the efficacy of suggestion in treating warts has since been confirmed numerous times. Numerous reports attest to the efficacy of hypnosis in treating warts. In a well-conducted randomized controlled study by Spanos et al that serves as a typical example, 53% of the experimental group had improvement of their warts 3 months after the first of 5 hypnotherapy sessions, while none of the control group had improvement. Hypnosis can be successful as a therapy for warts.
Stress is often a factor in the onset, exacerbation, and prolongation of psoriasis. Hypnosis and suggestion have been shown to have a positive effect on psoriasis. In a typical case report, 75% clearing of psoriasis was reported by using a hypnotic sensory-imagery technique. A case of extensive, severe psoriasis of 20 years' duration showed marked improvement by using sensory imagery to replicate the sensations in the patient's skin that he had experienced during sunbathing. Another case of severe psoriasis of 20 years' duration fully resolved with a hypnoanalytic technique.
Tausk and Whitmore performed a small randomized double-blind controlled trial by using hypnosis as adjunctive therapy in psoriasis, with significant improvement in individuals who were highly susceptible to hypnosis. Hypnosis can be useful as an adjunct therapy for resistant psoriasis, especially if an emotional factor is significant in the triggering of the psoriasis.
Venipuncture in children
Liossi et al conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled trial to compare the efficacy of a local anesthetic (EMLA), EMLA plus hypnosis, or EMLA plus attention in children receiving venipuncture. Children in the EMLA-plus-hypnosis group reported less anticipatory anxiety and less procedure-related pain and anxiety; they were rated as demonstrating less behavioural distress during the procedure than patients in the other 2 groups. Additionally, parents whose children were randomized to the EMLA-plus-hypnosis group experienced less anxiety during their child's procedure than parents whose children had been randomized to the other 2 groups.
Stewart and Thomas treated 18 adults with extensive atopic dermatitis whose conditions had been resistant to conventional treatment with hypnotherapy. In a non-randomized controlled study, they used relaxation, stress management, direct suggestion for non-scratching behaviour and for skin comfort and coolness, ego strengthening, post-hypnotic suggestions, and instruction in self-hypnosis. The results were statistically significant for reduction in itching, scratching, sleep disturbance, and tension. The use of topical corticosteroids decreased from the original amount by 40% at 4 weeks, 50% at 8 weeks, and 60% at 16 weeks. For milder cases of atopic dermatitis, hypnosis, along with moisturising, can be sufficient as a primary treatment. For more extensive or resistant atopic dermatitis, hypnosis can reduce the required amount of other conventional treatments.
Gupta et al found a strong correlation between high stress reactivity and depression in patients with alopecia areata. Willemson et al used hypnotherapy for 21 patients, 9 with alopecia universalis and 12 with extensive alopecia areata. After hypnotherapy, all patients had significantly lower anxiety and depression. Complete scalp hair regrowth occurred in 9 patients, including 4 with alopecia universalis and 2 with ophiasis. Over 75% scalp hair regrowth occurred in another 3 patients. Five patients had a significant relapse of alopecia. Hypnosis is appropriate as a stress reducer and sometimes is successful as a primary treatment method for alopecia areata.
Two cases of urticaria responding to hypnotic suggestion were reported in a study. The study included an 11-year-old boy whose urticarial reaction to chocolate could be blocked by hypnotic suggestion so that hives appeared on only one side of his face in response to that hypnotic suggestion. A case series study of hypnosis with relaxation therapy on 15 patients with chronic urticaria for an average duration of 7.8 years showed that within 14 months, 6 patients' conditions had cleared and 8 had improved, with decreased medication requirements reported by 80% of patients. One patient's condition did not improve. Hypnosis may be useful as a therapy for chronic urticaria.
Individual case reports:
Hollander reported success in controlling the picking aspects of acne excoriée in 2 cases by using post-hypnotic suggestion. While in a hypnotic state, the patient was instructed to remember the word scar whenever she wanted to pick her face and to refrain from picking by saying scar. The excoriations resolved but not the underlying acne. The author has also used this technique successfully. Hypnosis, combined with standard acne treatments for the acneiform aspects, may be an appropriate treatment of the excoriation aspect of acne excoriée.
Congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma
Several cases of remarkable clearing of congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma of Brocq have been reported following direct suggestion for clearing under hypnosis. For example, Kidd reported improvement in a 34-year-old father and his 4-year-old son. Hypnosis, in addition to the use of emollients, may potentially be useful.
Reduction in the severity of dyshidrotic dermatitis has been reported with the use of hypnosis as a treatment. Greisemer's data indicate a significant psychosomatic component for dyshidrosis; therefore, hypnosis may be useful as a therapy.
Resolution of erythema nodosum of 9-year duration occurred in a 44-year-old woman after hypnoanalysis. Five of the 7 key COMPASS factors were positive in this case.
One case report exists of successful treatment of erythromelalgia in an 18-year-old woman using hypnosis alone followed by self-hypnosis. Permanent resolution occurred.
Jabush described a 33-year-old man with recurrent (since age 17 years), multiple furuncles that contained Staphylococcus aureus; the furuncles were unresponsive to multiple treatment modalities. The patient had a negative self-image. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis with imagined sensations of warmth, cold, tingling, and heaviness resulted in dramatic improvement over 5 weeks, with full resolution of the recurrent furuncles. He also substantially improved from a mental standpoint. The hypnosis was hypothesized to have helped in some way to normalize the immune response to the bacteria. Conventional antibiotic therapy is the first line of treatment for furuncles; however, in unusually resistant cases with significant psychosomatic overlay, hypnosis may help to end the recurrent cycles of infection.
When oral pain has a psychogenic component, hypnosis may be effective as a primary treatment. Even with organic disease, hypnosis may temporarily relieve pain.
Lessening of discomfort from herpes simplex eruptions is similar to that for post-herpetic neuralgia. Reduction in the frequency of recurrences of herpes simplex following hypnosis has also been reported. In cases with an apparent emotional trigger factor, hypnotic suggestion may be useful as a therapy for reducing the frequency of recurrence.
Hypnosis and autogenic training may be useful as adjunctive therapies for hyperhidrosis.
A 33-year-old man with chronic ichthyosis vulgaris that was better in the summer and worse in the winter began hypnotic suggestion therapy in the summer and was able to maintain the summer improvement throughout the autumn, winter, and spring. Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for ichthyosis.
Both the pruritus and the lesions may be reduced in selected cases by using hypnosis as a therapy for lichen planus.
Several cases of neurodermatitis have reportedly resolved by using hypnosis as a therapy. Neurodermatitis remained resolved, with up to 4 years of follow-up. Iglesias reported 3 cases of neurodermatitis that failed to respond to direct suggestion under hypnosis but that responded to hypnoanalysis with ideomotor signaling followed by reframing. Hypnosis may be useful as a therapy for neurodermatitis.
Reduction of pruritus and resolution of lesions have been reported with the use of hypnotic suggestion as complementary therapy for nummular dermatitis.
The pain of acute herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia can be reduced by hypnosis. Hypnosis may have a place as a therapy for post-herpetic neuralgia.
The intensity of pruritus may be modified and improved by hypnosis. For example, a man with chronic myelogenous leukemia had intractable pruritus, which improved with hypnotic suggestion. Hypnosis may be used as a therapy for intractable pruritus.
Improvement of rosacea, especially the vascular blush component, has been reported in selected cases of resistant rosacea where hypnosis has been added as a therapy.
Several cases of successful adjunctive treatment of trichotillomania with hypnosis have been reported. Hypnosis may be a useful therapy for trichotillomania.
If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to put in some work and exercise and make a conscious effort to eat right to shed those unwanted pounds. But in the end, your mental state will determine if you indeed fail or succeed. If your head isn’t in it, you won’t see the scale move in the right direction, but if you’re determined and positive about getting results, you’ll soon notice that your clothes will start to fit looser!
Your attitude can mean the difference between a diet failure or a success story. If you’re ready to get in the right mindset to finally lose weight, here are a few ways to prep your mind for success:
Millions are affected by chronic pain, an ailment that can impact every aspect of their lives. And not only does it affect the individual’s life, but can also affect those around them. Dealing with pain on a daily basis can be tough because it hinders with everyday chores and responsibilities. Not only does it make you physically hurt, it can take its toll on your mind and soul, wearing you down from the inside out.
But the good news is that there are ways to manage chronic pain so that you can live a relatively normal life. By using these techniques and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can enjoy life a little more and live with pain a little less!
1. Deep breathing exercises
Whenever you feel pain coming on, knowing the right breathing technique can help with the pain since it makes your body relax. Learning proper deep breathing techniques will cause your body to calm down and can help your mind overcome the pain. The best way to practice deep breathing is by finding a quiet location, blocking out the rest of the world and breathing from your abdomen. By filling your abdomen with air, you’re focusing on the breathing right instead of the pain, which will help it pass quickly.
2. Meditating to relax
Another recommended way to ease chronic pain is with meditation. It’s also beneficial to helping your body relax. There are several ways to mediate and you’ll have to find the best strategy that works for you and your pain. But at the heart of many of the different forms is repetition, which has a soothing power to it that can really help you manage chronic pain. Simply repeating one simple word, focusing on your breathing and ignoring the outside world can do wonders for your body in terms of relaxation. But if you need more, you can always take a meditation class.
Beat pain with natural endorphins in your body by staying active and exercising. These brain chemicals can improve your overall mood and can also block pain signals from your brain to your body. But that’s not all since exercise will help strengthen your muscles to prevent any more pain. And it will help with your weight, decrease your chances of getting heart disease and control your body’s blood sugar levels. To find the right routine for you, enlist the help of a professional so that you’re doing exercise that's right for your body and pain management goals.
4. Reduce stress
Stress can trigger chronic pain, so you’ll definitely want to take control of any stress you might have in life. There are several things you can do to relieve stress, including listening to calming music, exercising, meditating, breathing exercises, taking short breaks throughout your day and more. You can also try mental imagery relaxation that allows you to escape mentally to someplace peaceful to help you calm down and relax.
5. Stop drinking alcohol
Drinking alcohol can really worsen your chronic pain symptoms. It can trigger them and make you have trouble sleeping, which can really take its toll on your body, making the pain even worse than before.
6. Join support groups
When you live with chronic pain, it seems like no one else gets it, which is why joining a support group can really be beneficial. You’ll be able to meet others living with chronic pain and will be able to talk about what you all are going through. You’ll feel less alone and might even find some great tips on how to better cope with pain.
7. Quit smoking
If you smoke, you’ll want to quiet since it can actually worsen the pain and increase your risks of cancer and heart disease.
8. Keep a pain level diary
To help find a pattern for your chronic pain triggers, keep a diary to track your daily pain levels and activities. Take it with your everywhere and keep track of your pain score so at the end of the day, you can see what’s causing the pain, how long it lasts and so on so that you and your doctor can have a better understanding of what’s causing your attacks so that you can come up with better ways on how to deal with it.
9. Get massages regularly
Relieve pain, tension and stress with regular massage appointments. Seek a professional who is highly trained in dealing with those who suffer from chronic pain so that you get the most relief from your massage.
10. Eat right
Eating healthy and having a well-balanced diet is crucial to pain management. Not only does it keep your weight in check, but it also reduces your risk for heart disease, helps your digestive process and can improve your body’s blood sugar levels. Eating healthy means limiting your sugar intake and eating lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole-grains and lean meats. Talk to a professional to see what other things you should or shouldn’t include in your diet to better handle chronic pain.
Should the above not be useful then it maybe time to seek help from someone who specialises in management and removal of chronic pain. Should you wish to discuss then then I'd be delighted to talk to you.
The Benefits Of Magnesium Supplements
There are many important supplements you should be taking and magnesium is one of them. You’re probably not aware that a magnesium deficiency is one of the highest nutrient deficiencies in adults today, which is why it’s even more important that you give your body magnesium that it needs to stay healthy. Magnesium plays a very important role in the body since it helps regulate many processes in your body, including nerve function, regulating muscle function, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, making protein, DNA and plenty more essential functions. It’s actually essential for more than 300 different biochemical functions, which is why it’s so important and crucial for your health.
Although the best way to provide your body with the magnesium it needs for optimal health is by consuming magnesium-rich foods, taking supplements is the second best way. When your body doesn’t have enough magnesium, you’ll notice a slew of negative symptoms, causing you to feel unlike your normal self.
A few symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include:
A magnesium deficiency is pretty common and that’s because of soil depletion during farming methods. This decreases how much magnesium is present in crops, meaning the foods we eat aren’t getting enough magnesium. Other factors that lead to a magnesium deficiency include digestive disorders that don’t allow our gut to properly absorb magnesium and using to many antibiotics or prescription drugs.
Since our body’s uses stores of magnesium every day for normal bodily function, it’s easy to understand how a magnesium deficiency happens when you’re not getting the minimal requirements of this nutrient mineral. Even though we only need a little bit of it compared to other nutrients, we still need to always replenish our magnesium stores to prevent suffering from deficiency symptoms.
Taking a magnesium supplement each day will help your body function efficiently and improve your daily overall life. There are many types of different magnesium supplements to choose from, with each offering different absorption rates. Usually those that dissolve in liquid are absorbed better by your gut than less soluble options. Adults 31 years and older should opt for 420 mg of magnesium for men and 320 for women. Women who are pregnant need 350-360 mg, while those breastfeeding should aim for 310-320 mg.
Since magnesium is also connected to other beneficial nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin D and calcium, many experts believe that magnesium supplements help counterbalance your body’s high levels of calcium that happens when you take calcium or vitamin D supplements. This is why it’s important that you take the right dosage of supplements.
When taking the right dosage of magnesium supplements, you’ll notice how much more energy you have since it activates adenosine triphosphate, which helps your body regulate energy so that you keep moving! You’ll also notice how much more relaxed you are, thus feeling less anxious than normal. And magnesium supplements relax your muscles and quiets your noisy mind, allowing you to get a good night’s rest. You’ll also have an improved digestive tract, freeing your body from any constipation.
Magnesium bisglycinate is the only magnesium shown to cross the blood brain barrier which makes it an excellent choice for aiding those with depression and/or anxiety, or migraine headaches.
Stress of all types including chemical, emotional, hormonal or physical stress depletes magnesium from the body. Since magnesium relaxes muscles and nerves, more magnesium is needed when you are under stress. When we are under stress our adrenal glands produce cortisol which further increases acidity in the body thereby increasing the need for even more magnesium.
As magnesium is required in the metabolism of oestrogen in the body, low levels of magnesium increases oestrogen leading to oestrogen dominance. Symptoms of too much oestrogen include premenstrual breast and uterine pain, headaches, backaches, premenstrual depression and mood swings. Women on the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy also become deficient in magnesium as the drugs deplete magnesium. Anyone with an oestrogen dominant condition like endometriosis, PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, period problems or breast cysts need magnesium bisglycinate.
Interestingly, many women crave chocolate during their premenstrual and menstrual period. Chocolate is high in magnesium!
So if you’ve been feeling unlike yourself lately, it might be that you have a magnesium deficiency. But don’t worry, since all you have to do is add more magnesium to your diet and that can easily be fixed by taking magnesium bisglycinate supplements!
My video blog on addictions and the connection to, well, connections!
Secrets To Weight Loss Success
There are no secrets!
It’s a marketing myth designed to help you lose pounds from your wallet, not waistline.
Stay away from these promotions capitalising on your desire for a quick fix, they don’t work.
Losing weight is no easy feat. It takes hard work and commitment to really see the scale go down, but it’s not impossible. If you truly want to succeed in your weight loss journey, you have to know that diet fads never work. There’s no magic pill to losing weight and fads might help you lose a few pounds here and there, but as soon as you’re done with it, you balloon right back to where you started. And even products that are marketed and promoted as helping you lose weight fast are simply designed to make you lose money and not weight – not to mention are most of the time illegal. All the supplements in the world can’t make up for a poor diet.
My point is, in order to change your body for the better, you first need to change your mind and the way you view food. The saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” is entirely true and about 80% of your weight loss journey is about what you eat. So stop trying to lose weight by following a new fad diet each month and learn how to successfully lose weight with these tips:
1. Meal prep
The hardest part about eating right is cooking it, which is why you should start meal prepping for the week every Sunday. Cook breakfast, lunch and dinner meals using healthy recipes and store them in containers with labels so that you are all set for the week. You can also plan and pack your snacks so that you’re eating at least two to three snacks in between your meals. If you meal prep, you’re less likely to eat something bad for you and soon you’ll get in the habit of choosing healthier meals.
2. Have a food diary
To help you keep track of what you eat, track everything you put in your mouth, including beverages. There are plenty of online or apps for tracking your food or do the old fashioned way by creating a food diary you carry around with you. When you see what you’re eating all the time, you’re less likely to want to miss up your healthy eating habits. You’ll also be able to review what you ate for the week to see where you can improve, meals you loved and more!
3. Fat is your friend
There are bad fats and healthy fats and good fats will help the scale move in the right direction. Monounsaturated fatty acids in things like nuts, avocados and olive oil are great ways to reduce belly fat. Other sources of good fat you’ll want to include in your diet are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are found in fish, oil and seeds.
4. Avoid food triggers
We all have foods that we can’t resist. It’s these food items that make us want to binge and eat all of it in one sitting! It can be popcorn, chips, cookies or anything else that makes it hard to just have a bit. Know what your food triggers are and keep these trouble foods out of sight so that you’re not tempted to eat them. This will help you stay on track!
5. Go easy on yourself
If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it. No one is perfect. Simply chalk it up as a mistake and move on. Commit yourself to eating healthier the next day. When you dwell on it, you’ll end up bringing yourself down and might even throw in the towel all together!
Losing weight takes time and isn’t a race. With the right exercise, behaviour change and eating healthy, you’re be able to reach your goal weight in no time!
If you need a little mental edge then give me a call, I'll be happy to discuss the future you!
Diets are not the fastest way for long term weight loss, that’s a fact. When you are on a diet, you drop some pounds but when you drop the diet most, if not all, that fat comes back as diets aren’t maintainable. That’s why so many people struggle to lose excess weight for a better part of their lives. Plus, some of these diets, especially fad diets, are harmful to your health.
Imagine someone telling you that the only way you are going to lose weight is eating one lettuce every single day, and nothing else. Granted, for the first few days you’ll lose weight, and you may even start regretting why you didn’t start on the lettuce diet much earlier.
However, you are losing more than the excess pounds when you follow these diets. Fad diets work because they reduce the amount of calories you eat. However, that also means these diets also limit the nutrition your body needs to function properly.
Without going into a protracted discussion of how fad diets affect your body, following a fad diet cuts off your daily protein, carbohydrates, and vitamin supply. These are essential nutrients your body needs to function normally. Therefore, after a week or two of fad diets many people start developing health issues like gum disease and general fatigue and these are just the minor ailments you can get from fad diets. Serious illnesses such as gallstones and heart rhythm abnormalities start appearing after the third week of following a fad diet.
The same also goes for other and dangerous weight loss programs. Wrapping your body in cling film wraps is an especially harmful way to lose weight. Cling film wraps are meant to wrap food, not your body. When you wrap your tummy with cling wrap, you may notice an instant drop in stomach size, but that’s superficial and because you’re squeezing everything in! I even saw an advert for stomach wraps before and after, it was ridiculous as the before pic clearly had stomach pushed out and after pic had stomach sucked in! (you could tell by the curvature of the back). What you are really losing is water weight. That weight comes back the moment you re-hydrate. It’s a weight loss fad that will keep you trapped. Like a mouse in a mouse wheel, you’ll have to wrap yourself with plastic wraps every day to lose ostensible weight.
Don’t even get me started on the mass marketed, low quality protein powders out there which costs you more than money! The people selling them are poorly qualified at best, very few have an honest, if poorly, placed interested in helping people.
Fad diets are designed to make you lose money, not inches off your waist. They are get rich quick schemes praying on the vulnerable with marketing by people only thinking of their next car or paying off their mortgage.
Luckily for you, there’s a weight loss trick that works every time and it doesn’t involve putting your health at risk. All you have to do is change your mentality. Fostering a strong willpower and mental edge goes a long way in not only helping you beat the bulge, but also overcoming other challenges in life.
A strong willpower means you can resist the temptation to ask for a second serving of that sweet, buttery bowl of mashed potatoes. It also means you’ll resist the midnight urge to gorge a bowl of ice cream.
Let’s look at food from a whole new perspective. If you sought solace in food when you felt down, a strong will gives you the power to conquer things that put you down, it will give you the courage to stick to a workout routine, and it gives you the confidence to believe that you can lose weight without resulting to untested and dangerous methods.
If you find that your will power isn’t strong enough then there are ethical professionals who can and will help you regain your edge to lose weight. This can be done by changing the way you view food from an emotional and psychological aspect as well as creating new positive behaviours towards food and life!
If you wanted to chat to me to see how we could work together and get a healthy, long term solution for your health then please get in touch and I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Just after Christmas is one of the most frustrating times of year for me as all the diet programmes and products that are designed to fail are spilled into our lives just like rubbish spilt across a street.
Wait, what am I saying, designed to fail? What kind of people/companies would design a product knowing it fails. Well I could list a whole page of brands that sell cheat, whoops, I meant cheap, diet milkshakes, diets that aren’t long term maintainable, programmes which create reliance and financial dependency and the list goes on. The funny thing is, if they worked then obesity wouldn’t be at its highest since records begin and obesity related illnesses would be on the decline. They don’t work though. Statistically 95% of people who go on diets will not only put the weight back on but a little extra will be added for interest. So what we have here is a multi-billion pound business with a 5% success rate, it amazing what marketing can do!
Be very wary of any programme that has an expiry date, such as The 12 Week Challenge, The 90 Plan, Change your Life in 8 Weeks. Yes, these programmes sometimes work but ONLY for the duration of the programme, after the time period has ended you’re back at square one or buying the ‘add ons’ at ongoing monthly expense to you. These programmes aren’t maintainable and the creators know this which is why they have an expiry date, they just don’t fit into our lives long term and inevitably lead us down the road of disappointment and punches our confidence in the face,
All the focus is on the food. What food, when, how, must weigh yourself, must have green/orange/blue days, x number of points etc etc. ALL the focus is on what you want to think less off, now can you see why they fail? If an alcoholic called me up and asked for help and I said I’ll make him focus on alcohol EVERY day then is he going to think this is a good idea? Of course not!
Food doesn’t make us eat it, it doesn’t kidnap us and hold us hostage until we eat it so why are we concentrating on it? What we need to focus on is the URGE to eat the food. It’s that urge which decides what we eat, when we eat it and to keep eating it. Unless the urge is dealt with then the choice, long term, will never be yours. Most people know what is required to lose weight but the urge makes the choice to do the opposite. The urge often has a connection to a deeper thought process in our minds, such as unmet needs, low self-esteem, self-sabotage, lack of self-belief and any number of behaviours/emotions that are expressed outside of conscious awareness.
To give you back the choice and enable you to have the POWER to keep making the right choices for weight loss I have designed two programmes which will help you change your behaviour and your urges so you can make the RIGHT choice for you to not only lose weight, but to feel stronger, healthier and happier.
No diets, no milkshakes, no expiry dates. Just changing the behaviour of eating to gain weight to eating to lose weight.
Take a look and let me know if you have any questions:
Once an addict always an addict.
That saying has always mystified me. What’s the point in asking for help with your addiction if the very people you turn to are saying “sorry, you’re always going to be an addict.”
I’ve heard various reasons for addictive behaviour from the ridiculous to the plain silly. Even the most common interventions have a remarkably high failure rate and it’s never the fault of the intervention, it’s the person with the addiction that gets the blame hence the ‘Once an addict always an addict’ statement.
In the terms of alcohol addiction the mainstream go to is groupwork. The success rates have been meta-analysed and the findings are quite alarming. The findings are that the groupwork is only 5-10% successful and because of the way it’s sold when you fail it’s believed you have no hope as it’s the gold standard treatment. The 5-10% success is believed to be because of the camaraderie effect. You see, humans are pack animals and we feel secure in a group and our need of being wanted/belonging and being understood is being met in the group, so the addictive craving is temporally sated. When the group intervention comes to an end then you’re put back where you come from, right back into the same environment, and then this triggers the addiction and you’re back to stage one again, sound familiar?
You’re also taught that complete abstinence from the substance is the only way through an addiction. That’s simply not true. You’re only told that as the intervention you’re receiving is so poor that the merest sip of alcohol will trigger the need to drink and do what is needed to get that drink.
In the US they are successfully taking addicts of the streets and giving them gym programmes and this is freeing them of the addiction, be it alcohol, drugs etc. Now this is working because of the environment change and having something else to focus on.
An interesting study with rats was carried out based on an experiment in the 1980s. The experiment was simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.
A professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have coloured balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?
In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling. The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
What this study taught us about addictive behaviour is that the very addiction, at some level, is a coping mechanism for an unmet need which the brain duly tries to satisfy. If all our needs are being met then there is no need for the brain to ‘help’ you by finding something/substance to find satisfaction in.
The Brain Chemicals
We have two neurotransmitters/modulators, in a simplistic view, in our brain which drives addiction: Dopamine and Serotonin. On a very basic level it's the dopamine that motivates us to do what is necessary to meet our needs and once a need has been met then serotonin is released which makes us feel sated and happy whilst inhibiting the motivation drive of dopamine. When serotonin levels are low, the motivating effects of dopamine in the brain become amplified. In this scenario, anything that might be associated with the motivating need, say hunger, becomes strongly provocative. Stress, especially chronic inescapable stress, lowers serotonin. When serotonin is low, not only do cravings increase, but depression and anxiety can also result. In this way, a person can become vulnerable to any substitute that has an effect on dopamine and serotonin levels, such as alcohol, drugs, or addictive processes such as sex, gambling or overeating, thus, the addiction cycle begins.
Our past seriously affects our addictive response. If we grew up watching mum and/or dad having a few too many Martinis in the evening and getting drunk then we learn this as appropriate behaviour “If it’s good enough for my parents…”. So in times of stress the coping mechanism that we reach for is what we learnt from our parents.
Watching Mum puff down 20 cigarettes a day from the comfort of our pram teaches us these wonderful white glowing sticks must be great as the people that we love do it so often, learnt behaviour is then engrained waiting for a chance to be triggered.
Trauma, if not reconciled, leaves a footprint in our mind of certain needs not being met. For example, child sex abuse can leave someone growing up with a warped idea of love and thinking that to feel love you must have sex, so the need for love becomes a sex addiction. A drug, to some people, is more reliable than a family who constantly lets them down so the drug fulfils a need so then you have drug addiction. When the stress of daily life gets overwhelming then getting drunk is a way of escaping that so you develop an alcohol addiction. This is only a small representation of how an addiction can be formed, there are many, many others too.
So what are we learnt?
To successfully treat an addiction for permanence of resolution you have to turn to the mind and satisfy its unmet need, coping mechanism or learnt behaviour. The problem isn’t the substance, it’s the desire for it, and the methods I use effectively deal with that desire so you can regain control over your life.
It’s just stress. How many times have you heard that phrase used with such little understanding of the massive detrimental effects to the mind and body. Modern medicine is set up to deal with the symptoms of stress but not the actual causes. What if we actually understood the mechanisms and causes of stress rather than just reach for the prescription pad?
The word stress is actually derived from physics meaning the maximum stress a material can stand before it breaks. You see it’s recognised that when we’re stressed, we’re broken! How can we function properly when broken? We can’t.
What we call stress in modern times is very different to what our stress response was designed for. The stress response, or what we call fight/flight, is really no different to what it was with our ancestors 6 million years ago. It was designed to help us get food or to stop us from being food! What we’re observing in modern times is stress everywhere and it’s no wonder chronic conditions are on the rise as it’s the protocol of the modern healthcare system to treat the sickness and not the stress, therefore making lots of money for drug companies but leaving a nation with chronic stress associated sickness. Marriages, divorce, finances, employment, relationships, media and negative pasts all create stress in our body’s and, as Selye says, can make you sick and are the modern day stressors.
When the body is stressed a number of chemical and hormonal actions take place, this is done to make the body ready for action. To increase the effectiveness of the body in an alert/action state glands in and around the brain sends inhibitory hormones and neurotransmitters to shut down all non-essential systems for survival. For example:
Once this is done then the body is primed for survival and threat avoidance. The problem is long term chronic stress has a massively detrimental effect on your body and your life. Mainstream healthcare treats the body as compartments so then gives any number of drugs to manage symptoms which overlooks the cause: Stress.
Stress/low level stress is a modern day epidemic responsible for emotional, psychological and physical dysfunction and is resulting in chronic illness, addiction and misery but dealing with the stress in an effective way can help many people positively change and live their lives.
Hypnotherapy can be used to help you recover from stress or to deal with it in a more productive way. Please get in contact should you have any questions or wanted to book a session to start to get control back of your life!
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries