Starting Over with the Help of Hypnosis

October 31st, 2013 § Comments Off on Starting Over with the Help of Hypnosis § permalink

Starting Over with the Help of Hypnosis – A guest post by Caroline East, Consulting Hypnotist, on the use of hypnosis to manage the stress of change.

Starting Over: The act of recovering from, or adjusting to, an event which has affected one’s life in such a manner that life never returns to its previous state of “normal”.

The one common factor, no matter how varied the circumstance, is that each one of us, at multiple times in our lives, experiences an event, or events, which causes us to have to “start over.”

The most common events are: Birth of a baby, loss of a loved one, marriage, divorce, a traumatic event, surviving a long-term or serious illness, being diagnosed with a devastating illness, losing a job, starting a new job, moving, or changing careers.

All of these events, viewed either as positive or negative, generate stress by causing our life to veer off track in a different direction. We struggle through the transition, often floundering, trying to adapt to the changes that come with life’s new direction. Sometimes we can use help to deal with the stress related to “starting over.”

Do these common symptoms resonate with you: Fatigue, grief, focus and flexibility, pain, fear, performance anxiety (job, sports or academic)? I see, and address, these issues daily in my practice as a consulting hypnotist at Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon. » Read the rest of this entry «

Dwelling on Stressful Events Hurts

June 12th, 2013 § Comments Off on Dwelling on Stressful Events Hurts § permalink

Dwelling on stressful events hurts. It not only causes inflammation in the body (LINK) but serves to reinforce the neural pathways in our brains associated with the event. In other words, dwelling on an event is like traveling back and forth on a trail in a meadow. As we travel back and forth, the trail becomes more prominent, easier to find, and in the case of our neural pathways, easier to stay “stuck” in.

As we dwell on, or re-live, an unwanted event, we make it more difficult on ourselves to snap out of it, and get on with what’s happening in the present moment. Usually these types of events are associated with negative feelings and will trigger an anxiety response at a subconscious level. Many people are aware that are stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, but don’t know what to do about it.

Our subconscious minds do not differentiate between living an actual event, and the re-living of the event in our minds. Because we can trigger the fight or flight response just by thinking about an event, it is crucial to learn how to turn off the cycle of negative anxiety provoking thoughts and feelings.

Hypnosis is an excellent tool for this very purpose. By accessing the subconscious mind through hypnosis and anchoring a state of relaxation, you can train yourself to access and maintain a state of calmness, and condition your mind to focus on pleasant thoughts, and/or focus on the present moment. By training your mind to focus on pleasant thoughts and feelings, you create a new trail in that meadow, or, you direct your thoughts to a different set of neural pathways that result in better feeling emotions. Not only will you feel better emotionally, but you will effectively minimize the physical inflammation you may experience as a result of dwelling on stressful events.

You CAN control your thoughts and feelings, and hypnosis is a very effective way to condition your mind to work FOR you. Take control, you’ll feel better emotionally and physically!

How to Get the Most out of Self-Hypnosis

March 26th, 2013 § Comments Off on How to Get the Most out of Self-Hypnosis § permalink

OK, so you learned how to do self-hypnosis (Self-Hypnosis is Easy and Fun!), you know about creating positive suggestions for yourself, but, do you know how to get the most out of self-hypnosis and really get to the bottom of what you want?

In my practice at Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon, I use an approach with my clients based on a Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) outcome frame. It is an excellent tool that I use with almost every client to help us narrow down exactly what they want as a result of their hypnosis treatment.

The NLP outcome frame has a lot of questions, all of which I use with clients in my office. I have narrowed down the questions to the most important, in my opinion, to include when combining with self-hypnosis. By learning to use this NLP outcome frame to create your outcome statement, you can learn to expertly define exactly what you want as you practice self-hypnosis. » Read the rest of this entry «

Releasing Natural Brain Chemicals for Pain Reduction

March 10th, 2013 § Comments Off on Releasing Natural Brain Chemicals for Pain Reduction § permalink

Releasing natural brain chemicals for pain reduction can be accomplished using hypnosis.

Using hypnosis to ease pain is very common and often very successful. Using hypnosis to reduce stress is also very common and often very successful. Perhaps this is because these two “states of being” are strongly related to the same region in our brain called the “amygdala”. This part of our brain is where we process emotions and pain, and, in many cases, our emotions add to the intensity of our pain.

According to the article, How the Brain Suppresses Pain During Times of Stress, the suppression of pain during times of stress can help us cope with or escape from potentially life-threatening situations. Apparently, there are marijuana like chemicals in our brain called “endocannabinoids”. Pain reduction due to fear, called “fear-induced analgesia”,  is strongly related to elevated levels of this marijuana like substance in the amygdala.

We know that the subconscious mind is responsible for running our physiology. It runs our circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, our blood pressure, body temperature, etc. So it makes sense that if we can get access to the subconscious mind, then we can influence the manner in which the subconscious mind affects our physiology. Through the use of hypnosis it is possible to release endocannabinoids, and other pain relieving chemicals, without needing the added stress, or experiencing the side effects of drug usage. For many clients, the addition of certain types of visualization exercises also help to reduce the intensity of pain, and for some, eliminate it completely.


Treating Chronic Pain With Hypnosis

March 9th, 2013 § Comments Off on Treating Chronic Pain With Hypnosis § permalink

Nobody wants to live a life consumed with pain. The suggestion to “just relax” to alleviate pain can seem almost insulting to those suffering from intense persistent physical pain. However, having an understanding of what happens chemically in our bodies when we are experiencing pain can help in our understanding as to how simple relaxation exercises, via hypnosis, can go a long way to relieving our pain.

We know that cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and sometimes called the “stress hormone” is activated in reaction to stress. Pain is stressful, and when we are in pain and under stress our bodies are flooded with stress hormones. When we are flooded with stress hormones we are actually in a fight or flight response. It takes a great deal of energy for our bodies to maintain the fight or flight response and there is an allocation of energy away from the viscera (our body cavity), to our arms and legs during this response. In short, this means our immune system is compromised, our digestive system is compromised, and we have a minimal amount of energy to allow the natural healing process to  proceed.

Through the use of hypnosis, one can learn to access a deep state of relaxation, thus keeping the cortisol and other stress hormones at bay. This allows the immune system to function properly, and provides a healthy environment for healing to take place in our bodies. Through the use of visualization in hypnosis, many pain sufferers find relief from the agonizing experience of chronic pain. Visualization is not for everyone, but everyone can benefit from the depth of relaxation experienced through hypnosis.

For further information on the physiology of pain and stress management see: Preventing chronic pain with stress management.

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