Monthly Archives: January 2015

Living With and Without Pain a Hypnotherapy Approach

It’s a safe bet to think practically every person who has every lived on this planet from the time of our earliest tool making ancestors, Homo Habilis some two and a half million years ago to each and every one of us alive now today, has experienced pain in a variety of forms.

Who today hasn’t learned to avoid putting fingers in a closing door frame at an early age or who can’t imagine an ancient toolmaking ancestor cracking her thumb with something resembling a hammer. In these instances the function of pain is obvious.

Pain Hypnotherapy Newcastle

Pain can be instructional in our learning and also hurt enough when we are required to rest and heal our affected limbs or digits. Pain sensors comes in two basic flavours these being mechanoreceptor and nociceptors both of which ‘conduct pain’ at different speeds to the spine and then the brain.

A Simple Understanding of Pain

Pain instructs us something is wrong. This can be as simple as paper-cut or as immobilising as a sprained ankle. Pain once it has been processed in the nervous system has essentially two types: Fast sharp sting and Slow long and throbbing.

The fast and sharp pain could be a sting, a puncture a break. This can often cause a spinal reflex which will get our affected limbs our of harms way. The longer, duller pain is usually a signal we need to stop using that limb, have that tooth filled at the dentist, have some inflammatory immune response or need to seek medical advice.

Adding Complexity to the Picture of Pain

Our mood, our environment and the meaning we ascribe can massively change how we experience pain. It wont change the basic nuts and bolts mechanism of sending the signals yet our mood can change our experience of it.

A person on their way to church about to get married all in love and emancipated with the days celebrations may not notice they sprain their ankle as leap eagerly out of the wedding car.

A fireman rescuing people from a building might not notice cutting his leg on an old jaggerdy pipe until much later on, after the rescue event.

So our situations, mental state, emotions and purpose can and usually do change our experience of pain to a greater or lesser degree.

Exercise can be painful in terms of physical demands, exercising muscles or battling through the pain barrier.  You know what is on the other side of that pain barrier? Some home grown opioids and that is like morphine or heroin.

Of course these are perfectly legal and constitute what is commonly known as runner high. This is actually one of the serious benefits of moderate exercise that kick in somewhere around the 20 minute period.

What is modulating or ameliorating our pain response in this instance? Our endogenous ( internal ) opioids which act as pain killers or suppressors. The make us feel good and this ‘feeling’ good alters our experience of pain.

Hypnotherapy and Changing your State

Hypnosis is far more common that most people think. Think about how you react to reading some tragic news headline. You have thoughts and emotions about what you see and more so about the feelings this conjurers up.

In some sense a tragic headline focuses your attentions and your thoughts and suddenly you may feel angry, relieved, patriotic or something that your reading some headline has caused.

By moving your attentions to what has become ( albeit transitorily ) immediately relevant, your whole ongoing experience changed.

Many people, sadly are effected by chronic pain. People do find ways to mediate this experience it may be drugs, acupuncture ( which can switch off a certain kind of pain receptor for a while ), swimming or what are know as displacement activities or distractions.

Hypnosis may be a way of employing a ‘psychological distraction’ that can change how you perceive pain because hypnotherapy has been used successfully for conducting surgical operations without anaesthetic.

Where Pain Problems Begin

There are several instances where pain is no longer serving a truly positive and benevolent function. These can be auto-immune disease such as arthritis, chronic neuropathology pain like carpal tunnel or what is known as idiopathic pain ( pain of an unknown cause ).

Long term, long term pain and its remembered and anticipated effects can be pretty depressing. Our aim together, where it is safe, is to use hypnotherapy to alter and direct attentions towards solutions and living more agreeably.

A Possible Pain Solution With Hypnotherapy

One of the most common questions regarding hypnotherapy is will this work? Do you know doctors can not guaranteed drugs or surgery will cure a patients ailments.  Similarly no therapist should be making such guarantees or promises  to clients.

The only way we will know is by having the time together and then be able to give a experienced based evaluation.

Before working with hypnotherapy for pain management, it is essential you have seen your doctor or medical professional for a diagnosis.

Having has your doctor or medical professional, where it is both safe to and desirable to explore ways of pain management, you may wish to explore what hypnotherapy in Newcastle, Jesmond can offer you.

Please call me, Nigel, to arrange a free telephone consultation to see how I may be able to assist you. 0770 481 8467

 

 

 

Hypnotherapy to Address Bad Habits

Welcome to 2015 and with this New Year many people want to address and resolve their ‘bad habits’. First off the block is what is a bad habit? And of course following on immediately from this how can a bad habit be addressed and made good with hypnotherapy?

What is a Bad Habit?

A bad habit is something a person does ( or doesn’t do ) that primarily creates problems in their life and secondarily, creates problems in other peoples life. It is only a problem to the owner of the Bad Habit if it is a problem. Period.

You might consider excessive procrastination, worrying, gambling, spending, over eating, over drinking, neglecting friends and family and yourself or a lack of exercise as typical examples.

Hypnotherapy Change Habits Newcastle

How Habits Form

Do you have a familiar route to work? Perhaps a routine in the morning like coffee, shower a shave and something else? Perhaps you always call your mother on Sunday.

Our routines as we do them again and again have the incredible effect of putting extra myelin on our neurons axons, that’s our brain nerves or cables, making them more and more efficacious. The more we do and re-do something the more insulating myelin we have for those particular cables. That translates as an ‘unconscious’ habit – for good or bad or neither.

Our habits seem to form as we learn ways to cope and act in the world. So most habits have over time become ingrained into what we do on a regular or semi-regular basis. Most habits become automatic in the sense there is little wilful thought to make them happen. After all which shoe do you take of first?

Typical examples we can all relate to are going to the toilet, brushing our teeth, having a cup of tea or coffee in the morning. They are usually to make our life comfortable and serve us well.

Other ‘habits’ like repetitive email checking, checking social media, betting, excessive checking, worrying or the ‘bad habit’ you want to change have most likely formed so you can in some way feel reassured, calmer or at ease but as its a ‘bad habit’ it is likely having the opposite effect.

When habits are formed, there are certain neurological circuits and systems that can create genuine impulses in our body to actually seek out the behaviour that supports a habit especially when we are trying to stop that habit.

Here are two examples :

Suppose a person has nurtured a habit of avoiding public speaking. Avoiding public speaking will most likely feel good and safe. Problems can arise when this person needs to do a public talk, for instance to further their career or lets say do a wedding speech.

The body is ‘saying’ avoid but the intention of will is ‘saying’ lets do the public speaking. This will cause a stress response.

Another person is attempting to stop a long term gambling habit. They have damaged their bank account, their relationship with their partner and they really want to stop. Their habitual systems are screaming gamble gamble gamble.

They are trying to stop and this causes a stress response.

To a very large extent we are dealing with a stress response and a defying a reward seeking injunction which is modulating the stress response.

Neuro-Physiology Homoeostasis

Many years ago, I watched someone who was ‘doing cold turkey’ as they were coming down from heroin addiction. They were shaking and covered in sweat. Pretty unpleasant to watch and no doubt much worse to experience.

They were experiencing a serious stress response caused by stopping a highly addictive drug, experiencing withdrawal and their set-point or homoeostasis re-compensation was literally all over the place.

Our bodies, brains and minds in their interaction have what can be called a ‘set-point’. That is an equivalence to homoeostasis. Homoeostasis means the ‘natural’ balance or equilibrium in our bodies bio-electro-chemical system.

Even the seemingly innocuous activity of habitual checking a smart phone for face book updates can create systemic motivation to regularly check.

The Brain and Addiction

Very simplistically all addictive behaviours involve some very specific parts of the brain. Specifically two parts: The ventral tegmental area ( VTA ) in the midbrain and the Nucleus Accumbens Septi ( NAc ) in the forebrain.

These two brain regions are connected by the meso-limbic and meso-cortical pathways which are dopamine circuits. Dopamine is the motivational or injunctional brain wiring that ‘helps’ us to carry out known and ‘rewarding’ behaviours be they physical or mental or both.

We get little chemical rewards that ‘make us’ actively engage in all sorts of habits be they deemed good or bad because our bodies really doesn’t often make the distinction between good and bad. The conscious meanings we make however really does and this is a cause of disharmony when its a bad habit.

Of course, its is not as simple as this. There are often situations and circumstances that make us remember our patterns of behaviour in such a place. So exploring the interaction of environment, people and triggers is part of the solution.

Hypnotherapy To Change Habitual Behaviours

Hypnotherapy in Newcastle can help to address the unconscious or bodily driven behaviours that have been made familiar over long use. These tend to be the sort of problems that seem to resist the conscious will and mind over matter approaches.

It’s a bit like updating the software to replace the old habits. See, we all know babies cry when they want food, changing, attention … Now imagine that an adult would still cry to get attention to to indicate they are hungry?

That would be odd to say the least. Because as adults we have ‘updated’ our programming to not cry when hungry or to get attention. We do something else like talk to people or take action to get some good food.

In the same sense our problem habits we want to change need updating while at the same time preserving what the behaviour is attempting to satisfy. So the idea being to create and utilise new behaviours which can replace the old problem ones and still angle at making us feel good. So one of the real keys if finding the real and honest motivation to change an old behaviour.

Helping Change Habits with Hypnotherapy in Newcastle

If you would like to explore how hypnotherapy can help here is how it works.

First telephone or email me, Nigel, on 0770 481 8467 and we can arrange a time for a completely free consultation. This will take up to 25 minutes.

Following on from this telephone consultation, you will fill in a simple questionnaire and then we will book your appointment. All appointments are two hours and take place in Jesmond in Newcastle.

You can find additional appointment booking information here by clicking on the link Booking a Therapy Session.

Take action and get professional assistance in changing your problematic habits with hypnotherapy in Jesmond Newcastle. Have an amazing New Year and … over to you to make the call.