Monday, 19 August 2013

Alleviating pain using hypnosis



Pain is a familiar problem for many of us. It’s an unpleasant sensation that has such a detrimental effect on your mood and wellbeing, as well as restricting what you can do, in your day to day life. Pain, especially chronic pain can lead to depression, irritability, insomnia and a range of additional problems.



A huge vocabulary can be used to describe pain such as:
Sharp
Throbbing
Dull
Aching
Pain that comes in waves
Burning
Stinging

We all experience and react to pain in different ways. There is a lot of mind - body interaction involved with pain. For example, if you are distracted, you are less likely to notice it. Also, if you are worried about the cause of it or, if you are concerned that it will get worse, then you are more likely to experience the pain more intensely.

The good news is that this mind-body connection can be utilised to minimise pain, using hypnosis. Being in hypnosis is a very similar sensation to falling to sleep at night, or daydreaming. When you are in this very relaxed, focussed state, you can use the techniques described here in detail, to help you to feel better.

Hypnosis is a wonderful way to manage and eliminate pain. It is very safe and natural. It also has no side effects and people using hypnosis often require less medication, which is healthier.

What are the benefits of pain? It alerts you to avoid painful stimuli, such as hot or sharp items. It also prevents excessive movement, if you are injured, so that you can heal more quickly. It’s very important that you only use these hypnotic pain management techniques for pain which has been diagnosed. If you have any new or undiagnosed pain or, if existing pain worsens then you must contact your doctor.

The Cold Hand Technique and the Changing Qualities Technique described below are fantastic and can be easily learned and used.

Cold Hand Technique

This is a great technique to manage localised pain, which is pain in one area of the body. It gets better with practice.

1.       Enter a deep state of relaxation by focussing on your breathing. Imagine breathing in relaxation and breathing away any tensions or stress. Close your eyes. You can also download a free MP3 guide to entering hypnosis here.

2.       Picture the word numb in your mind. See the letters, floating in front of your eyes.

3.       Visualise a bucket of icy water, blocks of ice floating around in the water.

4.       Imagine putting the fingertips of your right hand into that bucket. Really feel the sharp coldness of the water.

5.       Slowly put your whole right hand into that bucket.

6.       Do you remember how your face sometimes goes numb when you are very cold? Well, notice this now happening to your hand. With every breath you take you hand gets colder and colder, more and more numb.

7.       Take the time to really allow this to happen, until you cannot feel that right hand anymore.

8.       When that right hand is completely numb and feels as though it has been injected with local anaesthetic lift it out of the bucket.

9.       Now place the hand on the painful area. Really do this. This is not just done in imagination. You actually move your hand and place it on the painful area.

10.   Allow that numbness and coldness to spread from your cold hand into and through the painful area.

11.   That area of your body becomes numb.

Changing qualities technique

Another way of managing pain is to imagine your pain has a shape or object. This is a slightly unusual concept but works brilliantly.

Using the power of hypnosis and your own wonderful mind you can then change the qualities of the pain and reduce it, using the following steps:

1.       Enter a deep state of relaxation by focussing on your breathing. Imagine breathing in relaxation and breathing away any tensions or stress. Close your eyes. You can also download an MP3 guide to entering hypnosis here

2.       Vividly imagine the pain as an object. See its shape and colour

3.       Notice if the pain has any texture or if it moves.

4.       And any temperature

5.       When you can vividly picture the pain as an object, you can change it

6.       If it has a colour start by changing its colour to a calm colour such as white or yellow. Do this gradually.

7.       Imagine it getting smaller and smaller

8.       Imagine the texture changing to be less fierce

9.       If the pain jumps or moves imagine that movement slowing down and gradually stopping

10.   If it’s hot imagine it cooling down, gradually getting cooler and cooler.

11.   Continue to change all the qualities of this pain until it bothers you less. You can continue to enjoy the effects of this technique for as long as you wish

Although pain is a very debilitating problem which can affect your sense of wellbeing, there are natural ways to minimise pain. Both of these techniques get better with practice and will allow you to gain a greater control over your well being.

To find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you to manage pain please get in touch here. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Top Tips for Anger Management


Lately I have been helping a lot of people with anger issues. This is a surprisingly common problem. Lots of people struggle to manage their anger but because it is an aggressive characteristic it is very difficult to admit to and to talk about.

 Anger can manifest itself in various ways. Some people find they shout when they are angry, others become physically aggressive, and others withdraw and become quiet. Many of my clients who tend to withdraw describe it is “going into their cave.”

Anger can be a very physical sensation. Sometime you can feel anger as a heat or a pressure. It might manifest itself as recurring thoughts. Where in your body do you experience anger when you feel it? People often feel their anger in their chest or head.

Anger is a particularly problematic issue because it has so many detrimental effects. As well as being bad for your own physical[1] and psychological health, it also destroys relationships. Many marriages are ended because of anger issues. Relationships between parents and their children can also be very damaged by anger. Excessive anger is also very inappropriate in social situations and the work place, so you can see that being unable to manage your anger can affect all areas of your life.

As part of the hypnotherapy I offer, we identify the causes of anger. Sometimes anger is borne out of a lack of self-esteem or negative experiences from your past. Often anger is a result of frustration. Once we have identified the causes of the anger we can work together to resolve these issues.

Having a good way to release anger is a wonderfully useful skill. The Hand Release Technique described below is easy to do and will really help you to alleviate anger.

Hand Release Technique

1.       Enter self-hypnosis or simply close your eyes, focus on your breathing and relax. You can download a free MP3 to help you achieve hypnosis here.

2.       Think of a recent situation which caused you to feel angry

3.       Allow yourself to remember and experience that situation again as if you were right there again.

4.       Feel the anger building up

5.       Notice where in your body you feel that anger. Does it have a shape? How big is it? Does it have a colour? Is it spiky? Is it hot? Does it bounce around? Really connect with how you experience your anger and notice any other properties it has.

6.       Now, as you continue to visualise that anger, imagine it getting smaller and smaller with every breath you take.

7.       If it is hot, imagine it cooling down. If it is spiky imagine it softening. Imagine its colour changing to white or yellow.

8.       Keep imagining it getting smaller and smaller until it is about the size of a ping pong ball.

9.       Now, imagine that small ball of anger moving through your body and up to your right shoulder.

10.   With each breath you take, imagine it moving along your right arm, eventually ending up in the palm of your right hand.

11.   Open up your right hand and imagine a breeze passing through. The breeze carries away your anger.

12.   Watch your anger float away into nothingness and enjoy that liberating sensation of being free of your old anger.


 If you would like more help and advice on anger management then do get in touch here.




[1] Chronic anger activates the sympathetic nervous system which increases blood pressure. If the sympathetic nervous system is chronically stimulated the high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular problems.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Simple Guide to Self-Hypnosis




In my hypnotherapy practice, I teach my clients self-hypnosis techniques. Self-hypnosis is a wonderful skill to have. Using self-hypnosis you can:
focus your thoughts,
relax,
relieve stress,
see things from a new perspective and
have a greater clarity of thought.

Hypnosis is often seen as slightly mystical, or as being a difficult state to achieve. However, in reality, hypnosis is similar to daydreaming and we enter hypnotic states many times during the day. Therefore, learning to enter hypnosis yourself (self-hypnosis) is actually surprisingly easy and I'm going to give you a couple of methods here.


Self-hypnosis method 1 – read through all the instructions before starting


1.       Get yourself into a safe and comfortable position. Make sure that it is safe close your eyes and that you are unlikely to be disturbed. Lying on a sofa or a bed is ideal.

2.       Close your eyes and make yourself as comfortable as possible

3.       Take deep, slow breaths. With each breath imagine breathing in calmness and relaxation and breathing out any tension or worry.

4.       Continue for a few minutes, breathing in calmness and relaxation. Breathing out any tension or worry.

5.       Some people like to imagine the calmness and relaxation as a white colour they are breathing in.

6.       You could also imagine the tension and worry to have physical qualities as you breathe them away from yourself.  

7.       Your mind may wander, and that’s fine. Whenever you notice your mind wandering just bring it back to your breath.

8.       In your imagination, imagine yourself at the top of a flight of stairs. You are stood at the top of the flight of stairs, looking down. As you look down you can see ten steps leading gently down. Take the time to make this image as clear as possible in your mind.

9.       Walk down the stairs one by one as your count down in your own mind from ten to zero.

10.   With each step you walk down and with each number you count down, imagine that you are relaxing more and more.




Self-hypnosis method 2 – read through all the instructions before starting


1.       Get yourself into a safe and comfortable position. Make sure that it is safe close your eyes and that you are unlikely to be disturbed. Lying on a sofa or a bed is ideal.

2.       Close your eyes and make yourself as comfortable as possible

3.       Imagine, just imagine don’t actually do it, tensing every muscle in your body. Imagine tensing your whole body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Hold that feeling of tension for a couple of seconds.

4.       Now imagine letting go of all that tension and relaxing the whole of your body. You can allow your body and all your muscles to really relax and let go. Actually relax all the muscles.

5.       Imagine tensing all of the muscles in your feet. Imagine curling your toes and tensing all the muscles in the feet.

6.       Then, just relax the feet as much as you possibly can. Allow all the muscles in the feet to just relax and let go.

7.       Allow the feet to remain completely relaxed. Now tense all the muscles in your legs. Tightening the muscles in your calves and thighs. Hold that tension for a couple of seconds.

8.       Then, let go. Allow all the muscles in your legs to relax.

9.       Continue to imagine tensing and then actually relaxing all of the muscles in your

a.       Abdomen

b.      Lower back

c.       Upper back

d.      Chest

e.      Arms and hands

f.        Shoulders and neck

g.       Face and head

10.   Let your mind relax too and think of a place where you feel really comfortable, safe and secure. Really vividly imagine yourself being in that comfortable, safe, secure place.




Coming out of hypnosis

Once you have finished your hypnotic technique your can bring yourself out of hypnosis by counting from one to five in your mind. As you reach the count of five your eyes will open and you will feel awake and energised.

Mastering self-hypnosis has many wonderful physical and psychological benefits. If you would like more information do get in touch on www.cs-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Useful tips and advice are also on my Facebook page. Join the Facebook community   http://www.facebook.com/CatherineSwatridgeHypnotherapy