On this page, you can read about some of the illnesses,medical conditions and situations where hypnotherapy has been used successfully. I am indebted to The UK Guild of Hypnotist Examiners for their kind permission to reproduce this information. I am proud to have been a member of this highly respected organisation for over 22 years.

Hypnosis for Anxiety


Hypnotherapy is a totally natural, complementary therapy. It can help you learn to relax, leading to a reduction of stress and anxiety in the body.

Anxiety can be caused by such things as work, family or relationships. Sometimes it appears to be free-floating, occurring for no apparent reason. It may become exacerbated so that feelings of panic take over the body.

If you suffer from anxiety, you probably feel that you are unable to control it or stop it coming. You may feel that you are unable to cope with the perceived demands or expectations of your environment or people within it. What happens when we experience a level of stress that is unwanted or that we feel incapable of responding to, is that our mind senses a threat. Automatically the body switches to 'red alert'; we feel fear, adrenaline floods into the bloodstream, and the body prepares for action i.e. 'fight or flight'.

Unfortunately, anxiety often occurs when to fight or to run away would be unnecessary or inappropriate, so we 'freeze' and our symptoms become worse. We cannot release them due to the fact that the situation we are in does not require action, leading to a further increase of anxiety.

Typical symptoms of anxiety are:-
-a dry mouth
-increased heart rate and blood pressure
-palpitations
-sweating
-a knot, or butterflies, in the stomach

The good news is that although anxiety is very unpleasant, you are not in physical danger. Also, you can learn to manage, and in many cases overcome, anxiety through the use of hypnotherapy. Anxiety can be a learned response, and hypnotherapy can help to uncover the roots of this learning; old information which may have come from childhood can be updated to a more adult understanding and perspective.

Hypnotherapy can be used to give you effective coping strategies to manage such symptoms so that you can regain your life and no longer be controlled by anxiety.


Confidence and Self-Esteem

Feeling confident about ourselves and having good self-esteem is fundamental to our well being.

The reasons for lack of confidence and low self esteem are diverse, ranging from deep rooted frequent criticism from adults as a child, a traumatic experience, being humiliated in a public arena, as well as your own inner critic, habitually beating yourself up. However the good news is that whatever the reason, it is possible to cultivate confidence and good self esteem in the here and now, ourselves.

It is impossible to feel confident if you are constantly giving yourself a hard time by criticising yourself. You alone are in control of what you think and choose to believe. You do not need to buy into negative comments from your inner critic, or negative comments from others. You can reject any negative self talk and render it powerless by changing it to something positive about yourself and your abilities.

Hypnotherapy and NLP are extremely powerful tools for eliminating negative thought patterns and beliefs about yourself, resulting in strong self confidence and a healthy self esteem.

It has been said many times, confidence breeds success and that applies to all aspects of your life.


Get Free From Trauma

At any one time there are many people whose lives feel ruined or destroyed following past events that just won't go away. Often they live in silence and no matter how hard they try to push them away, bad thoughts, feelings and images keep returning to haunt and depress them.

The causes are many and widespread and can range from being in a car accident, being violently attacked, raped or to being abused in childhood.
The good news is that nowadays there is much that can be done to help. It doesn't require having to talk about it - often the therapist can be unaware of the detail - and it is so quick and immediate that most people will experience considerable benefit from a single session from an experienced therapist.

Jean was driving along a busy road but although she managed to stop when traffic suddenly halted ahead, the car behind ran into her, resulting in whiplash. When after recovering from her injuries but still in pain, Jean tried to drive again, she felt anxious and panicky. She would 'flashback' to those brake lights ahead. Her sleep was badly disturbed. She felt in constant pain and depressed. Seeing a hypnotherapist she was quickly de-traumatised, helped to re-build her driving confidence and this reduced her pain.

Steven was on his way home one night when he was beaten up by thugs. They were never caught but this left him with panic attacks whenever he went outside alone. He had flashbacks during the day and nightmares at night. He lost his job and slipped into debt. On at least one occasion, he considered ending his life. After one hypnotherapy session, flashbacks and nightmares stopped. He was given a relaxation tape to listen to. When he returned 3 weeks later, he felt back in control and able to get on with his life.

Sarah was 45 years old when she sought help from a hypnotist to overcome her fear of the dark and of confined spaces. Assessment revealed that she had been sexually abused by an uncle, who threatened to lock her in a cupboard. Though he was prosecuted, her trauma stayed. She had seen various therapists but hadn't been able to talk about it or deal with the flashbacks. The first session involved helping Sarah to feel more relaxed and into a better sleep pattern. After the second session, the results were quite dramatic. That evening she went home and, for the first time, felt comfortable to talk to her partner about the things she had bottled-up.


Hypnosis - what it is

Hypnosis is a profound state in which we have access to the unconscious mind.

But why would you want to have access to your unconscious mind?
Why would it be of value?

If you were consciously in control to let go of an issue you would, wouldn't you? Of course you would, if you could, you would let go of it in a heartbeat.

But there are some things which may be beyond our control, such as overwhelming negative emotions, limiting beliefs such as 'I'm not good enough' or unwanted behaviors which, no matter how hard we try, seem to be unmovable. That is because they are being run at the unconscious level.

Why would our own body run things that seem negative, limiting and in some cases are downright stupid?

No matter how horrible an issue is, there is always a positive intent. For example, a phobia is trying to protect someone, but it is just doing it in an overwhelming way. Some issues may have been imprinted on us since our childhood, such as beliefs about ourselves. If we go through negative childhood experiences, maybe feeling we weren't good enough, or if we were continually told that that we were stupid, our unconscious mind may just take those beliefs on as the truth. So, although issues or behaviours you have may not be very nice, they will always, always have a positive intent.

What if there was a key to unlock your true potential and take back the control of your issues so that you could live the life you wish, being free of limitations? And not only that, keep the positive intentions but generate new positive beliefs, feelings and behaviours which are in alignment with you consciously.

With that key what would you change?

Hypnosis is the key as it bypasses our conscious mind to work directly with our unconscious mind, the area of the brain which runs these issues. Think what we could evolve, grow or enhance too - maybe our learning abilities, our hobbies, confidence, even our communication - to levels that are beyond excellence.

Hypnosis helps you come to decisions

Over the years hypnosis has gained a dubious reputation for mind control, usually based upon impressions gained from stage hypnotism and from odd (often, very odd) scandalous tales in the media. 'Don't make me do the funky chicken' I'm sometimes told when I explain that I am a practitioner of hypnosis.
The reality of hypnotic trance is far from this. The way hypnosis works is arguably the opposite of its image: rather than lose control, it helps people to take control of their lives.

Hypnosis is a powerful way to help individuals understand what they really think deep down. Armed with knowledge from their unconscious, issues that have been troubling them become clearer. Decisions that were difficult are now easier to make.

We are all much cleverer than we think we are. This is because most of our thinking (latest neuro-scientific estimates put the amount at 95%) happens in our unconscious. We are only consciously aware of just the tip of the iceberg that makes up our thought processes. Hypnosis enables us to go into the body of this iceberg: to tap into and benefit from the power of the wisdom that lies beneath.


Hypnosis in Pregnancy and Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are such beautiful times. Let go of the myths of discomfort and 'hard' labour. Using hypnosis you can help your body ease through pregnancy, and enjoy a beautiful, relaxed and magical time as you bring your new baby's life into this world. Hypnosis is an excellent tool for relieving the symptoms of pregnancy that most people accept as part of the process. There really is no need for sickness and bizarre cravings!

Hypnosis can be used to help maintain a good blood pressure level and encourages a good breathing style, allowing your body to relax and nurture the little miracle inside you.

When it comes to childbirth, one of the most natural things in the world, our bodies know exactly what to do. A lot of problems in childbirth occur when we fight against our natural instinct. Using relaxation, breathing and visualisation you allow the natural flow of muscle contractions to enable a faster, smoother delivery. Hypnosis gives you the ability to produce your own pain relief, yet allows you to be fully aware of the sensations and splendour of the moment. After your little bundle arrives, you can use hypnosis to aid recovery and well being. It is also a great skill to learn for breastfeeding mums.

All in all, what a great start to life!


Regression by Sue Stewart

Regression is a magical process to get to the root cause of any problem or issue.
Almost unbelievably all that is required is to revisit, in hypnosis, those situations that bubble into your conscious mind when so very deeply relaxed.

Hypnosis is used to help the individual to achieve a very deep level of relaxation where the brain-wave patterns change from beta through to alpha and theta states. In other words, a level just before sleep is achieved whereby the conscious mind takes a backseat and thoughts, feelings and pictures come from the unconscious where they may have been buried for many years.

When we experience an upsetting, demoralising or traumatic situation, usually in childhood, our unconscious mind thinks it is protecting us by 'putting the lid' on it. This is the main reason why no amount of analysis or conscious thought will release the actual situation. The memory may well be conscious but, because the lid was put on the feelings, the cause never becomes apparent; in fact it may well be consciously dismissed. In other words whatever we consciously think the cause is, it's guaranteed to be something different.

Once the relevant situations are accessed and the feelings re-experienced, there are subtle changes until it is noticed that the problem or issue has just disappeared. It is replaced by confidence, strength, self esteem, etc. allowing positive choices in life to be made, instead of being ruled by dysfunctional needs, phobias, fears etc.

The process is completely safe when guided and protected by a reputable therapist. Any trauma or upset released during the session no longer has any hold. When a client returns to full awareness after a session of regression, a huge relief is usually experienced together with powerful positive feelings.



Smoking


Smoking is known to be a serious health risk not only for the smoker himself but also to those who passively inhale the fumes. Smoking is today seen to be a dangerous and anti-social habit, and hypnosis has been used for many years to help smokers quit. Most smokers consciously wish to stop smoking but find it difficult. Nicotine is highly addictive but can be overcome in a fairly short time. However, the psychological dependence is often harder to deal with.
If stopping smoking only required a conscious decision, then most smokers would stop, but there are often strong subconscious reasons for continuing. Again hypnosis can be most useful, dealing with whatever the underlying cause. People often start smoking in adolescence when there can be a great deal of anxiety and stress in their lives and pressure to conform with their peer group. It is easy to see how a habit is formed.
Trancework helps clients to free themselves and to find more acceptable and satisfying ways of obtaining any "Benefits" from the addiction. People are often concerned their weight will increase if they stop smoking. This need not happen. Excess weight gain occurs when the smoker "swaps" his smoking habit for an overeating habit, both oral addictions. The hypnotherapist works to ensure this does not happen. Freeing yourself from nicotine with hypnosis can be easy, allowing ex-smokers a longer healthier and happier life; spending the money more happily and wisely.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal part of life, it is a common reaction to important events. We have all experienced it when waiting for the result of a test or some important news or taking part in some physical activity that we have not experienced before. Anxiety is a natural and healthy response, preparing us to be alert in the face of a possible action.
We can all tolerate it to varying degrees, some seem able to cope with almost anything but others have a lower threshold. The psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung described anxiety "as fear spread thinly". Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, said "anxiety is the difference between now and later". Some have acute short-lived attacks of anxiety triggered by specific events, others experience it constantly. Chronic anxiety can cause numerous physical health problems including: headaches, psoriasis, high blood pressure, colitis and more. Sedative and tranquillising drugs used for treating anxiety can have undesirable side effects. Physical and psychological dependence may result. Hypnosis can help find the cause of the anxiety and seek out new ways of managing and dealing with it. Patterns of behaviour prior to onset can be calibrated and the client taught how to avoid or minimize the attacks.

Allergies


Allergies can affect almost any organ in the body. Asthma restricts breathing, hay fever causes sneezing and runny eyes, eczema produces sore and scaly skin, and gastrointestinal allergies can cause diarrhoea and colitis. These are just a few of the more common disturbances. Stress increases allergic responses and hypnosis can relieve the stress and symptoms by removing any psychological components. N.L.P. is particularly effective for allergies.

Eating disorders

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder; it usually affects young women, mostly teenagers, but older women and men also are sometimes its victim. The anorexic usually has a distorted body image believing herself to be grossly overweight, and that by starving, using laxatives and vomiting she can become slender, although she is already thin. The illness is life-threatening, some even starving themselves to death.
Treatment may involve hospitalisation and forced feeding, but once released from the hospital anorexics will often return to their former behaviour. Some experts think that anorexics may be compensating for the lack in some areas of their life, by over control of their bodies, frequently try to master their families by the illness, although without conscious realisation.
Hypnotherapy can help the anorexic to develop a more realistic body image, provide insight into the problems that have led to the disease, and help increase their feelings of self-esteem. Bulimia nervosa is a related condition, which can also respond to hypnosis. Some recover from anorexia only to develop bulimia. It is characterised by binge eating and vomiting or taking large doses of laxatives to remove the food, the bulimic is often very secretive about her condition, and is often too ashamed to seek help. Compulsive eating and obsessional needs for certain foods are becoming more widespread. Compulsive eating of chocolate has led to the use of the term "choco-holic" It may be possible to become dependant on the caffeine in the chocolate, but in most cases the compulsion is of a psychological nature and responds to hypnotherapy.

Surgery

Surgical anaesthesia can be achieved through hypnosis. It was used by Esdaille in the days before chemical anaesthetics were available. Today, it is used for surgery where frailness is a problem, or heart conditions make the use of medication unwise or unsuitable.

Hypnosis according to experienced anaesthetists, can be combined with chemical anaesthesia to reduce the amount of drugs needed. Surgeons have found it can speed recovery, lessening post-operative shock and nausea. Hypnosis is used in dentistry for pain control and also to prevent excessive bleeding and gagging. It helps the anxious patient relax, making the dentist's work easier and the patient's visit more pleasant.

When hypnosis is used in childbirth it ensures that there is no risk to the baby from chemical anaesthesia, whilst providing the mother with effective relief and comfort. The obstetrician, Dr. William Kroger found the following advantages with hypnosis: reduction or removal of fear in the mother, less drugs, if any are needed, control of the womb's contractions, shorter labour, with less shock, faster recovery, fewer complications afterwards, less fatigue and exhaustion.

Cancer & other serious illnesses

People with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can be helped with pain management. Visualisation techniques can help reduce the size of tumours and stimulate the immune system. At the University of California Medical Centre, Psychologist Charles Garfield studied cancer survivors and found that most could enter altered states and this increased their body's ability to heal itself. The Simonton's, at their Cancer Counselling and Research Centre in Dallas, Texas, discovered that cancers are likely to develop as a response to stressful events. They also found that the way people responded to the diagnosis of cancer determined the quality of the rest of their lives and from this they were able to show a scientific basis for "the will to live".

Since 1971 they have successfully used visualisation to help people with cancer, detailing much of the experience in their best-selling book "Getting Well Again". Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, a surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut formed Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP) groups to help cancer patient's develop their own healing potential.

ECaP groups use hypnosis, visualisation and other methods complementing conventional medicine. By adopting a holistic approach to the treatment of life-threatening illnesses and using hypnosis, quality of life can be improved and the progress of the disease can be slowed, stopped and even cleared. From this work came his book "Love, Medicine and Miracles" now translated into 20 different languages, a wonderful inspiring, illuminating read for laymen and professionals alike. Relief from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments is possible. Bernie Siegel, M.D., believes that 75% of these side effects are caused by the patient's negative expectations. Trance work is useful in changing the way people feel about their medication. The emphasis placed on the adverse effects is one reason why a fourth of all chemotherapy patients start to vomit before receiving medication! ECaP group members are encouraged to see their treatment in a positive way, imagining radiotherapy as a healing golden beam.

Weight reduction

One of the most common reasons people have for visiting a hypnotist is for help in losing weight, his does not mean that obesity is an especially simple problem. Many people find it possible to diet and shed weight only to ind that within a short time it has crept back up. It is the inner reasons for over-eating that need addressing. Food serves many purposes in our society beyond the satisfaction of hunger and the need to maintain life. The act of eating can be comforting and food can be used as a tranquilliser. Eating habits learnt as children can carry on into adult life. Parents may offer their children sweets and biscuits as a reward for good behaviour or as a comforter after a fall or a disappointment.
Some overweight adults continue to console or reward themselves with excessive food throughout life, many eat more when worried or unhappy. Festivals around the world are accompanied by feasts! The business lunch, dinner, even breakfast in the U.S.A., is a commonplace event. Western culture is fascinated by food, hence all the coloured cookbooks for every kind of cuisine imaginable, supported by T.V. cookery programmes. "Eating out" is increasingly fashionable and if we think about it we may realise we don't just do it to eat; it's really a form of show-biz and social occasion. From childhood we are trained to eat at fixed meal-times rather than only when our bodies tell us that we need food. Children are urged, pushed to finish everything on their plate rather than stopping when they are full. "Clean your plate, that's a good boy!", All sorts of social traditions make it difficult to rely on appetite to tell us when we've had enough. Successful long-term treatment of weight and obesity depends on individual work with the client to uncover their particular reason for over-eating.

Alcohol abuse

Alcohol is a widely-used drug, still illegal in some countries. Like any drug, care needs to be taken in the amount consumed. Probably more crimes, accidents, ill health and unhappiness are caused by over-indulgence than with any other drug. Easily available and socially acceptable in our society, it is not surprising, many people become dependent on it. Alcohol becomes a real problem when you feel unable to cope without a drink or when it prevents you from having a normal life. The stereotyped image of a drunk is not the only face of alcohol abuse, many apparently ordinary and respectable folk succumb and like other addictions it can be difficult to break the habit without help. There is a role for hypnosis in the treatment of addictions. The addict is primarily abusing himself, trancework improves self-esteem and helps find better coping strategies.

Hypnotherapy and women

Hypnosis is useful in areas of specific interest to women. Problems associated with menstruation such as cramps, pain, pre-menstrual syndrome, etc. have all responded to hypnotherapy. The obstetrician/gynaecologist, Dr. David Cheek has developed the use of hypnosis in many obstetric and gynaecological areas including infertility and habitual miscarriage. It also alleviates some of the problems associated with menopause. Many women experience dissatisfaction in the shape of their body and have found hypnosis useful in changing their weight or shape.

Children


Hypnosis can be of great benefit for children; they can become very skillful in its use, and many common childhood problems are helped with trancework. It is often used to help stop bed-wetting, nail-biting and also to assist learning and developing self-confidence. At a hospital in Sheffield, children are taught to use auto-hypnosis to relieve the discomfort of eczema and even vanish it. Childhood asthma also responds to hypnosis, posing no threat or danger. It can help provide the skills necessary to cope with growing up.