Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Treating Bulimia with Hypnosis

Like Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder which typically affects teenage girls and young women. From an obsession with weight and body image, they develop a pattern of eating, often binging, then ridding the body of the food by vomiting, taking laxatives, enemas, fasting or excessive exercise. A tell-tale sign is someone who always goes to the lavatory straight after eating, particularly if they have eaten foods high in fats and sugars. They satisfy their taste buds with 'comfort food' but then the emotion that follows pushes the person to purge, guilt and self-loathing. They might run a tap to hide the sound of vomiting and eat mints to hide the smell of vomit.

As in many disorders when affect young people, the question of control is often prevalent. They may feel they have no control in all or some areas of their lives. The parents may be overbearing, pushy or unable to show their love. The person is able to demonstrate control over eating. Coupled with this is society's emphasis on thinness, looking good and constant exposure to food and drink advertising.

The person becomes preoccupied with the control of their body weight so excessive eating seems contradictory. They will often know calorific count of hundreds of foods and spend a large proportion of their time thinking about food. This may include planning the next binge.

A bout of excess eating may be triggered by boredom, depression, unhappiness, anger, anxiety and general low self-esteem. A lack of seratonin has been identified as a possible physical cause but this is generally associated with depression.

Bulimics will often plan their day in terms of when and what to eat followed by how to purge the body of the food. The bingeing removes their self-control so they may not stop eating once they start, thinking that they can always throw up the food later.

Bulimics often report a trance feeling where everything else seems to fade into the background as they forget time passing or outside thoughts and ideas and just binge on particular foods.

Physical Complications of Bulimia:
o Dehydration
o Heart disorders (Arrhythmia, cardiomypathia)
o Acute gastric dilation
o Stomach ulcers
o Erosion of teeth enamel
o Swollen glands in neck and face
o Aspiration pneumonia (vomit in wind pipe)
o Seizure
o Polysistic Ovary syndrome
o Menstrual irregularities
o It can be life-threatening.

If left untreated, bulimia will take its toll on the body and on the mind with sore gums and bad teeth due to the stomach acid brought up during vomiting. Problems that can turn deadly are stomach ulcers and perforations, intestinal perforations, tearing of the aesophagus and an imbalance of the body's natural minerals and electrolytes, leading to heart failure.

Poor Eating Habits
The person fears putting on weight so rather than eat sensibly they will work against their healthy metabolism by eg skipping breakfast. By starting the day with a complex carbohydrate such as cereal, they would actually increase their metabolic rate and burn more calories as well as enjoying sufficient energy.

Choice in Therapy
Bulimia is like many other negative habits that people carry on unconsciously, often controlled by the habit which has become automatic. Bulimics usually have issues with perfectionism and body image or self esteem. Traditional mind therapies usually spend a great deal of time in the past understanding the root cause of bulimia, looking for hidden meanings.

Hypnotherapy in treating bulimia prefers a quicker approach rewriting the behaviour patterns associated with bulimia, allowing the person a choice rather than a label. Hypnosis provides fast access to the subsconscious mind which knows what is at the root of the problem. To the subconscious, any message or image presented is interpreted as real so the therapist can present a new image of control. This may involve regression to a traumatic event which has deeply upset the person and re-writing that event so the movie in her mind turns out in a preferable way. It is not that the traumatic event is wiped out as hypnosis is not brain-washing. Rather the conscious mind still knows what happened but the negative emotional impact is diminished. The person no longer needs to purge.

Instead of feeling bad and out of control, a hypnotherapist will ask the person to find a time when they felt confident, relaxed and in control then lock in that feeling overwriting the negativity caused by the bulimia. Positive post-hypnotic suggestions will be given to free the person from a need to purge and replace previous destructive, negative thoughts with new patterns of positive behaviour.

Usually 3-5 hours of hypnotherapy will produce dramatic results by changing how the person feels about themselves, their body image, their eating habits and eliminating the need to remove food from the body. Boosting and reinforcing self-esteem while the person experiences deep relaxation of body and mind is key.

While private treatment with a hypnotherapist is preferable, some may find this hypnosis MP3 for treating bulimia useful. There is also this audio book on Managing Bulimia with Self-Hypnosis:

© Antonia Stuart-James 2007. The author is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change.

What is a Phobia?

What is a phobia?
A phobia is an anxiety reaction triggered by an internal or external stimulus which causes the body's "fight or flight" response to activate. Phobias are extremely common, and can range in intensity from person to person. Often people can become phobic of non-threatening things which makes them appear irrational.

A phobia is different from a fear of something. It is natural to be frightened if being attacked by a dog, or being in a car crash, but not terrified at the thought of these things happening. Phobias can take over a persons life, restricting normal activities in order to avoid the object of the phobia.

There are two types of phobia:

Specific phobias
A specific phobia has an obvious trigger. This can be anything from a dog, going to the dentist (Dentophobia), vomiting (Emetophobia) or spiders (arachnophobia) right through to driving a car (Amaxophobia) or the sound of thunder (Astraphobia).

Non-specific phobias
With a non-specific phobia, it is not usually obvious what the trigger that causes the phobia is. Social phobia, for example, could be caused by a number of triggers such as a person not wanting to be the center of attention or being in a crowd or any number of other triggers. Other examples of non-specific phobias are agrophobia (fear of open spaces) and claustrophobia (fear or enclosed spaces).

Why do people get phobias?
Our evolutionary history has given us the mechanism for becoming phobic as a method for survival. In primitive conditions when coming into contact with something dangerous, the mind/body would learn to create the optimum state for survival - a panic attack.

This type of learning is not intellectual or rational. If you had to think, "now would be a good time to have a panic attack" our species would have died out long ago. This type of learning takes place at an emotional level so that the response can bypass the 'thinking brain'. Just like Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to salivate when they heard a bell, we can become conditioned to become anxious to any subject or situation.

An immediate phobic response to a predatory or poisonous animal would have been exceedingly useful as the anxiety gives the body the resources to either fight or run - this is where the term "fight or flight" comes from.

In today's complex world however, this learning mechanism often works in an inappropriate way. For example, a phobia of non-poisonous spiders is not appropriate, as they are not life threatening.

How do people become phobic?
To become phobic, all you need is a high anxiety state paired with an object. The object does not have to be the cause of the anxiety. For example, watching a horror film whilst there is thunder and lightning going outside can cause people to become frightened of thunder and lightning, even though the anxiety is caused by the film.

Phobias can also be generated through the misuse of the imagination - thinking often about having a phobia in detail (this is really negative self hypnosis) is enough to generate a phobia. Children often get phobias by seeing a phobia parent react to their phobia, or when they are told about a phobic reaction.

Source: http://www.instanthypnotherapy.com/articles/phobias-traumatic-but-treatable-4.html

Click here for hypnosis MP3 downloads to release phobias

Monday, 22 October 2007

Overcoming Fear of the Dark with Hypnosis

Nyctophobia is an overwhelming fear of the dark. Nyctophobia (from Greek νυξ nic-to-pho-bi-a: "night" and phobia, also called scotophobia, from σκότος - "darkness", lygophobia, from lyge - "twilight", or achluophobia or noctiphobia) is a pathological fear of the dark. Its symptoms include breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly or sensation of detachment from reality and death. Normally, since humans are not nocturnal by nature, humans are usually a bit more cautious or alert than in the day, since the dark is a vastly different environment. Nyctophobia produces symptoms beyond the normal instinctive parameters. (Source: http://allthephobias.blogspot.com/2007/06/nyctophobia)

Nycophobics imagine what might be lurking in the dark and darkness is used in scary movies for effect.

I watched a TV programme in which a Clinical psychologist used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)to slowly make the phobic face her fears. First, he gave her a diving mask blacked out with duct tape to wear for a few minutes. The next step was to stay in a dark room equipped with a night vision lens so that the doctor ould watch her reactions. The doorframe was also sealed with tape. The girl said she felt as if she was "in a washing machine on the spin cycle watching 20 emotional movies one after each other – very emotionally drained". Finally, she had to spend a night in the woods alone in a tent, switching off various torches and lights gradually to achieve total darkness.

I found the therapy somewhat drastic and even questioned the reasoning, particularly behind asking someone to spend a night in total darkness.

Hypnosis also treats fears and phobias but in a gentle way, using deep relaxation of body and mind then desensitising the person to the cause of the fear. Within one session, a mind-controlling fear can be a thing of the past.

You can treat yourself for fear of the dark with a hypnosis MP3 download here.

© Antonia Stuart-James 2007. Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Overcoming Fear of Thunderstorms with Hypnosis

Astra phobia is a fear of thunder & lightning storms, the feeling that “something is wrong with God’s world and you’re in it”. It is true that lightning can maim and even kill us but it rarely happens and the chances are miniscule.

Thunder is a sonic boom caused when air expands after heated by a lightning bolt.
Lightning strikes when clouds build up electrical charge and release it to ground. The lightning bolt draws streams of opposing charges from objects on the ground eg trees and people.

I watched a programme in which an astraphobic chose Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to confront her fear face-on. She had to sit in a room with artificially created lightning strikes. Also listed to audio tapes of thunder and watch videos of storms. The intention was that she would become accustomed to the sudden noises and flashes and so her fear would diminish. The therapy had only partial effect and was not performed during the peak season for thunderstorms.

Hypnosis is effective at treating all sorts of fears and phobias in a gentle way, whilst the person is in deep relaxation. The process used is desensitization to the cause of the fear. While no one may ever like or enjoy something that has previously caused them fear, the aim is for them to handle the situation in a calm way rather than showing physical reaction to an irrational fear. Watching a thunderstorm can actually be a wonderful experience...when safely indoors.

A Hypnosis MP3 download is available to anyone wishing to overcome the fear of thunderstorms. Within 60 minutes of downloading the session, the fear could be history.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Comprehensive List of Phobias

I have just received a document entitled "Comprehensive list of phobias" through a hypnotherapy news group. You can download it here:
Comprehensive list of phobias

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Treating Phobia of Bridges

Gephyrophobia is a fear of bridges. Crossing one or standing on one can bring on a panic attack.

I watched a TV programme about treating the fear of bridges with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). The young woman's fear was that her mind would somehow take over her body and throw her over the side of the bridge. She felt unbalanced. Even talking about the subject, made her feel nervous. When driving across a bridge, she believed that she would pull across to another lane and hurt someone. Jenn's fiancé said that she was a rational person in every other way. She suffered nightmares about the fear.

She consulted a clinical psychologist in Boston who said that Jenn had never stayed standing still on a bridge long enough to learn that she would not throw herself over. Jenn recalled an incident from her childhood when her father had grabbed her by the ankles just stopping her falling over a bridge.

No one should have to live with a phobia which impacts on daily life.

The psychologist took Jenn out on to a high-up fire escape to make her confront her fear. On a scale of 1-8, her fear was at 8. She felt dizzy, unblanced and fearful that she would throw herself over. After about ten minutes, her symptoms began to subside as she felt calmer.

She then drove the psychologist quickly across a bridge, feeling a fear score of 8 again. The next challenge was to walk back slowly across the bridge. Each time the intention was to confront the fear. She had never stood on the high point of a bridge. She was told that many bridges shake as their building materials have to give.

Her next bridge was even higher up. She had to look up and down into the water. She had to partially climb up and wave to passers by on boats.

The psychologist concluded that Jenn needed to repeat her walking visits to bridges often to reinforce the new behaviour.

A more gentle way of treating a phobia of bridges is with hypnosis under deep relaxation. Hypnosis is well-known for its wide-reaching application in helping people overcome all sorts of fears and phobias.

Click here for a Hypnosis MP3 Download on "Overcoming Fear of Bridges"

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people making positive change and overcome phobias.

Why is the Subconscious Mind So Important?

Sigmund Freud said "The conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg". What he meant by this is that the subconscious is where the majority of our life is controlled.

Our subconscious is responsible for controlling many autonomous bodily functions we do not have to think about. It also sorts, processes and retrieves information eg when you cannot remember someone's name and it comes to you hours later when doing something unrelated. Everything we have ever experienced, every place we have been to, every person we have met, every conversation we have had - all of this information is stored in the subconscious. If we were aware of this massive encyclopaedia consciously, it would drive us mad.

But the function of the subconscious that we need to be aware of is how it creates our reality and it does this in conjunction with our beliefs. "Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, you're probably right." (Henry Ford)

We need to know the following important facts about how the subconscious operates:

1. Your subconscious always takes you literally; it does not understand jokes.
2. Your subconscious always attempts to link to previously stored information as a reference point.
3. Your subconscious acts on the strongest or more dominant programme:
- # times the same information has been presented
- the vividness of the programme, how specific and clear it is
"A picture is worth a thousand words".
- the emotions or feelings attached to the programme
- the perceived importance of the source of the programme, ie where you heard that idea.
4. Information presented to the subconscious triggers an emotional and physical response. Each thought sends a message to every cell of the body.
5. The subconscious will continue to operate on a programme until given a new programme. For example, "Money doesn't grow on trees" can be replaced with "Everything I need is given to me in abundance."
6. The subconscious cannot distinguish between actual reality and imagined reality.
7. The subconscious is a system of checks and balances.
8. The more relaxed your body is, the more relaxed your conscious mind will be. The more relaxed your conscious mind is, the easy it will be to access your subconscious mind and the more susceptible your subconscious mind will be to new suggestions as it gives less resistance by evaluating new information.
9. Every brain is a receiving set and a broadcasting station. This is the basis of the Law of Attraction = what you receive will determine what you think about and give out to the universe.
Have you ever thought of someone and picked up the phone to call them only to find they are already on the other end calling you? Or have you thought about someone for the first time in ages and received a call from them the next day? Some call that a coincidence. Those of us who practice the Law of Attraction know differently.
10. The subconscious is the doorway to infinite intelligence. Hunches, intuition and gut principles are all methods of receiving guidance from a higher power.
11. Time means nothing to your subconscious. It only understands the present tense although we speak in different tenses in our conscious mind. That is why it is important to state the new reality we wish to create in the present, not in the "one day" of the future.

Information extracted from "The Power to Create" by Jerry Clark, one of the courses available to members of the on-line Success University.

NB The above points explain why hypnosis is so effective. By allowing the body to relax quickly, the conscious mind relaxes and allows the doorway to the subconscious to open. Once we have direct access to the subconscious, we can quickly and effectively rewrite the programming. There may be areas of your life in which hypnosis can help you quickly and effectively to overcome whatever negative factor or habit is holding you back, allowing you to move forward and create the life you desire.
Click here for Self-Improvement Hypnosis MP3 Downloads.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change in their lives. She is also a student with Success University.