Stoptober is Back

Stoptober is a campaign run by Public Health England in partnership with local authorities and the NHS. The campaign lasts 28 days because the evidence says if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to give up for good.

 

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. All practitioners registered with CNHC have demonstrated they meet UK-wide standards.

 

According to the Royal Society for Public Health and the government-backed Professional Standards Authority (PSA), practitioners on Accredited Registers such as CNHC’s have a key role in supporting public health initiatives such as giving up smoking.

 

Commenting on the accredited registers workforce, PSA Chief Executive Harry Cayton said: “It is a vital network through which we can support behaviour change and ultimately improve the public’s health: whether it is signposting people to smoking cessation services or offering brief lifestyle advice on healthy eating, accredited registers practitioners are undoubtedly an unsung and instrumental part of the wider public health workforce.”

 

As a CNHC registrant my credentials have been checked so you can have confidence in my qualifications and experience. I am also an Accredited Practitioner on the Central Register of Stop Smoking Therapists (CRSST) and a qualified UK Academy Smoking Cessation Specialist.

 

 

Science Shows That Walking Keeps the Brain Developing Right Into Old Age

Basically, the message is that walking keeps you young! How does this happen? Is it just research done by Nike to get us to buy more trainers? Well, no it isn't.  It turns out there is some solid research behind this.

International neuroscience expert Professor Anthony Hannan from Melbourne's Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health says:

"The brain is the only organ in the body that never stops developing and, although it sounds extraordinary, an ordinary activity such as walking helps to keep it developing."

We have the same genome as our hunter-gatherer ancestors who were active and had to roam the savanna looking for food. It is only recently that humans have started to use cars and sit at desks.  We have not adapted to this inactivity that our modern lifestyle promotes. Really, our bodies still want to be active and moving around - perhaps not hunter-gathering though!

Physical activity generates chemicals in the brain which help to create new neurons and nerve pathways.  These changes are visible on MRI scans. This boost to the brain improves learning and memory and basically keep the brain young and agile. 

This year a study by the universities of Cambridge,  Ulster and Limerick analysed over 50,000 walkers and showed walking was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. 

Walking at a normal pace was associated with a risk reduction of 20% and walking at a brisk pace was associated with a risk reduction of 24%.

As you can see, just walking more at a normal pace has significant benefits both on physical health and also keeps the brain responsive and dynamic.

Hippocrates described walking as "man's best medicine".  So, let hypnotherapy help you pick up your pace a little to help gently improve your health and well-being, step by step.

 

 

Menopause

The average age of menopause in the UK is 51, although 10% of women experience it before age 40. Menopause causes all sorts of symptoms including:

  • hot flushes 
  • night sweats
  • trouble sleeping
  • mood changes
  • weight gain
  • loss of libido

Symptoms can be both physically uncomfortable and emotionally disruptive. Hot flushes and night sweats affect three quarters of menopausal women and can disrupt sleep to a considerable degree. The effects of menopause can be so severe that they lead to women leaving their jobs because of the upheaval of the symptoms.

Hypnotherapy can help you to manage the symptoms and take back some control in your life. Clinical hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in reducing hot flushes. Randomised, controlled trials of clinical hypnosis demonstrated the approach was significantly better than a “structured attention” therapy approach in postmenopausal women with frequent hot flushes and more effective than acupuncture, herbal supplements and yoga.

I work with many women to help relieve the physical and emotional menopausal symptoms which can disrupt your work life and your personal life. If you would like to make an appointment or would like more information email or give me a ring on 01772 977899.

STOPTOBER 2017

Stoptober kicks off on 1st October.  Over 1 million people have taken part in the campaign since its launch.

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England and nearly 80,000 people die of it every year.  1.5 million people have a smoking related disease (NHS).

In reality, statistics like this don't really have a huge impact on smokers.  In my hypnotherapy practice the issues that drive clients to stop are usually quoted as:

  • my health is actually being affected - I am out of breath, less fit and coughing
  • the cost is getting difficult to manage 
  • my teeth are becoming discoloured
  • it smells
  • it is making me look older than I am
  • it's no longer doing anything for me - its just a habit now that I don't really enjoy

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day and you stop smoking on 16th October, by Christmas you will have saved £700! 

If you feel ready to quit, try hypnotherapy.  It is easy, pleasant and effective.  Two things are required:  1 - you need to want to stop (I'm not bothered if you think it will be difficult or you are not sure if you can - I will deal with those in the session). 2 - you still need a bit of will -power.  I can't take away that last little bit of free will but I will get as close as I possibly can!

I am a Certified Smoking Cessation Specialist (Cert SCS).  I am a Senior Qualified Specialist on the Central Register of Stop Smoking and the Fylde therapist for National Stop Smoking Centres.

Try hypnotherapy and make a huge change to your life and your health.  Give me a ring on 01772 977899 or email me at lauren@fyldehypnotherapy.co.uk for more information or to make an appointment.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety has almost certainly been part of our human existence for ever. The Greeks and Romans began to identify phobia and anxiety and these "afflictions" as they were called, are documented by Hippocrates and Cicero.

Everyone feels anxious at certain times in their life such as during exams, in an interview or in difficult work situations.  Anxiety at these times is normal and the shot of adrenaline that you feel can actually boost your performance. This type of anxiety is short-lived and passes once the event is resolved.

However, some people can feel anxious most days and often for no identifiable reason.  If these feelings go on for months, then you could have Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The symptoms of GAD are:

  • restlessness
  • a sense of dread
  • feeling constantly "on edge"
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • trembling
  • feeling sick
  • palpitations
  • dry mouth
  • muscle aches
  • pins and needles
  • shortness of breath

If you have these symptoms you should consult a GP who will talk to you and find out if you have GAD.  They may then offer counselling and possibly antidepressants.

GAD can be very difficult to live with and also hard to explain to others, who often give advice to "stop worrying because everything will be alright" which consciously you might know but subconsciously can seem like such a huge hurdle to overcome. Each day can be filled with "what if...?" and chronic uncontrolled worrying which interferes with everyday life.

Hypnotherapy can be effective in GAD by helping you to relax mentally and emotionally and helping your brain process information about the world around you in a different way.  This leads to greater feelings of calmness, well-being and positivity. 

 

Get Fit and Healthy in 2017

Public Health England warned yesterday that fast food, desk jobs and the daily grind are all taking their toll on our health.

According to PHE:

"Eight in every 10 people aged 40 to 60 in England are overweight, drink too much or get too little exercise."

They want people to turn over a new leaf in 2017 and make a pledge to get fit.  Although we are living longer than ever, we are in worse health due to the lifestyle that we lead, especially in middle age.

Hypnotherapy can help you eat healthily - not diet - but change your eating habits so that you eat a variety of food in the right amounts, stopping when you are full and, importantly, eating only when you are hungry.  Modern life is extremely demanding and difficult for most people and hypnotherapy for weight control also looks at ways to help you deal with stress, low self-esteem and the general feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control.  

Some people also want to reduce their alcohol intake or stop it altogether and perhaps begin an exercise regime or do some regular walking.  It is never too late to start and it is a lot easier to make these changes with help and support.

Let 2017 be a fresh start for you - give hypnotherapy a go to help you get back on track and turn over that new leaf.

 

Sleep Deprivation

Monsters under the bed when you are little, become monsters in your head as an adult when you just can't sleep for yet another night.

Sleep is something that we all take for granted, that is, until we don't get enough of it. Then something that once seemed so natural and easy becomes a torment that can overshadow our day.

We all need different amounts of sleep, but the optimum sleep cycle needed to keep us healthy is apparently between six and eight hours.  The effects of too little sleep are wide ranging and, according to the NHS, include obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

According to research from Rand Europe, sleep deprivation also costs the UK economy £40bn a year as tired employees are less productive and sometimes absent from work altogether.

Weight - two hormones are involved in sleep and eating, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat and the less you sleep the more is produced, so you eat more.  Leptin tells you to stop eating and the less you sleep the less you produce, so you don't stop eating.  Also when you are tired your metabolism slows down, you are more likely to reach for a sugary snack to give you energy, you are less likely to exercise and often too tired to cook a healthy meal.

Heart Disease - sleep deprivation leads to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and higher chemicals related to inflammation which can put extra strain on your heart.

Diabetes - people who sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes because of a change in the way the body processes glucose.

Mental Well-Being - sleep deprivation can make you grumpy and irritable but it can also contribute to anxiety and depression.

Fertility - regular sleep disruptions in both men and women can cause difficulty in conceiving by reducing the amount of reproductive hormones.

The only answer to a lack of sleep is to get more sleep.  Hypnotherapy works by gently changing the sleep cycle into one that allows you to get a regular, restful night's sleep so that you wake up feeling refreshed with plenty of energy to face your day, whatever it may bring.

Mind Over Matter

I recently had an operation and the first 24 hours were just a fog of anaesthetic and morphine, but once I got through that I started to assess myself and how I felt.  I began to concentrate on other parts of my body that felt more comfortable, I imagined a gentle heat on the discomfort and imagined the pain shrinking and getting smaller and smaller.  Then I began to imagine myself feeling well, moving around and laughing.  It was difficult to transport myself in my mind from my pain and my hospital bed to this much better self but it was certainly a nicer place to be!

Recovery has been an up and down process but I have continued to use hypnosis and I am recovering well, have a lot of energy and feel very positive.

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are very useful for managing pain and have been used for this purpose for hundreds of years.

James Esdaile was a Scottish surgeon in the early 1800's who pioneered a hypnosis technique (then called mesmerism) to use on his patients before surgery. He performed over 300 operations using this technique when working in India. The hypnosis provided analgesia for his patients and greatly increased the success rate of the surgery and the patients' comfort.

In recognition of his skills a mesmeric hospital was opened to continue his work and he was appointed to the position of Presidency Surgeon.

Hypnotherapy continues to be used in a medical setting today for things such as dental work, pain, IBS, anxiety and the treatment of burns.

I see many people who want help - either to manage short term pain such as for a surgical procedure or to help them manage long term diagnosed pain.

There are many techniques in hypnotherapy that are used to help people reduce or eliminate their pain and regain control, making life much more comfortable again.  I will work with you, personalising the hypnotherapy to get the very best results that we can.

Help Your Brain Fight Back - the war against dementia starts early

At the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Centre in Chicago there has been a study of dementia that has lasted 25 years and which has involved 3,200 older adults.  The results of these studies have shown that to some extent genetics play a part in dementia and some people have higher risk genes.  However, the study also identified many key lifestyle factors that shape our brain’s health into old age. The good news is that these are all things you can do now and it's just like using your brain as a bank - the more you put in now, the more protected you will be from dementia later in life.  

Diagnoses of Alzheimer's are set to triple by 2050 but simple things that are within your control can help to protect your brain and hold off the effects of any damage.  

Neurologists have found that people in the bottom 10% of physical activity and those who mostly stay at home are more than twice as likely to get diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  The good news is that physical activity includes things like cooking, shopping and playing cards and getting out of the house includes going to the other side of town!

The best things that you can do to help are:

  1. Engage in regular cognitive and physical activity - learn a language or an instrument, join a book club, exercise - even if just a little
  2. Strengthen and maintain social ties, not just on-line and on Facebook - get out and meet your friends and make new connections!
  3.  Get out and explore new things - increase your life-space, leave your bedroom, your house, your town and expand your physical space
  4. Chillax and be happy - don't worry about things you can't change and remember to notice the positives as well as negatives in life
  5. Avoid people who are downers, especially close family members!
  6. Be conscientious and diligent - this involves organisation, self-discipline, your drive to achieve goals
  7. Spend time engaged in activities that are meaningful and goal-directed - have a purpose in life with clear intentions and goals
  8. Eat a healthy brain diet, with fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. 

Hypnotherapy can't help improve your genes, but it is excellent at increasing motivation to:

  • engage in physical activity
  • eat healthily
  • overcome social anxiety
  • stretch yourself to reach new or existing goals

Changing these things now encourages better physical and mental health and you are most likely reducing your risk of Alzheimer's disease in the future, too.

The 80/20 Rule

Yes, you've heard of it - the 80/20 rule. It's everywhere.  What is it and can it work for you?

Its real name is the Pareto principle. A management consultant called Joseph Juran named it after an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto who, in 1896, showed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and, weirdly, that 20% of the pea-pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas!

It is now commonly used in business to compare sales income to the number of clients. Another useful application is in weight management.  Spend 80% of your time eating just the right amount of nutritious healthy foods and 20%  of the time being a bit more relaxed about what you eat to achieve a healthy weight.  Socially, of all of your friends and people you know, you see 20% of them 80% of the time and 80% of them 20% of the time.  

What about stress, anxiety and problems in your life?  Can the 80/20 rule help with these? A lot of the time 80% of our stress and anxiety comes from 20% of the things going on in our life and we spend 80% of our time worrying about things and only 20% working out the solution.

Imagine turning these things around.  Getting to the bottom of what is causing the stress,anxiety and negative thinking etc.  Letting go of those things outside of your control, putting in place a solution for those things you can influence and feeling 80% of that weight lift from your shoulders.  A life lived with a much greater sense of contented well-being, seeing the positive in people and situations and getting back a sense of freedom and control.  

Hypnotherapy can help to reset the way you approach life, leaving behind anxiety and negative ways of thinking and allowing you to live in a more positive and productive way.

Children, Teenagers and Teachers Under Pressure

Over the many years that I have been a hypnotherapist, I have seen a steady increase in the number of children who need support around anxiety, worry, school, exams and sleeping issues amongst others. The stresses on children's lives has multiplied and many children and students find it hard to cope. I regularly see young people especially in the 11-18 age group to help them deal with these things and lead a more positive life.

Equally, I have seen an increase in teachers that I see and in a recent study, teaching came out as the profession with the highest number of workers seeking help for work related stress. Hypnotherapy helps by increasing focus on what is most important, realising you may not be able to do everything in life 100% and getting back that satisfaction in your job that made you want to become a teacher in the first place.

More information

Recognising When You Need to Take Action and When to Let It Go

Do you feel that might snap?  That you might explode in anger or implode and simply go into shut-down as you can’t cope?  If you do, you are not alone.  There are several recognised triggers for these feelings and if one or more of these buttons are pressed, then it can make us feel as if we are spiralling out of control.  The triggers are:

L - Life or Limb i.e. is our survival threatened?

I - Insult – has someone offended us?

F - Family Aggression – have we got issues going on in our family?

E - Environment – what is happening around us?  Is our territory being invaded?

M - Mate – is there trouble with our relationship?

O - Organisation – has the order of things/rules by which we live by been disrupted?

R - Resources or Lack of them – do we have the money, support to do what we need to?

T - Tribe – has our “us or them” button been pressed?

S - Stop – Do we feel trapped, restrained or cornered?

As soon as you feel angry or completely overwhelmed ask yourself if it is one of these LIFEMORTS situations. If it is, identify if you do really need to act i.e. is this a serious situation which requires immediate, powerful action?  If it is, act now.  However, all too often it is something more like a driver has cut us up on the road. Some of the triggers are pressed in this scenario:

Environment - our territory around us has been invaded

Organisation – someone has violated the rules of the road

Stop – we feel hemmed in by this other car

However, it is not a life and death situation and we can actually take a step back.  We don’t need to become aggressive or quietly stressed and anxious about it. These triggers are very sensitive to stress and the more stressed we are, the more likely we are to react to them.

Hypnotherapy can help you identify your own triggers, put these things into context and find the balance again so that you are more calm and deal with things in a confident and positive way.

Are You Suffering from Burnout?

Burnout is on the increase.  It can make you chronically exhausted, cynical and ineffective at what you are doing.  It stops you pursuing a healthy, happy and productive work life, but can also affect your home life, too.

As employers are expecting more and more of people in the taut economic climate, the pressure on employees is building up and causing high levels of stress and unhappiness.  This leads to a toxic workplace environment with back-biting, gossiping and poor communication between work colleagues.

Although some of this might be out of your control, there are some things that you do to help you feel more positive, motivated and productive again i.e. take control of what you can take control of.

These positive steps include:

  • focusing more of your time on tasks that are fulfilling and give a greater sense of reward
  • improving the quality of workplace relationships by showing trust, respect, sharing information and encouraging others to do these things too
  • improving your self-management skills by better prioritisation and goal setting
  • being positive in your attitude as this helps you feel better and increases positive feelings in others which leads to a more pleasant and productive working environment

If you feel you might be suffering from burnout and are feeling tired, bitter and fed up, then hypnotherapy can help refocus you to get back your motivation, feel more energised and get the most out of the time you spend at work.  It may even lead to a realisation that it is time to go for that promotion or even move on to a new job.

Seeing is Believing - the Power of Visualisation

You can achieve a huge amount just by changing the way you think and using the power of visualisation. For example, can improve your golf swing, work out your muscles, prepare to achieve a particular goal or improve practically any skill.

This article that appeared in Psychology Today, describes what can be achieved by these powerful visualisation techniques.

“Mental practice can get you closer to where you want to be in life, and it can prepare you for success! For instance, Natan Sharansky, a computer specialist who spent 9 years in prison in the USSR after being accused of spying for US has a lot of experience with mental practices. While in solitary confinement, he played himself in mental chess, saying: “I might as well use the opportunity to become the world champion!” Remarkably, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov!

A study looking at brain  patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting.  In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone. For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.”

Hypnotherapy is a fantastic way to focus on what you want to achieve and increase the power of visualisation. The subconscious is heightened in hypnosis and is in a state of increased alertness.  This multiplies the power of the deeper parts of your mind, helping you take some powerful steps towards your goals, whatever they may be.

Alcohol and the Festive Spirit

It has been 10 years since the government changed drinking laws in England and Wales to allow pubs to serve alcohol 24 hours a day.


The move was met with a good deal of controversy.  There were suggestions that it would lead to round the clock drinking, increase alcohol consumption and put more pressure on the police due to violence. 


Supporters said it would reduce alcohol related crime as drinking would be more spread out over the evening and night time and that it would encourage a “continental café culture”.
So, have any of these things happened?  Well, our drinking habits have changed but these seem to be in line with trends which started before the change to licensing laws.


Binge drinking has decreased and violent crime has decreased. However, these were falling before the 24 hour law and have continued to fall in the same pattern as previous decades.  However, alcohol related crime is still high and 53% of police time is spent on drink related crime. According to the government the cost of alcohol misuse is estimated to be around £21 bn a year.


More people in the UK are teetotal than ever before with 21% of adults not drinking at all.  Young people have really made a difference here and there was a 40% rise in teetotal young adults from 2005 to 2013.  However, linking any of these changes to the Licensing Act is difficult. Overall it doesn't seem as if there have been any measurable negative or positive results.


And as for a “continental café culture”, you really just have to consider British weather!
If you want help and support to cut down the amount of alcohol you drink or stop altogether, then just give me a ring or an email.  I see lots of people who would like to get some help with their drinking patterns and I work on getting something that  is the best fit for you.

Have a lovely Christmas!

 

World Diabetes Day - Weight and Exercise

World Diabetes Day is on 14th November.  According to Diabetes UK, the number of people with this condition has increased by 60% over the last 10 years.  90% of that increase in due to an escalation of Type 2 diabetes which is the sort that is linked to inactivity and being overweight.

Surprisingly, you can really make a difference in lowering your risk. A study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases showed that walking for 30 minutes, five days a week, lowering your fat and sugar intake and increasing your fruit and vegetables reduced participants' risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by an amazing 58%!

Hypnotherapy can help you change your eating patterns and boost your motivation to increase your activity levels. I work in helping you set realistic goals and keep moving steadily towards them whatever your current level of fitness or eating habits.

There are a few weeks to go before Christmas - maybe its time to direct some of your energy back onto yourself so that you look, feel and really are fitter and healthier.

 

Stoptober

Welcome to Stoptober!  If you have been thinking about quitting then maybe now is the time to take the next step and take action.

Everyone knows the health risks associated with smoking, but have you stopped to think of the many benefits?

For you

  • You will save money - the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out as 364 cigarettes a month. That's £141 a month and £1,696 a year that you could be saving by not smoking. If you smoke 20 a day that saving becomes £2,820 a year.
  • Your sense of taste will return and you will enjoy the taste of food more.
  • Your breathing and general fitness will improve.
  • The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
  • You'll be more confident in social situations because you won't smell of stale smoke any more.
  • Your fertility levels will improve, along with your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

There are also benefits for your family and friends

  • You will protect the health of those around you by not exposing them to second-hand smoke, however careful you think you are being.
  • You will reduce the chances of your children suffering from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks, meningitis and ear infections. 300,000 children a year see their GP in the UK each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke.

Quit Now!

Last year over a quarter of a million people quit smoking in Stoptober, so you won’t be alone!
If you are ready to break the habit, hypnotherapy is a fast, effective tool that helps by providing a pleasant and relaxing experience that enables changes to be made quickly and completely.

I am a Certified Smoking Cessation Specialist (Cert SCS), combining my hypnotherapy experience with specialist skills specifically designed to maximise the effectiveness of the session.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment just use the Contact Me tab on the Homepage.

 

 

Is Autumn a Time to Follow Your Dreams?

Once the children go back to school is seems that there is a little freshness in the air on those early mornings and a hint of Autumn around us.

When I think of Autumn I imagine beautiful colours - orange, yellow, crimson and crunching leaves on a Sunday afternoon walk.  I try not to think of the endless drizzle and whipping gales that anyone who has attempted to walk Blackpool Illuminations is surely familiar with!

This is the season of preparation.  Plants stop growing to conserve energy for the Spring, the harvest is gathered in to give food for the colder winter months and the squirrel in our garden is gathering and burying horse-chestnuts to ensure enough food for the coming winter.

This preparation can extend to all of us as we get ourselves in a place of feeling positive, energetic and resourceful when we think of the next few months of our lives.  Although people often see the 1st of January as a time to make new resolutions and begin changes in their lives, we are often just so exhausted from Christmas and worn down by the drizzle,the gales and the dark days and nights that we are not ready to really give 100% to those good intentions.   Perhaps Autumn is the time to refocus and consider what is important in your life and think about what changes can be made to make life even better.

I am in a book club and have just read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  Here is a quote from the book where the boy's heart speaks to him:

"Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him," his heart said. "We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children.  Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow that path laid out for them - the path to their destinies and to happiness."

Really, at its most fundamental level, this is just about following your dream; not getting lost in day to life, and trying to be the best and happiest you can.

Hypnotherapy can give you the time and space to reflect on what you really want and then help you to increase your focus, your motivation, and your confidence to fulfil these goals.

Healthy Eating - Sugar and Fat

There has been a lot of talk recently about the affects of sugar in our diet.  This seems to be the new focus when it comes to keeping fit and healthy.

According the the recent BBC TV programme The Truth About Sugar, we are all consuming much too much processed sugar which is having an affect on our immune system, our teeth, our weight and our overall health.  The BBC articles states:

"The instant 'lift' we get from sugar is one of the reasons we turn to it at times of celebration or when we crave comfort and reward. However, even those of us without a sweet tooth may be eating more than we realise because so many everyday, processed foods, from cereals and bread to pasta sauce and soups contain sugar.

But it's not all bad news - sugar is a carbohydrate found naturally in a host of different foods from lactose in milk to the fructose in fruit and honey. In fact, we need some sugar in our diets to supply ready energy to fuel our muscles and keep our brains active. The problem is that many processed foods have added sugar which supplies energy in the form of calories - and very little else. This means our body has to draw on the nutrients from the rest of our diet to process it and this can affect our health, including our immunity - leaving us more prone to bugs and colds. A high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good 'high' followed by a crashing slump which leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods. It's a vicious cycle that may be contributing to our weight problems as well as health concerns like diabetes and heart disease.

What's my daily allowance?

There are two types of sugar - naturally occurring sugar like lactose in milk and added sugar, which includes table sugar (sucrose) as well as concentrated sources like fruit juice.

The new recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are that only 5% of your daily calorie intake should consist of added, or 'free' sugars. This equates to approximately five-six teaspoons (25g) for women and seven-eight teaspoons (35g) for men."

Beware too, of "diet" foods and artificial sweeteners. Diet foods tend to be high in sugars to give them more flavour and sweeteners trick our bodies into thinking they are getting sugar, resulting in a surge of insulin and also more sugar cravings as that is what our body and brain was expecting.

How Can Hypnotherapy Help?

Hypnotherapy helps by changing your eating patterns - saying goodbye to the old ways and installing new, healthy eating patterns instead.  These new patterns then become the new normal for you and your body can get back in balance again, helping you gain control over your weight and your overall health as well.

 

 

It's Nearly Holiday Time Again!

It’s coming round to holiday time again – turquoise seas, white sand, beautiful scenery and, for many people, a whole lot of stress.

According to Dr. Dwight Damon, president of the National Guild of Hypnotists, “we are seeing a sharp increase in demand for hypnotists who can assist today’s airline passengers manage their stress of flying. The anticipated stress of flying is causing many people to avoid flying altogether or to delay their travel plans until absolutely necessary but for the business flyer especially, travel is unavoidable.”

Dr. Damon cited several potential stress creators that can put a traveller over the edge.

“The check-in process, going through the security checkpoints, dealing with extra fees for luggage, and simply being among other stressed out travellers whose behaviour impacts everyone-all contribute to a potential disaster if the traveller isn’t ready to manage his or her stress,” Dr. Damon said.

“In spite of the added measures today, the air traveller still has many aspects of their experience still within their control,” said Dr. Damon. “It starts with picturing a positive experience, and with having personal strategies for dealing with the myriad issues that are bound to arise during the travel experience. How you decide to react to a situation that arises will heighten or lessen your personal stress, and the stress of those around you.”

There are several things you can do to make the whole experience much more pleasant and relaxing. First of all, travellers should make a conscious decision to do everything they can to make the flight a positive experience.  This includes being organised, having all your documents to hand, leaving enough time to get to the airport etc.

Getting your mind into a calm and positive state both before and during the flight will also help you to feel more positive before you fly and more relaxed during the flight so that you arrive at your destination in the best frame of mind, ready to really enjoy your holiday.

Hypnotherapy works with your subconscious mind, giving you strategies to reduce your stress and associate flying with being calm and positive.  Hypnotherapy is effective whether your trigger points are the worry about safety, the possibility of turbulence or just being on a plane for a period of time.

So, live life to the full this year.  Enjoy the thought of going on holiday and instead of worrying about how anxious you might feel, think of how much fun you might have instead!