Just how much influence does our mind have over our body?
While we often think of our bodies and minds as two separate entities, they are much more connected than you might at first think.
The mind-body connection, how our thoughts can affect our physical state has been studied and well documented for years. Think about the placebo effect, it’s so widely accepted as fact that a placebo variable is included in most medical tests as way of proving if a drug works on its own merits or because people “think” it works. There was an amusing study in the US where college students were invited to a party to drink what they thought was beer (which is usually 5% proof) In fact the students were given non-alcoholic beer yet they began to act silly, slur their words and generally act drunk. These students had such a strong belief they were drinking alcoholic beer that it affected their behaviour.
Interestingly, researchers have discovered the placebo effect is becoming even stronger with some drugs that have been on the market for years like Prozac are now proving less effective than placebos!
How about when we feel frightened or excited, our heart races right? Feeling embarrassed can cause us to blush, when we think about a funny story or a happy memory we are likely to smile.
So where does hypnotherapy fit in?
In broad terms hypnosis is simply an altered state of consciousness. Clinical hypnotherapy is the use of this altered state of consciousness to achieve a therapeutic outcome.
If you have ever lost yourself in a good book, a television programme or a daydream, where the world around you has almost disappeared, well hypnosis is a very similar experience. In hypnosis you are quite simply in a deeply relaxed state. You remain in complete control at all times and could never be made to do or say anything that were to go against your judgement, morals or principals.
Hypnotherapy is a secret weapon for highly successful people who want and need to be at the top of their game. Celebrities, entrepreneurs and executives will use a variety of tools to stay focused, to get ahead and to combat fears or phobias and hypnotherapy will often be found at the top of their list.
Hypnosis is used to great effect to enhance sports and academic performance having both therapeutic and performance-enhancing functions. The mental state of athletes during training and competition impacts performance and is widely used by athletes, coaches and psychologists.
What else can hypnotherapy help with?
Clinical hypnotherapy deals with an almost inexhaustible array of physiological, psychological and psychosomatic disorders by using the power of positive suggestion to bring about unconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Here are some conditions that respond well to hypnosis:
- Panic attacks
- Phobias and Fears
- Preparation for MRI and CT scans
- Preparation for surgery and invasive medical procedures
- Pain management and pain relief
- Gastro-intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure
- Dermatological disorders such as Eczema and Psoriasis
- Gynaecological disorders such as PMT, Dysmenorrhoea (painful periods)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
- Sleep disorders
- Weight control
- Smoking cessation
- Breaking unwanted habits
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Improving sport performance
- Improving academic performance including exam nerves
- Public speaking
- Building self-confidence and self-esteem
- Positive thinking
Hypnotherapy is approved by the BMA (British Medical Association) and the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) and the NHS supports hypnotherapy in helping with a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, IBS, skin conditions and childbirth.
Regardless of your occupation, vocation age or gender, hypnotherapy is a vital tool to restore balance and maintain focus in your life.
Gail Marra D.Hyp MNCH (Acc) LAPHP is a GHR registered Clinical Hypnotherapist accredited by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, National Register of Psychotherapists and Counsellors and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council
10 Harley Street, London W1G 9PF Tel: 020 7873 2051
The Chilston Clinic, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN4 8RA Tel: 01892 513535
Image – Galatea of the Spheres (1952) by Salvador Dalí (Credit: Alamy)