Is your acid reflux medicine damaging your health?

Hypnotherapy can help

You might have noticed after the excesses of Christmas that you developed a bad case of heartburn.  Left unchecked heartburn can progress and become acid reflux or GERD, illnesses which cause stomach acid to move up into your esophageus. Acid reflux raises the risk of cancer of the throat, tonsils and sinuses in older people, a study has found.  Worryingly, taking remedies for acid reflux may further increase your risk of cancer. Research published last month revealed regularly taking heartburn pills could double your chances of getting stomach tumours.

GERD is thought to affect 10 to 30 percent of the population, more frequently in patients who are obese and elderly. And cancers of the respiratory and upper digestive tracts account for more than 360,000 deaths worldwide each year.  The scientists, from the University College of London and the University of Hong Kong found that using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) which are freely available over the counter in the UK significantly increases the risk of contracting stomach cancer.

Often, physical conditions are exacerbated by underlying stress or anxiety.  By taking action to relieve the root causes of stress and anxiety in your life you may find that you experience a significant reduction in your acid reflux or GERD symptoms.  Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for heartburn and other stomach conditions.  A recent article in Medscape suggests that GERD is form of brain-gut dysregulation and that by working with the mind, researchers were able to reduce abnormal acid secretion under hypnosis.

Also, when you’re in the hypnotic state, a lot of defenses come down, and the brain does open up to the possibility of controlling symptoms better. That’s why we use hypnosis—because it gives that subconscious messaging.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has a register of qualified practitioners from around the UK who can help.  Find a therapist near you and start to feel better.

 

Experience a royal childbirth

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Back in 2013, it was widely reported that the Kate Middleton delivered Prince George using hypnobirthing techniques and the media has gone into overdrive speculating that she will again use hypnobirthing to help deliver the third royal baby due in … Continue reading

Not feeling the Christmas spirit?

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It’s known as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ but for many it’s filled with anxiety and depression. The festive period can intensify feelings of loneliness, increase financial worries and put pressure on people to have the “perfect” Christmas. … Continue reading

Live phobia free with hypnotherapy

Most of us are frightened of something.

Around 2.4% of adults in the United Kingdom have a medically diagnosable phobia, according to a recent NHS survey, that’s around 1.3 million people.

The NHS says: “A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.”

Phobias occur when your brain links a specific trigger event to danger.

This could be having a turbulent flight, watching a giant spider on TV, or having a large dog knock you over when you were a child. You might know about many common phobias, such as fear of spiders, heights or flying, but have you come across these phobias before?

According to the National Council for Hypnotherapy, “A phobia is an irrational fear, literally a fear without good reason, or a fear of something that may not happen”. These phobias develop as coping mechanisms to serve a purpose, to keep us safe from a perceived danger, but they become dysfunctional. The mind is designed to generalise, it’s designed to keep you safe, and so whenever you see that thing in future, it says “look out, avoid this”, even if it’s not logical or rational.

Because phobias are rooted in emotional memories, talking therapies which try to rationalise the thought pattern can fall short.  Hypnotherapy can help.  In hypnosis the unconscious is able to process information more effectively without the interference of the conscious critical mind. There are different types of hypnotherapy and skilled hypnotherapists may combine different forms or use hypnosis in conjunction with other treatments depending on the needs of their client.

Often phobias can be treated in just one session, depending on the willingness of the client to embrace the change, says the NCH.  If you have a phobia or a fear which is affecting your life, why not try a session with an NCH hypnotherapist? You can use the NCH directory by clicking here to find a therapist near you.

Hypnotherapy provides effective pain relief

Around 30% of the UK live with daily, chronic pain, that’s around 28 million people according to research carried out in 2016.

For most of these sufferers, opiates are offered as the main treatment for their pain.) In America opiod prescriptions have quadrupled since the turn of the century, but the research shows that the relief offered by opiate medications actually isn’t so great.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy says: “Hypnotherapy is often highly effective in dealing with pain management.

In a study at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2016 scientists scanned the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis sessions.  They found several changes that occur while the subjects were in hypnosis.  These changes included a greater connectivity between the brain’s executive-control network and the insula, a grape-sized region deeper in the brain that helps us control what’s going on in the body, including processing pain.

Further to this, it is becoming more widely recognised that the mind plays a role in the experience of pain.  Learning skills to change habitual thought patterns around chronic pain can significantly reduce a person’s distress and improve their quality of life.  Negative emotions can amplify the experience of pain, and a positive outlook can ease it.

Self hypnosis can help.  Hypnosis techniques can be taught to clients by an NCH therapist to help them manage chronic pain.  Patients suffering from a range of conditions including fibromyalgia, back disorders and pain from trauma such as car accidents or workplace injuries can learn to control their pain through practicing self-hypnosis.

 “Sleep was totally key,” says Deborah Gray, 53, whose chronic neck pain has disappeared since she began using guided imagery and hypnotherapy to fall asleep. 

When seeing a therapist for chronic pain, it is essential that the pain is checked out by a GP first for a formal diagnosis.  After you’ve had an assessment contact a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory.

 

Reclaiming your life after assault #metoo

If you’ve been on any form of social media in the last few weeks you will undoubtedly have seen a multitude of women coming forward as victims of sexual assault after the hashtag #metoo went viral.

The Twitter thread was started in the wake of The New York Times’ exposé alleging sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

As of Sunday night, #MeToo has been used more than 21 million times on Facebook, giving sense of the magnitude of the problem and serving as a reminder that this is not just a problem for Hollywood and the casting couch, this is an issue which affects all of us at every level of society.

If you have been involved in a sexual assault situation it is possible that you will have long term mental health issues because of the experience.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition which develops after someone has been involved in, or witnessed, a serious trauma such as a sexual assault. In some people PTSD develops soon after the trauma; however, in some cases the symptoms first develop several months, or even years, after the trauma, perhaps as a response to the incident being recalled by media attention such as is happening now.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Up to 4 in 5 people with PTSD also have other mental health problems; for example, depression, persistent anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, drug or alcohol abuse.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says it is a normal part of the human protection system to experience a fight-or-flight response when there is real and present danger.

Counselling is often mooted as the treatment for PTSD with medication in some adult instances. Hypnotherapy, too, has a success rate in treating this disorder.

“To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety and stress,” says the NCH. “It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work.”

While anti-depressant drugs are often prescribed to help sufferers of PTSD, clinical hypnotherapy is one of the therapies recommended to treat the disorder and it has the advantage of being quick and non-invasive.

During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist can help assess the person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety.  Through this process sufferers can come to terms with their trauma and gain a sense of control over their fear. By using a range of techniques, the client can learn to rewire their responses whenever they encounter a trigger.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has registered members all across the UK who are able to work with you to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

 

 

 

 

Resilience: Are you flexible enough to cope with life’s demands?

How good are you at handling the day-to-day stress you experience in your life?

Do you thrive in highly pressured environments or does just the thought make you feel weary?  Life as we know it has increased its pace exponentially in the last few decades and burnout leading to stress, anxiety and physical illness is becoming increasingly common.

What keeps us healthy and able to deal with the stresses of life is resilience which has two parts, how you recover from and grow from major life or work related adversities or traumas and how you handle every day stresses, strains and hassles.

Because the latter type of stress are ongoing, everyday occurrences the way you deal with them is crucial with researchers finding that seemingly minor, every-day events have long-term implications for mental health.  In this study researchers asked participants to describe their stress reactions to a range of common, every-day situations including problems at home, in the workplace or in their social lives.  Ten years later the participants were reassessed and they discovered that the way these participants reacted to everyday stressors and hassles predicted changes in their mental and physical health.

Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK.   Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life. This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience – the ability to adapt and bounce back when something difficult happens in your life.  For example, you can make some lifestyle changes, look after your physical health, give yourself a break or simply accept help from your support network.

Seeing a hypnotherapist can help.

After a session the person being treated usually feels more relaxed, calm and confident.. Often change is subtle, as the hypnotherapist will be working with the subconscious mind, and a very positive shift in feeling and reaction to certain previously stressful situations can be noticed.  Through working with a hypnotherapist you can expect to feel calmer and more confident, with less stress.

You can find a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory.

 

The newest healthy living trend: Sleep

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Insomnia is thought to affect one in 3 people in the UK, with sufferers finding it difficult to get to sleep, having interrupted sleep, waking early, and having difficulty concentrating and feeling tired and irritable during the day. With the … Continue reading

Pressure builds for Britain’s youth

 
A recent survey of 2,000 UK school teachers has revealed some frightening news about the mental health of our children and adolescents.  Responding to a survey by the NASUWT union, almost all teachers (98%) said they had come into contact with pupils who are experiencing mental health issues.  In February a survey commissioned by the Varkey Foundation ranked British teenagers and young adults in 19th place out of 20 participating countries when comparing their mental health and levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

In 2012 the Children’s Society Good Childhood Report found that around 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

A single session of self hypnosis instruction has been found to resolve anxiety based abdominal pain symptoms in 3 out of 4 paediatric patients and clinical research has shown that children and adolescents respond extremely well to hypnotherapy for other anxiety related complaints and insomnia.

Dr Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at charity YoungMinds said: “We know from our research that children and young people face a huge range of pressures, including stress at school, body image issues, bullying on and offline, around-the-clock social media and uncertain job prospects.”

Childline, a telephone and internet chat counselling service for children reported that they delivered over 300,000 counselling sessions in the 2015/2016 financial year with the top concerns raised by children being low self-esteem/unhappiness, family relationships, and bullying/online bullying. 1 in 3 Childline counselling sessions related to mental health and wellbeing issues.

Teachers report that “Students generally don’t know how to deal with any stresses in their lives so it tends to present itself through anger and lashing out or crying.”

There are many things that you can do that will help and prevention is always better than cure.  Some of the most important things you can do are to listen and to provide emotional support.  Children learn through modelling, so providing a good example to them of effective communication and problem-solving skills is a very important weapon in helping fight the onset of stress and anxiety childhood mental health issues.

The Mental Health Foundation believes that simple things such as ensuring your child is in good physical health; is eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, and is part of a family that’s happy and communicates with each other are effective ways of helping ensure your child remains mentally healthy.  Connections to the community and a sense of belonging, both through schools and outside activities are also important for childhood mental wellbeing.

Limiting media access can also be helpful if your child is showing signs of anxiety.  The NSPCC reported earlier this year that young callers to their Childline service reported being distressed by world events such as Brexit, the US election, and increasingly regular terrorism reports.  Limiting social media access can also help to improve the stress and anxiety levels of your children, allowing them time to switch off and be present in the moment.

However, some children are in need of more formal interventions to support them through their time of crisis.  The National Council for Hypnotherapy, which has over 200 trained and qualified therapists who specialise in working with children on its directory across the UK, says that hypnotherapy can be a fast, effective and drug free treatment for a range of children and adolescent’s mental health issues.

 If caught and treated early, childhood mental health problems can resolve quickly and completely.  Most hypnotherapists are happy to have a no-obligation meeting with you and your child to discuss these problems and make suggestions for intervention.

Visit our database of hypnotherapists to find someone local to you.