Routinely disrupted sleep can alter our 24-hour clock, our body's rhythms, and lead to a whole range of mood disorders, replete with increased anxiety, adding fuel to an already well-lit fire. . . . .
Don't you just love scientists! There is such an uncanny similarity to this research and hypnotherapy. It is the strengthening of unwanted memories that bring the client into therapy and it is the strengthening of wanted memories that help them back to a normal life . . . . . . . . . . . .
I see many clients with life-challenging issues, very often, if not always, it will involve some level of anxiety or stress. Anxiety and stress determine how your subconscious responds to those states and, in turn, determines the scope of your radar detection system, aka; what you look for . . . . . . . . . . .
There is an uncanny similarity to this research and the way I conduct my client sessions, both in the way the past is reviewed and then reframed. After all, the only thing that ever really changes as a result of any therapeutic intervention; is perception . . . . . . . . . . . .
It seems that what you hear and understand (maybe even what you think you hear), the brain then determines what to do, this could merely be to comprehend what is said, or carry out a complex procedure. But what about your internal voice; your self talk . . . . . . . . . .
Are you by nature an anxious person, have you "always" been that way? These are often terms used by clients, to describe themselves. Fundamental truisms, held at the level identity; that, ultimately, become you . . . . . . . . . .
Scientists at the Aalto University discover that emotional experience is felt across the whole brain, as opposed to just the emotional centres, that, perhaps, are merely the switching stations from where the emotionally charged sensory information starts its processing . . . . . . . . . .
Scientists at the University of Zurich discover that sleep, following a traumatic event, can help lessen the effects of the trauma experience. Obviously assuming that you can get to sleep after such an event . . . . . . . . . .
The perfect way to explain the reasons behind why we keep on repeating behaviours we don't want or why some people respond in a variety of ways to the same thing? It seems our brain is capable of learning sameness and difference in a variety of ways!
Scientists are getting closer and closer to understanding basic brain functions, i.e. how and why it does what it does. Most important of those, if only for the purpose of understanding our lives, is memory. In the meantime, we can practice different ways to improve our memory, with speed-of-processing training being mooted as a front runner!
It is often so exciting to see how science mirrors or discovers things that have been known to professional hypnotherapists for many years. After all, the only thing we have to work with, is the clients mind! The mind comes replete with a huge store of hidden talents, not least of which is . . . . . . . . .
Having worked what seems like two lifetimes, with the first one being very hard, both physically and mentally. I see a direct correlation in the research below and how life feels for me at the moment; which is rather nice . . . . . . . . But how is life right now?
Sometimes I look for ways show how scientific findings aptly demonstrate what happens when we apply hypnosis (hypnotherapy) and sometimes, it seems, they look for me (laws of attraction) this study feels like it was made with me in mind. For sure I have found studies like this unusual to find although I am fairly pleased it did . . . . . . . . . but why?
I frequently look for ways to demonstrate the parallel between scientific findings and hypnosis (hypnotherapy) and this one is a good example. The language we use, in the context of oft repeated words and phrases we use, plays a big role in the emotional states we experience most . . . . . . . what are the words that you use, that are keeping you where you don't want to be?
A marvellous piece of research to help those suffering from PTSD, or any stress related disorder come to that! Hypnotherapy is another mind and brainwave changing modality that is an effective - and also Non-Invasive - method for driving life change and one that has been helping people live better lives for many, many years . . . . . . could hypnotherapy help you?
It is well known that stressed people do not usually perform at their best and the more stressed you become, the less effective you are! However, it would also make sense that if there were no form of discipline or punishment, performance may also be impaired . . . . . . . So what is the answer?
The feelings associated with depression will always be the result of neural processing, a chemical soup that permeates certain brain regions. However, when treating a client, I think it's really important to hear their story because experience tells me that depression is not always the result dysfunctional neural processing. Sometimes life sucks and that can cause chemical malaise that is described as depression . . . . . . .
I guess we are all familiar with the old saying, "practice makes perfect"? Of course, if we do something and mess it up, then it makes more sense that we'd get better at messing it up but somehow we don't; we improve! Researchers at McGill University have made a remarkable discovery that a "single neuron" can be responsible for dynamic change in the way we learn! this process continues until the reality meets the expectation. The take away from this is; to improve brain/body function, learn more new things; change your brain, change your life!
Sometimes certain people seem to lack the ability to visualize in hypnosis, even though I create a visual context, they claim they cannot see or visualize what I am describing. So, it is interesting to put a scientific name to the 'non' picture!
The power of hypnotherapy to reduce chronic, unnecessary, stress is almost universally accepted, sadly though, it is not so universally known! That sounds like an oxymoron if ever I heard one . . . . . . . . ?
Sometimes in life we just don't meet our own expectations, we fall short of the mark. In part it's because of the way the "I want it now" culture has evolved. Credit cards, overdrafts, store cards etc. make it too easy to get out our depth . . . . . for some it can be a life and personality changing experience, but, is it really your fault?
Often when we think of someone with OCD, washing hands, checking doors, switches, gas cookers etc. may come to mind. But have you ever wondered where the roots of this condition come from?
Is hypnotherapy real, can it be felt, can it be proved? It has long been the case that the efficacy of Hypnotherapy is difficult to prove, if only from a scientific perspective, but then so is the existence of God . . . . . . but do we know why?
Given the massive rate of brain (neural) learning taking place in babies and toddlers, it is always encouraging to hear how we can advance our young one's ability to learn. Anyone who has a child will know there's a lot going on in their little minds, even though we may have no idea what it is? So, anything that can assist parents in helping their child's development is worth a mention. It seems that the sooner, and perhaps clearer, we communicate with our young, the better!
I am always looking for ways to better explain hypnosis and, through science, the parallel to what happens in hypnosis is becoming ever more clear and scientists are the ones leading the charge . . . . .
With a consistency akin to that of soft butter, it's hard to think of the brain as being rigid; hard wired but before Donald Hebb, that's exactly what most scientists believed it to be . . . . .
The treatment of anxiety, stress and depressive related disorders has been the focus of my work for many years now. So, it is delightful to publish this post because it confirms many of my observations; which are . . . . .
Could scientists be on the verge of explaining what we call the subconscious? It seems the default mode network takes over when we perform routine tasks, BUT . . . . . . . .
Meditation, as a state of a brain/mind phenomenon, has striking similarities with hypnosis. The main difference, simplistically, is how each state is induced. How can you access these states . . . . .
Having just returned from a month long visit to the UK, I was not looking forward to the usual prolonged effect of jet lag. it seems, apart from being an inconvenience, it could be harmful to health . . . . . . .
This article is interesting, interesting because it gives a better understanding of the role and functioning of the hippocampus . . . . . a very important and valuable scientific milestone. It also should mean quite a bit for the hypnosis community too!
The treatment of anxiety, stress and depressive related disorders has been the focus of my work for many years now. So, it is delightful to publish this post because it confirms many of my observations; which are . . . . .
Hypothalamic stem cells are the progenitor for the birth of new brain cells (neurons) and, as it turns out, the more of them the better, albeit quality is way ahead of quantity. So, it makes good sense to do what we can to get more of them; but how?
I guess having a questioning mind, maybe even being a little bit of a nosy parker, may actually be helpful? Although I would assume the motive could play a larger part in that . . . . . .
When it comes to developing good moral values, if you’ve ever been cheated, maligned or abused, you will no doubt value honesty and integrity at tad more than if you had’t. . . . . .
As a general rule I always look for the potential for stress and/ or anxiety in any presenting issue when I see clients. The rationale being, that stress and anxiety are known to limit or debilitate normal brain function. It is always going to be more difficult to help anyone, when their brain isn't firing on all four cylinders! The research below adds a little weight to my treatment philosophy, as well as a clearer picture of the WHY factor . . . . . .
While the markets suffer and the price of commodities fluctuates more than the temperature of an English summer, it seems that one (precious) metal, copper, is proving to be pricelss to who we are and how we develop! Want to find out 12 natural sources of copper for your diet? find them here
This piece of research intrigues me, because, in one way or another, we can most likely all filter out external distractions and the like, at least to a certain extent. But we also know that some of us are way better at the focusing of our attention than others. How about you; can you focus when you need to . . . . . . . . .
Have you ever heard of the 7% - 38% - 55% rule of communication? It is often stated as, that in any communication 7% is communicated by the words, 38% by voice inflection amd 55% by body language; but is this correct?
As we age. and if you're not there yet, good for you, we slowly begin to forget things, the name to the face, our mobile, bus pass etc. So, I hope this research gives you (and me) some effective tools to keep the grey matter grey and the white matter white! perhaps the best bit of advice I have found useful, is not to accept that you cannot remember things but rather, develop an attitude of persistence!
I can't help but wonder if this sheds some light on those who are fickle minded or downright indecisive? It would appear, based on the findings of this study, that they lack flexibility at the individual neuronal level or instability at the network level; maybe even a combination of both? Perhaps the bigger question though, is, were they caused by a lack of neural growth or just a poor life experience?
Mindfulness, described as conscious awareness of each moment in time, the deliberate, wilfull focus on "NOW." The perfect description of hypnosis! The focusing of one's mind on a mindful awareness of an imagined presence of the solution to ons'e issue.
Researchers activate previously dormant memory cells! It is my contention that both the upside and the downside of life, is contingent on memory. The research below seems to confirm my assumption.
Without a doubt anxiety is far more prevalent today than at almost any time in history. Of course one may say, "what about WWII". Well, for the most part that wasn't anxiety, it was fear! Anxiety is more usefully seen as being overly concerned about things that may happen, i.e. it is anticipatory in nature; it's most often about what could happen?
Another threatening virus but mostly those affected aren't even born yet! The Zika virus is a strange one because there are little or no, observable, symptoms in the carrier and that makes it hard to detect. So, for now all we can rely on is our own vigilance and follow the advice that may keep us safe. Moquitoes
The immortal words of George Washington, if psychologists are to be believed were themselves a lie, albeit unwittingly. It seems that life would be extremely difficult if we were to tell the truth totally. So, if asked "are you honest" the only honest answer is no! So, what are the psychological ramifications of believing ourselves to be honest, while accepting that this is not totally possible?
Tell a pregnant mother not to drink or smoke during pregnancy and she may look at you in astonishment! But what would she think if you told her not to take antidepressants, perhaps not so easy to swallow if you are clinically depressed?
A very interesting piece of research about our ability to restructure the way the brain functions and one that may possibly have some benefit to those who suffer from anxiety disorders!
As an anxiety specialist I am very aware of the role the amygdala plays in creating and maintaining fear and or anxiety in our everyday lives. So, naturally I found this article both interesting and comforting!
This is both of some concern but also interest, especially if you have just been diagnosed with depression. Depression can be an illness in and of itself, as well as associated with other condtions, e.g. chronic stress, anxiety or even a physical illness. So, it is important to have a proper evaluation, but do most Doctors actually do this?
In the populous sense of the word, hypnosis can be seen as arcane, maybe even mysterious. However, when fully understood, it is known to be a very simple and every day life experience. Once understood, and practiced, it's seemingly magical powers come to light!
Have you ever heard a parent, or anyone else for that matter, saying,"little boys don't cry"? Well evidence is emerging that such well intentioned statements could be instrumental in the suppression of emotion in later years. Perhaps what is not so well understood, is that either you learn to express emotion; or it will express you!
It seems if you want your children to have good social and behavioural balance, you need to embrace them your self and preferably before your child is born! Whether elements of these traits are transferred in-vivo is not mentioned but the fact that the foetus experiences the mother's emotions, may suggest its involvement!
I loved the concept of this study, time travel, out of body experiences are as frequently used in hypnosis as adverts are on each episode of Dr. Who. Hypnosis is all about using one's innate ability to explore their mind. The object being, to create a sense of an altered reality that takes each client to where they want to be?
We live in a curious world, do we not? One minute a thing is good for you the next it's not; then, again, it is! Well I do love a good cup of coffee, mind you I mostly have one good strong cup a day. So, having just returned from a month in the UK and still having some form of jet lag, I found this article really intriguing and useful, I can now have a short coffee power nap and not eat into my night time sleep!
It sometimes surprises me, how science is so surprised by its findings! Psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Stanley Fisher PhD is a leading figure in what is termed preoperative hypnosis. His basic hypothesis is, that human anaesthetized body cannot tell the difference between the scalpel of a Doctor and the blade of an attacker. Basically, once the body is invaded by a sharp weapon, the muscles contract. The severity of the stress experienced (at the level below conscious awareness) can affect the way the body reacts, heals and the physical appearance of the scar tissue? That is why some scars look like they were inflicted by a butcher than a Dr (no offence Butchers)?
It is good news that researchers have found that being around depressed people, will not harm us. It is even better news for someone suffering from depression because the disappearance of friends can exacerbate one's depression and lead to isolation and loneliness!
A great piece of research, hopefully taking us a little bit closer to a better understanding and a cure for Altheimers Disease; every little helps! These are actual photos taken by the life-blogging app used by people in the study. Participants were later shown these photos while in the fMRI and asked to recall the memories associated with the pictures. Credit: Per Sederberg
Could "use it or lose it" be a factor to ward off major depression? It has long been known that the more you use your brain the bigger it gets, although not totally in the context of its physical size but rather in the number and richness of its connections. In a study called "Taxicology" the size of the hippocampus of a select group of London taxi drivers showed an increase in the size of the lateral hippocampus; the more experience they had, the larger it was. I wonder if???
Scientists revel in finding a reliable way to predict human emotions through the discovery of a unique brain signature. Hypnotists revel in the way clients respond to active mind management; i.e. the ability to self determine emotion using the power of a positive mindset. That said, a positive mindset is far more that just the presence of positive thinking; it's also about the absence of negative subconscious processing! That much is consequential in and of the teaching and learning!!!
This research poses a potential dilemma, do people with mental illness smoke because of their illness or does smoking, with all its known harmful effects, maintain and or promote the illness, if only to some small degree?
Some interesting news on new ideas about memories, how they are formed, retrieved and restored. It has long been accepted that the process thru which this occurs is thru protein synthesis, Clayton Dickson and his team have other ideas. Keep an ear out for future news but don't hold your breath, these things take time!
Another interesting piece of research, who hasn't experienced seeing something that wasn't there; or not seeing something that was? In fact our eyes can be notoriously unreliable. When we consider that a huge portion of the entire brain relates to the visual field, and associated areas, can we truly say that; "seeing is believing"?
An interesting piece of research, although not that new. It is well known that memory is not that reliable and every time we recall a memory new proteins synthesize relevant, new data, to the memory. E.g. a witness may recall what he read about an incident, rather than what he witnessed. Although he will likely be certain that what he is saying is what he witnessed. Recalled memories are subject to interference and, therefore, can be manipulated, a process called reconsolidation.
It seems that scientists have uncovered the reason behind why some people are more susceptible to addiction than others. Whether this will prove to be instrumental in fighting addiction depends largely on the ability seek a cure for this specific type of gene mutation. The downside may be, though, that either way drug taking may be considered safer!
If you are already in debt, or you are seriously planning to do so, this research may help you! Hang on a minute; did I say seriously planning to do so"? Yes, because there are subconscious processes at work behind most instances of over spending and or debt accumulation!
Whether or not playing around with your children is a precursor to a good sense of humour, I do not know. But what I do know is, people that have humour and fun in their life, generally have a good balance towards life and living and consequentially, less anxiety! The research below will hopefully help parents understand the need for and value of humour for their children to be well balanced in life.
Savoring a beautiful sunset and the positive emotions associated with it can contribute to improved well-being, according to research. But why and how are some people better than others in keeping the feeling alive?
I remember when growing up and eating blackcurrants by the ton, or at least it felt like that after gorging for hours on them. They used to grow wild all over the place, in post war Britain there was an abundance of cleared bomb sites and we were not that far from a place we called, "the country" where there were acres and acres of fields and forests. Of course there were lots of other fruits too, but blackcurrants were a particular favourite of mine. What about you?
Who'd have ever thought that our children could be the source of successful conflict management? I guess every one of us have known, or known of a precocious child, or perhaps even a child that appeared way more savvy than their parents! So in one sense this research should not come as a surprise. Nevertheless, the parental benefit was an unexpected but very encouraging side effect!
We have likely all heard the term, "the elastic brain"? It derives from the notion that the brain is capable of expanding, not in its physical size but rather in the capacity and connections. Currently believed to contain approx. 85 billion cells and trillions of synaptic connections, the brain is a remarkable piece of hardware! But that is nothing compared to the software, the "mind", the mind is . . . . .
With an attention to clarity of mind and emotional balance, I have long believed that what we focus on both creates and maintains our mental and emotional states. Are we drawn to things in our outside world that have some prevalence to our inner states?
If ever there was a study that gave a hint of what happens during hypnosis; this is it! Hypnosis quite naturally puts the brain into a peaceful and resting state, therefore, relaxation is merely a side effect of hypnosis, not the state itself!
OK, so being happy in your latter years can help extend both the quality and longevity of life, but what about all those guys that are only half way there?
It should not come as any surprise, at least if we think about it holistically, that the happier we are the more likely we are to live longer. I believe that it is perhaps the relative absence of stress that is the larger factor in having a happy life experience.
If someone told you, you can use your brain much more quickly and way more effectively, would you believe them? Would you listen?
I guess at times we all have some difficulty in making eye contact with certain people? So I found it interesting to note a link between personality and eye contact, avoidance and neurosis!
A solid case for improving our moral code and we become nicer people too! It seems that high levels of moral reasoning correspond with increased grey matter in brain!
If we ever needed a good reason to treat depression it is this! People with depression may be more likely to develop Parkinson's disease.
Has anyone ever said to you, "you are so predictable"? Well, that's simply because it is true! But you are not alone as it seems that our personality really does make us predictable. Perhaps even reliable too!
What was once a dream, is now a reality. The use of technology and the mind at the cutting edge of a new life and new hope for disabled people.
Although not strictly seen as meditation, hypnosis is every bit a form of meditation as any other. Empirically speaking hypnosis allows us to focus more acutely at both the conscious and subconscious levels. The outcome is observable behaviour change in line with the clients wishes, e.g. to stop smoking, lose weight, to experience more calm and relaxation (thus reducing or eliminating stress andanxiety).
For anyone that has ever suffered from depression, they will be well aware of how horrible it feels and how meaningless life appears. However, what they may not know is what other risks there are! So, I thought this research is worth sharing.
Psychologists have shown that a short nap lasting about an hour can significantly improve memory performance. The study involved examination of memory recall in 41 participants. The volunteers had to learn single words and word pairs. Once the learning phase was over, the participants were tested to determine how much information they could remember. About half of the participants were then allowed to sleep, while the others watched a DVD. After that, the participants were re-tested and those who had taken a nap were shown to have retained substantially more word pairs in memory than the participants in the control group who had watched a DVD.
Are we overlooking the value of online forums in favour of the ever growing and popular social networking sites, e.g. facebook and twitter? Perhaps a more focused online experience will prove to be more beneficial to our overall well being; or will it?
An interesting study that identifies an interesting parallel between the accuracy of the sensory awareness of self. In that the more accurate your brain/body awareness, the better your experience of self and reality is likely to be!
Having had a family history, as well as a personal experience of depression, I guess gives me some insight into what it feels like, that said, depression is a very subjective experience! From a therapeutic perspective talking therapy has a long history of effectively helping sufferers, so any corroborative research can only help in an understanding of the treatment regimes and their effectiveness!
It has long been my contention, from a therapeutic perspective, that calm, peace and relaxation are at the core of our existence. Meaning, the more calm peaceful and relaxed we are; the more effective we become. In addition to that, we find the essence of self. I believe it is the absence of such inner peace that makes us seek this through other means, e.g. drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling etc.
We often here or see children holding up a poster on facebook, saying that if they get so many likes their daddy will quit smoking and I guess some do; but most won't! Why is that?
For years people have been arguing about the validity, if not efficacy of placebo; e.g. does it really work! Well here is another interesting example of how the mind takes every opportunity to protect itself. I guess the real logic to this study is: If you are in the proximity of someone who is sick; it makes sense to rev up your protective system. What do you think?
While it is likely the debate over the efficacy of supplements will go on for a long time, there is a growing awareness of the health benefits assciated wit fish oil, most specifically Omega 3'. Now for some more of the scientific front in this debate
One could argue forever about whether brain health is second in importance or the most important factor of life; but nevertheless, no one would deny its importance!
A very impotant message and one that contains the essence of a peaceful world; we have the power to pass on a genuine and concerted peace initiative, as well as the ingredients for a sustainable earth policy.
Human emotion perception is a natural function, perhaps what is not so natural is when we think too much or reflect on what we think we observe. I often flinch when I hear people give a body language diagnostic, which in many cases is totally way off the mark! So, perhaps relying on intuition is the better choice? However, the extent to which intuition has been eroded in this largely cognitive world we live in; is another subject entirely???
Good news for anyone suffering from Parkinson’s Disease is on the horizon. A debilitating disease, caused through a reduction in dopamine production in a part of the brain called substantia nigra (Pars Compactum), a part of the basal ganglia. This part of the brain, among other things, controls the regulation of fine motor movement; hence the jerky movement and tremors associated with Parkinson’s.
A marvellous study that empitomizes how hypnosis works, it's about visualizing a different representation of an issue, connecting the dots . . . . . creating a newer more empowering outcome - Simple really!
In Honour of Lee Kuan Yew - The Epitome of Character, Integrity. Our Lion Heart
Whilst a single picture could be described in a thousand words, it seems the brain sees a word as, a picture. What is even more amazing is its ability to differentiate the cotton from the fluff!
How much attention do you really pay to the everyday things you see? Apparently we think our memory is better than it actually is!
Whilst we balance the need to be cautious of the dangers associated with too much sun, we also need to be mindful of the benefits of our daily dose of sunshine! Like anything in life; the secret to success is in balance!
In a world where all we hear daily, is that X number of people have died fighting a war or other armed conflict, it was so nice to hear this refreshing news! Apparently we, in general, are getting fed up with wars!!! Having seen the devastating effect WWII had on my own father, I'm longing for the day when wars end - Hope you are too?
The sweet sound of music really does awaken parts of your brain that enhance learning, which means that when we listen to music, we aren’t just simply processing sound, like background noise or the sound of a car engine. Music is more meaningful to our brains than just any sound: It's repetitive, melodious, organized.
Trust is such an important part of living a happy and productive life and the loss of trust necessarily will have an impact on the way we live and experience life. Perhaps this is even more important to those who feel they have been dumped; abandoned by society; people they trusted in. . . . .
I guess with the benefit of a little alcohol a mirror has often given us the aesthetic edge, as if by magic a transformation has taken place there before our eyes. Of course in the cold light of day, the illusion fades and we are confronted with our reality! But. . . . . .
Evidence has emerged that the perception of the mother, in relationship to her environment during pregnancy, can dramatically impact the intelligence potential of her child.
The parallels between hypnotherapy and science in this study is quite remarkable. When you think of it, hypnosis is mostly focused on adapting and enhancing a clients imagination and belief system. Seems like science has inadvertently stumled onto why hypnosis is so effective?
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle. When 24 Hours in a day is not enough, Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.
Every once in a while a real Gem appears about the efficacy of Hypnosis. In this particular article about IBS - (http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8572818.stm?ad=1) -
The BBC report on the findings of a top Dr. in gastroenterology; Dr. Roland Valori of the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in the UK.