It’s Stoptober – Are you motivated to stop smoking?

Every October the Government launches its Stoptober campaign to encourage people to give up smoking.   Research has shown that people who stop smoking during October and manage to stay off the habit permanently could gain an extra week of life for every month they are smoke free.  Some more immediate health benefits:

  • After 8 hours – nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal
  • After 24 hours – carbon monoxide eliminated from body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris
  • After 48 hours – No nicotine left in the body. Ability to taste and smell improved
  • After 72 hours – breathing becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
  • After 3-9 Months – Lung function improved by up to 10%
  • After 5 Years – Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
  • After 10 Years the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker

Various research studies have shown the effectiveness of using hypnosis to stop smoking*.  Reported success using hypnosis ranges from 81% to 90.6% in these studies.  The Australian Stoptober site states that hypnosis is the 2nd most effective way to make someone stop smoking.  The most effective is a heart attack.

I don’t accept every client who contacts me for help stopping smoking.  I only work with those who are really motivated.  No therapist can guarantee success but the chance of success is far greater if you are well motivated.

Contact me if you want to discuss how I could help you pat@roystonhypnotherapy.co.uk .

If you sign up via the official Stoptober website you will receive free support tools.  Visit https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/registration-c

* http://www.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_statistics_on_the_effectiveness_of_hypnosis

Memory v Story

There is a book cafe in my village once a month.  It is a chance to buy second hand books for just 50p so I have bought many fiction and non-fiction books that I would never have tried.  They also sell great home-made cakes but that’s another story!

Last month I bought ‘Kind of Cruel’ by Sophie Hanna.  I knew nothing about it and had never read one of her books.  I was amazed when I started reading it today about how much I related to the book.  In the first chapter she says:

“True memories are frail, fragmentary apparitions, easily bulldozed into submission by a robust narrative that has been carefully engineered to stick in the mind.  Almost as soon as we’ve had an experience, we decide what we would like it to mean, and we construct a story around it to make it possible.  The story incorporates whichever relevant memories suit its purpose and discards the ones that are no use.”

That’s an elegant way of saying that its not what happens to us that is important, its the sense we make of it.  Lets take the example of two drivers who nearly have an accident.  The first driver congratulates himself on using his knowledge, experience and skill to avoid the accident.  He drives away with no ill-effects.  The second drivers worries about what might have happened if the accident had occurred.  He goes over and over it in his mind thinking he was just lucky that it didn’t happen and his luck might run out soon.  He drives home but the next day he can’t get back in the car.

The difference between the two drivers is in the story that they told themselves.  This is the way that phobias can start and they can often generalise from something small or something that didn’t quite happen and start to move into other areas of you life.

The good news for the second driver is that after 20 years of not driving, he came to see me.  After a few sessions of hypnotherapy and NLP he is now confidently back on the road.  A story with a happy ending!

National IBS Awareness Month

April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month in the UK.  IBS is a common gut problem which can cause a number of symptoms including constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, flatulence and bloating.  Generally speaking, a combination of these symptoms need to have existed for 3-6 months before a diagnosis of IBS can be made.
It is thought that between 10-20% of people experience IBS at some point in their lives (www.nhs.uk).  It tends to affect more women (63%) than men (37%) and the average age of patients is 41 (Michael Franklin, 2005). Although this illness is not fatal it is painful and embarrassing for those who experience it.
Doctors do not know what causes IBS but there appear to be a number of potential factors including diet, parasites in the gut and stress.  Treatment by orthodox medicine is limited and sufferers may be prescribed medication to deal with the symptoms.  They are also likely to be advised to make changes to their diet and to try relaxation techniques. 
Studies have been done that indicate that stress and the general state of mind of IBS sufferers can have a profound effect on the severity of their symptoms. Therefore techniques for relieving stress and anxiety could enable sufferers to be in control of their IBS.
 
Research by The University of Gothenberg (2012) in Sweden showed that hypnotherapy alleviated the symptoms of IBS in 40% of the people tested and that the results were long term.  Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help control the symptoms through deep relaxation and individual hypnotic suggestions. Clients can also be taught how to use these techniques in their everyday lives.
In 2010, Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said ‘Of the relaxation therapies available, hypnotherapy is the most powerful’.

The Real Causes of IBS by Michael Franklin, Positive Health Magazine
Effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy on IBS in different clinical settings Lindfors P; Unge P; Nyhlin H, Bjornsson E, Abrahamsson H; Simren M; University of Gothenburg 2012
Hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS by Wendy M Gonsalkorale and Peter Whorwell 2005 Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory IBS by Whorwell PJ; Prior A; Faragher EB., The Lancet 1984

Hypnotherapy – the last resort?

How many people consider hypnotherapy as the last resort treatment for dealing with their issues?  They may start with trying to sort out their issue for themselves and then, if that doesn’t work, they might go and see the doctor.  If that isn’t the answer, they may get sent for cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling.  If all of that doesn’t work, they may finally think about hypnotherapy.
However, a study by American Health Magazine in 2007 reported the following findings:
  •  Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
  •  Behaviour Therapy:  72% recovery after 22 sessions
  • Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions
No therapist can guarantee success but these are compelling results.  As the magazine article ( http://bit.ly/ze9Nbi )points out “Hypnosis is a special form of communication to the subconscious mind where habits are established and memory is stored…The hypnotherapist helps you connect with your subconscious mind, which puts YOU in control of your subconscious mind – the most powerful and empowering aspect of your brain.”
A recent BBC Horizon programme, ‘Out of Control?’, confirmed that our subconscious minds are influencing our decisions on issues from what you eat to who you fall in love with http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dlglq  Over 90% of our actions everyday are controlled by our subconscious minds so it makes sense that a therapy that harnesses the subconscious would be very useful.
So, if you are having problems with weight, smoking, an unwanted habit or something else, think about hypnotherapy.

No Smoking Day – 14 March 2012

Did you decide to give up smoking at New Year?  Or have you been waiting for National No Smoking Day? 
 
Whenever you decide to stop it is important to be well motivated.  The first question that I ask new clients who ask me about quitting smoking is ‘Why is it important to you to stop now?’  If they don’t know or if it’s to please somebody else I tell them to go away and think about it some more.
So, what’s your motivation to stop – is it your health, your family or your wallet?  If it’s about your health or your family, there’s lots of good news – you could live up to 15% longer!
·         After 20 minutes without a cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse both return to normal.
·         After 24 hours carbon monoxide leaves your body and the lungs start to clear.
·         After 3 months your circulation improves, so walking and exercise get much easier.
·         After 1 year your risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
·         After 5 years your body will have repaired 95% of the effects of smoking.
·         After 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
·         After 15 years your risk of heart attack falls to that of someone who has never smoked.

If it’s about your finances there’s more good news.  If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day at an average cost of £6 per pack, that’s a monthly saving of about £180 or an annual saving of £2190!  

There are lots of products available to help you to quit smoking.  Hypnotherapy can be used by itself or alongside other treatments and has been shown to be very effective.

For more information about No Smoking Day see http://www.nosmokingday.org.uk/