Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket: Update on Restarting Face-to-Face Sessions

With the pandemic having lasted over a year now, and lockdown three itself having entered its third month, it's great that things are finally looking more positive as we move through the year. My daughters are both back at school and doing well, bootcamp has restarted, we can now meet members of another household outdoors and finally (FINALLY!) the return of face to face sessions in Ely and Newmarket is on the near horizon.

It's been a busy period for online hypnotherapy sessions and I've been busy helping people with issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, self-esteem, phobias, weight loss, confidence and much more. Hypnotherapy sessions by Zoom have continued to work effectively and my clients have enjoyed some outstanding results (for more on online hypnotherapy sessions read this previous article: The Effectiveness of Online Hypnotherapy: Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy Sessions). Zoom hypnotherapy sessions continue to be an option if you live too far to travel to my office or if you just prefer it now that we've all got used to do much more online.

In accordance with the Government's lockdown easing roadmap, face to face sessions can resume in Ely and Newmarket from 12th April 2021. I'll be contacting anyone who carried over sessions from before the lockdown to arrange a new time to resume appointments. And if you are seeking successful face to face hypnotherapy sessions in Ely or Newmarket then get in touch and ask to arrange your free initial consultation so we can have a chat about working together to help you overcome your issues and feel better. 

Read more ... →

Your Best Possible Self: Improve Well-being, Optimism and Positivity

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it's clear that there has been a substantial detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of many of you. The Office for National Statistics reports that well-being and happiness levels in the UK are at some of lowest ever recorded levels.

This makes it even more important than usual (although it's always more than usually important) to take effective action to improve your optimism, well-being, positivity and to support your mental health. Recently I covered one technique, the three good things, that has evidence and research to support the benefits of adopting it as a regular practice in your life.  

Today I'm talking about another evidence-based intervention that you can use to boost your optimism, well-being and positive mood, and to help reduce negative or low feelings. The Best Possible Self technique involves thinking about your best possible self in a future where you have achieved everything desired, after working hard towards it. As I'll cover here, there is a mass of evidence to support its effectiveness, and given that it only takes a few minutes, it really is worth utilising it if you want to feel better in yourself. 

Read more ... →

Hypnosis and Cancer: World Cancer Day

This week marks World Cancer Day, a day set up to raise awareness, improve education and to encourage action in the challenge against cancer. It's about saving prevantable and premature deaths and improving access to the best cancer treatment. 

Cancer is the dreaded word for anyone to hear. I think we all know people who have battled it. I lost my Dad to cancer several years ago and have known many others who have faced cancer (which is why I've raised money to support the awesome work of MacMillan cancer support in the past).

At every stage of the journey there can be mental distress, anxiety worry and fear. There can also be the impacts of treatment on your mental and physical well-being. And whilst hypnotherapy and hypnosis can't cure cancer (in fact it is illegal for anyone to claim they can), there are many ways that it can help with the things that come with it, from cancer treatments or symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea, distress and so on. 

So, with it being World Cancer Day it seems appropriate to have a quick look at some of the evidence for the use of hypnosis with cancer patients.

Read more ... →

Hypnotherapy For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder than can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation. The uncertainty, unpredictability, pain and discomfort can have a hugely deterimental impact upon your well-being and quality of life.

When I help people with IBS, they often avoid certain places and situations due to the anxiety, stress and worry that their IBS will strike. I've come across clients who have avoided going out, who don't eat all day to avoid the discomfort or who suffer extreme anxiety about finding a toilet or the possibility of being embarrassed in front of others (e.g. from needing the toilet a lot, from not being able to find a toilet in time or from letting people down if the IBS is too bad). The very nature of IBS means it is often one of things people don't like to talk about or tell others about, which can add to the stress and anxiety about how your symptoms might be.

And whist it is usually a lifelong problem with no known 'cure', and with no universally agreed understanding of what causes it, the good news is that hypnotherapy has been shown to be very effective in helping you to alleviate your symptoms. 

Read more ... →

Lessons From Space To Promote Your Well-being and Mental Health

These past few weeks, amongst everything else, have included a whole bunch of tasks and exercises with my daughter during her home schooling. This term has been all about astronauts and space, with research, reading and writing about famous space names such as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Tim Peake.

We've been learning all about their lives, Apollo 11, the moon landing, the International Space Station and a bunch of other related facts and information (making sure to include some chronological facts, past tenses, relative clauses, technical information and more!).

As part of her work, we watched a live video questions and answer video with Tim Peake, the British astronaut (who seemed like a very friendly, decent chap as he answered questions from young people). He covered a whole range of things, from his childhood and early education, all the way through to his time on the International Space Station and his current work. I certainly didn't expect him to describe the smell of space as being like burnt toast (which I think would just make me feel hungry the whole time!).

One of the areas he touched upon was about how he supports his own mental health and well-being, give that being in space can be a pretty unusual and detached experience. And, if it's good enough for an astronaut, then I think there are a few pointers we can all take, and include in our own approach, towards our mental health and well-being.  

Read more ... →

Hypnotherapy Supervision: The Benefits and Importance of Supervision for Hypnotherapists

Effective hypnotherapy supervision is one of the most important resources available to help you, as a hypnotherapist, improve and succeed in your work and business. 

The therapy market is a crowded place these days. Pretty much anyone can set up and call themselves a therapist, even if they've only ever done a cursory online weekend course (something the BBC reported on in 2020 was about how anyone can call themselves a therapist and start working with clients to help them with psychological and mental health issues). And, of course, more and more 'new approaches' continue to spring up weekly offering miracle results, and that we professionals know lack the science and evidence to support them.

That means that for those of us who are qualified and ethical hypnotherapists, we have to continually improve our knowledge and skills and get better at what we do to help our clients even further. We want to aim for excellence at what we do.

I can well remember my early days as a therapist, over a decade ago, when I qualified and set up my hypnotherapy business. It can be a pretty daunting affair to find yourself first working with clients. And as you gain more experience, there are still challenges to face, improvements to be made and a level of support needed.  That's where hypnotherapy supervision is a real benefit. Rather than being alone in your work and having to figure it all out yourself in your head, the support of a good supervisor will help you get better at making therapeutic decisions, at building upon your knowledge and resources, and improving in the work you love so much.

Read more ... →

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket: Lockdown Three Update

I hope that you had a good Christmas and have been able to enter the New Year in positive spirits. Things were certainly different this festive season but I hope you and your loved ones are all healthy and well.

Christmas in our household, like many others I am sure, was fairly low key with plenty of time for exercise, guitar playing, games and a few good movies.

As no doubt you'll have seen, just before Christmas it was announced that several areas, including Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, were being moved to Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions (at that time, the most stringent of the tiers). In fact, this was going to be a Tier 4 update on my hypnotherapy sessions. However, events have moved apace and this is now a Covid-19 lockdown three update instead.

Lockdown restrictions mean that I am only able to offer online hypnotherapy sessions until the lockdown ends. This covers my hypnotherapy sessions in Ely and Newmarket, and it means that once again all of my sessions are back being delivered online through Skype and Zoom.

This is the same arrangement that needed to be put in place during the two lockdowns last year. It worked very well during those weeks and I was still able to help many, many people with issues such as anxiety, worry, fear and stress (whether pandemic-related or otherwise). 

I've been getting great feedback from clients who have worked online with me, even if some may have preferred something more face to face had the option been possible. Over the last decade, and as supported by the research and evidence, online hypnotherapy sessions can produce results similar to face to face sessions.

So for the time being everything is back online to keep us all safe, yet fingers crossed we can all soon enjoy once again meeting in person. 

Read more ... →

The Three Pillars of Mental Health:

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful festive period and that you are all set to have a positive and productive 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still with us, of course, and it has certainly had a detrimental impact on mental health, with anxiety levels continuing to escalate. Many of you may well be suffering with anxiety, depression, stress and worry as a result of the pandemic (things I wrote about a lot last year if you scroll through my blog pages).

There are many things you can proactively do to support your mental health and to reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. It certainly is possible to deal with those unwanted thoughts and feelings so that you feel better and happier. The research evidence I've mentioned below certainly l suggests that our mental health has been impacted.

In this article, I'm talking about the three pillars of mental health that were published in a research paper at the end of last year.

Sadly, one of the actions for improving your mental health doesn't include chatting with kangaroos! You may have missed the news at the end of last year that animals that have never been domesticated, such as kangaroos, can intentionally communicate with humans (McElligott, O'Keeffe, & Green, 2020). I think that is pretty incredible stuff (almost out of the Scooby-do cartoons that my daughter keeps watching). I think talking with kangaroos would certainly boost my sense of well-being, although personally I'd rather have a penguin as a pal (and keep in mind that there is scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of pets, as I've covered before).  

I like the idea of communicating with animals, although that's got nothing to do with this article about the impact of the pandemic and the three pillars of good mental health.

Read more ... →

The Effectiveness of Online Hypnotherapy: Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy Sessions

Online hypnotherapy sessions are something that I've been successfully using with people for many years. Yet whereas in the past it was mainly people abroad or who live outside a reasonable travelling distance, with Covid-19 and everything that goes with it (like social distancing and lockdowns), Skype and Zoom online hypnotherapy sessions have boomed.

There are many advantages that come with online hypnotherapy. As long as you have a reasonable internet connection, you don't need to live near Ely or Newmarket to work with me, you save on the time and cost of travel, and if you are struggling with something like anxiety or health anxiety, it can make accessing effective hypnotherapy much easier.

This year I've helped more people than ever with online hypnotherapy and for issues such as generalised anxiety, health or coronaphobia anxiety, stress, fears and weight loss. It's been great to be able to continue helping people during the pandemic lockdowns.

Whenever online hypnotherapy, through platforms such as Skype and Zoom, gets mentioned, one of the first things people want to know is whether it is as effective as face-to-face hypnotherapy, or even whether hypnotherapy online is effective at all. 

In my own experience it certainly can be effective, subject to the usual 'rules' of effective hypnotherapy that include someone being motivated and committed to make changes and to take action, and being willing to put techniques and strategies in place both in and outside the sessions. Yet rather than only rely on the positive results I get when working online, let's have a look at some of the evidence for the effectiveness of online therapy. 

Read more ... →

My Most Read Hypnotherapy and Mental Health Articles During 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 has perhaps been one of the strangest and most challenging years we've ever come across. What started just like any other year quickly became a torrent of uncertainty, lockdowns and restrictions that impacted on pretty much every area of our lives. 

 There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted upon mental health. I can still think back to those uncertain early days of the pandemic lockdown and remember the worry and stress from not knowing how things would pan out for me and the kids, and all the while against the backdrop of staying at home and watching terrible images from in hospitals and the every increasing death rate. since then things have been up and down with the virus and with restrictions, yet the impact of Covid-19 continues to loom large in our lives.

All of the evidence and research I've covered over the year shows increased levels of anxiety, stress, worry and fear. There are health fears about you or your loved ones contracting the virus and the risks that would come with that. You may have been hit financially and been impacted in your work and employment. Education has been impacted upon. Usual activities and routines have been disrupted. You may have been unable to spend time with loved ones or friends, or had to curb your usual sources  of enjoyment and fun. Each and every one of us has faced challenges, disruption and restrictions that have changed the usual path of our life.

At the end of each year I like to highlight the most popular articles on my blog. There may be ones there that you missed or that it may be beneficial to revisit (and remember too that you can also check out my many vlogs for even more help, information and suggestions).. 

It's no surprise that most of my most popular blogs of 2020 cover aspects of mental health and anxiety related to the pandemic. I've been covering the research and suggesting ways to support your mental health and well-being throughout the pandemic, and much of the same advice still holds true at this time. Yet there are also some other aspects of my hypnotherapy work covered such as sports performance, the science behind kindness and other aspects of mental health, overcoming anxiety and managing stress. Do read on and revisit the blogs that were the most popular from over the year. 

Read more ... →