Celebration of Business 2019 - Ely Cathedral Business Group

I was delighted to take part in the recent Celebration of Business event hosted by the Ely Cathedral Business Group. A great event in a fantastic location.

The event allows over a hundred local businesses, from a diverse range of sectors, to showcase their services and to meet other local businesses. 

It's always a great occasion and a highlight for any local business in the Ely / East Cambridgeshire area.

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Ely Hero Awards Nomination:

I am delighted and grateful to have found out today that I've been nominated by a client of mine for this year's Ely Hero Awards.

My nomination is in the 'Most Amazing Professional' category of the awards.

Feeling very honoured and thankful right now! Thank you!

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Hypnotherapy - Ownership, Collaboration and The Abusive Client:

This morning started off beautifully. The sun was shining, I'd had a good night's sleep and I was looking forward to getting up and out to bootcamp (in the daylight and in the sunshine...double win!).

I had a few minutes so I took a quick look at my e-mails in case there was anything from clients I would be seeing later that day. Amongst all the nice messages and positive results was one from someone I worked with many months ago. It's not uncommon to hear from clients many months later yet upon opening this it became clear it was pretty unpleasant.

Over the last eight years or so and having worked with a couple of thousand people, I can probably list the number of unpleasant or abusive e-mails I've received on one hand. Yet as someone who prides himself on his professionalism and the amount of time, energy and effort put into every client and every session, it does make me smart a bit.  

Yet I do think there are some useful points we can take from the abusive e-mail (and I should mention that I have no idea what promoted the e-mail and whether there has been anything going on over past months. Given the way it was written I suspect there may have been alcohol involved).

Thankfully, the vast, vast majority of people I work with are lovely people who are motivated to make changes and committed to the hypnotherapy process. Many of them have kindly gone on to give written and video feedback (at the time of writing there are over twenty pages on this website). 

So what can we learn from this angry person about hypnotherapy to benefit us all in making positive changes?

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Hypnotherapy, The Unconscious Mind & The Fear of Losing Control:

People often ask me how it is that, despite the thousands of research papers and positive results achieved through hypnotherapy, hypnosis is still not available through the NHS in the UK.

And I believe that the answer comes down to the money to develop and provide it and train staff and so on, and misunderstanding about what hypnosis actually is and what it involves.

A few months back I was talking to a prominent mental health advocate who told me that, although he felt he needed therapeutic help with an issue that hypnotherapy is well suited for, he was worried about being 'out of control' during the hypnosis. Now this is a mental health advocate who speaks at schools and other organisations yet who was unaware that the science and practice of hypnotherapy is, in fact, the opposite of his perception. You learn how to take back control over your thoughts and feelings and 'mind' rather than seemingly having to just live with anxiety, stress and worry. 

And if those within the mental health profession don't get it then no wonder hypnotherapy is where it is (despite all the positive scientific evidence in its favour and despite the research that shows that hypnosis tends to increase the results of cognitive behavioural therapy). Although interestingly I've worked with many doctors, some of whom have even sent their patients and their kids to work with me, so perhaps there is a growing understanding of the role that hypnotherapy can play in improving our mental health.

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Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Evidence for the Effectiveness Of IBS Hypnosis:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common yet complicated condition that affects your digestive system. Typical symptoms include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation, any of which may last from a day or so to much longer periods of time. 

Perhaps the most frustrating element of IBS if you suffer with it, is that it is usually a lifelong problem with no known 'cure' and there is still no universally agreed understanding of what causes it.   

I've worked with a lot of IBS sufferers and often stress and anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms yet IBS can also create its own anxiety. With IBS you may feel anxious about going places in case it strikes and may find yourself checking whether there are toilets available, avoiding going certain places if it would not be easy to get to a toilet or if there isn't one easily available and sometimes even avoiding eating to hopefully be free from symptoms when out and about. It can start to place huge limits on your life and whilst conventional medical interventions such as medication, education and dietary changes may help to some degree, it may not provide relief for your IBS bowel symptoms (or ease the anxiety that goes with the symptoms). 

When those traditional treatment approaches do not alleviate IBS symptoms, many people turn to treatments such as hypnotherapy for their irritable bowel syndrome. So, how effective is hypnotherapy for IBS?

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Does Mental Health Stigma Stop People Seeking Help?

A little while back marked the annual 'Time To Talk Day' which is part of the 'Time To Change' campaign to end mental health discrimination. The campaign encourages people to talk about mental health as a way of breaking down the barriers and stigma around the subject.

And, of course, showing support to others and creating a space where you can talk about and express feelings is a good thing. In my experience, many people still do not understand things like anxiety and depression unless or until they experience it for themselves. Being open, supportive and showing others that they matter is always important. If someone close to you wants to talk then be there for them; if someone close to you doesn't want to talk then be there for them.

There's little doubt that there is still much room for improvement in improving education, support and help for people struggling with mental health problems. Talking about mental health is good yet much more needs to be done for people to understand and feel able to actively seek the help they need (which is perhaps where many well-meaning 'just talking about it' groups come unstuck).

We could probably also have a long conversation about whether talking about 'stigma' inadvertently supports its existence. Some might argue that talking about it and highlighting it just re-enforces it because it keeps it in existence (if you follow me...if you keep telling people there is stigma and re-enforcing the idea in people's minds then it will always exist won't it?). Far better, in my opinion, to talk about what we do want - good mental health and appropriate support and recognition - and be the change we want to see.

Anyway, I could digress but here today I'm more interested in looking at whether mental health related stigma does in fact deter or stop people from seeking help.

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Hypnosis - How Does It Work & What Are The Benefits? My Latest Good Zing Article:

"From managing anxiety to boosting confidence, a hypnotherapist breaks down how hypnosis works and how it can help you break bad habits." So begins my latest article for the fantastic Good Zing website. 

And as they write on their webiste, 'Good Zing is the best resource for you to find (*and share) all of the best wellbeing and self-care tips for specific issues – from dealing with everyday common physical ailments to emotional and mental health issues.'

My latest article is all about my take on what hypnosis is, how it can help you and with a bit about how hypnosis can help you with your anxiety (something I've also written about for their website in these earlier articles: Can Hypnotherapy Really Help Anxiety? and 5 Simple Ways To Shut Down Your Anxiety)

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How NLP can help you to overcome anxiety and depression (including what NLP is and how it can help):

When I first sought help to overcome my own anxiety, I was naturally attracted to the field of NLP, or to give it its full name, 'Neuro-Lingusitic Programming.' It seemed to me to be the way to understand how our brains work and to make changes. 

Having experienced NLP with hypnosis with the hypnotherapist I saw to help me take back control over my thoughts and feelings, I was so inspired that I went on to learn all about it and now incorporate it in my sessions to help others to now manage their anxiety. 

So I was naturally curious and interested when I came across an Evening Standard article published recently by Samuel Fishwick called 'How NLP can help you to overcome anxiety and depression.' As he writes, 'Neuro-linguistic programming can translate anxiety into new ways of thinking'. Which is certainly true in my own experience of helping people with their anxiety and depression.

These days I rarely specifically refer to NLP with clients unless they know something about it already or ask about it specifically. Rather than point to NLP or another method or approach it works well to simply focus on what someone is currently thinking, feeling and doing and what they would rather be experiencing with particular people, places, times, situations and circumstances.

A while back I decided to further my knowledge of how to help people and completed another very thorough and comprehensive hypnotherapy diploma. Part of that course asked me to write about what NLP is and how certain techniques and ideas from NLP can be applied in therapy. So for all of you out there who want to know more about what NLP is, where it came from and how it can help you to overcome anxiety, depression and more, I've included a large part of my answer below.

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Top 10 Blogs of 2018 from Dan Regan Hypnotherapy:

As another year starts to draw to a close I always like to take a quick look back on some of the highlights and successes over the last 12 months.

This year I've once again been able to help many scores of people to overcome their anxiety, worry and fear, as well as making many, many other positive changes. You can read the feedback of some of my clients this year in the What People Say section of this website. I've also been able to revamp my hypnosis download shop and expand the number of titles and I've received a ton of good feedback from people benefitting from these audios.

And over the course of the year I've written over eighty articles about subjects such as improving your mental health, extinguishing anxiety and ways to interrupt negative thinking and overthinking. Thank you for reading them!

In this article I've sifted through the stats and have the top ten most read blogs of 2018 for you to read and enjoy (for those of us old enough to remember the Top of the Pops chart countdown, I can't help but have the music they used in my head as I write this!).  

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Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Future and Increasing Motivation:

The Christmas countdown is in full swing in the Regan household as the big day continues to rush towards us all. The advert calendars are into single figures, Santa has been seen during his pre-Christmas tour and I've managed to wrap a whole load of presents a whole week early (wrapping has got to be THE dullest thing ever!). 

Yesterday the kids and I decided to check whether my wife was on the good list (and so would get lots of nice presents), or the naughty list (which would save me a lot of money!). We wrapped two presents and labelled them A and B and she had to choose one of them without touching either. After much deliberation she went for present A, which was a bag of potatoes and means she has failed to make Santa's good list this year!! 

Speaking of getting into the Christmas spirit, the kids have been endlessly practicing their Christmas songs ready for their school concert and I've just finished reading 'A Christmas Carol' after realising to my shame that I've never actually read the book before and have up until now only seen the film versions.

And it's that story of Scrooge and his redemption that has inspired my latest hypnotherapy vlog which you can watch below.

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