Monday, 27 June 2011

What is the Difference between Stage Hypnosis and Clinic Hypnotherapy?

For many people when you speak about hypnosis their first image is of the stage. Watching people cluck like chickens etc, whilst the audience laugh away marvelling at the “control” the stage hypnotist has over the person. Stage hypnosis has helped clinical hypnosis become more recognised; it allows people to see the fun side as well as the therapeutic side.

So how does stage hypnosis differ from hypnosis that is used for therapeutic reasons? The trance you enter when under hypnosis is the same for both the stage and the therapy room. The difference is the goal, the objective. When you are on stage you are entering into this trance with a view to having fun with your subconscious, playing games and entertaining the audience. You are in that frame of mind. Just like all hypnosis, stage hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you have to want to go up on stage and prance around.

Very often when you go to a stage performance the performer will get a group of people on stage, usually made up of people who have volunteered. The performer then does suggestibility tests with this small group and gets it down to the most suggestible person, the one that they can work with best on that day.

Derren Brown is someone who I really admire; he has understood the human mind and how it works to an amazing degree. He tends to get people on stage by throwing a Frisbee into the audience; he will say something like if you don’t want to come up then pass it to the person next to you. This way he gets a willing participant up on the stage.

Similarly with clinical hypnosis, you have to be willing; you have to want to make that change. For example if you want to stop smoking, you don’t necessarily need to know how you are going to do it, but you have to want to become smoke free. If you are only coming for hypnotherapy because you have been nagged into it then even though you will still enter into the trance state, the hypnosis won’t have the amazing long lasting affect that it could have if supported by your own willpower.

No stage hypnotist would choose me, as I would be a “difficult” subject to work with. They would choose someone who was eager to “act the fool” and entertain the crowd. Great fun to watch! However, put me in a room where a hypnotherapist is working together with me to help me, and I enter into a trance state very easily.

Whilst as a hypnotherapist I do have the skills needed to perform stage hypnosis, I personally choose not to mix the two. I have chosen to get into the wonderful world of hypnosis to help people challenge their negative beliefs and become the person they want to be. I find my work extremely rewarding as I watch people beginning to make changes and take control of their world. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable mixing that professionalism and trust with the tricks of the stage.

Monday, 20 June 2011

How can Hypnotherapy help with Cancer?

Hypnotherapy is well established as a supportive therapy for people with cancer, with organisations such as Macmillan, Cancer Research UK, NHS and Paul’s Cancer Support Centre offering it to people. Some hospitals even have in-house hypnotherapists.

Although hypnosis isn’t a cure it helps people to be able to deal with the physical and psychological symptoms. There have even been cases of people using the power of visualization to reduce the size of the tumor.

The power of the mind is unquestionable; we all know how powerful we can be if we focus our minds. When we choose to focus on the negatives all of a sudden we can be in a downward spiral of negativity, but when we focus on the positives the world becomes a better place and good things start happing.

This idea is the same basis for how hypnosis can help people to deal with the side effects of cancer, giving clients a chance to come out of their treatment plan still being themselves, and not allowing the cancer to become all-controlling, so they can still enjoy life.

It can also help the people’s families to be able to release their stress and tensions, allowing them to be supportive without ending up becoming ill themselves with stress and worry.

Hypnosis should be a core therapy in the treatment of cancer, according to leading psychologist Phyllis Alden. Phyllis Alden, consultant psychologist in the department of clinical oncology at Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, believes hypnosis can not only help ease the anxiety of being treated for cancer, but can reduce its symptoms. "Psychology is becoming a key part of cancer services," she said in an interview with the BBC.

She added that research was increasingly showing that hypnosis could improve cancer results. Full article at

Hypnotherapy can help people to feel more comfortable and in control, able to cope better with symptoms and treatments, helping them to remain positive. It can help people with sickness and pain, releasing anxiety and stress that can be harmful to their recovery.

Studies into how hypnotherapy can help are ongoing. One organization conducting studies is CAMEOL, a joint project between the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM), University of Westminster and University of Plymouth. One CAMEOL study looked at hypnotherapy to deal with feeling or being sick from chemotherapy. Overall the study showed that hypnotherapy might be able to help with chemotherapy sickness, although more research needs to be done.

You can look at both the studies on the CAMEOL website; click on the link and then search hypnotherapy to get to the list of studies.

Another study in 2007 in America gave hypnotherapy to a group of women before breast surgery. The researchers found that hypnotherapy lowered the amount of pain, sickness, tiredness and upset that the women had after surgery. Yet another American study in 2006 found that hypnotherapy helped to lower anxiety and pain during a biopsy for suspected breast cancer.

Hypnotherapy helps you have the tools to remain in control of your feelings, allowing yourself the ability to look at the cancer and the treatment in a different way.

Hypnotherapy is safe to be used alongside conventional treatments.


Monday, 13 June 2011

Negative self-talk: how it affects us

What is self-talk? Self-talk is the internal dialog we all have ongoing through our minds every day. This internal dialog can take two forms, positive and negative.

Are you a positive thinker or a negative thinker? Do you tell yourself: Yes I can do this. I can reach my goal. Or do you tell yourself: I will never get that job so there is no point going for the interview. I am fat. I am stupid.

We all have moments of self-doubt where we question whether we can achieve something, but the difference between a constant negative thought pattern and a positive one is the difference between a person who never feels good enough and a person who feels content with life, happily challenged.

We all know those people who seem to have it all. They are always so happy. But when you stop and look at their life next to yours they have nothing more than you - sometimes they even have less than you. The difference is their internal dialog is set to positive; they look for the positive and they appreciate the things they have got.

Negative self-talk affects us in many ways. It can lead to stagnation, self-pity, depression and many more negative influences. When we repeat a negative statement over and over again we begin to believe it. “I am not good enough” may prevent us from taking the steps to achieve a promotion that we are easily qualified for. It gives us a lack of confidence that isn’t based on anything real, but reinforced by the internal negative dialog. Eventually these thoughts become all consuming and you find that you approach every aspect of your life with this negativity, beginning to feel stressed easily, depressed and having a lack of confidence and motivation.

Changing the internal dialog to positive statements makes our life better and assists us in moving forward, giving us the confidence to achieve our goals. If instead of saying “I am not good enough”, say “I can do this”. Not only will you achieve your goals but you will happier and healthier. Positive self-talk gives you a permanent cheerleader in your corner, one that carries positive messages to all areas of your life and helps you to move forward. Once you have this positivity no one can take it away from you, as it comes from within you, from your own though process.

Very often the nature of our self-talk originates from a very early age. It may be a teacher that said you weren’t good enough, or a parent that always made you believe anything is possible.

Hypnotherapy, CBT & NLP can help you to challenge the source of the negative thoughts and change them to positive ones. Eventually you will surround yourself with positive thoughts and that will create an environment that will allow you to live your best possible life.

Here a few easy steps to start to become positive:

· Smile more.

· Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. This can be hard at first. Start by talking positively. When you have a negative thought or catch yourself about to say something negative, stop yourself and see if you can spin it on its head and turn it into a positive one. Soon this will become second nature and you will find yourself thinking in the positive first.

· Expect positive results. When you set a goal expect that not only will you achieve it but you will be better than you thought.

· Actually visualize the success you want. Picture it in your mind, picture what you DO want, rather than having a list of what you DON’T want. Have an image of what you DO want, and see yourself achieving your goal.

We all have the ability to retrain our minds, we do it every day. Give it a go. What do you have to lose? Nothing. What could you gain? Everything.

© EKTherapies

Monday, 6 June 2011

What is in a Cigarette?

We no longer live in a world where we don’t know that cigarettes are bad for us. 30 years ago the effects of cigarettes were unknown but these days we know they damage our body, but what is inside them?

There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke; at least 50 of them are known carcinogens (cancer causing). If you were to inject the nicotine in one cigarette directly into your vein it would kill you instantly, there is enough poisonous nicotine in one cigarette to kill a horse.

Here are just a few of the chemicals found in each cigarette:

Benzene (petrol additive) – colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture, it is a known carcinogen associated with leukemia.

Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)- colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies, it is a known cause of cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.

Ammonia (toilet cleaner) - used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas, often found in dry cleaning fluids

Acetone (nail polish remover) – fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover

Tar - Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker's lungs.

Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug) - one of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison. This is the chemical which causes addiction. The great news is it is out of your system within 48 hours of stopping smoking

Carbon Monoxide (CO), (car exhaust fumes) - odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts, the same gas that comes out of car exhausts

Arsenic (rat poison)

Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)

The wonderful thing to find out is that our body is amazing at repairing itself. Your body starts to repair itself the second you stop smoking, even in between each cigarette. It is up to you whether you continue the damage with the next cigarette or if you become smoke free. Your body can only repair the damage so many times before cigarettes start to have a permanent damaging effect on your body.

With the smoking ban getting tighter (in New York, you can now no longer smoke outside unless you are in a designated smoking area), there has never been a better time to become smoke free, to stop yourself being a slave to cigarettes. All you need to give up smoking in a positive way is your determination and a one off Stop Smoking session with Erika. Using the powerful combination of Hypnosis, CBT & NLP and your commitment you will leave the session smoke free with the tools to remain a non-smoker. You are 10 times more likely to remain smoke free if you use hypnosis.