How Hypnosis Helps Treat PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be broken down into five diagnostic categories, according to DSM-V: Exposure, Intrusion, Avoidance, Alteration, and Arousal. All of these symptoms combine to cause trauma and ongoing difficulties for sufferers – which is where hypnosis for PTSD can help. Hypnotherapy is an evidence-based treatment which treats the underlying causes of the illness, as well as addressing each of these symptoms in turn: 1. Exposure Clients who have experienced a traumatic event, or a prolonged series of traumatic events, perceive the world in different ways going forward. The experience of such trauma imprints on the body’s limbic system – the “fight or flight” response – which means that sufferers continue to suffer ongoing anxiety and feelings of stress. Hypnotherapy can work as treating PTSD by addressing the underlying triggers of the stress, allowing the client to access his or her memories/emotions and processing them to help remove the negative triggers and transform the body’s response. 2. Intrusion Flashbacks, nightmares and other negative thoughts are common amongst PTSD sufferers. These thoughts can be very intrusive on day-to-day functioning and can distract sufferers from normal functioning. Hypnotherapy addresses intrusion by targeting the disruptive thoughts and preventing them from interrupting daily functioning. Hypnotherapy gives clients the tools to take back a sense of control, in a technique called ego strengthening, whereby a client can reconnect with inner strength and develop a greater sense of agency. 3. Avoidance Most sufferers will do anything to avoid confronting situations or stimuli which invoke past trauma. Such avoidance can be conscious – for example, staying away from people, places or smells – but...

Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis was first introduced for medical applications in the mid-1800s, as a way to sedate patients before major operations. Before hypnosis, the only other alternative – a couple of shots of strong alcohol – was quite barbaric. Since then, the use of hypnosis for medical requirements has evolved and it is now considered an accepted medical therapy to treat a broad range of health concerns. These range from childbirth pain all the way through to weight loss. How does hypnosis affect the human body? It’s believed that hypnosis improves health through physiologically changing mental processes. Neuroscientist Marjorie Woollacott defines the impact of hypnosis on the human body as follows: “our thoughts have the power to alter our physiology in many ways, including not only the function of the pain pathways in our brain, but also the manifestation of a genetically inherited disease.” Does hypnosis work differently in changing mental processes depending on the individual? Studies have revealed that hypnosis doesn’t have the same physiological effects on everyone, although the healing benefits are generally the same. A study on hypnosis, conducted by Halligan and Oakley in 2009, found that the same hypnotic procedure resulted in patients experiencing pain relief through different neural passageways. During the study some subjects had pain-reducing physiological changes in the anterior cingulate cortex (the area of the brain responsible for making decisions), whereas other subjects had the same pain reduction benefits, but these occurred in the somatosensory cortex, which is where the perception of touch develops. So it’s the individual’s mind that is able to decide what part of the brain will be used to block...

Science Catches up with Practice: How Hypnosis Works on the Brain

Hypnosis dates all the way back to the 18th century, when a charismatic healer called Franz Anton Mesmer – who believed in the link between the heavenly bodies and human health – set about curing illnesses with an array of fancy theatrics and magnets. But what we now know, with much more certainty, is that real science is at the heart of hypnosis, whether it was Mesmer and his interest in Paracelsian astrological principles, or modern day hypnotherapy on the Gold Coast. Hypnosis is real What has always been relatively clear, even over those hundreds of years, is that hypnosis is something. It’s real. People stop smoking, get over phobias, cope with extreme stress and trauma and deal with pain and a huge list of other things, all with the brain rather than medication. That much and more is crystal clear. But scientific arguments about what is really happening in the brain during hypnosis have always raged, because the mind is deeply mysterious and even the very latest 21st century science has been unable to properly explain it. Indeed, it’s still not clear exactly how hypnosis works on the brain in this strange, conscious-yet-trance-like, non-sleep state of relaxation, with heightened imagination and extreme concentration and suggestibility. Scientists have not even been able to agree if it really is a separate neuro-physiological state or whether the subject is kind of just ‘playing the game’. But that science is finally catching up with hypnosis A study conducted by Stanford University has found evidence that something fundamentally different really is happening in the brain beyond a subject’s mere expectations. MRI scanners found actual...

Personal contact in business reduces Stress

Personal contact in business reduces Stress Growing up I watched my father in business and the relationships he built, both professionally and personally. Now, in my own business, I realise that most of my best business connections are with people I already knew personally or they came from personal recommendations.  I grew up on a farm in England and farmed in my own right for over thirty years.  The agriculture merchants and other businesses that I did business with, I knew their representatives personally.  Not necessarily as close friends, but colleagues. One incident in particular comes to mind.  A sales rep of a new machinery company, which had just started up in the area, arrived at my door one day.  At that point I really didn’t need a new tractor, although I liked the idea of a new one.  The sales rep viewed my tractor, produced a quote for part exchanging of my tractor for a new one.   I was not completely conversed with the value of agriculture machinery.  I rang Philip a friend, who owned a machinery agency and told him of the quote. Phillip’s immediate reaction was, “take the deal quick and make sure you have all the extras”.   Phillip did not persuade me to deal with him and his own company; he missed out on a sale.  From then on, nearly all my machinery purchases were via Phillip’s company.  I knew I had service reliability, mutual trust.  The same applied to all the agriculture merchants, who I purchased fertilisers and concentrated feed for the pig enterprise.  I was not a ‘shopper’ as such, trying to squeeze the...

My analogy of the Richards Process

My analogy of the Richards Process Judith Richards The Richards Process is something I have been practising for the last two years.  Prior to that I considered myself an accomplished practitioner.  I was satisfied with results that I was achieving.  Many of my clients were personal referrals.  I also had excellent testimonials and short video clips – see them here on my site. I have to attend so many workshops a year to keep up my qualifications.  At one event the main speaker for one of the workshops cancelled due to illness, Judith Richards was a ring-in.  Her presentation made sense.  Some of the presenters were, in my opinion, wafflers. First she gave her background of where she was coming from.   In her first marriage she had been extremely abused and traumatised, both physically and mentally – to the extent that she couldn’t show her face in public.  She didn’t go under; she worked out how to fix it.  She then studied hypnotherapy and used that skill as the tool.  She worked up a very good practice using the skill of hypnosis and the knowledge of what she had been through in her own personal life.  When she finished her presentation she stated she intended to run a two-day course to teach other therapists her own personal skills.  I immediately shot up my hand and fortunately I was one of the group she selected. As we go through life there are milestones that, on reflection, have a major influence on our lives.  One of the main ones in my life was joining the Royal Marines.  That was a period which...

Reduce emotional stress, Increase confidence to communicate

As Stress Levels Increases Confidence & Communication skills decrease The power of hypnosis is not the be-all and end-all in helping my clients.  The basic principle of hypnosis is to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind.  The ability to do this not rocket science.  In fact, to learn it is relatively simple.  All one needs is to have a passion for it and an aptitude.  I fortunately have both these attributes.  I enjoy my therapy work and I have a passion for it.  I rely mainly not on the courses I have attended but on my experiences in life in general.  I reflect on my personal experiences and what I have observed with other people. In fact recently I have had a few health problems.  My therapy has been my therapy.  It has given me something to focus on, not on myself.  It’s amazing how this alleviates the stress. I will reflect on helping a young part-Chinese man stressed out by his inability to communicate, stressed out with his studies.  This stress created anger outbursts.  He was, on first observation, a classic example for the Richards Trauma Process.  This was to clear the negative emotion from what he had experienced in his life which had created stress.  He had come from China.  His parents, quite understandably, wanted him to be a high achiever. He has a first class academic brain and is achieving excellent results.  The problem is that his parents had put too much pressure on him.  This principle is quite understandable.    The records show Asian students are coming out on top.  Their parents instil...