Anxiety and Stress Relief

Restorative Hypnotherapy has helped so many people with panic attacks, anxiety and stress, and that it's become our specialty. You can live your life with calm, clear thinking and inner security. Our work directly addresses the lifetime accumulation of fear and tension built up within, allowing you to experience feeling safe again, from the inside out.

In our years of seeing clients, we have found that most people have already intellectually worked out many of their issues through therapy, journaling, talking it out with friends and thinking it over. What remains to be dealt with is the actual energy of the old fears and traumas that is held deep in the body-mind. Restorative Hypnotherapy works by gently releasing this stored up fear, locked in the body with defensive tension, through the process of very deep physical, mental and emotional relaxation, coupled with hypnotic suggestion. Almost everyone feels immediate relief and a greatly increased flow of positive energy and emotion.

Over and over again, clients have told us that they have stopped taking "as needed" anti-anxiety and stress control drugs, often after the very first session. Many have reported that panic attacks stopped altogether after only one or two sessions, and while there still remained progress to be made, that alone very powerfully illustrated to them that they were on the right track in securing their peace of mind once again.

Weight Loss

When clients come for help with managing their weight and eating habits, almost all of them already know what they need to do. The issue is, why aren’t they doing it? Most say that they need more discipline to resist cravings, more motivation to exercise, that they are lazy or weak-willed. However, the real issue that I have found, in most cases, is the energy drain experienced when we are holding onto that lifetime accumulation of fear, stress and tension and don’t know how to release it.

Consider the sheer physical amount of energy it takes to constantly hold tension – in the face, neck, shoulders, chest, stomach, legs, etc. Many of us don’t know how to let it go even we sleep; we continue to hold tension by clenching the jaw, grinding the teeth, tossing and turning, waking up still feeling tired. There just isn’t a lot of energy leftover for exercising or extra-curricular activities. And when we’re tired, down, stressed, we crave highly processed foods because the more processed the food (or we might call it “edible product” instead of food) the more quickly it gives a boost to blood sugar levels. Unfortunately that boost, like the quick boost of caffeine, nicotine or certain other drugs, cannot be sustained and the blood sugar level falls off just as quickly as it was raised. Then we’re on a negative feedback loop – now we feel tired or depressed again and so we crave the unhealthy, highly processed foods once again.

Restorative Hypnotherapy breaks the negative feedback loop and replaces it with a positive feedback loop. By releasing the deep clenching hold of fear and tension in the body-mind your natural energy can begin to flow again and your desire to overeat or to eat unhealthy food is greatly diminished. You have the energy now to enjoy exercising, prepare healthier meals and learn new ways of relating to food and your body. It makes managing your weight, eating healthier and exercising an exciting process that daily helps you to feel better and better, in all aspects of your life.

Easy does it, subtle is significant, the tortoise and the hare.

+ Does Hypnosis work for Weight Loss?

Hypnosis, if done by a trained professional, can be a very useful tool for weight loss. It should be part of a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and self-care strategies such as setting aside time for yourself, getting enough rest, and making time for recreation. Research has not been conclusive regarding the benefits of hypnosis, but some patients find that it can be a useful part of their program.There are many theories as to how hypnosis can be of benefit, but in our work with patients, we find that they can often use hypnosis to help "turn down the noise" in their thinking and focus their attention more clearly on their goals. Patients often report that hypnosis helps them discover new insights about themselves or their barriers to weight loss. It can also allow them to focus their efforts or take a fresh look at some of their triggers.

Another common use of hypnosis is to help individuals better understand and manage difficult emotions. It is not uncommon for people to use self-hypnosis to enter into a highly relaxed state. This helps them to clear the thoughts and feelings that may be causing them distress. In addition to hypnosis, there are many other, similar techniques, such as mindful self-awareness, relaxation breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery, that when practiced with some regularity can really help you to move forward with your health and weight-loss plan. (For home use, you may be interested in the guided self-awareness audio CD available from the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.) So, yes, go ahead and give hypnosis a try -- you may get good results!

+ Stress and Diseases

Whether from a charging lion, or a pending deadline, the body’s response to stress can be both helpful and harmful. The stress response gives us the strength and speed to ward off or flee from an impending threat. But when it persists, stress can put us at risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other illnesses.

Perhaps the greatest understanding of stress and its effects has resulted from a theory by George Chrousos, M.D., Chief of the Pediatric and Reproductive Endocrinology Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

A threat to your life or safety triggers a primal physical response from the body, leaving you breathless, heart pounding, and mind racing. From deep within your brain, a chemical signal speeds stress hormones through the bloodstream, priming your body to be alert and ready to escape danger. Concentration becomes more focused, reaction time faster, and strength and agility increase. When the stressful situation ends, hormonal signals switch off the stress response and the body returns to normal.

But in our modern society, stress doesn’t always let up. Many of us harbor anxiety and worry about daily events and relationships. Stress hormones continue to wash through the system in high levels, never leaving the blood and tissues. And so, the stress response that once gave ancient people the speed and endurance to escape life-threatening dangers runs constantly in many modern people and never shuts down.

+ Effects on reproductive system

Stress suppresses the reproductive system at various levels. For example, stress hormones inhibit the testes and ovaries directly, hindering production of the male and female sex hormones testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.

+ The gastrointestinal tract and stress

Stress can result in digestive problems. Stress hormones directly hinder the release of stomach acid and emptying of the stomach and can directly stimulate the colon, speeding up the emptying of its contents.

Also, continual, high levels of cortisol – as it occurs in some forms of depression, or during chronic psychological stress – can increase appetite and lead to weight gain. Overeating at night is also common among people who are under stress.

+ The immune system and stress

Stress interacts with the immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds and flu, fatigue and infections.

In addition, the high cortisol levels resulting from prolonged stress could serve to make the body more susceptible to disease by switching off disease-fighting white blood cells.

Conversely, too little corticosteroid, can lead to a hyperactive immune system and increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases – diseases in which the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. Overactivation of the antibody-producing B cells may aggravate conditions like lupus, which result from an antibody attack on the body’s own tissues.

One of the major disorders characteristic of a chronic stress is melancholic depression. Chrousos’ research has shown that people with depression have a blunted ability to “counterregulate,” or adapt to the negative feedback of increases in cortisol. The body turns on the “fight or flight” response, but is prevented from turning it off again. This produces constant anxiety and overreaction to stimulation, followed by the paradoxical response called “learned helplessness,” in which victims apparently lose all motivation.

Hallmarks of this form of depression are anxiety, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

+ Other conditions are also associated with long-term stress

These include anorexia nervosa, malnutrition, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, alcoholism, alcohol and narcotic withdrawal, poorly controlled diabetes, childhood sexual abuse and hyperthyroidism.

The excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in patients with any of these conditions is responsible for many of the observed symptoms. Most of these patients share psychological symptoms including sleep disturbances, loss of libido, and loss of appetite as well as physical problems such as an increased risk for accumulating abdominal fat and hardening of the arteries and other forms of cardiovascular disease. These patients may also experience suppression of thyroid hormones, and of the immune system.

+ Although many disorders result from an overactive stress system, some result from an under-active stress system.

For example, in the case of Addison’s disease, lack of cortisol causes an increase of pigment in the skin, making the patient appear to have a tan. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, loss of body hair, nausea, vomiting, and an intense craving for salt.

Lack of the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) also results in the feelings of extreme tiredness common to people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Lack of CRH is also central to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the feelings of fatigue and depression that plague some patients during winter months.

Chrousos and his team showed that sudden cessation of CRH production may also result in the depressive symptoms of postpartum depression. In response to CRH produced by the placenta, the mother's system stops manufacturing its own CRH. When the baby is born, the sudden loss of CRH may result in feelings of sadness or even severe depression for some women.

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Focus and Attention

As we cultivate and enhance our ability to relax and center we also dramatically increase our ability to focus our attention. By maintaining a consistent state of calm we are far better able to access our memory and best judgment. When we find our selves balanced we also maintain a connection with our intentions and more easily find ourselves on a clear path to what we want and need most.

Eating and Body Image

This is an issue that brings more people to Mind Matters than any other. In most cases the obstacle is not our physical body but rather our old habits and behaviors. Further exasperated by our need to find a way to cope with the ever-present stresses in life we mistakenly look to food for comfort and relief. Learn new ways of approaching food for life. Embrace the miracle of your body and you explore how good it feels to eat smaller portions of highly nutrient rich foods while experiencing your body grow stronger with more endurance.

Sleeping Better

We all can use a bit more confidence and motivation. Have you ever met anyone who says that they have enough? The good news is that we can easily build more confidence and motivation by releasing stress and limiting thoughts. Through our profoundly deep trance work, freedom to be anything mindset and creative visualization experience a significant shift in just a few sessions. Most clients report a change after the very first session.

So many people young and old have issues sleeping. The truth is that most of us have forgotten what it feels like to experience deep sleep on a regular basis if at all. The good new is that we all have the capacity to sleep deeply. Using hypnotic trance is analogous to having a key to a lock. Once you have the key you can easily access the memory of what it feels like to sleep deeply.

What is required to slip easily into a deep and peaceful sleep, then awakening in the morning rested and refreshed? What is required is the ability to let go. Let go of the day, let go of thoughts, let go of muscular and mental tension. Restorative Hypnotherapy will teach you to do just that. How to quiet your mind, how to relax your body, how to feel safe deep inside to let go into peaceful sleep. Experiencing beautiful dreams, happy, even in your dreams.

Utilizing one of our recordings or a recording of your personal session provides a powerful resource that is always available.

Public Speaking

Utilizing some of the same methods used for anxiety and stress relief as well as confidence and motivation we have found that anyone can become a compelling speaker. Most of us have a lot to say and in comfortable circumstances we feel free to express ourselves. What can be accomplished in a very short time with hypnosis is the creation of a state where opportunity to speak publicly becomes successful and fulfilling.

Stop Smoking

Four questions that will determine your success

Are you really ready to stop smoking? Answering these questions honestly will help determine that.

1. Is it you that wants to stop smoking?

The reason I ask this is because if it's your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents, your boss, your doctor, or anyone else… that wants you to quit.. and YOU don't really want to.. then chances are you will not be successful.Hypnosis will not make you quit. It will allow you to quit. You possess the power to make many kinds of changes. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be reduced or even eliminated but the power of hypnosis or the hypnotist can't stop you from buying a pack and starting the process all over again. It is only your desire and the support that I give you that will allow success.

2. Is there anyone else at home that smokes?

The reason for this question is that when you become a non-smoker, you will need a refuge from cigarettes. Cigarettes will smell very bad and you will notice the stink on everything. You also had a very strong trigger to smoke when others smoke, and will need a place that you can have sanctuary from that. If you have someone at home that smokes, you can still quit if your desire is strong enough. Often you will find that others who used to smoke around you now find a place far away to be supportive. Soon your success influences them to a healthier happier smoke free life.

3. Do you think of cigarettes as your friend?

The reason for this question is because we assign all kinds of benefits to our smoking activities. The friend that calms me down, gives me something to do when I'm bored, that lets me enjoy the end of a meal, that lets me enjoy my me time, that gives me something in common with the people in the smokers break area...etc. If you still think of your smoking activity as your friend, rather than accept what the activity really is...which is breathing toxic fumes that will kill you...make you look older...turn your teeth yellow...and make everything you have stink. Then lets face it, you aren't quite ready to quit yet.

4. Are you ready to put them down for good?

This is a decision only you can make. You will know when it is your time to quit. Then, and only then, will you make the commitment, and have the level of desire, to put them down for good.

Know up front, that I will specifically look for reasons that you are NOT ready for hypnosis and our smoking cessation program. Too many people look for a magic bullet, instead of making a stand and taking responsibility. Hypnosis is not a magic bullet. It is the easiest way to become a non-smoker, but your commitment, and your investment, has to be at least as strong as mine for it to succeed.

What happens to your body if you stop smoking right now?

One of the main reasons it seems so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem very far away. Well, here’s a little timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect your body RIGHT NOW.

  • In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.

  • In 8 hours the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal.

  • In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.

  • In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.

  • In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.

  • In three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.

  • In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.

  • In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.

  • In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

  • In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

So, you have more immediate things to look forward to if you quit now besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke.