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Tips for Stopping Smoking in the New Year from Inner Changes Hypnotherapy Manchester One of the major preventable causes of heart disease is smoking. It also causes an increased risk of all types of cancer. Passive smoking has be shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart and lung disease in non-smokers who live with smokers. Pick a day to stop. Choose a day, or ideally several days, when you know you will be relatively stress-free, and then stop smoking on that day. Remove all smoking-related items. Commit fully to quitting smoking by throwing out all smoking-related items such as cigarette packets, ashtrays, and lighters from your house, car etc. While you are at it, spring clean the house and your car to remove all cigarette smells and any evidence of being a smoker. By doing so, you will have less things to remind you of smoking. Also, by removing easy access to cigarettes you save yourself from moments of weakness. Try to understand your smoking habit and plan in advance. People often think of smoking as one big habit, but really it is a whole series of smaller habits that are triggered in response to different situations, different emotions, and at different times of the day. Once you’ve identified your smoking triggers, think about what else you could do, or how you could think differently in each of those situations. Plan in advance how you’ll cope with those different situations, like at the pub, with friends, in the car, after meals or at work. If you have planned alternative courses of action for each habitual situation, then you are creating new options and choices, beginning the process of freeing yourself from your habitual auto-pilot. Take it one day at a time. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on getting through one day at a time, and before you realise it you’ll be a non-smoker. Keep yourself busy. One thing smokers often overlook is that they will gain on average an extra 1 to 2 hours of free time each day, because they are no longer wasting time smoking. Therefore now is a really great time to start new hobbies and find new activities and interests to fill that extra time. The more you can keep yourself occupied, the easier you will find it to remain a non-smoker. Practice Relaxation. We can feel physically and mentally tense when we attempt to change habits or overcome addictions. This can build up inside us like steam in a pressure cooker and explode outwards in unhelpful ways such as anger, sarcasm and restlessness. Learning to physically and mentally relax is a good way to release this tension in a healthy and beneficial way. Some good ways to relax include meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and physical exercise such as walking or running. For best results try to perform deep relaxation for 15 to 30 minutes at least once each day, particularly during the first few days after you stop smoking. You can download my self-hypnosis relaxation and stress relief mp3 here: http://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/downloads/free-self-hypnosis-mp3-downloads.htm Create a list of all the reasons for becoming a non-smoker. Focus on all the positive things you’ll gain by becoming a non-smoker and the good feelings that come from being free from the addiction. Also list all the things you dislike about smoking and the associated unpleasant feelings. Read your list daily and re-imagine those feelings. If you have a craving or thoughts about smoking, vividly remind yourself of this list and all the reasons you have for remaining a non-smoker. Change your routines. The habitual aspect of smoking is very much tied up with your routines. Therefore making small adjustments to your routines for a while can loosen up the smoking habit and make it much easier to change. So for example if you’ve always smoked while you have a cup of coffee, try tea, fruit juice or some other drink instead for a while. Deal with your emotions. Some of the cigarettes you smoke are likely to be smoked for emotional reasons. Smoking like any other addiction helps you either avoid or move towards certain feelings. Do you smoke more when stressed, or when you feel like a reward, or when you feel socially uncomfortable, or when you are bored? If so, then the urge to smoke those particular cigarettes is triggered by your minds desire to shift your emotional states. Find something else that gives the same emotional benefit and substitute it for the cigarette. For example, if you smoke to de-stress, ask yourself what else can you do that will help you unwind to the same degree, in a similar time-frame. Going for a 5 to 10 minute walk to get out of the office, simple breathing exercises, having a chat with colleagues, making a cup of tea, are all simple alternative examples. If you are dealing with serious emotional problems, then it may be worth working with a qualified psychotherapist to help you manage those emotions before attempting to stop smoking. You’ll then find it much easier to quit if you no longer need the emotional crutch. Manage Your cravings. The more you focus on your cravings, the more intense and longer they can seem to be. Instead, first briefly acknowledge and accept the feeling of the craving, take a few long slow deep breaths, then remind yourself of all the benefits of quitting smoking and the reasons why you are going to remain a non-smoker. Focus particularly on the feelings associated with your reasons. Finally, find some other thought or activity to fully occupy your attention. You will find that the craving quickly fades if you can absorb your attention elsewhere. This is why it is a good idea to find new hobbies and alternative activities to keep yourself busy. The intensity of each subsequent craving will tend to diminish and fade each time you successfully distract yourself. Don’t bother with nicotine replacement patches or artificial cigarettes. Using these type of products only prolongs the very physical addiction and habits that your are attempting to overcome. Your body actually adapts relatively quickly to being without nicotine, usually 3-4 days of not smoking is enough. People usually have more problems with the habitual or emotional aspect of stopping smoking. Consider taking vitamins. According to the NHS Healthy Heart web page, vitamin C can help you get rid of nicotine more quickly. Vitamin B complex can help calm the frazzled nerves often associated with smoking cessation. Stick to your normal diet. If you feel hungrier between meals, stick to healthy options like fruit or vegetables. Usually these urges will pass the more you settle into your new non-smoking habits. Congratulate yourself on your successes. Every day that you are a non-smoker, and every time you avoid a craving, take some time to congratulate yourself. Plan a reward for yourself. Save up the money you would have spent on smoking and give yourself either a small weekly treat, or save up long term for something bigger like a holiday. Stay Stopped. Do not be tempted to smoke even a single cigarette, no matter how in control you feel you are. It can very quickly lead you back to the full smoking habit again. Inner Changes Hypnotherapy Manchester – Tips for Stopping Smoking in the New Year Still Struggling to quit smoking? If you feel you still need further assistance to quit smoking, then hypnotherapy, NLP and psychotherapy are all well regarded methods for helping people change habits such as smoking. If you live in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire area of the UK, then give me a call on 0161 881 4333 to find out more about my Quit Smoking Programme. The New Scientist published research that stated that ‘Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking’.(New Scientist Vol. 136 issue 1845-31 Oct 92) Nigel Magowan is an experienced and fully UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist, Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner. He has for many years helped people stop smoking, manage their eating habits, and deal with anxiety and stress-related issues. Read more about his Stop Smoking Programme in Manchester. Related Websites Stop Smoking – Live Well – NHS Choices Tips To Help You Stop Smoking Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy Manchester Psychotherapy Manchester Tips for Stopping Smoking in the New Year – Inner Changes Hypnotherapy Manchester.
What Are Anxiety Disorders? Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that all share anxiety-related symptoms. Each individual anxiety disorder refers to a subset of anxiety symptoms and specific anxiety triggers. A person with social anxiety for example may experience blushing, increased heart-rate, and a sense of panic and inferiority when around other people. All anxiety disorders share a common symptom, which is an excessive worry about something that most people wouldn’t be that concerned about. Anxiety itself is natural and actually quite helpful when experienced in appropriate contexts and intensities. Someone experiencing panic and anxiety is feeling the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Which is our body’s natural response to a perceived danger. When it is activated, hormones are released into the body to enable us to either deal with or escape from the threat. The actual cause of the anxiety itself can often be quite complex and unclear, as it usually arises from a combination of a persons’ psychological history, environmental factors, and genetic pre-disposition. At an underlying neurological and physiological level, the various anxiety disorders function in much the same way. The real difference lies at the level of the thought processes, which are what trigger and maintain the anxiety. This is why psychotherapy, which aims to help a person alter their thought processes, is one of the most effective long-term solution. People suffering from a variety of anxiety symptoms often think it is important to have a name or label for their condition, but this is often hard to achieve, as many people won’t fit neatly into the category of any one single anxiety disorder. There is a large spectrum of symptoms which anxiety sufferers can experience, with the cross over from one disorder to another, sometimes making it difficult to apply a single label to a patient presenting with a broad selection of anxiety-related symptoms. Fortunately a psychotherapist is trained to look beyond these simplistic ways of looking at anxiety, and instead treats the person as a whole, working flexibly with whatever symptoms, thoughts, behaviours and emotions the individual brings to the therapy process without the need to resort to labeling. A List of Common Anxiety Disorders: Panic Disorder Is literally the fear of having a panic attack, and this fear can be so intense that it actually causes a panic attack. It is a good example of the cyclical nature of many anxieties in which the symptoms also become the cause. The panic attack can produce extremely unpleasant physical and mental symptoms with many people believing that they are having a heart attack and/or are going to die or are going insane. Generalised Anxiety Disorder A persistent and excessive anxiety or worry about past, current or future events or activities which may or may not happen. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Can include repetitive behaviours such as cleaning, hand washing, checking, counting, or repeating words silently. The person will experience unwanted obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours. Social Anxiety The experience of fear, anxiety or panic in social situations. People may fear embarrassing themselves or making a fool of themselves in some way. Specific Phobias Are an excessive fear about a specific thing (animals, heights, flying, blood etc.) The object or situation is avoided or provokes extreme anxiety. People with an anxiety disorder can also experience a number of different symptoms as a result of their disorder. Somatoform Disorder Often more commonly referred to as Hypochondria. It is an excessive worry about your health and in particular about having an undiagnosed health issue. Often accompanied by frequent checking of bodily sensations, and doubts relating to medical diagnosis and test results. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) The experience, or witness of, or confrontation with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death, or serious injury, or threat of physical injury of self or others. The major feature of PTSD is the reliving of the event through dreams, nightmares or flashbacks. Commonly treated examples of anxiety People frequently seek help from counsellors and psychotherapists for the following anxieties: •public speaking anxiety •performance anxiety •social anxiety •blushing •interview anxiety •exam nerves •health anxiety •fear of flying •financial and economic worries •driving anxiety •specific phobias What Are Anxiety Disorders? By Nigel Magowan
10 Tips to Help You Choose a Hypnotherapist For Nigel Magowan, www.hypnotize.me.uk So you have decided to try hypnotherapy to overcome your problem? That’s a good choice because it helps you overcome the blocks to making change like no other therapy. However, how to choose a good hypnotherapist is not such an easy choice – there are so many to choose from. How do you know if someone is competent and, more than that, the right one for you? Finding someone on the internet is the easy bit and the starting point. Here are ten steps to make that all-important decision: 1. Decide what you want to achieve from your hypnotherapy First of all be clear about what you want to achieve from your hypnotherapy. Is it weight loss? Anger management? More confidence? Stop smoking? Less anxiety? Or something else? You need to be specific so that you can find a hypnotherapist who has the expertise you are looking for. 2. Your initial search for a hypnotherapist A good therapist is likely to be listed on a search engine but not always at the top, so it is worth looking through a couple of pages until you find the right one. Start by keying in the specialisation you are looking for and the rough location. This will help to narrow it down for you. For example, if you want to work on your anxiety, keying in ‘hypnotherapist’ will bring up hundreds, if not thousands of hypnotherapists, some of whom will not have that as a speciality. A better search would be’anxiety hypnotherapy manchester’. 3. Look at their website A professional hypnotherapist will have a professional website. Does it look like they take their profession seriously? What does it say about them? How long have they been working in this field? What qualifications do they have? What professional memberships? Do they list your problem as a specialisation? 4. Your top 3 Check out a number of sites and select the top three you are most drawn to and then contact them with the questions listed below. 5. Interview them A confident, professional hypnotherapist will be very happy to answer any questions you have over the phone and some in person. If they aren’t, move onto the next one. Here are some questions for you: How long have you been in practice? You want someone who is well experienced – you don’t want to be the person they practice with. What qualifications do you have? Make sure they have a professional qualification. Write it down and check out the website of the governing body to see if they appear credible and professional. Also check that the answer is the same as given on their own site. Any evasiveness in their answer is a bad sign. Do you do other work as well as hypnotherapy? If they are also in paid employment there is a good chance that they have not made a success out of being a hypnotherapist and this should be a red flag. On what days/times do you see clients? A professional person will see clients on set days and times rather than be ready any time anywhere. How much do you charge? Getting the cheapest hypnotherapist is not a good strategy – they are likely to be inexperienced. When working on your unconscious, experience and expertise are essential. At best it is otherwise a false economy as a bad hypnotherapist will take more sessions or will have very short term results. What professional memberships do they have? If they seem a little evasive, it is not a good sign. A professional hypnotherapist will be signed up to a professional organisation. Does their answer match up to what is said on the website? How many sessions does it take to get results? This question is designed to test their professionalism and their skills. A professional hypnotherapist will not guarantee a set number of sessions. Everybody is different and change can only happen as quickly as your unconscious mind can accommodate that change. If they specify a number of sessions it is likely that they have a bunch of scripts, after which they are stuck with what to do with you. You don’t want a ‘scriptologist’ (someone who just reads out scripts), you want a bone fide hypnotherapist who will tailor their approach to your needs. 6. Check in with yourself 1 Do they appear genuinely interested in you and your problem or just getting you in the diary for an appointment? 7. Check in with yourself 2 Are you happy that they answered the questions with confidence? Did they appear flexible? Credible? Knowledgable? 8. Be realistic It is important to understand that hypnotherapy, whilst powerful, is not a magic bullet. It is a therapeutic process and so you need to be committed to it to get the full benefit from it. Are you willing to put in the number of sessions, the effort and the financial commitment? 9. Attend your appointment When you attend your first appointment do assess whether you feel comfortable, safe, heard and understood by the hypnotherapist. Do they appear to have a good grasp of how to help you? Do they come across as confident and professional? 10. Decide You should now have enough information to decide whether you believe this person is the right one to help you. Being nervous is normal, especially if you have not had hypnotherapy before. But, putting these natural nerves aside, listen to your gut when you make your decision. Any niggling doubts about whether you are comfortable with the person should not be ignored. Finally, do remember that hypnotherapy is a process. You need to be committed to the end result and work with your chosen therapist. Together you can achieve great results, massive insights and, if there was anything negative, it would be the wish that you had made the decision earlier. The Author Tricia Woolfrey is an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner based in Surrey and Harley Street. Her contact details are: Tel nos: 01932 354746 (Surrey) or 0845 130 0854 (Harley Street) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.yourempoweredself.co.uk Keywords: find hypnotherapists harley street, find hypnotherapists london, find hypnotherapists in surrey The article “10 Tips to Help You Choose a Hypnotherapist” was reproduced on the Inner Changes Hypnotherapy Manchester website with permission from Tricia Woolfrey.
Insomnia and Sleep Disorders The world is an increasingly challenging place. Every paper and news site carries stories of economic doom and gloom. Even high street giants are closing their doors. Job losses are the spectre haunting boardrooms, offices and shop floors. Is it any wonder that people become worried, sometimes to the point of panic, about employment security and personal finances? Many work twice as hard to ensure that, should the axe of redundancy fall, they will be spared. Their vulnerability dominates their every waking thought, and that wakefulness can sometimes persist into the very time the mind should be resting. It’s not just money and job security worries which interfere with our ability to nod off. Most of us suffer from insomnia at one time or another for an infinite number of reasons, and for many the problem will be a temporary or infrequent blip. However, when sleeplessness persists and expands into hours spent staring at the clock, almost every night, it becomes a sleep disorder which can potentially have a serious impact upon both mental and physical health. Facts about insomnia: About 1 in 3 adults will suffer from insomnia at some point in their life, experiencing one or more of the different types: getting off to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes multiple times, or waking up too early in the morning. Insomnia is more common in women and more often reported in later life. A common misconception is that we need less sleep as we get older. This is not true. We need the same amount. It just gets harder to stay asleep for some people. The amount of sleep an individual needs is different from one person to another. Ex British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously claimed that he could function on no more than five hours’ sleep a night, but something in the range of 7-9 hours is more normal for an adult in order to maintain optimum physical and cognitive function. Causes of sleep problems: There are many causes of insomnia. Some cases may have a physical cause, such as an underlying medical condition; some may be related to drug or alcohol intake, or prescribed medicines. Factors like diet, lifestyle, age, and your physical environment also play a part. However, a significant majority of insomnia cases stem from anxiety, worry, or depression. Symptoms of insomnia: Most people will be familiar with the symptoms of sleep deprivation which include mood swings, low motivation, poor memory and concentration, low energy levels, co-ordination problems, spatial awareness, and difficulty with judgment and decision-making. Perhaps more worrying however is the impact long-term sleeplessness can have on our physical wellbeing. Prolonged lack of sleep can lead to health problems such as headaches, IBS, weight gain, and lowered immune system function, which in turn can lead to serious illness. There are additional major downsides to insomnia, such as the impact low mood and irritability can have on our ability to work and upon professional and personal relationships. Why do we need to sleep? Scientists still don’t fully understand the function of sleep. However, there are several commonly-held theories, that are widely accepted which include: * Giving your brain essential ‘downtime,’ and allowing the synapses to rest (the brain uses up to 80 percent of its energy in synaptic activity). * Repair and restoration, with two types of sleep REM and NREM addressing physiological and cellular regeneration respectively. There have been many studies in recent years which seem to illustrate that repair of tissue, muscle growth, and protein synthesis only ever occur during sleep, and that a reduction in these functions through sleep deprivation can have a massively damaging effect upon immune function, in turn leading to illness and even death. *Memory and learning. Some scientists believe that sleep is necessary in order to process the information an individual has been exposed to during wakefulness and to transfer this data into long-term memory. This could be an explanation for why memory is adversely affected by sleep deprivation. A recent article published by Harvard University stated that ‘the quantity and quality of sleep have a profound impact on learning and memory.’ A sleep-deprived person will experience difficulty in focusing attention and will therefore have problems learning in the first place, and as sleep seems to play a role in transferring learned information into the long-term memory area of the brain, even if information has been acquired, it may not be retained. Treatment for insomnia Many people will have tried traditional and commonsense sleep disorder remedies such as warm baths and milky drinks at bedtime, not eating heavy meals late at night, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, but if these measures don’t work, patients often turn to their GP. A doctor’s first course of action will usually be to advise relaxation techniques, perhaps in combination with a programme of exercise. However, in acute cases, a medical practitioner will nearly always prescribe drug treatment, usually starting out with a mild sedative, and then bringing in stronger drugs if the patient fails to respond. It should be pointed out though that while useful in times of crisis, this treatment can only be regarded as a short-term solution because sleeping tablets only treat the wakefulness aspect of the condition, but do not treat the underlying causes. An additional problem is that sleeping tablets are often highly addictive, which is why GPs usually only prescribe them for a maximum of a few weeks. Recent studies taking in historical records have revealed that the idea of sleeping solidly through the night for around 8 hours is a recent concept and may even be unnatural. However, irrespective of whether we sleep in a solid block or two chunks of 3-4 hours, all the evidence states that human beings must regularly get the amount of sleep that’s right for them in order to function properly and for the body to repair itself overnight. Therefore, if an overactive mind is keeping you awake over and over again, it may be time to speak to a psychotherapist who can explore the psychological causes of your insomnia, such as anxiety, depression, or stress and help you change your way of thinking so that your responses to stress are altered. Article: Insomnia and Sleep Disorders by Rachael Magowan Blog researched and written by Rowan Creative Copywriting Service Manchester By Nigel Magowan
What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)? Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an well understood and common issue, with its characteristic indicator of persistent daily anxiety without any obvious cause. Sometimes known as free floating anxiety or chronic worry. Around 1 in every 20 adults in Britain suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is a natural part of day-to-day living and may occur in any part of our life. At low levels, anxiety is in fact very important and helpful as it keeps us safe by helping us avoid potential threats and mistakes, it can motivate us, and it ensures we think things through thoroughly before doing them. For example it is anxiety that ensures we have prepared for important exams and presentations. Depending on how we evaluate them, worrying events can have the power to actually strengthen us and build our confidence and self esteem as it can broaden our comfort zones, and encourage us to take action to overcome misunderstandings and improve our relationships with others. For many people however, the intensity of the anxiety can become so intense that it overwhelms them and interferes with their everyday activities. The cause of Generalised Anxiety Disorder is not simple and can be attributed to multiple factors. Environmental factors can contribute to high degrees of stress and anxiety. Long-term or unusually high amounts of emotional distress from life events such as relationship break ups, bereavement, job loss, financial problems, illness, work stress, and absence of support networks may contribute to the creation of anxiety disorders. Genetic susceptibility might additionally mean some people are much more vulnerable to stress and anxiety than others. Typical Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder Generalised Anxiety can impair you both physically and psychologically. Psychological signs of Generalised Anxiety Disorder could be: uneasyness a feeling of fear or dread feeling constantly “on edge” problem concentrating irritability rashness being easily sidetracked The physical signs of Generalised Anxiety can feature: lightheadedness drowsiness and tiredness pins and needles irregular heartbeat (palpitations) muscular tissue aches and tension dry mouth too much sweating lack of breath stomach ache nausea diarrhea frustration thirstiness frequent urinating painful or missed periods trouble dropping or remaining asleep (insomnia and sleep disorders) Treatment for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Generalised anxiety disorder treatment in more acute cases will require professional help. It is necessary to first rule out any possible physical cause for your anxiety, so explore your symptoms with your GP first. Supportive talk therapies such as counselling, psychotherapy, NLP and clinical hypnotherapy are of immense value in the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. In some cases however the anxiety may be so intense initially that your doctor will prescribe medication to reduce the anxiety symptoms to a level where you can more effectively engage in psychological therapy. Brief Therapies that make use of cognitive and behavioral strategies such as CBT and NLP can be an effective therapy for the various anxiety disorders. With these therapies you are shown ways to recognise and change the thought patterns, behaviours, and resulting emotional responses that are causing your anxiety, and ways to perceive each anxiety attack differently and more realistically, so you realise that it is your own mind and not the situation itself that is causing your anxiety. Also learning to experience your fears and tackle them aids in expanding your comfort zones and can build your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes having an explanation of what is taking place in your body when you feel nervous, and a discussion about any worrying physical symptoms, generally helps reduce the anxiety by helping you realise that you do not have a serious physical issue. Uncertainty worsens stress and anxiety so having an understanding of them and a clear procedure for dealing with it often helps. Learning ways to literally manage the physical symptoms of your anxiousness using breathing techniques, awareness exercises, and muscle relaxation, will permit you to manage your bodily responses when you start to feel anxious. A well qualified and experienced therapist will be able to help you to explore your thought process, behaviours and emotions, and aid you in finding the solutions you need. Self-help for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) There are many effective ways to help yourself manage GAD and other anxiety disorders. However if you have severe anxiety then you should also seek professional assistance. Action or acceptance: The vast majority of what we worry about will never actually occur. Also for a large percentage of the things we worry about, we actually have absolutely no control or influence over it. So notice what you are worrying about, and ask yourself, do you personally have any direct control or influence over what you are worrying about? If the answer is yes, make an action plan and begin to take steps to change the situation so that it no longer worries you. Taking action, even if it is just small steps often helps alleviate stress and anxiety. If instead you realise you actually don’t have any control over the thing you are worrying about then finding a way to think differently about and accept what is happening is going to be much more beneficial and healthy. In fact the less anxious you are the more resourceful you’ll be, and the better able to cope and deal with whatever life actually throws at you. Lifestyle changes: Particular lifestyle activities can cause anxiety, or make existing anxiety even worse, such as drinking too much caffeine, an unhealthy diet, inadequate sleep routines, use of recreational drugs, lack of exercise, and social seclusion to name a few. Start by drinking less caffeine, develop a well balanced healthy diet and regular workout regimen, establish a healthy sleep routine, reduce your alcohol intake, and seek the company and support of your friends and family. Relaxation: An easy and remarkably effective anxiety disorder treatment is deep relaxation. This has been shown to be as effective as anxiolytic drugs when practiced once or twice daily. Any form of relaxation is going to be helpful, but relaxation procedures that supply both mental and deep muscle relaxation will be the most beneficial. Routine use of relaxation procedures such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing technique, meditation, biofeedback, mindfulness, yoga, and self-hypnosis have all been shown to be valuable. About the Author Nigel Magowan is based in Manchester, England, and is a professional and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coach. He is also a fully Accredited Psychotherapist. He has been in full-time private practice since 2002 and uses a flexible integrative cognitive behavioural approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a Brief Therapy treatment that is customised to your unique personal needs. Over the years he has increasingly specialised in treating the various anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety at his Manchester practice. He is also an Approved Anxiety UK Therapist in Manchester. As someone who has previously suffered from anxiety, he is able to bring his own personal understanding into his anxiety related work with his clients. His Manchester Hypnotherapy, NLP, and psychotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester is near to Streford, Didsbury, Withington, Stockport, Altrincham, Cheadle, Salford, Macclesfield, Worsley. Call him on 0161 881 4333 to make an enquiry or book an initial appointment now.
The Beneficial Effects of Ecotherapy More recently researchers have begun to understand what lots of people have known on an instinctive level for millennia: that the natural world can be a very beneficial aid to recovery for our psychological health. Healers have actually long made use of a therapeutic connection with nature in order to treat a large selection of mental and physical conditions. These ancient practices are actually now being rediscovered and have been given the collective name ‘Ecotherapy‘. Ecotherapy is a collective term for various nature-based treatments which use an experiential connection with nature. It’s a relatively new field, but one which has numerous ancient roots, drawing its ideas from both modern and ancient practices, including contemporary psychotherapy, counselling, nature-awareness, mindfulness, meditation, clinical hypnotherapy, NLP, shamanism, and bushcraft to name a few. The term Ecotherapy refers to many different nature-based therapies such as wilderness therapy, equine assisted therapy, pet therapy, horticultural therapy, walking therapy, natural awareness therapy. Our forefathers would have seen very little or no difference between the natural world and themselves; making use of nature to recover and sustain, physically, mentally and spiritually. The sad thing is, contemporary society has become more and more detached from nature. For millennia we existed in a close relationship with the natural world, and were intrinsically connected to the rhythms of our natural environment, a lot so that our demand for a relationship with nature need to live in our extremely genes. It would seem that, in spite of our technological innovations, we are still genetically hard-wired to need to be close to nature and living things. Most people are already familiar with the advantageous mental impacts of just being on a beach, paddling in a stream, or walking in woodlands or mountains. When taking our vacations, this might be why we are commonly drawn to locations of natural beauty. Mankind’s use of nature to enhance physical, spiritual and psychological well-being has been around most likely as long as humans have existed. Numerous researchers now think that psychological problems can emerge due to our disconnection from the natural environment. Our in-built need for a relationship with nature has become interfered with, leaving us unbalanced and open to a range of psychological and emotional troubles. It would appear that there is a strong need for us to re-integrate nature back into our lives to redress the balance. Research has actually shown that just being in green spaces can have considerable advantages on psychological well-being. This can be as simple as spending time gardening, sitting in a neighborhood park, or walking in the countryside. Ecotherapy takes this concept of being in green space further by actively developing and using this instinctive connection, and combining it with contemporary psychotherapeutic processes. Compared with many standard talking therapies, Ecotherapy is typically focused on experiential learning. Participants learn by means of engagement and immersing themselves in the environment and tasks, as well as by talking about and sharing their insights and experiences, thus personal growth can frequently occur without the lengthy conversation frequently associated with many talking therapies. More and more research is now showing that Ecotherapy has a powerful effect on many psychological conditions, including, anxiety, stress, anger, obsession, and depression. It can build self-esteem, inspiration, self-confidence, and improve communication and relationship skills. It can help put your life into perspective, establish self-reliance and imagination, and help you to discover that you can achieve things you never thought feasible. Ecotherapy Related Blog Nigel Magowan Presents His Research into the Potential Effectiveness of Ecotherapy as a Treatment for Anxiety, at the UKCP Research Conference at Regents College, London About the Author Nigel Magowan is a Manchester, UK based Ecotherapist, Accredited Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coach. With over 11 years’ experience practicing psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy in Manchester and Harley Street. He is one of the first few people in the UK to provide Ecotherapy, which is provided either in weekly sessions, as part of an on-going regular open groups, or as weekend retreats and workshops. Nigel offers outdoor nature-based therapy and coaching for individuals, organizations, and business groups.
All you need is your anxiety and a tennis or juggling ball. Brain scan studies have demonstrated that anxiety only occurs in one hemisphere of the brain. If you force both hemispheres of the brain to communicate with some physical actions that involve both sides of the body then the anxiety state can be quickly diminished. Here’s what you do: 1. Conjure up the state of anxiety (if you are troubled by anxiety you may not need to do much conjuring). 2. Holding your hands out in front of you, elbows bent as if you were holding a tray. Toss the ball back and forth between your hands. The ball must cross in front of you as you catch and throw. As you do this you will find your anxiety level beginning to diminish. 3. After a while stop ‘juggling’ to gauge your level of anxiety. Typically it will be reduced. 4. Continue juggling and checking until the anxiety is reduced to zero. You can use this process when the anxiety arises or imagine an anxiety provoking situation and reduce the anticipated anxiety. Here’s a video explanation and demonstration of this approach by Andy Austin on YouTube. — Reproduced with permission from the author Andrew Austin . If you wish to reproduce this article on your own website or blog, please contact the author. You must include the author details and ensure any web links remain active and unchanged. The copyright remains with the author.
Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. When I first opened the doors of my Manchester Psychotherapy practice to clients 11 years ago, I held brand new professional qualifications in NLP and Clinical Hypnotherapy and had read countless books on both subjects, but it very quickly became apparent to me that I had only just begun the real learning process. There is no substitute for real life practical experience: the day-to-day interaction with people; no two of whom are the same. There is no magic template or technique you can apply as a one size fits all. Every person who walks through my door is unique. Accordingly, the treatment for every client has to be individually tailored and fluid, adjusting from moment to moment within every session. This is one of the main reasons why I threw the standard pre-written hypnotherapy scripts used by many hypnotherapists in the bin in the first few weeks of practicing, and adopted a flexible, tailored and ultimately more effective approach. Over the years many people have asked me why I became a therapist. There are many reasons, but my greatest motivation has always been to help people realise their potential, both personally and professionally. It’s so common to be prevented from achieving your dreams because of treatable conditions like phobias, addictions, anxiety or stress, and once you banish those to the past you can go forward and become the person you want to be. I think what helps me guide others is my own personal experience of anxiety and panic attacks which held me back when I was younger. Having had run-ins myself with these all-too-common limiting conditions gives me a depth of understanding of them, coupled with a strong sense of empathy for the person sitting with me in my consulting room. In eleven years of full-time practice, I have conducted literally thousands of therapy sessions and treated more conditions than I have room to list in this blog entry, but there are certain psychological issues in which I have gained particularly strong expertise, such as generalised anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, fear of public speaking, social anxiety, addictions, OCD, confidence building, relationship issues, and stress. I have gone on to obtain specialist training in other areas and now hold certificates in Stress Management, Anger Management, Working with Shame, Treating Insomnia and Sleep Disorders, Working with Addictions, Treating IBS, Human Development, Psychopathology and Ethical Practice. I also embarked on a formal UKCP accredited training programme in Psychotherapy in 2006, obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy, allowing me to become a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist. This qualification has significantly increased my breadth of knowledge and skills, and my ability to work effectively with difficult and complex cases. I believe strongly that it’s very important to keep learning and progressing, and my professional evolution reflects that, with an expansion in 2010 into a practice in London’s Harley Street, and being taken on by the National phobic organisation Anxiety UK as an approved therapist. More than a decade running my clinic has also given me the time to add many other strings to my bow in terms of additional fields of therapy, so that now I can honestly say I offer a fully integrative approach, which now draws on many therapeutic approaches including Contemporary Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Systemic NLP, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapy, Self-Relations Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, Counselling, and Family Systems Therapy. Combined I think they help me offer a holistic and individually-tailored approach to each person I work with. It would appear that I have managed to strike the right balance, as a significant number of clients return for treatment of conditions in addition to the one they initially consulted on. I also receive a lot of new clients who have come to me via recommendations from past or current existing clients. There is no doubt that my training and experience has added depth, knowledge, understanding, flexibility and adaptability to my approach, and as I enter my twelfth year of practice, I intend building upon that even more. I am genuinely excited about what the coming year holds for Inner Changes. In addition to my more conventional psychotherapy practice, based in a traditional consulting room, I will be expanding upon my work in Ecotherapy. This relatively new form of therapy moves the client into a natural setting, delivering treatment via workshops, one-to-one sessions, exercises and guided meditations, all of which are conducted in the countryside, utilising Nature itself as part of the healing process. This is a relatively new area of discovery in therapeutic terms, so in many ways, I will actually be contributing to the field as I explore it. This could be daunting for some, but as I often say to my clients, it’s beneficial to keep changing, evolving and moving forward. It’s great looking back today at how far I have come, but it’s equally fantastic to be looking ahead and embracing the challenges of tomorrow. Article: Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. By Rachael Magowan Blog researched and written by Rowan Creative Copywriting Service Manchester
One of the major preventable causes of heart disease is smoking. It also causes an increased risk of all types of cancer. Passive smoking has be shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart and lung disease in non-smokers who live with smokers. Pick a day to stop. Choose a day, or ideally several days, when you know you will be relatively stress-free, and then stop smoking on that day. Remove all smoking-related items. Commit fully to quitting smoking by throwing out all smoking-related items such as cigarette packets, ashtrays, and lighters from your house, car etc. While you are at it, spring clean the house and your car to remove all cigarette smells and any evidence of being a smoker. By doing so, you will have less things to remind you of smoking. Also, by removing easy access to cigarettes you save yourself from moments of weakness. Take it one day at a time. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on getting through one day at a time, and before you realise it you’ll be a non-smoker. Try to understand your smoking habit and plan in advance. People often think of smoking as one big habit, but really it is a whole series of smaller habits that are triggered in response to different situations, different emotions and at different times of the day. Once you’ve identified your smoking triggers, think about what else you could do, or how you could think differently in each of those situations. Plan in advance how you’ll cope with those different situations like at the pub, with friends, in the car, after meals or at work. Keep yourself busy. One thing smokers often overlook is that they will gain on average an extra 1 hour and 20 minutes of free time each day. Therefore now is a really great time to start new hobbies and find new activities and interests to fill that extra time. The more you can keep yourself occupied, the easier you will find it to remain a non-smoker. Practice Relaxation. We can feel physically and mentally tense when we attempt to change habits or overcome addictions. This can build up inside us like steam in a pressure cooker and explode outwards in unhelpful ways such as anger, sarcasm and restlessness. Learning to physically and mentally relax is a good way to release this tension in a healthy and beneficial way. Some good ways to relax include meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and physical exercise such as walking or running. For best results try to perform deep relaxation for 15 to 30 minutes at least once each day, particularly during the first few days after you stop smoking. You can download my self-hypnosis relaxation and stress relief mp3 here: http://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/downloads/free-self-hypnosis-mp3-downloads.htm Create a list of all the reasons for becoming a non-smoker. Focus on all the positive things you’ll gain by becoming a non-smoker and the good feelings that come from being free from the addiction. Also list all the things you dislike about smoking and the associated unpleasant feelings. Read your list daily and re-imagine those feelings. If you have a craving or thoughts about smoking, vividly remind yourself of this list and all the reasons you have for remaining a non-smoker. Change your routines. The habitual aspect of smoking is very much tied up with your routines. Therefore making small adjustments to your routines for a while can loosen up the smoking habit and make it much easier to change. So for example if you’ve always smoked while you have a cup of coffee, try fruit juice instead for a while. Deal with your emotions. Some of the cigarettes you smoke are probably being smoked for emotional reasons. Do you smoke more when stressed, or when you feel like a reward, or when you are bored? If so, then the urge to smoke those particular cigarettes is triggered by your minds desire to shift your emotional states. Find something else that gives the same emotional benefit and substitute it for the cigarette. For example, if you smoke to de-stress, ask yourself what else can you do that will help you unwind to the same degree. Going for a walk to get out of the office, simple breathing exercises, having a chat with colleagues, making a cup of tea are all simple alternative examples. If you are dealing with serious emotional problems, then it may be worth working with a qualified therapist to help you manage those emotions first. You’ll then find it easier to quit smoking if you no longer need the emotional crutch. Manage Your cravings. The more you focus on your cravings, the more intense and longer they can seem to be. Instead, first briefly acknowledge and accept the feeling of the craving, take a few long slow deep breaths, then remind yourself of all the reasons why you are going to remain a non-smoker. Focus particularly on the feelings associated with your reasons. Finally, find some other thought or activity to fully occupy your attention. You will find that the craving quickly fades if you can keep your attention occupied elsewhere. This is why it is a good idea to find new hobbies and alternative activities to keep yourself busy. The intensity of any subsequent cravings will tend to diminish and fade each time you successfully distract yourself. Don’t bother with patches or artificial cigarettes. Using these type of products only prolongs the physical addiction and habits that your are attempting to overcome. Your body actually adapts relatively quickly to being without nicotine, usually 3-4 days of not smoking is enough. People usually have more problems with the habitual or emotional aspect of stopping smoking. Consider taking vitamins. According to the NHS Healthy Heart web page, vitamin C can help you get rid of nicotine more quickly. Vitamin B complex can help calm the frazzled nerves often associated with the smoking cessation. Stick to your normal diet. If you feel hungrier between meals, stick to healthy options like fruit or vegetables. Usually these urges will pass the more you settle into your new non-smoking habits. Congratulate yourself on your successes. Every day that you are a non-smoker, and every time you avoid a craving, take some time to congratulate yourself. Plan a reward for yourself. Save up the money you would have spent on smoking and give yourself either a small weekly treat, or save up long term for something bigger like a holiday. Stay Stopped. Do not be tempted to smoke even a single cigarette, no matter how in control you feel you are. It can very quickly lead you back to the full smoking habit again. Still Struggling? If you feel you still need further assistance to quit smoking, then hypnotherapy, NLP and psychotherapy are all well regarded methods for helping people change habits like smoking. The New Scientist published research that stated that ‘Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking’.(New Scientist Vol. 136 issue 1845-31 Oct 92) If you live in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire area then give me a call on 0161 881 4333 to find out how I can help. Nigel Magowan is a qualified and experienced Integrative Psychotherapist, Advanced Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner. He has for many years helped people stop smoking, manage their eating habits, and deal with anxiety and stress-related issues. Read more about his Stop Smoking Programme in Manchester.
Inner Changes – near Fallowfield Advanced Hypnotherapy, NLP, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, and Stress Management If you would like help to do any of the following… Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks Control Your Weight and Eating Habits in a natural healthy way Relax and manage your stress levels Rid yourself of a Fear or Phobia Improve your confidence and self esteem Treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Stop Smoking Change a habit Solve emotional problems Make positive changes in your life Resolve unwanted issues Deal with relationship issues Manage and control pain Overcome depression Enhance your memory and study habits Enhance a skill you already possess more… …then I may be able to help you. Click Here to bookmark this site Just how much is your health and well-being worth to you? I specialise in anxiety and panic attacks, weight control, stress management, smoking cessation, changing habits, removing fears and phobias, overcoming depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), relationship issues, memory and study habits, and improving confidence and self esteem. if you don’t see what you are looking for, then do get in touch to discuss your requirements. My years of experience and extensive training has given me the knowledge and flexibility to help you deal with most psychological issues. As a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life coach, my services can more effectively treat many of the things that you might consider visiting a counsellor for, and a lot more besides. It is also my aim to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible and by using the incredible power of your own mind, enable you to achieve the life you want. Many specific issues can be very quickly dealt with in around 4 to 8 sessions, for more deep rooted or complex issues, more sessions will be required. However as we are all unique individuals, you decide when you have reached resolution. I am a full-time professional, qualified and experienced Manchester Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Integrative Psychotherapist, Life Coach and a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner. I have trained with some of the best psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and NLP trainers, including Paul McKenna, and by Dr Richard Bandler – the creator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I have received training in both Ericksonian and traditional hypnotherapy, and combine all my skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your exact needs. So that together we can work to help you to change in the quickest and most effortless ways possible. By using a solution focused approach, results can be achieved in a much shorter time than when using traditional counselling or psychoanalysis. I offer an 60 minute Initial Consultation/Assessment Session which gives us the chance to begin to explore your issues further. I will give you honest answers to any questions you might have and give you a realistic estimate of the number of sessions you may require. I practice from a consulting room in my home, located in Chorlton in South Manchester, near Fallowfield, close to junction 7 & 8 of the M60 and the end of the M56. My services can be combined and tailored to your individual or company needs, and range from one to one private therapy or coaching sessions through to group training and workshops. When you are committed to making the inner changes you need, to achieve the life you want, simply phone me on 0161 881 4333 or to make an appointment now.
- Anxiety Disorder
- Areas Covered
- Ecotherapy Wilderness Therapy Nature Based Therapy
- Generalised Anxiety
- Health Tips
- Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
- Stop Smoking