If you have been diagnosed, or suspect that you may suffer from one of the medical conditions stated below, you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment.
I may need to contact your GP (or ask for you to bring a letter from them confirming a diagnosis in certain conditions.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Headaches / Migraines
Skin conditions (including Eczema, Psoriasis and Dermatitis)
On-going pain (chronic pain) can be complicated and hard to treat. Quite often a combination of approaches are needed and your Doctor should advise on the use of painkillers, medication and other treatments. He or she may also be able to make a formal diagnosis on the cause of your pain (although it doesn’t always have an obvious cause.)
If you are experiencing chronic pain, you may benefit from physical therapy (such as stretching exercises, manipulation and other pain relief exercises) your Doctor may prescribe medication and painkillers but is also important to look at how you cope emotionally with chronic pain too.
Hypnotherapy can help with the emotional side of pain relief as anxiety and stress are often common side effects of pain and can even make the feeling of pain worse. By helping to reduce your stress levels and your thought patterns related to the pain, can really help in how you see and feel your pain.
Headaches can be classified into two main types; cluster headaches and Migraines.
Cluster Headaches can cause sudden, sharp pain in the head and can last from 15 minutes or for much longer (hours or even days) They tend to come in clusters and are extremely distressing for the sufferer
Migraines are a very painful type of headache that can cause visual disturbances, have a sensitivity to light and vomiting.
There are medications that may help that can be prescribed by your Doctor. A formal diagnosis must be made by your Doctor before considering hypnotherapy to rule out any other underlying medical problem.
Rather than trying to convince you that your pain doesn’t exist, hypnotherapy can help to relax and soothe any tension, stress and help you to manage any fears or anxiety that you may have relating to your pain and manage your symptoms. It helps to reduce stress and with the deep relaxation state that you can achieve, it can help you to let go of distracting thoughts (using visualisation techniques) and allow the subconscious part of your mind to accept suggestions encouraging pain relief and well-being. As it is a holistic form of therapy, I can also help you work on stress levels, look at your lifestyle and see if there have been any changes in your circumstances that may be related to the frequency and intensity of these painful conditions.
Stammering / Stuttering
Stammering is a type of speech disorder that interrupts a normal speech pattern. The sufferer will know what they want to say but may find it difficult to articulate the words. It may cause the sufferer to repeat the first part of a word and hold a sound for a long amount of time, however every stammer is individual and will vary from person to person. This can affect their self-esteem, confidence and make them feel anxious, perhaps causing them to add ‘um’ in between words or being accompanied by jerks or facial ticks.
It is common amongst children and often sorts itself out naturally, but in some cases it can continue into adulthood (it is estimated that 1% of adults in the UK stammer and it is four times likely to affect men than women). It can also start in adulthood and is often made worse by stress and anxiety, although it has been noted that individuals who stammer don’t have problems when they sing, talk to themselves or talk at the same time as someone else. This could be due to a lowered stress level.
There are a number of reasons for stammering and these could include: neurological trauma, reaction to certain prescribe medication, stress (including ‘Headmaster Syndrome’), re-occurrence of a childhood stammer or sometimes for no apparent reason.
Once your Doctor has investigated that there is no physical cause for your stammer, hypnotherapy can be helpful alongside speech therapy.
“I can help you to tackle any underlying stress, anxiety or
self-esteem issue that you may have. I can do this by helping you to really relax.”
Using visualisation and breathing techniques and by talking to your subconscious making it open to suggestions and helping you to change negative thoughts to more positive ones. It may be that a traumatic event started your stutter and the analytical side of hypnotherapy can help you identify and resolve that issue if needed. I will also teach you self-hypnosis which will allow you to continue the good work achieved in sessions at home.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common (it is thought to affect 1 in 5 people during their lifetime) functional disorder of the digestive system and gut that often occurs when people are in their twenties. It cause the bowel to become very sensitive and the condition causes recurring pain in the abdomen and often, the nerves and muscles don’t work properly. Some sufferers experience constipation, others have diarrhoea and some suffer from both. The pain can range from mild to severe and can occur at a particular time of the day. Lots of sufferers find that their symptoms are a nuisance from time to time, whereas for others, it can seriously affect their life. Studies have found that women are more likely to suffer with IBS and that their symptoms may be more severe.
Symptoms may include: pain and discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, feelings full, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, cramps, muscle pains and heartburn.
As IBS is a medical condition, it is important that your Doctor has made a formal diagnosis and informed you about your condition. As there isn’t a cure for IBS, there are things that you can do to help manage your condition such as diet control and possible medication.
Hypnotherapy can help you to learn relaxation techniques and ways to manage your stress and anxiety. It is well know that stress and anxiety can have a detrimental effect upon the immune system and health. I can teach you how to manage stressful feelings, worries or fears about your IBS which will help to increase your confidence, help you to visualise the future and how you able to cope, talk to your subconscious to try and decrease the sensitivity of your gut and generally improve your well-being and quality of life. I will also teach you self-hypnosis so that you can continue the positive work that you achieve during the sessions at home.
Clinical studies* have found hypnotherapy to be part of an effective treatment plan that can help to reduce constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain.
* Hypnotherapy for IBS is now recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a possible treatment. NICE recommend that people living with IBS who do not respond to pharmalogical treatments after 12 months, consider hypnotherapy.
Our skin is our largest organ and can often mirror what is happening in our unconscious mind. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help alleviate the typical symptoms of skin conditions such as itching, irritation and general discomfort.
Although these conditions are cause by physical symptoms, they can be exacerbated by anxiety and stress. This in turn, can cause sufferers to be concerned about their appearance, perhaps meaning that they don’t wear certain types of clothes, may avoid types of hairstyles and have low confidence and esteem levels.
It can help by decreasing or even sometimes eliminating symptoms helping you to be better able to cope not just with your physical symptoms but emotionally too. By a variety of techniques such as relaxation and visualisation, I can help you to see yourself in a positive light, changing your negative feelings to positive ones. This may be by seeing yourself in the future with clearer skin or with decreased symptoms, or it may be through the use of suggestions that you feel a cooling light soothing your skin. Any (or all of these techniques) can have an effect on reducing your anxiety and how you see yourself, which can have a positive effect on your confidence and self-esteem, which in turn, could reduce the intensity and frequency of flare-ups in the future.
Tinnitus is a medical condition that is defined by the sounds of buzzing, ringing, whistling, humming, hissing or other noises in one or both ears. The sounds comes from inside and can be intermittent or continuous. It is relatively common (about 1 in 10 people will experience mild tinnitus at some point in their life.) It is important that a formal diagnosis is made by your Doctor to rule out any underlying medical causes that can be treated, such as an ear infection or earwax although there are a number of factors that are thought to contribute to the symptoms such as hearing loss, age-related deafness and damage to the inner ear (such as regular exposure to loud music)
As each sufferer experience is individual, some people may only occasionally experience symptoms which makes it easier to live with whereas other may experience severe symptoms all day which can begin to have an effect on their overall physical and emotional health. The condition cause a high level of stress and can lead to feelings of fear, anger, anxiety and frustration. Whilst stress is not a cause of tinnitus, it can make it worse and affect your everyday life, so you may not be able to relax and this may affect your sleep.
Hypnotherapy can help with dealing with the emotions that you may be feeling and the associated stress thus helping you to improve your quality of life. I can also help you become more accepting of the noise by talking to your subconscious and encouraging it to process the sounds of your tinnitus( in the same way you process everyday sounds) and it may even be possible to make the sounds become easier to live by adjusting the volume, pitch or tone. By changing the way that your mind reacts to tinnitus, you can change your mind-set and other health problems linked to the tinnitus may improve too.
(Sleep disorders) Snoring
Snoring can lead to unpleasant physical effects on waking, such as a dry mouth and sore throats. The effect of snoring can have a very significant effect on others and can lead to irritability, drowsiness during the day and causing tension within a relationship.
Hypnotherapy can help to reduce the occurrence of snoring and the disturbances this causes. I can help you assess your sleep routine and lifestyle (these are factors that can contribute to snoring) and through the power of suggestions I can help you to alter your sleeping behaviour and reduce restrictions to the airways. I can also help family members or a partner to adjust to the sounds of snoring and make them more acceptable.
The aim of hypnobirthing (or hypnosis for childbirth) is to help you give birth in a relaxed and calm way, free from stress, anxiety or fear. If you are anxious, tense or stressed during labour then this can prevent your muscles from working as effectively as they could be. All births are different and not all births are problem free, but hypnobirthing gives you the tools that you need to have a better chance of feeling relaxed and calm as you deliver.
This is achieved by relaxation and breathing techniques, by using self-hypnosis and having a positive mind-set. Rather than thinking about ‘contractions’ think ‘surges’ or ‘waves’, ‘pushing’ becomes ‘birth breathing’ and ‘false labour’ becomes ‘practice labour.’ All of these are designed to help you gain a sense of control, reduce stress and ease anxiety. This may result in a shorter labour, less chance of medical intervention, increased chance of successful breast feeding, quicker recovery time for Mum and better bonding between Mum, Dad and Baby.
Hypnobirthing is a natural approach to labour so there aren’t any harmful side-effects; it is all about you listening to your body and knowing what you want from your birthing experience.
Having attended many births in my capacity as an Ambulance woman and having delivered my two children at home with quick, calm and relaxed births (with the aid of self-hypnosis) I am in a good position to be able to help you with the techniques of hypnobirthing.