anxiety

Keira Knightley Reveals Hypnotherapy Helped Treat Her Panic Attacks

More and more celebrities are opening up the mental health conversation, revealing their own personal struggles—and Keira Knightley is the latest star to share her struggle with anxiety. The Colette star confessed to the Hollywood Reporter that she suffered a debilitating mental breakdown in 2007, and as a result was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Knightley attributes her breakdown to the pressure and attention that came with fame, adding that the paparazzi exasperated the situation. “It was big money to get pictures of women falling apart,” Knightley told the Hollywood Reporter during their Awards Chatter podcast in reference to Britney Spears’s breakdown.

Eventually, her overwhelming anxiety built up and it took a serious toll on her. “I did have a mental breakdown at 22, so I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all that stuff,” she said.

To help her treat her PTSD and panic attacks on the red carpet, Knightley credits hypnotherapy. “I actually did hypnotherapy so that I could stand on the red carpet at the BAFTAs and not have a panic attack,” she confessed. “The hypnotherapy worked because I did stand there and I didn’t have a panic attack.”

But what exactly is this form of therapy—and how does it work? Here’s what you should know.

Hypnotherapy is different from traditional talk therapy in that it puts you in a trance-like state to help you gain better control over your anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypnotherapy is usually done with a therapist repeating certain words or mental images to a patient.

“Hypnotherapy works to build walls around the patient’s central system and to develop a lens to see the world in a less threatening light,” psychotherapist Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, explains to Prevention.

While there are several modalities of hypnotherapy, Dr. Hokemeyer believes the one likely used with Knightley would involve a combination of deep relaxation and cognitive restructuring.
“By inducing a state of deep relaxation, through breath work, guided meditation, or yoga practice, the clinician gains access to the patient’s subconscious thoughts,” Dr. Hokemeyer explains. For example, meditating can help relax by forcing you to focus on using your breath. It can also help you see your fears and anxieties not as threats, but as opportunities to grow and make you stronger. “The work would also enable them to re-evaluate their own perceptions, correcting any distortions and strengthening their agency and resilience,” Dr. Hokemeyer says.

The benefits of hypnotherapy aren’t immediate, and half the battle is trusting your therapist and being patient with the process. To be truly effective, you need to find the right hypnotherapist who can address your needs.

Dr. Hokemeyer says hypnotherapy generally takes at least four sessions or a month of preliminary work with your therapist. That preliminary work involves finding a therapist you can trust, actually undergoing the hypnosis treatments, and implementing those changes to your everyday life.

 

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Hypnosis, an Effective Aid to Weight Loss

Hypnosis is a highly effective method for weight management whereby you are helped to open up a new channel of communication with your body and your mind, through your mind. With the help of a qualified clinical hypnosis practitioner, you are guided into a state of focused concentration and mental and physical relaxation in which your suggestibility is heightened and your imagination is stimulated. In this state, the part of your mind that controls your habits (i.e., your subconscious mind) is more receptive to constructive suggestions for changing your eating and exercise habits, and improving your self-care.

You are not only helped to experience this heightened state of suggestibility and relaxed, focused concentration in the office, but also on your own at home. This is accomplished by making you a recording on your phone that you are encouraged to listen to at least once a day at home. By repeatedly listening to your hypnotist’s suggestions over and over again, the messages get through to your subsconscious control centre in your brain. This helps to re-program your eating and exercise habits, your body image, and your self image. You are also taught how to harness the power of self-hypnosis so that you can enter this state of focused concentration on your own to meditate on your goals and your new self image.

Hypnosis is also a tool for uncovering and discovering underlying, unconscious emotional factors that cause you to overeat or make poor food choices when you are stressed, anxious, bored, depressed, and so forth. Once these emotional eating factors are made conscious, the hypnosis tool is then used to help you change them to more positive motivators so you can make better choices under stress.

The largest obstacle in weight loss is its long-term retention, or the maintenance of weight loss. With that said, it is my clinical experience that maintenance is promoted when a person who is committed to following through with a weight maintenance program has the proper tools to help him or her cope with their anxiety and their other emotions.  The proper tools include: emotion regulation skills, self-control skills, motivational skills, and knowledge about diet, nutrition, and exercise.  Hypnosis, self-hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral skills provide the best resource tools in this regard based on the research and my own clinical experience.

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The Effectiveness of Hypnosis Intervention in Alleviating Postpartum Psychological Symptoms

This study shows how hypnosis can be very helpful in the treatment of PostPartum Depression.

Psychological symptoms, particularly postpartum depression, may impair women’s well-being after childbirth. Mind-body treatments such as hypnosis are available to help prepare women to maintain or improve their well-being postpartum. The aims of the present study are to determine the effectiveness of a hypnosis intervention in alleviating psychological symptoms (stressanxiety, and depression) and the symptoms of postpartum depression. A quasi-experimental design was utilized in this study. The experimental group participants (n = 28) received a hypnosis intervention at weeks 16, 20, 28, and 36 of their pregnancies. Participants in the control group (n = 28) received routine prenatal care. The final data collection, occurring at two months postpartum, included 16 women from the experimental group and 11 women from the control group. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) was used to measure psychological symptoms, and postpartum depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The results at two months postpartum showed that the experimental group had significantly lower postpartum anxiety than the control group (M = 2.88 versus M = 38.36, p = .023). Similarly, the experimental group had significantly lower postpartum depressive symptoms than the control group (M = 1.25 versus M = 6.73, p < .002). Group differences in postpartum stress symptoms were not significant (p = .363). Finally, the results indicated that the experimental group experienced reduced postpartum depression when compared to the control group (M = 5.69 versus M = 10.64, p < .001). Thus, hypnosis conducted during pregnancy may promote improvements in psychological well-being postpartum.

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SKYPE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Effectiveness and Comparison with Face-to-Face Treatment.

Gut-focused hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome but is not widely available. This STUDY assessed whether providing hypnotherapy by Skype might partially overcome this problem. Using a 50-point or more reduction in the IBS Symptom Severity Score as the primary outcome measure, 65% of subjects responded to Skype hypnotherapy with all other outcomes significantly improving. The primary outcome figure for face-to-face hypnotherapy was 76%. When other outcome scores for Skype and face-to-face treatment were compared, the mean changes were these: symptom severity (-94.1 vs. -129.2), noncolonic score (-52.3 vs. -64.8), quality of life (+56.4 vs. +66.2), anxiety (-3.3 vs. -3.0), depression (-1.7 vs. -2.5), and a 30% or more pain reduction (44% vs. 62%). Skype hypnotherapy is effective but slightly less so than face-to-face treatment. However, many patients would have been unable to access treatment without the Skype option.

 

 

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Literature Review of the Evidence-base for the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy for Chronic Pain and Anxiety

This very interesting and useful paper by Eileen Davis* reviews ten studies on the effectiveness of Hypnotherapy.

Here is a summary of her findings:
The goal of this literature review is to provide a contemporary review of research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Ten studies have been reviewed on the application of hypnotherapy to two common conditions: chronic pain and anxiety. The review found that the studies provided evidence for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a treatment to assist in the reduction of pain and anxiety.

A stronger evidence base for hypnotherapy has developed over the past decade, and the review provides some key recommendations for future research in this area .
You can read the entire paper here.

* Davis, E., (2015), Literature review of the evidence-base for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Melbourne: PACFA.

 

 

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Hypnotherapy in The Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety occurs in modern societies in almost epidemic numbers. One of the great problems in addressing this is that many of the stressors we encounter in everyday life realistically either cannot be removed, or would require making major, often unacceptable, changes in our lifestyle.

An example of this is worrying about losing our jobs to automation. For so many of us, the risk is real, but often there is little we can do to reduce this risk.

So, we struggle on, but with that nagging fear in our minds. But as we’re constantly bombarded by negative stories via the evening news and social media, our anxiety levels rise, until it finally manifests, perhaps as insomnia, hair pulling or horrible pains in our chest or stomach.

So, the first question that arises is, if we cannot remove the stressors, can we do something about the terrible symptoms of anxiety?

The answer is definitely  yes.

We can see the doctor and get a prescription. there are effective drugs,  but they all carry the risks of side effects and, in some cases, addiction. Also, there is evidence that some of the drugs used to treat anxiety can negatively effect our mental and physical performance.

There is growing evidence that exercise and dietary improvements help reduce anxiety symptoms. A major benefit of using exercise and diet, is that while, helping to reduce the anxiety, they also provide major benefits to our overall health, fitness and risk of acquiring degenerative diseases.

But what if they’re not enough to get the job done? Or, what if the sufferers circumstances limit the use of these approaches?

Hypnotherapy is a proven, side effect free way of treating anxiety. And when delivered by a skilled therapist, it has an extremely high success rate.

A second, and equally important question related to anxiety is, why do some experiences or circumstances causes some people to experience debilitating anxiety while others remain unaffected.

One major reason for this is that a situation or experience often triggers anxiety because it relates to an earlier life experience. Such experiences may be recent or may have occurred long ago, even in childhood. The sufferer may have completely forgotten about an early life event, yet it may be profoundly affecting his or her life.

This is what makes hypnotherapy such a useful tool in treating this condition. A Hypnotherapist can use a technique called Age Regression to resolve that early event. Often, this alone is enough to bring the anxiety levels down.

The therapist doesn’t need to even know what the event causing all the problems actually was. This is because the event is doing its harm at the subconscious level, (which is why the sufferer often has no recollection of the event), and that is precisely where hypnosis operates.

Hypnotherapy is a highly effective treatment modality for anxiety, and, best of all, it is side effect free.

 

 

 

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The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

“A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,”William James asserted in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings. Two generations later, Rilke wrote in a beautiful letter of advice to a young woman: “I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.” And yet in the century since, we’ve made little progress on making sense — much less making use — of the inextricable dialogue between the physical body and the psychoemotional interior landscape we shorthand as “soul.”

So begins an excellent article by Maria Popova and published on Brainpickings.

One doesn’t have to experience to war to become traumatized; Sexual abuse or domestic violence create the same mind and body responses.

Maria talks about the work of Boston-based Dutch psychiatrist and pioneering PTSD researcher Bessel van der Kolk, and his book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

You can the read article Here

 

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Hypnosis for Children

Here ** is a link to a study of using Hypnosis with Children that describes the long history of using hypnosis to achieve highly successful outcomes with children.

Kids today really have a lot to deal with. There are pressures to perform at school, in after school activities such as sports and arts, in the area of social media, and with older children, as well as the worry of choosing a sustainable career.

These stresses and anxieties sometimes become too much for our young folk to deal with, which can result in a range of symptoms, both emotional and physical.

Children can develop a variety symptoms, including phobias and stomach problems. (I increasingly work with specialist Pediatric Gastroenterologists at Lady Cilento Hospital to help children with emotionally driven gut problems).

Hypnotherapy is completely safe for children, (and adults), it’s entirely without side effects and it usually achieves permanent results in such cases.

As part of the work I do, I teach my young clients techniques and tools that they can use for the rest of their lives to help deal with stressful periods in their lives.

Enjoy the article.

** Applications of Clinical Hypnosis with Children      
Daniel P Kohen. University of Minnesota, USA
International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis.  Copyright 2001 John WIley and Sons Ltd
ISBN: 0-471-97009-3
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Hypnosis and Surgery

Following is an abstract of a paper describing research into the effectiveness of Hypnosis in reducing anxiety and discomfort associated with surgery.

Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus stress reducing strategies: a prospective randomized study*

Stress reducing strategies are useful in patients undergoing surgery. Hypnosis is also known to alleviate acute and chronic pain. We therefore compared the effectiveness of these two psychological approaches for reducing perioperative discomfort during conscious sedation for plastic surgery. Sixty patients scheduled for elective plastic surgery under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (midazolam and alfentanil upon request) were included in the study after providing informed consent. They were randomly allocated to either stress reducing strategies (control: CONT) or hypnosis (HYP) during the entire surgical procedure. Both techniques were performed by the same anesthesiologist (MEF). Patient behavior was noted during surgery by a psychologist, the patient noted anxiety, pain, perceived control before, during and after surgery, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Patient satisfaction and surgical conditions were also recorded. Peri- and postoperative anxiety and pain were significantly lower in the HYP group. This reduction in anxiety and pain were achieved despite a significant reduction in intraoperative requirements for midazolam and alfentanil in the HYP group (alfentanil: 8.7±0.9 μg kg−1/h−1 vs. 19.4±2 μg kg−1/h−1,P<0.001; midazolam: 0.04±0.003 mg kg−1/h−1 vs. 0.09±0.01 mg kg−1/h−1, P<0.001). Patients in the HYP group reported an impression of more intraoperative control than those in the CONT group (P<0.01). PONV were significantly reduced in the HYP group (6.5% vs. 30.8%, P<0.001). Surgical conditions were better in the HYP group. Less signs of patient discomfort and pain were observed by the psychologist in the HYP group (P<0.001). Vital signs were significantly more stable in the HYP group. Patient satisfaction score was significantly higher in the HYP group (P<0.004). This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery.

* Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus stress reducing strategies: a prospective randomized study

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030439599700122X

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Hypnosis and Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a common problem among both amateur and professional performers.

It occurs much more often among those who already tend to be anxious, and can best be understood as a kind of social phobia.

While some form of tension is important for a dynamic live performance, negative self talk and a sense of panic or impending disaster can spoil the experience for the performer and the audience.

A study of students an an American University School of music found that 21% reported “Marked distress”, while another 40% experienced “Moderate distress”.

Reported symptoms included flushing, quavering voice, nausea and dizziness.

Several studies have shown that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment.

A 1993 study using a two session hypnotherapy procedure that combined success imagery with rational-emotional therapy, (removing beliefs such as the notion that anything short of perfection is unacceptable), resulted in a marked reduciton, in most cases elimination of symptoms.

performance-anxiety-300x291A follow up study paired music students according to their scores on a performance anxiety questionaire and assigned one of each pair to hypnotherapy and the other to a control group.

Two sessions one week apart were used, involving pleasant visual imagery and verbal suggestions that linked these images to increased mental control.

The hypnotherapy group showed a significant reduction in performance anxiety when evaluated immediately after treatment and again six months after treatment, indicating that the benefits are long lasting.

Other studies have shown similar results in the fields of sports and public speaking.

If you suffer from performance anxiety but are concerned that medication may take the edge off your performance then you might like to try hypnotherapy, as it is a proven effective treatment with zero side effects.

 

 

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