Wellness Institute Blog
Most of us want to achieve the highest possible level of performance at what we do, whether it be in our career, our relationships, our hobbies, or even in our personal development. An imposing impediment to that goal is performance anxiety: “choking up” just when free flowing confidence is most needed. We have discussed some ways of recognizing and overcoming that obstacle in previous posts.
Now we want to address the next step up beyond treating performance anxiety, and that is Performance Enhancement. There is a growing body of research related to this field, and hypnosis is center stage in much of it.
Performance enhancing techniques are both passive and active
How does cognitive therapy compare to hypnotherapy in releasing these negative thoughts?
Many people have spent thousands of hours and dollars going to therapy to try to remove their life-long, self-defeating thought patterns. If you are one of those people, perhaps you are aware of low self esteem, deep down feelings that you are not as good as others, or that you don’t really deserve to be loved or to succeed. Or perhaps you keep running up against self-destructive patterns in your life such as procrastination, ambivalence (can’t make a decision) or perfectionism. Other people find themselves desperately needing to be in control of others or of situations in order to feel safe.
Facts: one hundred million repeat dieters spend twenty billion dollars on weight loss programs (according to an ABC news report) with limited success rates. Also statistics show that insurance companies paid out over $8 billion for bariatric surgery in 2010 and that cost is now skyrocketing.
Most all diet programs have several components in common:
- They weigh each person each week
- They suggest/require daily exercise
- They encourage certain low calorie food choices or that the dieters buy the company’s own packaged diet foods
- They suggest cutting calories sometimes down to very low levels
Now in and of itself, these may or may not all be sound components for weight reduction. And they all seem to work fairly well for a certain amount of time. However there is one huge component that is never addressed or treated in all the popular weight loss programs. And that is the emotional aspect of eating, weight gain, and the feeling of deprivation that is often triggered by adhering to the diet.
Dr. Daniel Neides of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic has written an article about the Trim-Life® weight release program that utilizes hypnotherapy to address the emotional factors in weight release.
Following is that article, published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper on October 30, 2014.
Hypnosis has proven to be extremely valuable in the treatment of cancer patients. Specific applications include: establishing rapport between the patient and members of the medical health team; control of pain with self-regulation of pain perception through the use of glove anesthesia, time distortion, amnesia, transference of pain to a different body part, or dissociation of the painful part from the rest of the body; controlling symptoms, such as, nausea, anticipatory emesis, learned food aversions, etc.; psychotherapy for anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, isolation, and a diminished sense of self-esteem; visualization for health improvement; and, dealing with death anxiety and other related issues. Hypnosis has unique advantages for patients including improvement of self-esteem, involvement in self-care, return of locus of control, lack of unpleasant side effects, and continued efficacy despite continued use.
Childbirth is one of the most profound events a woman and couple will experience. Unfortunately, the experience can be fraught with anxiety, as well as fear of pain and loss of control. Often during childbirth, those fears/anxiety transfer into a fight-or-flight response. This automatic physiological response increases her perception of pain intensity and decreases internal blood flow. So in effect, the woman’s anxiety actually increases exactly what she fears. This is what we often refer to as a self-fulfilling prophesy! We can reverse this effect with hypnosis. With the ability to use self-hypnotic techniques, women and their partners can effectively enter the childbirth experience with calm and focus.
When grief complicates and becomes pathological by virtue of its duration, intensity, or by bizarre or somatic manifestation, the psychiatric diagnosis of Complicated Bereavement or chronic grief is in order. This prolonged grief may occur due to the loss of a loved one when the nature of death is traumatic or unexpected and sudden. In children, the results of this type of traumatization include sleeping problems such as difficulties in going to sleep and nightmares or night terrors. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be successful in helping children to overcome their sleeping problem in a 2002 study of children ranging in age from 8-12 yrs.