Happy August, especially all you August birthdays out there. My son is a member of your ranks, so I have a special soft spot for each of you.
Last month I promised that I would share some thoughts, suggestions and insights on how to help you on this journey of your life and, as promised, that’s exactly what this newsletter is all about. I hope you find each month’s newsletter helpful when you have to make decisions or the rights choices and taking control of your own life; but I think that you will find this month’s newsletter even more helpful than usual.
I’d like to start by sharing with each of you just exactly why it is that every single one of us needs hypnosis. The truth is that we all want to feel good, do or be our best. It isn’t any fun to suffer from pain, or deal with illness, insecurity, anger, guilt or depression. No one wants to feel out of control, anxious or afraid. And it is all these things and so much more that hypnosis can help you with. AND, it can help you for less than the cost of a couple of dinners at your favorite fast food joint.
So, I hope you will enjoy this month’s article “Why Hypnosis?”
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
By Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Hypnosis can help everyone.
I find that most people think they need to be in the middle of a crisis or want to lose weight or quit smoking before seeking out hypnosis. But this isn’t the case at all. You don’t need to be in the middle of a crisis or have a specific issue (like losing weight) before trying hypnosis. As a matter of fact, if we would all use hypnosis regularly, many of these problems, issues and crises would never have become a problem or crisis in the first place.
As we move through life, each of us has to deal with little and big problems every day. We have to cope with irritating people, unpleasant situations, stress, tension, minor frustrations, and major life altering problems or even just a rude salesperson. Each incident throughout the day affects us, and to a certain extent, stays with us. We are bombarded every minute of our lives with hundreds of thousands of message units. Some pleasant and some not so pleasant. The subconscious must process and analyze every bit of information, every message unit. Most of this is done automatically and without our conscious awareness. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting how we think, feel or react.
Sometimes it is just necessary to “clean house”. Hypnosis allows you to quickly and easily clean out unnecessary or negative message units that have been building up and stored in your subconscious. Cleaning out these message units gives you a feeling of relaxation, comfort, clarity and more control.
When we are faced with circumstances that we cannot readily change or we find ourselves in situations that simply are not good for our self-esteem or self-confidence, even our physical health and well being, it is your subconscious that takes the brunt of this abuse. If you hear over and over again that you are silly, stupid, inept, clumsy, fat or any number of other adjectives thrown about by the people you come into contact with or even worse, live with; and even more importantly, by yourself, your subconscious processes this information, considers it to be a fact (because that’s how the subconscious works) and in time will start to consider these negative adjectives as a truth. Ultimately eroding your feelings of self worth and confidence.
The very root of all the negative things you think and say about yourself is in your unconscious mind. You can get to this root by accessing that part of your mind with hypnosis. You are then able to replace all of the negative thoughts, ideas or obsessions with healthier, more positive thoughts and ideas. As a result, you feel refreshed, relaxed, and empowered.
In addition, if you have ever had to really struggle to achieve a goal and wonder how to motivate yourself, then hypnosis is what you need. Whatever your goal, you can achieve it through the use of hypnosis. Hypnosis is simply a state of deep relaxation where your body and mind are relaxed. When both the subconscious and conscious parts of your mind are as one, your mind is open to carefully worded images and suggestions.
Imagery has long been used in hypnosis as a means of motivating, healing and guiding. This can be as simple as taping pictures someplace in your home or office where you will see then often, or as complicated as taking a hypnotherapy journey. Imagery is a form of hypnosis that helps the mind to focus on a goal. This technique of hypnosis has long been used for dieters wanting to lose weight or smokers who want to quit with much success.
Positive oriented goals are much more powerful motivators than negative. The combination of both imagery and positive goals is the most powerful motivating mix for most people.
It is unfortunate, but many people feel powerless in their own lives. They feel that they live forever at the whims of others or circumstances - nasty bosses, credit card companies, endless lines and red tape, abusive spouses or others who are trying to hold them back, even physical injuries or illness. If these people have not tried hypnosis, they have never discovered the secret to the incredible power that is hidden within them. The power of their subconscious.
When Harvard psychiatrist Claire Frederick, M.D., is stuck in a slow lane at the grocery store checkout counter, she doesn't get irritated. She gets relaxed. Very relaxed. Calming and focusing her mind, she slips into a brief trance and concentrates on a knee she injured while skiing. "Lately I've been using hypnosis to ease the pain and encourage healing," Frederick says.
The most astonishing evidence on healing comes from research. In a pilot study published in 1999, Harvard University psychologist Carol Ginandes, Ph.D., showed that hypnosis can actually help broken bones heal faster. In a follow-up experiment, Ginandes and her research team found that women who'd had breast reduction surgery recovered more quickly after undergoing hypnosis. During the sessions, the women were encouraged to think of pain as "sensations of healing" and to visualize their incisions as "knitting together rapidly and becoming strong, smooth, and elastic."
An independent team of surgeons and nurses later examined the women and reviewed photographs of the incisions that were taken 1 week and 7 weeks after surgery. The group's judgment: Patients who had received hypnosis were farther along the road to recovery. "We're not just talking about people simply feeling better." Ginandes says. "We're talking about structural tissue healing. Hypnosis, our results suggest, can influence the body to heal itself."
Although the lore of a swinging pocket watch lingers as an image of hypnosis, it's counteracted by hardnosed scientific studies suggesting hypnotherapy's effectiveness at treating problems as complex as anxiety and as blockbuster as weight loss, smoking, and skin disorders. The most staid of medical schools (Harvard, Yale, and Duke) teach the technique.
If hypnotherapy sounds like a gentle, soothing kind of treatment, it is. Its other key underlying principle is relaxation - which is particularly crucial when treating any emotionally charged issue or physical illness or injury.
A major mental illness like clinical depression will send biochemical shock waves through the body. But the intimate relationship of body to mind isn't limited to clinical depression or a serious disease. Researchers have come to understand that what lies below the neck can also be harmed by less acute kinds of brain disturbances. The chronic stress that millions of people feel from simply trying to cope with the pressures of a modern life can unleash a flood of hormones that are useful in the short term, but subtly toxic if they persist. Thus it shouldn't come as a surprise that stress-reduction strategies that take pressure off the mind - meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises and especially hypnosis - can take the heat off the body as well.
Humanity's physical reaction to stress, known as the "fight" or "flight" response, probably evolved to help our primitive ancestors deal with a treacherous world. When confronted with imminent danger - a saber-toothed tiger, say, or a club-wielding enemy Homo erectus - the body had to be instantly ready either to defend itself or to run like hell.
So the terrified brain would signal the adrenal glands, located on the top of the kidneys, to release hormones, including adrenaline (its more technical name: epinephrine) and glucocorticoids, and the nerve cells to release norepinephrine. These powerful chemicals made the senses sharper; the muscles tighter, the heart pound faster, the bloodstream fill with sugars for ready energy. Then, when the danger passed, the response would turn off.
In the modern world, stress usually takes other forms. But the fight-or-flight response hasn't changed. Sometimes it's still useful: a demanding job can lead to a sense of pride; a bout of pre-curtain jitters can motivate a spectacular performance. But many modern stresses are continuing, not acute, and arise in situations we can neither fight nor flee: an unreasonable boss, a harrowing commute, a stormy relationship, a plummeting stock market, a general sense that life is out of control.
It is these types of chronic low-level stress that keep glucocorticoids in circulation, leading to a weakened immune system, loss of bone mass, suppression of the reproductive system and memory problems. While some stress hormones can't stay elevated indefinitely, glucocorticoids can and do. Cortisol in particular can weaken the immune system, potentially making you more susceptible to cancer, heart attack and infectious diseases.
More and more doctors - and patients - recognize that mental states and physical well-being are intimately connected. An unhealthy body can lead to an unhealthy mind, and an illness of the mind can trigger or worsen diseases in the body. And this is why using hypnosis is not only a clever, pleasant and effective way to quickly feel better and restore balance in your life, but an effective and proven method by which you can help your body heal faster.
And that is why I say, Everybody Needs Hypnosis!
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Sip This Juice for Clearer Arteries
Whether serve beside oatmeal or eggs, this breakfast favorite is sure to help keep your arteries squeaky clean: orange juice.
In a study of men, those with a high intake of vitamin C -- as well as berries and other fresh fruit -- experienced significantly less thickening of their carotid arteries compared with the low fruit-and-C group.
Clear arteries. They're super important because gunk-free can often mean problem-free. But carotid-artery thickness is important, too. It's a direct measure of atherosclerosis -- the hardening and narrowing of arteries that can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. To keep your arteries wide open and pliable for years to come, you need foods rich in both vitamin C and other pipe-friendly antioxidants.
Similar studies have found that vitamin C may help protect your cardiovascular system in numerous other ways as well, from improving the functioning of the cells lining your arteries; to thinning your blood, thereby reducing the risk of clots; to quelling bad-for-your-heart inflammation.
Need more C in your life? Read on….
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps your body metabolize proteins into energy, boosts your immune system, builds collagen in your skin, promotes healing, and aids in joint repair. It also helps keep your arteries young and prevents fatty plaque buildup on blood vessel walls. Wow!
Recommended Amount: How Much You Need
To prevent vitamin C deficiency, government guidelines recommend a daily dose of 90 milligrams (mg) for men, 75 mg for women. RealAge recommends that you get 1,200 mg of vitamin C per day from food and supplements to make your RealAge younger. This higher amount not only prevents deficiency but also helps prevent disease and needless aging.
Good Sources of Vitamin C
Many fruits and vegetables are naturally high in vitamin C, so make sure to include plenty of these in your diet:
|Peaches, frozen and sweetened (1 cup)
|Red bell pepper, raw (1 medium)
|Broccoli florets, cooked (1 cup)
|Strawberries (1 cup)
|Green bell pepper, raw (1 medium)
|Papaya (1 cup)
|Kiwifruit (1 medium)
|Orange (1 medium)
|Cantaloupe (1 cup)
|Mango (1 medium)
|Brussel sprouts, cooked (4 medium)
Spicy Sandwich Topping Fights Cancer
If the only reason you eat horseradish is to add some kick to your sandwich, you may want to find a few more uses. Turns out that horseradish -- like its cruciferous kin broccoli -- is a potent source of a group of cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates.
Even though they look and taste nothing alike, broccoli and horseradish are both members of the cruciferous -- or Brassica -- vegetable family that also includes brussel sprouts, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, and wasabi, to name a few.
When we chew or chop up veggies like these, a beneficial chain reaction occurs. First, glucosinolates come pouring out. Then, the glucosinolates are broken down by another plant enzyme called myrosinase. That process turns the glucosinolates into potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles.
Ahhh, healthier living through plant chemistry.
Phytochemicals such as indoles and isothiocyanates combat cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of your body before they do damage to your DNA. These compounds also help cut the between-cell lines of communication that can sometimes lead to cancer, and they help block the action of cancer-causing hormones. No wonder studies show that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have less cancer!
More Brassica vegetables -- Why Your Colon Loves Winter
I know up here in the Northern Hemisphere we’re in the midst of Summer, but for those of you way down south, here's a great reason to celebrate colder weather and shorter days: They usher in visits from a family that brings color to your dinners and good tidings to your colon. We're talking about the Brassica family -- a group of winter-fave veggies that includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. They're slightly bitter, but that's because you can actually taste their colon-cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates.
Research shows that the isothiocyanates in Brassica veggies may actively block potential carcinogens, putting the kibosh on not only colorectal cancer but prostate cancer cells as well. Brassica vegetables are also a good source of folic acid, phenolics, carotenoids, selenium, and vitamin C. (Did you know? About 1 in 3 cancers may be related to what people eat.)
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