Author: Gareth Wait

  • Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Depression – Deep Dive

    Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Depression – Deep Dive

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    Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Depression – Deep Dive

    Understanding Hypnotherapy

    Definition and History

    Hypnotherapy, derived from the ancient practice of hypnosis, is a therapeutic technique involving the induction of a trance-like state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility. This state allows individuals to access their subconscious mind more readily, making them more open to positive suggestions and therapeutic interventions. The history of hypnotherapy can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where it was used in religious and healing rituals.

    The modern evolution of hypnotherapy began with Franz Anton Mesmer, an 18th-century physician who introduced “mesmerism,” a precursor to hypnosis. Mesmer believed in the concept of animal magnetism, a natural energy transference between all animated and inanimate objects. Although Mesmer’s theories were later debunked, his work laid the foundation for future developments in hypnosis.

    In the 19th century, Scottish surgeon James Braid coined the term “hypnosis,” derived from the Greek word “hypnos,” meaning sleep. Braid’s work shifted the focus from mystical explanations to a more scientific understanding of the hypnotic state. Later, in the 20th century, Milton H. Erickson, a psychiatrist and psychologist, revolutionised hypnotherapy with his innovative techniques and emphasis on the therapeutic potential of hypnosis.

    How Hypnotherapy Works

    Hypnotherapy works by guiding individuals into a hypnotic state, characterised by deep relaxation, focused attention, and heightened suggestibility. In this state, the conscious mind becomes less active, allowing the subconscious mind to become more accessible. This enables the hypnotherapist to introduce positive suggestions and therapeutic interventions that can lead to significant changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

    The hypnotic state is typically induced using various techniques such as progressive relaxation, where the hypnotherapist guides the individual to relax each muscle group in their body sequentially. Other methods include guided imagery, where individuals visualise calming and positive scenarios, and focused attention, where they concentrate on a single point or idea.

    During hypnotherapy sessions, the hypnotherapist may employ techniques like cognitive restructuring to alter negative thought patterns, desensitisation to reduce anxiety responses to specific stimuli, and anchoring to create mental or physical cues that trigger a relaxed state. These techniques are tailored to the individual’s needs and therapeutic goals, facilitating profound and lasting change.

    Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

    Types of Anxiety Treated with Hypnotherapy

    Hypnotherapy can effectively address a range of anxiety disorders, each with unique characteristics and triggers:

    • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Characterised by excessive, uncontrollable worry about various aspects of daily life.
    • Social Anxiety Disorder: Involves intense fear and avoidance of social situations due to concerns about being judged or embarrassed.
    • Panic Disorder: Marked by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and persistent fear of future attacks.
    • Phobias: Irrational fears of specific objects or situations, such as heights (acrophobia) or spiders (arachnophobia).

    Each type of anxiety may require a customised hypnotherapy approach, focusing on the specific symptoms and underlying causes of the disorder.

    Techniques Used in Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

    Several techniques are commonly employed in hypnotherapy to alleviate anxiety:

    • Relaxation and Visualisation: The hypnotherapist guides the individual through imagery exercises to visualise serene and calming scenes, promoting relaxation.
    • Cognitive Restructuring: This involves changing negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive, empowering thoughts.
    • Anchoring: A technique where a mental or physical cue is established to trigger a relaxed state whenever needed.
    • Desensitisation: Gradual exposure to anxiety-provoking stimuli in a controlled environment, helping the individual build tolerance and reduce fear responses.

    These techniques aim to reprogram the subconscious mind to respond differently to anxiety triggers, fostering a sense of calm and control.

    Case Studies and Evidence

    The efficacy of hypnotherapy in treating anxiety is supported by various studies and case reports. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis demonstrated significant reductions in anxiety levels among participants after a series of hypnotherapy sessions. Another study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found hypnotherapy to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in patients with chronic health conditions.

    Case studies also highlight the success of hypnotherapy in alleviating anxiety. One notable case involved a woman with severe social anxiety who, after six sessions of hypnotherapy, reported a marked decrease in her symptoms and an improved ability to engage in social interactions. These examples underscore hypnotherapy’s potential as a powerful tool for managing anxiety.

    Section 3: Hypnotherapy for Depression (Detailed)

    Understanding Depression

    Depression is a multifaceted mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Depression can also manifest through physical symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. The condition can vary in severity, from mild, temporary episodes to severe, chronic depression that significantly impairs daily functioning.

    Hypnotherapy Techniques for Depression

    Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in the treatment of depression, employing various techniques:

    • Positive Suggestion Therapy: Involves introducing positive affirmations and suggestions to counteract negative thinking patterns.
    • Regression Therapy: Helps individuals explore and resolve past traumas that may contribute to their depressive symptoms.
    • Ego Strengthening: Aims to boost self-esteem and self-worth by reinforcing positive self-beliefs and behaviours.
    • Mindfulness and Relaxation: Techniques that promote relaxation and present-moment awareness, helping individuals manage stress and depressive symptoms more effectively.

    These techniques work synergistically to address the underlying causes of depression and foster a more positive outlook on life.

    Research

    Research on hypnotherapy for depression shows promising results. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that hypnotherapy significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to control conditions. Another study in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis reported that participants who underwent hypnotherapy showed greater improvements in mood and overall well-being than those who received standard treatments.

    Clients show improvement in mood and energy levels after just a few hypnotherapy sessions, allowing them to resume activities they had previously abandoned due to depression. These accounts, along with empirical research, underscore the potential of hypnotherapy as an effective treatment for depression.

    Benefits of Hypnotherapy

    Advantages Over Traditional Therapies

    Hypnotherapy offers several unique advantages over traditional therapies for anxiety and depression:

    • Non-Invasive Nature: Unlike medication, hypnotherapy does not involve any physical interventions, making it a safe option for individuals seeking alternative treatments.
    • Holistic Approach: Hypnotherapy addresses the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of anxiety and depression, promoting overall well-being.
    • Quick Results: Many individuals experience significant improvements in their symptoms after just a few sessions, making it an efficient treatment option.
    • Empowerment: Hypnotherapy encourages self-healing and personal growth, empowering individuals to take an active role in their recovery.

    These benefits make hypnotherapy an appealing option for those looking to complement or replace traditional treatments.

    Complementary Use with Other Treatments

    Hypnotherapy can be effectively integrated with other treatments to enhance their efficacy. For example, combining hypnotherapy with cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can provide a more comprehensive approach to treating anxiety and depression. Hypnotherapy can help individuals become more receptive to the cognitive restructuring techniques used in CBT, amplifying their effects.

    Additionally, hypnotherapy can complement pharmacological treatments by addressing the psychological and emotional aspects of anxiety and depression that medication alone may not fully resolve. Mindfulness practices, often incorporated into hypnotherapy sessions, can also enhance the benefits of other therapeutic approaches by promoting relaxation and stress reduction.

    The Process of Hypnotherapy

    Initial Consultation and Assessment

    The hypnotherapy process typically begins with an initial consultation, during which the hypnotherapist conducts a thorough assessment of the individual’s condition, medical history, and specific goals for therapy. This consultation helps establish a foundation of trust and understanding between the therapist and the individual, ensuring that the hypnotherapy sessions are tailored to address the unique needs and concerns of the individual.

    During the assessment, the hypnotherapist may ask about the individual’s symptoms, triggers, and any previous treatments they have undergone. This information helps the therapist develop a personalised treatment plan that outlines the techniques and strategies to be used in the hypnotherapy sessions.

    Typical Hypnotherapy Session

    A typical hypnotherapy session involves several key stages:

    • Induction: The hypnotherapist uses various techniques to guide the individual into a hypnotic state. This may include progressive relaxation, guided imagery, or focused attention exercises.
    • Deepening: Once the individual is in a relaxed state, the hypnotherapist deepens the trance by further relaxing the mind and body, enhancing the individual’s receptiveness to suggestions.
    • Suggestion: During the trance state, the hypnotherapist introduces positive suggestions and therapeutic interventions tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals. These suggestions aim to reframe negative thought patterns and behaviours.
    • Awakening: The session concludes with the hypnotherapist gradually bringing the individual back to a fully alert state, ensuring they feel relaxed and refreshed.

    Each session is designed to build on previous progress, with the goal of achieving lasting change over a series of sessions.

    Post-Session Reflection and Integration

    After each hypnotherapy session, individuals are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and insights gained during hypnosis. This post-session reflection is crucial for reinforcing the positive changes initiated during the session. Individuals may be asked to keep a journal of their thoughts, feelings, and any changes they notice in their symptoms or behaviours.

    Integration techniques, such as practicing mindfulness or using relaxation exercises learned during hypnotherapy, can help individuals maintain the benefits of their sessions. Regular follow-up appointments with the hypnotherapist can also support ongoing progress and address any emerging challenges.

    Choosing a Hypnotherapist

    Qualifications and Experience

    Selecting a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist is essential for effective treatment. When choosing a hypnotherapist, consider their qualifications, certifications, and professional memberships. Reputable hypnotherapists often have training from recognized institutions and are members of professional organisations such as the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) or the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH).

    It’s also important to inquire about the hypnotherapist’s experience in treating specific conditions like anxiety and depression. A hypnotherapist with a track record of successfully helping individuals with similar issues can provide valuable insights and tailored treatment strategies.

    Personal Comfort and Trust

    Building a trusting and comfortable relationship with the hypnotherapist is crucial for the success of hypnotherapy. Individuals should feel at ease discussing their concerns and experiences with the therapist. Initial consultations can help determine if there is a good rapport and whether the therapist’s approach aligns with the individual’s needs and preferences.

    Open communication and mutual respect are key components of a successful therapeutic relationship. Individuals should feel confident in the hypnotherapist’s ability to guide them through the process and support their journey towards improved mental health.

    Potential Challenges and Considerations

    Misconceptions and Myths

    There are several misconceptions and myths about hypnotherapy that can deter individuals from seeking this form of treatment. Common myths include:

    • Loss of Control: Some people fear that they will lose control or be manipulated while under hypnosis. In reality, individuals remain aware and in control throughout the session.
    • Only for the Weak-Minded: Hypnotherapy is often misunderstood as being effective only for those who are easily influenced. However, anyone can benefit from hypnotherapy if they are open to the process and have a desire for change.
    • Instant Cure: While hypnotherapy can produce quick results, it is not a magic cure. It requires active participation and may need multiple sessions to achieve lasting change.

    Addressing these misconceptions through education and open dialogue can help individuals feel more comfortable and informed about hypnotherapy.

    Not Suitable for Everyone

    Although hypnotherapy can be beneficial for many individuals, it is not suitable for everyone. Certain psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia or severe personality disorders, may contraindicate the use of hypnotherapy. Additionally, individuals with a history of severe trauma may require a different therapeutic approach that addresses their specific needs and ensures their safety.

    A thorough assessment by a qualified hypnotherapist can help determine whether hypnotherapy is appropriate for a particular individual. It is essential to approach hypnotherapy with an open mind while also considering alternative treatments if necessary.

    Conclusion

    Hypnotherapy offers a promising and effective complementary approach for managing anxiety and depression. By tapping into the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can facilitate positive changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, providing relief from the debilitating symptoms of these conditions. Its non-invasive nature, holistic approach, and ability to complement other treatments make it an attractive option for individuals seeking comprehensive mental health care.

    As research continues to support its efficacy, hypnotherapy is likely to become an increasingly integral part of holistic mental health care. For those struggling with anxiety and depression, exploring hypnotherapy under the guidance of a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist could be a valuable step towards recovery and improved quality of life.

    Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Depression – Deep Dive Understanding Hypnotherapy Definition and History Hypnotherapy, derived from the ancient practice of hypnosis, is a therapeutic technique involving the induction of a trance-like state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility. This state allows individuals to access their subconscious mind more readily, making them more open to positive…

  • Mending Minds: The UK’s Mental Health Revolution

    Mending Minds: The UK’s Mental Health Revolution

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    Mending Minds: The UK’s Mental Health Revolution

    Mental health has long been a topic that many in the UK have shied away from discussing openly. The British “stiff upper lip” mentality, while admirable in some respects, has often made it difficult for people to acknowledge and address their mental health concerns. However, in recent years, there has been a significant shift in how we perceive and approach mental health in our society.

    This change is not just a cultural one, but a necessary evolution in how we, as a nation, view and handle mental health issues. As the topic gains more visibility, the demand for effective solutions and open discussions has increased dramatically. This growing awareness is setting the stage for significant transformations in public health policy and personal attitudes towards mental health.

    It’s a shift that affects all of us, regardless of our gender, age, or background. Mental health is a universal concern, and it’s time we started treating it as such. Whether you’re a young woman navigating the pressures of social media, a middle-aged man grappling with job stress, or an older adult facing the challenges of isolation, mental health is a vital aspect of our overall well-being.

    The Big Picture

    Let’s take a moment to consider the scale of the issue. Approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. That’s a significant portion of our population, and it mirrors what we see globally. It’s a silent crisis that affects people from all walks of life, but it’s particularly concerning to see how it impacts younger generations.

    This trend highlights a major public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach. We need strategies that address not only the symptoms of mental health problems but also the underlying causes. It’s not enough to simply treat people once they’re already struggling. We need to focus on prevention, early intervention, and the integration of mental health care into our mainstream health services.

    Think of it like this: if you had a persistent cough, you wouldn’t wait until it turned into pneumonia to see a doctor. You’d want to catch the problem early and address it before it becomes more serious. The same principle applies to mental health. The sooner we can identify and address potential issues, the better outcomes we can expect for individuals and society as a whole.

    The NHS and Mental Health: A Strained Relationship

    Now, let’s address the challenges faced by our National Health Service (NHS) in dealing with mental health. The NHS is the backbone of healthcare in the UK, but it’s a system that’s under immense pressure. Underfunding, long waiting lists, and a shortage of mental health professionals have created a perfect storm of challenges.

    Imagine you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. You finally work up the courage to reach out for help, only to be told that you’ll have to wait weeks or even months for a routine appointment. That’s the reality for many people seeking mental health support through the NHS. It’s a delay that can leave individuals battling severe conditions without adequate support during critical times.

    This strain on the system is not only a reflection of the growing demand for mental health services but also highlights the need for significant reforms within the NHS. We need to enhance its capacity to deliver timely and effective mental health care. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one we must tackle head-on if we want to truly address the mental health crisis in our country.

    Tackling the Crisis: Government and Grassroots Initiatives

    So, what’s being done to address this crisis? The good news is that there are efforts being made at both the government and grassroots levels.

    The UK government has committed to enhancing mental health services by allocating additional funding to the NHS for mental health provisions. They’ve also introduced initiatives like the The NHS Talking Therapies programme, which aims to make talking therapies more widely available. It’s a step in the right direction, but there’s still much work to be done.

    On the grassroots level, we’re seeing community initiatives and charities stepping up to fill the gaps left by public services. These organisations offer a wide range of support, from counselling services to support groups to helplines. They form a vital part of the response to mental health needs in our communities.

    I’ve seen firsthand the impact these grassroots efforts can have. I remember working with a local charity that offered art therapy workshops for people dealing with anxiety and depression. The transformation I saw in the participants over the course of a few weeks was remarkable. They went from feeling overwhelmed and isolated to having a creative outlet and a supportive community.

    The synergy between governmental actions and grassroots movements is crucial in creating a comprehensive support system. We need both top-down and bottom-up approaches to effectively address the complex landscape of mental health challenges in our society.

    The Role of Society: Breaking the Stigma

    One of the most significant shifts we’ve seen in recent years is the way society is talking about mental health. It’s no longer a taboo subject whispered about behind closed doors. People from all walks of life are speaking up and sharing their experiences.

    We’ve seen public figures, from members of the royal family to musicians to athletes, open up about their own mental health struggles. When people like Prince William or Lady Gaga discuss their experiences with depression or PTSD, it helps to normalise the conversation around mental health and encourages others to seek help.

    But it’s not just high-profile individuals making a difference. Each and every one of us has a role to play in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. It starts with the way we talk about it in our daily lives. Instead of using mental health terms as casual insults or dismissing someone’s struggles as weakness, we need to approach the topic with empathy and understanding.

    Social media, for all its potential pitfalls, has also become a powerful tool for support and solidarity. Online communities have formed around mental health advocacy, providing a space for people to share their stories, offer support, and challenge misconceptions.

    I’ve seen the impact of this firsthand. A good few years ago, I started a social media campaign called #MindfulMoments, encouraging people to share small, daily practices that support their mental well-being. The response was inspiring. People from all over the UK shared their tips and experiences, creating a ripple effect of positivity and support.

    The Critical Role of Initiatives Like Cat & Crow

    While the efforts being made at the government and societal levels are important, we can’t overlook the critical role played by community-driven initiatives like Cat & Crow.

    These projects are vital in addressing the gaps left by traditional mental health services in the UK. They make mental health support accessible and less intimidating to those who might otherwise avoid seeking help.

    Cat & Crow, with its focus on journaling and expressive writing, offers an innovative approach to mental wellness that complements conventional therapy and medical treatments. By facilitating journaling workshops and creating platforms for self-expression, Cat & Crow provides tools for individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions in a structured yet personal way.

    I’ve seen the power of journaling in my own practice. It’s a simple yet profound tool for self-reflection and processing emotions. When we write about our experiences, we gain clarity and perspective. It’s not about finding immediate solutions, but about developing a deeper understanding of ourselves and cultivating resilience.

    Initiatives like Cat & Crow not only enhance individual well-being but also promote greater mental health literacy among the general population. They create spaces where people can learn, share, and grow together. It’s about building a community that supports and empowers one another in the journey towards better mental health.

    Conclusion: A Call to Action

    So, where do we go from here? The UK is at a pivotal moment when it comes to mental health. We have an opportunity to reshape the landscape of mental health care, but it’s going to take a collective effort.

    It’s not just about policymakers and professionals. It’s about every single one of us. We all have a part to play in creating a society that prioritises mental health and well-being.

    It’s about being there for our friends and loved ones when they’re struggling. It’s about speaking up when we’re facing our own challenges. It’s about supporting initiatives like Cat & Crow that are making a difference in our communities.

    Mental health is not merely a personal issue. It’s a collective responsibility that requires a unified response. We need to build a support network so strong that no one falls through the cracks.

    As we move forward, we must focus on creating a sustainable strategy that integrates mental health care into all aspects of health policy and public awareness. We need to lay the groundwork now to ensure a healthier future for all.

    It’s not going to be easy. There will be hurdles and setbacks along the way. But I believe that together, we can create a society where mental health care is accessible, effective, and preventative.

    So, let’s get to work. Let’s break the stigma and start the conversations that need to be had. Let’s support one another and build a brighter future for mental health in the UK.

    Remember, whether your head is in the shed or your mind feels lost in the clouds, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Reach out, speak up, and know that you’re part of a community that cares. Together, we can bring mental health out of the shadows and into the light, creating a society where everyone can thrive.

    Making a Difference: 10 Steps We Can All Take Today

    As we investigate the mental health revolution in the UK, it’s crucial to remember that change starts with each and every one of us. While government initiatives and professional support are essential, there are also many things we can do in our daily lives to promote better mental health for ourselves and those around us. By taking small, consistent steps, we can all contribute to creating a society that prioritises mental well-being and breaks down the barriers that prevent people from seeking help. These actions may seem simple, but their cumulative impact can be profound. They help to create a culture of openness, understanding, and support, which is essential for tackling the mental health crisis we face. So, let’s explore ten practical steps we can all take today to improve mental health in the UK.

    1. Start a conversation: Break the stigma by talking openly about mental health with friends, family, and colleagues.
    2. Practice self-care: Make time for activities that promote your well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies you enjoy.
    3. Educate yourself: Learn about mental health issues and how to support those who may be struggling.
    4. Be a good listener: Offer a non-judgmental ear to someone who needs to talk about their mental health.
    5. Encourage others to seek help: If you know someone who is struggling, encourage them to reach out to a professional or support group.
    6. Volunteer or donate: Support local mental health charities and initiatives through volunteering or financial contributions.
    7. Create a supportive work environment: Advocate for mental health resources and policies in your workplace.
    8. Challenge stereotypes: Speak out against negative stereotypes and misconceptions about mental illness.
    9. Practice gratitude: Regularly acknowledge the positive aspects of your life, as this can help improve mental well-being.
    10. Take care of your physical health: Maintain a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly, as physical health is closely linked to mental health.

    “By taking these small but significant steps, we can all contribute to creating a society that prioritises mental health and well-being. Remember, every action counts, and together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those around us and in our own mental health journey.”

    Gareth Wait

    Mending Minds: The UK’s Mental Health Revolution Mental health has long been a topic that many in the UK have shied away from discussing openly. The British “stiff upper lip” mentality, while admirable in some respects, has often made it difficult for people to acknowledge and address their mental health concerns. However, in recent years,…

  • Male Menopause: Beer Belly, Man Boobs and Shrinking Muscles

    Male Menopause: Beer Belly, Man Boobs and Shrinking Muscles

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    Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of male middle age, where the tickets are free and the side effects include beer bellies, man boobs, and mysteriously shrinking muscles. You guessed it; we’re talking about male menopause, or andropause, as the experts like to call it. It’s that time in a man’s life when his testosterone levels decide to take a leisurely stroll downhill, leaving chaos in their wake.

    As we navigate through this biological car boot sale where hair seems to migrate from heads to ears and energy levels dip lower than ever, I’ve gathered some insights to share. So, buckle up as we delve into the hows and whys of these changes, and more importantly, explore what can be done about them. Trust me, it’s not all doom and gloom—there are ways to handle the shifting tides of hormones and keep that ship sailing smoothly into the sunset of good health. Let’s break down the science, sift through the symptoms, and offer up some strategies for staying on top of your game during the andropause years.

    Ah, male menopause, as it’s often affectionately dubbed by those of us witnessing our once firm physiques gently morph into beer bellies, man boobs, and what I swear used to be much larger muscles. Ah, the joys of ageing! While the term “male menopause” might conjure up visions of men enduring hot flushes and other dramatic hormonal theatrics akin to what women experience, let’s set the record straight: scientifically speaking, male menopause is actually a very different animal to female menopause.

    You see, unlike women whose menopause marks a well-defined end to fertility, men experience a more subtle shift, known as andropause or late-onset hypogonadism. Testosterone levels do indeed taper off, but it’s a slow and steady decline, typically about 1% per year after the age of 30. This is hardly the sudden drop in hormones that women experience, and it doesn’t result in the cessation of reproductive capability. According to research, including a comprehensive review published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the symptoms often attributed to andropause can be as much a result of lifestyle factors and ageing as of changing testosterone levels.

    So, as we delve deeper into what andropause actually entails, you’ll see it’s not so much a dramatic pause as it is a gradual turning down of the volume. We’ll explore the real symptoms, dispel some myths, and discuss how to manage this stage of life with vigour and vitality. Whether it’s battling the bulge or boosting your mood, understanding the true nature of andropause is your first step towards maintaining your health and humour in these so-called “twilight years.” Let’s get to the truth and nothing but the truth, with a sprinkle of wit, about navigating these not-so-sudden hormonal shifts.

    Introduction to Male Menopause

    “Andropause brings significant lifestyle changes that require understanding and management to maintain a healthy life.”

    Male menopause, or andropause, signifies a phase in a man’s life marked by a gradual decrease in testosterone levels, typically occurring between the ages of 40 and 55 but can vary widely in onset. Unlike women, where menopause marks a well-defined period in which hormonal changes occur sharply and lead to the cessation of the reproductive cycle, andropause is characterised by a more subtle and prolonged decline in hormone levels.

    This condition affects a significant number of men, yet it isn’t universally recognised by all in the medical community. Common symptoms associated with andropause include reduced libido, low energy, fatigue, depression, and irritability. These symptoms can affect a man’s quality of life significantly, impacting his physical health, emotional well-being, and social interactions.

    The concept of male menopause is still somewhat contentious in medical circles because it doesn’t bring about as complete a cessation of fertility as seen in female menopause. However, the biological changes men undergo during this period are very real and can be comparable in severity to those women face during menopause. These changes are primarily attributed to a decline in testosterone, a hormone that plays a key role in male physical development, reproductive function, and mood regulation. The gradual reduction in testosterone can subtly alter physical health and emotional well-being, making it important for men and those around them to understand and recognize the signs of this life-changing condition.

    Causes of Male Menopause

    “Recognising and addressing the underlying causes of andropause can significantly improve men’s quality of life during this transition period.”

    Andropause is primarily induced by a decrease in testosterone, the dominant male sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of numerous bodily functions including muscle mass, bone density, and libido. As men age, their bodies naturally produce less testosterone. This decline is gradual—about 1% to 2% reduction per year from the age of 30 onwards. Factors that can exacerbate this decline include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which can interfere with hormone production and overall health.

    In addition to natural ageing, several medical conditions such as hypogonadism can also lead to decreased testosterone production. Hypogonadism occurs when the body’s sex glands produce little or no hormones. In the case of men, these are the testes. This condition can be present from birth or can develop later in life due to infections, injury, or other medical problems. Understanding these causes is crucial for the effective management and treatment of andropause. It is important for men experiencing symptoms of andropause to seek medical advice to rule out underlying conditions that might be contributing to hormonal imbalances or other symptoms associated with low testosterone.

    Physical Symptoms

    “Increased abdominal fat and reduced muscle mass are hallmark physical symptoms of male menopause that affect both form and function.”

    The physical symptoms of male menopause can be broad and impact various aspects of health. Men often first notice changes such as increased abdominal fat and reduced muscle mass—commonly referred to as “shrinking muscles”. These changes not only affect physical appearance but also contribute to a decline in strength and stamina, influencing overall physical performance and endurance. As testosterone levels decrease, men may also experience bone density reductions, making them more susceptible to fractures and osteoporosis. This combination of muscle loss and bone fragility can significantly alter a man’s physical health landscape as he ages.

    Another prominent physical symptom is erectile dysfunction, which can arise from lowered testosterone levels coupled with reduced blood circulation. This condition not only affects a man’s ability to maintain sexual relationships but also often impacts emotional well-being and self-esteem. Other symptoms might include hair loss, hot flushes, and increased sweating—similar to what women experience during menopause. These changes are a natural part of ageing but can be distressing as they progress. It is important for men to monitor these symptoms closely and seek medical advice to manage them effectively through lifestyle changes and, where necessary, through medical intervention.

    Mental and Emotional Symptoms

    Mental and emotional changes during andropause are significant and can sometimes be more challenging to manage than the physical symptoms. Mood swings, irritability, and feelings of sadness are common, often likened to the emotional symptoms women experience during menopause. Men may feel more emotional or “on edge,” with these feelings unexpectedly fluctuating, which can be confusing and frustrating for both the individuals experiencing them and their loved ones. Depression is a major concern during andropause, as changes in hormone levels can significantly influence brain chemistry related to mood and emotional well-being.

    Additionally, many men report experiencing memory lapses and a decreased ability to concentrate, commonly referred to as “brain fog.” This cognitive decline can affect job performance, social interactions, and daily activities, leading to increased stress and anxiety about capabilities and future prospects. The loss of focus and mental clarity, combined with other emotional stresses, can make men feel isolated or detached as they struggle with their changing mental state. Support from family, friends, and professional counselling can be crucial in helping men navigate these complex emotional and psychological changes.
    “Mental fog, mood changes, and a diminished sense of well-being frequently accompany the hormonal shifts seen in male menopause.”

    Impact on Sex Life

    “Diminished libido and erectile difficulties are profound impacts of male menopause that can disrupt intimate relationships and personal well-being.”

    The decline in testosterone that marks andropause can significantly impact a man’s sex life, primarily through diminished libido and difficulties with erectile function. This reduction in sexual desire and capability can be distressing and often affects emotional and relational dynamics between partners. It is not uncommon for this to lead to anxiety about sexual performance, further exacerbating the issue. The psychological burden can create a vicious cycle of stress and sexual dysfunction, making it difficult for men to maintain intimate relationships and potentially leading to avoidance of sexual encounters altogether.

    Moreover, changes in sexual function during andropause can affect a man’s self-esteem and self-image. The cultural emphasis on virility and sexual performance can make these changes particularly challenging. Open communication with partners about these difficulties is crucial and can provide relief and understanding in the relationship. Medical interventions, such as erectile dysfunction medications, coupled with lifestyle adjustments, can often help manage these symptoms effectively. Professional counselling may also be beneficial in addressing the emotional and psychological impacts of these changes on both partners.

    Getting Diagnosed

    “Accurate diagnosis of male menopause requires careful evaluation of symptoms, hormone levels, and overall health to differentiate it from other medical conditions with similar presentations.”

    Diagnosing male menopause involves more than identifying the physical symptoms; it requires detailed medical evaluation to measure testosterone levels and assess other possible causes of the symptoms. Men experiencing signs of andropause should consult with their healthcare provider, who may suggest blood tests to determine testosterone levels. These tests are typically conducted on at least two different occasions to confirm low levels, as testosterone can vary day to day. It’s crucial to differentiate between normal age-related decrease in testosterone and hypogonadism, a condition that might require more intensive treatment.

    In addition to hormone testing, a comprehensive assessment including a physical examination and a review of medical history is essential to rule out other medical conditions that could mimic or exacerbate symptoms of andropause. Conditions such as thyroid disorders, depression, or side effects from medication can also cause similar symptoms. Getting a clear and accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective management and treatment, allowing for tailored approaches that address both the hormonal imbalance and its diverse manifestations in the body.

    Treatment Options

    “Testosterone replacement therapy and lifestyle modifications are foundational in the treatment of andropause, aiming to restore hormonal balance and enhance overall well-being.”

    Treatment for male menopause aims to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life through a combination of lifestyle adjustments, medical interventions, and psychological support. One common treatment is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which can help restore hormone levels and reduce many of the physical and emotional symptoms of andropause. However, TRT is not suitable for everyone and requires careful medical assessment to evaluate potential risks, such as cardiovascular disease or prostate health issues. Men undergoing TRT need regular monitoring to manage side effects and ensure the treatment’s effectiveness.

    Lifestyle changes play a critical role in managing andropause symptoms. Regular physical activity, especially strength training and cardiovascular exercise, can help increase testosterone levels naturally and improve mood, energy levels, and body composition. Diet is also important; eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support hormone health and overall well-being. Additionally, reducing stress through mindfulness practices, adequate sleep, and perhaps counselling can mitigate some of the mental and emotional symptoms associated with andropause.

    Living with Andropause

    “Embracing lifestyle changes and maintaining open communication with loved ones are vital strategies for living well with andropause.”

    Living with andropause requires adjustments and adaptations to embrace changes and maintain a fulfilling life. Men can manage their symptoms and maintain their quality of life by actively engaging in health-promoting activities and seeking support when needed. It is also important for men to foster open communication with their partners, family, and friends about what they are experiencing. This openness can build stronger support networks and alleviate feelings of isolation or misunderstanding.

    Moreover, men should consider engaging in new activities that enrich their lives and provide a sense of achievement and fulfilment. Whether it’s exploring new hobbies, volunteering, or learning new skills, these activities can provide a positive focus and contribute to a more positive self-image. Regular check-ups with healthcare providers to monitor health status and adjust treatments as necessary are also crucial for men navigating through andropause. Accepting this phase of life and adapting to its challenges is key to thriving during andropause.

    Supporting a Partner

    “Compassion, communication, and shared proactive approaches are key in supporting a partner through the challenges of male menopause.”

    Supporting a partner through male menopause can be challenging, but understanding and empathy can greatly ease the journey. It’s crucial for partners to be aware of the physical and emotional changes that may occur and to approach them with sensitivity and support. Communication plays a key role in navigating this phase together. Openly discussing feelings, symptoms, and changes can help both partners feel more connected and less isolated. This dialogue can also lead to finding effective ways to address symptoms and adapt to changes in the relationship, particularly in terms of intimacy and emotional connection.

    Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is another way partners can offer support. This includes promoting a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep, all of which can mitigate some of the symptoms of andropause. Additionally, being supportive of medical appointments and treatments, and even accompanying the partner to doctor’s visits can provide moral support. Partners can also benefit from educating themselves about male menopause to better understand the condition and set realistic expectations about the changes that might occur.

    Outlook and Next Steps

    “Early recognition and comprehensive management are the cornerstones of a positive outlook for men experiencing andropause.”

    The outlook for men going through andropause is generally positive, especially with appropriate management and treatment. Recognising the symptoms early and consulting with a healthcare provider can lead to effective strategies that mitigate the impact of low testosterone levels and other andropause-related changes. As research into male menopause continues to evolve, new treatments and better management strategies are likely to emerge, offering more options for men to manage their symptoms effectively.

    For men experiencing the symptoms of andropause, the next steps should include a comprehensive health evaluation by a healthcare provider. Following diagnosis, a tailored treatment plan can be developed that may include lifestyle changes, medication, or therapy. Regular follow-ups to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and any needed adjustments are also important. Finally, building a support network, including family, friends, and possibly a support group of men going through similar experiences, can provide additional emotional support and valuable information sharing.

    Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of male middle age, where the tickets are free and the side effects include beer bellies, man boobs, and mysteriously shrinking muscles. You guessed it; we’re talking about male menopause, or andropause, as the experts like to call it. It’s that time in a man’s life when his testosterone levels…

  • ‘Empty Your Stress Bucket’ Now available on Amazon!

    ‘Empty Your Stress Bucket’ Now available on Amazon!

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    Using Self-Hypnosis to Release Anxiety and Cultivate Calm

    By Gareth Wait

    “Empty Your Stress Bucket” by Gareth Wait offers an innovative approach to managing stress and anxiety through self-hypnosis. Drawing on his extensive experience as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, Gareth presents a thoughtful exploration of the psychological underpinnings of anxiety and provides readers with practical, evidence-based strategies to regain control of their mental health.

    Key Concepts

    • The Divided Brain: Understand how the brain’s structure—particularly the emotional and rational divisions—affects your ability to handle stress and anxiety.
    • Stress Bucket Metaphor: Gareth introduces the ‘Stress Bucket’ as a metaphor for how stress accumulates and overflows in our lives, illustrating how to manage and empty this bucket to maintain mental well-being.
    • Self-Hypnosis Techniques: Detailed guidance on using self-hypnosis to reduce anxiety, including scripts and step-by-step instructions to help readers practice on their own.
    • Building Resilience: Methods to enhance emotional resilience, such as cognitive restructuring and the development of adaptive core beliefs.

    Featured Reviews

    “A masterful guide to understanding and overcoming anxiety. Gareth’s use of clear, practical self-hypnosis exercises makes this book a must-read for anyone looking to find peace and calm.” – Lisa Feldman, Therapist

    “Gareth Wait combines scientific insight with practical advice in a way that is both enlightening and accessible. His book is a compelling tool for anyone wanting to empty their stress bucket.” – James Peterson, Personal Trainer

    From the Author

    “In my years of practice, I’ve seen how unchecked stress can overshadow lives. This book is crafted to empower you with the knowledge and tools to clear out the clutter of anxiety and stress, using proven techniques that offer relief and restoration.” – Gareth Wait

    Dive Deeper

    • Real-Life Applications: Each chapter integrates real-life case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of the strategies discussed, offering readers examples of how others have successfully managed their anxiety.
    • Interactive Exercises: Engage with a variety of exercises that encourage active participation and provide a hands-on approach to learning self-hypnosis and other anxiety-management techniques.
    • Scientific Backing: The methods proposed in the book are backed by research and clinical practice, ensuring that readers are receiving reliable and actionable advice.

    Where to Buy

    “Empty Your Stress Bucket” is available now. Get your copy today and begin your journey to a calmer, more centred life.

    Stay Connected

    Join our community for updates on webinars, workshops, and new insights from Gareth Wait. Sign up to the Cat & Crow Newsletter

    Using Self-Hypnosis to Release Anxiety and Cultivate Calm By Gareth Wait “Empty Your Stress Bucket” by Gareth Wait offers an innovative approach to managing stress and anxiety through self-hypnosis. Drawing on his extensive experience as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, Gareth presents a thoughtful exploration of the psychological underpinnings of anxiety and provides readers with practical,…

  • Navigating Stress: Top Techniques to Empty Your Stress Bucket

    Navigating Stress: Top Techniques to Empty Your Stress Bucket

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    Stress is a universal experience—a natural response of the body to demands and threats. While a little bit of stress is necessary and can even be motivating, too much stress can be harmful to both your mental and physical health. It’s like carrying around a bucket that fills up bit by bit; if it overflows, it can wreak havoc in your life. So, how do you keep your stress bucket from overflowing? Here are some top techniques to help you manage and mitigate stress effectively.

    Understanding Your Stress Bucket

    Before diving into the techniques, it’s important to understand what a “stress bucket” is. The stress bucket metaphor is a way to visualize the amount of stress you can handle at any given time. Everything from work deadlines to personal relationships can add droplets to your bucket. If too much accumulates without any release, the bucket overflows, leading to symptoms like anxiety, depression, and physical health problems.

    Technique 1: Mindfulness and Meditation

    Mindfulness is a practice that involves being fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. By practicing mindfulness, you can observe your stressors objectively, which can reduce their impact on your mental state.

    Meditation, a deeper form of mindfulness, involves sitting quietly and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing, or parts of the body. Meditation can help you empty your stress bucket by promoting relaxation and decreasing the body’s stress responses.

    How to Practice:

    • Dedicate 5-10 minutes daily to meditate. Begin by focusing on your breath, observing each inhale and exhale without altering it.
    • Gradually increase the duration as you feel comfortable.

    Technique 2: Physical Activity

    Exercise is a powerful stress reliever. It might seem contradictory, but physical stress through exercise can relieve mental stress. The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. Physical activities like walking, jogging, dancing, or yoga can help lower your body’s stress hormones (such as cortisol) and release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.

    How to Implement:

    • Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
    • Choose activities you enjoy, which makes it more likely you’ll stick to a routine.

    Technique 3: Journaling

    Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a good outlet for otherwise suppressed emotions. Don’t worry about keeping your writing polished or presentable; just let your thoughts flow on paper. This can help manage stress by allowing you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, identify possible solutions, and see problems in a new light.

    Tips for Effective Journaling:

    • Try to write every day, even if it’s just a few lines.
    • Write about whatever feels most burdensome at that moment, or explore different journaling prompts to guide your writing.

    Technique 4: Time Management

    Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. Plus, you’ll be tempted to avoid or cut back on all the healthy things you should be doing to keep stress in check.

    Strategies to Enhance Time Management:

    • Identify your priorities. Use tools like the Eisenhower Box to help sort tasks by urgency and importance.
    • Break tasks into smaller steps and set realistic deadlines.

    Technique 5: Social Support

    Having strong social ties can help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety. When you care for others and they care for you, it creates a sense of belonging and purpose. Talk with family members, friends, or trusted colleagues about the stresses you’re facing. They might offer practical advice, emotional support, or a different perspective on your stressors.

    Building a Support Network:

    • Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or family when you feel overwhelmed.
    • Consider joining a support group, where you can find people with similar issues.

    Technique 6: Learn to Say No

    Not all stressors are within your control, but some are. Take control over the parts of your life that you can change and are causing you stress. One way to do this is to say no more often. This is especially true if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle, as juggling many responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

    Practical Application:

    • Be selective about what you take on, and don’t be afraid to decline tasks if you feel the load is too large.

    Technique 7: Relaxation Techniques

    Relaxation techniques are a great way to help your body calm down and counter the stress response. Techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and aromatherapy can help reduce stress.

    Quick Relaxation Practice:

    • Try deep breathing: Sit comfortably, breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, making your out-breath twice as long as your in-breath

    .

    Technique 8: Professional Help

    If you find your stress level is too much to manage on your own, you may benefit from seeing a psychologist, therapist, or other mental health professionals. They can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.

    Seeking Professional Advice:

    • Consider therapy options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

    By incorporating these techniques into your routine, you can lower the water level in your stress bucket, enhance your quality of life, and potentially unlock a new level of personal growth and contentment. Remember, the goal is not to completely eliminate stress but to manage it in a way that it does not overwhelm your capacity to enjoy life and face its challenges.

    Stress is a universal experience—a natural response of the body to demands and threats. While a little bit of stress is necessary and can even be motivating, too much stress can be harmful to both your mental and physical health. It’s like carrying around a bucket that fills up bit by bit; if it overflows,…

  • Ready for your Driving Test? Let Hypnotherapy Give You the Edge!

    Ready for your Driving Test? Let Hypnotherapy Give You the Edge!

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    Ready for your Driving Test? Let Hypnotherapy Give You the Edge!

    According to Driving Standards Agency (DSA) data, between April and September last year, 708,676 driving tests were conducted in the UK. Of those, 336,202 candidates passed – that’s a pass rate of 47.4%, less than half. That’s not great news if you are taking your test anytime soon.

    The popular idea that examiners have a quota, that they can only pass so many students is a complete myth – if you drive in a relaxed, calm and above all, safe manner, you will pass your test. So what’s happening? Surely there must be a reason for such a low pass rate? Can we sway the odds in our favour a little?

    Assuming that you have been told to apply for your test by your instructor, you are ready. Your instructor is a professional, and it’s in his interest for you to pass. So that should be seen as a massive vote of confidence in your abilities as a safe and competent driver. You’ve put in the hours, put in the practice, but just the thought of ‘test day’ fills you with dread. Have you wondered why?

    Anyone who has ever sat any form of important test, exam or interview will plainly see the reason: pre-test nerves, jitters, anxiety – many names for the same issue – a perfectly understandable manifestation of the brain’s natural ‘fight or flight’ primitive response.

    During an anxious or stressful time, the body is flooded by various ‘stress hormones’, mainly one that many people will have heard of, adrenaline. This is called a ‘primitive’ response, as it is a by-product of the system that early man used in order to allow the species to flourish. It is a response to a life-threatening event – it gives the body greater physical strength, and makes things appear much more dangerous than they actually are. Several things happen to the body under the influence of adrenaline, all of which are great news if you are a caveman facing a ferocious animal, but not so good when you’re about to take your driving test!

    Adrenaline increases your heart rate, that thudding in the chest so familiar to those in a high state of stress. Blood vessels constrict, raising blood pressure, and blood is redistributed away from the brain, and into the muscles. The pupils dilate, and the stressed individual may begin to sweat, in an effort to keep the body cool for the upcoming frenzy of exertion. There is also a sudden metabolism change, usually leading to nausea. There is a digestive shutdown, which in an extreme situation can cause vomiting or the evacuation of the bowel or bladder. And on top of all that another stress hormone, cortisol is released. Cortisol can short circuit the brain’s memory centre, making it difficult to recall coherent knowledge. So your body has now become a warzone – really not the best start for a calm, relaxing, successful driving test!

    Some people are chronically anxious, and hypnotherapists are very familiar with the misery and psychological, as well as physical, symptoms long term anxiety can produce. Even in the short term, if the body is prepared to fight or run away, and that life-threatening event does not actually materialise, then the muscles and, more importantly, the brain, has to work very hard to rid itself of this excess adrenaline. And as a result can leave the person feeling ‘washed out’, hung-over or just plain miserable. This is the so-called ‘adrenaline crash’.

    If you are preparing to take your test, an understanding of this process, can be extremely comforting. Knowing why we feel this way, and understanding the processes going on in our bodies can be used to tip the odds in our favour. If we can approach the driving test in a relaxed and rational manner, we will be rested, calm and focused. Our memory will be working at top efficiency and we will clearly understand just what it takes to pass. Many people are fully capable of calming themselves down naturally, but just as many people find this difficult if not impossible. Maybe the low overall pass rate could be put down to something as simple as ‘nerves’?

    So, given all that, what can be done? Well, thankfully there is a solution, if not a ‘cure’ – this response is actually vital to our survival (if it were genuinely a life-endangering threat, then improved speed and strength would be a great asset), but, as we’ve seen, it can become easily misplaced.

    One of the main core aims of hypnotherapy is the reduction of anxiety. Clients routinely find they can successfully and easily overcome a huge range of physical or emotional problems by learning to reduce their anxiety levels. Hypnotherapy can be hugely beneficial in all kinds of ‘test’ or ‘trial’ scenarios by reducing the stress surrounding the event itself, but also by allowing the client to visualise a ‘successful outcome’. Visualisation is a remarkably powerful technique, used by many sportspeople, politicians and successful business leaders alike. It allows the client to actually rehearse the success, to make the brain aware of what is to come, and what’s expected of it, in a safe and controlled environment. The end result of this rehearsal is that the subconscious mind no longer sees the upcoming test as a threat, but as an opportunity to progress.

    Give yourself the chance you deserve. You’re ready and able to pass your driving test. If you feel you need a little help, feel free to contact me, or, if you decide to go it alone, remember – just relax, it’s not a sabre-toothed tiger attacking you! Good luck.

    Ready for your Driving Test? Let Hypnotherapy Give You the Edge! According to Driving Standards Agency (DSA) data, between April and September last year, 708,676 driving tests were conducted in the UK. Of those, 336,202 candidates passed – that’s a pass rate of 47.4%, less than half. That’s not great news if you are taking…

  • Pain Relief Without Pills?

    Pain Relief Without Pills?

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    From time to time, we can all experience those annoying little aches and pains in life, which can be frustrating and tiresome. From those sports injuries we incur during training regimes through to niggling issues that can sometimes make us feel a bit low.

    I aim to help people who may be experiencing certain types of pain.

    Pain can be a very subjective experience for an individual and I aim to try to help people who may be feeling some discomfort. I always provide a full and detailed explanation of how the therapy can help in the initial consultation.

    Pain messages travel into the brain where they are interpreted into uncomfortable sensations and feelings.

    Hypnotherapy aims to interrupt the pain signal with positive thinking techniques so the pain can then be eased. One of the main aims of each session is to focus on positivity to try to reduce the client’s stress levels.

    We all live with our very own metaphorical “stress bucket”, which can start to fill when we experience stressful events or negative thinking.

    Using a combination of positive thinking techniques and trance help reduce feelings of stress, which, in turn, can help us to cope better when faced with some types of pain.

    Obviously people with chronic conditions and any ongoing type of pain should, if they haven’t already done so, see a fully-qualified doctor.

    Where Solution Focused Hypnotherapy may be able to assist is by helping someone to focus on calming, relaxation techniques. A relaxed, positive state of mind encourages the production of serotonin, which is the naturally-produced chemical that helps us cope with life.

    Serotonin can, in turn, interrupt pain signals being received in the brain. It is known as ‘pain gate theory’ because we are aiming to close a gate on the pain signal itself. Part of my training is to be able to work alongside a client’s GP should they feel it appropriate for us to do so.

    All medical issues should always be directed to a fully-qualified doctor.

    From time to time, we can all experience those annoying little aches and pains in life, which can be frustrating and tiresome. From those sports injuries we incur during training regimes through to niggling issues that can sometimes make us feel a bit low. I aim to help people who may be experiencing certain types…