Can hypnosis heal PTSD?

ptsd sufferer

 

Would you believe me if I told you that the psychological upheaval and trauma experienced by a soldier in a war, under constant threat of being killed, is not that far removed from a childhood spent in an unstable home, exposed to abuse or neglect?

The brain and stress

A study of Adverse Childhood Experiences shows a very real and lasting impact that the stress hormone, cortisol can have on the development of young brains and bodies, and the lasting impact that this has on the health and wellbeing of a person over their lifetime. It’s important to note that these results are experienced across all demographics, education levels and income brackets.

Equally as damaging, is the effects of the “always-on” fight or flight response in soldiers.

While your conscious mind, known as the cortex, may realise that the loud bang of fireworks is not a threat since you are no longer in a war zone, the much faster reaction of the primal brain doesn’t understand that the environment has changed, and simply reacts as a survival response, changing a variety of physical reactions in the process (such as increased heart rate and release of adrenaline).

What is PTSD?

What sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and the reason humans have ruled as a species is not because we are stronger or faster, but because we are smarter.

This is because of the size of our cerebral cortex. This part of the brain is what makes us human, it’s the intelligent brain that gives us our individuality and personality.

But we still rely on the subcortical brain to run our unconscious functions, such as regulating heat, breathing and our heartbeat. In this way, we don’t have to think about these functions, or even be aware of them, for our body to react.

And in the same way that we can’t stop our heart from beating by thinking about it, we can’t overcome the subcortical brain’s survival instincts to situations that are easily mistaken for combat.

This is compounded by the fact that this primal part of our brain reacts faster, essentially overpowering our good sense.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is made up of three components:

  1. Re-experiencing symptoms (intrusive memories and nightmares)
  2. This leads to immediate physiological and emotional arousal
  3. Which leads to immediate avoidance.

As humans, we have become adept at processing and organising information (that’s where our large cortex is apparent).

But because we’re used to being able to make sense of the actions in our environment, life-threatening and therefore emotionally charged, traumatic events are not processed effectively by the brain.

We tend to reject and actively push the memories away and avoid environmental triggers, but this very normal, understandable response often means that these traumatic memories aren’t processed or filed away, and they continue to intrude on daily life.

This develops into post-traumatic stress disorder and is a debilitating illness for millions of people who may have lived in a war zone, been in a traumatic car accident or even a plane crash or home invasion.

If you suffer from PTSD, then know that there is help. Let’s find out how hypnosis can help you heal:

How hypnosis can heal PTSD

Hypnosis is a fantastic way to not only cope with the anxiety and insomnia that soldiers returning home experience, but it also helps by working on the patterns of the subconscious mind.

It changes the way we think about certain events by repatterning the neurological pathways that are created when we continuously think about a trauma. In the same way that soldiers are trained to react against their natural instincts, hypnosis can train your subconscious mind to process information differently. And this, of course, extends beyond soldiers as PTSD suffers, and applies to anyone who has undergone a traumatic event such as a terrible car accident and even a plane crash or home invasion.

Hypnosis helps the mind to do what it struggles to do –  process and thus file away a traumatic memory, instead of recalling it time and again in what is basically an attempt at organising and understanding the chaos of a situation.

Would you like to find out how hypnosis can help heal from PSTD? Book a free consultation with Elaine Young and take the step towards wellness. 

Are Adverse Childhood Experiences making you sick?

woman with headache migraine

When I was 9 years old, I developed a severe headache that caused one side of my body to go completely lame. I wasn’t even able to speak properly and was rushed to the hospital for an EEG.

I was diagnosed as suffering from a migraine and sentenced to a lifetime of misery. Every time I have the slightest amount of stress (whether good or bad), I end up bedridden in terrible pain for 2-4 days. I’m sure you can only imagine how incredibly disruptive this has been from a family and career perspective.

What I know now is that my migraines, and indeed so many other health concerns I have suffered from over the years, can be attributed to adverse childhood experiences.

But what is an adverse childhood experience?

 

The definition of adverse childhood experiences

Did you know that there is an index that measures the impact of childhood trauma (known as adverse childhood experiences) on your health? The CDC and Kaiser Permanente published a study in the mid-90s that found a direct correlation between childhood abuse and neglect and health and wellbeing later in life. It was found that there is a direct correlation between the level of childhood stress and a number of leading illnesses like heart disease and lung cancer.

You may brush this off as being related to societal conditions, right?

Wrong.

The study found that even adults who had lived healthy lives, who ate a balanced diet and exercised, were still more likely to succumb to illness and had a much higher mortality rate.

Scientists found that this was, in fact, because chronic (long-term) stress affects how a child’s immune system, brain and hormonal systems develop. It even affects how DNA is read and transcribed. In other words, when a child is constantly and pervasively under threat from abuse, neglect or a parent who struggles with addiction or mental illness, then that stress will actually change that child’s physiology.

Can you imagine the far-reaching and long-term medical implications?

At this point, you may ask:

“Can you undo the health effects of adverse childhood experiences?”.

 

Hypnosis Heals

Last year was the first time I sought help for debilitating migraines using hypnotherapy. Twenty-sixteen was one of the worst years of my career. A nursing colleague who only met me over the course of one weekend (the weekend my mum was dying), decided to report me to the Nursing Council saying that I was unfit to practice. It took 15 months to clear my name.

After I’d won the battle to prove my innocence, I bought a freedom ring to celebrate. But instead of feeling good, the stress finally caught up with me and I was struck down by waves of headache after headache, often overlapping each other (this is known as Status Migrainus in medical terms).

My GP could do nothing to treat the migraines and suggested hypnotherapy for the pain as well as to help with the depression I had sunk into.

Genius! I consulted with a great friend and fellow hypnotherapist, and together we went back to an adverse childhood event. I was nine years old, in the A Grade of primary school. We had a substitute teacher, the first male teacher I’d ever had. This teacher was mean-spirited (he threw rubbers and was very handy with a ruler!) and had a thick northern accent that I struggled to understand. Shouting at us was the norm.

In hypnotherapy, I remembered how I had stood up to this scary and intimidating figure in order to protect one of my fellow classmates. After this incident I was moved to the B stream, never to return to the A stream again.

It took 55 years to understand the cause of the stress that started a cascade of illness including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Fibroids, cancer of the uterus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This early trauma was possibly later compounded by being raped at 15, not telling my parents until I learned I was pregnant, having the child and giving her up for adoption.

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente report reveals the link between childhood stress and autoimmune diseases as well as chronic illness as an adult.

 

Did hypnotherapy help?

I’m so delighted to report that my headaches stopped! After the hypnotherapy sessions with my colleague, I listened to the recordings she gave me for 21 days and my stress level dropped dramatically from 8/10 to 2/10. I have only had one migraine headache since!

Would you like to find out hypnotherapy can help your migraines or other ailments? Book a free discovery call now!

4 Ways Your Subconscious is Sabotaging Your Sexual Happiness

sexual happiness

 

Are you completely carefree in your sex life? Chances are, like most adults, you have some or other subconscious issue that is holding you back from reaching sexual happiness.

As a woman, whether you are in a new relationship, have been married for years, or have been alone for some time – opening your body up to another person is an act that comes with extreme vulnerability.

Sex at any age should be an enjoyable experience! And if it isn’t, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with some underlying issues that are haunting you and holding you back from sexual happiness – maybe causing some sexual dysfunction too. These underlying issues might be ghosts from past experiences or internalised self-doubt. The list of potential problems getting you down is endless – and in most cases, you may not even be conscious of what’s causing your inhibitions or reservations with regards to sex.

Do you know if you are in a state of sexual happiness? First, let’s look at exactly what sexual happiness is.

 

What is sexual happiness?

Anyone can have sex. It’s an instinct, an act that we are wired to desire as living beings. Having sex, however, is completely different to achieving sexual happiness. Sexual happiness is much less about the procedure, the act itself, or the physicality of it all.

Sexual happiness is a state of mind. It’s a state of being completely open, receptive and carefree in sexual and intimate situations. Sexual happiness is something that first comes from within yourself. It then manifests and expresses itself through a relationship you have with your sexual partner.

 

Sexual dissatisfaction

Do you ever feel uncomfortable in intimate situations? Do you perhaps feel unhappy, unwilling or uninvolved in sexual scenarios? Maybe you’ve even felt embarrassed by your sexual performance or discouraged by feelings of guilt.

There are numerous factors that may play on our minds during sex that will ultimately leave us feeling unsatisfied and lead to a bad relationship with intimacy.

Let’s look at some things that may be subconsciously holding you back from sexual happiness.

 

Low self-esteem

The Merriam Webster dictionary describes self-esteem as “a confidence and satisfaction in one’s self”.

On the opposite end of the scale, it can be said that low self-esteem is a lack of confidence in one’s self and a dissatisfaction with personal being. Low self-esteem can have devastating effects in many different areas of your life!

Healthy Women has written about the concept of Sexual Self-Esteem. Their article describes how the way you view yourself can largely impact on your comfort and openness to love and sex.

If you have low self-esteem, you may feel shy and reserved about your body and actions – leaving you stressed and unengaged with your partner. A low self-esteem means you don’t see true value in yourself, leaving you open to sexually risky behaviour or not being confident enough to voice your feelings.

 

Trust violation and previous betrayal

It’s happened to so many of us. If at some stage in your life you have been betrayed by a partner or someone close to you, you may still be hurting (whether you are aware of it or not) from that trust violation.

Trust violations are very emotionally draining and can easily leave you with emotional scars that cause you a general distrust of men. Your sexual happiness is largely based on your trust in your partner. If you’re still battling with a previous betrayal, chances are that you’re not feeling very carefree or receptive in your current sex life.

 

Past trauma and abuse

Any abuse, whether physical, emotional or mental will leave an internal wound on your psyche. If you have experienced any form of abuse in your past, you could still be affected by the trauma.

If this is the case, your subconscious may have internalised all kinds of false truths about yourself and about others. This could be largely why you’re feeling unlovable or dissatisfied.

 

Guilt

In an article by How Stuff Works, sexual guilt and shame is described as “a feeling of grave responsibility and deep remorse associated with participation in or even thoughts and fantasies about sexual activity.”

People who experience sexual guilt are of the belief that engaging in sexual activity is a negative act, a sinful experience, or even an unclean undertaking. These beliefs can come from a range of various places. If you’ve been raised in a conservative society or religious family, you may have been fed messages of promiscuity or sin with regards to sex.

Many of the beliefs we have around sex that have come from our upbringing are extremely harmful and counterintuitive. Feeling shameful about intimacy is an easy road to being sexually unhappy!

 

Sexual healing through hypnosis

Do you resonate with any of the above subconscious factors? If you feel that there is something holding you back or keeping you from finding a state of sexual happiness, it may be time for some internal reflection.

Hypnotherapy is a great way to tap into your subconscious and potentially address some of the underlying issues listed above. Healing through hypnosis will help you let go of the negative self-beliefs and thought patterns that could be causing your underwhelming sexual experiences.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how hypnosis could better your sex life, get in touch with me for a free, completely confidential Discovery Call.

 

Elaine Young is a registered nurse and qualified Rapid Transformation Therapy practitioner specialising in healing through hypnosis. She is the UK’s Premier Sexual Happiness Guru, assisting women in finding sexual happiness in their relationships.