Stress Response

Stress can bring a feeling of tightness, anxiety, a feeling of being trapped,  having too much to do and not enough time to do anything, and bring on fears for the future.

Today’s world seems to be geared towards stress, with the rushed pace of life.  A survey of British women, in May 2017, revealed that 52% had been stressed in the past year. Stress is not  a disease, but, if unchecked, can lead to mental and physical ill health. Unchecked stress can lead to resentment , anger and illness.

Researchers at the University of Michigan published, in January 2018, in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, showing that stress interrupts the cells which are supposed to protect the body, leaving it open to attack from viruses and bacteria.This can result in IBS, asthma, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases – they claim.

Deloite’s Shift Index Survey,  in June 2017, concluded that 80% of people in the UK hate their job, and carrying on leads to stress. According to a government report, in 2008, a third of the population is using alcohol to cope with stress.  Hypnotherapy can help you control both alcohol intake, and the stress that lies behind dependence.

Government statistics for the year between 2011 and 2012 say that 40% of all work related illness was due to stress, and on average, each person suffering from stress took 24 days off work. Employers should realise that the costs mount up. Not only on sick absences, but reduced work performance, increased complaints, and loss of reputation.

The Independent reports, in April 2013, on how excessive anxiety is increasingly treated with medication, rather than therapy. They worry that the medications are addictive and may cause a bigger problem than the stress that they are prescribed for. But,  according to the British Medical Journal, only 50% actually benefit from antidepressants, whilst the others are misdiagnosed.

Some people respond by getting angry, irritable,  upset or angry, some suffer physical ailments, some can’t sleep, others may be overwhelmed by emotion, and not able to cope. Men and women tend to deal with stress differently – men tend to react aggressively (fight) whilst women are more likely to flee (flight) and turn to others for help. But in a lot of cases we cannot flee and we cannot fight and the internal chemical hormones released into our blood systems (adrenaline and cortisol) to  prepare us for action, are not used up. This can lead to complications. Too much cortisol in the bloodstream leads to insomnia and damages the immune system,   – leading to regular infections .Also,there is a lot of evidence that too much cortisol in the bloodstream leads to people eating  more than they need to.  Our muscles get bound up with the unused energy , becoming a pocket of  tightness, and stressed people get fat.

When stressed, we get an energy rush that rallies us to fight. Blood flows to our hands, our hearts pump faster, we breathe harder, pupils dilate, we sweat. in a survival orientated sense we want to retaliate in order to protect ourselves.

In antiquity people who were under threat from a wild animal could use up the extra energy, and their system would return to normal. But if we do not have the outlet to use up the energy produced by the sympathetic nervous system, we need to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the muscles,and return our system to normal. Hypnotherapy is an excellent tool for controlling the parasympathetic nervous system.

People who respond poorly to stress often see their cholesterol levels rise, and risk heart disease. There may be irritability, argumentativeness, moodiness, and reduced ability to function as normal. Stress also attracts cancer cells to grow. Here are a few more stress related diseases –

Anorexia, Anxiety and Panic Disorders, Asthma, Allergies, Skin Diseases, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Constipation, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Migraines, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Hypertension,  IBS,Muscle Stiffness, Sleep disturbances, Stroke and Ulcers. From the heart to the immune system, stress has a real physical effect.

What makes us ill is social stress – the elements of everyday life which grind us down and we  feel powerless to change. At first we fight our situation, then we become resigned. We become anxious and depressed – our immune system is impaired, and recovery is stalled.

Continued stressful situations tend to lead to memory loss. Hypnotherapy can form an important intervention. Research at  The Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, has shown that stress prevents quick healing. The results, published in June 2010, suggest that learning a relaxation response is better for healing.

Research published in The Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, in May 2013,  shows that work stress can lead to raised levels of bad LDL cholesterol, and lowered levels of healthy HDL cholesterol. This can trigger dislipidemia, which makes it more likely for people to develop blocked arteries – risking cardivascular disease.

Hypnotherapy can help with relaxing you to such an extent that your cholesterol levels will go down.

One solution  may be found in vitamins – you can fight stress by taking B6 and B12 – or just a B complex. Another stress buster is Magnesium. But they may not deal with the underlying cause of the problems. Foods that reduce stress may be useful –Bananas ,Cucumbers, Avocados, Blueberries, Asparagus, Celery, Milk, Almonds, Oranges, Salmon, Spinach, Turkey, Oatmeal.

Many products claim that they will help people to look younger but the latest research from Noble prize winner Dr Elizabeth Blackburn shows us  that it is possible to reverse the aging process.

When we quieten our minds we allow our bodies to relax and let go of tension and stess.  This leads to the process of our cells repairing and rejuvenating – which has an effect on our DNA.

Ongoing stress damages the telomeres at the end of DNA strands, which then fray and allow aging to begin. Inflammation and deterioration of muscle follows.

But when we relax these telomeres reknit themselves together. So relaxation increases longetivity and muscle tones benefit too.

Meditation and hypnotherapy can teach how to make relaxation a part of your life.

Hypnotherapy can help by dealing  with your past experiences, providing Anger Management, Stress Management and Forgiveness Therapy. Hypnotherapy can protect you against stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

Stress also kills sex. A study in 2019  – Argosy University of Chicago – has shown that soldiers suffering from PTSD  were more likely to have erectyle dysfunction than others; ” PTSD impairs sexual functioning across multiple domains: desire, arousal, orgasm, activity and satisfaction”  The British army was said to be supplying Viagra to over 3000 and psychosexual therapy to 60 in 2019.   Now, we know that Viagra may work with 80% of cases, but there is likely to be a psychological element too .But if the root cause is severe stress, then Viagra is not the remedy. Mental health issues and antidepressants are more likely to be the cause of dysfunction here and Psychosexual therapy seems to be the answer.

The benefits of controlling stress are many –

Decreased Heart Rate, Lower Blood Pressure,  Decreased Muscle Tension, Reduction of Cortisol, Stress Release, Calm Internal Dialogue, Expansion of Attention, Happiness, Decrease in Rate of Aging, More Energy.

When we learn a new way of reacting to something, our brains change. This is the process known as neuroplasticity – there are changes in the neural pathways and synapses in our brains that help us to retain the knowledge. This can lead to life change – so that we are not victims of circumstance but can become masters of our future.

The Lancet published the results of The Global Burden of Disease study in December 2012. This reported that High Blood Pressure is the highest cause of death worldwide. High Blood Pressure is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and death in Britain, causing 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks.

We know that 16 million suffer from high blood pressure in the UK, but the report says that millions more probably suffer when it is masked by other conditions.

The wonderful thing is that the subconscious mind has got the power to recover from high blood pressure. There is a wonderful immune system already installed, and the effect of hypnosis can be to awaken this wonderful system, and relax the body so much that healing can take place.

Stress can be destructive in regards to fertility too. The Mail on Sunday ran an article, on 3.2.13, stating that a woman who had been trying to conceive for seven years, and was just about to have IVF, tried hypnotherapy. She was hypnotised into believing that she was pregnant, and four weeks later, had conceived naturally. Now she has had a daughter. She said that hypnosis had helped her to relax and calm down because she was so worried about not  having a baby.This is a great example of how the stress response can really stop the natural bodily functions, and how hypnotherapy can restore them.   We wish mother and daughter the best.

Alternatively, Professor Ian Robertson, of Trinity College, Dublin, says that you can use stress to your advantage, by transforming it to excitement -in his book  ‘The Stress  Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger And Sharper’. But  by the time people get to read this, the damage to their bodies and minds may already be done.

Matthew can use hypnotherapy to control your stress, and teach you self hypnosis to prevent it coming back. Try hypnotherapy from an anger therapist.

 

 What are the signs of depression?

 The Depression Alliance suggests that if you are experiencing four or more of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly everyday, for more than two weeks, then you should get help:

 Tiredness and loss of energy, Persistent sadness,  Loss of self confidence and self esteem, Difficulty concentrating, Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable, Undue feelings of guilt and worthlessness, Difficulty getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual,  Avoiding people, even your close friends, Finding it hard to function at work or at school,  Loss of appetite,  Loss of sex drive or sexual problems, Physical pains, Thinking about suicide and death, Self harm.

But the help available may not solve the problem. If a GP prescribes for six months anti depressants which don’t do the job, what do you do?

We would not want to tell anybody to stop taking prescribed medication. Antidepressants are certainly effective at elevating mood by adjusting the activity levels of brain chemicals that control this. However, the British Medical Journal suggests that only 50% of antidepressants are effective in those that take them,  the remainder being misdiagnosed.

The May 2018 issue of Neroscience journal reports on discoveries at Hiroshima University. They note that depression mainly occurs in people that lack two chemicals – Serotonin and Norepinephrin (NE) and that 90% of drugs are based on this idea – artificially boosting the chemical  presence in the bloodstream. However, they also note that 30% do not respond to the drugs. Yumiko Saito and Yuki Kobayashi conclude that “obviously we need a new drug”

Perhaps this is true, but perhaps what we need is a change in perception -there are internal chemicals that can be accessed via hypnosis and other methods that may alleviate mild depression. Hypnotherapy can be a revolutionary tool for spreading joy and happiness, which will have a tremendous effect on the amount of medication that GPs and patients feel they need.

Some pointers –

Learn to relax – try hypnosis, yoga or meditation;

Exercise – gentle pursuits such as walking or swimming lift your mood;

Changes to your diet – eating a nutrient rich diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg can make you feel physically and psychologically better;

Get out and about – Interact with other people

Sunshine – Research shows that it can improve mood.

In 2012 there has been  research, in Houston, suggesting that boosting vitamin D in women with mild to severe depression.

In 2013 researchers at a university in Toronto found that depression decreased significantly in those patients that had their insomnia cured, finding better results than those that took medication or placebo. Hypnotherapy helps here.

In 2015 scientists from Kyoto University published results in Scientific Reports on research into the Precuneus – the part of the brain associated with happiness. They found that the size of the precuneus in subjects could be increased through psychological training and meditation. Subsequently subjects overall happiness and hope for the future reflected an increase in psychological testing. Hypnotherapy an play an important role here, in changing people’s brain cells positively without medication.

A survey of British women, in May 2017, showed that 25% revealed that they had been depressed in the past year.

How can hypnosis help?

   Hypnosis can help in a number of ways in helping to change  negative attitudes into positive ones –

an attitude of gratitude; giving hope in a positive future; feeling relaxed, calm and confident; taking pleasure in your activities, approval of the self; feeling healthy and strong, with a healthy appetite; taking pride in you accomplishments; taking responsibility for thoughts, feelings and for life; being focused and able to concentrate; an attitude of kindness.

Through hypnotic trance we access you subconscious mind and can implant attitudes that will protect against negative emotions taking hold.  We can help change patterns of thought that may be deep seated in your  mind. Changing the mind means changing your thinking, so you can rewire your brain to change your attitudes through hypnosis. Hypnosis can put joy back into your inner mind. When we learn something new our brain changes through neuroplasticity. There are changes in the neural pathways of the brain so that we can retain information. This change can lead to life changes, so that we are not victims of circumstance, but can become masters of our future.

Thought Field Therapy will help you to reframe your mind .

EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques – can help to heal depression by releasing the negative energy stuck in your mind and body. By tapping on the meridian points a shift in the meridian system can be created, taking you away from  your dark moods  -to ones of feeling good again.

Coming Off Antidepressants

NICE tells us that over four million people are on long term antidepressants, but that not all of them have to be Current guidelines suggest that withdrawal symptoms are mild.

However, Lancet Psychiatry Research published, in March 2019, about more serious withdrawal symptoms – noting dizziness, sleep problems,  electric shock like sensations “brain zaps”, tremors, restless legs, and numbness. This has led to some continuing to  take them unnecessarily.  They point out that Dutch research has shown that people can come off by  reducing the amounts by weeks and months. NICE guidelines are now due to be rewritten.

Of course, chemicals build up in the body over time, so to stop using them at once can lead to physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. We need a healthcare plan  from a GP to gradually reduce the dosage. Hypnotherapy can be used to lift the mood, spreading joy and happiness,  and provide a sense of deep calm.

NICE tells us that over four million people are on long term antidepressants, but that not all of them have to be Current guidelines suggest that withdrawal symptoms are mild.

However, Lancet Psychiatry Research published last week about more serious withdrawal symptoms – noting dizziness, sleep problems,  electric shock like sensations “brain zaps”, tremors, restless legs, and numbness. This has led to some continuing to  take them unnecessarily.  They point out that Dutch research has shown that people can come off by  reducing the amounts by weeks and months. NICE guidelines are now due to be rewritten.

Of course, chemicals build up in the body over time, so to stop using them at once can lead to physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. We need a healthcare plan  from a GP to gradually reduce the dosage. Hypnotherapy can be used to lift the mood, sprading joy and happiness, and provide a sense of deep calm

 

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