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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What’s the Difference in Therapist?


A Psychiatrist (MD) is a medical doctor that has done a residences with a psychiatric unit and has expertise in prescribing psychotropic medications. Medications meant to balance the brain chemistry to relieve depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Typically they do not do counseling therapy.

A Psychologist (PhD - PsyD) has a Masters degree in Psychology or Counseling and then completes a 2 year degree with internships. A psychologist typically does psychometric testing to determine a psychological diagnosis. This may include personality testing, cognitive (thinking skills) testing, memory, planning, reasoning, visual and auditory testing for example. Some do counseling but most are more focused on diagnosing than treatment.

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) has a Masters degree, 2 years of study and internships beyond a 4 year Bachelors degree. An LPC typically provides counseling therapy. Talk therapy and utilizing other modalities, such as behavioral, journaling, support, substance abuse treatment, talk-therapy, hypnosis, breath work, tapping, step programs support and more. They may work as school counselors, case managers for medical case management, discharge planners, independent psychotherapists in private practice or for agencies and hospitals. They may specialize in Marriage and Family counseling (MFT).

Social Workers (MSW, CSW) are similar to Licensed Professional Counselors in education and providing counseling therapy services. They may also work for adoption and foster care agencies. 



Thursday, August 23, 2018

What is Anxiety??

Anxiety is a physiological reaction to not enough oxygen in your system.
It’s as simple as that.

Anxiety is a “flight or fight response”.  Sometimes this response is left over from some past experience, and it has then generalized this experience to other things. Things technically not related to that fearful experience, but that may have been present in the environment when that fearful event took place.

When we are stressed and anxious, we feel our heart race, breathing is high in the upper chest and shallow, we get upset stomachs or “butterflies”, hands, fingers and feet become numb and tingly, we sweat, our neck and face become red, we can’t think, concentrate or focus, access to memory is limited.

ALL of these symptoms are simply a result of not enough oxygen in our system.

The key to lowering stress and getting rid of anxiety reactions is simply getting more oxygen in the body.

The simple fact is: You cannot be excited, anxious and fearful, and at the same time that you are relaxed, calm and peaceful.  (Try it. Try to feel those two groups of emotions at the same time. It simply is impossible. The body cannot do this.)

How do we get more oxygen in the body when we need to, or choose to be, more calm and relaxed?

The following Relaxation Breathing exercise is the answer. You can choose to be as calm and relaxed as you wish, when you wish, anytime, anyplace. You can be in control of your level of relaxation.

You have a muscle that crosses your body, beneath your lungs, called the diaphragm. When you breathe in this muscle pulls down, drawing air into the lungs like a bellows or a plunger. This muscle helps you take air into your lungs. When you walk fast, or run, or do physical work, you can feel this muscle automatically kick in, and you feel your belly expanding so you can inhale more air. This happens normally and naturally. This is the natural breath you were born with.
Learning to use this muscle with each deep breath is the key to your relaxation.

Follow the exercise on the next page and learn how to be a more relaxed and calm
person, as relaxed and calm as YOU choose to be.

Relaxation Breathing / Diaphragmatic Breathing / Belly Breathing 


Once you know how, this Relaxation Breathing exercise should be practiced 6-8 times per day, until it once again becomes automatic, natural, the breath you are born with. Practice at bedtime to use it to fall easily asleep. Use anytime, anywhere, whenever you feel the slightest feeling of stress. Good times to practice: standing in line at the store, at a stop light in your car, in the waiting room of an office, on commercial breaks while watching a movie.

Sit or lye down, make yourself comfortable. Place one or both hands on your belly, just above your naval, and below your rib cage, start your breath here. Take a Deep breath, allow your belly to initiate or start the breath. Allow your belly to fully expand with your intake of breath. You may notice your lower back arching slightly as you inhale.

Then on the exhale allow your belly to push the air out of your lungs. Allowing the belly to start and gently force the air back out of your lungs.

Notice that with your hands on your belly you can feel your belly expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. As you breathe deeply and slowly, simply observe and feel your belly gently move in and out.

Repeat this exercise for 10 Breaths. Practice for 10 breaths every night at bedtime.
This will help you fall asleep. Also use daily many times a day.

You can use this breathing technique to reduce stress and anxiety wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Use it sitting, standing, walking, driving, sitting at a stop light, waiting in line…

The more you use it, the better it works. The more you use it the faster it works.
The more you use it, the less likely you are to have an episode of anxiety, panic or stress.

The more you use it, the body and mind learns to quickly and immediately go into relaxation.

Remember: the body cannot be excited, anxious and fearful, at the same time it is relaxed, calm and peaceful.

Research recently supports Diaphragmatic Breathing as neuromuscularly connected to the basal area of the brain. The same area where our Flight, Flight or Freeze response originates.

Our Flight, Flight or Freeze response, is a normal and natural response that occurs to protect us from possibly dangerous situations. It only becomes a problem when it is overreacting. When we have too much trauma, drama, or stress in our lives, or it goes on for too long, then we begin to breath in a  Flight, Flight or Freeze response breath, which is shallow and high in the chest. This causes a deficiency in oxygen and a feeling of anxiety. This type of breath can become a habit.

When there is not enough oxygen in our blood, our heart rate has to speed up to get more blood to our organs, because there is less oxygen in the blood; thus a racing heart rate. We get sweaty and tingly hands and feet because our body withdraws blood from extremities to feed the major organs better. We can’t focus or concentrate because we aren’t getting enough oxygen to the brain. In extreme cases one could pass out.

Flight, Flight or Freeze Breathing, shallow breathing, causes all the symptoms associated with anxiety, anxiety attacks and panic attacks. It causes a release of the stress hormone cortisol. 
Cortisol is said to damage organs and cause aging to the body.

Diaphragmatic Breathing, the use of the Diaphragm muscle sends a message to the basal area of the brain to relax the body, relax the mind, and to lower the release of the stress hormone Cortisol in our system.

Diaphragmatic Breathing, Relaxation Breathing is a way for us to take back control of our level of relaxation, naturally.


Labels: Cortisol hormone, anxiety, anxiety attack, panic attack, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation breathing, Social Anxiety



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Therapist Review from Jan Corcoran

I was new to Traverse City, moving from San Francisco,  searching for a therapist with a hypnotherapy background and found Amelia. As a professional business women with a psych background, I was very clear about what I thought I needed. I definitively wanted someone who would listen to me, and would help me face some very tough situations. I also wanted to learn some new tools like hypnotherapy to handle stress. For the first time in my life, I took a break from my career to focus on me. Amelia gave me a safe place where I could let go of deep feelings and heal. I highly recommend Amelia as a therapist and a hypnotherapist. She is warm, kind and insightful.  You will feel better in her care.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Positive Nuns

In September 22, 1930, the Mother Superior of the North American Sisters of Milwaukee, Wisconsin had young nuns around the country write 300 word essays about their lives. Most were in their early twenties at the time. The essays included significant life events and why they chose the religious life.

Sixty years later, a team of researchers from the University of Kentucky, in a study focusing on retired nuns, found 180 of the young nuns who wrote essays were in their study Groupon retired nuns.

After classifying their 180 essays as positive, negative or neutral, the researchers found a correlation between the nuns outlook on their life and their lifespans. 
The nuns who’d been most positive in their essays on life, lived about ten years longer than those who had been the least positive.

The power of positive thinking. 


Hypnosis is the power of changing your thought into powerful affirmations that work for you.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in adult patients.

Anesth Analg. 2006 May;102(5):1394-6.

Hypnosis reduces preoperative anxiety in adult patients.


Abstract
In this study we examined the effect of hypnosis on preoperative anxiety. Subjects were randomized into 3 groups, a hypnosis group (n = 26) who received suggestions of well-being; an attention-control group (n = 26) who received attentive listening and support without any specific hypnotic suggestions and a "standard of care" control group (n = 24). Anxiety was measured pre- and postintervention as well as on entrance to the operating rooms. We found that patients in the hypnosis group were significantly less anxious postintervention as compared with patients in the attention-control group and the control group (31 +/- 8 versus 37 +/- 9 versus 41 +/- 11, analysis of variance, P = 0.008). Moreover, on entrance to the operating rooms, the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease of 56% in their anxiety level whereas the attention-control group reported an increase of 10% in anxiety and the control group reported an increase of 47% in their anxiety (P = 0.001). In conclusion, we found that hypnosis significantly alleviates preoperative anxiety. Future studies are indicated to examine the effects of preoperative hypnosis on postoperative outcomes.

PMID: 16632816

[Indexed for MEDLINE]