Researchers in mind wandering believe that we spend an average of half our waking hours daydreaming. If taken together with sleep, it means we are not present or in a dream for 2/3rds of our day. Although this can have benefits, such as dreaming of a holiday or pleasant memory, unfortunately the majority of our mind wanderings are negative- worrying about a future event, or ruminating about something that happened and wishing to put it right. We tend to have repetitive, “sticky” thoughts, going over the same old scenarios – money worries, relationship worries, time and time again.
Mindfulness offers mind training that brings us into the present moment. Through practising meditation we can recognise when we have wandered into a dreamlike state and gently bring ourselves back using a “support” such as our breathing. Like everything, the more we practise, the better we get at it. Through observation of our internal experience – thoughts, emotions and feelings in the body, we can become open, curious and accepting of these experiences, even ingrained, uncomfortable ones. Why do this?. As Buddhist commentator John Aske says “What is suppressed is expressed. If you push it out of sight in one place, it just pops up somewhere else in another guise”.
Mindfulness calms the body and improves our body awareness as well as improving emotional regulation. Our fight- flight response calms and helps us experience the unfolding of our lives in real time. Viktor Frankl a psychiatrist and holocaust survivor said “ Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom”.
It helps us to become more empathetic, compassionate and exhibit better judgment.
Importantly from a pain perspective, mindfulness has effects on reducing biomarkers for stress and inflammation. It also reduces activity on areas of the brain that are important for the feelings of aversiveness and unpleasantness of a stimulus. This has the effect of causing mindfulness practitioners to refrain from engaging in thought processes that ultimately lead to suffering. These might be thoughts such as “I can’t bear this”; “I want it to stop”; “It might get worse”, thoughts I am sure that many people dealing with pain and anxiety experience on a regular basis. Although long term meditators have been shown to have quite different responses to pain and stress on brain scan, the benefits of mindfulness can be felt quite soon after starting to learn the techniques.
Graham has studied mindfulness on the Masters course at the University Of Aberdeen and taken teacher training with the Mindfulness Association , a recognised provider of quality teacher training of mindfulness.
Graham sees clients on a one to one basis and is happy to use mindfulness on its own, or to integrate it into a treatment programme for chronic pain. Apart from the treatment of pain mindfulness can be especially helpful if you suffer with stress, anxiety and low mood. You don’t even need to have a problem to benefit from mindfulness, you can simply learn it because it helps us in our daily lives.
In addition to osteopathy and acupuncture Graham offers a range of treatments including Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness
Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness involving increased attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestions made by the hypnotherapist.
Hypnosis may be likened to daydreaming or being intensely involved in a film. However scientists are now reporting that hypnosis is a unique state of consciousness, with modern brain imaging in real time (FMRI), showing very real changes in areas of the brain that correspond to the suggestion being made.
For example if the hypnotherapist makes a suggestion for reduction in the emotional aspect of pain, the area that processes this element (the anterior cingulate) will show a reduction in activity, whilst other areas that deal with meaning or sensory quality of the pain will not show changes. This means hypnosis can be targeted and individualised to the patients needs. Hypnosis is made up of two parts. First is the “induction” which allows the mind to relax. This is by getting the patient to focus on one particular thing, be it the therapists voice or a spot on the ceiling or a pleasant image. This lets the mind to become more open to suggestion for changes in what you experience or how you feel.
The second step is for the hypnotherapist to make specific suggestions for positive changes, such as feelings of positivity, increased motivation or a reduction in pain, stress or anxiety and reassuring expectations of the future. To aid treatment it is important to practise these new skills by listening to recordings at home , which will be supplied through CD or MP3. This is called self hypnosis and it is surprisingly easy to carry this out on your own.
Graham is a clinical hypnotherapist, meaning he treats the conditions for which he already has a specialist knowledge. He has taken extra advanced courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach to insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and stress management.
Common misconceptions about hypnosis:
1. I cannot be hypnotised. Whilst it is true that some people have a stronger response to hypnotherapy and a small minority are resistant to hypnosis almost everyone can gain benefit from hypnotherapy. In fact the only time you will definitely not be hypnotized is if you do not want to be.
2. I can get stuck in hypnosis. No you cannot!.
3. I will lose control. Hypnosis is an unique state of consciousness, but like daydreaming it is voluntary and if there was a fire for example, you would quickly be out of the front door!.
4. There is no evidence for hypnotherapy. Wrong – it has one of the strongest evidence bases of all the complementary therapies, especially in the area of pain management and the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been shown to add power to other psychotherapeutic interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Finally remember that being hypnotised is actually a very pleasant experience, with people often reporting benefits beyond what they are being treated for. These benefits might include increased energy, positive mood, relaxation and an increased feeling of control.
Clinic Location & Contact
Although based in Walmer clients travel from many surrounding areas around Kent including from Sandwich, Kingsdown, Eastry and Dover, which are all within a 20 minute drive, for treatment. Please note free parking is available outside the clinic
Graham Yates Osteopath
27 Archery Square,
Telephone: 01304 379 954
Mobile: 07890 198921
Drop Graham an email using the below form
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