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Quitting Smoking Will Always Beat  Just Cutting Down

Quitting Smoking Will Always Beat  Just Cutting Down

Questions about cutting down on smoking

When someone comes to Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic wanting to give up cigarettes one of the first things I propose is that he or she makes a list of all the bad consequences of smoking.
This is known as negative reinforcement and simply reminds individuals why they need to quit. While it’s a good idea to acknowledge the harm caused by smoking, negative reinforcement is actually only a minor part of our stop-smoking programme. That’s because smokers are not morons – most know that cigarettes are bad for their health. But they believe they are physically addicted. The reality, however, is that smoking is a psychological condition – or more accurately the fear of giving up is a psychological disorder.
So at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, using cognitive behavioural therapy combined with clinical hypnosis, we enable smokers to understand their condition and change their beliefs and at the end of just one session the client leaves as a non-smoker.

Treatment works

Now this might all sound very straightforward and too good to be true but the fact is that the treatment works.
Yet for many smokers making the decision that they want to quit is a giant leap and so rather than seek treatment they flirt with the idea of cutting down or taking up “vaping” or some other form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). While “vaping”might be less harmful than smoking, it fails to resolve the core issue regarding perceived addiction and in far too many cases ultimately fails to ween people away from their nicotine habit. And here is the crux of the problem – some smokers feel they can ween themselves away from cigs – either through NRT or simply by cutting down the number of cigarettes they smoke. They do not understand their condition. And as a consequence they remain a hostage to nicotine. Though a smoker might think that by just smoking the occasional cigarette, they won’t be doing themselves a lot of harm, they are wrong. It’s a fallacy to believe that the occasional cig is innocuous.

UCL research

This fact was emphasised in a BBC report last week citing a study by the Cancer Institute at University College London, which was initially published in the British Medical Journal.
The research revealed that people who smoked only one cigarette each day were on average 50% more likely to develop heart disease and 30% more likely to suffer a stroke than people who had never smoked. There was no safe level of smoking in relation to these diseases.
Professor Allan Hackshaw, who led the research, is quoted as saying that in some countries there has been a trend for heavy smokers to cut down but while this might result in a proportionate reduction in the risk of cancer, the incidence of the more common disorder of smokers – cardiovascular disease was not reduced proportionately.
Smokers need to stop completely, he concluded.
OK – so that’s not what a lot of smokers want to hear but the good news is that those who do stop, quickly reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses.

Dangerous risk

Martin Dockrell, of Public Health England said the study adds to evidence that smoking just one cigarette a day still leads to a dangerous risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Others are more conciliatory – Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford, for example, points out that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked is not entirely without merit – but , of course, nowhere near as good as quitting.
Deborah Arnott, of health charity ASH, believes vaping is acceptable* if it means an individual stops smoking.
While I can understand Ms Arnott’s contention and recognise its best intentions – my gripe is that it promotes the myth that smoking is primarily a physical addiction. Most smokers believe they are addicted and that is why it becomes so hard for them to stop.
Here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we treat smoking as a psychological issue and I am currently rolling out my treatment methods across the country, starting with a conference in Birmingham for fellow therapists. My aim is to reach as wide an audience as possible with the message that it’s actually a doddle to stop smoking. And with the support of other professionals I am hopeful of this leading to significantly fewer people killing themselves with cigarettes.

*Latest research, at New York University, suggest that while e-cigarettes are less of a risk to health than smoking, they are not harmless and increase the chances of a heart attack or various cancers by damaging DNA. Defenders of vaping dispute the study’s conclusions.

Stammering and Stuttering Hypnotherapy in Leeds

Hypnotherapy LeedsStammering and Stuttering Hypnotherapy in Leeds

I read an interesting article in the i newspaper last week (25/10/17) concerning stammering, which is one of many conditions that we treat here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic.
The piece was written by 21-year-old student Rory Sheridan who is himself someone with a stammer.
Rory has undergone therapy at the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in London where, writes Rory, “the negative thoughts which I had about my stammer were turned into positive ones as I realised it wasn’t such a bad thing.”
He adds: “Everyone has their thing that they find difficult – speaking is mine.”
What Rory writes reflects a fundamental concept in the successful treatment of many conditions – an individual gaining the confidence and self-awareness to manage that particular condition. At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we help clients to change their perspectives where appropriate.

A fresh insight

The treatment Rory has received has provided him with a fresh insight. He says he now sees his condition differently and doesn’t allow stammering to hold him back.
“I apply for all the jobs and opportunities I want to.”
In the past that would have been beyond him – his anxiety over how others might perceive him had become debilitating.
Nowadays, if someone has a negative reaction, Rory regards that as their problem not his. And now that he has the confidence to acknowledge his stammer to himself and to others he finds that the vast majority of people react positively. And so his confidence increases.
Rory concludes by stating: “We are increasingly seeing and realising the many positives of what stammering gives to a person: empathy, patience, great listening skills, attention to detail and creativity. The list goes on. I try to see the positives where I can.”
Such words are heartening to me not only as a therapist but on a personal level too because as a child I also had a significant stammer.

Children and adults

People who stutter, as I did from an early age, do so to varying degrees and in various circumstances and while the condition is most common in children it often extends into adulthood. As the newspaper article indicates the condition can involve “blocking” – that being the inability on occasions to utter words or sometimes even any sound; “repetition” – that being repeating words or syllables time and time again before managing to move on to the next; “prolongation” – elongating the sound of words far longer than most speakers.
At school I had particular difficulty with words beginning with “D” which being named Danny was rather unfortunate. Even now some of my old pals still call me: D-d-d-Danny. And in essence it is how people react that eases or erodes an individual’s confidence. Sometimes a negative impact is unintentional – for example the well-meaning parent who adopts the habit of completing a child’s unfinished sentence; sometimes it is more malevolent, such as a bullying teacher who uses the child’s difficulty against the youngster to exert authority.

Rebuilding self-confidence

I learnt to control my own condition with the help of a kindly speech therapist and by building up my own self-confidence.
Self-confidence can be rebuilt.
In my own case I found strength from a young age in the boxing gym. (In fact, some of the best help and encouragement I received in life came from my boxing coaches Harry Pinkney and Kevin Cunningham, though I doubt if either of them ever regarded themselves as therapists.)
At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, you might be relieved to learn we don’t have a boxing ring.
We do build confidence though, helping clients to overcome anxieties related to various conditions. We also employ techniques specific to individual conditions – in the case of stammering, for example, a simple exercise is to teach a person not to close his or her eyes when speaking – they are often unaware that when stuttering their eyes will shut – by concentrating on keeping their eyes open the mind is distracted from their perceived speech difficulty.
This is just one simple technique among many others which we combine with cognitive behavioural therapy and clinical hypnosis for the benefit of clients.

The Marvels of Hypnotism

The Marvels of Hypnotism

The Marvels of HypnotismMy last Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic blog on the marvels of hypnotism seems to have touched a tender nerve with one or two fellow practitioners.
I suggested that by encouraging the notion that hypnotherapy is some kind of magical art, we invite misunderstanding and that misunderstanding challenges integrity.
A fuller explanation of my reasoning might be helpful; there are therapists who feel that an aspect of alchemy is a vital ingredient in the potency of hypnosis.
And though I have some sympathy with that sentiment, I sense it is restricting.
Confidence in the ability of a practitioner is an important element of successful treatment, to be sure – after all we are dealing with science of the mind and behaviour. Props and a sense of authority can therefore be useful tools in efficacy – a truth that is apparent all around us in the wider world: uniforms that announce a certain licence; cars that boast prestige; advertising that promotes exclusivity – the list is endless.
To a greater or lesser degree we are all subject to image and this moulds our behaviour and beliefs. And while bridling belief is a powerful phenomenon, hijacking beliefs, as on occasions exercised by some political and/or religious leaders, is controlling.
There is an important distinction, here – it is the difference between assistance and abuse.

Securing Confidence

It is widely acknowledged that the mind is a powerful healer and the positive effects of placebo treatment have long been accepted. For such treatment to be constructive, securing the confidence of a patient or client is essential and so it is useful, perhaps vital, that the practitioner, whether a medical doctor, therapist or nurse commands a level of esteem. To this day you will see doctors in hospital wearing stethoscopes around their necks – they are a mark of competence, yet are an instrument invented in 1816 as a tool for auscultation and their use has long been usurped by ultrasound and MRI scanners. But people still associate the stethoscope with medical proficiency and are suitably reassured. The patient’s treatment will most likely involve cutting edge technology and powerful pharmacy yet the humble stethoscope remains an emblem of trust.
So where does clinical hypnotherapy fit into all this.

Positive Perception

Well, I gladly acknowledge the benefits of what might be termed positive perception. I also acknowledge that adopting a level of “mystery” can work with some clients. At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, we receive some clients who are convinced the therapist has extraordinary powers, and therefore they will benefit from an unquestioning faith in treatment. Such a technique can be used to address a wide range of conditions and the positive effects largely negate criticism.
Yet, in my experience, such action works well on only a percentage of clients.
At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic the preferred method of treatment is a personally adapted cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) designed by myself that is reinforced by clinical hypnosis.
We strip away the notion of ‘magical treatment’ and explain the client’s condition to him or her; in the vast majority of cases the client has misunderstood his or her condition.
In essence they have hypnotised themselves – and it is my job to “dehypnotise” them.
A common comment is: “Daniel, I think my problem is that I overthink matters and get obsessed and anxious.”
My response is: “No – you don’t think too much, you just think inaccurately.”

That ‘lightbulb’ moment

This might seem blunt, arrogant even, but as my explanation continues there is often a “lightbulb” moment when the client grasps the concept.
They recognise they have trapped themselves in a cycle of stress – and put simply, they have over time become anxious about being anxious.
They have harboured a fear of being afraid, to the extent in some cases that they have propagated within themselves what is termed panic disorder.
The hypnosis treatment that follows an adapted CBT integrates into the unconscious the clients newly-gained insight of their condition. It allows the client to draw on inner strength and comprehension whenever necessary in the future.
While this treatment demands skill on the part of the hypnotherapist, it is not magic.
It might be asked: “But how does the unconscious work?”
Ha. And so we arrive at the true mystery: while we are able to observe manifestations of unconscious and bring influence to bear, the profound workings of the mind remain largely unexplained by science.
As we strive to discover the secrets of the mind it becomes apparent there is still more to learn than we might ever have imagined.
And so the great mystery prevails.

Misconceptions Concerning Hypnotherapy

Misconceptions Concerning Hypnotherapy

The primary focus of Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is to help people overcome psychological issues and improve their overall wellbeing.
Here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we treat clients using a form of cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by cognitive clinical hypnosis. And we are pleased that the benefits of our treatment are so effective.
Nowadays, the efficacy of properly administered clinical hypnotherapy is widely recognised – so much so, that it is a surprise to be reminded on occasions that in some circles hypnotherapy is still regarded as a kind of mystical art. It is ranked by some people alongside dubious alternative medicines and even criticised by a few as being little more than a scam.
Without a doubt, it is a sad fact that hypnotherapy is sometimes a misunderstood science.
And misunderstandings arise for a number of reasons, the main one, I would suggest, being misrepresentation.
So, who or what are the sources of misrepresentation?

I’m NOT a Wizard

Well, therapists themselves might share some of the blame. We are sometimes guilty of encouraging the idea that hypnosis is a magical skill (though, it can be argued that such a notion does support the placebo effect). I can’t myself claim to be wholly innocent in such matters – as it was pointed out to me recently, the original cover of my book Stop Smoking: It’s a Doddle depicts me in something of a wizardy pose. Hmmph. Well, quickly brushing that aside to spare my blushes, it might be added that misconceptions concerning clinical hypnosis also arise through another source, that being the general public’s familiarity with stage hypnotism; most people have witnessed stage hypnotism to some extent, whether it be in a pub, at a theatre or on TV. But as I have stated before, stage hypnotism and clinical hypnotherapy are distinct from one another – the former is entertainment (and is not really hypnosis) while the latter is a means of treating people afflicted by conditions that adversely affect their lives. I’m not trying to disparage stage hypnotism but merely pointing out that it is entertainment and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

They’re Having a Laugh

I was reminded of one further source of misunderstanding regarding clinical hypnotherapy earlier this week – it was casual in its nature but not necessarily insignificant. It occurred as I watched a BBC comedy series entitled Ill Behaviour. The show is about a man who is suffering Hodgkin lymphoma but rather than follow conventional treatment that boasts a proven success rate he opts for alternative treatment – including something called “isomorphic hypnotherapy” – whatever that might be. That the therapy named is most probably something invented by the screen writer doesn’t mean that some people are not going to think the character is talking about clinical hypnotherapy. And to that extent he does the practice of clinical hypnotherapy a disservice. It’s hardly a massive deal but I’m happy to leap to the defence of the industry and state, in case there is any doubt, that no reputable clinical hypnotherapist is ever going to claim he or she has a cure for cancer.
Sometimes, though, psychological issues overlap with physical complaints – for example anxiety often creates physiological symptoms.
But at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic any client who arrives with a physical disorder is politely told to consult his or her GP. For example, it might be that someone who suffers frequent headaches does so as a result of stress and anxiety but before any psychological treatment can be offered it needs to be established that the symptoms are not a consequence of some as yet undiagnosed physical condition. (Details of the ethics adopted at the clinic are to be found on this website.)

Other Scenarios That Hypnotherapy Can Help With

There are other scenarios too. For example in cases of self-harm or self-mutilation, clinical hypnosis can help a sufferer cope with the underlying emotional issues of the condition but the physical wounds and injuries will need to be treated in a surgery.
Of course, cognitive behavioural therapy, which at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is supported by clinical hypnosis, is a useful tool in helping people with physical illnesses cope with their condition by addressing their associated emotional needs. Mental wellbeing is also recognised as being of great benefit in physical healing.
To sum up, then, while it is important that a professional distinction be made between the psychological and the physiological and that it is essential parameters of treatment are applied, it is useful too to recognise that the two matters are not always mutually exclusive.

Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Leeds- The Myth of Fat and Fit

Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Leeds

Weight Loss Hypnotherapy LeedsThe Myth of Fat and Fit

Among services offered by Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic are weight loss hypnotherapy programmes that help people who need to shed fat reach their healthy target.
While shapes and sizes vary among clients who come to see us, so too do initial expectations. But we treat everyone equally – we are not judgemental and simply explain what weight a client needs to lose. Some clients are shocked by the fat they have to shed, particularly those who consider themselves fit. Such clients are often, but not exclusively, younger men who prefer to think of their bulk as being mostly muscle. While muscle mass does vary between individuals, fat is still fat and to be healthy most people should aim for a balanced height to weight ratio – this means their body mass index (BMI) should not exceed 25 – and anything above 30 is classed as obese.
(There are a few exceptions when these figures do not apply – notably pregnant women). For the vast majority of people, though, being overweight, or obese, equates to carrying about too much fat. And there is no such thing as being fat but fit.
And this certitude has been confirmed by new research led by Imperial College London and University of Cambridge.
The researchers examined data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study of half a million people.

Healthy and Unhealthy Metabolic Markers

Participants’ BMI was examined alongside metabolic markers (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, etc) to determine who was classed “healthy” or classed “unhealthy.”
Findings showed that being “healthy” but overweight or obese still increased the likelihood of contracting coronary heart disease.
The increased risk was 26% among overweight “healthy” individuals and 28% among those ranked obese, said the study, published in the European Heart Journal.”
Dr Ionna Tzoullaki of Imperial’s School of Public Health is quoted as saying: “I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese.”
The study’s lead author, Dr Camille Lassale, said: “If a patient is overweight or obese, all efforts should be made to help them get back to a healthy weight.”
Much as people might accept the veracity of all this, the fact remains that many people find the prospect of achieving their ideal weight a daunting task.
At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we address this issue, starting with the simple premise that the only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn off – which means eat less.
Simple as this rule is, the practice can appear more complicated. But with the treatment we provide – cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by clinical hypnosis, losing weight can be fun – achieving your ideal weight can be a doddle. More information and details of how to lose weight with Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic can be found on this website. You can also download for free a guide to losing excess fat with ease, written by me, Daniel McDermid. The guide explains how to attain and maintain your ideal weight.

Calories and the Food Industry

The food industry has been in the news again with health officials insisting more needs to be done to make people eat less or more accurately to consume fewer calories on a daily basis.
New proposals could see the size of portions sold by manufacturers reduced, or ingredients going into many recipes changed.
The targets are expected to be decided by Public Health England within the next 12 months.
I was asked this week whether I thought this was a good idea or just further evidence of interference by the state.
Well, of course, anything that helps benefit people’s health is to be applauded. One of the main problems with processed foods is that too many people are unaware of exactly what they are eating and that includes the number of calories they are consuming.
So no – the food industry should not be allowed to abuse people’s ignorance and health for the sake of maximising profits.
Ultimately, though, the aim should be to educate everyone to recognise the importance of caring for their own health.
One of the lynchpins of successful treatment at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is for clients to understand the importance of responsibility and to take responsibility for themselves.
Accepting responsibility is a vital factor in addressing all issues and resolving a variety of conditions, including obesity. Taking responsibility might at first seem daunting or a burden. But Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, using cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by clinical hypnosis, is able to support and strengthen the resolve of individuals who decide they want to change their lifestyles. They soon realise that losing weight can be fun and eating healthily is easy too. It is all about changing perspectives and being aware. Support from the food industry is to be welcomed too – but ultimately all individuals need to take control of their own lives. And here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we know that everyone is capable of that. The Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic guide Man Up Lose Weight, is available to download free from our website.


Leeds Hypnotherapist says ‘Cut The Calories and Slow Down Ageing’

Leeds Hypnotherapist says ‘Cut The Calories and Slow Down Ageing’

Leeds Hypnotherapist states ‘Here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we’re always alert to new reports and debate that might be of relevance to the wellbeing of our clients.’
One study to catch our eye this week was reported by, among others, Science Correspondent of the i newspaper, Tom Bawden.
He writes of the work conducted at the University of California in Irvine USA, led by Dr Paolo Sassone-Corsi whose study suggests that a low-calorie diet can slow down the body’s ageing process by beguiling the body’s biological clock.
This seems to be an as yet unrecognised bonus of following a healthy eating regime as well as providing, in all likelihood, an additional incentive to many overweight people wanting to shed fat.

Leeds Hypnotherapist Weight-loss Programmes

Among treatments offered at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic there are, of course, our weight-loss programmes. Treatment uses cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by clinical hypnosis to attain and maintain an ideal weight. Clients are helped to understand the obvious physical advantages of being a healthy body size as well as discovering that being a healthy weight also offers wider psychological benefits, such as renewed self-confidence – in other words it enhances the client’s overall wellbeing.
Dr Sassone-Corsi’s new research suggests that there might be a further, as yet unrecognised benefit associated with adopting a low-calorie regime – that being the slowing down of the ageing process.
The theory is that the more you avoid a high-calorie intake, the quicker your digestive process will be and therefore the younger your body clock will think you are. This is based on the body clock’s normal assumption that the older you are, the slower you process your food.
The correspondent reports that a group of elderly mice that were fed for six months on a diet containing 30% fewer calories than normal showed a “significant improvement in their energy-processing efficiency, giving the body clock a dose of youth.”

‘Rejuvenating the Biological Clock’

He quotes Dr Sassone-Corsi as saying: “Caloric restriction works by rejuvenating the biological clock in a most powerful way.”
Although it seems that research has yet to extended outside the lab, results are nevertheless intriguing.
Food for thought, indeed.

Ten years since smoking was banned in public places in this country

Ten Years of Stopping Smoking in Public Places

Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic notes that it is now ten years since smoking was banned in public places in this country.
The ban came into force on July 1 2007.
From that date smokers were no longer allowed to light up in such premises as pubs, bars and restaurants. It’s now quite hard to imagine just why at the time the move seemed so controversial. Yet, now, most people – including most smokers – accept that no-one should have to suffer second-hand tobacco fumes. And happily, the ban prompted many smokers to quit and continues to this day to encourage smokers to stop. The new law changed the culture of smoking forever.
Pleasing, too, are the statistics that prove the effectiveness of the ban.

Fantastic results from the smoking ban

Quoted in The Guardian newspaper, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, calls it “the single most important public health reform in generations.”
Smoking is now at record low levels, according to NHS Digital with latest figures showing that in just the past year the proportion of the population smoking has dropped from 17.2% to 15.8%.
And Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is determined hopes to do its bit to help bring down those numbers further.
For anyone doubting the benefits of quitting, a quick study of Public Health England statistics cited in The Guardian reveal that deaths from heart disease attributed to smoking in 2007-09 were 32,548 while for 2013-15 the figure dropped to 25,777 – a fall of 20.8% thanks to the reduction in smoking following the ban. Figures for the same periods relating to deaths from strokes attributed to smoking were 9,743 and 8,334, which is a 14.5% improvement.

Stop Smoking in Leeds: It’s a Doddle

Ultimately, though, regardless of statistics – the decision to quit remains the responsibility of the individual. But for those smokers who choose to ignore all health facts and figures because the prospect of giving up seems just too daunting – here are a few words of comfort: “quitting really doesn’t have to be hard.” Please take a moment or two to look at the Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic website for an explanation as to why giving up can be easy. And if you’re still not convinced, click on the video testimonials of just some of the hundreds of smokers I have helped quit. Their message is: Stop Smoking: It’s a doddle.

Stop Smoking in Leeds Public Places

Stop Smoking in Leeds Public Places

Smokers face a “crushing new blow,” Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic has learned. That’s according to the Daily Star in a report on the Royal Society for Public Health who want smoking to be banned in all public places – including beer gardens.

Many smokers will be “shocked” or “outraged” (depending which newspaper you read). Doubtless many will regard such a curb as an assault on personal liberty. Well, yes, it is – except that non-smokers have personal liberties too – like the right not to breathe in someone else’s fag fumes.
The answer is simple – if you want to smoke do it in private. Or better still, come to your senses and realise it’s time to stop now.
The Royal Society for Public Health feels a public smoking ban will encourage more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes. At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we don’t dispute that such devices are preferable to conventional cigarettes. But that doesn’t make them safe either. We advocate that the best solution is simply to quit.
And it is simple to stop.
Once a smoker has decided he or she wants to quit, Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic can make that an easily-achievable reality.
Taking that step will not just save you money, it will most likely save your life too.
So rather than worrying over what bans will be made next and whether you’ll be allowed to light up in a pub car park at 2.00 am or wherever, just step away from the whole issue… and become a non-smoker with immediate effect. Check out the Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic website for details on how to stop.
The second-edition of Stop Smoking: It’s a Doddle will soon be available to download FREE. If you’d like to receive an alert once the book is available on line, sign up

Now Is The Time to Stop Smoking

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic our ongoing message to all smokers is: “now’s the time to stop smoking.”
Of course, the same call is made constantly other health professionals and organisations.
And, happily, the plea has not gone unheeded – at least not in the UK where over the past few decades the proportion of smokers has declined considerably.
For example, in 1974, 51% of men and 41% of women smoked, while that proportion today is down to 20% and 17%, respectively. However, those statistics still equate to there being 9.8 million adult smokers in the U.K., so clearly there’s still some way to go.

Worldwide stop smoking figures

Worldwide, the figures are more depressing – the World Health Organisation (WHO) this month predicted that, globally, the number of deaths due to smoking will rise from 6 million a year at present to 8 million a year by 2030. It states that tobacco use is the largest cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

The report, produced in conjunction with the US National Cancer Institute, says: “The science is clear; the time for action is now.”
Clearly, any initiative, that helps reduce the number of smokers is to be welcomed and in the UK we continue to take steps to curb tobacco use, such as the forthcoming introduction of uniform packaging on cigarettes with explicit pictures detailing the harmful effects of smoking.
Sadly, many governments are reluctant to take measures that counter smoking, fearing, says the WHO report, that any restrictions might “have an adverse economic impact.”
Statistics provide evidence that the opposite is actually the case.

Abolish smoking advertising

Economics aside, though, the reality is that every death caused by smoking is an avoidable tragedy.
The best way to be a non-smoker, of course, is never to start in the first place. So prohibiting promotion of tobacco products that lure people into tobacco usage is a priority for any government.
For those people who already smoke, though, the message remains: Stop now.
Sadly, the prevailing belief, is that quitting will always be a tortuous struggle and this proves too much a disincentive for many smokers.

Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic’s Stop Smoking Mission

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, though, it’s one of our missions to convince smokers that giving up tobacco is in fact a doddle – and it’s a doddle because the smoker’s perceived addiction is all in the mind – his or her smoking is primarily a psychological issue and not a significant physical addiction.
Using cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by clinical hypnosis, the chains that bind the smoker are easily broken.
All it takes is one session and clients who arrive at the clinic truly wanting to quit leave as non-smokers with immediate effect. Their previous urge to light up is eradicated..
We know our treatment works. And at the moment we are trying to spread the word in the hope that our techniques will be adopted by more and more therapists which will mean more and more people being able to lead healthier and happier lives.

Cyber-Bullies, Obesity and Stress

Cyber-Bullies, Obesity and Stress

There was a recent article in The Guardian newspaper that I thought might be of interest to us all, including my own practice, Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic.
Its subject was the new chair of The Royal College of GPs, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard – in effect the new leader of the UK’s 49,000-plus general practitioners.
Written by Denis Campbell, the article was headlined: ‘Cyber-bullies, obesity and stress… this is a scary world, says the new top GP.’
Dr Stokes-Lampard laments that the proliferation of social media, such as Instagram and Snapchat, has contributed to an explosion of mental-health problems among people with weight issues, including youngsters.
People have become more judgmental about appearance, says the doctor, who adds: “We’re a fat-shaming society.”

Weight Loss Hypnotherapist AWLHDilemmas of addressing weight-loss matters

She goes on to say that doctors face a huge problem of where to refer patients and, in addition to other measures, she calls for the expansion of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provision.
Many of the issues raised in the article are of relevance to hypnotherapy treatment. Unintentionally, perhaps, the piece also exposes one of the dilemmas of addressing weight-loss matters. Some would say the dilemma might more accurately be described as a contradiction – on the one hand obesity is recognised as being a dangerous condition that not only threatens the individual but puts a huge strain on health service resources; on the other hand, labelling someone as being fat can have a detrimental effect on their mental well-being and thereby nurture a secondary condition.
Such a contention merits analysis.

Weight-loss treatment at Leeds Hypnotherapy ClinicWeight Loss Hypnotherapy Leeds

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, I have treated a lot of weight-loss clients as well as treating many people for a variety of other conditions, including low self-esteem. Confidence building, of course, is beneficial to a client’s wellbeing both as a distinct treatment or as part of therapy for some other (often related) condition.
But the supposed contradiction arises in the contention that by labelling someone as being fat, the therapist erodes that client’s self-confidence and thus exacerbates anxiety. Such a notion has seen many therapists and others involved in the wider weight-loss industry avoiding obvious truths – and thereby failing to offer effective treatment.
A fundamental part of treatment offered at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, and hopefully by all members of the Association of Weight Loss Hypnotherapists, is that a client should recognise and accept his or her condition.
So, fat is fat.
If someone is obese they are obese – not “ well built” or “big boned”.
Honesty is a key to success. But they are not being labelled fat – their weight doesn’t define them it simply needs to be addressed.
Once a client accepts the condition, the very simple physical rules can then be applied – i.e. consume fewer calories than are being expended and weight will be reduced. It is important that the client understands that the therapist is not being judgmental and that together the client and the therapist are going to resolve the issue.
The client needs to be reassured that his or her weight problem is not a permanent state – obesity can be overcome and overcome quite easily.
The problem that Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard highlights is not one of candour among professionals but that social media is making society ever more divisive and exposing vulnerable individuals to wider hostility. Such people need help and not capricious ridicule and that includes people with weight problems. They don’t deserve hectoring – they simply need honesty so as to grasp responsibility. But as Dr Stokes-Lampard points out, stretched resources means help is limited or even lacking.
As hypnotherapists all we can do is help to fill the gap as best we can.
Offered greater opportunities and with wider recognition of the services we provide, I’m in no doubt we could do much more.

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