The Brain

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The Brain

 

The Brain

First published on December 5, 2012

 

The Cerebrum

The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections, called “lobes”: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.

What do each of these lobes do?

Frontal Lobe- associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving

Parietal Lobe- associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli

Occipital Lobe- associated with visual processing

Temporal Lobe- associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech

The Cerebellum

The cerebellum, or “little brain”, is similar to the cerebrum in that it has two hemispheres and has a highly folded surface or cortex. This structure is associated with regulation and coordination of movement, posture, and balance.

The cerebellum is assumed to be much older than the cerebrum, evolutionarily. What do I mean by this? In other words, animals which scientists assume to have evolved prior to humans, for example reptiles, do have developed cerebellums. However, reptiles do not have neocortex.

Limbic System

The limbic system, often referred to as the “emotional brain”, is found buried within the cerebrum. Like the cerebellum, evolutionarily the structure is rather old.

This system contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. Here is a visual representation of this system, from a midsagittal view of the human brain

Thalamus
It is sort of a relay station to parts of the brain. This controls information.

Thalamus- a large mass of gray matter deeply situated in the forebrain at the topmost portion of the diencephalon. The structure has sensory and motor functions. Almost all sensory information enters this structure where neurons send that information to the overlying cortex. Axons from every sensory system (except olfaction) synapse here as the last relay site before the information reaches the cerebral cortex

Hypothalamus

This adjusts the body to keep it optimally adapted to the environment, plus also long tem memory.
Hypothalamus- part of the diencephalon, ventral to the thalamus. The structure is involved in functions including homeostasis, emotion, thirst, hunger, circadian rhythms, and control of the autonomic nervous system. In addition, it controls the pituitary.

Amygdala
Amygdala- part of the telencephalon, located in the temporal lobe; involved in memory, emotion, and fear. The amygdala is both large and just beneath the surface of the front, medial part of the temporal lobe where it causes the bulge on the surface called the uncus. This is a component of the limbic system.

Hippocampus
Hippocampus- the portion of the cerebral hemisphers in basal medial part of the temporal lobe. This part of the brain is important for learning and memory . . . for converting short term memory to more permanent memory, and for recalling spatial relationships in the world about us a coronal view of the hippocampus.

This blog is only a over view, it does not go into all area’s of the brain otherwise the blog would be 100’s if not 1000’s of pages long!!!!!

I hope it made your brain think a little deep than before !

Please Note: I am not trained in neuroscience, this is what I have read and studied.

Regards

Adam Cowming


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Ericksonian Language

Ericksonian Language

First published November 22, 2012

As therapists we have a lot of tools at our disposal, one of which is what we call Ericksonian language. I tried to think of the best way to put it and ended up looking how others described it and in the end I cheated and took it off Wikipedia and it sums it up nicely.

According to Wikipedia “Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening, and that, whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. The patient can be aware of this, or can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Erickson would see if the patient would respond to one or another kind of indirect suggestion, and allow the unconscious mind to actively participate in the therapeutic process. In this way, what seemed like a normal conversation might induce a hypnotic trance, or a therapeutic change in the subject.”

So here are some examples of what we can use during a therapy session. I put the examples in some random sentences below.

…and as you _________ you can _________.

….and as you continue to read this blog you can find it increasingly easy to remember.

I don’t know if you’ll discover ___________ .

I don’t know if you’ll discover when you use these patterns you will get a feeling of well-being.

It’s not necessary…

It’s not necessary to have fun finding out how you can use this pattern

You can begin to/continue to ___________ .

You can begin to use Ericksonian Language patterns to help improve your persuasion abilities and improve your communication skills.

You might notice…

You might notice how useful this blog is for you and for others. I wonder if you’ve considered telling all of your friends about this great blog?

Don’t be too surprised to find yourself __________ .

Don’t be too surprised to find yourself fluent in these patterns and enjoying this practice.

 There so much information on Milton and how he worked that I’ve only barely scratched the surface with this short blog.

Go and find thing out for yourself on this wonderful tool the internet!

Regards

Adam


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Fears and Phobia’s

 

Fears and Phobia’s

First published on October 18, 2012

A fear or phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror can be automatic and overwhelming.

So what is really going on?

I will use spiders as an example simply because it’s that time of year when I start to get more spider phobia phone calls as they start to come in for in colder months.

First people will see a spider (Visual) then they may have some internal dialog(NOOOO a massive spider) or external (Scream Aaaaaaaa) this in turn will trigger the feeling(Kinaesthetic) inside like fight, flight or freeze which in turn gets processed as fear by the person.  Normaly the reaction is out of proportion to the situation, for example has anyone you know ever been in an unprovoked attack by a spider or been bitten? Not many I bet !

The thing to really think about is that we are only born with 2 fears :-

  • · Fear of sudden loud noises
  • · Fear of falling

All other behaviors are learned either directly or indirectly, the amount of clients I see who say that a member of there family is scared of the same thing. They more than likely learned to react the way they do because they have seen for example their Mum screaming that there is spider in the house and to get it out. The client learnt how to respond to spiders because it what their Mum did when they were a small child and as a child they did not have any other resources to call up on.

All of this doesn’t help a person of course who has the fear, so how can hypnotherapy help.

There are lots of different methods all will aim to do the same job of helping the client to feel differently about the phobia or fear and allow the client to disassociate themselves from the feelings. The client will just not be as scared or as concerned by the fear or phobia as before. They may not want to ever hug or hold a spider but they will be able to cope with catching one and removing it or just leave it to get on with whatever spiders do on a good night out !

I use different methods depending on what I think is best for the client, sometimes the work is already done before I even use hypnosis but the hypnosis is still a great way to help the client to think differently about the fear and allow the mind to process it in a more logical way in the future and take on some new learnings to allow the client to make a change and have a more appropriate behaviour towards the problem.

If your phobia doesn’t really impact your life that much, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. But if avoidance of the object, activity, or situation that triggers your phobia interferes with your normal functioning or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help with someone like myself.

Regards

Adam Cowming

Website  www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Insomnia

 

Insomnia

First published on September 20, 2012

This is one subject that can keep people awake at night thinking why can’t they sleep!

Have you ever suffered from a sleepless night? I know I have on more than one occasion. It is normally when we have something going on in our lives that we are worried or concerned about. Some people suffer long term problems and need more professional help from someone like me. I wanted to give you some easy to follow tips and tricks to help with this problem.

The first tip is to stop drinking caffeine based drinks such as coffee around 8 hours before you go to bed because caffeine can stay in your system for a long time still working up to 12 hours after drinking a cup of coffee for example. Try drinking water instead or any other drink that is caffeine free, even decaffe coffee has some small amounts of caffeine in it.
The time it takes for the body to eliminate one half of a caffeine dose is normally between 3 to 12 hours. It is called the half-life of caffeine. Several factors can shorten or lengthen the half-life of caffeine. Smoking, medications and diseases are some factors. Pregnant women have higher caffeine half-life, 18 to 20 hours – pretty much longer for the fetus since its organs are not yet fully formed to be able to eliminate caffeine easily. About 99% of the elimination process takes place in the liver. Did you know that????

Don’t eat a meal before going to bed, have it a few hours at least before your bed time.

Relax before going to sleep. Have a nice warm bath or like me go and read in bed for half an hour before sleep. This allows your body and mind to unwind from the day properly.

Take 3 or more nice deep breaths just before you want to sleep. Breathe in through your nose and out though your mouth allowing your stomach to rise with each deep breath. This is called Diaphragmatic Breathing. Practise this a few times until it becomes comfortable. As you are breathing out say to yourself in your own mind “I am feeling sleepy”.

If you seem to have a lot of chatter or internal dialogue you can change it. Start by slowing the dialogue down and making it sound sleepy. Say words like “Relax” in your own mind and use the breathing exercise as above with it. You can even visualize a control panel in your mind which has dials on it with for example ”Volume” and “Tone” and make sure you turn the dials down to 1 or 0.

There are of course other factors such as anxiety linked with not sleeping which would take a while to read through that’s why I only write shorts blogs.

Simple things also help like is your bed and bedding comfy ,if not change them.

I hope this has helped.

If you feel you would like my help as a Hypnotherapist please contact me for an appointment.

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Relax

Relax

First published on August 30, 2012

Hello again,

Sorry for the delay with this blog but i’ve been very busy with my therapy business plus I’ve had a holiday as well. Enjoy.

With modern lives so busy and people rushing around so much these days I’m finding increasing numbers of clients coming to see me because of stress and stress/anxiety related issues such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), so what the answer?

Learning to slow down a bit will help, as well as other things such things as relaxation techniques. People just don’t seem to take any time for themselves, then wonder why they are tired and feeling washed out. The body and mind needed a certain amount of time to rest and relax as well apart from sleep.

I tell clients to take 10 to 15 minutes a day to learn to relax and take time out for themselves. It is important not to fall asleep during this time out so the body learns it can relax without falling to sleep. Try this easy exercise.

Find somewhere comfortable where you will not be disturbed during the exercise, if necessary tell who you live with family etc than you don’t want to be disturbed and to be considerate to your needs. Lie down or sit in a comfy chair, place your hands on your lower stomach. Breathe in through your nose so that your stomach rises, this mean than you will be breathing from the bottom of the lungs not the top. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds then slowly breathe out. Repeat these 3 or 4 times then allow your breathing to go back to normal. Concentrate on different parts of the body allowing these to relax one by one starting with the top of your head and working all the way down to the tips of your toes. Image you are in a wonderfully relaxing a safe place, I like to think of myself lying on a beach sunbathing. Just allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes of relaxing this way every day making part of your lifestyle. Try not to fall asleep as relaxation is different to sleep so you don’t want to associate relaxing with going to sleep although you may find it hard not to drop off at first.

Learn to relax this way is very beneficial to mental health and can help with a whole range of issues even helping people out of depression, helping with anxiety and stress. You can even do a mini relaxation for a few minutes if you not got 15 minutes, a little is better than nothing.

This is a wonderfully easy and powerful exercise that anyone can do at home or even in their lunch break at work.

Ask yourself are you worth 15 minutes a day?

Get my free “Stress Buster” Mp3 audio here

Adam Cowming

Website  www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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The unconscious mind

The unconscious mind

First published July 11, 2012

This is big subject of which we haven’t really tapped into its full potential. We know that it comes from the Limbic System part of the brain which has been shown to activate on MRI scans in this area.

So what is it and what does it do?

I look at it as the programming for the body and mind which is there to protect us. It is far more powerful than the conscious part of the mind. Within the unconscious mind there are parts that do particular jobs and tasks than run the programs in our mind and bodies. As a hypnotherapist is my job to work with this part of the mind to help you the client to overcome or change the programs that you maybe running that are not working for you. Imagine the brain as big computer that will only work as well as the programs we put into it. Sometimes we program the wrong programs into our mind and the conscious then unconscious mind takes on this new behaviour.

I always use this example to people who ask about how big is the unconscious, if you were to see on a neurological perspective it doesn’t look that big compared to rest of the brain. If you put your fists together next to each other like a boxer that is about the average size of a brain.

The unconscious is far more powerful so in this case size does not matter. To get an idea I say get a golf ball and put it next to a football. The golf represents the conscious mind and the football represents the unconscious mind!

Research is still on going into this but we know for sure is that it plays a massive part in our lives every micro second of the day of our life.

Here is a bit of information on the Limbic System of the brain.

The Limbic System sometimes called the “emotional brain” or “Old Mammalian Brain” is the next part of the brain to have evolved in the more primitive mammals about 150 million years ago. This is where our emotions reside, where memory begins and where these two functions combine together to mark behaviors with positive or negative feelings. It’s where mostly unconscious value judgments are made. Information going through the Limbic System are filed under “agreeable or disagreeable”. It also plays a role in salience (what grabs your attention), spontaneity and creativity. Located in the Limbic System are:

  • The Amygdala

Its name is Latin for almond which relates to its shape. It helps in storing and classifying emotionally charged memories. It plays a large role in producing our emotions, especially fear. It’s been found to trigger responses to strong emotion such as sweaty palms, freezing, increased heart-beat/respiration and stress hormone release.

  • The Hippocampus

This guy is all about memory and a little about learning. It’s primary role is in memory formation, classifying information, long-term memory. Like the RAM in your computer it processes and stores new and temporary memory for long term storage. It’s also involved in interpreting incoming nerve signals and spatial relationships.

  • The Hypothalamus

It should be called the Hypothalamus because it does so much. It’s linked closely with the pituitary gland to control many of the body’s functions. It monitors and controls your circadian rhythms (your daily sleep/wake cycle), homeostasis (making sure your body is running smoothly), appetite, thirst, other bodily urges and also plays a role in emotions, autonomic functions and motor functions.

  • The Thalamus

The Thalamus is THE relay station in the brain. Most of the sensory signals, auditory (sound), Visual, Somatosensory (from your skin and internal organs), go through this organ on their way to other parts of the brain for processing. It also plays a function in motor control.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and thanks for reading them !

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk