Books.

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Books.

February 3, 2014

 

People often ask me what sort of books or study I do, or they  ask what book I would recommend for self-help and improvement.

Well there are many questions like that and many good books on the subject, far too many write about in one blog.

What I’ve decided to do is just to tell you about a few of my favourite books that have helped me and given me the greater knowledge and I hope they will do for you too.

Anthony Robbins – Unlimited Power

This book was one of the first books I read that started to help me to understand how to change my own mind set and even perceptions around what I could achieve. I have read it a number of times and still love to pick it up and flick through it. He also wrote Awaken The Giant Within which he wrote before Unlimited Power but I read this after, possibly the wrong way around but it was still well worth reading this also is very inspirational for me giving answers and helping to believe in myself more. I recommend anything by Robbins

Mapping The Mind – Rita Carter

The best book and maybe the only one you will need until she brings out her next book on the brain and how it works. It is simply packed full of case studies and simple yet fully explains everything it very reader friendly way, in other word you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand this book. It will help you to understand this at times complicated subject. We all have a brain so why find out how that thing between our ears works !

I’m OK You’re OK – Thomas A Harris

This book was key to me getting to grips with the Parent- Adult- Child model of the personality otherwise known as Transactional Analysis. This book can get a little heavy and will take a little more reading but once you understand it , it opens up a completely new understanding of how we work and way we act, feel and say the thing we do sometimes.

Change Your Mind And Keep The Change – Steve & Connirae Andreas

This is another powerful book written by the brilliant Steve & Connirae. It is based on some advanced NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). This book gives different strategies to deal with issues and problem in life. It is written in a very easy to understand way. The name Andreas within my industry is a haul mark of quality and knowledge and together this family has done a great deal to advance the field of personal change and NLP.

 The Rainbow Machine – Andrew T Austin

Tales from a neurolinguist’s journal is how Andrew has presented this little gem. I’ve trained with Andrew on a few occasions and his humour yet knowledge is a great joy to listen to. In this book he recounts some of his more memorable cases and events. Some will make you laugh; some will make you gasp in horror. He has a very different approach to many therapist and to be honest it very refreshing. It really is worth a read.

Free Will – Sam Harris

If you think you have a free will then this book will make you rethink your beliefs on this subject. It is very interesting and intelligently written. It will only take you about a hour or so to read but is well worth the time.

What am I reading at the moment?

Phantoms In The Brain – V S Ramachandran…..and so far it’s been a great brilliantly interesting neurological read. I ‘m about a 1/3 of the way through it.

I hope you enjoy the books if you decide to expand your knowledge.

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk

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Pain

Pain

October 30, 2013

Pain is a very interesting area to work with and one that I’ve helped clients to gain control of.

So what is pain?

Pain is essentially an electrical signal sent via nerve pathways to your brain. Pain is the way your brain interprets information about a particular sensation that your body is experiencing. Interestingly there is no such thing as a pain center in your brain, the area’s that are activated when we feel pain are the same area’s that are activated with emotions and attention. The area of the brain is called the anterior cingulate cortex which resembles a “collar” surrounding the frontal part of the corpus callosum in the limbic system of the brain.  A lot of people therefor say pain is a perception. I know when I’ve hit my thumb with a hammer it bloody hurt!

Doctors can prescribe some powerful pain killers to help managed the discomfort it can cause. There are other things pain can cause too like depression due to being in constant pain, irritability and sleeplessness but to name a few. Painkillers interfere with the pain messages sent to your brain so dull the signal from the nerves to the brain, they don’t cure it but mask it. Pain is there for a good reason it’s our bodies way of saying something isn’t right or needs out attention, like my thumb!

So how can I help, well studies like the ones below point to good results using hypnosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752362/

“The findings indicate that hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic-pain problems”

Also

“In 2004, researchers at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, tried to identify the exact effect of hypnosis on the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI measures blood flow in the brain and can be used to view activity in different regions of the brain in real time. More blood flow indicates more activity. To conduct the experiment, the researchers asked participants to first identify when a hot surface became painful to the touch (an eight on a scale from zero to ten) and used fMRI to determine where the brian sent the pain signal. They then hypnotized the subjects and gave them suggestions aimed at reducing pain while increasing the temperature on the surface to the level previously reported as painful. All subjects reported reduced pain (less than a three on the pain scale) if they reported any pain at all. Additionally, the fMRI scan revealed a highly reduced amount of activity in the primary sensory cortex as well as the other high-level pain areas of the brain. Activity in the lower levels of the brain were unaffected by hypnosis, implying that the only changes hypnosis produced were in the conscious levels of the brain.”

http://www.science20.com/welcome_my_moon_base/does_hypnosis_work_relieve_pain

Hypnosis helps the client to go into another state of mind in which they can help to control the emotions linked to the pain and attention to that pain. I think this is one but not the only reasons why it works and this is just my opinion.

Regards

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

First published May 22, 2013

Over the last few weeks and months I’ve seen a big increase though my therapy practise of people suffering anxiety or panic attack.

A lot of people complain of very similar symptoms such as racing heart beat and a feeling on being on edge all of the time among other things.

So what happening to cause people to feel like this?

First of all it will be more than likely start with something internally like negative dialog, which will create a picture in the mind. These two things together then create or start the process of creating a negative and most unwelcome feeling.

So the process starts at a neurological level in the brain.  It could be argued that anxiety itself is its own neurological symptom. After all, anxiety can change neurotransmitter levels in your brain causing them to send unusual signals to the rest of your body that  actually effect all your nervous systems and causes real sensations/symptoms.

The forebrain is the area most affected in people with anxiety disorders. The limbic system, which is involved in storing memories and creating emotions, is also thought to play a central role in processing all anxiety-related information. Both the locus coeruleus and the dorsal raphe project to the septohippocampal circuit, which in turn projects to other areas of the limbic system that mediate anxiety. The hippocampus and amygdala are of particular importance, as they are interconnected and also project to both subcortical and cortical nuclei. The amygdala fires off the fight, flight or freeze reaction in the brain then floods the body with adenine. It is the increased activity of the amygdala that causes the symptoms of anxiety and panic. It acually happens like this freeze, fight or flight.

Normally after each anxiety event, the amygdala resets itself to a normal level. But if we continue to experience anxiety or stress over a long period of time, our amygdala is modified and becomes fixed at a high anxiety level. In other words it is in the on position and needs to be switched off.

So it is a very real problem for some people. I think that a panic attack is anxiety but a much stronger reaction, anxiety that has been allowed to grow and become somewhat out of control. A friend who was a nurse in A&E in a local hospital said that 99% of people admitted to hospital who think they are having a heart attack are actually experiencing a panic attack

Anxiety and panic attacks can be cause by increased stress and inadequate coping mechanisms may contribute to anxiety.

One of the best ways to help yourself is to try deep breathing exercise every day for around 10 – 15 minutes at time.

How to do Deep Breathing Exercises:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Repeat these 3 or 4 times then allow your breathing to go back to normal.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 too drop off at first.

If you feel you need a little more help then please contact me via the website or the office telephone number. www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk or 024 76362360

I am available for one to one or Skype (adam.cowming) therapy sessions if you can’t get to my office in person.

Regards

Adam


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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