Panic Attacks & Hypnotherapy

The Prevention Programme

Part 1: What is a panic attack?

Hundreds of thousands of years ago a panic attack was a very useful thing. We led much more physically challenging and dangerous lives then. We didn’t have the sharp teeth or claws that our animal enemies had and so we had to be able to react very quickly to a threat. And in those days there were two simple choices. We could either run or, if desperate enough, we could fight. In this case, a panic attack is called the ‘fight or flight response’. You may well have heard of it.

The Fight or Flight Response

The fight or flight response can be seen as one of the most important parts of our make-up – a highly efficient survival response for dangerous times. Back then, threats were simple and straight forward but often very dangerous – a wild animal, or member of an enemy tribe for instance.

That is why the mind of a human being can trigger a panic attack fast and unconsciously. This is highly important. People who suffer panic attacks often report that “they come from nowhere” and this is an essential part of the fight or flight response.

Faster Than the Speed of Thought!

If you are in a threatening situation and you have to think before getting the hormonal changes associated with the flight or fight response, it may well be too late. Alternatively, you might make the wrong choice, so the unconscious part of our mind takes care of it. And of course, in a survival situation, it is better to respond as if danger is present when it’s not, rather than the other way round. Much safer to err on the side of caution!

This is the part where your digestion, blood pressure and body temperature are controlled and monitored by the brain. These functions generally occur outside of awareness. A panic attack is also controlled largely unconsciously, hence the feeling that they ‘come from nowhere’.

If it is unclear how this relates to a panic attack in a supermarket, or in the street, then soon this will become clear. That’s the evolutionary reasons for panic, but what is actually happening to the body during a panic attack? Why does it feel so strange?

What happens during a panic attack?

Well, several things happen as your body alters its priorities from long term survival to emergency short term survival. In response to the release of hormones such as adrenaline, your blood pressure increases and breathing speeds up preparing you for muscular effort.

panic attacks cornwall

Your legs may shake as they are prepared for running; your hands may shake as the large muscles of your arms are prepared to fight. Your palms and feet may become sweaty to give you better grip.

Blood is shunted away from the stomach to the major muscle groups where it will be used during an emergency. This is why people who experience regular stress often have digestive problems, IBS for example: blood is constantly being pumped to areas other than the stomach and digestion is put on hold, the process of moving food through the intestines simply stops, the valves responsible for the movement of food through your system close.

Other changes that occur during a panic attack, or the fight or flight response, are that the pupils dilate to let in more light, so we can gain more information about the situation. You may also feel like vomiting or defecating, which too can be seen to have survival value. If you vomit or defecate then this is the primitive response to ensure you are lighter, enabling you to run from an attacker and making you less appetising as a potential meal!

Remember… all these responses have survival value in the sort of circumstances that they originally evolved for. So why is it that so many of us experience a panic attack in a comparably safe modern environment?

Part 2: Why do we have them?

So why is it that so many of us experience feelings of panic in a comparably safe modern environment? The answer is to be found in our history.

Their Place in the Modern World

Human evolution has taken approximately 135 million years. Modern life can only be said to have existed for the last ten thousand years or so – less than one thousandth of one percent (.001%) of our evolution. This is not nearly long enough for us to adapt. So, in a very real sense, we are stuck in a modern world using ancient tools.

The ‘Trip-wire’

Now this is all very well, but it doesn’t explain why one person has a panic attack while another doesn’t or why we can suddenly just start to have them. For the answer to this question, we must look at the stress levels in our lives. 

Remember – stress is caused by the way we react to a situation. When a person is generally stressed, or anxious, the sensitive ‘trip-wire’ which is the fight or flight response is more easily triggered.

The Unconscious Mind is a Quick Learner

Once a panic attack has happened in a situation, the mind can quickly learn to fear the situation itself. The panic response can be ‘conditioned’ to be triggered by the situation or environment. So, too much  ongoing day-to-day stress can prime this ‘trip-wire’ causing it to go off like a faulty car alarm every time someone walks past it.  We have matched up ‘faulty’ templates in our library and sometimes your Secretary might automatically put your Security Officer in charge before checking the library template first – this is known as taking the “Low Road”.

[This is the same mechanism that causes you to remember old memories when you hear a song, or smell a particular odour, although in this case your Secretary is checking the templates held in the library and this is taking the “High Road”.]

We can slacken our ‘trip-wire’ by making sure that we take enough time to relax every day. We’ve established that a panic attack is a response we all need sometimes. You can see your panic response as a guard whose job it is to protect you from harm. It needs to be there but it also needs to learn to distinguish between threatening and non-threatening situations, between friend and foe.

panic attacks cornwall neil cox hypnotherapy


Sometimes, once a person’s unconscious mind has learnt to ‘attach’ panic or anxiety to a certain situation, ‘desensitisation’, or ‘de-conditioning’ needs to take place. Essentially, this means returning the situation or memory to its original state, as non-emotional. This was traditionally done through ‘systematic desensitisation’ where a person is slowly re-introduced to the problem area.

These days, it is possible to de-condition memories, or panic situations, using a guided visualisation technique.  If it is appropriate for your personal situation, l can help you by providing a couple of sessions that I call ‘Rewind and Reframe’ in order to de-condition the panic situations.

Agoraphobia and Panic Attacks

Some people, after having a panic attack, develop a fear of open spaces. This is known as agoraphobia and may appear as fear of being in crowds or busy places or just being outside the home. If we look at this from an evolutionary perspective it makes sense. Thousands of years ago we would have had to be careful of wide open spaces because of the possibility of being attacked by wild animals.

Agoraphobia can also develop as panic attacks ‘spread’ from one situation to another. As we saw above, panic attacks work via the unconscious mind. The unconscious ‘sees’ a pattern that was previously associated with panic, and assumes that it is appropriate to panic again.

Because this ‘template pattern match’ has to be approximate, mistakes can be made. So, for example, a lady I once treated had her first attack on a windy day. Her father had just died and she was already highly stressed due to her mother’s poor health at the time.

At the office the following week she had another attack. She was sitting at her desk, surrounded by people; her unconscious mind decided that this was ‘the same’ as the gale that this was attempting to get through to get home, like all the other people around her at rush-hour, where she had been surrounded by people) and this triggered a second occurrence. It’s not too hard to see how this could continue to spread to other perhaps public transport, supermarkets and more places where there were several people.

Once your panic attacks stop then your mind and body will get the message that the former panic situations are no longer real threats.

Part 3: The Core Beliefs that Fuel Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Although people having panic attacks often feel as if they are the only ones in the world with the problem, the thoughts that accompany panic attacks are usually very similar. Here are the most common ones that we can encounter.

Thought 1: “I might die from a heart attack”

Although it may not feel like it at the time, the heart is designed to react in the way it does during a panic attack. It can feel unnatural because this type of heart activity is usually reserved for vigorous activity, when you don’t notice it as much. However, unless you have a heart condition, it is not usually a threat to the heart. If you are worried about this, see your GP and get tested – if he gives you the all-clear then your heart is okay.

Thought 2: “I might die from suffocation”

It may not feel pleasant, but you are less likely to suffocate during a panic attack than at any other time because you naturally take in more air. 

The shortness of breath you may feel is due to your body increasing its demand for oxygen, or because of hyperventilation or over-breathing, see part 4.

Thought 3: “I’m having a stroke”

When you don’t understand what is happening to you, it’s perfectly natural to try and explain in it terms you understand. 

However, strokes have nothing to do with panic attacks, so you can relax about that! However, if you are worried about it, see your G.P. and get yourself checked – it is possible to assess if you have had a stroke.

Thought 4: “I’m scared of fainting”

Fainting is not an option when being chased by a wild animal, in fact it could be fatal, so it is highly unlikely that panic will cause fainting. 

And what if you did faint? 

How bad would it be? The end of the world? Worse than death itself? Probably not! 

Fear of fainting often comes about due to the sense of dizziness which accompanies hyperventilation, sometimes part of panic. 

Thought 5: “I’m having a nervous breakdown, or going ‘crazy’”

If you were really going insane would you be aware or worried about going insane? When people really break down, they rarely realise and often feel that they are okay and that it is the others who are strange. 

You already know that the anxiety, panic, or ‘fight or flight’ response is a natural mechanism, so this one doesn’t even figure.

Thought 6: “Losing control”

When having an anxiety attack, it can feel like you have lost control. 

In fact, all that has happened is that control has shifted from your conscious to your unconscious mind, so things are still being regulated, just differently.  Your Boss is out to lunch and your Security Officer is taking charge.  Remember, how would a large multi-million company run if the guy on the door who checks visitors in was in charge – would it be as in order as when the MD is up there doing his bit?

Thought 7: “Feeling so weak you can’t move or may fall down”

The feeling of weakness is caused by the shaking we mentioned earlier – surfeit of adrenaline that is not being used, just ‘waiting’ in your muscles waiting for that ‘call to action’. In fact, you are actually stronger when panicking than at any other time as your large muscles are being supplied with plenty of oxygen – it’s why we can hear of these prodigious feats of strength in times of extreme danger or emergency.

Thought 8: “Belief that you’re going to be embarrassed”

How many times have you actually been humiliated or embarrassed by a panic attack? 

If you ever have been, was it really that bad? 

During an attack, it is very common and quite natural to worry that your body can’t take what is happening. The fact is that panic is a short-term response.

The worst part of a panic attack only lasts a few minutes although unpleasant anxiety feelings can persist for longer. It is similar to a fire or emergency drill for the body. If you have panic attacks then at least you know that your anxiety or fight or flight response is in good working order!

Part 4: The symptoms – Hyperventilation or ‘over breathing’

Quite possibly you have already recognised several symptoms that you may well have suffered and now something that often makes panic attacks much worse – hyperventilating or over breathing. It can be counted amongst panic attack symptoms, or amongst causes, as one ‘feeds’ off the other.

About 60% of attacks are accompanied by hyperventilation and most people who experience a panic attack then to over breathe, even whilst relaxed.

The most important thing to understand about hyperventilation is that although it can feel as if you don’t have enough oxygen, the opposite is true. It is a symptom of too much oxygen.

With hyperventilation, your body has too much oxygen. To use this oxygen (to extract it from your blood), your body needs a certain amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

When you hyperventilate, you do not give your body long enough to retain CO2, and so your body cannot use the oxygen you have. This causes you to feel as if you are short of air, when actually you have too much. This is why the following techniques work to get rid of hyperventilation.

Some hyperventilation and panic attack symptoms are:

  • Light headiness 
  • Giddiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Numbness 
  • Chest pains 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Clammy hands 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Tremors 
  • Sweating 
  • Weakness 
  • Fatigue

Getting Rid of Hyperventilation

Anybody who hyperventilates will find that symptoms of over excited-ness or panic will occur. So how can learn to breathe more evenly and naturally?

  •     Holding your breath for as long as you comfortably can will prevent the dissipation of carbon dioxide. If you hold your breath for a period of between 10 and 15 seconds and repeat this a few times that will be sufficient to calm hyperventilation quickly. 
  •     This will cause you to re-inhale the carbon dioxide that you exhaled. Naturally there are many times when this would be inappropriate and may appear a little strange. It really helps though. 
  •     Thirdly you can take vigorous exercise while breathing in and out through your nose. A brisk walk or jog whilst breathing through the nose will counter hyperventilation. Regular exercise will decrease general stress levels decreasing the chance of panic attacks. 
  •     If you find that your breathing pattern is irregular or uncomfortable a lot of the time, the best way to ‘reset’ it is by exercising. Start off gradually and check with your doctor if you are not used to exercise.

The 7:3:11 Breathing Pattern – the opposite of hyperventilation

Finally you can practice a special type of breathing, not into your chest but deep into your tummy or diaphragm which is below your chest. 

The important thing here is that the out breath must be longer than the in breath. 

This causes stimulation of the part of your nervous system responsible for relaxation. This is a basic law of biology and if you breathe in this way then your body will have no choice but to relax.

It may take a few minutes but the body will respond regardless of what your mind is thinking. 

Experience this now. 

Sit down and close your eyes for a little while. 

Just become aware of your breathing. 

Breathe in to the count of seven. 

Hold for the count of three.

Now breathe out to the count of eleven. 

And repeat five times.

With practice slow the count until your count is 7 seconds, 3 seconds, 11 seconds.

It may be a little difficult at first, but doing this regularly causes your general anxiety level to come down. You may also find that you begin to breathe this way automatically if you feel anxious. Regular relaxation actually starts to inhibit the production of stress hormones in the body so it actually becomes harder and harder to panic. As you become more generally relaxed the ‘baseline’ of arousal from which you are starting lowers. It actually becomes harder to get stressed!

Hyperventilation responds very well to this technique. If you practice this daily, hyperventilating should cease to be a problem very quickly. It can also give you much more control over panic attacks.

You are hopefully coming to understand that panic attack symptoms are natural physiological reactions. Next, how a panic attack causes the brain to behave in a certain way…

Part 5: The Brain ‘Emotional Hijacking’

When you have a panic attack, or become very anxious your emotional response can actually bypass your ‘thinking brain’. The yellow area in the diagram is the amygdala, which is involved with creating a ‘faster than thought’ panic attack. (The ‘Low Road’). It is very difficult, or impossible, to think clearly when highly emotional because the part of the brain you think with is inhibited.

This is a very primitive part of your brain, designed for survival, rather than problem solving in complex situations. Modern man’s Amygdala is the same size as Cave man’s!

The most common comment from people who have panic attacks is ‘It’s totally irrational’, which is quite right. It’s not the rational part of the brain that deals with panic attacks. This is why people often find it hard to make decisions during a panic attack and why I don’t believe James Bond would think about or even embrace the heroine whilst running from the nuclear explosion…

This response has been termed an ‘emotional hijacking’ by Daniel Goleman, who wrote the best selling book ‘Emotional Intelligence’. By this, he means that your thinking, planning rational mind is hijacked by your emotional response.

The first sign that your panic attacks have gone may be when you notice you can’t have them any more. This is because something fundamental will have changed in the way the mind responds. As you become less stressed and more relaxed so you will regain your control.  When we relax, we are in control and when we relax, we can do the things that we want to do.

Part 6: Other Techniques

Scaling Panic Attacks Down

The first technique is this: if you experience anxious or panicky sensations, you can rate their intensity from 1 to 10, full-blown panic being 10 and deep relaxation being 1. 

So, for example, if you are in a situation and begin to feel uneasy you could say to yourself ‘I am now at a scale 5’. If you began to feel worse you might say inwardly ‘I am now at a scale 6’. As you begin to feel better, you can count yourself back down to a 2 or a 1.

By scaling anxiety attacks in this way, you are doing three things.

  •     You are ‘putting a fence’ around the experience so the limits are clear. After all, it’s impossible for panic to go up indefinitely. It has to level off. 
  •   You are using the thinking part of the brain. In order to stop and think about where you are on a scale of anxiety you have to use your Boss; the part which is not so concerned with emotion but more with thinking.
  •     For the time it takes for you to grade the panic you are less ‘in’ the panic attack and more outside it. Rather like being an observer. This dilutes the emotional content. 
  •     You can begin to get some better data on how long the anxiety attack lasts, how intense it is etc. This gives you more control. Although it can feel that panic attacks go on for ever, they can actually only continue for short periods – they are short-term survival responses.

The simple rule is that by giving the thinking brain a task we diminish the experience of unpleasant emotion. 

It’s good to use a pen and paper to scale anxiety because then you can see how things are improving. It also gives you something to do during an anxiety attack although people sometimes find it a little difficult to write as the brain is concentrating on larger movements at these times, rather than fine ones.

Be AWARE of Panic Attacks

The next technique with which I would like to arm you is the AWARE technique. 

So the ‘A’ in aware stands for ‘Accept the anxiety. Decide just to go with the experience. Fighting anxiety, getting angry or scared just fuels the fire. After reading these notes, you know a panic attack is a perfectly natural response, so although it can be frustrating, there is nothing to be afraid of.

The ‘W’ in aware is for ‘Watch the anxiety’ Observe it without judging it to be good or bad. Remember – you are more than just your anxiety.

The next ‘A’ in ‘aware is for ‘Act normal’. Behave normally and continue doing what you intended to do. Breathe normally focusing on extending the out breath (se 7:11 breathing). If you run from the situation your immediate anxiety will of course decrease but this may lead to an increase in future anxiety.

Staying in the situation helps ‘de-condition’ the panic response as your mind gets the message that it is not really threatening. This is why people often say that the first few minutes of public speaking are the worst. If you continue for longer than a few minutes then the mind gets the message that it’s not really that threatening.

The ‘R’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘Repeat the steps’. Continue accepting your anxiety, watching it and acting normal until it goes down to a comfortable level.

And finally the ‘E’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘Expect the best’. What you fear may never happen. You will surprise yourself by the effective way you handle situations when using the ‘AWARE’ technique.

Of course, getting rid of all anxiety is not desirable, or even possible, but getting rid of panic attacks is.

The next step in getting rid of panic or anxiety attacks for good is to re-educate the unconscious mind so that it understands that the situations that currently trigger your panic attacks are not actually dangerous. We can do this using simple and effective techniques within the consultation room.

Thanks for reading this article, for further information from the NHS click here.

Overcome Your Fear of flying

Nervous or have a fear of flying? You aren’t alone.

It’s a significant issue for many of us and so this blog is all about how we can help you overcome the fear. Our dreams of jetting away on a sun drenched holiday quickly come around year by year. But whilst for most of us this brings a sense of excitement for others it may well bring anxiety. Flying, and more specifically flying away for the annual summer holidays.  Yes, we may well be told that flying is one of the safest ways of travelling, but for many it’s an anxiety inducing experience. Thankfully, there are simple steps that we can take to make it a little more of a relaxing experience.

Get to know the plane.

Find a picture of the plane off the internet and try and familiarise yourself with it.  You can stick the image on the fridge door so you are repeatedly reminded of it – the more familiar the environment will be when you do travel.

At the Airport.

Airports are naturally a very busy and somewhat disconcerting to the unseasoned traveller. Leave yourself plenty of time to get there, and try and find a quiet corner to relax. All the time thinking how your holiday destination will be when you get there. The weather, surroundings make it really vivid in your mind.

Caffeinated soft drinks could make you feel more anxious so opt for a herbal tea or water to help you feel refreshed and relaxed.

On the plane.

Many of us feel a little claustrophobic on aircraft, so have you thought about opting for an aisle seat? This will allow for you to move about more easily, and not feel so ‘trapped’.

Relaxing music can help calm you down. I can recommend noise cancelling headphones to help drown out any sounds from the engines too.

Do you have a favourite book?  Bring it with you, to help take your mind off the flight.

Many people end up turning to a hypnotherapist to help them overcome a fear of flying.  If you feel you could benefit from a little extra help, read on..

As a hypnotherapist, I will help you reduce the anxiety associated with flying.  Clearly, flying isn’t a natural thing for us humans to do.  Hence, our subconscious which is there to protect us, may then create the anxiety as it believes it’s protecting us.  The fear of flying can affect anyone, and is not a sign of weakness.  Now the good news is that there are techniques we can use that will naturally help control the fear.  This is achieved through the use of hypnosis and other psychotherapeutic methods.

Don’t let your fears get in the way of living the life and dreams you have, book in today and make your first step towards achieving your goals. Kick that fear of flying out the window today!

Fear of Public Speaking

How Hypnotherapy and the Rewind Technique Can Help You Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety in Cornwall


As a hypnotherapist in Cornwall, I know firsthand how public speaking anxiety can be a significant obstacle to personal and professional growth. Fortunately, there are effective techniques for managing this type of anxiety, such as hypnotherapy and the rewind technique. In this blog post, I’ll explore how these techniques can help you conquer public speaking anxiety and provide tips for finding a qualified hypnotherapist in Cornwall. I’ll also discuss other methods for managing public speaking anxiety, such as deep breathing exercises, visualisation, and desensitisation through gradual exposure to public speaking situations.

public speaking cornwall group photo Cornwall therapists

Understanding Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking anxiety, also known as glossophobia, is a type of social anxiety that occurs when an individual is faced with the prospect of speaking in front of others. Symptoms can include a racing heart, sweating, shaking, and difficulty breathing. These physical symptoms can make it difficult for individuals to concentrate on their speech and can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame. The causes of public speaking anxiety can be complex and may include a fear of judgment or failure, a lack of confidence in one’s abilities, or a past negative experience with public speaking.

How Hypnotherapy and the Rewind Technique Can Help

As a hypnotherapist in Cornwall, I specialise in helping individuals overcome public speaking anxiety using a combination of hypnotherapy and the rewind technique. Hypnotherapy is an effective tool for managing public speaking anxiety by helping individuals reframe their thoughts and emotions around public speaking. During hypnotherapy sessions, I guide my clients into a state of deep relaxation and suggest positive affirmations to help build confidence and reduce anxiety. I also use visualisation techniques to help my clients imagine themselves delivering a successful speech, further boosting their confidence and reducing anxiety.

The rewind technique is another powerful tool for managing public speaking anxiety. This technique involves revisiting, in a dissociative way, a past traumatic experience(s) related to public speaking, and then using visualisation to “rewind” the memory to a neutral or positive outcome. By doing so, the individual can reduce the emotional impact of the memory and eliminate any associated anxiety or fear.

When using the rewind technique for public speaking anxiety, I guide my clients through the following steps:

  1. Identify the traumatic memory: The first step is to identify the specific memory or memories that are contributing to the individual’s public speaking anxiety. This could be a past negative experience, such as forgetting a speech or being laughed at by an audience.
  2. Visualise the memory: Once the memory has been identified, the individual visualises the memory in as much detail as possible, paying attention to the emotions and physical sensations associated with it. This is done from a third-person perspective, so you’re not experiencing it. Rather just viewing the scene from a distance.
  3. Rewind the memory: Using visualisation techniques, the individual rewinds the memory to a neutral or positive outcome. For example, if the memory involves forgetting a speech, the individual visualises themselves forgetting the speech repeatedly forwards and backwards until the emotional attachment is discharged.
  4. Reinforce the new memory: Once the memory has been rewound and discharged, the individual can reinforce a new memory by reframing it and associating it with positive emotions.

Tips for Finding a Qualified Hypnotherapist in Cornwall

If you’re considering hypnotherapy for public speaking anxiety, it’s important to find a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist. Here are some tips for finding a hypnotherapist in Cornwall:

  1. Do your research: Look for a hypnotherapist who specialises in public speaking anxiety and has experience working with clients with similar issues.
  2. Check credentials: Ensure that the hypnotherapist you choose is fully qualified and registered with a recognised professional organisation, such as the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
  3. Read reviews: Look for reviews or testimonials from previous clients to get an idea of their experiences.
  4. Schedule a consultation: Before committing to a hypnotherapy program, schedule a consultation with the hypnotherapist to discuss your concerns and determine if they’re a good fit for you.
public speaking cornwall neil cox hypnotherapy bude mind body soul fayre

Other Methods for Managing Public Speaking Anxiety

In addition to hypnotherapy and the rewind technique, there are other methods for managing public speaking anxiety. Here are a few examples:

  1. Deep breathing exercises: Taking deep, slow breaths can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Try inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four.
  2. Visualisation: Visualisation techniques can be used to imagine oneself delivering a successful speech and feeling confident and relaxed.
  3. Desensitisation: Gradual exposure to public speaking situations can help reduce anxiety over time. This could involve starting with small, low-pressure speaking engagements and gradually working up to larger, more challenging events.
  4. Positive affirmations: Repeating positive affirmations to oneself, such as “I am confident and capable,” can help build self-esteem and reduce anxiety.


If you’re struggling with public speaking anxiety in Cornwall, hypnotherapy and the rewind technique can be powerful tools for overcoming this obstacle and achieving your goals. By working with a qualified hypnotherapist, you can reframe your thoughts and emotions around public speaking and develop the confidence and skills you need to succeed. Remember to also explore other methods for managing public speaking anxiety, such as deep breathing exercises and visualisation, to find what works best for you.

Bonsai and the Mind

Whispers of Transformation: Unveiling the Hypnotic Dance Between Bonsai and the Mind

In the hushed symphony of miniature ecosystems, bonsai whisper a secretsong, echoing not just the verdant secrets of nature, but also the intricate dance of our inner landscapes. Beneath the sculpted branches and carefully crafted pots, these diminutive gardens offer a mirror to the subconscious, whispering potent metaphors for healing and transformation. And within this silent dialogue lies a curious convergence – the hypnotic dance between bonsai and the art of hypnotherapy.

Embark on your own journey of inner transformation with The Bonsai Guide to Life! This exploration of the parallels between bonsai and hypnotherapy will be available for purchase on Amazon using the link below..

Order yours today and be among the first to cultivate your inner garden!

Excavating the Roots: Unearthing the Tangled Landscape of the Mind

Imagine a mind entangled in the chaos of overgrown thoughts and unaddressed anxieties. Much like a neglected bonsai, its branches twist and gnarl, its leaves wither in the shade of negativity. Just as a skilled gardener wields pruning shears and gentle persuasion to reshape the miniature landscape, the hypnotherapist employs potent tools to navigate the labyrinthine pathways of the subconscious. The gentle suggestions, guided visualisations, and metaphorical narratives become the shears, meticulously crafting new pathways and coaxing forth the hidden potential for growth and balance.

But the journey toward inner equilibrium begins not with pruning, but with observation. Just as the bonsai artist meticulously assesses the health of their miniature world, the hypnotherapist delves into the client’s experiences, unearthing the tangled roots of limiting beliefs and negative patterns. Each session becomes a silent excavation, unearthing the seeds of self-doubt and nurturing the fertile soil of introspection. Through skillful questioning and active listening, the hypnotherapist creates a safe space for exploration, a sanctuary where hidden narratives can unfold and the unconscious whispers its truths.

This initial mapping of the inner landscape unveils the hidden narratives shaping the client’s reality. Like tracing the intricate lines of grain in weathered bark, the hypnotherapist identifies recurring themes, emotional triggers, and deeply ingrained patterns. Are there echoes of past traumas etched in the bark of the mind, casting long shadows of fear and insecurity? Or perhaps, is it the dense undergrowth of perfectionism choking off the vibrant shoots of self-acceptance? Each unearthed element becomes a stepping stone on the path to transformation.

Sowing Seeds of Change: Metaphors as Miniature Gardens of the Mind

As we delve deeper into the subconscious, metaphorical seeds are sown. The hypnotist, like a bonsai artist wielding a miniature rake, delicately sculpts suggestions and imagery. Words, imbued with hypnotic rhythms and evocative language, paint landscapes of possibility within the client’s mind. Vivid descriptions of calm seas soothe anxieties, stories of resilient trees facing storms evoke inner strength, and gentle metaphors of unfurling leaves nudge thoughts towards self-compassion. These seeds, once planted, take root in the fertile soil of the subconscious, nurtured by repetition and positive reinforcement.

Imagine a client struggling with chronic pain. The hypnotherapist might weave a story of a majestic willow tree, its branches gracefully bowing to the wind yet remaining grounded and strong. With each gentle suggestion, the image of the willow’s adaptability takes root in the client’s mind, offering a new perspective on their own experience. Or consider a client burdened by self-criticism. The hypnotherapist might paint a picture of a primrose, its delicate yellow petals peeking through winter’s chill, a reminder that beauty often thrives in resilience and finding light within oneself.

These potent metaphors act as fertiliser for the seeds of change, allowing them to sprout and bloom within the client’s inner landscape. They offer alternative narratives, reframing limiting beliefs and fostering new pathways for understanding and resilience. Just as a bonsai artist sculpts miniature worlds, the hypnotherapist helps the client cultivate a mental garden teeming with positive imagery and transformative potential.

Active Participation: Pruning Fears and Watering Hope

Within this hypnotic dance, the client becomes an active participant, a co-creator of their own mental sanctuary. Through guided visualisations, they enter the bonsai garden of their inner world, pruning anxieties, watering hope, and nurturing the seeds of positive change. They climb metaphorical mountains to confront fears, wade through calming rivers to dissolve stress, and bask in the warm sunlight of self-acceptance. This active engagement empowers, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility for their own mental well-being.

Imagine a client struggling with insomnia. The hypnotherapist guides them to a tranquil bonsai garden bathed in moonlight, where gentle breezes rustle the leaves and soft moonlight illuminates a winding path toward peaceful sleep.

These immersive journeys into the metaphorical landscape allow the client to confront and disarm their anxieties in a safe space. Fearful squirrels of self-doubt scurry away, replaced by majestic cranes of inner peace soaring on the warm currents of hypnotic suggestion. Each guided breath becomes a gentle breeze, rustling through the leaves of anxiety, leaving behind a sense of calm serenity. In this inner sanctuary, the client discovers the strength hidden within, the resilience sculpted by confronting their metaphorical mountains.

Weathering Storms: Resilience in the Face of Challenges

Just as a bonsai endures unpredictable shifts in weather, our minds face inevitable storms of life’s challenges. Stressful situations, unexpected losses, and the whispers of past traumas can threaten to uproot the carefully cultivated peace within. Yet, within the framework of hypnotherapy, the client learns to navigate these storms with newfound resilience.

The hypnotherapist, like a seasoned gardener guiding a bonsai through a harsh winter, equips the client with tools for self-soothing and emotional anchoring. Techniques like post-hypnotic suggestions provide mental shelters during turbulent times, reminding the client of their inner strength and guiding them back to the calm center of their metaphorical bonsai garden.

Imagine a client facing a difficult work presentation. Before entering the metaphorical storm, the hypnotherapist anchors them with a calming image – perhaps a tranquil bay cradled by protective cliffs. During the presentation, should anxiety arise, the client can visualise themselves returning to the bay, drawing upon its serenity to face the challenge with composure. Or consider a client grieving a loss. The hypnotherapist might guide them to a secluded meadow within their inner bonsai garden, a space to connect with memories and process their emotions with gentle acceptance.

These hypnotic tools empower the client to weather life’s storms with increased awareness and self-compassion. The scars left by challenges, like markings on weathered bonsai bark, become testaments to resilience and growth.

Beyond the Pot: Transformation Blooms in Real Life

The transformative power of this hypnotic dance extends beyond the confines of the therapy room. Just as a carefully tended bonsai radiates tranquility in its external environment, the inner gardens cultivated through hypnotherapy blossom in real-life behaviours and relationships. Improved sleep patterns, healthier eating habits, and a reduction in chronic pain are just a few of the tangible benefits.

Clients often report a newfound ability to set boundaries, express their needs, and navigate interpersonal conflicts with greater ease. Self-compassion replaces self-criticism, fostering relationships built on authenticity and acceptance. The anxieties that once cast long shadows recede, replaced by a sense of inner peace that radiates outward, touching every aspect of life.

Imagine a client struggling with social anxiety who, after embracing their inner redwood, finds the courage to initiate conversations and build meaningful connections. Or consider a client overwhelmed by stress who, through their moonlit garden visualisations, discovers the ability to prioritise self-care and delegate tasks. The transformations sparked within the metaphorical bonsai garden ripple outward, painting the canvas of everyday life with vibrant hues of well-being and self-discovery.

A Continuous Journey: Embracing the Whispers of Growth

It’s important to remember that the journey of inner transformation is not a finite destination, but an ongoing dance with our own subconscious landscapes. Just as a bonsai requires ongoing care and attention, so too does the mental garden cultivated through hypnotherapy. Regular sessions can act as tune-ups, ensuring the metaphorical soil remains fertile and the seeds of positive change continue to thrive.

Moreover, the lessons learned through this potent collaboration leave a lasting legacy. The whispers of the subconscious, once cryptic and unsettling, become familiar guides. We learn to listen to the gentle rustling of our inner leaves, recognising the subtle shifts in our emotional landscape and responding with mindfulness and self-compassion.

Standing before the bonsai of our own minds, its branches sculpted by experience and its leaves echoing the narratives of our journeys, we find a profound sense of connection. We see the scars of past storms, not as blemishes, but as testament to our resilience. We hear the whispers of possibility, not with fear, but with the quiet confidence of one who knows the potential for growth that lies within.

In this continuous dance with our inner landscapes, where bonsai artistry meets the hypnotic touch of hypnotherapy, we discover not just the secrets of nature, but the extraordinary beauty and transformative power of our own minds. May we forever embrace the whispers of growth, tending to our inner gardens with care and watch as our landscapes unfold, revealing the magnificent potential for peace, resilience, and well-being that lies within each of us.

For more bonsai related articles check out my sister website Bonsai Guide to Life.

Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

Understanding the benefits and how it works.

Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be a debilitating condition that affects every aspect of a person’s life. While medication and talk therapy are commonly used to treat anxiety, hypnotherapy has become an increasingly popular complementary therapy.

In this article, we will explore what hypnotherapy is, the benefits of hypnotherapy for anxiety, and how it works.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a type of therapy that uses hypnosis to help individuals achieve a trance-like state. During hypnosis, individuals are more open to suggestions and may be able to overcome negative thought patterns or behaviours that contribute to anxiety.

Hypnotherapy can be used to address a wide range of issues, including anxiety, phobias, and addictions. The goal of hypnotherapy is to help individuals relax and achieve a heightened state of awareness, which can help them gain a new perspective on their problems and develop coping strategies.

The Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool for individuals struggling with anxiety. Some of the benefits of hypnotherapy for anxiety include:

1. Reduced Symptoms

Research has shown that hypnotherapy can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnotherapy was effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder.

2. Improved Sleep

Anxiety can often lead to sleep disturbances, which can exacerbate symptoms. Hypnotherapy can help individuals relax and achieve a state of calm, which can lead to improved sleep quality. This improved sleep quality can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

3. Increased Self-Awareness

Hypnotherapy can help individuals gain a new perspective on their problems and develop a deeper understanding of their emotions and behaviours. This increased self-awareness can help individuals better manage their anxiety symptoms. Hypnotherapy can help individuals identify the triggers that contribute to their anxiety and develop coping strategies to manage those triggers.

4. Reduced Need for Medication

While medication can be an effective treatment option for anxiety, some individuals may prefer to avoid medication due to side effects or other concerns. Hypnotherapy can be a complementary treatment option that can reduce the need for medication. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have experienced negative side effects from medication or who are concerned about becoming dependent on medication.

5. Long-Term Results

Hypnotherapy can provide long-term results for individuals with anxiety. The coping strategies developed during hypnotherapy sessions can be used throughout a person’s life, allowing them to better manage their anxiety symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

How Hypnotherapy Works for Anxiety

Hypnotherapy for anxiety typically involves several sessions with a trained therapist. During these sessions, the therapist will guide the individual into a relaxed state and use various techniques, such as guided imagery and visualization, to help the individual develop coping strategies.

One of the key benefits of hypnotherapy is that it can help individuals access their subconscious mind, which is where negative thought patterns and behaviours often originate. By accessing the subconscious mind, individuals can work with their therapist to develop new, positive thought patterns and behaviours.

Hypnotherapy can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as medication or talk therapy. Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that can be used in conjunction with other treatments to improve overall outcomes.

The Role of Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a safe and effective complementary therapy for individuals with anxiety. It can provide long-term results and reduce the need for medication. Hypnotherapy can also help individuals develop coping strategies and gain a new perspective on their problems.

In addition to the benefits listed above, hypnotherapy has been found to be effective in treating specific types of anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder and panic disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder characterised by an intense fear of social situations. Hypnotherapy can be used to help individuals with social anxiety disorder develop new coping strategies and improve their self-esteem. By accessing the subconscious mind, individuals can work with their therapist to develop new, positive beliefs about themselves and their ability to interact with others.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterised by recurrent panic attacks. Hypnotherapy can be used to help individuals with panic disorder learn how to manage their symptoms and reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks. By accessing the subconscious mind, individuals can work with their therapist to develop new, positive beliefs about their ability to manage their symptoms.

Hypnotherapy and Other Treatments for Anxiety

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that can be used in conjunction with other treatments for anxiety. It is not intended to replace traditional treatments, such as medication or talk therapy, but can be used in combination with these treatments to improve outcomes.


Medication can be an effective treatment option for anxiety, particularly for individuals with severe symptoms. However, medication is not without its side effects, and some individuals may prefer to avoid medication. Hypnotherapy can be a complementary treatment option that can reduce the need for medication or help individuals manage the side effects of medication.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is a commonly used treatment for anxiety. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. Hypnotherapy can be used in conjunction with CBT to help individuals access their subconscious mind and develop new, positive thought patterns and behaviours.

The Role of a Hypnotherapist

Hypnotherapy should only be conducted by a trained & insured hypnotherapist. A hypnotherapist will work with individuals to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. During hypnotherapy sessions, the hypnotherapist will guide individuals into a relaxed state and use various techniques, such as guided imagery and visualisation, to help individuals develop coping strategies.


Hypnotherapy is a safe and effective complementary therapy for individuals with anxiety. It can provide long-term results, reduce the need for medication, and help individuals develop coping strategies. Hypnotherapy is not intended to replace traditional treatments, such as medication or talk therapy, but can be used in conjunction with these treatments to improve outcomes. If you are struggling with anxiety, consider talking to a registered and insured hypnotherapist like myself to learn more about how hypnotherapy can help you.

Navigating the Festive Season Towards a Healthy Weight

The festive season, a time of joy, togetherness, and culinary delights, often presents a challenge for those seeking to maintain a healthy weight. Amidst the abundance of holiday treats and social gatherings, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overindulgence, leading to unwanted weight gain. However, with the power of hypnosis and a solution-focused approach, you can effectively navigate the festive season without sacrificing your health and weight management goals.

Mindful Eating: The Foundation of Sensible Indulgence

Mindful eating is the cornerstone of maintaining a healthy relationship with food and enjoying the festive season without guilt or regret. Hypnosis, as a powerful tool, can guide you towards developing mindful eating habits, enabling you to make conscious choices that align with your health objectives.

Through hypnosis, I can help you deepen your connection with your body’s natural hunger and satiety cues. This heightened awareness empowers you to eat when you’re genuinely hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full, preventing overeating and promoting a sense of satisfied fullness.

Hypnotic Shifts: Reframing Your Relationship with Food

Hypnosis can be a transformative tool in reprogramming your perception of food, shifting unhealthy cravings into a desire for wholesome, nutritious options. This psychological shift empowers you to make healthier choices without feeling deprived or restricted.

Imagine yourself savouring the vibrant flavours of a fresh salad instead of succumbing to the temptation of a heavy, calorie-laden starter. Hypnosis can help you vividly visualise and experience these healthier choices, making them more appealing and accessible.

Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals: Hypnotic Accountability

Maintaining weight loss goals during the festive season can be a daunting task. Hypnosis, however, can provide the motivation and accountability you need to stay on track and achieve your weight management aspirations.

With hypnosis, we can set realistic and achievable weight loss goals, ensuring they align with your individual needs and lifestyle. These goals are then reinforced with empowering affirmations, deeply embedding them into your subconscious mind. This mental reinforcement strengthens your resolve and helps you overcome any setbacks that may arise.

Emotional Eating: Managing Stress with Hypnosis

The festive season can be a time of increased stress and anxiety, which can often lead to emotional eating. This can derail your weight loss efforts and sabotage your healthy habits. Hypnosis can provide effective strategies for managing stress and preventing unhealthy food choices triggered by emotional turmoil.

Incorporating relaxation techniques and stress management strategies into your hypnosis sessions can help you cultivate a calmer and more balanced mindset. This emotional resilience enables you to navigate the festive season with a positive outlook and make healthier choices even under pressure.

Your Pathway to a Joyful and Healthy Christmas

By embracing the power of hypnosis and incorporating solution-focused strategies, you can navigate the festive season with confidence and maintain your healthy habits. This will allow you to fully enjoy the festivities without guilt or regret, and ultimately achieve your weight loss goals.

Together, we can transform your relationship with food, empowering you to approach the holiday season with a positive and solution-focused mindset. Embrace the power of hypnosis to create a healthy and joyful Christmas experience.

Embark on Your Holistic Weight Management Journey

Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can be effectively combined with other weight management strategies, such as mindful eating, regular exercise, and a balanced diet. By working together, we can create a personalised plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Contact Me Today to Begin Your Journey

If you’re ready to take control of your weight management and navigate the festive season with confidence, I invite you to reach out to me for a consultation. Together, we can help you achieve your unique goals and preferences. Embrace the power of hypnosis to achieve your weight loss aspirations and create a healthy, joyful Christmas.