I see many smokers who are struggling to quit. Initially we talk about their smoking history, past attempts to quit and any health concerns for themselves or if they know someone whose health was compromised by smoking.
Smokers are very quick to say they hate smoking; they hate the smell, the cost and don’t like the fact that they have to go ‘somewhere else’ to smoke.
A recent client said she was at a family function and a couple of cousins were also smokers. The routine was for them to step outside and chat while they smoked.
The client had already come for her first of two office visits and had been listening to MP3 of her session daily at home. While recounting this particular smoke break story, she said it was very different from previous times. ‘We were standing in the cold next to the chimney to the back side of the house. I remember feeling so stupid because I was freezing to death and isolated from the rest of my family just to smoke.’
She spoke at length about how, in the past week, she became much more aware of the absurdity and certainly the health risk of smoking. I reminded her how hypnotherapy enhances mindfulness, we become very careful thinkers and impulsivity fades. This was likely why she saw this situation in a new light.
I asked her why she ever smoked in the first place, what was the upside? If she was so eager to condemn the cost, stink and health risk what could she possibly be getting from smoking.
She said ‘I guess I just want to smoke.’ To that I asked her to drill down into the ‘want’ a little more. Could she logically want something that checked off the cost, stink and health boxes? She paused and then responded with an emphatic ‘of course not’.
I asked if it made sense that the ‘want’ was just a habit that had taken on a life of its own out of simple repetition? That made sense to her.
Then I asked if it also made sense that by continuing to repeat the relaxing process that reinforced a comfortable smoke-free transition could fix the problem? She just smiled and nodded. After our chat we did her hypnotherapy session and she left the office feeling very focused and confident.
I routinely engage in these types of conversations with clients prior to initiating a hypnotherapy session because it helps them sort through all the details on a subconscious level. Once the session is concluded clients typically are much more focused and confident about moving forward to healthy change.
By: Paul Gustafson
1. Of about 80,000 people sick from COVID-19 in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Per the World Health Organization last week, “Of the 80,000 reported COVID-19 cases in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged.”
2. Scientists have figured out how the novel coronavirus breaks into human cells, which will help significantly in developing treatments. After scientists revealed the first picture of how the novel coronavirus binds with human respiratory cells to produce more viruses, researchers in China have solidified images all the way down to the level of the atoms at the binding points, according to Live Science. With this news, understanding how the virus enters cells will significantly aid researchers in finding drugs and vaccines to fight the virus.
3. Due to high levels of self-quarantine, Codogno, one of the two coronavirus clusters in Italy, has reported significantly fewer infections per day compared to 35 cases per day at the beginning of the outbreak, just five new infections were announced last week by Codogno’s mayor, Francesco Passerini, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
“It is a war. It is a war, but we have every possibility of winning,” Passerini said. “Unlike with our grandfathers, who went physically into battle for our freedom, we are being required to show responsibility — responsibility and calm.”
4. Scientists in Canada have made massive breakthroughs in an effort to develop a vaccine. A team of Canadian scientists has finally isolated and grown copies of the coronavirus, which may now help scientists study the pathogen to develop better testing, treatments, vaccines, and gain a better understanding of its biology, the team said in a statement alongside the New York Post.
5. China is testing five different vaccine options, claiming it could have a vaccine ready by next month. Eight different institutes in China are working on five different inoculations to battle the novel coronavirus, according to the South China Morning Post.
“According to our estimates, we are hopeful that in April some of the vaccines will enter clinical research or be of use in emergency situations,” said Zheng Zhongwei, director of the National Health Commission’s Science and Technology Development Center.
While it’s true that it would take at least 12 to 18 months to provide a safe vaccine to general public, under Chinese law, they could be released sooner for urgent use in a major public health emergency, provided the benefits outweigh the risks, noted the New York Post.
6. Vaccination trials in the U.S. are already underway. A trial of Moderna’s vaccine has already kickstarted at Kaiser Permanente under Washington’s Health Research Institute in Seattle, of which will hopefully confirm the safety of the vaccine prior to mass production.
7. A team of infectious disease experts calculated the fatality rate of Wuhan’s coronavirus outbreak is about 1.4%, drastically lower than earlier estimates. While this estimate and data applies directly to Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began, it offers a hopeful guide to the rest of the world as it notes significantly lower estimate of earlier stats around 3%. A full breakdown of the data can be found at Stat News.
8. Distilleries across the U.S. are making their own hand sanitizers and giving it away for free. Perhaps many Americans can calm down on the panic buying, as according to the Associated Press, distilleries across the country are using high-proof alcohol to make hand sanitizer, and divvying it out for free, or by donation to combat the novel coronavirus.
9. Air pollution has plummeted in cities with high numbers of quarantined individuals, Venice’s waters are running clear. Analysts from the Washington Post have noted a drastic decrease in major greenhouses gases over Europe as individuals self-quarantine and cars stay parked at home. While it’s little comfort to a country ravaged by the novel coronavirus, it highlights the impact humans can make on the environment.
“I expect pollution to drop even further as the particles in the atmosphere get either dispersed or absorbed,” Emanuele Massetti, an expert on the economics of climate change at Georgia Tech University who has studied Italy’s climate policies, told the Washington Post. “In a few days, they will enjoy the cleanest air ever in northern Italy.”
10. A Johns Hopkins researcher has claimed antibodies from recovered coronavirus patients could help protect people at risk. A treatment that can be made readily available under urgent circumstances, a team from Johns Hopkins alongside many other researchers are studying whether or not the antibodies of those recovered from the coronavirus could help protect at-risk humans from the virus.
“Deployment of this option requires no research or development,” immunologist Arturo Casadevall told Science Alert. “It could be deployed within a couple of weeks since it relies on standard blood-banking practices.” Not to mention, a Japanese pharmaceutical company is nearing approval of the treatment.
11. South Korea recoveries are starting to outnumber new infections. Facing the largest epidemic outside of China, South Korea reported more recoveries from the coronavirus than new infections on Friday for the first time since its outbreak emerged in January, as a downward trend in daily cases raised hopes that Asia’s biggest epidemic outside China may be slowing, according to India Today.
12. China is getting its feet back on the ground, opening parks and athletics, loosening travel restrictions. As the novel coronavirus comes under control in China, parks and tourist attractions have reopened across the country, alongside loosened travel restrictions.
“The National Health Commission said on Thursday that the outbreak had passed its peak, and the figures appear to support its claim,” said the South China Morning Post. “On Friday, authorities in mainland China reported just 11 new Covid-19 cases, of which four were in Hubei.” According to ESPN, even professional basketball has reemerged in Asia.
13. China has also closed its last coronavirus hospital, not enough new cases to support them. China has shut down all 16 temporary coronavirus hospitals in Wuhan as cases of coronavirus have begun to dwindle. “The final group of 49 patients walked out of the Wuchang temporary hospital in the capital of Hubei province on Tuesday afternoon to cheers,” according to the Xinhua news agency.
14. Australian researchers are in the midst of testing two drugs as cures to the virus. Scientists in Australia claim to have identified how the body’s immune system fights the novel coronavirus.
Published in Nature Medicine journal on Tuesday, the research shows people are recovering from the virus like they would from the flu. “This [discovery] is important because it is the first time where we are really understanding how our immune system fights novel coronavirus,” study co-author Prof Katherine Kedzierska told BBC News.
15. Numerous businesses have stepped up to solve the crisis. Restaurants, sports, and businesses are all stepping up to combat the community effects of the novel coronavirus.
The sports world is raising money for stadium employees, Uber Eats is divvying out free delivery to help independent restaurants, professional soccer players are entertaining viewers with a FIFA tournament, restaurants are doling out free food to those in need, and Bill Gates is funneling out millions of dollars to speed up development of a coronavirus treatment, to name just a few out of dozens.
16. Apple, Starbucks reopening all stores in China. While stores and restaurants across the U.S. have closed up shop, both Apple and Starbucks have reopened all of their stores in China as the novel coronavirus spread slows across the country.
17. MetroHealthMedical Center has developed a coronavirus test that gives results in hours, not days. “MetroHealth Medical Center becomes the first hospital in the state that can now test COVID-19 samples at its laboratory with results available after just two hours,” released News 5 Cleveland. While supplies are limited, it notes a significant step toward expansive testing of the novel coronavirus.
18. Scientists in Israel have also noted the potential to announce development of a coronavirus vaccine within weeks. Israeli scientists are nearing development of the first vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus, according to Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. The vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days, according to a release.
19. A San Diego biotech company is developing a coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore. As the race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus continues globally, the San Diego-based biotech company, Arcturus Therapeutics, is working on creating one at its lab.
The company is working alongside Duke NUS-Medical School, a partnership between Duke University and the National University of Singapore. While developing a vaccine that works hasn’t yet proven impossible, “The major challenge with vaccines is the size of the dose and the feasibility of manufacturing,” President and CEO, Joseph Payne, told CBS8.
20. A Japanese flu drug has proven effective in treating the novel coronavirus. Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients, according to The Guardian. “It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.
21. China has reported just one new domestic coronavirus infection for a second day in a row. “For the second consecutive day there was only one more fresh infection in Wuhan, the central city where the virus first emerged late last year,” said the National Health Commission. New cases in surrounding Hubei province have now been in the single digits for the past seven days, down from a peak of several thousand per day in early February, said Daily Mail.
22. Communities are coming together to help their neighbors. Neighbors across the country are stepping up to make grocery runs for those who can’t leave their homes. Local services have also reached out to the Seattle community to encourage those in need of help, to utilize the opportunities available to them.
23. A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19. After being treated for less than a week, this grandma is going for the gold as the oldest coronavirus patient to recover in China, and motivating elderly across the globe to retain hope.
By: Christina Ausley, Seattle PI
Jessica used hypnotherapy to overcome her extreme anxiety.
Sharon was a 38 year old woman who came to me for alcohol abuse. She got married a few years ago and was trying to have a baby. After many years of being the ‘party girl’ she realized she had a drinking problem.
She had no previous hypnosis experience but she quickly got into it because of how relaxing it was. When she came back for her 2nd session, she reported listening to session 1 everyday at home and reduced her drinking by 50%.
When she came back for session 3 she reported only drinking once all week. She went out with work mates Friday night to a pub and over indulged. She spoke at length about how badly she felt all day Saturday. It wasn’t the hangover that bothered her but rather the anger and guilt that plagued her all day long. I asked if this was a usual ‘day after’ reflection to which she said no. She had never encountered this before.
Then she said she had a social event on Sunday where alcohol was involved. She explained how great a time she had not drinking. She was more engaged with her friends and remembered all the details of the event on Monday.
Tuesday she had an epiphany. Sharon always thought alcohol added to her life. While driving home from work that day she realized the opposite was more case. In just a couple of weeks of ‘brain training’ with hypnosis she re-framed her view of drinking and decided to trade-up to an alcohol-free life.
Hypnosis can quickly offer clarity of thought and an enhanced mindful life-perspective. Challenges once thought difficult or impossible to overcome can easily be accomplished. Sharon finished the 4 session program and checked in several months after her last office visit. She was still not drinking, she lost weight and was enjoying life more than she had in a long time.
I recently had a 32 yr old client, Bob who struggles to find a comfortable life path. His parents divorced when he was very young and since then he has always wrestled with an undercurrent of anxiety, stress and fear.
Bob is intelligent and well read and he has explored mindfulness, meditation and pursued formal hypnosis sessions on a couple of occasions, but has never been able to crack the code to contentment.
My initial observation of Bob was how he seemed to be trapped in this difficult cycle of thought, stuck in the battle, unable to break free. I see this frequently with clients and even experience it myself. We get tracked in emotional patterns and overtime they take on a life of their own. As years go by these patterns become deeply rooted, leading individuals to feeling powerless and trapped.
After giving Bob about 30 minutes to ‘off load’ his story, I explained my theory of patterns and roots, and suggested he view hypnosis as a relaxing way of doing some internal gardening. I told Bob the reason he has struggled for so long is because he was only trimming his problems at the ground level. Whatever approach he used offered a temporary reprieve, but the problems always popped through the surface again. I explained to Bob that this is why diets fail; they are temporary conscious level changes with problems on a much deeper level.
Bob’s previous hypnosis experience was a total failure. Unfortunately there are way too many hypnotic hacks in this field receiving exorbitant rates in exchange for substandard service. He was charged $150 to sit in a woman’s office and listen to a CD. After learning of his experience I was surprised and delighted that he chose to give hypnosis another try.
I assured Bob that not only would I be conducting a live session, but that we would record it so he could revisit his in-office experience at home. The session I chose employed deep trance hypnotic techniques, which enabled Bob to descend beneath the stress and worry. Once I was satisfied that Bob was sufficiently relaxed, I used some pretty simple release therapy techniques that offered him a way to free himself from the past.
Once he imagined the suggested freedom, he was then guided to envision a new future completely free of past difficulties. I suggested during the session that he was free to consider just how amazing his life could be. This is called future-pace technique, a very powerful way to give deep inner thoughts the new blue print of change.
At the conclusion of the session, Bob was smiling and seemed confidently calm. His demeanor was completely different; he seemed transformed from a stress-obsessed victim to a casually relaxed guy just hanging out with his hypnotist.
I asked Bob how the experience was for him, and he just shook his head in disbelief at how refreshed and liberated he felt. He remembered the past problem, but at that exact moment, it felt as though it was no longer part of who he was. The problem went from defining him, to becoming just a memory of a past difficulty.
I explained that with repetition, listening to his session daily for a couple of months, this feeling of relief goes from being the exception to becoming the rule. I also told Bob that research says that a little hypnosis goes a long way. Bob was exhilarated when he left the office and said he would be emailing me to schedule another appointment.
By: Paul Gustafson RN CH