6 Ways To Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

We don’t need an expert to tell us that the weather can have a significant impact on our mood. Waking up to a rainy and dark morning can leave us feeling gloomy while the feeling the sun stream through the window onto our faces can send us off with a skip in our step!
If you have noticed that the darker, longer days and colder weather leave you feeling down and fed up year after year, then it may be that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is to blame.

Typically occurring during the dark and cold winter months, SAD is a form of depression that is usually remedied during the spring and summer months. Symptoms of SAD can include some or all of the following:
Decreased concentration
Increased appetite
Weight Gain
Social withdrawal

Historically SAD has been disregarded as a genuine form of depression, and it’s suffers written off as being merely moody or grumpy. Recent study and research, however, has concluded that it is, in fact, a real form of depression that occurs in direct relation to a person’s hormonal state, exposure to natural light and temperature which can both influence the body’s production of melatonin.

If you feel that you are feeling down during the winter months, then the first step should be to visit your doctor. The symptoms of SAD are very similar to other types of depression, so it’s important to rule those out first and to get a formal diagnosis. Once you have done this, you will be happy to know that there are some things you can do to ease the symptoms of SAD.

1 – Go for a walk
Being outside in the natural daylight, even if it’s cloudy, can be a big help. So try and motivate yourself to get up and outside every day – ideally within a couple of hours of waking up!

2 – Light, light, light
Light therapy is a proven treatment for SAD but sitting and staring at your kitchen halogens won’t do the job! You need to use a proper light box that will provide you with the exact type & brightness of light that will help.

3 – Get talking
There have been numerous studies carried out, and it has been shown that ‘talk therapy’ can be just as effective as light therapy in treating SAD sufferers.

4 – Pop a pill
It may not be your first choice for treatment but for those that suffer severely and repeatedly from SAD taking an antidepressant may help control both mood and energy. Speaking to your doctor will help you decide if this is the right option for you.

5 – Exercise
It’s common knowledge that getting regular exercise can alleviate the symptoms of general, non-seasonal depression. Research has shown that combining this with light therapy can be a highly efficient way of treating SAD. So even if you don’t feel like it, do your best to get up off the sofa and go for a short jog or walk.

6 – Carbohydrates
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in regulating mood. Complex carbohydrates help to maintain serotonin levels so make sure to include them in your diet.

Though the cold and dark winter can leave many of us longing for spring, it’s important not to just accept SAD as being an unavoidable side effect of winter. If you are proactive and take action when you feel the first symptoms, you may be able to change your whole experience of the season for the better.

If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder and would like more advice on how to avoid or treat it over the coming winter months then please get in touch with me today for more information.

Pain relief medication

Hypnosis and Pain Relief

Hypnosis has a long and illustrious history when it comes to pain relief. Even now it’s used in some cases to manage pain during child birth and other medical procedures. It’s not very clear as to why hypnosis is so effective with pain control, but research suggests it’s because hypnosis affects the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain charged with decision making. It’s possible that the mind can subconsciously decide not to feel pain.

The history of hypnosis and pain management.
John Elliotson, a professor at London University Hospital who lived between 1791 and 1868, noted patients that underwent major surgery using trance as their only anaesthetic. In fact, hypnosis was a standard anaesthetic up until the discovery of modern anaesthetics in the 1900s.

Hypnosis and pain management now
Since then, however, hypnosis for pain control has seen a resurgence in popularity. There are new theories on how pain is perceived by the brain, and they have paved the way for the return of hypnosis. These theories posit that the way we mentally understand pain can change the experience of it.
Psychologist Ronald Melzack and Neurobiologist Patrick Wall called this the Gate Control Theory of Pain. We won’t go into too much detail about it here, but it essentially opens up the idea that how we experience pain is informed by experience, attention, and our emotional state. This means that changing these things can change, or decrease, our experience of pain.
Those who experience chronic pain often withdraw both from society and activities which they previously enjoyed, and it’s possible that doing that is what makes the pain worse. Instead, to reduce pain, it’s necessary to relax, feel positive, socialise, take up hobbies, exercise regularly, and even have a massage.
Hypnotherapy can help with a number of these aspects. It can contribute to reducing your stress and anxiety levels, help with your motivation to take regular exercise, and also help with your social life.

Some things to be aware of
So, it seems that hypnosis might be the key to pain management for some people, but it’s important to be aware of a few things first.
First off, hypnotherapy isn’t an alternative to conventional medicine, and should instead be used alongside it.
Secondly, it’s unsafe to try and take the pain away unless the cause of the pain has been diagnosed by a professional doctor. Most hypnotherapists are not doctors, so make sure you see your GP before deciding to seek a hypnotherapist.
If your GP says it’s okay to try hypnotherapy for pain management, you should still take any prescription medications you’ve been given and not reduce their dosage or stop taking them without first consulting your GP.
Finally, it’s important to realise that hypnotherapy cannot cure the condition which is causing the pain. You will still need to go and see your GP about your situation from time to time to monitor it and update them on any changes.


If you are considering using hypnotherapy as a form of pain relief or would like more information about hypnotherapy in general then please get in touch with me on 07870 893226.

BWRT & weight loss

How Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT) Can Help With Weight Loss

“New Year, New You!” is a phrase that is often heard endlessly at this time of year, but after the faddy diets and the unrealistic exercise plans die down, how long does this positivity and want for change really last? We all know that it can be hard to shift those pounds by sheer will power alone, and that’s where Brain Working Recursive Therapy (or BWRT for short) comes in.

A new type of therapy that was created in 2011, BWRT is often confused with hypnosis, but actually focuses on practical thinking and logic to achieve results quickly whilst you are completely awake, rather than putting you into a trance to train your brain. Helping people to communicate with their own brains through the use of techniques learnt through Skype, FaceTime, phone or face-to-face contact, BWRT is a type of therapy that doesn’t require hours of talking to a therapist, so is perfect for those who can’t travel, are embarrassed by their issues or have difficulty interacting with people, but how exactly can BWRT help with weight loss?

By training your brain to react differently to food and eating in general, Brain Working Recursive Therapy helps you to control your weight, get in shape and ultimately feel good about yourself, so what are you waiting for? In this world that we live in, our relationship with food has shifted, and nowadays we attach a lot of emotions to what we eat, when we eat, how much we eat and why we eat, often resulting in overeating, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising and of course, obesity. So instead of purely relying on food as sustenance for survival, we now view food as entertainment or even comfort. Through BWRT your brain can quite easily be re-trained or re-programmed to have a more healthy relationship with what goes in our stomachs, how often and why.

The therapy begins by ‘freezing’ the thoughts or feelings that you wish to get rid of (in this case, the things that make you want to eat what you eat), before a technique called ‘Recursive Looping’ is employed to alter the way the brain responds to the triggers of these thoughts. Fast, safe and reliable, once BWRT works, those troubling thoughts will never come back.

Imagine never having to go on a diet again, never having to fight your will power to stay away from unhealthy foods, and never having to beat yourself up for not wanting to exercise. Thanks to Brain Working Recursive Therapy your attitudes and desires will shift so that exercise becomes a welcome hobby, and making healthy choices is just a way of life. Remember, this isn’t some cure-all magic that means you can eat take-aways every night and still retain your skinny frame; it’s more about teaching your brain to interact differently with healthy activities and healthy food so that you feel good about yourself and how you look.

If you are interested in learning more about BWRT and how it can help you then please get in touch with me today on:

07870 8932226