National No Smoking Day

No smoking day is the annual health awareness day in the UK which is intended to help smokers quit. The first No Smoking Day was in 1984 and now takes place on the second Wednesday of March. Hypnotherapy has been found to be the most effective method of stopping smoking by the New Scientist.

Cigarettes are full of dangerous chemicals which have significant health implications.  The benefits of quitting smoking are huge, in just eight hours your oxygen levels return to normal, and in one year, your risks of having a heart attack drop by a half.  Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can to do to improve your health and also save you a fortune!

How to manage chronic pain

Chronic pain is when pain last more than 12 weeks and after an injury would have healed. It often serves no purpose and is linked to conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. It is estimated that there around 800,000 people in Scotland with chronic pain. Suffering from chronic pain can have serious adverse effects on an individual’s quality of life, leading to problems with sleeping, energy levels, employment and relationships.

The Gate Control Theory of pain was developed in the 1960s. Messages from the nerves in the peripheral nervous system send pain messages to the nerves in the spinal cord which transfer it to the brain. Painkillers are often subscribed, but they can have serious side effects, such as; an increase chance of heart attacks, stroke, liver damage, addiction and overdose.

Brain and spinal cord cells can also produce chemicals that can reduce the transmission of pain messages. These chemicals include encephalin and endorphins. The power of hypnotherapy is that it works at the subconscious level and triggers the body’s natural ability to reduce chronic pain. University researcher in Hull have seen the effect of hypnosis on the brains of hypnotised participants through brain scans, showing a reduction in activity in the parts of the brain linked to daydreaming, thus leaving the brain able to focus on tasks.

There is research that supports hypnotherapy being effective in reducing chronic pain. The European Journal of Pain reported on a study where people with osteoarthritis reported a significant and substantial decrease in pain activity using hypnosis which was maintained through six months of follow-up.

If you are in pain it is important you see a qualified doctor and receive the appropriate tests and scans in relation to chronic pain. There is growing evidence that hypnotherapy offers a safe and effective method of managing and reducing chronic pain.

One a day is too many

Scientists have found that smoking just one cigarette a day increases the risk of having a stroke and developing heart disease far more than first thought. Researchers compared the effects of smoking 20 a day to one a day and found that there was not a massive difference in the effects. This illustrates the importance of not just reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke, but stopping altogether.

Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals which are known to have significant health implications. They are known also to increase the risks of lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and aneurysms. The good news is when you stop smoking you will quickly notice the health benefits; in only eight hours your oxygen levels will return to normal.
Many smokers have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. However, there is evidence emerging that smoking e-cigarettes can damage mouth, throat and lung cells which may affect the ability of the body to heal the damage. Ultimately, there is no safe amount to smoke, whether through cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Research reported by the New Scientist magazine of the largest ever scientific comparison of methods to stopping smoking found that hypnotherapy was the most effective method.


Stopober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England, returns on October 1st.

If you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay a non-smoker for good

Evaluation of research into different methods of stopping smoking carried out by the New Scientist found that hypnotherapy was the most effective method of stopping smoking.
Cigarette smoke are full of poisonous chemicals such as; Lead, DDT and Cyanide.

Over a 100,000 people die every year in the UK from smoking related diseases, these include; lung cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd), and strokes.

The good news is by becoming a non-smoker, you quickly notice the benefits. In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop down to normal, in eight hours your oxygen levels will return to normal, and in 48 hours all nicotine will have left your body.

People have so much to gain when they become non-smokers – their health, wealth and fitness. Maybe you would like to get fit for the New Year, maybe take up a new hobby which you didn’t think you were fit enough in the past to do, or save up for that holiday you always wanted.

To find out more about stop smoking in Edinburgh, please click

Painkillers and hypnotherapy

I was concerned to see in the news last week that the use of the number of potentially addictive opioid painkillers, such as tramadol and codeine has doubled in the last 15 years. The long-term use of such drugs leads to a risk of addiction and a reduction in the pain relief benefits they bring. Which can cause serious problems for people requiring pain relief.

Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis are an alternative to the use of such opioids. Indeed, a major reason why physicians first took an interest in hypnosis was its success in relieving pain during major surgery. Hypnosis is used in three ways to manage pain: direct suggestion of pain reduction; changing the experience of pain; and directing attention away from pain and its source.

There is increasing evidence that hypnotherapy is effective for pain management. A study published in the European Journal of Pain explored the effectiveness of hypnosis in reducing osteoarthritis pain. Which showed that participants had a significant and substantial decrease in pain activity, which was maintained at 6 months of follow-up.

Furthermore, research carried out in Manchester has illustrated that hypnotherapy successfully treated a significant majority of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Indeed, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS.

For more information see –

Book review of Sleeping with Pain

I recently wrote a book review for Pain Matters magazine, published by Pain Concern:

Sleeping with Pain
Strategies for a restful night from pain-management expert
By Dr Sue Peacock. Ann Jaloba Publishing, 136pp, £7.99
ISBN 9780995459922
Published 2016

Sue Peacock is a Consultant Health Psychologist and has a PhD in pain psychology. Sue is also a hypnotherapist and an Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner and has diplomas in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and life coaching.

Not sleeping well is a pain. Dr Sue Peacock has written a very practical, easy to read guide on improving your sleep if you have chronic pain. The first section covers understanding pain and understanding your sleep patterns. Sue points out the importance of staying active, reasonably relaxed and pacing activities in managing chronic pain. The sleep process is made up of a number of types which are organised through cycles through the night and it is important to get enough sunlight through the day for the biological clock to function well for sleeping.

The second section of the book considers strategies to improve your sleeping. Firstly, the importance of good sleep hygiene, with a comfortable sleeping environment and not using the bed for watching TV or working. This section also includes a number of useful case studies which illustrate the changes people have made to improve their sleeping.

Sue utilises her knowledge of hypnotherapy and NLP in presenting the importance of goal setting, changing your thoughts about sleeping, and programming your sleep patterns. Stress management is also covered with a quick relaxation technique and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) exercises also outlined. Self-hypnosis scripts for sleep and for pain are also provided to improve your confidence in controlling your situation.

Strategies for a restful night from pain-management is a great read for anyone wanting to gain a greater understanding of how chronic pain affects sleeping and how a number of strategies can help people with chronic pain manage their sleep better. Not only is the book an informative read, but also provides a range of very useful tips and resources.

Get The Life You Want

Last October I travelled down to London to attend the Get The Life You Want seminar with Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna. It was fascinating to watch these two masters of personal change work and I learnt a great deal with I have utilised in working with my own clients.  If you get the chance I would highly recommend attending.

Cancer and hypnotherapy

Being diagnosed with cancer is extremely stressful. There are a huge range of emotions involved. Hypnotherapy can work alongside medical treatments to help reduce physical pain and help with relaxation.  Maggies Centres operate to provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. They have created a short animation to tell people what they do –