Struggling with insomnia?

Struggling with insomnia?

Your brain is running your life whether you are Awake or Asleep.

Sleep isn’t a luxury and the brain has a big ‘To Do’ list to achieve during your sleeping hours.

“The brain is actually very active during sleep doing important things. It’s not just resting, and if you don’t get sleep you don’t function on a number of levels the way you should.”…says Dr. Caitlin Tynan Doyle, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Skimping on zzz’s compromises a wide range of functions including…

  • mood regulation
  • immunity/the risk of getting sick
  • cellular regeneration
  • premature aging
  • weight gain & obesity
  • productivity
  • thinking and memory
  • hormonal balance
  • sex drive
  • anxiety and depression
  • and obviously fatigue and insomnia

 

Our whole body and brain can get thrown off kilter when our sleep is not optimal.

For 30% of the population, insomnia is a debilitating condition affecting every aspect of life.

About 50% of people lose sleep due to worrying and anxiety. We all know that feeling of something “weighing” on our mind. It can be hard to switch off and slow our train of thought to relax the brain and get to sleep.

Many employees say they actually call in sick or even doze off at work after their anxiety kept them up all night.

 

So what can be done?

To explain what can be done, it is important to understand that everything is a pattern in the brain.

These patterns, called “Neural Maps” determine the way we feel and think such as with Anxiety as well as our behaviours and physical functions such as in Sleep.

When anxiety is the cause of insomnia, it’s best to treat a patient for the anxiety, changing both the pattern or “Neural Map” as well as addressing the initial underlying cause of the worrying.

Even though sleep is a natural function,  it can sometimes get out of balance.

Our brains produce Melatonin and Serotonin and regulate their balance.

When the sun goes down, Melatonin levels go up which makes us sleepy.  When the sun comes up our brain naturally produces Serotonin which makes us feel alert and switched on.

Serotonin incidentally is our a happy hormone and is the primary element in depression medications.

Whether it’s due to irregular hours, worries, hormonal changes or other stressors in our lives, once the sleep pattern in the brain gets out of balance it needs to be reset and a new pattern of sleep established.

This can be done through clinical hypnotherapy which resets the sleep pattern and neural map in the brain.

I treat many people, both women and men, every week for sleep oriented issues.

However women are twice as likely as men to be hit by insomnia… finding it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep, every week.

The good news is, if your brain created the problem it can also be influenced to create the solution.

In hypnotherapy we reintroduce healthy sleep patterns by creating a ‘Sleep Protocol’. This is list of individualized triggers that the brain associates with going into a deep sleep.

It’s like a series of reminders that move the mind towards the brain wave pattern that occurs when we are deeply asleep. This brain wave pattern is called Delta.

 

There are 5 types of brain waves.

Gamma and Beta are both high brain waves associated with alertness, learning and communication.

Alpha and Theta are lower brain waves associated with relaxation and creative thinking.

Finally, Delta brain waves occur while we are in deep sleep.

 

Once the brain is retrained to move into Delta, normal sleep patterns are re-established.

I always make patients a digital voice recording of the hypnotherapy on their own phone.  They can use this at bedtime to strengthen the sleep pattern.

I’ve had a number of patients who after successfully changing their sleep patterns, still use their recordings years later if they have had a late night and need to get to sleep quickly! It’s a great tool and is free as part of the consultation.

 

Remember…

Your Brain Is Running Your Life Whether You’re Awake Or Asleep

Your brain made the pattern so, it can make something different.

Every pattern is susceptible to change.

So if you’re ready for a change and a better sleep, book in to see…

Perri at Mt Eliza Wellbeing Sanctuary by calling 9787 2111 or email any queries to  perri@wellbeingsanctuary.com.au

4 Things that can block weight loss

4 Things that can block weight loss

I see, hear, feel and totally get the frustration and challenges that go along with trying to arrive at your ideal weight. On the surface, eating a balanced diet and exercising sounds so simple, yet it’s not always that easy to arrive at your destination.

This is because being overweight is not about gluttony or laziness, but rather a complex interplay between your biology, environment and behavioural patterns.[1]

Lisa was one of those stories.

She’d struggled for over 15 years to shift the extra kilos that kept stacking on around her waist, hips, arms and bum.

Lisa had starved herself until she couldn’t do it anymore then flipped to bingeing. She’s tried turning up the exercise dial but it was hard to budge and get momentum.

Dejected she spiraled into the I give up and who cares until she was now a borderline diabetic with close to 25kg to lose.

That’s when she saw me.

We negotiated a plan that suited Lisa, found what was sabotaging her success, then worked consistently testing, measuring and refining until we found what really worked for Lisa.

Four months later and Lisa’s a different person, both in body and mind.

She is now 70kg, exercises daily and loves it. Has 100% more self-confidence, is more active, feels freer and more engaged with her family and life. It has been 7 years now and still maintaining her 70kg target weight.

Do you want to find your path to weight loss success, just like Lisa?

 

Let’s explore 4 factors that can prevent you from making your weight loss goals real.

 

#1 Your metabolic set-point

Unknown to many, is your weight is under unconscious control; just like blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, pH and body temperature. Your body weight remains quite stable (unhealthy weight or a healthy weight) due to your metabolic ‘set-point’.

That is, your body will adjust your energy expenditure and appetite to restore fat mass back to its set-point;[2,3] despite your best efforts.

But don’t lose hope there’s ways to reset this set point so you can lose and maintain your weight long term. Pivotal to this are small changes done consistently but it’s slightly different for everyone. Hence no one size fits all generalised how to. Click here to book in to create a plan to change your metabolic set point.

 

#2 Stress

Stress is a big barrier to weight loss, especially chronic stress. Under stress, your body releases cortisol that redirects glucose to your muscles, but causes your blood glucose levels to fall. This can trigger cravings for calorie rich foods that lead to weight gain and hinder weight loss. Emotional eating is also closely associated with stress. During periods of stress and emotional turmoil, you’ll tend to feel hungrier, with a preference for ‘hyper-palatable’ foods (high in fat, sugar, flavours and food additives), and you guessed it, weight gain.[4] This is where help and guidance from a naturopath can help you build mental and emotional resilience, which may just one of your answers to losing those extra kilos.

 

#3 Sleep

Poor sleep quality and/or quantity can stifle your weight loss by reducing your metabolic rate, increasing cravings and turn down appetite regulation. Research has found poor sleep to be associated with an increase in weight, waist and waist-to-hip ratio; and can also drive up your metabolic set-point. [5] Poor sleep also affects your energy balance, affecting what you eat, how much you eat, as well as your willpower and motivation to exercise. If a good night’s sleep is something you dream of, talk to me and I’ll help you restore healthy sleep patterns.

 

#4 Inflammation

Often missed, inflammation can be a silent barrier to weight loss.  Inflammation can increase blood glucose levels that triggers weight gain, whilst excess stored fat produces inflammation in your body. Reducing your body fat can lower levels of inflammation significantly. However, the toxins stored in your fat cells are liberated during weight loss and dial up inflammation, once again impeding your weight loss. That’s where as a naturopath I can help you dial down your inflammation through clearing these excess toxins with a tailored clinical detoxification program to get you back on track again. Click here to book in for your tailored Detox program.

 

Don’t do it alone

Losing weight is not always easy and everyone will face their own challenges at some point. Seeking the help of a naturopath who specialises in weight loss can make sure you’re channeling your energy in the right direction and provides solutions when you hit a plateau or fall off the wagon. Click here to book in to get a helping hand on your weight loss journey today.

Big hugs Julie X

 

Adapted with permission from Metagenics Australia

[1] Bray GA, Heisel WE, Afshin A, Jensen MD, Dietz WH, Long M, et al. The science of obesity management: an Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Endocr Rev. 2018 Apr 1;39(2):79-132. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00253.

[2] Schwartz MW, Seeley RJ, Zeltser LM, Drewnowski A, Ravussin E, Redman LM, et al. Obesity pathogenesis: an endocrine society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2017 Aug 1;38(4):267-296. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00111.

[3] Speakman JR, Levitsky DA, Allison DB, Bray MS, de Castro JM, Clegg DJ, et al. Set-points, settling points and some alternative models: theoretical options to understand how genes and environments combine to regulate body adiposity. Dis Model Mech. 2011 Nov;4(6):733-45. doi: 10.1242/dmm.008698.

[4] Raman J, Smith E, Hay P. The clinical obesity maintenance model: an integration of psychological constructs including mood, emotional regulation, disordered overeating, habitual cluster behaviours, health literacy and cognitive function. J Obes. 2013;2013:240128. doi:10.1155/2013/240128.

[5] Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062.

 

7 Major Benefits of Floating

7 Major Benefits of Floating

Curious about floating?

Floating isn’t new but it’s getting a lot of buzz right now because it has so many health benefits. It’s moving more into the main stream.

Origins of floating

Floating in salt water for therapeutic reasons isn’t new.

However, over the past 5 years, there’s been a serious renewed interest in the practice.

In the late ’50s, neuroscientist and psychoanalyst John C. Lilly, MD studied the effects of sensory deprivation flotation on anxiety disorders, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to the impressive benefits he saw, he developed a commercial float tank that anyone could use.

Floating flourished in the 60s more for the “experience” rather than it’s potential to heal.  Then in the ‘70s, concerns over water cleanliness halted the industry’s growth. Nonetheless, the scientific study of floating — namely the effects of isolation on the brain — continued within the academic community.

Now floating has resurfaced and there are Floatation centres all across the world and in our backyard. My favourite is The Private Sea in Mornington.

So why would you float?

(more…)

Time to Get Rid of Sabotaging Patterns?

Time to Get Rid of Sabotaging Patterns?

Time to get rid of sabotaging patterns?

Early on in my life I noticed those who had a spark and those that didn’t. To me it made a huge impact on the quality, joy and the way a person shared their unique gifts with the world. There was something engaging and magnetic about those with a spark that drew you to what they had to offer. Whether it be your high school English teacher, local hairdresser, delivery man or sales person.

This intrigue turned into my passion for helping those whose spark has dimmed and need a guiding hand to restore the natural spark they were born with.

Our bodies and minds are complex so there are plenty of places to get stuck. When I work with clients I start at the base with your biochemistry and daily patterns and declutter and build from there. Once you’ve got the foundations strong and stable you can go forth.

Hence I’d like you to meet Perri Curtis – brain pattern breaker and maker extraordinaire.

I’ve been working alongside Perri for the last 18 months and she’s a fabulous resource to help those who find that a pattern is difficult to break consciously.

I’ll get Perri to explain the rest…

How Does Your Brain Run Your Life?

Whatever is happening in the brain is happening in the body.  We hear a lot these days about managing patterns like stress, depression and anxiety.

In actual fact everything we know such as how to think, feel or do has a pattern in the brain. These patterns are called “neural maps”.

Patterns may be unhelpful such as  –

  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • phobias,
  • pain,
  • smoking,
  • overeating,
  • poor sleep

Or helpful and desirable like –

  • creativity,
  • learning,
  • confidence,
  • performance at school/ work,
  • riding a bike
  • speaking a language

 

“Angela had severe anxiety and agoraphobia and couldn’t leave the house. Anxiety was cluttering up her life, draining all her energy and resources as she just coped to get through.

She came to me with five things on her list to fix. I said, ‘I’m going to treat the one thing that everything else is hinged on, and that’s anxiety.’

When I treated her anxiety, she got her energy back because having anxiety 24/7 sucks. You go to sleep with it in your face, wake up with it in your face, and all day long you’re trying to cope.

She had no interest in eating well or exercising or even having a bath to nurture herself. She was just living hour to hour to get through. I eliminated her anxiety brain pattern in a few sessions that had become locked in, through hypnotherapy.

Once that was cleared she had energy. Now her question is, ‘What can I do to feel good?’”

 

It’s interesting to know that our brain has created these patterns and so, is also capable of creating something different. This is where clinical hypnotherapy is a powerful tool and can be used to great advantage.

 

People often ask me, “What is the difference between psychology and clinical hypnotherapy?”

As a psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist with a background in neuroscience, it’s a good question!

The easy answer is that-

  • psychology deals with the conscious mind which is about our version of reality and keeping our patterns going. 
  • clinical hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious mindwhich is about imagination and creation.

The subconscious mind is the Pattern Maker and the Pattern Breaker. 

 

Traditional psychology is great for learning about ourselves and the origins of our version of “reality”. We can learn about our triggers for patterns of feeling, thinking, behaving and functioning, and create strategies to deal with them. But sometimes unfortunately we still get stuck in the pattern.

The subconscious mind, as the Pattern Maker-Pattern Breaker, does not differentiate between reality and imagination so when suggestions for change are made they are more readily accepted.

Any brain pattern is susceptible to change….and the aim in clinical hypnotherapy is to replace old unhelpful patterns and their neural maps with new ones that are helpful and desirable.

For example, in anxiety and depression, neural maps have been activated for a very long time in many patients and they get bigger and stronger the more they are activated. 

So, in clinical hypnotherapy we don’t do lots of sessions that include lots of talking about the issue because that can actually activate a pattern and neural map further.

We simply do –

  1. Sufficient investigation into a patient’s background to understand what the pattern is, how it may have begun, how their brain processes information best and identify what changes would be most desirable.
  2. Then get the brain into a suggestible state which is like daydreaming or relaxing. This is what is called “hypnotic state”.

In fact, it is just a brain wave pattern. It’s the same one we are in when we relax, daydream, meditate, imagine an outfit when we’re online shopping or zoning out at the computer!

It’s a normal brain state that we experience every day. In this state called Alpha-Theta brain waves, the mind will create new patterns quite easily that can begin to be effective immediately.

 

So if your brain is running your life…What is running your brain? 

If the answer is “old patterns” that don’t serve you, then take action and take back control!

Because when your brain changes…everything changes.

You can book in to see Perri at Mt Eliza Wellbeing Sanctuary by calling 9787 2111 or email any queries to perri@wellbeingsanctuary.com.au

Perri Curtis (Clinical Hypnotherapy-Psychology, Wellbeing Sanctuary, Wooralla Dr & Bundara Cres, Mt Eliza)
03 9787 2111

Hoping that’s given you food for thought and a few ideas to digest. If you know someone who would benefit from this, please share it.

Is it time you turned your Fizzle into Sizzle?

Much love Julie XX

(Naturopath, Pharmacist, Life Coach, Mount Martha) 0438 593523