Managing anxiety with hypnotherapy- how combining phyiscal therapy and hypnotherapy may help recovery

Feeling anxious at times is normal, but when this starts to influence our day to day life, it may be advisable to seek help. When we become anxious, we begin to feel threatened, although we may not know why and this creates a feeling of unease, worry and fear. When we experience anxiety we experience symptoms due to the bodies’ flight or fright response, which is caused by the stress hormone adrenaline. This can lead to feelings such as shaking, chest pain, light-headedness, nausea, breathing changes, swallowing issues, clamminess and a desire to basically escape. These symptoms may be both physical and emotional in nature as you may also feel upset, cry, scream or a whole experience a whole array of the above.

Anxiety can be situational, arising from a specific situation, like taking an exam. The fear is out of proportion to everyday fear. In phobic anxiety the fear is so bad that you start to avoid these things. When you ‘sensitise’ yourself to a situation, like an exam, you can then begin experiencing negative thoughts about the situation, which perpetuates and you avoid it. These 3 things keep the phobia going. When you repeat the avoidance of the behaviour, you are reward by being ‘saved’ from having to feel anxiety, but avoidance is the most powerful way to hold on to the phobia as it prevents you ever learning that you can handle it.

Anticipatory anxiety can develop when merely thinking about a particular situation. You become stressed about what may happen if you face the phobia.

Anxiety disorders are very different from an everyday anxiety, they are more intense, last longer and can lead to phobias. Examples include panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety and specific phobias.

Social phobias- tends to start in late childhood/ teens and tends to develop as a fear of being embarrassed in a situation where you are with others. It is normally strong enough to make you avoid the situation.

Panic disorder – tends to start in late teens and twenties and is felt as sudden feelings of intense fear that occur from nowhere without any apparent cause.

Agoraphobia –this is a fear of open spaces and can be a large space or a fear of being unable to escape from a smaller area. It also has the element of anxiety from being far away from home or a safe space or person.

Specific phobia – involves a strong fear and avoidance of one particular type of object or situation. The fear and avoidance are strong enough to interfere with work, or relationships and cause significant distress. This can include flying, animals, heights etc

Generalised anxiety disorder- this is a chronic, excessive worry about things that are unlikely to happen. People with this experience high levels of worry, dreading the immediate future and dwell on what might go wrong, but feel unable to control events.

SO what can you do to help this?

Talking to your GP may be the 1st step. You could also look at what keeps the anxiety going. This can involve working on your body, as in techniques like breathing, massage and nutrition. Working on your mind to address feelings, behaviour, avoidance, self-esteem and confidence.

Hypnotherapy or a combination of hypnotherapy and physical therapies, which we offer at BOP, may help alleviate your anxiety and phobias. Hypnotherapy can be used to change the thought processes that lead to anxiety and panic. Relaxation techniques and therapies can help with the physical symptoms and combining therapies, which work on both, may offer a solution to the problem.

For more information about our hypnotherapist, Beverley Underwood, please click the link