Categories
Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy for Parosmia and Phantosmia

Hypnotherapy for Parosmia and Phantosmia

Written By Alison Ralph                                                                    July 2022

Alison Ralph head shot

For many, COVID19 seems like a distant memory and there is almost a feeling that it never existed. However, this is not the case for others who struggled through the pandemic for whatever reason or are still suffering with long COVID symptoms. You may be reading this post because you or somebody you know are suffering with the symptoms of long COVID. In this blog post I will explain how hypnotherapy could help you to overcome parosmia, phantosmia, or both and help you to get your taste and smell back and I will be providing you with the chance to access a hypnotherapy recording that you can use to access the subconscious part of your brain and get everything working again.

 

Long COVID affects around 10% of 18-49 year olds who became unwell with COVID19, rising to 22% of over 70’s. If you are one of those people or if you live with one of those people you will know how difficult and deliberating it can be, no matter what the symptoms are. In this blog post I aim to:

  • Explain what parosmia and phantosmia are
  • Explain what hypnotherapy is 
  • Explain how and why hypnotherapy can work for long COVID
  • Offer you a hypnotherapy recording at an affordable price that you can download and listen to and which aims to help get your smell and taste back

What are parosmia and phantosmia?

Parosmia

Let’s first look at parosmia. Now I am sure that most of you reading this are very aware of what it is and what it feels like to have it but for those who don’t; parosmia is an abnormality in the sense of smell. It is the inability of the brain to properly identify an odour’s natural smell; the odour is transcribed into an unpleasant smell. It may be that their favourite air freshener or perfume has a different smell – how annoying! We all know how long it can take to find the right perfume!

A woman smelling flowers

Phantosmia

This is when people are detecting smells in their environment which are not actually there. After COVID19 people have reported a fishy smell and a smell like rotten food. Not nice, when your food or house smells like this or when you have that constantly lingering in your nose. It isn’t always foul smells that people are reporting, it can be pleasant ones too. 

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis works with the subconscious part of our thinking. This is where everything we have ever done; any feelings, emotions or behaviours are stored. It is also the part of us that instructs the body to work. It is the part of us that knows when and how to digest food, the part of us that remembers how to walk and the part of us that is responsible for our sense of smell and taste. When we learn to do new things, even from a tiny baby, these things are stored in our subconscious and we can then continue to do them whenever we need to. The best way to describe this is when we think about learning to drive. If you are a driver, you will know that you can drive whilst thinking about something else or talking to a passenger and that is because the part that is driving is the subconscious part of us. When you access hypnotherapy, the hypnotherapist will guide you into a state of hypnosis. When you are in this state, which is just a state of relaxation, your brain waves are working at a slower level. This level is ideal for subconscious activity and it is when the hypnotherapist can start working on making those changes. It can be extremely effective in changing the way your brain thinks and people often see fantastic results.

Spiral image to demonstrate hypnosis

How and why can hypnotherapy work for long COVID?

When we break a bone in our body we are unable to use that limb for a while. Once the cast is off and we are able to use that limb again, we have to relearn how to move it correctly again and we have to gain confidence in using it. If you are experiencing parosmia or phantosmia due to long COVID, it is likely that the virus has affected the function of supporting cells in the upper nasal cavity. The good news is that it is thought that they are not permanently damaged and therefore you can learn to bring back the correct smells and taste again. This is where hypnosis comes in. Accessing the subconscious part of the brain, which works everything, we can help you and the brain to believe that things can go back to normal again. The mind is a powerful place and we can use it to our advantage.

Hypnotherapy recording

If you think hypnotherapy could help you and would like to give it a go. You can access this recording for only £5. The recording is made to listen to frequently and after each time, I will ask you to go and smell something or eat something. The aim of this recording is to let go of any negative emotions attached to long COVID and then looking at making all the parts of the nose, throat and mouth working correctly again and allowing normal smells to come through. It aims to rid you of parosmia or phantosmia and live a happier, fulfilling life! 

Please note, I am not a medical professional. If you are unsure why you have the symptoms, you do I would recommend booking an appointment with your doctor. 

 

Here’s the link: Parosmia and phantosmia recording

Get in touch...

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy or counselling could help you I am here to answer all of your questions. 

07719032346

Categories
Self care ideas

Staying on top of your self-care

Staying on top of your self care

Written By Kirsty Windsor                                                                        July 2022

A little bit about me

Hello! Kirsty here from The Letterbox Edition

After going through a difficult time in life, I decided to make a big change. I stopped chasing the corporate dream in aid of setting up and running a small business from home. 

I am a firm believer in making time for yourself, and spent a lot of time during lockdown completing online courses around mental health, emotional resilience and self care. 

I always knew I wanted to work for myself, and decided to take my passion for self care, handmade products and supporting  small businesses and set up a letterbox gifting company sending care packages through the post. 

If you are looking for a care package for yourself or a loved one, please head over to www.theletterboxedition.co.ukIf you can’t see exactly what you are looking for, please reach out, I would be love to curate a gift box for you.

A picture of Kirsty,; owner of the letterbox edition

My self care journey

Self care is vital for building resilience towards stresses in your life, it isn’t all face masks & bubble baths and whilst these things do help to allow you to relax and unwind you need to ensure you are taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially.

I don’t profess to be any means an expert, but I have put together some of my top tips to make sure you stay on top of your self care. 

Shut those peepers

It's ok to rest; treat your body to a good night's sleep

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. Without enough sleep the brain simply cannot function properly. It’s so important to allow your body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Whilst there are many factors that contribute to a bad night’s sleep, especially with young children, there are many things you can do to aid a restful night’s sleep.

My top tip would be to stop scrolling! I think we are all guilty of this; aimlessly scrolling through social media whilst we lay in bed. Before we know it 30 minutes have passed by. Try to put your phone to one side and spend those 30 minutes reflecting on the day, being with your thoughts and drifting off into a restful night’s sleep. 

If you are struggling to drift off, there are many different things you can try. I personally love a  self heating eye mask. Game changer. You won’t know what you are missing until you have tried one of these. These are a little luxury in life, and not something I use every day. However, if my mind is full, it works so well to bring instant calmness and relaxation. 

Not an instant fix, but something to think about is your bedroom space. Does your bedroom bring a feeling of calm? Try to declutter your bedroom, take those piles of clothes to the charity shop, put away the washing, tidy your makeup space. A cluttered room can make your mind feel busy. 

A clean and tidy room can also make morning routines run more smoothly, if like me you’re rushing around in the morning trying to find a matching pair of school socks, getting organised can take the stress out of the morning rush.

Do good, feel good.

Try to look for ways to do good in your local community. When you do something good, you feel happier. This can be anything from litter picking, cutting an elderly neighbour’s grass, or helping with a local charity event. 

It’s often the small things that make the difference, for example if a neighbour is off their feet can you put the bin out for them? Just a small gesture can mean the world to someone. 

My favourite part of putting together my letterbox gifts is handwriting the gift notes. I see such lovely messages of love and friendship. Often my gift boxes are sent when people are going through a difficult time, it brings me such joy to know that I will bring a smile to their face even when facing sadness.

Get those steps in

Get out for some fresh air, it will do you the world of good. You will spot me in all weathers, out walking our dog around Macclesfield Forest. Don’t let the bad weather put you off. A walk in the rain can be just as enjoyable as a walk in the sunshine, just dress appropriately! Whatever you enjoy; swimming, running, playing tennis or like me just simply walking, just get moving.

Often time is not on our side, can you utilise your lunch break to get outside for some fresh air? Can you walk to the shop instead of driving? Getting out for a walk brings so many benefits – helping to clear your mind, boosting your energy and helping to aid a restful night’s sleep.

An image of Kirsty walking two dogs

Get sh*t done

Running a small business alongside raising a family can be gruelling and having a list of things to do whirling around your head can be overwhelming. Get some pen and paper out and make a to-do list! As silly as it sounds it is so satisfying to cross tasks off one by one.

Don’t forget to be realistic, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Try creating a daily and weekly to-do list, even a monthly list with your aims or goals for the coming weeks.. Be realistic with what you can achieve each day, although tasks can be rolled over it can be frustrating to have a never ending to do list. 

Just a side note to say sometimes life throws curveballs and to do lists go out the window. That’s OK, don’t beat yourself up just keep going. 

Another tip would be to try to spend time each week to meal plan and prep for the week ahead. If you know you have after school clubs or are working late, try to have a meal prepped that can be just reheated. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of eating junk on these evenings or reaching for the take away apps. I often find takeaways can leave me feeling sluggish and guilty for wasting money when there is plenty of food in the house.

Get your om on

When first looking at meditation, I didn’t really know where to start. I turned to the Headspace app and decided to dedicate small chunks of time to sit quietly with my thoughts. There are many other apps available offering daily meditation videos, breathing exercises. Not all will be the right fit for you – but go ahead and give it a whirl.  

Stop bottling it up

It’s so important to have someone to talk to, especially when you are going through a difficult time in life. I’m guilty of putting on a brave face and going about by day, but your emotions catch up with you eventually. So, whether it is your partner, sister,  or a friend, make sure you are talking to someone about how you are feeling. You may wish to seek professional help when navigating difficult times, my advice would be to seek out a local counselling service. If you are local to Macclesfield,  Alison offers an invaluable service. Alison offers a free phone consultation giving you the opportunity to see if it is the right fit for you.

And relax

Life is busy, there is no getting away from that. However, it is so vital to make a small amount of time for yourself. I try to do this each day, whether it be the cliche bubble bath and face mask or putting my feet up to squeeze in an episode of my favourite TV programme. Don’t feel guilty for taking this time, spend it doing something you enjoy. So read that book, knit that blanket or complete that puzzle, whatever brings you joy. Try and do something you enjoy every day.

How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you

The Letterbox Edition

If you would like to find out more about the products Kirsty offers at The Letterbox Edition pop over to her website where you can browse not only self-care packages but packages for children and vegan self-care packages. 

www.theletterboxedition.co.uk

Get in touch...

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy or counselling could help you I am here to answer all of your questions. 

07719032346

Categories
Hypnotherapy

hypnotherapy for weightloss

A hypnotherapist's guide to changing your mindset towards food and becoming healthier

Written By Alison Ralph                               June 2022

Are you a mindless eater? Maybe your trying to take back control of your eating habits but are struggling to change your mindset towards food. It might be that you have tried many diets but always seem to go back to your old ways of eating. In my hypnotherapy practice I help many people who want to get into the right mindset about food and I am going to share with you some of my strategies that you can use at home. 

Yo-yo dieting seems to have become a common thing. I’m sure you can think of a friend, family member or colleague that is constantly on and off the diets and maybe you are too. However, yo-yo dieting is unhealthy for the body and, for most, does not create lasting changes. Fad diets cause us to restrict in a big way and the brain doesn’t always respond well to these restrictions. It sets off a type of alarm for the brain, especially if you have done them before in the past and failed. We then revert back to our old ways of eating because this is what the brain knows.

In this blog I am going to be talking about changing your mindset towards food, exploring behaviours linked to food and relationships with food. 

I will provide you with free resources to use and my top tips for changing your mindset towards food and creating a healthier way of living. 

You will find the following information for changing your mindset towards food:

  1. How do behaviours affect my eating?
  2. My top tips for changing your mindset towards food
  3. A downloadable workbook for you to use to change your mindset towards food
A plate with the word weight loss

How do behaviours affect my eating?

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is one of the most common areas I work with when people come to me to help them lose weight. It often links back to the fact that in childhood people are rewarded with food, and food as a reward or comfort is extremely common. For example, after a hard week we may have a take-away meal or a few glasses of wine. We may also do the same after a good week and we might reward a little win in life with a chocolate bar.

When we are stressed, we release higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This can trigger us to crave salty and sweet foods. When we eat food we experience a natural increase of serotonin – the feel-good hormone which reassures the brain that we are okay. The next time we are feeling stressed the brain will crave the feel-good hormone and if this is something that we feel is helpful for us then food will be the thing we turn too. 

It is therefore important to recognise what it is causing you stress and if you can do something to help relieve the stress then make that the focus, otherwise look at other ways to relieve the feelings of stress and avoid turning to food. For example, a breathing technique or self-hypnosis. Note that this should be something fairly easy and accessible just like food!

Habits

Habits play a huge role in our eating habits. People will always say to me ‘I like to start having a drink at 5pm once I get home from work’. ‘I always seem to have a 3 o’clock energy crash and need something to eat’. I always have a snack at 11am’. These statements and more are ones I here often from my clients. 

You may decide to have food at a certain time to work around your work plan and once this has happened a number of times the brain recognises it and it becomes a habit. The fact that food also releases serotonin in the brain causes the brain to reinforce the behaviour because it was something that was enjoyed. 

If you look at your habits, whether that be activities completed during the day or eating habits it will help you to cut down on your eating. For example, it might be that you decide to have fruit for one of your work snacks or you may change your routine so that at the 3pm energy crash you go for a walk. There is a section in the workbook which will help you to recognise your habits and how they are linked to food. 

Image showing all the things the mind filters

My top tips for changing your mindset towards food.

  1. My number one top tip that I like to share with everyone is ‘Thinking of a lifestyle change NOT diet. When we tell our brain we are on a diet the brain immediately links to other times we have been on diets which can bring about thoughts of failure, restriction and lack in confidence. If we think from the start that it is a lifestyle change and we can accept that it may take longer, this will give you the best possible start. 
  2. Drink more water! Yes, it’s the one that people always go on about, but it really does work. Water helps to speed up your metabolism as well as helping with other areas of health.
An image showing the benefits of drinking water

3. Get in tune with your body and notice hunger. Many people don’t every actually feel hungry because they are constantly grazing on food. When you go for a snack, ask yourself if you are hungry and notice any sensations in your stomach. There are two types if hunger to be aware of – head hunger and physical hunger. Physical hunger is the message to the stomach from the brain that we need food and the digestive system will start to prepare for the food. We feel this in the stomach when our stomach ‘grumbles’. Head hunger is when we tell ourselves that we need or want something to eat. We are not actually hungry but using food to satisfy another part of us. For example, for comfort or enjoyment.

4. Write down your typical daily eating habits from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed at night. Include drinks too. Then make healthy changes to your eating or moving habits. You may decide to replace one unhealthy snack with one healthy snack, you may decide to be more active or even change the type of milk you drink. The changes must be small and manageable to begin with to avoid failure. You can increase them once you become more confident. See the workbook at the end of this blog for a food diary.

5. Use affirmations! Have you ever been on a diet or trying to cut down and suddenly something doesn’t go to plan, and you start to eat unhealthy again and then think ‘sod it’ and go back to the old ways of eating? Affirmations can stop this from happening. They are positive or reassuring statements that you repeat regularly to yourself or out loud and they help the brain to remain positive. They also cause the brain to believe that what you are doing is what you want, and the brain will then help to steer you in that direction. To find out more about affirmations you can read my affirmation blog here.

The workbook for changing your mindset towards food

Here you can access the workbook which includes, a food diary, a focus activity which helps you to identify your goals and a food/emotions diary which helps you to recognise the behaviours that are having an impact on the ways you eat. I hope that you find each activity to be useful. If you have any questions about the workbook, please leave a comment and I will be happy to answer your questions. If you would like to find out more about the subscription package, I offer to help you stay on the right path and lose more weight then click here Hypnotherapy for weight management

Use these links to access the different activities that make up the workbook. 

My goals

A weekly food diary

Food and emotions diary

Gaining control of your eating habits and losing weight can be a huge challenge, especially if it has been a long-term habit and emotions play a part in the way you eat. However, following some of these suggestions and using the activities should help that journey to be easier. Remember that everyone’s weight loss journey is different and that it will work for you when you are ready to make the commitment and become that healthier version of yourself. 

Get in touch...

If you would like to improve your sleep and would like to find out how hypnotherapy or counselling could help you I am here to answer all of your questions. 

07719032346