About Me

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Life happens. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. This is an exploration of life and all that interests me. I am a therapist working in Norwich, Norfolk, UK. I'm fascinated in the world around me and how people deal with and relate to it. I like to further my knowledge of people, psychology and more. Please join me on my journey.

Sunday 29 January 2012

This moment, now

My own journey with mindfulness continues. With being in the moment. When there is a lot going on, sometimes the clutter can also clutter my mind, especially when I'm at my office, rather than where I work with clients. The noise from outside, the visual bombardment of social media, phone, computer and TV can be such a distraction in the home. I like to remember to stop and breathe. To look at nature, seeing the spring bulbs push their green shoots upwards through the earth. To listen and feel what's going on around me. I could do a lot better at this when I am feeling pressured, and I'm accepting that acceptance, takes a great deal of practice! I think when we see the 'D' of mind (see below), we know it is too easy to listen to negative thoughts or hold on to things that no longer serve us well. Something it might help is remember this little image (kindly borrowed from a wonderful blog from a lady who has gone through breast cancer) 

The lady who wrote it added a great footnote at the end of her latest blog post (22/01/2012). A statement from the wonderful Wayne Dwyer... on radiating serenity and peace: 'Radiate an energy of serenity and peace so that you have an uplifting effect on those you come into contact with. Your presence will make others feel calm and assured'                                                                                            That's something to be mindful about too, isn't it? 

Monday 23 January 2012

Its the second New Year this year!

Whether intrigued by Horoscopes or not, there are various kinds that exist throughout the world. Today is the start of the Chinese New Year (in China's time zone it would seem), it is the year of the Dragon.

The details of what this means in full I will leave to the experts in their field (the internet is full of explanations too).  It is said that depending on year, month, day and time of birth, you are born under the sign of either a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. In China many of these are traditionally considered powerful and important creatures. Within the horoscopes each has a particular character and quality relating to the five elements.

I think all of us have qualities and characteristics that we sometimes forget to cherish. Particularly when times are hard and if we look for other people to remind us how great we are. In the wonderful sterile world of social networking we tend to look outside of ourselves and think that other people have got it made, they are the happy ones, they are the lucky ones. 

This Chinese New Year, the year of the Dragon, signifies luck. How lucky do you feel at the moment, how thankful too?

Right now, yes now in this very moment, I am feeling lucky. At this moment I have a lot to be feel lucky for and to be thankful for. I have somewhere to live. I have a roof over my head. I eat regular meals and can be warm. I am just about feeling lucky that my messy desk needs sorting out, and lucky that I have accounting to be done. I feel very lucky that I have client preparation to do. I'm lucky and thankful for the noisy birds that are outside my window too.  I am lucky that I can do things that make me feel happy. 
I'm lucky I can write this blog article. Even making a cup of tea just the way I like it makes me feel lucky. 

I questioned in my mind what luck was sometime ago. Looking at luck in a different way. It hasn't changed me completely, I'm still me. 
I still read the horoscopes, I still quite enjoy them. According to my Chinese Horoscope 2012 is a very positive year for me. Funny that, I was feeling it in my bones, before I had even read the horoscope.    

PS, I found this image of a cake toppper item on Etsy and I thought it very pretty so shared it with you!

Friday 13 January 2012

positive fine dining

Many people have a very harsh inner critic. An expression I hear often, 'I'm my own worst enemy'. If you are having one of those days where nothing's going right or perhaps you are feeling out of sorts, it might be your inner critic taking over. It literally is eating you up! If so, see my tip below: it helps by giving you a chance to remember to graze on happier thoughts.

Have a great day everyone.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Neurons and Obesity - the next big thing?

A recent study on obesity being linked to changes in the brain was published today.
The findings from this study on mice and rats (and human brain structures compared using scans) points toward the neurons in the brain being affected over time. A specific part of the hypothalamus, to be precise, is affected when people have eaten a high fat diet for some time and are obese. The researchers are suggesting that the brain might be 'damaged/changed' and 'control' over weight diminished. This, the researchers think, might then lead to a continued desire to keep eating a high fat diet. More work is to be done to determine if this is factually correct.

The traditional response will most likely be 'give a pill' to re-set that energy balance, and perhaps (ker-ching!) the pharmaceutical companies step in, smiling all the way to the bank! OK, so I may be a little cynical here, though I'm not against this type of intervention.  I just would like there to be at least enquiry into alternative ways of supporting those who suffer with obesity. Also into the sort of interventions that would stop the problem in the first place (and I should introduce HypnoShape® as something I jointly devised with another therapist that tackles obesity as well as those gaining weight worried about their health).  

What I would like to consider is another problem area where brain changes have happened because of the trauma, and yet a non-chemical treatment is on offer and proving successful.  

People with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) given access to 'talking therapy' and 'art therapy' have been shown in studies that even when a part of the brain is affected (hippocampus, affecting memory and learning), they can feel and get better. Art therapy and talking therapy enables them to express their feelings and reduce stress. They adapt, they cope better, but little research is available into how much their neural pathways in their brains have adapted. Perhaps that's where we should be focusing research now, particularly in supporting those with depression? 

Brain medicine, has made great strides in recent years, however it does not yet have all the answers. We know now that the brain has about 100 billion neurons. We know that there is vast processing of information and that the brain is active in controlling our body in every way. The hormones released that deal with weight and gender specific controls, our thinking, our emotions - all controlled by the brain. It is exciting to think we have yet to establish quite just how adaptable our brains are when a part of the brain is changed or damaged. I look forward to seeing additional studies prove how adaptable our brains really are.  

Incidentally, I've met some extremely adaptable-minded people who had weight issues and came to see me either in a HypnoShape group or working one to one with me. The changes some made and stuck with are proof to those people that (even if they had a damaged brain as this latest research suggests!), they were somehow able to focus their attention onto a new lifestyle and make it fit them. Maybe that's why I felt compelled to write about this?  Having one person tell me of their continued weight loss of 18 pounds over 6 months is an example and one where they made small changes that continue to add up month on month.

The feeling of 'little control' is what many clients have when they first come to see me. I empathise with how hard that can be and particularly so if they are feeling in a cycle of despair after dieting. I believe the client chooses, as they walk through my door, if they really want to be in control of their mind and their eating habits. I do sometimes see clients who are not yet ready to make the changes they say they want to, seeming to want me to sometimes make changes for them. (I provide motivation and back up) In their mind they agree with the latest research exactly or they have in their mind 'father/ mother etc was big, so I will be too'.

I'd like to give all my future clients a gift. The challenge of trusting their mind is vastly capable of helping them to make changes!  How else would we be such an amazingly advanced mammal if not for our ability to think and adapt to new situations so well? 

Please do let me know what you think, comments are welcomed. Is this the next big thing to shake up the world of weight management?

Angie Giles Hypnotherapy for Hypnotherapy, Counselling and Personal Coaching
At the Norfolk Clinic (Complementary Healthcare) on 38-40 Magdalen Road, Norwich and 86 St Benedicts Street, Norwich (by appointment only).
Tel: 07773 610816

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