Alternative health hypnosis self-help

Insomnia and How to Beat It

Difficulty getting a restful, rejuvenating, night’s sleep – or insomnia, is  a surprisingly common problem. It affects over 60 million Americans, and almost one-third of the UK adult population. We all suffer the odd night when we have difficulty sleeping because of a worry, or excitement, or a minor illness. That’s not insomnia. Insomnia is when it happens night after night after night and you wake feeling almost as tired as you when you went to bed and often feel as if you haven’t slept at all.

Some people feel they aren’t getting any sleep night after night, but the good news is that you do actually get some sleep, simply because after several days without any sleep, you start to experience micro-sleeps (lasting half a second to half a minute) outside of your awareness, and you may also begin to experience hallucinations. Physical health also starts to suffer with prolonged sleep deprivation eventually leading to death. What tends to be experienced is long periods of being awake and getting frustrated at the lack of ability to fall asleep – interspersed with short periods of sleep, which tend to be forgotten.

Others have difficulty falling asleep, but when they eventually do, they have a decent sleep.

Yet others have no problem falling asleep, but awaken after a couple of hours and then can’t get back to sleep.

The patterns are quite varied so here’s a little help:

If you

  • have difficulty drifting off to sleep
  • experience patchy sleep, waking frequently
  • Go to bed and can’t drift off
  • Have a short sleep but awaken too early
  • Don’t feel refreshed after sleep
  • Have trouble concentrating because of tiredness

Then you have insomnia.

The amount of sleep each person needs is different, but generally speaking an adult requires around 7-9 hours. If you think you’re sleeping but feel permanently tired then you probably have insomnia.

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been going on for you, insomnia isn’t normal, and, unless there is some underlying physical problem, you can be helped.

There are some easy fixes and some less easy fixes. Sort out the comfort of the room if it’s too hot or too cold. It may be that your bed is not as comfortable as it could be. Stop taking non-prescription drugs. Use earplugs if noise is a problem, and eye-shades if the room is too light – this can be a particular problem in higher latitudes. Where I live (UK) in summer it starts getting light at about 3:30am and on a clear morning is almost fully daylight by 4:00am.

Less easy to fix is sleep deprivation caused by stress, anxiety, or even depression. If you suffer from any of these problems I highly recommend that you have a read of my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis. It is full of tips and helpful techniques to use to reduce stress and anxiety as well as helping you to move toward lifting your depression.

Most insomnia, whether or not you realise it, is down to the establishment of poor sleeping habits, and one thing hypnosis is very good at is breaking bad habits. With that end I have created this Insomnia recording available for instant download. It is not designed for listening at bed time, so listen at least a couple of hours before you go to sleep. Listen daily until you have established better sleeping patterns.

As well as this you can help by introducing a regular bedtime routine. Stop doing anything mentally stimulating about an hour before you sleep. If there is anything on your mind write it down and pick it up again in the morning. Have a warm milky drink – chocolate is good. Get into a warm bath with lots of bubbles and just soak and maybe listen to some soft music. Read rather than watch TV and most definitely turn off the computer/phone/tablet at least an hour beforehand. Relaxing music is good even if you’re not in the bath.

Once you are in bed do not read, do not watch TV, do not listen to music, just settle down as comfortably as you can and give yourself permission to have a good and restful nights sleep. If you download the recording you will discover that there is just one more thing that you can do that will assist you in drifting off for a deep and satisfying sleep until the alarm goes off in the morning.

hypnosis Personal Development self-help

Jennifer Saunders Uses Hypnosis To Help With Procrastination and Win £100,000


According to the New Zealand Herald Jennifer Saunders is experiencing a common problem – procrastination. You know, that thing where every trivial task is more important than the most important job you have to finish. It seems that Jennifer Saunders is working on a script for the screen version of Absolutely Fabulous and finding it difficult to complete – even though there is a £100,000 bet to win from her friend Dawn French if she completes before the end of the year.

Jennifer is getting help from her hypnotherapist.

So how exactly might hypnosis help you to do what you don’t really want to do?

Well, in my experience, the problem is never about doing the thing that is causing the procrastination. The problem is about things like fear of success, ‘what will I do when I’ve finished that?’, expecting to fail, fear of what will happen after the task is completed…

Obviously I have no idea what the problem is that Jennifer Saunders is experiencing and I have no intention of speculating. What I like is the idea that she is using hypnotherapy to help her to write a successful script that will turn into a film that I will almost certainly enjoy.

There are several routes that you can take with hypnosis to solve this particular type of problem. You can journey into the past to find out where the problem may have originated; you can move forward in time and see what problems and difficulties show up that you might be subconsciously avoiding; or you could treat it symbolically.

My first choice would be the symbolic one – because when it works it is very quick and very simple.

You can even do it yourself if you know how to use self-hypnosis.

All you have to do is to take yourself into trance, and when you are deeply relaxed, allow an image to form of a barrier that blocks your route to the successful completion of the task. You can imagine the barrier as anything you like: a shark-infested moat, a big stone wall; a minefield; razor wire; or maybe even a pride of lions. Use your imagination, the sillier the better.

Then you have to use your imagination to find a way to get over, through, or destroy the barrier. Because it is your imagination you can create anything you want to help you.

This imagery activates right-brain symbolic processing and, after you do this, you may find yourself effortlessly completing what you were putting off.

Obviously it can be a lot more complicated than this, but all the solution really requires is a willingness to explore your own resistance to completion and allow your subconscious mind to reveal its secrets.

If you want to try this out and need some help with the self-hypnosis part then check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis where I go into this technique, and others, in much more detail.

Inspired by:

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Limiting Beliefs & Hypnosis

We are who we are – the blend of innate personality traits plus our life experiences.

We do what we do – even though we’d like to be doing it differently.

We believe that what we believe is true – because a belief is a filter that permanently colours our world view.

We may not like who we are.

We may not be doing what we want to be doing.

What we believe may be causing us unnecessary emotional pain.

But we are either unaware of this, or have no idea how to change it, because it feels normal and we think it is us.

Early life experiences, plus our innate nature, train us to respond to certain situations in specific ways. The basic premise is avoid pain, seek pleasure. Sometimes, the sensitives among us, feel the pain of others as if it were their own. So what they do is take on the responsibility of making sure that others are ok – even it means they do without.

Children with an angry, or a frequently drunk, parent may discover very quickly that being quiet and keeping out of the way is the way to avoid pain. In adulthood you have a quiet person who never voices their opinion – especially if it is different from the prevailing view. It doesn’t matter if the majority are wrong (frequently the case), this individual will remain silent. The echo of the violence from the past is forever present.

An overbearing disciplinarian father, or school teacher, may impress a fear of authority that remains throughout adulthood. This may not even seem like a fear. It may just seem like doing the right thing and being a stickler for the rules. The only problem is that the rules are never questioned, because when the rules were questioned as a child the response was ‘don’t give cheek’ or ‘don’t answer back’.

Any little thing that happened in childhood that caused even momentary emotional discomfort is stored away in the back of the mind and, in adulthood, anything that reminds us of that, or feels a bit like that, or looks a bit like that, is avoided. At the extreme this can become an apparently irrational phobia.

But because these are just things we do and ways we respond and it all seems to happen so naturally we think it is normal for us and so it is only ever questioned when it interferes with earning a living or doing things that cannot be avoided forever.

A phobia of needles, induced, say, by a painful experience with an insensitive doctor at about 18 months of age has to be dealt with when pregnancy occurs – because the medics just love sticking needles in pregnant ladies. At this point a solution will be sought. But while avoidance works – avoidance will be the norm.

If you believe the sun moves across the sky, because your experience tells you that this is true and you have the evidence of your very own eyes then you may resist very strongly the idea that the sun is stationary and that the very solid and stable earth that you are standing on is whizzing along at around 1000 miles an hour. It’s a totally crazy idea that goes against everything you can sense. Your senses are the only way you can make sense of your world. If your senses are lying to you then you have no idea what is going on anywhere. Can you imagine how destabilising that would be? If you cannot trust your senses you cannot trust anything.

In the same way you will have discovered many things that you believe to be true. All of these things will be based on limited evidence, and because you have limited evidence you will draw the wrong conclusions.

You may believe that when you enter a room everyone is immediately, in their own thoughts, criticising the clothes you have chosen to wear today, or have nothing better to do than fill their minds with thoughts about how fat you are.

Our minds crucify us incessantly.

And it all seems perfectly normal.

It isn’t.

You can change it – if you feel that you deserve to live a peaceful, happy, fulfilled, life.

Here’s how…  Check out Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis

But first of all check out this story of how Nathan T. Had his life turned around and his limiting beliefs neutralised by a couple of hypnosis sessions.

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Why is Change so Difficult?

Change is difficult because we are the way we are for good reason. Some people seem to find life easy, yet for others it’s a constant struggle. You may find it difficult or impossible to assert yourself, or even ask for legitimate needs. When you have this problem with an intimate partner then you will have a difficult relationship; when you have it with a manager then you will have an unsatisfying job; when you have it with a store assistant, then your shopping trips will be fearful experiences.

You may find that almost every aspect of life and living fills you with anxious moments. Meeting new people may be fraught because of your internal dialogue and self-monitoring. Whatever it is, you will want it to be different from the way it is. You may have sought help and ended up medicated or counselled. You may have gone it alone and sought help from your local library, bookshop, or Amazon. You may have found moments of relief only to discover that it was short-lived and life soon returned to the normality of suffering. So you start again, more help, better medication, more books. You enjoy a few more moments of brightness filled with courage and confidence – only to find them dissipating like tendrils of mist as the sun rises. Then you find yourself back in the bright light of a reality you don’t fully understand, and definitely don’t seem to fit in.

One of the things I encounter in my work is that people have generally tried everything else before they come to see me. This highlights the seemingly endless searching of so many desiring change. It suggests strongly that deep down there is a knowing that peace and joy exist and are available.

We are tenacious in our search for peace and a joyful experience of living.

But it is difficult and the reason it is so difficult is because it’s the very same reason that makes humans such a successful species. We learn from experience and never, ever, ever, forget – at a cellular level – those things in our lives that frightened, threatened, terrified, or just made us jump. The bee sting as a young child that becomes a panic stricken phobia whenever a bzzz is heard 50 years later; the being punished in school for something you were innocent of that leaves you with a lifelong fear of authority; the being told you are useless and will never amount to anything over and over again that leaves you incapable of success at anything; whatever it was that happened it stung and left its mark.

Our survival success is based around this. We have evolved to favour false positives. This is reacting to signs of danger even when there is no real danger present. This is a much safer stance than ignoring potential threats. This is why our early life experiences have such a powerful effect on our ease and confidence as adults. We may not consciously remember the activating experience, but it is buried deep in our subconscious. We can react to almost anything that has even the vaguest connection with a past source of pain.

So a behaviour, like perfectionism, becomes normal and, despite the difficulties it causes, is maintained – not from a desire to be perfect – but to avoid the emotional pain that not being good enough drew forth. This is even though the critic is no longer in their lives, or may even have passed away.

I have found so many patients live their lives to please parents who are no longer alive.

If you are seeking a more permanent change then know that because it works with your subconscious, which is where the problem lies, hypnosis and self-hypnosis are valuable tools. I would encourage you to explore them.


Of course you could always just check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis on Amazon.

More info:

Alternative health hypnosis Personal Development self-help weight control

What are your biggest difficulties with losing weight?

I’m in the process of creating an amazing new weight loss program and I need your help. Most people who decide they need to lose weight have done it before so you’ll know what the tricky bits are, what are the areas that you find most difficult, and you’ll know what is going through your mind when you eat that fattening food that, when you went to bed last night, you said you weren’t going to eat any more.

So I’m really interested in the problems you’ve experienced in the past. Why you believe you failed to keep the weight off and what makes you make unhealthy choices once you’ve made that decision to lose weight.

So if you would like to help then please leave a comment below, or, if you prefer just email me here.

And if you’d like me to let you know when this amazing new weight loss program is available, or other personal development items that I think may be of interest to you, then be sure to leave me your email address at the top right of this page.

Many thanks,

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The Biology of Belief – Bruce H. Lipton PhD: A Review

Wow! This is one of the most powerful books I’ve read in a very long time. Can’t in all honesty say it was an easy read, at least not for the first half of the book, but it certainly rewarded the effort it took to get my head round some the concepts and ideas introduced here.

Bruce Lipton is a cell biologist who taught this subject at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and later at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. As a teacher of medical students, not only in the mainland US but also for a couple of years on Martiinique and Grenada, I had to assume that Bruce Lipton was an expert on his subject.

The early chapters of the book look at the basics of how cells function – not aimed at the medical student level but aimed at the laypersons level of understanding. Now I don’t know you but I’ve never formally studied biology so didn’t really have a clue about stuff like eukaryotes and prokaryotes (which, amazingly, I find that I now do), cytoplasm, enzymes and DNA – and of course the key to everything, proteins. Now I thought protein was just something you had to make sure you included in your diet, but it seems it’s the key to allowing the ‘machinery’ of an individual cell to function, as well as the key to deciding which of your genes are allowed to exert their influence. This is the bit where it starts to get really interesting, because the author then goes on to discuss how the genetic material, the DNA, is not actually the driving force of life, reproduction, or the expression of genetic material in a body.

This is what has been taught for decades, the DNA is in control. Bruce Lipton says no – the cell membrane is not only intelligent, but also in charge. He then goes on to prove this hypothesis.

If all that sounds a bit heavy it is written in a beautifully entertaining and interesting way and I was left with an understanding of cell mechanisms almost effortlessly.

The author then moves on to belief and explores the placebo effect and the amazing nature of a mind that can heal a body (even of something that requires surgery) just because it thinks it is receiving medical treatment. After that he looks at how belief translates into quantum effects that impact the cell membrane and bring about physiological responses to thought.

The only thing missing is what to do with this information in order to change your own reality – but the author does offer some suggestions for further exploration of this particular area.

Brilliant, thought-provoking and a new way of looking at life not from an ideas point of view but from the perspectives of the mechanics of how the science works. It brings these ideas of Mind over Matter, ideas that have been in the world of New-Age airy-fairyness for a long time, right down into the practical world of the science lab showing you the exact mechanisms and how they function at an atomic level.

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles is Highly recommended.

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The Impact of Words & Psycho-Cybernetics

The prescription for charity is three fold: (1) try to develop a genuine appreciation for people by realizing the truth about them; they are children of God, unique personalities, creative beings. (2) Take the trouble to stop and think of the other person’s feelings, viewpoints, desires, and needs. Think more of what the other fellow wants, and how he must feel. A friend of mine kids his wife by telling her, whenever she asks him, “Do you love me?” “Yes, whenever I stop and think about it.” There is a lot of truth in this. We cannot feel anything about other people unless we “stop and think” about them. (3) Act as if other people are important and treat them accordingly.

Maxwell Maltz The New Psycho-Cybernetics (2002). The original Psycho-Cybernetics (of which this is a modernised update) was published in 1960

When I started my Clinical Hypnosis training way back in 1997 one of the books on the recommended reading list was Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics. Since it didn’t seem directly related to hypnosis, and had a slightly odd title, I never bought a copy. Every now and again, since that time I come across references to it and think, I really should read it. Then just a month or so ago it came to my attention again so I had a look on Amazon and finally got hold of a copy. The only thing is the copy I got hold of is not the original, it is The New Psycho-cybernetics which is the orginal re-worked a little to bring it up to date with modern technology and stories that relate better to the modern reader.

I must admit that by the end of the first chapter I was wondering why on earth I hadn’t got hold of a copy way back in 1997, as I could see the life-changing potential of Maxwell Maltz’s ideas.

Still, I’m enjoying it and I came across this ‘Prescription’ yesterday morning. It got me thinking about how I relate to other people and about how my clients relate to other people in their worlds. As I reflected on the quote above I felt quite a deep connection with the words and their meaning and promised myself to be more present with others.

I appreciate that the mention of God might put more people off now than it would in the ’60’s when it was written, but looking beyond the mere words the keys in the message here are appreciation – which is key to our well-being; awareness that to each of us our own personal viewpoint makes total sense – even if it is at odds with the sense of everyone else; and respect for self and others – without which life is extremely difficult and with tends to flow much more smoothly.

So perhaps you could be present with a stranger today: a checkout operator at the supermarket; a waiter; a teller; taxi driver; nurse; customer; the list is endless, but it takes just a few moments of wondering perhaps what their life is like, what kind of a day they are having, whether they are stressed or at peace. As soon as you become present with them in this way you will find that they not only warm to you (whether or not you speak) but also have their lives enriched.

Michael Hadfield

hypnosis Personal Development self-help

Self-Hypnosis vs One-to-One Treatment

If you can do it yourself, why pay for expensive therapy? After all, with DIY jobs around the house you often end up with a better quality job than when you pay a so-called professional to do it for you.

Self-hypnosis is great for those times when you want to just re-program your automatic thinking and behavioural processes. The very act of spending time every day with you, caring for you, in a state of deep relaxation, is hugely beneficial. Using your imagination, in this state of deep relaxation, to set up an intention for your future and to plant messages in your subconscious mind without conscious interference is an excellent way to manufacture beneficial change in your life.

When you visit a skilled hypnotherapist you are with someone who is listening to you and caring for you. To have someone listen to your story, without judgement, is of itself hugely therapeutic. You are also with someone who notices details – what you talk about, what you don’t talk about; what your mood state is; and most importantly – a skilled therapist will notice and seek to address the real causes of problems.

Let me give you an example: say you have a problem with confidence.

The self-hypnosis route would perhaps have you repeating a mantra along the lines of “I am filled with confidence in all situations” or “I feel confident and find myself expressing my thoughts and ideas fearlessly in meetings and conversations”. Accompanied, maybe by a visualisation of you, in a situation where you have lacked confidence, behaving in a confident manner and feeling feelings of success and achievement.

A hypnotherapist would probably have you engaging in that sort of visualisation during your therapy anyway, so why bother paying all that money when you can get it for free if you DIY.

Well, for me at least, lack of confidence is not as simple as that. Lack of confidence is about fundamental belief in self, and it is this belief in self, or rather lack of belief in self that I would seek to correct using hypnotherapy. Lack of belief in self is the result of early programming by those adults who had the greatest impact on our development as a young mind. So the problem is quite deep rooted and consequently needs gentle, loving guidance to discover how this lack of belief in self came to be present. In other words it is important to teach, and experience, the huge difference between something you believe about you and something that is true about you. This doesn’t happen with self-hypnosis. So if your lack of confidence is the result of one highly critical parent always finding fault, then therapy would seek to correct this; if it is the result of over protective parents who were excessively fearful of you taking risks – like climbing trees, or going out alone – then therapy has a different problem to solve. There are other reasons why an individual might lack confidence – early classroom experiences with a teacher who doesn’t love children or the job, or a highly sensitive physiology… The problem with self-therapy is the lack of experience at understanding self, and correcting the real problem.

Another area where an experienced therapist is beneficial is in the area of challenge. We are constantly making up ideas about our world that simply aren’t true. More than one person in my consulting room has considered themselves a total failure. They’ve never succeeded at anything and they never will. If you believe that you believe it and because you believe it you will not seek to change it because no one seeks to change what they see as a truth. But if you believe that you always fail at everything you do, doing self-hypnosis to achieve success isn’t addressing the fundamental belief that is in error. It’s like using self-hypnosis to win the lottery and never bothering to buy a ticket.

However, as soon as anyone tells me they are a total failure, or they never succeed at anything, I have to challenge it. And my challenge is always successful and I can always point out several occasions in anyone’s life when they have been successful. They just never see it because their erroneous belief about themselves blinds them to their successes. What I also do is challenge the meaning of success to them. Usually it’s lots of money, promotions, material possessions, good relationships, and so on. They fail to see small successes, like still being alive after x number of years, like having raised beautiful children, like passing a driving test, like honouring others by being punctual, like gifts to charity, like small acts of kindness to strangers… there are successes in everyone’s life. The real problem with feelings of failure in life is an inability to see, to honour, and to appreciate the small successes. Just allowing someone to look at themselves and their life from a different perspective is like lifting a huge burden off their back, and that’s even before the hypnosis starts and is used then to reinforce these new learnings.

So your friendly neighbourhood hypnotherapist is actually providing you with something more than you can do for yourself. The best course of action is to have a consultation or two with a hypnotherapist in order to establish what the real problem is and to receive guidance and training in how to use self-hypnosis most effectively. That way you get the best of both worlds.

Self-hypnosis is highly beneficial and I would encourage you to try it out, just recognise that it has limitations.

Michael J Hadfield D.Hyp., MBSCH


Hypnosis – Quick fix or permanent change

Look, I want to have loads and loads of money, but I don’t want to do any work in order to have it. Have you any suggestions? Seriously, apart from buying a lottery ticket – do you have any suggestions? I want to laze around all day and just have money arrive in my bank account, and not just little bits of money – loads and loads of it, and I want it guaranteed for life. Not only that but I want it right now, and I’m only prepared to pay you £40 for you to give that to me, and even that seems a little steep, so if you could give it for free that’d be great. I don’t want to hear you saying that you might be able to help me, or that I might be able to learn something that might take a couple of months, I need it and I need it now.

I hope you are laughing.

I hope you are at least smiling.

Sounds a bit like a child doesn’t it?

If you change money, to a cure for anxiety, or stress, or phobia, or smoking, or losing weight, or nail biting, or marital problems, or excessive drinking, or blushing, or headaches, or pain, or a whole host of other physical and psychological problems… then what you have in the opening paragraph is what most people expect from hypnosis.

Many don’t want to be responsible for their own health, and don’t want to put any personal effort (other than turning up for one, or at most two, appointments) into getting better and although a hypnotherapist is always the last resort, they expect miracles from him or her that they wouldn’t dream of expecting from a psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor.

Hypnosis needs the full involvement of the patient in order for results to be achieved. It needs a commitment to stick with treatment until the problem is resolved or it is quite clear that the treatment is having no further impact on the problem. Sometimes we need our problems, but that’s another article. And when we need our problems we are quite often strongly resistant to having someone help us to resolve them – or even to allow someone sufficient access to our minds to discover what exactly the reason is.

Another reason for the unreasonable expectations people have of hypnosis and hypnotherapists is that hypnosis is seen as some sort of general anaesthetic. I’ve lost track of the number of people (even doctors) who expect me to ‘put them out’, and are disappointed when that doesn’t happen. But because they see hypnosis as a general anaesthetic they expect some sort of ‘mental operation’ to take place while they are ‘out’ and to be ‘fixed’ when they ‘come round’, as if their life-long anxiety pattern, or over-eating habit was some appendix that could be whipped out, the hole sewn up and the pain gone.

These problems can be helped, eased, or restored to what might be considered normal, using hypnosis. Sometimes it’s straightforward, sometimes it takes effort and determination to resolve the issues that are reducing quality of life. I remember in my early days as a hypnotherapist, at the end of a course of treatment a patient said to me that what I had given her was like coming down on Christmas morning and opening a gift to find in it what she most desired in the world, it was like I’d given her her life back.

That’s the potential of hypnosis.
Michael Hadfield D.Hyp., MBSCH


Hypnotherapy Masters Course

I spent last weekend enjoying the company of some fellow hypnotherapists as we all attended the Hypnotherapy Centre of Excellence’s Hypnotherapy Masters Course.

This two-day course covered a whole range of advanced hypnotic techniques. Among other things we explored the use of metaphor and the Milton Model in great depth; conversational hypnosis; getting into the clients map of the world in order to induce trance more effectively; attracting opportunities and teaching clients how to create their own experiences; as well as a variety of hypnotic language patterns, the yes set and Swish Pattern for weight loss.

A very useful folder full of scripts and examples was provided as well as plenty of opportunity for practical exercises to hone these new techniques. But what I liked most was the friendly & comfortable atmosphere which I find facilitates learning much more effectively than a more formal classroom environment. Sara Lou-Ann Jones, who ran the course, is a very capable, knowledgeable and competent instructor.

I had a good time, learned some new skills, and am happy to recommend this course to anyone wanting to add a little more depth to their therapeutic skill set.