Hypnosis , Cancer, and Chemotherapy

There’s a real problem with hypnosis and Western Medicine. Although the two work very well together, it’s a rare and enlightened doctor who makes use of it. The problem is that there is no money in it for anyone except the hypnotherapist.

Yes, we like to get paid just like everyone else doing their job.

Let me clarify.

Let’s say a pharmaceutical company spends several years developing a new drug, testing it on animals, working on the formulation and whatever else they do before people swallow it. By this time they have invested several million dollars. Then they have to run drug trials. These are expensive. They are also supposed to be independent, but they are actually funded by the company who has invested millions in the development of the drug. The doctors running the trial are paid by the drug company. If the trial reports success, which is surprisingly often, then the results are handed over to the Federal Drugs Administration for approval. If the FDA gives the go ahead then huge profits are almost guaranteed. Partly because the company involved will spend several more millions promoting it. Reps who visit general practitioners will recommend it and hand out mugs and pens and notepads emblazoned with the name of the new drug – just so the doctor can’t forget about it.

And that’s just what the pharmaceutical companies do that’s above board.

Doctors love new drugs. Patients love new drugs because they hold the promise of an almost instant cure that an old drug no longer has. If it’s new, it’s got to be good – right? And occasionally a new drug is better than an old drug. But once a new drug is being prescribed regularly then all of that investment rolls back into the coffers of the drug companies and before long huge profits are made.

The typical hypnotherapist is a one-person show who knows how to help people. Hypnotherapists fall into the class of healer much more readily than do most doctors. They also tend to be more interested in their patients’ well-being to a much greater extent than the average pharmaceutical company.

The problem is that individual hypnotherapists cannot afford millions of dollars to fund favourable research in the way that drug companies can and do. Consequently what research there is tends to be with small groups of patients because that way the cost is kept down. Another problem – particularly with life-threatening diseases like cancer – is that it is unethical to withhold treatment. So you can’t ethically run an experiment where some patients only receive, say, hypnotherapy, when it is known that there are drugs out there that could help. It is also unethical to run a placebo group as you would in a trial for a new form of aspirin.

Still there is some research out there and some of that research reports favourably on the use of hypnotherapy. I’ve written about the evidence for how helpful hypnosis can be in the easing of side-effects from chemotherapy and I suggest you check that out.

But with hypnosis, all you are buying is the hypnotherapist’s time and skill, and once you have completed the course of treatment that’s it, you are free and well. There is no long-term custom. There is no product to be manufactured and profited from. There are no hospitals to supply a constant market for the product.

But I have another problem with the way that research is conducted for hypnotherapy. In most cases the attempt, with research, is to remove the effect of personality. Have you ever noticed how some doctors make you feel well and you leave filled-with hope and expectation of a cure, while others leave you unsettled or unsatisfied?

Hypnosis research is based around the reading of hypnosis scripts. Nothing wrong with that, many hypnotherapists use scripts that guide the patient into the state of hypnosis and then make the appropriate suggestions. But what most hypnotherapists do is to modify these scripts depending on the needs of the individual patients. So two people coming with the same problem will get similar, but not identical, treatment because the hypnotherapist will tailor treatment to their patients’ personalities and specific needs. Hypnosis research does not allow for this. They make it just like taking a pill – one size fits all.

I’ve lost track of the number of people who have been to other hypnotherapists and had no success with treatment, then, often years later, they decide to try again. They find their way to me and I fix their problem quickly and easily. They tell me they wished they had found me first. They tell me that their first visit put them off hypnotherapy and made them think it was a waste of time. Not everyone is the same. Personality is important. Everyone has their own way of being with other people and feeling for what they most need. Quite often it’s simply recognising where the root cause of the problem truly lies and then working on that.

I mentioned above that I’d looked into some of the research for the use of hypnosis with conventional cancer-treatment. That was to help me to create a CD for a friend of mine who is undergoing treatment for cancer at the moment. I have since made this recording available to anyone who wants to download it. It utilises hypnotic techniques that I’ve tried and tested over the years with many of my patients. It is designed to ease the side-effects generally suffered with patients undergoing chemotherapy. It is quite safe to use alongside conventional medical treatment and will only make life easier. Full details are available here.

But it needs commitment. It needs to be listened to daily – in just the same way that you would expect to take a drug on a regular basis for a period of time. People expect miracles from hypnosis that they don’t expect from any other branch of medicine. Hypnosis is not magic. It needs to be worked with and treated with respect. This particular treatment needs to be listened to at least once, and preferably twice, daily in order for you to enjoy its benefits.

So if you are reading this and you have a friend or relative who is about to endure, or is in the middle of chemotherapy, share this page with them. The decision needs to be theirs – all I can do is offer the help.



Stress in Bed

I remember, back in the days when life was a constant struggle, how going to bed was a blessed release from the worries and concerns of the day; and also how it brought with it the promise of a few hours of oblivion and peace. Then, without the least concern about how I was feeling, or how much I wanted to stay just where I was, morning would turn up and bring with it that burden of fear, anxiety, worry, and stress and another day that I would somehow have to get through.

Thankfully, for me, those days are long gone.

But it seems that, for many, this nightmare is still present.

A report commissioned by IKEA suggests that 1 in 4 people are experiencing anxiety before 8:00am, with many in the grip of stress even before 6:00 in the morning.

One of the many reasons for this is mobile technology.

In the good old days the bedroom was a haven. Nothing bad happened there. For many sufferers from anxiety it was a safe place to sleep and feel safe curled up, warm and cosy. A place to rekindle those good feelings from childhood where other people sorted out all the problems for you – maybe even a place to have a gentle read and enjoy escape into a fictional world for a while.

Now, with Smartphones, tablets and wi-fi the outside world is with us 24 hours a day. We can be called and messaged at any time of the day or night. Respect for our personal downtime has gone. Many employers expect their employees to be contactable at any time of day or night. Many of our friends also have the same expectation. I see facebook posts from friends in the same time zone as me at two or three or even five o’clock in the morning.

Because of this constant buzz of information there is also a drive to keep checking on all this stuff – to find out if there is something else that needs to be worried about.

All of this just adds to the stress and the worry.

We need a quiet time each day that is just for us.

A quiet time for a little true relaxation is rejuvenating. It gives the mind a break and allows it to access the resources that you actually have, but never get to realise because of the overwhelm that you constantly experience.

So if each day dawns with a pile of worries and a sense of being overwhelmed because there is just too much to do or scary stuff you just don’t know how to handle then make a decision now to do something about it.

Doing something means making changes and unfortunately change is one of the scariest and most anxiety producing activities we can engage in. But know this.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you have always got.

To create different outcomes you need to do something different. The easiest way to do this is to make a small change, get used to it, then make another small change and so on.

The changes I would like you to consider are about re-instating the sacred space of your bedroom. Make it a place for sleep, and if you have a partner, for intimacy. Leave your phone, or your tablet downstairs when you go to bed. Have a nice relaxing bath or shower before you turn in and then go to sleep. The world will not end if you fail to notice a facebook photograph of what your best friend had for supper. Don’t carry your phone with you wherever you go. Don’t sit in front of the computer all evening.

Nothing bad will happen if you are off the grid for eight hours. In fact you might even make turning the phone on the last thing you do before heading off to work. Try it for a week, and see how you feel. If nothing bad happens then carry on with the experiment for a little longer.

It doesn’t really matter what you do, but if you want to be free of worry, stress, or anxiety, then you need to reclaim you and establish some boundaries. You need to create for you a sacred space where you can feel safe and enjoy some peace.

And if switching off the world is just too scary for you then have a read of my book The Ten Commitments: For When the World Overwhelms You. This tells you how you can give yourself a one day holiday from anxiety and stress while still functioning in the world and doing what you need to do. It’s just for one day, but if you follow my suggestions it will open the door to a whole new way of living and being.











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Worry – What Is It Good For?

Absolutely nothing.

I know, I used to be a first class worrier. All it ever achieved for me was to make my life miserable when everyone else seemed to be having fun. Then there would be that sage advice – don’t worry everything’s gonna be ok. I always used to think, in response to that particularly useless bit of wisdom, how do you know everything is gonna be ok. Are you psychic or something. That was in the days before I started reading tarot cards and didn’t know any psychics though. My overriding thought was if I knew how to not worry, don’t you think I’d be doing that? Does this look like I’m enjoying it or something? I never had the courage to say those things back in those days, but those thoughts were prominent in response to unasked for advice from well-meaning friends.

I still worry from time to time. The world, thoughtless people and greed occasionally break through my barriers to worry, but most of the time now my mind is peaceful and when something crops up that needs me to do a little worrying – the worrying lasts a couple of hours rather than a couple of weeks. In fact sometimes I worry that I don’t do enough worrying nowadays and just totally ignore stuff that used to get me into a panic state. So I find myself pretty much doing what I want to do and ignoring the world as best I can.

So how did I shift from this place of anxiety-ridden existence to a place of peace and wisdom?

I worked really hard at it.

I looked at my world and my thoughts about that world and I changed the thoughts because they weren’t helping.

Whenever I experienced an emotional reaction I would treat it as though the cause was my believing something about the world that simply wasn’t true. I would seek out the truth.

I observed just how much of my worry was sourced not in real life events but in what I thought others were thinking about me. So I stopped mind-reading.

I became aware of how much worry was being caused by the events going on in the world. That led to a realisation that news reporting was totally focused on negative events. I stopped watching the news. I’ve never read newspapers, but if I had done I would have stopped reading those too.

I learned to meditate because that gave my mind a rest.

Then one, day the breakthrough came. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced – but it was over in a moment.

I was sitting in my favourite worry chair, worrying about something or other that wasn’t going right in my life. I was really working hard at it. This wasn’t an idle worry, it was a full-blown, explore every nuance of every possible aspect of the situation kind of worry. Then, in a moment of clarity, I thought ‘I’m fed up with this, I don’t want to do it any more’ and then I got up and went over to my computer and did something much more interesting instead. The worry was gone.

In that moment I realised a most amazing thing. Worry is a choice.

Worry is also a habit.

Habits are not easy to break but all the work I’d been doing had been interfering with the habit aspect of worrying. I’d loosened the habit enough to be able to choose not to do it.

At the very deepest level what drives worrying is a distorted view of life and your world. The distorted view is not your fault, it’s simply your reaction to your world as you were growing up. Your view is highly coloured by the distorted views of the significant adults who were around you in your young life. Everyone’s view is distorted –this is not a condemnation or a blaming of anyone. We are all always doing the best we can given what we believe to be true.

The more distorted your world view, the greater your levels of anxiety are likely to be.

Change that view and you change your world.


Do You really Need to Lose Weight?

Most overweight people want to lose weight to help them look better. The TV and billboards, subliminally and through association, suggest that the slimmer you are the more attractive you are, and consequently, the greater your success in life.

All absolute nonsense of course.

But the images are powerful; the hidden messages are powerful; and the fears are powerful.

There is nothing wrong with feeling good and looking good.

But it isn’t worth making a career out of it and spending your whole life fighting how you look.

There is this thing called a set-point. This is the weight your body thinks it should be. If your weight is over your set-point it is not too difficult to restore it to normal, but it is a real struggle to keep your weight below that point. It used to be thought that the set point was stable, but it isn’t. If you keep yourself overweight for any length of time your set-point will move upwards. So if you’ve been overweight for many years, then reducing your weight may well be much more difficult for you to achieve than if you have only been overweight for a relatively short period of time.

Of course, if you are prepared for the additional difficulty and can maintain your weight below the set-point, your set-point will eventually reset to the lower weight and you will then find it much easier to maintain that weight.

Your set-point is that weight that your body naturally assumes when you are eating a normal healthy diet, satisfying your hunger, but not overeating.

My feeling about the perfect bodyweight is that if you can bend over comfortably and your stomach doesn’t get in the way you are probably okay. Not everyone is built the same. There are different body shapes and since changing your body shape is pretty much impossible, stop trying to be something you aren’t. Be yourself at a comfortable, healthy weight and be happy with that.

Another problem you have to deal with is the medical world’s take on being fat.

If you are overweight your doctor will almost certainly encourage you to lose weight for health reasons. They may even tell you about all of the diseases that you are likely to enjoy from being overweight – including the early death you are likely to experience as a result of heart disease or one of several other weight related complications.

Recent research has shown an interesting connection between the length of your life and your weight. It seems that, under certain conditions, being overweight doesn’t kill you any sooner than being a normal weight. Obesity is a different problem. Obesity does shorten your life unless you do one thing.

If you aren’t sure about the difference between being obese and being overweight then go here and at the top right of the page I’ve provided a little calculator where you can enter your weight in pounds (lbs), and your height, and it will tell you whether or not you are obese.

So what are the conditions that allow you to be overweight and still have a normal life expectancy?

It seems that there are four factors that influence this.

  1. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables
  2. Exercising at least three times a week
  3. Not smoking
  4. Drinking alcohol in moderation

If you are overweight then doing just one of these pulls your life expectancy into the same range as normal weight people.

If you are obese then the one thing you need to do is all four of the above in order to bring your life expectancy into the same range as normal weight people.

The important thing to get here is that you can be overweight, or obese and still have a normal life-expectancy.

Does this mean that I’m encouraging you to be overweight?


My encouragement is always to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full. My recommendation is always to eat a little less and exercise a little more.

But I see so many people who are miserable because of the continuous battle they are in with their bodies. Move towards being reasonably fit; move towards a diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables rather than pre-packaged meals; and move towards listening to your body – it will tell you when it needs food and it will tell you when you’ve had sufficient.

You don’t need restrictive diet plans or calorie counting that makes you think about food all day long. You don’t need to join a club which encourages you to see yourself as someone with a problem that needs fixing – a problem for which they have the perfect solution. But most importantly you don’t need to beat yourself up.

Just decide that you will add a little more fresh fruit and veg to your meals and eat a little less of the sweet fatty foods you normally eat. Plan a little more exercise and decide that you need to look after you body rather than abuse it.

And on those occasions when you find yourself eating a cream cake or a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps – so what. Just remind yourself of your intention to eat a little healthier and ask yourself if it is helping you to achieve this – then do whatever feels most appropriate.

Losing weight is only a battle if you make it one.

Be gentle with you, always.



Inspired by, and some research data from:


10 Quick Tips To De-Stress At The Office

Life is stressful. Sometimes work can be even more stressful. You can not only encounter difficult colleagues, but also have to work with supervisors or managers who shouldn’t be left in charge of a tea trolley. Your problems nag, and interfere with productivity, which then causes more problems. So here are 10 tips for things that you can do at your desk to ease the strain and free you up a little from all those troubling thoughts.

They won’t make your problems go away, but they will give your mind a break from thinking about them. If you practice them regularly you will find that life gets better and the problems will be dealt with, without you needing to do quite so much worrying. The trick is to spend just a minute or two, maybe once or twice an hour in order to gain the maximum benefit from these tips.

Close your eyes, and if that isn’t possible because the boss will think you’re sleeping on the job then just de-focus. Place your attention on the inside of your nostrils just below the bridge of your nose. Now take a slow breath with all of your attention on the sensation of the air moving inside your nose. When you breathe in breathe in fully and ensure that the air fills both your abdomen and your chest. Then breathe out a little more slowly than you breathed in. Do this three times.

  1. Focus all of your attention on your left big toe for as long as you can keep it there.
  2. Say to yourself “What am I most aware of now?” and answer that question. Give preference to physical sensations and sensory input rather than the worrying thoughts that are plaguing you. So you might respond:  the noise in the office; the pressure of the chair on my thighs; the noise of the fan; the ache in my back… As soon as you have responded, then ask yourself the same question again, and answer it. It does not matter whether you are most aware of the same thing or something different. Keep asking and answering until you feel some small relief from the stress build up.
  3. If possible, get up and just walk to the end of the room, if you need an excuse use the photocopier, get some water, find a paperclip.
  4. If you have a height adjustable chair, move it to the top of its range or the bottom. This will give you a slight change in perspective that is frequently all you need to see the world differently. You only need to leave it there for a few minutes before returning to normal.
  5. Eat an orange. The smell is pleasurable and the vitamin C will help to de-stress you. It also gives you a good excuse to stretch your legs because you’ll need to wash your hands afterwards. The peel in your waste bin will make your desk smell nice.
  6. Grab a pencil and piece of paper. Write down the numbers 1 to 10 in a column and next to each number write down one word to represent whatever it is that is stressing you right now. You don’t have to do 10, but don’t do more. Then go down the list, one item at a time, and cross out the word you have written and replace it with a word that represents your most desired outcome to the problem. When you have finished, tear it up and drop it in the waste bin.
  7. Spend just a minute or two drifting back in time to a happy or pleasurable memory. Allow yourself to feel all the good feelings you felt back then as you relive that moment in time. Then come back to the present but do your best to keep hold of the good feelings.
  8. Imagine yourself floating out of your body and up to the ceiling looking down at yourself. Then imagine floating up ever higher, always with an awareness of you at work, up through the building (you’ll have to pretend you can see through walls for this) and into the sky, ever higher. Drift up out of the atmosphere and be aware of how tiny you are as the curve of the planet becomes apparent to you. Drift up into space and see the Earth getting smaller and smaller, while still retaining that awareness of you at work. Drift up until you finally arrive at the moon. Sit on the moon for a moment or two, looking towards Earth and you at work, then reverse the process and drift slowly back.
  9. Pretend that you have just won £100,000 or maybe $100,000 or whatever your local currency is. Then think about what you would treat yourself to. Not the whole amount, just something very special that you wouldn’t normally be able to justify. Spend a few moments imagining going out to buy it, or ordering it on-line and getting home with the package awaiting you. Think about opening it up and enjoying that pleasure of having something new and special just for you. Again this should take only a few minutes.

Have fun with them, but don’t forget to remember to come back to work after a couple of minutes.


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If You Want To Lose Weight – There Are Two Things You Need To Know

The Western World is fat.

There is no doubt about that.

Two out of every three Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. For children aged from 6 to 19 that figure is 1 in 5 just for obesity. So in a typical classroom of 6 year olds there would be 7 or 8 obese children. When I think back to my school days, obesity in children just wasn’t there.
So what’s gone wrong?

It’s probably a little easy to blame fast food, but it didn’t exist in my youth. A bag of chips on an occasional Friday night was about the fastest it ever got. Food was cooked at home by Mum from fresh ingredients. Yet most kids had a full meal in the school canteen at lunchtime and another in the evening when they got home.

I remember getting lots of exercise as a child. I walked everywhere. Very few families had cars and the only way to go anywhere was by bus or train; and that involved a walk to the stop or the station, and then, at the other end, to wherever you wanted to go.

So what has this got to do with losing weight?

I was doing some research on Calorie counting for a new weight loss book I’m in the process of writing and came across some interesting information. Some foods, like sugar, give up their Calories so much more easily than other foods like raw vegetables. When the body has to work harder to extract the energy from food, it burns more Calories. The end result of this is that you could have a doughnut and handful of walnuts, say, both with the same reported number of Calories, but the net gain of energy to your body would be much higher with the doughnut because the energy is more readily available as sugar and so is easy to release.

In other words, a doughnut makes you fatter than a pile of walnuts – even though the Calorie count is identical.

All Calories are not created equal.

This new piece of information also led me down some other avenues regarding sugar and how the body treats it.

Sugar is one of the two things in the title that you need to know about.

The First Thing

The first thing you need to know if you want to lose weight concerns a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure inducing chemical that the brain releases in response to certain things. Increased blood sugar is one of those things. Sugar causes a rapid release of dopamine and that creates a pleasure response in the body. This falls off quite quickly and leaves us with a craving for more sugar. This is highly problematic when you are eating less in order to lose weight because it triggers uncontrolled binge eating.

Just imagine, you have been following your diet plan all week, feel very pleased with yourself, and have managed to convince yourself that since it’s the weekend and you’ve been so good you deserve a small treat. A treat in these circumstances will always be something loaded with sugar – cake, chocolate, ice cream… This sugar hit causes a dopamine release that makes you feel good, which is what you wanted, but then as the dopamine dissipates you are left with an uncontrollable urge to eat more and you find yourself having not one small treat but several large ones until you start feeling bloated or nauseous and then wonder what happened. After all you were so good, and only intended to have a small treat and know you’ve undone all the good work of a whole week and you have no idea what just happened.

Your body chemistry took control of your mind that’s what happened.

In order to ensure this does not happen, just avoid eating overly sweet foods as a treat. Buy yourself a small gift instead if you need to reward yourself. Sugar, especially when you’ve abstained for a while, triggers binge eating and it is very difficult to gain control once the dopamine craving has you in its grip because this process interferes with rational thought. You are, for a short while, quite literally out of your mind.

The Second Thing

The other thing you need to know if you want to lose weight also relates to dieting in order to lose weight. And oddly enough also connects with dopamine again.

The way our brains are wired is such that they seek out novelty. New stuff stimulates us and makes us feel good and alive and interested. Stuff that’s been around for a while has little stimulating effect. When you eat something tasty that you haven’t eaten before, you may find yourself seeking it out again so that you can re-experience that pleasure. You will be surprised to discover that by the third time you eat that particular meal it is starting to become very ordinary and you wonder whether they are cooking it differently somehow because it’s just not as good as you remember that first time.

Diets can tend to be a bit repetitive in the meals you have available. After all how many low-fat, low-sugar things can you do to lettuce and tomatoes to make them interesting?

Each time you eat the same meal, the dopamine response gets lower and you enjoy it less. Because you stop enjoying something you previously enjoyed then mealtimes get boring and this also leads to the search for stimulating food and ends up with a sugar binge.

Variety is the key, you need to vary your meals as much as possible because that helps you to maintain the enjoyment of eating less that is so important to successful weight loss.


Smoke Yourself to Death – We Don’t Care

Fact Meets Fiction

A couple of months ago a book was recommended to me – The Racketeer by John Grisham. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d never read any of his work before so it was a pleasant surprise to encounter a new author with several books on the shelves of the local library.

John Grisham, if you aren’t familiar with his work, writes legal thrillers about courtroom dramas, lawyers, and the corruption in the US legal system.

I’m halfway through The Runaway Jury at the moment. I’ll briefly tell you the story but, no, this isn’t a book review. The story is very relevant to a piece of health news I came across this morning. The Runaway Jury is a story about a widow’s fight for compensation from a tobacco company for the death of her husband – caused by lung cancer. The fascinating part of the story is all the dirty tricks going on in the background – from eliminating jury members who are almost certainly going to vote against you, to blackmailing family members in order to coerce a jury member to vote the right way.

The suggestion is that the huge wealth of the tobacco companies is sufficient to ensure a favourable verdict because they have absolutely no scruples – as long as they don’t get caught.

Legislation Weakened

Then, while checking through my health news updates this morning I came across a piece regarding new tobacco legislation in the US.

“White House changes to proposed rules for tobacco products significantly weakened language detailing health risks from cigars and deleted restrictions that might have prevented online sales of e-cigarettes, published documents show.” – Reuters

The White House also “deleted an FDA analysis showing that exempting premium cigars from a proposal to require large warning labels would save manufacturers $1 million to $3 million but incur costs to public health of $32.6 million to $34.2 million.”

A lot of the White House’s interference seems to relate to the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) attempts to regulate sales of e-cigarettes, with the consequence that they will still be readily available to under-18’s.


The tobacco lobby is powerful and determined to resist any legislation that will negatively impact the industry’s profits – regardless of the consequences to its customers’ health and well-being.

Douglas H. Luke PhD. St Louis University, examined pro-tobacco political campaign contributions between 1993 and 2000. He found that 220 Republicans and 140 Democrat legislators accepted more than $6.8 million in contributions.  So it’s hardly surprising that anti-tobacco legislation is easily influenced.

From a research paper on how the tobacco industry influences US law.

Protect Profits

This goal of preserving the tobacco market was repeated many times, such as in this 1995 Philip Morris internal document, which stated:

“Our goal is to help shape regulatory environments that enable our businesses to achieve their objectives in all locations where we do business. “Our overall approach to the issues is to fight aggressively with all available resources, against any attempt, from any quarter, to diminish our ability to manufacture our products efficiently, and market them effectively. “We are also becoming more and more proactive in launching programs and hope that we can control the regulation which results from a public sense of inaction. “We also know that in a world where our business interests have enemies—sometimes the best offense is to aim right at the heart of the problem [health consequences of tobacco use] our critics raise. “By solving the problem, we take away their ammunition to harm us. “In short, we are very clear about our objective—an unyielding and aggressive defense of our rights to make and sell our products and our consumers’ rights to have a free marketplace so that they can choose and use those products.”

The tobacco industry’s public rhetoric never mentions its primary objective: to ensure a large customer base, stable markets, and higher profits.


Philip Morris is the manufacturer of Marlboro, L&M, Bond Street, Parliament, Chesterfield as well as other cigarette brands. It makes an annual profit of around $2,000,000,000.


That Healthy Nicotine Buzz

In my experience of both helping people to stop smoking and talking to friends who smoke, e-cigarettes are a great way to get the nicotine buzz without all the carcinogens contained in the smoke. But everyone I know who switched to e-cigarettes and praised them eventually started smoking real cigarettes again. It seems it’s easy to stop smoking real cigarettes for a while, but the safer electronic versions soon pall and so the cigarette manufacturers can rest assured that their products still have a profitable demand.

It seems e-ciggies, despite all the fancy flavours, aren’t able to help people quit.

But apart from that I have serious doubts about their safety. Nicotine is a highly toxic poison. There is no way around that. Still it keeps the tobacco growing industry in business and the tobacco industry is a multi-billion dollar one.

The Money is all that Matters

The tobacco industry is very like Big Pharma. Billions and billions of dollars are available and any threat to that massive income is dealt with in whatever way is necessary. I can’t help thinking about corruption in high places, when legislation designed to make it more difficult to get hooked on cigarettes, or even just nicotine, is either scuppered or watered down.

It’s all about profit.

You don’t matter.


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Are You One Of The 1 In 5?

A recent report from the Mental Health Foundation suggests that 1 in 5 of us feels anxious a lot or all of the time. The majority of this group (60%) are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis. Understandably, young people (exams and school work pressure perhaps) and the unemployed (bills, lack of prospects, and a bleak future, maybe) feature in the most anxious groups of people.

Today there also seems to be much more pressure from employers to get more and more work from their employees without commensurate compensation. I’ve not investigated so I don’t know how true it is but I see regular comments on the internet about Wal-Mart staff in the US working full time and having to claim welfare in order to feed themselves adequately. In the UK the minimum wage is £6.31 per hour, so working 7 hours, five days a week gets you around £200 a week in your pocket. A half decent terraced house runs to £150 week in rent so that leaves £50/week for food, clothes, utility bills etc… It seems ridiculous to me that you can have a full time job and not be able to afford a decent home that you can also afford to heat – as well as feed yourself a reasonably healthy diet.

Hardly surprising that anxiety is endemic is it?

…and that’s just the financial side.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that until we have our body’s physical needs satisfied we can think of nothing else – so our primary need as human beings is for things like food, water and warmth. Once this requirement is met then safety – in the form of security and a roof over our heads – is our next requirement, until these two basic needs are met we have little time for socialising, doing fun stuff and actually living the life we want to live, growing within ourselves and developing our natural talents and abilities.

So while we are worried about survival, we can’t think about being happy and contented.

But money, or rather a lack of it, isn’t the only reason for anxiety.

Many of us were never taught healthy coping skills for dealing with the things that caused us to worry. This report suggests that 1 in 4 of us eat in order to comfort ourselves (I go into the reasons for this in my book How to Lose Weight Easily); and another 1 in 5 attempt to solve their problems by simply hiding away from the world. Of course social media makes this so easy to do nowadays. With Facebook you can stay physically isolated and yet still fool yourself that you are socially connected.

But there is still that mental health stigma that causes around a quarter of sufferers to believe that feeling anxious equates to not being able to cope. This sense of inadequacy prevents them from seeking help. Another third are simply too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they are experiencing anxiety.

Perhaps the saddest part of all of this is that half of the people surveyed said that anxiety has prevented them from doing something they really wanted to do.

Anxiety is no fun at all. Anxiety can be crippling when you appear to be powerless to change your circumstances and you are up to your eyes in debt – not from reckless spending, but from just trying to keep going with the basics that everyone takes for granted.

Unfortunately the only solution available to most people, should they admit they actually need help, is to go to their doctor and be given some drugs. In extreme cases drugs can help, but by and large they just prolong the agony, because drugs only interfere with brain function on a chemical level. Most anxiety is about real physical circumstances, or an inability to cope with what most other people take in their stride. Drugs can’t change external circumstances. Drugs don’t change the way you handle problems and difficulties. When the drugs stop the world is still out there. What needs to change is the style of thinking about the world. Thinking about the world differently allows you to access solutions – yes even solutions to financial difficulties.

The anxiety clouds your ability to think clearly and you get bogged down. Your lack of self-belief, or maybe even seeing yourself as a failure, clouds your judgment with regard to your true talents and abilities.

There is a way out.

My book Change Your Life with Self-Hypnosis shows you several techniques that will help you to move towards freedom and happiness. It’s not the only solution, but it’s certainly a good place to start. Best of all you can do it all on your own, and if you feel in need of a little guidance from time to time you can always email me and I’ll do what I can to help.


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The report:


Some great free downloads on Coping with Anxiety and mental Health Awarenesss


What to do When Your World Overwhelms You

It’s really strange how our emotions seem to control our lives. Well… perhaps not so much our lives, but how we feel about our lives. You can be sailing along quite happily and then suddenly a big storm appears out of nowhere – just didn’t see it coming – and bang your world is in pieces and the prospect of a return to the idyllic happiness you were experiencing is gone forever.

What did I do wrong?

Is God punishing me?

Has Life got it in for me?

I’m a good person, I don’t deserve this, do I?

These are the kind of thoughts that appear, along with:

How will I cope?

Where will I live?

I feel so lonely.

My words do not even come close to touching the depths of despair that may be drowning you right now.

A few days ago I heard from a friend. Her husband had left her after 20+ years of happy marriage; children moved away, family home – filled with wonderful loving memories – being sold. Life was over and she was distraught and had no idea who to turn to or how to cope with all of this unfairness.

I remember when the same sort of thing happened to me about 20 years ago. My psychologist said something that was the most powerful thing anyone has ever said to me. It was also the last thing I wanted to hear when I was feeling so sorry for my self – knowing that my life, and my happiness was over.

He said…

“Why not you?”

It stopped me in my tracks and made me think. My assumption was this stuff only happened to other people. I was a good person and so deserved good things, not this hellish nightmare. But it slowly dawned on me that I’m just like everyone else and sometimes stuff happens that we don’t like. It doesn’t say anything about us. It doesn’t make a statement about our goodness or our badness.

Sometimes bad stuff happens to good people.

It’s as simple as that.

Once you really get that, you can move on and start to live again.

Once you really get that, you can let go of the past and look towards the future.

Once you really get that, you can see that it is just another challenge, with just another solution.

You don’t have to like the current situation but the sooner you can move to a state of acceptance of what is, the sooner you can move away from it and into a brighter future. While you mourn for the past (and this is a perfectly natural and healthy thing to do – for a while) you are held in the past. When the grieving is finished life will open up once more for you.

But in the meantime you can feel completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with just getting through the day. To that end I wrote The Ten Commitments: For When the World Overwhelms You.

This brief book guides you through the process of how to get through a day when coping with the demands of the world is just too much. I walk you through ten simple steps that you can cope with –  even in the midst of grief.

Help is available to you when your world overwhelms you, and today, it seems that so many people make so many demands on our time, energy, and emotional stability that the experience of being overwhelmed is happening all too frequently. Grab your copy TODAY and if you don’t need it today at least you’ll have it ready for when you do.


Words Add More Weight Than Calories

Words make you fat.

My work with hypnosis long ago taught me the power of words. I’ve changed lives, removed fears, eased pain, and helped people to lose weight. I did all of that using nothing more than words. But words have so much power they can harm as well as heal.

A recent long-term US study, conducted by A. Janet Tomiyama, Asst Prof of Psychology, UCLA, followed the weight of 2,379 girls from the age of 10 until the age of 19. Almost 60% of these children had been told they were too fat by the time they were 10. Girls labelled too fat were much more likely to be obese at age 19. The greater the number of people who told a girl she was too fat the greater the likelihood of obesity at age 19.

This is not just a case of fatter children growing into fat adults, because the effects of actual weight were statistically removed in the study. The only factor whose effect was measured was being told you were too fat and by whom. The greater the emotional attachment to the person who criticises the weight – the greater the weight increase in later years.

This is quite fascinating because one of society’s solutions for problems is to point them out.

That’s all that is happening here. People who love the child, and know the problems that obesity brings, simply want to help by encouraging the child to become aware of their problem.

But it has the opposite effect.

Of course if you’ve read my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Diets Forever you’ll know all about emotional eating. So what is it going to do to a ten year old girl to tell her, no matter how lovingly, that she is too fat – in a world where attractive & loved & popular & famous = SLIM?

It’s not going to cheer her up.

It is going to make her unhappy.

And what do overweight people do when they are unhappy and can’t control their world?

They eat.

Do they eat lettuce and apples? No! They eat sweets and cakes and fats and sugars.

“When people feel bad, they tend to eat more, not decide to diet or take a jog,” Tomiyama said. “Making people feel bad about their weight could increase their levels of the hormone cortisol, which generally leads to weight gain.”

All that matters, especially with a young child, is that they learn to feel good about themselves. Not good about what they look like, or whether they fit in with society’s current view of physical perfection, but good about who they are; good about their talents and abilities; good about how kind and loving they are; and good about everything they do.

Yes, it’s a good idea to ensure they have a healthy diet, but you can do that without stigmatising a child, or regarding a healthy diet as some sort of punishment for getting too fat. I mean what 10 year old has any idea of the connection between their long-term weight and enjoying an ice cream?

Be kind.

Encourage and support a shift to a healthier diet and more active play rather than computer fun. That’s all you need – except…

You just might want to tell your ten year old daughter how beautiful she is.


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