Archive for the ‘Hypnotherapy’ Category

September 17, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Hypnotherapy, Research

Researchers at the Division of Gastroenterology at the Feinberg School of Medicine  in Chicago have been investigating the impact of hypnosis and hypnotherapy on clinical remission rates over a one year period in patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis, much like it’s sister condition Crohn’s Disease, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that is thought to be auto immune in origin – a condition in which the body’s immune system conducts an inflammatory response against its own tissues. The resulting symptoms can be a distressing mix of severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloody stools, weight loss and general malaise.

The researchers in this trial aimed to study the feasibility and acceptability of hypnotherapy and assess the impact of hypnotherapy on clinical remission rates over a one year period in patients with a historical rate of their ulcerative colitis flaring 1.3 times a year.

A total of 54 patients were randomised at a single site to seven sessions of gut-directed hypnotherapy or attention control and followed for 1 year. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants in each condition that had remained clinically asymptomatic (in clinical remission) through 52 weeks after their treatment.

The researchers concluded that after 1 year 68% of the patients that received the gut directed hypnotherapy maintained their clinical remission, versus 40% of the patients in the attention control group. In addition they noted that there were no significant differences between groups over time in quality of life, medication adherence, perceived stress or psychological factors.

The researchers concluded their trial was the first prospective study that demonstrated a significant effect of a psychological intervention on prolonging clinical remission in patients with quiescent ulcerative.

You can read about the full details of the trial here:


August 30, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy

Phobias are a common source of distress, so common in fact that in the US phobias are the most common form of ‘mental illness’ among women and the second most common in men over the age of 25. Hypnotherapy for phobias is therefore a therapy option that is often sought out, and it’s one that can have profound results in helping people with what can be a disabling problem that severely limits quality of life.

There is a huge range in the phobias in which people can develop, from social phobias connected to anxiety around people or certain social circumstances, and more specific phobias that connected to certain triggers such as lifts, dogs, heights, flying etc. Where a phobia is tied to the pairing of a specific stimulus to a negative emotion during an early formative experience there is a huge range of subjects that can become the source of phobic reactions since the stimulus becomes automatically associated with the emotion in later life. This means people can develop phobic reactions to nearly anything, providing the early sensitizing experience is strong enough. Equally so for some people there may well be no conscious memory or realization of why a given subject has become the source of a phobic reaction.

What is common for many people experiencing a phobia is that they are fully aware their reaction is disproportionate to the actual threat posed, and yet this can have little impact on their experience. This can leave people feeling frustrated, powerless and stuck. That hypnotherapy works with people subconsciously is one of the reasons why it can be such a useful method of therapy for this issue.

acupuncture & hypnotherapy Berkhamsted, Milton Keynes

Anybody who experiences a phobia already knows what it’s like to be hypnotized,  since what they’re currently hypnotized with is all of the negative imaginings, the  terrifying mental rehearsal, and the negative predictions about what would happen in  the future were they were to be in the circumstance that produces their anxiety.  These imaginings in the forms of mental pictures, feelings and sounds we take  completely for granted since they are such a normal part of life but they serve as the  programming that influences our future experience. Hypnotherapy helps with  phobias in a number of different ways, and in a way that it always tailored to each  person, but in part it works by helping you use the same internal machinery of your  imagination in a way that is empowering rather than dis empowering, and helps you  create the kind of experience where you’re calm and comfortable in a circumstance that previously produced fear and anxiety.

When you combine these hypnotic exercises with powerful techniques that can help clear up early sensitizing experiences that are the roots of phobia, then you have the possibility of creating a much more positive kind of future to live into.

My approach is to treat people and their own particular problem as completely unique and as such therapy is fresh for each person in an environment that’s supportive and understanding. If you suffer with a phobia, and are curious about how hypnotherapy could help you, please feel free to get in touch with me on 07717 515 013 or by email at










July 8, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Research

In many countries the use of complementary and alternative approaches to healthcare is increasing. Researchers recently distributed a questionnaire to all GP’s registered within the Liverpool Primary Care Trust to determine the referral patterns and attitudes towards the various complementary medical approaches among GP’s. This survey was a follow up to questionnaires collected in 1999.

The researchers reported that the most popular complementary therapies are still acupuncture, hypnotherapy and chiropractic, with the least popular being aromatherapy, medical herbalism and reflexology. GP’s felt most comfortable with acupuncture and expressed a greater desire for it to receive NHS funding than for other therapies.

In recent years acupuncture has received an increased level of endorsement from NICE – The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, which currently recommend the use of acupuncture in the short term management of lower back pain, tension headaches and migraines. NICE set the recommendations and treatment guidelines for doctors and medical professionals in the NHS regarding the treatment of patients.

The British Acupuncture Council is the main regulatory body for the UK’s 3000 traditional acupuncturists. All it’s members, of which I’m one have had an extensive training in Acupuncture to degree level involving a training that typically lasts 3-4 years.

I have had extensive experience and training in Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and hypnotherapy and provide traditional acupuncture and hypnotherapy at my clinical base in Berkhamsted.

If you’re suffering with a physical or emotional problem and you’re wondering what acupuncture or hypnotherapy could do for you, then please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013 or email me at


You can find details of the research into GP’s attitudes toward complementary approaches here:



July 8, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy

acupuncture & hypnotherapy Berkhamsted, Milton KeynesHypnotherapy for confidence is something many people ask about when they are thinking of having hypnotherapy. Problems with confidence are very common, and yet it tends to be something people suffer with silently often feeling that the problem is unique to them.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy offers a safe, gentle and powerful way of helping you overcome any barriers from the past that may be hampering your experience of confidence in the present, and helps put you back in control of your emotional state.

Its often the case that problems with confidence stem from limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and what we’re capable of that are operating underneath our conscious awareness. This often creates the experience of being emotionally hijacked in the present by uncomfortable feelings we don’t fully understand; in relation to confidence we can feel overpowered by a sense of not being able to cope with situations we face, or that we lack an ability in an area in which its required.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy has some wonderful ways and means of identifying these limiting beliefs that may be contributing to the problem and working with them creatively so they lose their power in negatively impacting the present. Cognitive hypnotherapy in addition helps you to relax, and by using your mind and imagination creatively, promotes living into a much more positive kind of experience instead. For many people who are experiencing problems with confidence, this may manifest as being more comfortably calm and at ease in those areas of life that previously evoked feelings of stress and anxiety.

I provide hypnotherapy for problems with confidence and a wide variety of other issues at my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. If you’re curious about how hypnotherapy could help any problems you might have, then please feel free to telephone me on 07717 515 013 or email me at



June 18, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy

If you’re looking for a hypnotherapist in Hertfordshire, my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted is conveniently located at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic and easily reachable to the many local towns in the west Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire area.

So if you’re seeking hypnotherapy in St Albans, hypnotherapy in Watford or hypnotherapy in Hemel Hempstead I’m within easy reach of your location just off the A41.

Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic has been a place of healing for a remarkable 82 years. It’s Britain’s longest standing Chiropractic Clinic in its original location and is a multidisciplinary clinic with many practitioners. All of us here are passionate about helping people with a variety of physical and emotional problems to help them through their difficulties toward better health.

I run my own practice from the clinic where I provide acupuncture and cognitive hypnotherapy and have had an extensive training in both fields. As well as a mid week clinic I also offer weekend and late evening appointments for those clients who need out of office hours appointments.

All of my hypnotherapy sessions are scheduled at 90 mins per session which allows ample time for a thorough in depth approach where I work very closely with an individualized method that’s created fresh for each client. No two clients ever receive the same therapy, and it’s my intention is to work with you with whatever is problematic about your experience at the moment, to help you use your mind and your imagination to bring about your own solutions. Just as the mind can be extraordinarily powerful in creating many of our problems, it can also be used in surprising ways to to create the solutions.

In recent years hypnotherapy has become considerably more popular as the capacity for our minds and our imagination to influence our experience has become more widely acknowledged. People have hypnotherapy for many reasons – from managing stress and reducing anxiety levels, to changing unwanted behaviours like over eating and stopping smoking, and also to aid sleep and relaxation. Hypnotherapy has also in recent times been used in some areas of the NHS for problems like irritable bowel syndrome. It is likely that in future years hypnotherapy will feature more prominently in healthcare as more is understood about how the mind influences the physical functioning of the body.

If you’re curious about what hypnotherapy could do for you please feel free to ring or email me and I’d be happy to discuss any questions you might have.

You can email me at or telephone me on 07717 515 013.

June 16, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Research

While conducting clinical trials with hypnotherapy that honour the individuality of each client is complicated, a recent pilot study by researchers on the use of hypnotherapy for managing stress yielded some interesting results not only in terms of the experience of the patients using the hypnosis, but also on a physiological marker for inflammation – considered a reflection of the stress response.

The researchers gave 11 participants a self hypnosis CD designed to recondition and improve participants’ emotional and physical reactions to perceived work and life stressors. The patients then had their subjective measures of coping, resilience, and stress tolerance measured, as well as, IL-6, an objective blood measure of inflammatory activity. The pilot study took place over 12 weeks.

The participants in the trial reported a significant decrease in negative thinking patterns such as, self-deprecating statements, perfectionism, and pessimistic thinking, and an improvement in eating/nutritional habits following the hypnosis as well as a reduction in the marker for inflammation.

It’s interesting that even a generic self hypnosis cd could produce such positive change and one could wonder how those results might be improved upon with a highly tailored and individualized hypnotherapy program working with a hypnotherapist in the context of a therapeutic relationship. In this context, it’s possible to work  with suggestive work that is personally tailored to be specific to each client – a very important part of good hypnotherapy since everybody experiences their problem and their idea of what constitutes a solution, in a very different way. For me, and for those using Cognitive Hypnotherapy, this is a key factor in effective hypnotherapy.

All in all the research was suggestive that hypnotherapy can produce some promising results in managing stress, good news for anyone that might be looking for how hypnotherapy could help reduce their stress levels naturally.

I provide hypnotherapy for stress management at my hypnotherapy clinics in Berkhamsted and Milton Keynes and can be contacted by email or telephone if you have any questions about what hypnotherapy could do for your stress levels.

The details of the trial mentioned can be found here:



January 27, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, In the media

Does hypnotherapy for pain relief produce measurable change in the brain?

One of the more slippery aspects of investigating hypnosis has been teasing out what’s actually going on when people are hypnotised (being ‘hypnotised’ can be understood as simply participating in a process of suggestion using focus, attention and imagination).

In recent years though this problem has become easier to resolve with the development of neuroimaging techniques that give an objective picture of what’s occurring in the brains of hypnotic subjects, and the results of these experiments are intriguing.

A Guardian article on hypnosis and neuroscience back in 2010 reported on research of a woman with synaesthesia whose condition was ‘disrupted’ while undergoing hypnotic suggestion. Not only was her subjective experience of the symptoms improved but the electro physiological correlates of her brain changed too, suggesting her brain was experiencing less of the dissonance that characterises the condition. Synaesthesia is a condition whereby stimulation of one cognitive pathway creates an involuntary stimulation in another so that sufferers may for example see sounds or hears colours, so the fact that such a condition was apparently amenable to psychological suggestion was surprising.

This excerpt from a BBC programme below looks in a similar vein at what happens to one journalist’s experience of a painful stimulus when undergoing a hypnotic suggestion for anaesthesia. What he experiences, and what his brain demonstrates surprised him, and it might surprise you too….


N.B If you’re considering hypnotherapy for pain relief you must see your GP first to rule out any underlying cause for the problem

February 10, 2012 · by Sean Heneghan · General News, Hypnotherapy

No longer the centrepiece of embarrassing entertainment shows, hypnosis, or more accurately clinical hypnosis is emerging as a particularly potent form of medical treatment for a wide variety of problems and conditions. Supported by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and widely acknowledged in the medical community as a particularly powerful form of pain relief, hypnotherapy can be a valuable method of inducing deep states of relaxation and rapidly shifting the way we think about problems. In common practice, it’s normal for a hypnotherapist to treat clients for a wide variety of issues ranging from depression and anxiety, to phobias, weight control, exam nerves and much more.

Perhaps more than any other kind of therapy, hypnotherapy is one in which the relationship between the client and the practitioner is of prime importance. It takes trust and a sense of comfort and confidence on the part of the client in the qualities and potentials of the hypnotherapist for the experience to be as fruitful as possible, so good therapists in this modality are like gold dust and best sought out on the back of trusted recommendation.

One such therapist is my friend and colleague Hazel Gale. Hazel’s a hypnotherapist in north east London as well as the two times world kickboxing champion and the current ABA (amateur boxing association) champion. When it comes to sports hypnosis her work is second to none and built on her skills not only as a top athlete herself, but also in her capacity to develop similar skills in her clients. She also however works brilliantly with a wide range of other issues aside from sports performance, and is my recommendation for anybody looking for hypnotherapy in east london.


Hazel Gale - Clinical Hypnotherapist

You can read about the results Hazel achieves with her clients here, or for the main page of her website visit:

You can also reach her by telephone on 07870 180 548, or via her clinic’s facebook page here