Chronic Stress Can Affect Your Digestive System

Chronic Stress Can Affect Your Digestive System

We have all experienced stress in our everyday lives for various reasons (stressors) including work, finances, marital conflict, family problems, bereavement, Illness, lack of time and academic work. What many people don’t know is that chronic stress can affect your digestive system

Stress can affect our health in significant ways and especially our digestive system. Have you ever suffered symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea or urgency in bowel motions before a stressful event such as exams or important presentation? This is a simple demonstration of the link between our emotions and our digestive system.

Stress and the Stress response

Stress may be defined as an acute threat to body’s stable internal environment, be it real (physical) or perceived (psychological), and whether posed by events in the outside world or from within ourselves.

Stress induces bodily responses which serve to defend the stability of our body’s internal environment and to help ensure our survival. 

Physical responses to stress include rise in blood pressure, rapid breathing and increased heart rate, slowing down of the digestive system and increased muscle tension.

Additionally, our bodies release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol during stress.

Prolonged stress results in higher levels of these hormones, particularly cortisol which can lead to weight gain, weakened immune function, depression and digestive problems.

Chronic stress and Irritable bowel syndrome

Stressful life events have been associated with the onset or symptom worsening in some of the most common chronic disorders of the digestive system, including functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGD), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and peptic ulcer disease (PUD).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder and is often characterised by lower abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation, flatulence, passing mucus in stools and feeling of urgency to open bowels.

The relationship between stress and IBS is complex and multiple other factors including food intolerance or allergy, intestinal infection, injury (e.g., abdominal or pelvic surgery), intestinal inflammation, changes in the intestinal bacteria, abuse and early life learning have been found to contribute to the development of IBS syndrome.

However, numerous studies have also shown that stress is a key contributor to IBS and may, in fact, worsen symptoms.

Evidence from clinical and experimental studies showed that psychological stresses have marked impact on intestinal function such as sensitivity, motility, secretion and permeability.

Managing stress-related digestive problems

  1. Medical assessment: Many digestive problems have similar symptoms so a medical examination and investigations will need to be performed to confirm a diagnosis of IBS and indeed if stress is implicated in symptoms.
  2. Manage your levels of stress: The best way to address a stress- related condition is to tackle the underlying stressor and/or find ways to cope with it. Simple techniques such as ensuring adequate sleep; physical activity, talking to friends and family and relaxation techniques like self-hypnosis, mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises may be beneficial in managing stress levels.
  3. Dietary therapy: For some individuals, dietary manipulation may provide digestive symptom improvement. A food and symptom diary may be beneficial to identify trigger foods. If you are diagnosed with a stress-related digestive disorder, don’t suffer in silence. Address your stress levels and seek help from a health professional.

The symptoms of IBS can be miserable for the individual who may feel powerless, embarrassed or fearful of being in public.  Meditation and other relaxation techniques can help a person to manage their stressors and ultimately reduce the physical symptoms that arise from stress.

Visit my website to understand how stress impacts on physical health  and how hypnosis and NLP may change how you think and feel, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Learn more about Mindfulness Meditation.

Read more about Stress and the digestive system here and how stress impacts on IBS here

Contact me on 07708 961073 or e-mail to book an appointment to learn how to create mind/body balance to improve your health and emotions.

Source:  Olivera Kegey (MSc, RD) & Laurene Boateng (MPhil, RD)

Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity

Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity

Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity.  Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable — such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast — complaining isn’t good for you.

Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat behaviour, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behaviour in the future — so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it.

You can’t blame your brain. Who’d want to build a temporary bridge every time you need to cross a river? It makes a lot more sense to construct a permanent bridge. So, your neurons grow closer together, and the connections between them become more permanent. Scientists like to describe this process as, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behaviour, which changes how people perceive you.

And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus — an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.

Complaining is also bad for your health

While it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself.

All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

It’s Not Just You…

Since human beings are inherently social, our brains naturally and unconsciously mimic the moods of those around us, particularly people we spend a great deal of time with. This process is called neuronal mirroring, and it’s the basis for our ability to feel empathy. The flip side, however, is that it takes complaining a lot like smoking — you don’t have to do it yourself to suffer the ill effects. You need to be cautious about spending time with people who complain about everything. Complainers want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers.


The solution to complaining

There are two things you can do when you feel the need to complain. One is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. That is, when you feel like complaining, shift your attention to something that you’re grateful for. Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood and energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels. Any time you experience negative or pessimistic thoughts, use this as a cue to shift gears and to think about something positive. In time, a positive attitude will become a way of life.

The second thing you can do — and only when you have something that is truly worth complaining about — is to engage in solution-oriented complaining.

Think of it as complaining with a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

1.Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain for its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.

2.Start with something positive. It may seem counterintuitive to start a complaint with a compliment, but starting with a positive helps keep the other person from getting defensive. For example, before launching into a complaint about poor customer service, you could say something like, “I’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been thrilled with your service…”

3.Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Your employee was rude to me,” describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.

4.End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, “I’m never shopping here again,” the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining with no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, “I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.”

The problem is that most of what we feel, think and do is mindless and we are simply not aware that we are complaining or being negative.  The practice of mindfulness can enhance our awareness so that we can be more aware.  Read more in my newsletter article about mindfulness.

Source:  Travis Bradberry PH.D


The Benefits Of Controlled Breathing

The Benefits Of Controlled Breathing

Breathe. Exhale. Repeat: The Benefits of Controlled Breathing

Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat four times.

Congratulations. You’ve just calmed your nervous system.

The Benefits of Controlled Breathing

Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Buddha advocated breath-meditation as a way to reach enlightenment.

Science is just beginning to provide evidence that the benefits of this ancient practice are real. Studies have found, for example, that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder.

How Controlled Breathing Helps

How controlled breathing may promote healing remains a source of scientific study. One theory is that controlled breathing can change the response of the body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls unconscious processes such as heart rate and digestion as well as the body’s stress response, says Dr. Richard Brown, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and co-author of “The Healing Power of the Breath.”

Consciously changing the way you breathe appears to send a signal to the brain to adjust the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, which can slow heart rate and digestion and promote feelings of calm as well as the sympathetic system, which controls the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

Poor Health and StressMany maladies, such as anxiety and depression, are aggravated or triggered by stress. “I have seen patients transformed by adopting regular breathing practices,” says Dr. Brown, who has a private practice in Manhattan and teaches breathing workshops around the world.

When you take slow, steady breaths, your brain gets the message that all is well and activates the parasympathetic response, said Dr. Brown. When you take shallow rapid breaths or hold your breath, the sympathetic response is activated. “If you breathe correctly, your mind will calm down,” said Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College and Dr. Brown’s co-author

Dr. Chris Streeter, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University, recently completed a small study in which she measured the effect of daily yoga and breathing on people with diagnoses of major depressive disorder.

After 12 weeks of daily yoga and coherent breathing, the subjects’ depressive symptoms significantly decreased and their levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a brain chemical that has calming and anti-anxiety effects, had increased. The research was presented in May at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health in Las Vegas. While the study was small and lacked a control group, Dr. Streeter and her colleagues are planning a randomized controlled trial to further test the intervention.  “The findings were exciting,” she said. “They show that a behavioral intervention can have effects of similar magnitude as an antidepressant.”

Controlled breathing may also affect the immune system. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina divided a group of 20 healthy adults into two groups. One group was instructed to do two sets of 10-minute breathing exercises, while the other group was told to read a text of their choice for 20 minutes. The subjects’ saliva was tested at various intervals during the exercise. The researchers found that the breathing exercise group’s saliva had significantly lower levels of three cytokines that are associated with inflammation and stress. The findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in August.

Learn more about how to alleviate stress by visiting my website.

Links:-  The Healing Power of the Breath – Dr. Richard Brown

              Dr. Chris Streeter


The case studies featured below are the experience of individuals;  They may not be your experience.

Healing Anger, Aggression and Jealousy

Healing Anger, Aggression and Jealousy

Healing Anger, Aggression and Jealousy

Healing Anger, Aggression and Jealousy.  David came to see me because he was suffering extreme anger, aggression and jealousy towards his partner of 2 years. This behaviour was totally out of character and was jeopardizing his relationship with not only his partner, but also her family.

David is 50 years of age and the only child of a woman who is judgmental and critical. She did not want a son and never hid this fact from him. She suffered from depression and tried, on several occasions, to commit suicide. As a young boy David came home from school on a number of occasions to find that she had tried to commit suicide.

David’s parents did not have a happy marriage. David has a conscious memory of his Mother walking out – he was a little boy watching his Mother walk out the driveway as he pleaded with her to stay.

The Sessions

I conducted a Word Association Test on David whilst he was in hypnosis. The results revealed that he had a tremendous fear of losing someone he loves.

Regression  to the times when his Mother left home, her attempted suicide and feelings of rejection because he was not a girl did not elicit any emotion. I realized that those events were not the Initial Sensitizing Event (the event that is driving his negative behaviour today). An ISE is usually accompanied by a great deal of emotion.

Further regression uncovered the Initial Sensitizing Event. At age 4 years David was playing in the street outside his home when his dog ran out into the road. The dog was hit by a car and was lying in the road in great pain. The driver initially got out of her car, but then abandoned him. The dog eventually died. He knew he was going to be in trouble with his Mother. David managed to get the dog into the garden and he initially hid it behind a bush. David was not only very upset about the death of his dog, but felt guilty because he believed it was his fault that the dog had got out of the garden.

“I feel different: happy, light hearted, positive & free! My aggression/ anger/ insecurity has been beaten, & I’m able to deal with adverse situations in a rational manner. The change in me has brought us all closer than we could ever have hoped for.”

David, November 2007

David was able to re-play the event and could see that the dog actually got out through a hole in the fence. The 4 year old David was then able to understand that it was not his fault – his Father was responsible for the repair of the fence. Whilst in hypnosis David was able to see himself as a 4 year old sitting alone and scared of what would happen when his Mother found the dog. His Mother discovered him like this and berated him on the death of his dog.

A lot of emotion was released as David re-lived this event. He is a 50 year old man who had believed all these years that it was his fault that his dog had died.

Further regression revealed that David had lived in a past life where he lost the woman he loved due to not keeping in touch with her. There were many regrets. The love that he lost in this past life was his partner in his current life. Meeting her was the symptom producing event – it brought back the memories of loss – of her in the past life and of his dog.

David is now calm and all his initial negative feelings have disappeared.


Sometimes your feelings of loss are hidden. Somehow you get through everyday without despairing over past experiences. And then suddenly something happens to cause behaviour that is out of character. Meeting his partner was that something, that exposed the fact that David had never recovered from his experiences. By having the courage to confront his past, understand what happened and forgive, David has been set free to be happy.

Healing Phobias with Hypnotherapy

Healing Phobias with Hypnotherapy

Healing Phobias with Hypnotherapy

Healing Phobias with Hypnotherapy.  Mary had a fear of doctors, treatments and the medical environment generally. At the time she came to see me she was pregnant and wanted to resolve this problem prior to the birth. She was due to have a C-section and would faint at the mere mention of blood. She was afraid that she would panic during the birth and have an anxiety attack.

Mary’s Mother suffered chronic depression for 10 years and much of her childhood was spent “being good” so as not to upset her mother.

The Sessions

A Word Association Test conducted whilst under hypnosis revealed that there were a lot of fear, anger and resentment issues from childhood, relating to her Mother’s depression. Mary associates hospitals and doctors with sadness and loneliness.

“My experience was definitely positive. After 2 sessions, my hospital stay was not that bad. Even now I can go to the doctor without those feelings of nervousness.”

Mary, March 2008

Hypnotic regression took Mary to a time when she cut her foot at age 5. Her Father dealt with the blood as Mother didn’t like the sight of the blood and kept away.
Further regression revealed that Mary felt responsible for her Mother’s unhappiness and often felt guilty. She took on her Mother’s unhappiness. The younger Mary – whilst in hypnosis – had to understand that the unhappiness did not belong to her. It belonged to her Mother.

Mary also came to understand that she was modeling her Mother’s behaviour with her fear of blood. This fear also did not belong to her.

Mary was able to visualize the future when she was preparing for her C-section to have her baby. She was able to visualize herself being calm and excited about seeing her baby for the first time. She was able to anchor those calm feelings.

I recorded a cd for Mary to listen to at home to re-programme her mind. This cd contained suggestions that blood and medical procedures are not negative. Blood sustains life. Placenta is full of blood and is keeping her unborn baby alive.

Mary reported that she was able to enjoy the birth of her baby in a calm and relaxed manner.

Mary’s phobia was due to unresolved thought-emotions that she needed to uncover and understand. If Mary had not taken this step she would have fallen into a cycle of stress, anxiety and depression which would have left her in despair.

Hypnosis and NLP for Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Hypnosis and NLP for Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Hypnosis and NLP for Anxiety, Stress and Depression.  Anxiety is a normal reaction to Stress.  But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations you need to do something about it before it is not only a burden you have to struggle with every day, but it also makes you physically ill and depressed.

Is your stress impacting on your progress at work?

Are you crippled with exam nerves?

Are you paralyzed with fear at the prospect of speaking in public?

Are you so shy that you avoid interacting with others?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions then your mind and body are telling you that there are unresolved thought-emotions that you need to uncover and understand.  If you don’t you will fall into a cycle of stress, anxiety and depression which may leave you in despair.

Deal with your unresolved thought-emotions and live your life to the fullest!  Jump at this opportunity now and contact Linda Clarke for more information on using Hypnosis  and NLP for Anxiety, Stress and Depression.

What is Mind-Body Balance?

Hypnotherapy and NLP works on the principle that your mind and body work together to create a healthy physical and mental balance.  Psychological or physical ill health occurs when the harmonious balance of mind and body is upset.

How you THINK and what you FEEL influences your PHYSICAL HEALTH


A PHYSICAL SYMPTOM when extended over a period of time will change how you THINK AND FEEL.

If a symptom (eg anxiety) continues to linger after it’s usefulness has ended, this is a sign that the mind and body are no longer working together in harmonious balance.  Understand the cause of your anxiety, learn techniques to choose your emotional state and put those anxiety attacks behind you forever.  Take that step and Contact Linda Clarke today.

Read more about how feelings and emotions impact your health.

Approaches to Alleviating Anxiety

Hypnosis can uncover the underlying causes for anxiety:-

  • What is triggering an anxiety attack?
  • Why is that trigger causing this reaction?

NLP offers us many techniques to access and anchor desired states.  This means that you can choose your emotional state!

The way our minds work is that the physical reaction – in this case anxiety – happens when old memories, emotions and feelings come to the surface.  You may have no conscious knowledge of these feelings and beliefs.  Hypnosis uncovers these memories, allowing you to understand and accept them.  NLP affords us many techniques to access and anchor desired states.  In so doing you restore the mind-body balance required to live a healthy, fulfilled and happy life.

Contact Linda Clarke and explore using hypnosis and NLP for anxiety. Also have a look at Linda’s Holistic Massage which is very effective in alleviating feelings of anxiety and Mindfulness meditation.

HypnoBirthing Case Study – The Birth of Lisa

HypnoBirthing Case Study – The Birth of Lisa

HypnoBirthing Case Study – The Birth of Lisa.  Lasea and Marco – parents of Lisa – attended my HypnoBirthing® course in June 2010. Lasea sent me a testimonial about HypnoBirthing® as she would like to share her beautiful and awesome experience with other mothers.
Lisa was born on 14 September 2010 and here is her story:

Hello my beautiful girl

“Shortly after falling pregnant, I started researching my birthing options.

I soon knew I wanted to birth at home, it was an inner desire/thought that just felt right for me.  The next step was to find the people to support me in my wish. I found Karen van der Merwe as our midwife. She was excellent and very professional.

I also read about HypnoBirthing and that appealed to me. I knew I wanted a peaceful beautiful birth for my baby. I argued that she will only be born once and I wanted this to be perfect and the best possible experience for all of us. I hoped that HypnoBirthing would assist me with this vision.

We started classes with Linda in the winter of 2010. I attended the first 2 classes on my own and even gave up the opening of the soccer world cup for this. I was so enthusiastic about the course as it made sense to me and felt right in my guts. The classes were great and gave Marco also more peace of mind and confidence. We enjoyed Linda for her dry humor and down to earth practical approach.

Practicing hypnobirthing affirmations

Hypnobirthing affirmations helped me
through the contractions

I am very grateful to my husband, Marco, for going along with my wishes, choices and this path we started on. It must have been a little daunting for him – this concept of birthing at home.

In the beginning of this journey (preparing for birthing), I wanted other people to approve of our choice for a home birth, especially those close to us. It upset me a lot if they didn’t approve or had negative responses to it. However, the HypnoBirthing Relaxation and affirmations practices brought me inner peace and calm, and one day I realised that I couldn’t care less what anybody thought about us going to birth at home. I didn’t need their approval any longer. What HypnoBirthing did for me was to align my mind, body and soul to my inner wish for a beautiful calm birth. I had total inner peace and confidence about our plan.

When labour started on Monday night around 10pm, my whole being was ready and aligned. It was quite a journey and hard work, but worth it!

During surges the affirmations would come up and helped me to stay relaxed.
I also recalled the image of the blue ribbons during the most intense ones by repeating ‘blou lintjies’ (blue ribbons) for myself. It is true, I didn’t have any concept of time during the process.

Our baby girl was born at 10:23am on Tuesday, in the pool in our bedroom and both of us received her. It was so amazing to go through it all while being there fully, not drugged or sedated in any way. During the birthing, I had twice sensations like an orgasm.  When she came out, while under water still, her eyes were wide open and she was looking around. Magic! It was an amazing experience and it is difficult to convey this wonderful experience in words.

Lisa – moments after being born. “WOW – is this what it’s like outside, Mom?”

My advice to all expecting mothers is: own your birth fully. Plan it, dream it, visualise it as the beautiful experience it ought to be. Take responsibility for it, prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for it.
It is a miracle, expect it to be.”

Lasea and Marco

Linda Clarke is certified and affiliated with the HypnoBirthing® Institute.

More stories from parents:

Understanding Yourself Through Dreams

Understanding Yourself Through Dreams

Understanding Yourself Through Dreams.  Henry had had a number of dreams which he wanted assistance in interpreting. There were about 10 dreams which he e-mailed to me prior to his appointment. I planned to assist with uncovering their meanings through hypnosis. On arrival, however, Henry revealed that he was uncomfortable with the concept of hypnosis therefore I counseled with him.


All the dreams had two common themes – moving his boundaries and a Mother Earth Archetype. It was as if She was offering re-assurance that if he moved his boundaries all would be well – it would be safe to take risks.

“Thank you Linda for introducing me to metaphysics. I never heard that word before you told me about it. It is really life changing.”

Henry, March 2008

Henry is a single man who is a deep thinker. He is lonely and would like to find a companion, but would like to meet someone on his level. Someone who would be interested in life on a spiritual and deeper level. Someone with whom he could discuss these issues.

We discussed Henry taking up activities where he would have an opportunity to meet people of both sexes who are like-minded. One option was to join a Metaphysics Society in the Cape Town area (where he resides).

I gave Henry a meditation cd and gave him instructions on how to go “within” to understand his dreams.

Henry later contacted me to say that he had found a Metaphysics group close to his home which he intends to join with a view to taking courses.

From Henry:

“The only regret I have, is that I am learning these valuable lessons at this age. I think, no I know, that if I had known these things, I would have been a better person. Maybe then people would have been better because of a better me.

Now I have to make the best. I have become more creative. Suddenly I want to dream, because through my dreams I can make better decisions, because I know better. The test results of my students are significantly better and the standard of my question papers has not dropped. Now I know for sure: A teacher cannot teach if he does not learn.

I have learned a lot, and I am not talking about the passive form of learning. I am talking of doing certain things differently and obtaining results. I have discovered the importance of meditation.

The like-minded part is the exciting part, because now I can be myself and belong.

Meditation has helped a lot, although I still need to spend more time on it and make some changes in my life.”

Read here for more information on What do Dreams mean and Dream Interpretation

The Meaning of Disturbing Dreams

The Meaning of Disturbing Dreams

The Meaning of Disturbing Dreams.  Frances came to see me to uncover the meaning of several disturbing and recurring dreams she was having. On reviewing the dreams I found that they all had a common theme of being judged by others.

The Session

Once Frances had entered a trance state I asked her to relay one of the dreams to me. As she felt the emotion of the dream I regressed her to an earlier time in her life when she felt those same feelings. She regressed to age 7 when she was in the servants quarters with her brother and gardener. The gardener sexually abused her. She later went into the house where her Mother saw blood on her pyjamas and took her to the police station.

“Hypnosis was one of the most enlightening experiences in my life.I now take note of my dreams as I have realised the importance of them. ”

Frances, January 2008

She felt very ashamed when the police later went to her school. She felt that everyone was judging her by what had happened and she felt dirty. In hypnosis, Frances was able to release her anger towards the gardener and forgive him. This cathartic proces allowed Frances to let go of the event.

These dreams confirmed that she holds onto past issues and continually judges herself. The dreams were telling her that she needs to let it go.

After one session of hypnosis Frances’ dreams ceased and she reports that this has given her some closure on certain aspects of her life.


Dreams are our subconscious mind speaking to us. By understanding what dreams mean, you can positively influence your health, relationships, creativity and spiritual development.

Read here for more information on What do Dreams mean? and this link




Healing Troubled Relationships

Healing Troubled Relationships

Healing Troubled Relationships.  Jill came to see me because she had difficulty in controlling her outbursts of anger. Her Mother, in particular, irritated her. She had always had a feeling of not belonging.

The Session

Regression uncovered the reasons for Jill’s anger. In Regression Jill went back to the Planning Stage in the Spirit World. This is an in-between-lifetimes state when we choose our parents and decide what lessons we need to learn in the coming life. Regression revealed that Jill felt great anxiety towards her Mother.

Jill regressed back to a past life when she was Sarah. She found herself living with her dead Mother’s sister (Bernadette). Bernadette had children of her own and didn’t really want Sarah and only looked after her as an act of duty. Sarah felt that she never belonged.

“Hypnotherapy helped to put my life into perspective. I can accept what has happened and understand my life better. I have definitely benefited from this experience.”

Jill, March 2008

Going forward in the life of Sarah, she finds herself being burned as a witch. Bernadette is in the crowd and is not supporting her. It was revealed that Jill’s Mother in her current life is Bernadette from her previous life. Jill again went back to her life as Sarah and was able to forgive Bernadette for not supporting her or wanting to look after her as a little girl. She was able to understand that Bernadette had no support herself and was finding life difficult.

Going back to the Planning Stage of her current life Jill was able to understand that she chose her Mother in this life because she wanted to give her another chance to love and care for her. Remember this is Bernadette from the previous life!

Jill also regressed to a different past life as Miriam. In this life Miriam was kidnapped. At the time of the kidnapping she suffered great anxiety. Jill was able to understand that the anxiety that she felt as Miriam has nothing to do with her current life and was able to let it go.

Now that Jill understands where her feelings are coming from she feels calmer and has fewer outbursts of anger.

NOTES: The experience that Linda has had with Jill and with other clients, shows that if you do not take a client back to that initial sensitising event, and recognise that this event may be in a past life, you will not achieve permanent healing.

Dealing with Unresolved Issues

Dealing With Unresolved Issues.  Rosemary came to see me because she was having recurring disturbing dreams about loss. The dreams had 2 common themes – the loss of her daughter, or her Fiance leaving her.

In one dream Rosemary had left her daughter with someone she didn’t know at a shopping center and when she went to collect her she wasn’t there. She wakes up with an overwhelming feeling of guilt. In another dream Rosemary could not get hold of her Fiance. He had his phone switched off and wouldn’t talk to her. Feelings of rejection and despair fill the dream.

The Session

In the initial session Rosemary gave me some of her background. Rosemary had previously been married to Edward, a depressed and violent person. He threatened to stab her whilst she was pregnant and often threatened to shoot himself. He would disappear sometimes for a whole night which made Rosemary feel rejected, helpless, scared. She harboured feelings of hatred for him. Edward eventually left Rosemary for someone else – while she was pregnant with their daughter. He has had no interest or contact with his daughter since.

“Hypnotherapy gave me understanding and enabled me to take my power back. I am in charge of my feelings now. That is so liberating! ”

Rosemary, April 2008

Edward’s Mother visits her grand daughter regularly at Rosemary’s home and had started to push the boundaries. On one occasion she asked to give the little girl a ride around the block in her new car. Rosemary was frantic when she didn’t come back and on phoning her found that she had taken her to her home. This left Rosemary feeling very scared and weak. What was this women going to do next? She was very scared that her ex-husband would come back into their lives and perhaps harm them in some way.

Rosemary was very uncomfortable about the Grandmother visiting and didn’t trust her. However, Rosemary didn’t speak out. She felt helpless and was afraid to stand up to the woman.

I took Rosemary into hypnosis to uncover the message the dream was sending her.

The dreams about her Fiance were actually dreams about the unresolved issues of her ex-husband. He left her without any explanation and she has never understood why he behaved the way he did. The dreams forced her to confront those past issues and let them go. She needed to forgive her ex-husband and release her anger. Rosemary was able to release her anger towards her ex-husband and to forgive him.

The dreams about her daughter confirmed her discomfort about her ex-Mother-in-law visiting. They also had some element of pre-cognisance that if she allowed her to take her daughter she could lose her. She had to speak up!!!

The dreams have now ceased. Rosemary has recently got married to her fiance. Her subconsicous fear of losing him have gone and with it her hatred of her ex-husband. She feels free to love without fear. She also now stands up to her ex-mother-in-law in a firm, no-nonsense way. She has taken back her power by stipulating what will happen with her daughter in the future.


Dreams are our subconscious mind speaking to us. By understanding what dreams mean, you can positively influence your health, relationships, creativity and spiritual development.

Read here for more information on What do Dreams mean?

Resolving Feelings of Inferiority

Dennis’ Story

Resolving Feelings of Inferiority.  Dennis came to see me because he lacked self-confidence. He perpetually worried about what others thought of him. He did not like to dance at night clubs – even when he was with friends and girlfriends.

Dennis is a very attractive young man who enjoys a fair amount of attention from the opposite sex. He is the youngest of 3 sons who are all self-confident high achievers.

The Session

Regression revealed that Dennis was often left at home whilst his brothers were able to go out and enjoy themselves. He felt small and insignificant and very much the “baby”. At age 7 Dennis was ridiculed in class because he didn’t learn for a school test. At age 8 he was in the company of his three older girl cousins who were talking and matching themselves up with his brothers. Dennis was left out. The girls were not interested in a little guy.

“Linda helped me relook at my issues. Changing the way I felt about those problems has given me light at the end of the tunnel. Linda is a wise woman and I would recommend a visit to her any day, no matter what the problem.”

Dennis, April 2008

Under hypnosis these events were reframed. This allowed the younger Dennis to understand that he was left out only because he was young and not because he was an insignificant person. He was able to understand that he is a unique person with many gifts. Additionally he was able to understand that being ridiculed for not learning for a test was a consequence – it did not affect who he truly is.

Dennis was urged to expose himself to situations which made him uncomfortable e.g. dancing. He could first practice at home alone and then practice with his girlfriend in private. The idea being that he will become de-sensitized and finally be able to dance in public.

Dennis was given a cd with hypnotic suggestions to improve self-confidence as well as instructions on how to practice self-hypnosis. 3 months later Dennis was able to report that he is enjoying his new, more confident self and is finding self-hypnosis an invaluable tool for personal growth.

Our perception of the world around us differs from one person to another based on our experiences. These perceptions are stored in our subconscious mind as fact.  Hypnotherapy works by helping you understand how your past experiences have moulded your perceptions. By viewing these perceptions differently, you can move forward to a better and richer life.

Studying and Exam Anxiety

Jade’s Story

Studying and Exam Anxiety.  Rather than write Jade’s case study, I thought you would like to read her story in her own words:

“When I was younger I had difficulty in studying. I could never get myself to study for long periods of time or focus on work of importance. I would find anything else to do rather than study and when I did finally sit down to do it I would fall asleep or day-dream and not concentrate on completing the task at hand. Additionally I used to get very nervous at exam time. It was so bad that I would become nauseous. On one occasion I fainted and banged my head as I went down! The result of this was that I could not write the exam that day.

Linda helped me concentrate and focus on my studies. After only one session with her I could already feel a change as if she had motivated me to want to study and learn. I practiced relaxation and visualization techniques. Linda recorded a cd for me which I had to listen to at home twice a day for 30 days. I did this religiously and I was thrilled to find that I could approach exams in a calm, confident and relaxed manner.

I am currently a third year student at University and would not be achieving the results I am at the moment if the root of my studying problem and my hatred for studying had not been fixed.”

Jade, April 2008


Hypnotherapy can be used to deal with any problem you may be experiencing – from exam anxiety through to anxiety disorders that make it impossible for you to live a normal day.

Back to Case Studies on Hypnotherapy

Using Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Using Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss.  Lisa’s Story.  Lisa is 60 years of age and requested help with weight loss. She has been a divorcee for a number of years and had a very acrimonious divorce. She regards sex and partners as a problem and has repressed any feelings in this regard. Lisa’s attitude towards food is that one mustn’t waste. She eats to fill a need, as food makes her content and placates her.

Eating suppresses Lisa’s need to feel – her fat protects her.

The Sessions

Regression revealed that Lisa was not comfortable expressing her feelings. Lisa took herself back to the first time she ate when she was unhappy. She was 8 years old and her Mother was sick. Father was crying.

Definition: Anchor

An anchor is a physical tool – say stroking your ear lobe – given whilst in hypnosis. This is accompanied by a suggestion that the relaxation you are presently feeling will be yours whenever you need it, just by using the anchor (the physical thing such as stroking your ear-lobe).

Lisa was given new suggestions to change her behaviour:

This had a tremendous impact on Lisa. The family were very “stiff upper lip” and showing your feelings was not encouraged. Lisa turned to food to cope with her feelings rather than expressing them.

During regression, Lisa was able to understand that expressing feelings of any sort – good and bad – is healthy. She learned to deal with her feelings and not turn to food.

  • Eat only when hungry;
  • Accept that negative emotions are a part of life;
  • Confidently deal with life situations without eating for comfort.

Lisa was given a cd to listen to at home which was an “image rehearsal”: seeing herself slim, coping with eating in potentially difficult situations (e.g. parties and restaurants). Lastly Lisa was instructed on the use of self-hypnosis and given an anchor to help her cope with stressful times. This is often used by sports players who have some physical ritual before an important stage in their game.

Lisa reported that her comfort eating had ceased and she was eating less. 3 months after hypnotherapy started, Lisa had lost 10 kgs – something she had never achieved in the past!

NOTES: For many people diets don’t work. The problem with weight is related to underlying issues which need to be dealt with and addressed before the physical symptom – being over weight – is overcome.


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