Self Care Week - 14th-20th November
Self Care Week is an awareness campaign promoted by the NHS to encourage people to be responsible for their own minor ailments, such as cold symptoms or being tired and run down.
The NHS, we all know, works very hard and has ever increasing demands on budgets. It makes sense, then, for them to tell prospective patients that they should monitor their own lifestyles, for example by practicing good hygiene, brushing teeth regularly and eating healthily, in order to require less medical attention. This then frees up doctors to deal with more serious or chronic patients.
We should remember that before 1948 there was no National Health Service and in the early 1900s most people were too poor to afford doctor’s fees. In those days self-care was the absolute norm - there was very little choice in the matter!
We must be mindful, however, not to forget the wise women of the villages – the natural herbalists and healers, who would administer remedies and potions from nature’s own medicine cabinet. These could be considered knowledgeable but unlicensed practitioners, helping to deliver babies and support the sick within their communities. Hounded out of existence by the emerging male-dominated medical profession, these women were labelled “witches” and vilified for eternity but their legacy remains with us as we search for alternative ways to heal ourselves instead of overloading our bodies with pharmaceuticals.
Nowadays we have become accustomed to speaking to the doctor first, whatever we feel may be wrong with us. This, in turn, means that we have given away the responsibility about our own health – often believing that the doctor knows more about us than we do, which may not always be the case. The doctor knows health and disease but he doesn’t know your own particular foibles and unique attributes that makes you the special person that you are – and with appointments that last only a few minutes, your doctor does not have the time or capacity to find out. Complementary health does not, of course, replace medical assistance, but for various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders many people are turning away from prescribed drugs like anti-depressants and beta-blockers in order to find alternative, natural solutions.
So, where does hypnotherapy fit into this? Hypnotherapy is not an NHS-funded treatment and when faced with difficulties associated with booking doctors’ appointments or very long hospital waiting lists, more and more people are turning to complementary healthcare in order to gain more control over their own health issues and be dealt with promptly in ways that are pleasant and more holistic.
Hypnotherapy works naturally with our own brainwave states and can be a very effective tool to help eliminate negative feelings, bad habits, phobias, compulsions or addictions – to name just a few of the uses of hypnotherapy.
Modern brain research recognises that the mind/body connection has a very powerful effect. What we think about has a huge impact on our health. We know, for example, that anxiety is created by an overload of negative thinking. Using hypnosis we can literally change our thoughts, and when we do this, we can change our bodies’ responses. If negative thinking can make us ill, then it stands to reason that positive thinking can make us well again.
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About Vicky Tunaley
Vicky is a solution focused hypnotherapist specialising in anxiety disorders and depression, although she also works with a wide variety of other conditions, such as stopping smoking, confidence issues etc. The solution focused approach combines positive psychology with hypnosis to create a strong environment for change.