Friday, 29 April 2011

Hypnotherapy Provides Support for Asthma Sufferers by Helping to Reduce Anxiety

A Hypnotherapy Association is marking Asthma Awareness Week (9-15th May 2011) by highlighting how the therapy can help clients cope with the condition by reducing their levels of anxiety.

According to Asthma UK, a charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people whose lives are affected by asthma, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).

There is an inter-relationship between anxiety and asthma – for some people, anxiety can be a trigger for asthma, for others it is the asthma itself which causes anxiety. After all, there are few things more frightening than struggling to breathe. The link between anxiety and asthma can lead to an unhelpful cycle of cause and effect which can be difficult to break.

In fact some of the symptoms of a panic attack (hyperventilation) and asthma overlap making it difficult to distinguish between the two. In some cases, a panic attack can actually lead to an asthma attack in someone who already suffers with asthma.

It’s not just asthma patients who are affected by anxiety – parents, partners and other carers can become anxious if the condition appears to be poorly managed.

Hypnotherapy combines psychotherapy (a talking therapy) with hypnosis and can provide clients with effective coping mechanisms aimed at reducing their anxiety generally. Used in conjunction with a patient’s prescribed medication and treatment regimes, hypnotherapy can help clients deal better with life’s stresses, thus minimising the anxiety which could precipitate an asthma attack.

There is a large body of research on the effective use of self-hypnosis, guided imagery, hypnosis and relaxation in asthma in adults and children. A review of research into hypnosis and asthma carried out in 2000 highlighted that studies conducted up to that date consistently demonstrated an effect of hypnosis with asthma. Although more research is needed, the studies showed that its efficacy is enhanced in subjects who are more “susceptible”, where the practitioner is experienced, when it is administered over several sessions, and when it is reinforced by patient self-hypnosis. Children in particular appear to respond well to hypnosis as a tool for improving asthma symptoms.

Hypnotherapy helps to reduce anxiety by assisting clients to visualise their preferred future, i.e. a future in which they are coping better with the problem that is causing them stress. This helps clients to regain a sense of perspective and breaks the cycle of anxiety-asthma-anxiety. The therapy encourages positive thinking by helping clients to focus on solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves.

The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH) has been established to promote the benefits of the Solution Focused approach to improving mental well-being so that the public are more aware of this valuable resource.

I am a member of the AfSFH and I am very enthusiastic about the efficacy of the approach. “Clients are often relieved to learn that we will not be dwelling on their problems or on how bad things are. They soon get the hang of thinking in a more positive way – describing how they want things to be, rather than how they don’t them to be. It sounds simple, but in fact it is an amazingly powerful technique”.

I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist practising at The Harbourside Practice in Bristol. Call 07851 307 062 to book your FREE initial consultation. For more information on Sarah Mortimer Hypnotherapy, visit

To find out more about the new association, visit

For more information about Asthma Awareness Week, visit

Research:- Ewer and Stewart, 1996; Hackman, Stern, and Gershwin, 2000; Maher-Loughna, Macdonald, et al, 1962
- Anbar, 2001; Anbar, 2002; Castes, Hagel, et al, 1999; Kohen, Olness, et al, 1984
- Hypnosis and asthma: a critical review, Hackman RM, Stern JS, Gershwin ME, 2000

First Post for Sarah Mortimer Hypnotherapy

Sarah Mortimer Solution Focused Hypnotherapist BristolHello and welcome to my Hypnotherapy blog!

My name is Sarah Mortimer and I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist in Bristol, UK.

I trained at The Clifton Practice where I gained a Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy (DHP) and a Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD). My training was very thorough and I saw clients from very early on so I gained a lot of experience in treating a wide variety of issues even before I qualified.

I have always had an interest in helping people starting off volunteering with St Johns Ambulance brigade as a teenager. I later went on to became an auxiliary nurse (healthcare assistant) on a respiratory & palliative care ward at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham.

I became interested in complementary therapies while studying at university, using various therapies to help with anxiety leading up to exams and for general stress relief. One of the therapies I found most useful was Hypnotherapy. I was amazed at how effective it was at helping me to reduces my stress levels and allow me to think clearer which is so important during examination time.

After leaving University, I decided to retrain in Complementary Therapies - quite different to the Computer Science that I had been studying! I have always been very keen on learning new skills and information.

After working as a self employed Complementary Therapist in Bristol for 4 years, I decided to train in Hypnotherapy which has led me to where I am today! I was totally convinced that I wanted to train in the area of hypnotherapy after receiving a course of hypnotherapy to help me manage chronic pain which I had been suffering with for 5 years. I had tried everything under the sun - both conventional and complementary and nothing had worked until I had hypnotherapy. I was completely blown away by how effective it was and it gave me my life back. I thought I was doomed to be in pain for the rest of my life but I can happily say now that I no longer suffer with chronic pain in my back! I will write more about chronic pain and how I overcome it in a future post.

I really enjoy using hypnotherapy with my clients and they are often amazed at how quickly they can turn their life around with the techniques I teach them. Hypnotherapy is a very positive, forward-thinking therapy and provides you with the tools to help you change the way you think, feel and behave so that you can achieve your goal for therapy and help you move forward in your life!

I have successfully helped many people with a wide variety of issues including helping people through recent bereavements and relationship breakdowns; helping people reduce their stress and anxiety levels; helping people overcome phobias including arachnophobia (fear of spiders), claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) and alektorophobia (fear of chickens); helping people lift themselves out of depression; helping women prepare for childbirth; helping people with chronic pain and stress-related illnesses; helping learner drivers control their nerves and feel confident ready for their driving tests; and many many more.

I offer Hypnotherapy at The Harbourside Practice, Bristol where appointments are available morning, afternoon and early evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesday's and Thursdays.

I have created this blog to provide information about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and the various issues it can help with. I will also include some self-help techniques and anything else which I feel is helpful to maintain good mental health and happiness. I would be happy to answer anyone's questions on hypnotherapy so please feel free to email me. I will also post news about my business and experiences as a Hypnotherapist. I hope you enjoy reading my blog!

For more information on Hypnotherapy, visit Sarah Mortimer Hypnotherapy.