Good Life Lessons from Australia : what the Aussies do to live a good life

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Greetings from Queensland, Australia!

When my husband asked if I wanted to come along with him on his work trip, I did not hesitate. It’s far, sure. It’s expensive, yes. It means taking the kids out of school, of course.

But… it’s also an opportunity of a life-time to get to a place none of us have set foot on before. It’s a great big learning adventure for the kids (more than any classroom can ever deliver). It’s a wonderful way to share life experiences as a family. Plus, they’re having summer down here. Goodbye snow, for now!

We’ve only enjoyed a few days of our time down-under, but already, I am learning from the people in this beautiful big continent how to live a full life. It’s a short list, but it’s good:

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1. Wake up early

I normally wake up very early, and often feel like I am amongst a handful of early risers because my world is blissfully quiet during those wee hours. But here, when I go out for my morning walk (around 5am), I find myself joining a nation of early risers. My fellow walkers look as if they had been up for several hours!

 

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2. Energize yourself in the morning

When I see people in these early hours, they are doing something active. They are either walking, jogging, surfing, or doing some form of activity. They are moving; they are energizing themselves.

 

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3. Surround yourself with active people

I am not the fastest walker out there, but I think I am pretty speedy. Back home, I am often walking by someone, excusing myself as I speed through to keep warm (a good incentive!).

Here, people are zooming by me, most of them older than I… which makes me want to speed to catch on with their pace. It’s like playing tennis with someone who is better than you. Not that I am competitive, but around here, I aspire to go just a little faster!

 

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4. Play

The young, and the old, both seem to be having fun at all times. They don’t let age define them. Those surfers out in the waves? They are not just young Aussie dudes, I can assure you that.

 

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5. Be outside, preferably by the water, whenever you can

People live outdoors here. Sure it’s easier when the climate allows. But I am pretty certain they are outside regardless of the weather. The other day when the sky was grim, passing showers peppered the coast all day long. People were still out on the beach, jogging the trails, riding their bikes. It was wonderful to witness and experience it with them.

These are just some things I have noticed thus far. I am grateful to be inspired by a bunch of happy people in Australia.

Over and out from down under for now!

 

 

Clean Eating Reset | January 2016 | Eat Food Not too Much Mostly Plants

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We are doing it again!

The Clean Eating Reset will start off the new year on January 1, 2016.

I have enjoyed each round of Clean Eating and have learned so much from all the participants… It’s amazing what a group of people with the same intention can do: it’s accountability at its best!

If you would like to join us, there is still time. Here are the details:

  1. It’ FREE to join and participate!
  2. It’s a week-long Clean Eating program to help you reset your metabolism, and curb your cravings.
  3. You will get the free guidelines in your inbox.
  4. You will get daily tips and recipes for meal inspirations.
  5. You will receive support (private Facebook group) from other members.
  6. No dieting. Not a cleansing.
  7. You get to eat real food!
  8. You get to feel amazing!

 

Join us by signing up here!

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The mantra for the week of Clean Eating is simply these seven words:

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.

Here’s a story from Amy who joined the Reset a few months back:

“Kit changed my life by encouraging me to try the Clean Eating Reset with her in November last year.  My goal was to feel better in any way possible – I had a 6 month old baby, a 2 year old and a 3 year old at the time, and my lifelong migraines that had eased up a bit during my 3 pregnancies were back in full force. 

I have always been a healthy eater, so I wasn’t sure how much healthier I could get.  I found out.  I followed the challenge to the letter…and I felt really good.  Less fatigue (even though I was still getting up in the night my my baby), less “cloudiness” in my head, the heaviness i’ve always had at at the base of my head and shoulders was noticeably better, and NO MIGRAINES.  I was skeptical though, so I went back to my normal habits after that week.

January rolled around and Kit led another Clean Eating Reset.  I participated again and had the same results.  This time I knew we were onto something.  Kit pointed out that feeling that good by cutting out the bread and pasta may indicate an allergy to Gluten.  The migraines had recently gotten so bad that I decided I would cut out gluten for good and stay on the clean eating path.  That was last January (almost 1 year ago), and I’ve never turned back.  I’ve never felt better, not even when I was a lot younger.  Clearly, the gluten had been triggering migraines my entire life.  Now, I get an occasional migraine triggered by stress or tweaking my neck, but the weekly (sometimes 2-3 week) migraines that I got most of my life are gone.

I am so grateful to Kit for paying attention to my needs and symptoms and applying her vast knowledge to find a way to make my life better.  My family thanks her too!”

 

Ready to join and start 2016 on the right foot? Click here to sign up!

Two Words that help me succeed: Part 3 of 3

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Show up: the two words that I live by.

In the first post, I talked about how showing up for your health is essential to your life. The second post was all about showing up for your soul – that ethereal part of you that can be challenging to be noticed, but so crucial to your sanity and happiness.

Today, I want to talk about showing up for our goals, big and small.

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It’s December, the end of the year, so it’s our natural human tendency to be retrospective and then plan ahead. A lot of people make New Year Resolutions, full of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. If you are like me, most of these resolutions quickly dissolve into thin air after a few weeks.

I can’t lie – even without a perfect track record, I still love making New Year Resolutions. It always brings me a sense of new beginning and challenges me to be a better person and do better things in the upcoming year.

Our family has a tradition of going around the dinner table on New Year’s Eve (at the same restaurant by a South Carolina beach, sitting next to a tired-looking Christmas tree). We review each of our resolution list from the previous year, and make new lists of three things we each hope to achieve in the coming year.

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Year after year, there’s the same pattern: most of us did not meet all of our goals. We may have achieved one or two of what we had on our list, but never three. Except for my husband: he seems to be able to check his whole list off consistently, year after year.

How does he do it?

He makes SMART goals, big and small, and then he shows up for them.

It sounds simple, right? But we also know how challenging it can be to have the kind of discipline and courage to work toward our goals day in and day out. If you asked him, he will tell you that all you need to do is to SHOW UP. He would say, with an air of ease, “Just do it!”

Translation, please?

He makes SMART goals, and then he does the showing up thing.

1. Make SMART goals. 

You have probably heard it before. SMART stands for : Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Trackable. It’s the golden rule of successful goal-setting. He does not make goals that he knows he can’t achieve. He’s not as much a dreamer as I am – so he makes specific goals that he knows he can achieve… even if it’s a challenge.

2. Showing up 

There again are my two favorite words. It simply means (as NIKE has done such a good job at this), JUST DO IT. Do what you say you will do. Show up for yourself as you show up for others. Work hard toward what you want to happen. It helps to have some kind of accountability, of course, like a friend, a family member, a coach, or even a dog to be there counting on your showing up.

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Four years ago, we adopted Katie, a Corgi-Beagle mix. She’s our first family dog. In fact, she’s the first dog for all of us. I can’t begin to convey what Katie has brought into our lives… that’s whole other blog entry, or maybe a book. What I can say today is that Katie has been the best accountability buddy I can ask for.

She has made me SHOW UP everyday. 

She’s the reason that I show up every day, for everything. Because I show up to her to walk her first thing in the morning, it also means I show up for my health (walking), my soul (quiet, meditative time) and my goals (all the above added up).

 

So showing up for Katie is easy: it’s SMART, and it has become non-negotiable.

The more I show up for her, the more I show up for her because she’s now expecting her walks, and my body expects the activity.

Showing up daily for something creates a habit. And habits fuel consistency which then allow us to achieve our goals effortlessly.

Showing up for Katie, even if it feels like a SMALL goal, creates a habit that allows my bigger goals to be achieved. I can perhaps check off all of my resolutions for next year if I start with: Walk Katie every day, twice a day. I can definitely do that!

 

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So, what are you going to show up for in this new year?

And HOW are you going to show up for them?

Two Words that Help me succeed: Part 2 of 3

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In the last post, I talked about the TWO WORDS that help me succeed, in everything. They are the two words that keep me together, the two words that if I ignore… I get in trouble.

The two words are: SHOW UP.

Showing up is what we all need to do to keep it together, right? It’s kind of all we need to do, period.

Today, I want to talk about showing up for our soul.

 

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The soul is a strange being… such an ethereal concept, and yet it’s such an important part of all of us. The soul makes itself known subconsciously and spontaneously. It is often felt when it is absent. For instance, when we get too busy with projects, to-do lists, obligations, and life stuff… the soul gets scared and it goes away.

That’s when we start to feel uneven. The feelings of being ‘out of balance’ and ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘insane’ become forefront and, truthfully, traumatic.We feel out of sorts and crazy. We wonder what is happening to our wellbeing. We often seek ways to return to balance, and harmony (using quick-fix ways like food, and medication).

In my opinion, this is when we are not showing up for our soul. It’s when our soul is sick, or absent.

Imagine yourself being made of two parts: the body, and the soul. The body is usually anchored down onto earth (thanks to gravity). But the soul is unanchored, and can easily float away. Ideally, they reside together in harmony, both anchored, both nurtured. When we spend long enough time ignoring the soul, it will leave the body and scatter around us (or elsewhere). That’s when we feel unbalanced. It’s hard to pinpoint where the soul goes, but basically, we just need to bring it back into the body, anchor it down to restore overall health and harmony.

Everyone needs a little something different to anchor their souls. For me, I feel it best when I do these things… when I show up for my soul in these ways:

 

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1. Connecting with another human being. 

Humans are wired for connection, especially the physical one. When we spend time with another human being (preferably someone with whom you enjoy spending time), sharing an experience, time, and stories, the human soul is nourished. We crave this connection more than we know it. I believe this is part of why social media runs the world today: it’s an easy way to ‘feel connected’ with the rest of humanity. But be careful… a lot of these ‘connections’ can be/ are false. It’s best to call up someone, go for a walk, and enjoy their company. That one-on-one, face-to-face connection is one of the best medications for the soul.

 

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2. Being in nature.

We are part of the animal kingdom! We are part of nature. It’s hard to remember this fact when our conscious brain is so busy being logical, planning ahead, solving problems. But when the soul needs to be anchored, there is almost nothing better than stepping out into nature, touch the soil or the sand, see the trees and the water. When I feel uneasy about life, being in nature is a total quick reset. I often feel better right away… like something realigned. It’s simply because I show up for the soul when I am in nature.

 

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3. Being inspired.

This one is a much more open-ended way of showing up for the soul, but I can’t live without it. Being inspired triggers the subconscious part of the brain where lies our creativity and spirituality. Being inspired propels us forward, giving us reasons to live, giving us reasons to LOVE living.

I find myself inspired by little things and big things. Usually it happens when I am not actually looking for inspiration. This type of showing up for the soul is a spontaneous one, but one to pause for and live for.

I find myself inspired by books, by art, by people’s stories. I find myself inspired by the way the sunlight touches a flower. I find myself inspired by the way someone is living their life. I find myself inspired by my children and how they see and live in the world. They are small moments, really, that spark joy or love inside of me. And that’s when I know that I am showing for my soul.

The health of our soul is detrimental to our overall health. I see it in my patients who are suffering from their sick souls even though their bodies are operating just fine. Find time today to show up for your soul and see a difference it makes in your life.

 

The Two Words That Help Me Succeed: Part 1 of 3

cosmos1Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend who asked me simply:  “What do you do?”.

What she meant was, what do I do to keep it together (or not). What do I do daily, weekly, monthly to make life work. We were walking, so I was thinking out loud as I answered. As I was starting to tell her about my daily routines, expectations I have for myself and others and such, it dawned on me that at the end of the day, there are only two words that simply sum up my answer.

Show Up.

 

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I show up. Or really, I try to show up, for everything.

When I show up, everything falls into place. And that’s how I make it work in this crazy, hectic, wonderfully extraordinary life.

The more I pondered about these two words, the more I realized that there are so many aspects of this showing up business. Today, I want to touch on the importance of showing up for health.

Showing up for health means that you prioritize things that make your life healthier. It means that you are committed to making healthy choices for yourself with food, activity, and rest: the three pillars of health in my new weight-release program, TRANSFORM.

 

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Let’s break it down.

What does it mean to show up for food?

We all know that we need to ‘eat healthy,’ right? If you followed my Clean Eating Reset program in late October, you may have experienced what it feels like to reset your metabolism by choosing real foods, eating less sugar, and less processed foods for your meals.

Showing up for food means making good choices most of the time for your body – making food a priority by not listening to the cravings. Showing up for food means staying committed to feeding your body with good fuel and nutrients, and not using food to numb your emotional needs.

 

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What does it mean to show up for activity?

Our body is like a machine that relies on daily activities for efficiency. Showing up for activity means taking care of this machine (the only one you have) so that it works properly. It does not at all mean you have to be a runner, or a yogi, do a cross-fit program or take spin classes. You should find activities that you enjoy and make it part of your life. If that means walking the dog daily (like I do), that is showing up for activity (for yourself, and your pet who will love you even more).

 

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Showing up for rest means making sure that you allow your body to relax and restore. It means quieting the mind as well as the body. It is finding the YIN within the YANG.

Showing up for rest means getting enough sleep, sure, but it also means saying no to too much chaos in life. I see too many people whose only true rest is on my acupuncture table, once a week. That is not nearly enough time for the body and the mind to be still (but better than nothing!). Showing up for rest means finding time in each day to allow your mind and body to connect and give yourself permission to just be.

How are you showing up for your health?

Next week, we will talk about how showing up for your soul will transform your life.

 

 

Clean Eating Reset

tomatoes2It’s that time again – a week to reset and recharge by eating clean foods.

What does that mean?

Eating Clean might be a buzz phrase, and it might mean different things to different people.

At Bexley Acupuncture and Wellness, it means these seven words: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. 

 

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It means eating whole, real foods while decreasing or eliminating sugar, and processed foods. Eating this way will give our metabolism a rest from the high and low blood sugar fluctuations as well as our energy levels. Most people will notice that they sleep better, feel lighter, and become more mindful about what they put into their body.

You can read more about the background of my Clean Eating Challenge from the first round we had last year here.

I am always looking to make these Clean Eating weeks more productive and successful. After conducting my first TRANSFORM weight release program beta group, it is clear to me that I don’t want to stick to the term ‘challenge’ so much. It’s not harmful, of course, to have a challenge, or be challenged (we all need a little fire under us bums sometimes). But mentally, it’s more sustainable to decrease the usage of terms that have a beginning and and ending.

So I am going to switch from Challenge to Reset. We live busy lives, and we all can use a bit of resetting every now and then, right?

 

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The Clean Eating Reset week is this coming week, October 26 – November 1.

Yes, I am cruel to run it over Halloween. It’s partly coincidental, and partly intentional… Arguably, Halloween week is the most challenging week of the year to say NO to sweets… sweets we do NOT need.

If you want to join, sign up NOW, and you will get the support throughout the week.

If you are reading this after October 26, and want to participate in future Clean Eating Reset weeks, you can still sign up here, and you will be notified about future Clean Eating Resets!

Have a wonderful week!

Kit

 

How hypnosis can help you lose weight

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Have you been on some kind of diet, a detox or a cleanse, and when you are not ‘supposed to’ eat something, all you want is that very thing?

A little voice inside your head says, “Oh, why bother? I will be good tomorrow.” Or, “Just this one time, and that’s it.”

That little voice comes from your subconscious mind — a vast territory in our brain that hangs on to most of our past memories, emotions, traumas, feelings and more. It likes to be helpful, but oh so irrational. We have a terrible time telling it to shut up.

This is where hypnosis comes in. Hypnosis can tame that voice.

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation. In this meditative state, we can access the subconscious mind much more readily. We can ‘talk’ to it, ‘listen’ to it, and give it new suggestions. You can think of it as taming a new puppy, and training it at the same time. While the puppy is calm and collected and content, it will learn new ways of doing and being without going back to old bad behaviors.

 

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Our subconscious enjoys old repeated patterns or long-term habits because it does not have to do much work that way. So when in doubt, it will revert and rely on old patterns, no matter how good or bad they are.

For instance, you may have a habit of eating in front of the TV, or computer. It may ease your anxiety, or calm and reward you in some way. So each time you are about to sit down to watch TV, or work on the computer, you must have something to eat. The subconscious registers that as a habit… and it will want you to repeat this habit each time that you do these activities. It does not know what you choose to eat, or how much. It just knows that its job is to signal the pattern to you to replicate.

The problem with this pattern is:

  1. You are mindlessly eating.
  2. You are in a trance (because your eyes are fixated on one thing), and it’s hard to stop.
  3. You will most likely overeat.
  4. You will most likely feel bad that you just overate.

And yet, the pattern continues, over and over and over again.

As a tool, hypnosis can stop the old pattern by understanding why you have this habit in the first place. We will then reverse the old conclusions, and give your subconscious new, healthier choices. After each session, you will feel empowered and relieved that you don’t ever have to be a slave to your subconscious any longer.

As a result, you will make healthier choices around eating. You will lose the unwanted weight.

 

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For more information about my weight release program, TRANSFORM, you can go here. The program is offered in group sessions, or privately.

If you want to stay up to date on the next group session (January, 2016), sign up below.

3 Rules Acupuncturists Live by

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I want to let you all in on acupuncturists’ secrets to staying healthy.

Mind you, we do get sick, of course. We are humans after all. But there are a few things we learned while becoming Chinese Medicine practitioners that do help keep us stronger during the cold-flu seasons.

These are nothing earth shattering. They are actually common sense rules that we sometimes forget.

  1. We say no to ice.

Cold is a major invader to our immune system, especially our digestive system. Drinking iced beverages, especially on a cold day, is like being a bully to our stomach and intestines. It is best to drink warm liquids, and never put ice in anything.

As for injuries, ice works well in an acute situation, to stop the inflammation. After 24 hours or so of an injury, however, we say no to ice. It’s an ongoing debate with other healthcare providers, but when in doubt, acupuncturists prefer warmth, and heat for healing.

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2. We cover our necks. 

The neck is the gate for all external invasions to enter our body system. Exterior cold temperatures, or cold air can truly take our immunity down. Have you gotten sick after being too cold outdoors? It is wise to keep our neck covered when the temperatures fall, so we are less likely to be defeated buy the cold invasion.

Cold can also contract our muscles, causing stiff neck or shoulders if we are exposed to cold air while sleeping. Acupuncturists know this, and we never sleep near an open window, or a blowing fan.

 

 

  IMG_54563. We get adequate rest.

Evening time is yin time… Yin is the quiet, the solitude, the rest. Without yin, there is no yang… So without rest, there can be no activity (or not a very good one). If we want to be the best at what we do (help you all feel better), we must go inward and rest.

Try these not-so-secret rules we live by, and see if it helps you stay healthy this season!

In good health,

Kit

Morning Routine to combat the overwhelm

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I used to be a snoozer – you know, someone who presses the snooze button on the alarm clock when it’s time to wake up?

Each day that I did that (it used to be everyday!), I would wake up feeling less than happy with myself. The mornings would feel rushed, and the day would feel the same way. Even though I knew that I operated best in the morning, I did not give myself permission to optimize that gift.

That all changed one day, overnight, a year ago.

I was chatting with a patient, a fellow morning-person, a fellow morning-walker. I was lamenting how I wish I could wake up earlier so that I could get more things done, walk longer, feel more prepared for the day. I told her about my snoozing-habit.

She didn’t have empathy for me, at all, actually. Instead she said:

“Kit, it’s really easy!”

“Really? What do you mean?” I inquired.

“You just move your alarm clock far away, so that you have to get out of bed. If you do that, you probably won’t snooze it!”

My mind was blown. How did I not know to do this before?

As they say, the rest is history.

 

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Literally, that ONE advice changed my life (and I have told her this!). I started that very evening, putting my alarm on my dresser which is a few steps away from my bed. I set it for 5am, and boom, at 5am the next day, it rang and I got out of bed to turn it off. It made me feel so empowered, this little thing that I did! I had an extra hour or so that morning, and I felt like I conquered the world!

Since then I have added to this morning routine, and I have to say that my life is so much better for it. I wake up even earlier now, and I get even more productive, and focused. I start each day feeling already accomplished, and well-planned. Here’s a sample of my morning routine:

 

1. Wake up early

2. I drink a glass of room temperature water with lemon juice.

3. I write in my journal (a list of 5 things I am grateful for, I call it my ‘Gratitude Five’)

4. I create my Task list for the morning, prioritizing what needs to get done first (lunches, laundry, dishes, sometimes if I have time, I make dinners, too!)

5. Exercise for 10-20 minutes (this depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s simple yoga, sometimes it’s cardio, and sometimes it’s weights. I do it all at home.)

6. Walk the dog for 20-30 minutes.

7. I come home to wake up my children, and ‘start’ my day.

 

 

Without realizing it, what I end up accomplishing each day with my morning routine can be thought of as :

Gratitude (the journal), Clarity (the Task List), Self-care (lemon water and exercise), and Family (all those chores!). And it all happens before 7am!

I am convinced that because of my morning routine, I am able to focus on both my personal and professional life with as little sense of overwhelm and stress as possible. Some days are harder than others, of course, but I make sure to show up daily. Each day that I don’t snooze the alarm, I am a happier, more productive person. And that is a wonderful pay-off!

What is the ONE thing that can help you feel less overwhelmed? I want to hear it!

Best wishes,

Kit

 

Debunking Hypnosis Myths

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Even more than acupuncture, when you hear about hypnosis, you cringe a little, right? Maybe even a lot.

You are not alone! That’s perfectly normal response.

We get creeped out by the ‘unknown’. Worst yet, we get creeped out feeling like we are completely out of control. This is because for most people, their only exposure to hypnosis is ‘stage hypnosis’ where a stage hypnotist seems to have all the control buttons. He snaps, and people on stage respond by going into a deep trance, and doing whatever the hypnotist tells them to do. Totally creepy.

The truth is, that is pure entertainment. There is a small amount of reality to it, but a small one. Usually, these situations are perfectly staged. The people are perfectly chosen, and perhaps even paid to perform.

 

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Hypnosis, in truth, is not too different from relaxation, or meditation. When used as a therapeutic modality, hypnosis is a state of relaxation with intentional guided suggestions.

Everyone can be hypnotized. In fact, we perform self hypnosis throughout the day.

For instance, if you listen to music while driving, reading while eating, painting or sewing while daydreaming… You are most likely in a trance for part, or all of that time. Eye-fixation is a very effective way of going into a trance… which really is just a relaxed state of being.

During this state of relaxation, the subconscious becomes dominant; this is where long term patterns, habits, memories are kept and operated. We are much more suggestible in the subconscious realm, and that is how hypnosis can help take away old negative thoughts, habits, or patterns, while creating new, long-lasting positive ones.