Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Purpose of NLP for Healing – Living on Purpose

When NLP was first created by its co- founders, Richard Bandler, John Grinder (and now known) Frank Pucelik, it was intended as a way of helping people overcome obstacles such as grief, emotional pain and dysfunctional behaviours. More recently, NLP has been used for physical issues such as gripes (I.e IBS), joint pain and even pain relief for cancer patients. Indeed, many of the conditions listed on the JustBeWell website have been effectively helped with NLP and Hypnosis as a way of integrating their combined technologies to gain powerful results. Suffice to say, an NLP practitioner will know the difference between the two methodologies. NLP relates to the structure of how behaviours are organised, whereas hypnosis is the process of getting into the right states to make them happen. With that said, hypnosis is the process that enables NLP to function more usefully within the therapeutic context. In order to function at its optimal level, NLP needs to be applied to healing for a specific purpose. Therefore, the process by which this happens will depend on the condition.

If you have a condition that affects the mind, then a mental strategy will best be used to overcome the issues associated with it. Similarly, if you have a condition that is affecting your physical body, then a physical related strategy would best be used to overcome associated irritations. Like wise, if you have a condition that affects the Soul, then a spiritual related strategy would best be used to overcome associated issues. However, it is important to realise that healing one could very well have a positive impact on the other. The trick is knowing which strategy to employ for the best results on a case by case basis.

M came to me looking for help using NLP for weight loss. After initial discussions about what she wanted to achieve and why, it became clear that this was neither a mental or physical issue, but a spiritual one instead. During our conversation, it was revealed that she was in an unhappy marriage that was heading for divorce and she had personal aspirations that were being put on hold. Weight loss interventions are normally associated with lifestyle behaviour changes at the micro level, I.e, eat healthier and exercise more. But, in this instance I recognised that once she had freed herself from the unhappy situation and did something about her dream to go to Brazil, she would lose the weight naturally. Sure enough, this is what happened. She found happiness with a new partner, travelled to Brazil and lost the weight she desired. She confirmed in an email that what I had told her would happen had come true, namely, that she would lose the weight after losing the ‘wait’.

In conclusion, had I used NLP for the purpose of weight loss without first understanding the issues surrounding her circumstances, I may well have missed an opportunity to impact her life on a holistic level. In this instance, the purpose of NLP for healing had been to help another person live their life in the direction of their true purpose by paying attention to what mattered most.

Gina Pickersgill is the International Online NLP Specialist at

Pain Relief Hypnosis – Further Thoughts

Hypnosis For Pain Relief – Further Observations

Following my recent post I thought it would be useful to talk a little more broadly about this subject. Even though I made that last post as brief as I felt I could it was still quite long, and there is so much more that can to be said on this subject.

Read previous post here – Hypnosis For Pain Relief

Firstly, there are many different reasons someone might be in pain. They may have pulled a muscle slightly, they may have had a physical injury to the surface of their body. They may have a serious illness, etc.

So, it is important to use hypnosis/NLP style pain relief techniques in context. It isn’t going to be useful to help someone not feel pain in their sprained calf muscle if they end up using it vigorously and causing more damage, for example. Similarly, I don’t see people for migraines unless they have been thoroughly medically checked out, in case it isn’t a migraine but something else that needs urgent medical attention…

Also, some pain seems to be ‘referred’. For example I’ve met several people who have a pain in their body that, basically, originated elsewhere. Head and neck problems can be caused by physical problems further down the body so it’s good to rule out these sorts of factors where possible.

As an example of this, a few years ago I suffered from tendonitis in my left arm/wrist/hand. The doctor (bless her), winced when she saw the livid red line down the inside of my arm. ‘That must be very painful,’ she said.

It didn’t stop there.

‘I’m going to give you a course of anti-inflammatory drugs,’ she continued, ‘they probably won’t work but it’s worth a try. At the end of the course you will probably need a cortisone injection directly into the tendon.’ She winced at this point, adding, ‘that really really hurts, I had to have it done myself’.

Very encouraging…

So, in my mind I told myself to cancel all the terrible suggestions, and I carried on with life. I wore a brace on my arm and wrist and it didn’t bother me at all. I took the drugs and just lived life as usual. However a few weeks later I was beginning to notice that my arm wasn’t getting any better, and I began to have a larger and larger vision of the big injection, and I said to myself, ‘you had better get this sorted’.

In NLP we call this style of motivation… ‘moving away from’

A friend of mine, John Forster, (now retired) was a specialist in muscle therapy, a little known therapy that never really took off because, as far as I could see, it was too effective. Every single person I referred to him got better, pretty much immediately. I wasn’t sure he could help with tendonitis but I called him anyway.

He was confident.

So the next day I’m sitting in his treatment room with my sleeve rolled up and he is looking at my arm and smiling.

‘Where do you think the problem is,’ he says.

Now as my tendon is inflamed to the point where it looks like someone has made a big heavy line down my arm in red felt pen, this seems a bit of a weird question. So I point at it and raise my eyebrows.

‘No’, he says, ‘it’s not there’. And he takes the weight of my arm in one hand and leans forward, pressing his large thumb just above my left collarbone.

‘It’s here.’

And immediately my whole arm is was filled with a big buzzing feeling. Not uncomfortable, just weird. A couple of minutes later he is pressing another point near the collar bone and the buzzing sensation continues. After about 15 minutes of this he stands back and says, ‘it is done, the healing is complete’.

‘Thanks’ I say, uncertainly. He then spends ten minutes or so rubbing his hand firmly up the muscles in my arm but that is pretty much that and I thank him and go home.

The next morning I wake up and I have absolutely no trace of tendonitis at all. No red line, just a comfortable arm and wrist. And I haven’t suffered in the slightest since.

John’s explanation was as follows…

‘Very often the pain that manifests in one part of the body is referred from somewhere else in the body. So if you see someone with a headache, ask them how their feet, legs, back are. In many cases you will find that something is out of alignment somewhere else. In my case what John did was release the tension at the top of the tendony bits (OK my anatomy knowledge isn’t that great…). I didn’t have any pain there, but the cure came from there.

Strange, huh?

So the point is, some pain can be more rapidly and effectively dealt with physiologically, and really should be.

Now John has retired I typically suggest to people that they do some simple Chi Gung exercises, or learn Alexander technique, or maybe see a chiropractor. Most people can’t be bothered to learn yoga, which is a shame, as it really can help on many levels.

Yes, we can help reduce or even eliminate pain with hypnosis and NLP. Yes, we can give a host of other suggestions to help the person to heal on every level and come more into balance as a whole being. Yes, we can help get them to visualise being fit, vibrant, flexible and radiant super-beings. Yes we can often help them feel more comfortable, more confident and more motivated. And most people in this field will have a number of stories about how they seemingly fixed someone’s chronic pain in a short time…..


If the client’s chronic headaches are actually being caused by a dodgy bed causing tension in their lower back that makes them unconsciously adjust their posture in such a way as causes the headaches…

As practitioners/therapists/coaches/trainers, we owe a duty of care to our clients to be as holistic as possible, to explore every avenue for healing. And as individuals, we owe a duty of care to do the same for ourselves.

And I haven’t even touched on other causal factors, diet, lifestyle, drug abuse etc, but they will have to wait for another post…

Steve Tromans

Tel: +44 (0)7900 240192
1 Harley Street London W1G 9QD

Third article here – Keeping The Change
JustBeWell page on Pain Control

Please do feel free to post observations, comments and questions

Hypnosis For Pain Relief

Well it’s a slightly misleading title as you don’t have to be a hypnotherapist to do this with others, or yourself, though the process itself is fairly hypnotic. I first came across a variant of this technique what seems like about three thousand years ago, when I started ‘doing’ NLP. I had joined a friend of mine who had stepped outside from the training room because he had, in his words, ‘a pretty bad migraine’.

It was then that one of the trainers, Michael Breen, happened by. Upon hearing of my friend’s headache Michael proceeded to do a variation of what follows and to my (and my friend’s) amazement, within a few minutes the pain had gone. And it stayed gone. I have used variants of this with severe chronic pain relief, phantom limb pain relief, cluster migraine relief etc etc, to great success through the years. As I say, although I’ve titled this blog ‘hypnosis for pain relief’, anyone can learn the following technique. If you were doing this on yourself, you would obviously have to read it through first as its an eyes closed thing…

Get Medical Advice
Now before I take you through this ‘hypnosis’ pain relief technique I really should point out that if you or someone you know is in pain, especially chronic pain, then for goodness sake do seek medical advice. That’s obvious to you, I expect, but it’s worth mentioning nevertheless…

The Pain Relief Technique
OK, this is basically a visualization disassociation thing. And the first thing to say is to do it slowly, very slowly and gently and patiently. For the purposes of teaching this to you I am going to pretend that you are the one who needs pain relief and that you are indoors. So if you are lucky enough to be reading this whilst sunbathing in the tropics then you will have to use your imagination…

Step One
Sit with your back supported and your feet on the floor. If you are laying down then get into as comfortable position as you can. Calibrate. Decide for yourself, one a scale of 1 to 100, with one being total comfort, and 100 being excruciating agony, what number you would ascribe to the pain, hereafter referred to as the ‘feeling’.

Step Two
Look at the room you are in, and look as if you are looking for the first time. See the contents of the room, the colours, the shapes, where the light is coming from, where the shadows are. Look at what you are wearing. Look around you and see what is behind you. Now close your eyes and see the room with your eyes closed in your imagination. In other words, remember what you were just looking at. Do this for, say, 10 seconds or so and then open your eyes and look at the room again. Now see what you weren’t seeing just now, add detail so that when you close your eyes again your picture, or memory, will be more complete. I repeat, do this slowly. Now close your eyes again and see the room with the additional detail added in. After 10 seconds (or whetever time seems right) open your eyes and repeat the process. Repeat this a few times until you have a pretty good idea of what the room looks like, sitting there with your eyes gently closed.

Step Three
Keeping your eyes closed float out, in your mind’s eye, so that you are pretending you are looking at the front of your body, from about 10 feet away. There may well be an intervening wall and/or furniture in the way so simply use your imagination and pretend you can see through any intervening objects. See what you would see from this perspective, how your face looks with your eyes closed, what is behind you, what is to the left and what is to the right. Perhaps remember tiny details, such as what is in a picture on the wall, or how the light may be reflecting of objects in the room etc. Remain looking at yourself from this perspective for 30 seconds or so (or whatever feels comfortable).

Step Four
Now float clockwise, gently, until you are looking at yourself from 10 feet away from the right. From this position see the right hand side of your head, the right hand side of your body. Remember what would now be behind the seated image of you, in your mind. Remember, once again, where the light is coming from, where the shadows are. Once again, do this for 30 seconds or so (or whatever seems comfortable).

Steps Four, Five and Six
Repeat the above, seeing yourself in your imagination, from 10 feet behind you, then then 10 feet from the left and then ten feet from the front again.

Steps Seven to Eleven
Now glide further away, so that you are 50 feet away, in your mind, looking at the front of you, sitting there in the chair. Everything is smaller now, all the details are smaller, your face is smaller, your body is smaller. Do this for 30 seconds(ish) again. Then drift away, and repeat the process in your minds eye, and see yourself from 50 feet to the right, then 50 feet behind, then fifty feet from the left, then fifty feet from the front again.

Step Twelve
Now glide, in your imagination, 50 feet straight up above yourself and look down. Look through the ceiling and the roof and/or other floors and see the top of your head, and the furniture, and the light and the shade. Spend 30 seconds or so looking down at the smaller you in the smaller room.

Step Thirteen And now drift up, in your imagination, higher and higher above the building. Imagine what else you may be able to see from up there, the rooftops, the buildings, the plants, the landscape. Keep floating up and up and up, gently. If the sky isn’t cloudless, pretend it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s night or day. Keep drifting up until miles of land becomes visible in all directions, and keep going. The tiny you in the tiny room is still down there, but will become too far away, in your mind, to see. Keep floating smoothly up until you begin to be aware of the curve of the earth. Drift higher and higher seeing more and more of the planet and being aware of more and more space. Then the planet itself, a blue, green and white ball, dwindles into the distance and you are drifting in deep peaceful space, surrounded by thousands and thousands of shining stars….

Pain Relief Hypnosis that works
Slowly open your eyes and ask yourself, ‘what number is the feeling now’. If you have done this really slowly and gently with yourself, or with a friend or a client, you or they will probably be pretty spaced out by now, in more ways than one. I find that the ‘feeling’ well almost invariably have either reduced significantly, or be gone entirely. Sometimes you may need to repeat the process. If you are doing this by yourself it’s going to take a bit of practice. It’s easier to begin with to have someone talk you through it. If you are the person talking someone through it then make sure you are as relaxed as you can be before you begin. Although I’ve described this technique as pain relief hypnosis, like I say, anyone can learn it.

If you have any questions about this then please feel free to ask. If you are a therapist then please do feel free to add your comments, tips, observations etc..

Steve Tromans
Visit the page on JustBeWell here – Pain Control
See a follow up article here – Pain Relief Hypnosis
Read a further article here – Keeping The Change

Tel: +44 (0)7900 240192
1 Harley Street London W1G 9QD


PS here is a skype interview where I talk through this technique, apolgiies for the scary face….. To watch this directly on Youtube click here – Hypnosis For Pain Relief

Blushing problems and how to stop going red

When I teach workshops around the world I always ask the group about what they think the most common client problem is that I encounter. I get the usual replies including, phobias, anxiety, compulsions and food related issues. Nobody has ever suggested blushing and yet it’s one of the most common problems to see clients for in my Leeds and Manchester clinics. Many clients who experience this problem have already tried other approaches or had the problem for some time. In most cases the attempted solution has been to analyze why they have the problem which in my opinion is the wrong question. The key question is “How are they creating the problem?” I must of in recent years seen over 100 clients for this specific problem and in all cases the process has been almost exactly the same with each client.

It’s important to differentiate between a natural state of blushing from feeling self-conscious and the type of blushing that occurs when a person runs very helpful internal suggestions that create the problem state. Blushing requires the ability to feel unhelpfully self-conscious and this can only be done in a few ways. By far the most common way to trigger this is for a person to make the following kind of unhelpful anticipatory suggestions

“Don’t go red!”
“Don’t think about going red
“People are seeing me going red
“I’m gonna go red!

These unhelpful suggestions are made in a fast and anxious voice which then creates the unhelpful feeling which triggers the overall blushing response. I have developed a number of excellent approaches which essentially defuse the emotionally charged suggestions so the client then has real control over how to think and feel different. The good news is that most people can have this resolved in just a couple of sessions. The secret of resolving this is not to analyze what tends to typically occur but rather to create new possibilities of thinking and feeling different. The age range for blushing clients can be from 16 – 60 in my experience and in all cases the type of people who have this issue are very good at anticipating and planning. They often work in jobs that require them to use such skills, but this anticipatory type thinking is being used in a manner that is not useful. Once the client learns how to disengage from the problematic way of thinking, then the feeling state changes and the previous blushing experiences doesn’t occur.

Dealing with Binge Drinking and Binge Eating problems

In my JBW Leeds and Manchester clinics I regularly see clients who have issue with binge drinking and binge eating. On the surface these can be seen as very different issues, but in my experience there are lots of similar patterns and often the approaches that work best with all binge type problems are identical.
When clients make contact at that exact point in time they have realised that they really need to change this problem behaviour. It may be that they reached a low point or in many cases their relationships in either personal or professional life have been so affected that they have to now find a solution. Often clients with binge issues have developed an “all or nothing” way of thinking and feeling. It’s a bit like a car that only has first or sixth gear as choices and nothing in between. I had one client who had binge eating problems who if she had what she called “a good day” would eat healthily and at a sensible pace. If she had what she called “a bad day” she would go to the local supermarket, fill up her basket with donuts and similar foods and then proceed to binge until she felt better. She had had all kinds of different therapy, kept food diaries and analyzed her situation at some length. None of these approaches had worked to date as many involved her thinking increasingly about food! Part of my role was to assist her in finding out how to create some better choices in what she ate and when she ate. To date all my clients who have had binge eating and binge drinking issues have been types that are highly mentally active and who in most cases use these skills with great success in some areas of life. The difficulty they have is that in relation to food or drink they can’t find any sort of braking system, so everything in terms of how they eat or drink is going far too fast. They literally have adopted this “all or nothing” behaviour and no amount of thinking has any useful affect. It’s like the whole world is now seen through this particular lens.
One of the keys in resolving this is to learn how to start to think and feel differently so the feeling of having to eat or drink in this way simply doesn’t occur in the same way. It’s also important to identify externally typical factors that collude to encourage the problem. One binge eating client found that he constantly bought chocolate bars when he filled up his car with petrol. He only ever added ten pounds worth of fuel each day and each time he also purchased a number of chocolate bars which he then ate once he drove off the forecourt. He was actually not even aware that he did this each day as it had become a pattern of behaviour he just did. Similarly binge drinkers tend to have specific times and places where they adopt this behaviour. Nobody when they first open their eyes on being born into this world thinks to themselves or blurts out loud “Mine’s a pint of Tetley’s” or “I’ll have five of those jam donuts” These behaviours are “learned behaviours” Just as any of us can learn unhelpful habits we too can learn with the right tools to think and feel differently. The key is to change the thinking process which then changing the feeling process and the overall behaviour. Even longstanding issues can usually be greatly helped in a relatively short period of time.

Nick Kemp