Improving Life, Improving Experience                          Issue 65, March 2017
Hove StressBustersFrom talks about the brain, emotions and behaviour to practical demonstrations of different approaches giving you tools to reduce your stress level, Hove StressBusters is a community programme dedicated to wellbeing and stress management.

Visit our website for the calendar of upcoming talk & demonstration evenings, classes, workshops and courses, a directory of stress-busting experts, wellbeing-related articles and more...
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Hove StressBusters Talks & Demos

It was lovely to see many of you at our talk & demonstration evening last Wednesday. So many questions during and after the event, so many interesting discussions... a great evening, with lots of food for thought!

Cognitive Hypnotherapy                                 
     Many people these days have a fairly good idea of what hypnotherapy is all about, and over the last five years we've had a chance to experience hypnotic induction first-hand at several Brighton & Hove StressBusters events. However the increasingly popular Cognitive Hypnotherapy approach is still a bit of a mystery to most people, so we were very excited to have Jo Alderson, a Brighton-based specialist, introduce the work that she feels so passionate about.
     Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an integrated therapeutic approach which combines a wide range of effective techniques taken from several disciplines, including neurolinguistic programming (NLP), positive psychology, behaviourism and Gestalt therapy. Hypnosis, although playing a significant part in this approach, is not central to its effectiveness. Rather, it seems to enhance the effectiveness of other elements of this approach. Several studies that compared the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy with and without hypnosis found cognitive hypnotherapy to be more effective, especially in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
     Jo presented the three basic principles behind Cognitive Hypnotherapy:
Cognitive Hypnotherapy with Jo Alderson1. The 'one size fits all' approach does not apply to psychological issues - each client is unique and requires a unique combination of techniques for their issue to be resolved.
2. Trance is an everyday occurrence and the issues that we would like to resolve are often automatic (trance) responses to a particular situation - to resolve an issue, we need to tackle that trance state.
3. All our behaviours are based on positive intentions - even self-destructive behaviours such as drug taking, eating disorders etc. have a positive intention at their point of origin (e.g. being accepted, relieving negative emotions, having a sense of control etc.). The role of a cognitive hypnotherapist therapist is to get to this core in order to resolve the issue.
    After this brief introduction, Jo led us into a gentle hypnotic trance, with the aim of increasing our subjective perception of how lucky we are - an important factor which, according to research, does indeed help us seize more opportunities in life. It was so easy to follow her voice and the time seemed to fly - none of us could tell for certain how long it lasted. However, everyone agreed on one point: the experience was immensely enjoyable. By the end of the session we all seemed very relaxed and content, not a bit of stress in the air!

Tension & Trauma Release Exercise - TRE ®
     TRE, known by various names including Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise, Stress Release Exercises, etc., is rapidly becoming one of the hottest topics in the world of wellbeing. Deborah Brown, a craniosacral therapist and one of just few qualified TRE practitioners in the UK, was the first person to bring this technique to Brighton & Hove in 2015.
     TRE is based on the fact that, as humans, we have lost the ability to regulate stress effectively. In response to any stressful circumstance - be it a lion chasing us, a car accident or an argument with our boss - our body undergoes the 'fight-or-flight' response: the blood flow to our muscles increases (we need it to run away or fight!) while all other functions that are not important for immediate survival - our digestive and reproductive systems - shut down. (This pretty much explains why chronic stress produces such a wide range of health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, indigestion and infertility, just to mention a few.)
     There is, however, another phase which mammals go through at the end of this fight-or-flight response, and which is thought to enable the body to achieve its homeostasis (return to balance): once the stressor is over, the body starts shaking. Occasionally humans display these so-called neurogenic tremors too, especially in response to traumatic events, but most of the time we only ever experience the fight-or-flight response.
     It's not exactly clear why we have lost this ability to rapidly restore homeostasis after stress - perhaps it's because our cortex (the 'thinking' part of the brain) is much more developed than in other animals and this thinking interferes with the more basic regulatory mechanisms. Or perhaps it's because the minor daily stressors that chronically activate our stress 'axis' (the neuroendocrine circuit responsible for the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol), disrupt its effectiveness. Whatever the cause, researchers have suggested that by inducing these instinctual tremors, humans, like animals, can release chronic tension and overcome trauma.
Stress Release Exercise (TRE) with Deborah Brown      TRE is a set of 7 simple yoga-like exercises which consist of slow movements and calm breathing. The exercises activate the main muslces involved in the fight-or-flight response and by doing so trigger neurogenic tremors that travel through different parts of the body. Debbie demonstrated this with the help of a volunteer. It all looked far too simple and gentle, yet the end result was fascinating: when the volunteer completed the exercises and lay down on the floor, his body started shaking... gently at first and then more vigorously. This lasted for many minutes and ended with complete relaxation.
     It was interesting to hear about the effects of TRE practice, both from the volunteer and from Debbie. The main benefits seem to be a general sense of calmness, greater resilience to everyday stressors, and improved physical wellbeing.
     Read more about TRE

Special Offers

Cognitive Hypnotherapy
More than 50% OFF the extended initial consultation
Includes a personalised hypnotherapy relaxation with suggestions
Standard price: £130
Offer price: £60
90 minute long session

Please contact Jo directly for more information and booking: *
TRE® and
Craniosacral Therapy

£10 OFF one-to-one TRE® or Craniosacral Therapy sessions

Standard price: £50 per session
Offer price: £40 per session
90 minute long sessions


Please contact Debbie directly for more information and booking:*
* To qualify for the discounts, the sessions needs to be paid for in advance by 31st of March, even if you wish to take them at a later date.
These offers cannot be used in conjunction with the StressBusters Card discount.

Stress-Busting Library

PMS: That Time of the MonthPMS: THAT TIME OF THE MONTH It’s that time of the month again… Your partner is being annoying, insensitive and you suspect he probably doesn’t even love you any more. Your work seems to be on top of you and your boss is being more horrible than usual. Your children resemble the Adams family offspring. The fridge is rapidly becoming your best friend. All you can see in the mirror is a bloated Jabba the Hutt look-alike. Well, at least your breasts are a bit bigger (woohoo!), but at the price of being painful too. And the stomach cramps… hugging a hot water bottle becomes your idea of a perfect evening. If some or all of this sounds just too familiar then you may be one of many women suffering from the pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), or, as my girlfriends and I quite fittingly call it, the ‘pre-mental’ state. ... Read more

StressBusting Event Calendar

Family Constellations (workshop)
Monday 20th March, 6.15pm - 9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Stress & Trauma Release with TRE (workshop)
Monday 27th March, 7.15pm - 9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Full Moon Qigong/Yuan Gong (workshop)
Saturday 8th April, 10.30am - 1pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Qigong to Self-Heal - weekly classes with Em Burnett
Mondays 8.15-9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
*** First class is always FREE to newcomers; suitable for all levels ***

More info

Coaching Tip of the Month

WHAT YOU DO TODAY HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR PRESENT BUT IT WILL ALSO SEAL THE FATE OF YOUR FUTURE. The choices you make each day determine what lies ahead of you. It therefore serves you well if you make empowered choices where you embark on something new, complete what you have been postponing to do for a long time, seek opportunities and take the action that you have been afraid to take. Living each day as how you imagine your future self to be, in other words making the choices that your future self would make and courageously take action, will lead you toward a great future.
(Based on Coaching Tips of the Month by Katalin Swann)

Next Talk & Demonstration Evening

Therapeutic Counselling: Why Relationships Go Wrong
with Vivienne Barnes
with Duncan Bailey

Wednesday, 5th April @ 7.00 - 9.30pm
Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove

Join us and bring your friends too: the more people get involved in our community programme, the more diverse and interactive our events are going to be!
StressBusters Card
Savings with the StressBusters Card
The card is available for purchase at our monthly talk & demonstration evenings. The card costs £15 and is valid for 6 months from the day of purchase, during which time the card holder will be entitled to:
Wishing you all a stress-free month and looking forward to seeing you at our next event!
Copyright © 2017 Sussex Wellbeing Company Ltd, All rights reserved.

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