23 February 2013

Really interesting article about sports psychology and the use of visualization

Visualization in sport is a training technique that forms a part of the larger science of sports psychology. Visualization is also known as mental imagery and rehearsal. Visualization is used primarily as a training tool, one that improves the quality of athletic movement, increases the power of concentration, and serves to reduce the pressures of competition on the athlete while building athletic confidence.

Visualization occurs when athletes are able to create an image or a series of images relevant to their sport, without any external prompts or stimulation; the images are mentally generated by the athlete alone. Visual images are usually the most important to athletic training and may be employed as the sole mental training method. Athletes may also depend on auditory images (sounds), kinesthetic images (movements), tactile sensations (touch), and purely emotional stimulation, in combination with visualization or as freestanding training aids, as may be appropriate to the effort to elevate the performance of the athlete.

There is a powerful relationship between mental and physical performance in sport. The development of a wide range of mental powers, such as focus and concentration, elevates athletic performance; over-analyzing detracts from the athlete's ability to react instinctively, an attribute that is usually a more desirable quality than the ability to reason through every sporting circumstance.
Visualization is intended to take the athlete to an image that conveys what perfection represents in the particular aspect of the sport. During visualization, the brain is directing the target muscles to work in a desired way. This direction creates a neural pattern in the brain, a pattern identical to the network created by the actual physical performance of the movements. A neural pattern is similar to diagramming the specific wiring and circuits necessary to transmit an electrical current. Alexander Bain (1818–1903) of Great Britain was the first scientist to develop a theory as to how the brain built such patterns to direct and control repeated physical movement. Numerous researchers since that time have expanded on the concept. Visualization alone will not develop the most effective mechanisms in the brain to later perform the desired action, but physical training coupled with visualization will create better recognition of the required nervous system response than physical training alone.

During organized athletic training, sports psychologists will commonly direct the visualization techniques employed by an athlete to be utilized in a quiet, secluded area, so as to eliminate distractions. It is common for athletes who are employing visualization training to participate in three such sessions per week.
The first application of visualization tools is the mental rehearsal or practice of the specific techniques required in a sport. Every sport has such training opportunities; the mental rehearsal of the precise footwork that a high jumper will take in an approach to the bar prior to takeoff, or the steps and delivery of a soccer player attempting a corner kick can be replayed by the athlete indefinitely.
The mental replay of the image of a successfully executed maneuver is a tool used by athletes to reinforce athletic confidence. When this type of visualization is used in conjunction with other sports psychology tools, such as positive self-talk, the self-encouragement that athletes direct inward for motivation, they can connect to an actual past success as a means of enhancing their future prospects.
Visualization is also a useful tool to contemplate the appropriate tactics the athlete might employ in a given competitive situation. A middle distance runner can visualize where in a particular 1,500-m race the closing kick ought to be employed; for an ice hockey player or a lacrosse defenseman, game situations such as defending a two-on-one break by opposing forwards can be analyzed. In a similar fashion, the athlete can reenact circumstances where an error was made or a breakdown occurred, making the image an educational tool.

Visualization is also useful while the athlete is recovering or rehabilitating from an injury. Positive images of either competition or healthy athletic movement can be employed, particularly while the athlete is using a stationary trainer or otherwise exercising, to mentally remove the athlete from the mundane training room or gym to the exciting athletic life.

The beauty of visualization as a training tool is its portability; this form of mental training can be used during the athlete's off hours, during training, rehabilitation, or in the course of actual competition, particularly in those sports where there are intervals between event segments. The delivery of a tennis serve and the throwing of a javelin are acts that permit athletes to engage their powers of visualization and, when coupled with a positive mental outlook, assist in achieving their best form.

21 February 2013

Get a grip on eating at the office

Here are some guidelines to help you avoid unhealthy eating in your workplace.

Ø  Deadlines are stressful and you tend to put healthy eating off altogether.  However, this is why a solid morning meal is more important than ever!  Options with protein and fiber, like oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts, will help set you up for the day.  It keeps you full and starts your metabolism off to a good start. 

Ø  Go for a walk for 30 minutes.  It helps your energy levels increase and improve your memory. 

Ø  Skip the co-workers cakes.  Politely tell them you prefer to save it for desert and then share it with the family or friends.

Ø  Have hard candy ready when you go to office parties.  You don’t want to eat when you already have something in your mouth.  Mints are perfect as most things taste terrible after you have just had a mint, and your breath will smell nice.

Ø  If there is a buffet, visit the table only once and then stand on the opposite side of the room.

Ø  Have one indulgence a day.  We still want you to have fun.  All the rest of the cakes, biscuits, and celebrations will still be there, but you don’t need it if you know you have a special treat.

Ø  At working lunches, eat your salad first or veggies before you eat anything else, or have a simple soup first.  A personal favorite of mine is to order 2 starters instead of a starter and a main.  I’ve never left hungry.

Ø  If it’s after hour work drinks.  Go late and have a healthy snack on the way.  Have a mint before you order a drink as you will be less temped to order an alcoholic one. Drink a non-alcoholic drink between drinks if you will be there for more than one and nurse it.  Hold it in your hand so people don’t offer to keep getting you another one.

20 February 2013

Weight control: Rules for eating healthier when you are out at lunch

It is part of everyday life to eat out a few times a week or order in.  However, this normally means we will be eating fattier foods and bigger amounts (sometimes just to meet the delivery charge minimum!).  So to help make better choices, follow these guidelines.

1.    Walk to pick up your order if you can. 
2.    Eat something healthy (i.e. an apple or celery with hummus) before you go out or order.
3.    Order lean meats and veggies and skip the items loaded with extra sauces (i.e. 1 tsp mayo = 100 calories). 
4.    Skip the deep fried foods and go for steamed or fresh like sushi.
5.    Eat mindfully!  Don’t just grab it and plunk down in front of the TV.  Pause between bites and put your fork down so you don’t just keep shoveling it in.
6.    Picture taking a bite before you actually do.  Research has show the envisioning yourself enjoying the food you crave can actually lessen the amount you consume by nearly half.

19 February 2013

Hypnotherapy and stress update

People die from stress all the time.  Diabetes, heart attacks, etc…

The clinical value of hypnosis has been well documented in the book 21st Century Medicine: Clinical Evidence For the Healing Power of The Mind.  Most of our clients prefer to approach their health using natural methods, which can be applied to most illnesses related to stress, including diet, exercise, and better food choices.

Relaxation for example has been proven to drop a diabetic’s long term blood sugar level just about as much as a diabetes drug.  And we all know the drugs are expensive and sometimes the side effects are worse and unnecessary in a lot of cases.  Dr. Richard Surwit of Duke University did a study on 108 type II diabetics.  All they did was listen to 20 minute relaxation sessions 3 times a week!  Hypnotherapy is all about relaxation but also more powerful.

Here are more remedies you can immediately do to reduce stress:

  1. Remember to take 6 deep breaths (this takes one minute) whenever you “feel” the stress or anxiety coming on.  Breathing stops stress in its track and then just think about something that makes you smile.
  2. Be aware of energy vampires.  They take your energy and use it for themselves to deal with their own stress or try to pass it on to you.  Walk away or put up a protective bubble!
  3. Learn from example.  Who do you know who is “cool under pressure”?  Follow their example.  For every situation you can handle it calmly or stressed out.  Simple choice.  Choose calm!
  4. Take breaks.  When you feel stressed or anxious, just walk away for 5 minutes to clear your head.  Even in a meeting, excuse yourself for a moment and give yourself positive self talk.
  5. Think positive, calm thoughts.  “I love being calm and relaxed”.  Say it 10 times and you will feel it.
  6. Exercise – so simple.  Go for a walk and it’s free!

Hypnosis can also do things that the drugs cannot.  Doctors at the University of Minnesota have talked about how hypnotherapy can help increase self-control and positively regulate behaviour. 

We need to pay attention to the research and give patients a choice and the power to choose how they want to receive treatment.  It's 2013!  Let’s start educating ourselves on treatments.

18 February 2013

Hypnotherapy can help your child with confidence and overcoming fears

Using hypnotherapy for children is an effective, efficient and a fun way to help your child with whatever it is they need to achieve.  The most common issues covered are confidence, worry, sleep issues, separation anxiety, phobias and helping them learn how to handle certain situations better (i.e. bullying or anger issues).

I have always been passionate about helping kids and it is one of the greatest joys to be able to teach a child skills and techniques that will help them as they progress through life.  Hypnotherapy is a results based therapy so I don't see them for months.  Most of my "kids" come to see me 3 or 4 times but it's not always to work on the same issue.  A common example would be a child suffering from a fear of the dark or spiders and then come to see me a few months later to help with shyness or exam anxiety.  

Why and how does it work?  First, it always works but the “why” is the important factor.  Your child has got to want help with solving their problem. You cannot send them to me without their approval.  I can give you guidance on how to approach them on the topic.  Once they agree to wanting help, I guide them on how they can do it using the power of their own minds.  The results are always astonishing to the parents but it's really just their kids taking action and applying what they have learned.  Kids are brilliant and so creative.  They just need someone to show them and then they create their own success.

14 February 2013

The war on weight loss still continues

At MG Hypnosis, we see clients for normally 6-8 weeks for weight loss.  We have started to get tougher with our clients as there is no point in coming to see us if you haven’t made a true commitment to change.  We will terminate the sessions if a client does not loose weight in any given week and resume only when they have.

We teach you a variety of techniques to help you reach your goal, and more importantly, maintain it!  We teach you self-hypnosis, anchoring, future visualizations, and learning to create excitement for the end result. 

Our case history is a key aspect in achieving success as it can indicate the real reasons behind the eating behavior.  Without addressing the emotional responses, progress cannot be achieved - as we always resort back to our old ways when faced with pressure or stress – which is part of our daily lives.

Once you take responsibility for your health and future, you will understand the positive knock on effect it has on the rest of your life (more energy, better health, looking and feeling better, and a sense of daily achievement!).

Go on – get started today!

08 February 2013

Free Hypnotherapy 30 min consultations 16th March 2013


The whole clinic is offering free taster sessions, so see their website for more details at:  www.putneyclinic.co.uk

Book your time slot by calling 0208 789 3881.

If you want to learn how you can receive help with any of the following:

  • Sports enhancement: (learn techniques to improve your game)and motivation (setting and reaching goals and finding inspiration). We can also help with pain management and confidence.
  • Weight reduction: Learn the reasons behind your eating behaviour and learn how to change it. We help you understand that it isn't hard and you won’t loose any enjoyment from your life. You only will gain more energy, better health, a longer life, and a sense of achievement. This is not about a diet, it’s about better living.
  • Smoke cessation: You know you want to stop and now is the time. Don’t let a poisonous little stick harm you any longer.
  • Alcohol reduction and control: Having a bottle a night to help cope with everyday pressures is growing among professionals and parents coping with children. Find out how to take back control of your drinking habit and find more constructive and healthy ways to deal with stress.
  • Confidence and self-esteem boosting: Who couldn't do with more of both? We teach you proven techniques to immediately start feeling and thinking better. You will find it will affect all aspects of your life in a positive helpful way.

Along with the above, we also can help with sleep issues, phobias, panic attacks, hypnobirthing and stopping unwanted habits. We also see children and help them with bullying, separation anxiety, fears, exam anxiety, public speaking, and many others.

Please see www.myghypnosis.co.uk or call Marygrace Anderson on 07931 547414.

Henry Scott Holland's prayer

It might be a sad subject but I think this is such a beautiful poem. To think someone can write something so beautiful and make a sad occasion very special. I wanted to share it with you.
Death is nothing at all
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well
Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

06 February 2013

Nutrition and Superfoods by Fleur Borrelli

This is the news letter from the Nutritionist at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy.  If you would like to receive her news letter, please see the link below:

In this month's issue read about the compound in grape juice and red wine that can help you to burn the fat and age more slowly.  Also find out which fish may be a more sustainable alternative to mackerel and put some fire in your belly with a delicious Levi Roots recipe.   Please click on the link below:


05 February 2013

The Putney Clinic and treating back pain - featured on Sky

Clive Lathey, director of the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, recently participated in the the programme Back to Health in the NHS, which was broadcast on Sky Channel 212 / Freesat Channel 401 on Sunday 3 February at 6pm. The programme looked specifically at back pain and its treatment. Below you can view the programme.


Back pain is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. Back pain may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include symptoms other than pain. These symptoms may include tingling, weakness or numbness.

In the UK, acute lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for GP visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year. Not all treatments work for all conditions or for all individuals with the same condition, and many find that they need to try several treatment options to determine what works best for them.

In this programme presented by Georgina Burnett we look at the latest innovations in back pain treatment and hear the views of family GP and television personality Dr Chris Steele, Dr Brian Hammond and Dr Adam Al-Kashi (from Back Care, the charity for healthier backs), Catherine Goodyear (Chief Operating Officer, British Osteopathic Association), Dr Dawn Carnes (National Council for Osteopathic Research), Tanith Hamm (Osteopath), Clive Lathey (Osteopath & Sports Scientist, The Putney Clinic) and Davy Snowdon (Former Olympic Weightlifting World Record Holder).

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