water for weight managementHave you been told over and over again when dieting to drink more water? It is often repeated advice, but why? Is there any science behind this or is it one of those often repeated tips based on legend? Even worse could it be an evil plot to sell more toilet paper? I wanted to know and so I checked around. I am happy to report that drinking water is helpful in weight management, in fact, it is a metabolism booster.

According to researchers at the University of Utah, who monitored the metabolic rates of 10 adults as they drank varying amounts of water per day, all of your body’s chemical reactions, including your metabolism, depend on water.  The results of the study found that those who drank either eight or twelve 8-ounce glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had four. When you are dehydrated, you may be burning up to 2 percent fewer calories.

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water (about 17oz) increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women. The boost occurred within 10 minutes but reached a maximum 30-40 minutes after drinking.  Over a year, drinking an extra 1.5 liters a day burns around 17,400 calories. That adds up to about five pounds a year shed. Studies have also suggested that drinking one or two glasses of water before a meal can fill you up so you naturally eat less, thus fewer calories consumed.

Now you can take this water drinking a step further by adding one of the following three things to your water.

Metabolism Booster #1: Citrus Fruit

Adding citrus fruit to your water can speed up the fat burning process and help you feel more energized. Lemons and oranges in particular are a great source of Vitamin C and assist in fat burning.  This is because the metabolic process of transporting fatty acids within the cell and mobilizing them to be used as energy requires vitamin C as a co-factor. That means that loading up on vitamin C can naturally increase fat burning. Add 3 – 4 slices of lemon or orange to your water  to get that boost of vitamin C and help use fat as energy.

Metabolism Booster #2: Cucumbers

Flush out your system and your metabolism by drinking glasses of cucumber water. The natural diuretic effects of this vegetable containing potassium and vitamins A and C, flushes out toxins and revs up your metabolism. Add 6 – 8 slices of cucumber to a pitcher of water and refill your glass for a cool, refreshing drink!

Metabolism Booster # 4: Cayenne Pepper

While spicy water may not sound tasty, give it a chance. Research suggests that the capsaicin found in cayenne pepper can boost your metabolism shortly after ingesting it and may even make you feel fuller. Cayenne on it’s own may not seem appealing, so try mixing a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper with sliced strawberries and blueberries. It is surprisingly sweet, calorie torching and a pick me up with a kick!

I just had the best yoga class ever! It wasn’t actually the yoga that made it that way, although I do love the practice. It was who was in attendance. There is a gentleman, actually the husband of the instructor, who I have always thought was a fun and kind man. Well, the last time I saw him, he was quite ill. He asked me to help him with hypnosis, which I gladly did. I haven’t seen him since, although his wife kept me updated on his progress.

The hypnosis we did was directed at the stress resulting from his diagnosis and also going through the treatments he had to endure in order to find his way back to recovery. I recorded the sessions and gave him those as well as others I had that were appropriate. His wife said they listened to them daily through the whole process.

I couldn’t help myself, I hugged him hard! He smiled, so did his wife. As I was leaving the class, he stopped me and told me that he uses the advice I gave him every day. I had to ask, what advice? He said that he does a daily purge of his head trash. He imagines a trash can that he fills up with the stuff that has been rolling around in his thoughts and then dumps it in an incinerator to be burned and left as ashes.

Head Trash

I did tell him to do that, I often suggest that to my clients. It just hit home when he said it, how important a practice that is. The stuff that rolls around in our heads can interfere with our peace, especially when facing something that seems to be larger than we are, that is head trash. It humbled me that here was this person who had just faced a huge personal challenge saying that my suggestion was making a difference in how he was living. It made me realize how important our words and actions are. If I speak it, I want to be sure and live it.

There are challenges in all our lives. I do my best to keep mine under control, but truth be told, I am human. I have moments of feeling frail. This wonderful man just reminded me to throw that stuff away! I also have found that for me, when it seems like my head trash is getting too full, it is time for me to look around at how I can help someone else. Whether it is through organized volunteerism or just doing a favor for a friend. If my focus becomes how to help facilitate a change for another, change happens in me.

I recently met with a client who has been in the helping profession. She left her job for health reasons and instead of feeling better, like she thought she would, she found herself experiencing the blues. Furthermore, because she was blue, her eating was bad. She was eating carbs and sugars and had put about 20 pounds on. She had stopped going to the gym as well.

The first thing we did was to put all the head trash into one of those trash bins. Every “I can’t” got thrown away. Next, we threw out the excuses she had created.  We threw away her attachments to past hurts and slights. I could sense her relief at being done with all of that. But what to do with all that empty space? We decided to fill it with her favorite color light and allow that light to shine on all of her good qualities; her caring, her determination and her competence for starters. She has reported back to me that she is now throwing away stuff in her home as well as in her mind and she feels so much better!

Imagine your trash can, what would you put into it? What are you ready to be done with? Are you filled with “I cant’s” or excuses? Maybe it isn’t even your own stuff to hold on to? Are you carrying around other people’s stuff, such as gossip, jealousy or pettiness?  If it is holding you back or weighing you down, this may be the time to consider throwing it away.

At the end of my yoga class today this song played. It reminded me of this video that I had put together six years ago. I still feel the same about my life and gratitude, so I thought it might be fun to post again!


water for weight managementIncredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in shedding weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true “magic potion” for permanent weight loss. (Oh, I hate that word loss, but here it is valid.)

Water helps to suppress appetite naturally and helps the body to metabolize stored fat.  Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase of water can actually reduce fat deposits.

Here is why: The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to full capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney’s work , it can’t operate full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, remains stored in the body and shedding weight stops.

Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to a survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extra cellular spaces (outside cells). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands.

Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns. The best way to overcome the problem is to give your body what it needs-plenty of water. Only then will the stored water be released.

The overweight person needs more water than the thin one. Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the overweight person needs more water.

Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps prevent the sagging skin that usually follows dropping weight – shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient. Water helps rid the body waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of – all that metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste. Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. Result? Constipation. But, when a person drinks enough water, normal bowel function usually returns.

So far, we’ve discovered some remarkable truths about water and weight management:

  • The body will not function properly without enough water and can’t metabolize stored fat efficiently.
  • Retained water shows up as excess water.
  • To get rid of excess water, you must drink more water.
  • Drinking water is essential to managing weight.

How much water is enough? On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses every day. That is about 2 quarts. However, the overweight person needs one additional glass to every 25 pounds of excess weight. The amount you drink should also be increased if you exercise briskly or if the day is hot and dry.

Water should be preferable cold – it’s absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. Some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.

When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, its fluids are perfectly balanced. When this happens, you have reached the “breakthrough point”.  What does this mean?

  • Endocrine gland function improves
  • Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is lost
  • More fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat
  • Natural thirst returns
  • There is a loss of hunger almost overnight

If you stop drinking enough water, your body fluids will be thrown out of balance again, you may experience fluid retention, unexplained weight gain and loss of thirst. To remedy the situation you’ll have to go back and force another “breakthrough point”.

this article is not my original work, I found it years ago and have given it out to my clients. If you are (or know) the author, please let me know so that I can site it properly.

Another article on water and weight is here: The Best Way To Lose Weight


How Do I Know If I Am Under?

In my email recently was a note from an individual who wanted to know more about hypnosis and whether it could help them pass a test. It seems they have tried several free audios online and didn’t feel secure that it was working. There is an upcoming test of great importance to this individual and a recent test during which he froze up and couldn’t answer even the easy questions. Now studying had become a challenge as thoughts raced and fear began to take over.

This letter struck a chord with me; I have allowed fear to rule in my past. Fear stinks. When it interferes with our ability to move forward, it really stinks. Thoughts begin to race and it seems like words begin to blur on the page. Then a repetitive pattern of the “I can’t’s” seems to take up residence in our thoughts. This can become a spiral down the rabbit hole.

Hypnosis can and does help with test anxiety; I have assisted many with that issue. In fact, I went in to a local college math class and worked with the whole group prior to the final exams and the teacher informed me the class as a whole saw improved test scores.  The reason I bring up the group is significant to the individual who wrote me, as his initial question was how he would know the hypnosis was working. He has tried audios and couldn’t tell if he was under or if there was any effect. He wondered how does hypnosis feel? He was expecting to sleep or at least feel something. This wide group of students had a variety of responses to trance, some felt like they were daydreaming, some felt like they had napped before the test and others figured it was just a chance to use their imagination, still all benefited and it showed in the grades.

I just had a great conversation with a weight management client, for this purpose I will call her Beverly (not her real name). Beverly was concerned that she might start emotional or stress eating again because of a situation that is ongoing in her life. She was pleased that so far the emotional eating hasn’t begun, but she wanted to be sure it didn’t. So we talked about the situation and what she could realistically do about it.
First of all, Beverly realized that she cannot control the other person (I shall call Judy) involved or Judy’s actions. The only person she can control is herself. If she begins to eat for emotional reasons, then Beverly has lost control of the only person whom she can regulate. The tricky part then is to not allow Judy to have so much power over her. Judy isn’t in Beverly’s life on a consistent basis, hasn’t been for years. The issue goes back several years and while the Judy may not have done the right thing by Beverly, nothing can change the past. Beverly admitted that she has thought angry, jealous and hurtful thoughts about Judy for years. Meanwhile, Judy has continued to live her life as if nothing ever happened.
How often do we all do that, hold onto hurt or resentments that cause us to lose out on the rest and best of life? I have certainly been guilty of that. Because I hadn’t gotten my perception of justice, I was still feeling the imbalance of the scales and holding onto my pain. Then, it occurred to me that I was suffering by my own thoughts way more than anyone else had ever inflicted pain on me! Doing the math is what made it obvious to me. I mentioned this in my post, I’m Not Gollum, “If you break things down into numbers and percentages though, how much of your total day did you deal with that one incident?”
When we hold onto pain, it is natural to want to self-medicate. Some people do that with alcohol, some with drugs or shopping and in the case of my weight clients, it is often food. Food becomes the drug of choice, although not a very effective one. In fact, the pain still resides inside their head, and now they have added guilt and remorse and other unhealthy side effects.
I suggested to Beverly that she begin to take back her thoughts. When she noticed herself going in that direction, clap out loud and say STOP! She could get up and sing a song or she could go for a quick brisk walk. The idea is to interrupt those thoughts, suddenly and then redirect her attention to something that will benefit her. I have had many clients buy helium filled balloons. Then write what it is they need to let go of on the balloons and release them by the water. This is a great visual ritual that allows you to see your issues leave.
In trance we do the release of the balloons as well as the prisoners (those who offended us). Then we can create a shield of light that is filled with love to surround us. The subconscious mind is then given permission to find healthier ways of dealing with the pain and the stress. For each person it may be a different activity, that powerful subconscious knows what is perfect.
So, if you find yourself stress eating or eating for emotional reasons, maybe you want to consider releasing your “prisoners” and old negative thoughts. Maybe it is time to evict those hurtful folks and put a no vacancy sign up instead!

setting boundariesRecently I was treated poorly by an individual who shall remain nameless. He was rude and inconsiderate, so I confronted him on his behavior. He held on to his right to be so rude, so I have jettisoned him from my life and my practice. After our conversation, I decided I wanted to go to Zumba and work off some of the energy that this had created in me. When I arrived at class, I announced that I had made a choice between killing someone and dancing it off. Obviously, by my attendance, the dance/Zumba won. I felt this was a great way for me to turn the energy into something positive and redirect my thinking.

I was amused by a classmate whom I recently have begun to know and like, when said she was surprised at my emotion. She has read my blogs and said something to the effect of, “you sound perfect in what you write”.  I laughed with her as I am far, very far from perfect. I have tools to use when I am upset and I consider exercise one of them. I did do some deep breathing on the way to class and even my comment was a failed attempt at using humor. I would love to report that I remain unflustered when others push my buttons that I am all Zen and consider rudeness neither good nor bad, but no, I am not there yet.

Furthermore, I do believe that boundaries are important and there are times one needs to set them. I have had others correct me on occasion, in that regard. There are those who seem to think I should just shine on when another is not respectful of my time and ability. I understand where they are coming from, but I will respectfully disagree with them. I don’t have a need to prove anything to such people regarding my value or the value I offer through my practice. I understand that there will always be those who disagree with me. What I won’t allow is blatant disregard. If your time is valuable and your contributions are to be respected, so are mine.

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”  Brené Brown

I have a friend who also recently fired a client. She felt that the time and effort this individual was demanding was beyond the income produced by serving them. She decided her emotional balance was more important than any amount of money. We had discussed this prior to her making the move and agreed it was important for her to establish boundaries with this individual. After she had her conversation with the now former client, she reported feeling lighter.

Imagine shedding over 100 pounds in an instant? It is dead weight that is holding you back when you allow another to treat you poorly. You are going to resent it and that can cause emotional eating or stuffing. (Or nail biting or trichotillomania or any of dozens of damaging behaviors. I don’t want to give anyone that much real estate in my head (or my belly)!  Turning my anger into an excuse to exercise, I like. After all, during exercise my brain is releasing all kinds of feel good chemicals, plus burning up stored fuel in my body. After Zumba, I was happy as a clam and even went on to a silly Girl’s Poker Night. (I lost all $3 in coins that I bet, but it was worth the giggles.)

Recently a new client came to see me, wanting me to help her shed the excess weight she has been carrying. This woman is intelligent and educated and very introspective. She knows all she “should” do to be healthier; she even has times where her weight becomes her central focus. She said that she will get to a certain level of fitness and then people start to notice. That scares her and she retreats back into a shell of overeating and sluggishness. She is an all or nothing type personality mixed in with a bit of self-loathing. Because this woman was introspective, she had already begun to understand that her weight gain and weight loss was all between her ears.

I asked her what diets and programs she has used in the past, like so many people I see, her response was, “what haven’t I tried is probably easier to answer”. We found a plan that fit with her current life style and she decided to use it. We talked about movement; she hasn’t much interest in moving. She hates the gym. So, I asked her what she can add into her life that might seem more like fun and less like “working out”. She does take a short walk daily; that is a good start. She has taken tai chi in the past, knows the movements and positions. As she has a great deal of stress in her life, that one seems like a no brainer. Because she is an all or nothing personality, we decided to add little changes into her life, a few at a time.

She has understood now that hypnosis is not necessarily about the “shoulds”, but instead about the “wants”. She wants to be healthy, she wants to feel good and she really, really wants to love herself. Our trance work was focused on her loving herself more, but also on recognizing her emotions. We tend to judge emotions as good or bad, when in actuality, they are simply gauges to help us. If we smell sour milk, that sense tells us not to drink the milk. If we smell fresh cooked vegetables, that sense tells us we can safely eat it. If we feel depressed, then we want to address that feeling. How are we feeling ineffective? It is time to make a plan of action and put it into place (take action). Eating won’t do that and usually ends up in adding to our negative feelings because of guilt, bloating or lethargy.gauging weight loss

I made the comparison to a car. There are many different gauges and lights on a car, not all mean it is time to refuel. The brake warning lights might mean I need new brake pads or that the pressure is off. The oil light is a reminder to have my oil checked, I might need to have it changed or it might be low. Neither of those gauges signifies it is time to refuel, especially if my gas tank is full! All of our senses are important, just as all of our emotions. Perhaps it is just time to listen and respond to the signals as they are sent instead of trying to feed everything.


Can hypnosis enhance artwork or more specifically can it help me enhance my skills? I was recently asked that question and it reminded me of a class I held at an art center several years ago. During the class I explained to the crowd of artists how they are in trance while creating. Many of them agreed that when they were working with the paint or the clay or whatever medium they used, they would lose track of time. The creation seemed to just flow naturally. Perhaps Michelangelo said it best, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

hypnosis for painThere is hope for your pain

Below are some sample reports regarding the research and effectiveness of hypnosis for pain. Pain is a symptom, so it must first be checked by a doctor. But, with permission (clearance) from your doctor hypnosis can help you. I have been fortunate to help many clients limit or even eliminate their pain through hypnosis. If you are suffering, you may want to ask your doctor if hypnosis is right for you.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain and Speeds up Recovery from Surgery
Since 1992, we have used hypnosis routinely in more than 1400 patients undergoing surgery. We found that hypnosis used with patients as an adjunct to conscious sedation and local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety, pain, intraoperative requirements for anxiolytic and analgesic drugs, optimal surgical conditions and a faster recovery of the patient. We reported our clinical experience and our fundamental research. [Hypnosis and its application in surgery] Faymonville ME, Defechereux T, Joris J, Adant JP, Hamoir E, Meurisse M, Service d’Anesthesie-Reanimation, Universite de Liege, Rev Med Liege. 1998 Jul;53(7):414-8.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain Intensity
Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness. Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain of Headaches and Anxiety
The improvement was confirmed by the subjective evaluation data gathered with the use of a questionnaire and by a significant reduction in anxiety scores. Melis PM, Rooimans W, Spierings EL, Hoogduin CA, Treatment of chronic tension-type headache with hypnotherapy: a single-blind time controlled study. Headache 1991; 31(10): 686-9.

Hypnosis Lowered Post-treatment Pain in Burn Injuries
Patients in the hypnosis group reported less post treatment pain than did patients in the control group. The findings are used to replicate earlier studies of burn pain hypnoanalgesia, explain discrepancies in the literature, and highlight the potential importance of motivation with this population. Patterson DR, Ptacek JT, Baseline pain as a moderator of hypnotic analgesia for burn injury treatment. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 1997; 65(1): 60-7.

Hypnosis Lowered Phantom Limb Pain
Hypnotic procedures appear to be a useful adjunct to established strategies for the treatment of phantom limb pain and would repay further, more systematic, investigation. Suggestions are provided as to the factors which should be considered for a more systematic research program. Treatment of phantom limb pain using hypnotic imagery. Oakley DA, Whitman LG, Halligan PW, Department of Psychology, University College, London, UK.

Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain
Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment. Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.

Hypnosis is a Powerful Tool in Pain Therapy and is Biological in Addiction to Psychological
Attempting to elucidate cerebral mechanisms behind hypnotic analgesia, we measured regional cerebral blood flow with positron emission tomography in patients with fibromyalgia, during hypnotically-induced analgesia and resting wakefulness. The patients experienced less pain during hypnosis than at rest. The cerebral blood-flow was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex. The observed blood-flow pattern supports notions of a multifactorial nature of hypnotic analgesia, with an interplay between cortical and subcortical brain dynamics. Copyright 1999 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Functional anatomy of hypnotic analgesia: a PET study of patients with fibromyalgia. Wik G, Fischer H, Bragee B, Finer B, Fredrikson M, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden Eur J Pain. 1999 Mar;3(1):7-12.

Hypnosis Useful in Hospital Emergency Rooms
Hypnosis can be a useful adjunct in the emergency department setting. Its efficacy in various clinical applications has been replicated in controlled studies. Application to burns, pain, pediatric procedures, surgery, psychiatric presentations (e.g., coma, somatoform disorder, anxiety, and post traumatic stress), and obstetric situations (e.g., hyperemesis, labor, and delivery) are described. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2000 May;18(2):327-38, x. The use of hypnosis in emergency medicine. Peebles-Kleiger MJ, Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences, Menninger Clinic, Topeka, KS, USA. [email protected]

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