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posted 3 months ago

I’ve been coming to see Amanda for over 7 years for my Gel Nails which I think already says a lot. From the start, it’s always been such a friendly and relaxing place to come that’s got a homely, warm and welcoming setting, which beats any non cosy shop. You also receive a much more personable experience with lots of chatting which I much prefer (previous places where I had my nails done would be in silence). I think if my hands fell off tomorrow, I’d still visit every three weeks for our catch up :).

Thank you for always giving me pretty nails xx


Amanda is a lovely person who gives an amazing indian head massage that always delivers total relaxation and leaves you ready to face the world...

David S - Billingshurst

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How changing your mind can help you lose weight

Let’s start off on the right foot; there is no magic formula to  losing weight. Losing weight is about the amount of calories going in  and the amount of calories burnt during a day. There may well be  different types of food groups that should be taken into consideration,  but the basics are down to energy in versus energy out.

If you are having a weight problem, short of medical intervention, the best way to lose the weight is to change the way you think.

Most of the time we don’t think about how we eat or what we eat.  Often we just smell something nice cooking and our conscious mind gets  bypassed. We go from smells nice to putting it in our mouths. How often  have we all suddenly realised that we have that cream cake on our lips  without thinking about it?

How can we get our mind to work for us and not against us? How can we  get properly motivated to lose the weight we want? What we need to do  is to first get our goal straight in our mind. What do you actually want  from your weight loss? What weight do you want to be? What do you want  to look like? And most importantly, what will convince you that you’ve  achieved your goal?

Getting your goal straight in your mind is probably the  single most important thing about ensuring that your unconscious mind  will be behind you rather than against you.

  • Firstly make sure that your goal is achievable, it’s no use deciding that you want to lose 4 stone in a week.
  • It must also be a positive goal, it’s no good making your goal about what you don’t want (I’ll explain about that shortly).
  • Also, make sure your goal is about YOU, so many of  us like to think we will achieve our goals for our family or friends.  Make sure you will achieve this goal for yourself.

Let’s break each of these down.

  1. Make your goal achievable. Be realistic as to how  much weight you are going to lose. It’s easy to go either way with this;  easy to underestimate how much weight you can lose and make your goal  too simple to achieve. It’s also easy to overestimate how much you can  lose in a given time, so be as realistic as you can. Don’t be afraid to  re-calculate as well, if you’re achieving your goal too easily then  increase your goal a bit.
  2. Make your goal positive. Your goal should be about  what you want rather than what you don’t want. Quite simply when said  congruently our unconscious mind doesn’t deal in negatives. For instance  if I tell you NOT to think of a blue elephant in an orange field, the  first thing that pops into your mind is a blue elephant in an orange  field (even if just for a second). So if your goal is not to be fat,  guess what your unconscious mind is thinking? So by making your goal a  positive your mind will be focused on what you DO want!
  3. Make your goal about you. Make it personal to you,  don’t set goals about what other people want, because unless you want it  at a core level, your heart won’t be in it!
  4. Decide on your convincer. If you don’t know how  you will be able to measure your achievement, you can’t ever be sure  you’ve achieved it. Will it be reaching a specific weight or fitting  into those tight clothes in the wardrobe?

You’ve set your goal that’s achievable but not easy, made sure it’s positive and it’s about you. You also need to ensure that you can see and feel what you will be like when you’ve reached your ideal weight.

Now what I’d like you to do is to close your eyes and picture  yourself at your ideal weight, in those tight clothes that you want to  fit into, and wearing them comfortably. Now when you can do that I want  you to make the picture bigger until it’s big enough for you to step  into, feel what you’ll feel, hear what you’ll hear, and see yourself as  you will be. Now, how motivated do you feel to achieve your goal? How  convinced are you that you can reach your goal? The stronger your  motivation is the better your chance to succeed at any goal.

Once you’ve set your goal, you need to plan your route to get there.

For some people this could be a direct route, for other’s less so.  Set milestones on your route, so that you can monitor your progress  towards that goal. Plan how you will reduce your calories in, joining  your gym, and set your weekly goals. (Always check with a medical  professional before starting a new fitness programme.)

You may well have been in this position before where you have a goal,  your milestones are set and after a couple of weeks you’re on target.  All of a sudden you find you’ve stopped going to the gym, and your  eating patterns have returned to what they used to be. Your motivation  isn’t strong enough to get you to your goal. Look at your goal and see  what has changed about it. There will be something. Is it still about  you? Could it be that it was over ambitious and simply needs more time  to achieve? Is it about the way you see yourself in that picture? Adjust  your goal using the above steps and get yourself back on track. Just  like a GPS in your car re-routes you around roadblocks or traffic jams,  your plan can be flexible enough to cope with the little hurdles you  come across.

There is a presupposition of NLP “there is no failure, only feedback” which is appropriate here. Learn what you need to learn about why  you’ve not achieved your milestone, or goal, and add it into the plan so  you don’t make the same mistake again. The definition of insanity is  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different  result. After all, you’ve not failed before at losing weight, you’ve  just not succeeded YET!

There are many other mind changing techniques that can help.

For example:

  • Removing cravings for certain foods
  • Changing the way you feel about yourself
  • Increasing your motivation
  • Goal setting
  • Removing blocks in your mind that are stopping you from achieving your goals

These are the sorts of things that Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy can help with.

The Habit Virus

A  brief trip into the way we form habits for every part of our lives, and  how we can change them. I’d like to start with a couple of examples of  how habits have been formed and examined in depth.

Monkey Business

In  a research study, five monkeys were placed in a cage with a ladder  leading to a bunch of ripe bananas. One monkey headed towards the  bananas, but hidden at the top of the ladder was a water spray which  showered water over the monkey. So it abandoned the attempt. Another  monkey tried; it too was sprayed with water. Each monkey in turn tried, but each was doused and eventually gave up.

The  researchers turned off the water spray and removed one monkey from the  cage, replacing it with a new one. The new monkey saw the bananas and  immediately tried to climb the ladder. However, to its horror, the other  monkeys leapt up and stopped it.

Over  time the researchers removed and replaced all the original monkeys.  Every time a newcomer approached the ladder the other monkeys stopped it  from climbing up. None of the remaining monkeys had ever been sprayed,  but still no monkey approached the ladder to reach the bananas. As far  as they knew that was the way it had always been done, and so the habit  was formed.

Pavlov’s Dogs

Ivan  Pavlov famously discovered “Classical Conditioning”. When a dog  encounters food, it salivates to ease swallowing the food. Pavlov became  interested in studying reflexes when he saw that the dogs drooled  without food in sight. It turned out that the dogs were reacting to lab  coats. Every time the dogs were served food, the person who served the  food was wearing a lab coat. Therefore, the dogs reacted as if food was  on its way whenever they saw a lab coat.

In  a series of experiments, Pavlov then tried to figure out how these  phenomena were linked. For example, he struck a bell when the dogs were  fed. If the bell was sounded in close association with their meal, the  dogs learnt to associate the sound of the bell with food. After a while,  at the mere sound of the bell, they responded by drooling.

How the brain works

When  you learn a new skill, a new pattern is established in the brain. Each  time you repeat the skill, the pattern becomes clearer, strengthening  the connection between brain cells. This process builds the new pattern  or habit into the chemistry of the human brain. The more you practise a  new skill, the more the connections grow in the brain.

Imagine  walking though a previously unexplored forest – if you are followed by  200 other people, the pathway becomes much clearer. In the same way,  pathways and patterns of behaviour are developed in the brain. When you  learn to drive a car, it takes a little time to get used to the controls  and procedures to drive safely. However, it soon becomes second nature  as you develop the new brain pathways to know what to do.

In  a similar way, if you consider a journey you regularly make, there may  be occasions when you feel you are driving on automatic pilot. You may  even find one day that you take the journey unnecessarily, as your mind  is programmed into the familiar route.

So,  if we form habits by repeatedly carrying out actions, either real or  imagined, can we form good habits? Habits that break other, old habits  that we don’t want or need anymore? Can we change the way we think and  react to events? Of course we can! It’s obvious isn’t it? Don’t we do  that all the time? Don’t we learn new things that “overwrite” what we  believed before? Once upon a time humans would have sworn that the World  was flat? We changed that “habit”.

Have  you ever heard of someone who swore that they used to have a phobia,  but got over it/simply didn’t have it anymore/got help to get over it?  Do you know someone who has a phobia currently, that restricts the way  they lead their life? Do you know anyone that has a habit they wish they  could change? Do you know someone that wants to give up smoking, but  just can’t seem to “break the habit”? All we have to do is “overwrite”  the old habits with new!


The  simple answer is yes, your problems are insurmountable, but only if you  want them to be, and only with the way you currently think about them. I  have quit smoking, and stayed off of them with no ill effects for a  number of years now. I’ve overcome a phobia of needles, which was so bad  that I would run screaming from the room at the very sight of a needle  (hypodermic), or lash out with uncontrollable rage, or curl up and cry  (anything to get away from the needles). Now I can quite calmly hold a  needle up to my own eye with not the slightest panic!

At Ananda Healing I’ve also helped a number of people change their own insurmountable habits into new, better habits!

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