If someone told you you could lose weight without going on a diet you might not believe them.
But hypnotherapist Sam Culshaw-Robinson helps you do just that, using tried and tested techniques which no low-calorie recipe book can match.
The testimonials and recommendations on her website outline how successful she has been in encouraging a new way of thinking and behaving.
Sam runs her Live Well Practice in Carlton and helps people lose weight, stop smoking, deal with chronic pain and phobias.
A timely therapy she offers is to rid clients of any anxiety over needles and injections. This is good news for anyone scared of having a Covid jab or who needs a vaccination for work or a vaccine passport to get into a nightclub or event.
The way Sam works is fundamentally to encourage people to feel better about themselves.
Sam said: “Someone who overeats often has underlying feelings of unhappiness, trauma or depression or it can be habits ingrained in childhood. I work on the unconscious mind which is a hugely powerful thing. More than 95% of our behaviour is unconscious.
“Our whole day is mostly carried out in an unconscious state. This is a good thing in some ways because if we had to think deeply about every action, we would be exhausted by 8am!”
Sam uses her calm voice to hypnotise her clients. For people new to the procedure, it is nothing like stage hypnosis which gets people to do crazy things like bark like a dog.
Sam said: “Hypnosis changes brainwave activity. Just like REM sleep, it uses a different frequency of brainwave to release the creative part of your brain to work better.
“For weight loss, it helps you get out of the rut of reaching for food to comfort yourself.
“The whole process is based on the fact that the creative part of your mind can find solutions. I also teach mindfulness to help clients calm those emotional responses.”
Sam offers sessions face-to-face at her Carlton clinic or on Zoom. She said: “It surprises some people that I can help people via a computer screen.
“It means clients can be in an environment where they are relaxed, and I encourage them to wear headphones to cut out any noise.
“If my client is a parent or carer, it means that they need to arrange for someone else to take the kids and the dog out or look after their elderly relative. That way, she can have some me-time.
“That way, they are defining that space for them and them only. It is surprising how often that alone is a giant step.
“Some other clients like to see me face to face and give themselves permission to travel to see me and focus on themselves.”
The way Sam’s therapy works is to help her clients visualise how they want to be and feel. As opposed to restrictive diets which focus on how they don’t want to be.
Her clients are encouraged to remember a time when they felt amazing in the past. Sadly, some people have never felt good about themselves. We can use techniques to imagine just how amazing looks and feels.
Sam said: “Mindfulness helps you accept those feelings which have built up over the years. I help the ‘new you’ become more attainable.”
The inspiration to set up her practice in 2010 came from a family member who developed anxiety and missed a year of education. Sam started investigating the different ways she could help, and she became fascinated by how the mind works.
Sam has a practitioner diploma in hypnotherapy, an MSc in workplace health and studied for an NHS foundation course in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. She offers four, six and eight-week courses, often depending on where the client is on their journey.
One man Sam helped was 67 years’ old and who quit smoking after more than 50 years. The motivation came from the constant complaints from his grandchildren.
Ken said: “After two sessions with Sam I no longer feel the urge to smoke and after 50 years of smoking that is a mighty statement. I expected to be climbing the walls and shouting at everybody, but it just hasn’t happened.”
She has even tried it herself. “I was once scared of heights and after therapy I ended up going for a hot air balloon ride on my 50th birthday. I never felt so good!” Sam said.