Hypnotherapy Articles

Hypnotherapy in the treatment of binge drinking and alcohol abuse

Monday, March 18, 2013

At the Northern Beaches Hypnosis Clinic we can help you take back the control you may have lost, to be able to drink only those limits that you know are recommended to be safe, to be able to stop before you get to the point of no return, and be able to put drinking back into perspective, where it once was. This session will leave you feeling more confident, better able to cope with all that life can throw at you, and above all, be in total control, of the levels of alcohol you buy and consume.

Social drinking is a fact of life, no point in denying it, and when alcohol is drunk in moderation it can be a pleasant experience that is enjoyed by thousands. Problems start to appear though, when alcohol is drunk in quantities or a frequency that starts to affect mental, emotional or physical well-being, and this can occur slowly without you even being aware of it, until something happens that you never thought would.

Once you are on the road to drinking too much alcohol, and start depending on it because you believe it makes you feel better, enables you to relax more, gives you confidence, helps you sleep, and so on, it can be difficult to make the rational choices you know you have to make; life can become more stressful, work more pressured, and relationships with others can deteriorate. So if this is sounding like a lifestyle choice you don't want, choose something else!

During a Hypnotherapy session, it is the unconscious part of the mind that is spoken to, where new perspectives and affirmations can be implanted, and it is here that old limiting beliefs and habits can be changed. Past phobias and learnt negative behavioral patterns, feelings and idea's can be looked at and laid to rest, allowing the conscious mind to adopt a more rational, positive outlook. The subconscious part of our mind has no critical awareness, and is only limited by our imagination.

Things you should know about alcohol

Alcohol is a mood altering depressant drug. The reason that alcohol can cause such extensive damage to the body because it can go everywhere! There is no body cell resistant to alcohol. The first stop is the stomach, where without food; alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood stream. Food will actually slow the absorption of alcohol as will fruit juice and water. Vomiting, one of the body's defenses against an alcohol overdose, and is caused when you drink too much.

Alcohol moves quickly to the brain and passes the blood-brain barrier, which normally keeps harmful substances away from the brain. In the brain, alcohol affects the neurons, causing judgment problems, coordination problems, and a host of other problem. Once in the blood stream, alcohol goes to the liver for detoxification, or break down, by the alcohol-attacking enzyme alcohol dehydrogenize. Eventually, the alcohol is broken down and excreted from the body.

Your Appearance - If you want to have clear skin and bright eyes, don't drink alcohol. According to researchers, more than one or two drinks a week promote aging. Alcohol is considered a food with non-nutritional calories that quickly add up. When you abuse alcohol, you tend to be undernourished, making your hair dry, giving you cracked lips, exasperating acne, making your eyes look glassy, and giving your skin a puffy, broken vein look.

Your Brain - Alcohol is a depressant that slows brain activity down. While one or two drinks makes most people feel relaxed, more alcohol may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and often aggression. Alcohol's first effect as it reaches the outer brain is to distort your judgment and lower you inhibition, while producing euphoria (a sense of pleasure). As you consume more alcohol, and it reaches the cerebellum, your coordination and perception are affected, and you can have memory blackouts. As the alcohol reaches your mid-brain, reflexes diminish, you experience confusion, stupor, and may lapse into a coma. Once the alcohol finally reaches the medulla, or inner core of the brain, your heart rate drops and breathing ceases, resulting in death. Research suggests that continued alcohol use can cause depression. Alcohol robs brain cells of water and glucose, the brain's food, contributing to a hangover the next day.

Your Gastrointestinal Tract - The stomach is irritated by alcohol, causing increased stomach acid production, causing heartburn and eventually ulcers. Alcohol use is linked to cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. The liver, due to its role in breaking down alcohol, suffers the most damage. Alcohol use leads to destruction of liver cells, fat accumulation around the liver, and cirrhosis which is a fatal condition. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which causes the kidneys to increase urinary output, contributing to dehydration and your hangover.

Your Reproductive System - Although the research here is new, it is know that alcohol decreases the male hormone testosterone. Long-term use causes not only decreased function, but size. The use of alcohol in men and women causes increased sexual desire, but decreased performance. Alcohol is toxic to unborn children causing permanent tissue and organ damage.

Other - Alcohol depresses the body's immune system making it easier to get sick. It also disrupts your sleep patterns, further depressing the immune system. Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, constipation, and strokes.

Problem drinking

Research has shown that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can have health benefits. For men over 40, and women after the menopause, having one or two small drinks a day can help prevent coronary heart disease.

However, it is estimated that a quarter of men and one in six women in Britain drink enough to put their health at risk.

How much is too much?

Government guidelines state that men should drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three units per day. However, some medical experts believe these levels are too high, and recommend no more than three units a day for men and two a day for women. Either way, you should not "save up" the units over the week and use them to binge at the weekend.

Strength and units

The strength of an alcoholic drink is indicated by the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). A unit is 8 grams of pure alcohol, regardless of the amount of liquid it's contained in.

The number of units in one litre of any drink is equal to the ABV. So a 500ml can of 8% ABV lager contains 4 units. One unit is equal to:

  • about half a pint (300ml) of ordinary-strength lager, beer or cider,
  • a 25ml pub measure of spirit or a small glass of fortified wine, such as sherry or port (17.5%   ABV),
  • a small glass (125 ml) of 8% ABV wine. .

Alcohol dependence

When drunk frequently or in large quantities, alcohol is addictive. Doctors use a number of techniques to identify patients with drink problems, and there are screening questions drinkers may be asked to explore issues such as the amount and frequency of drinking, whether it damages the drinker's relationships, or whether they have a drink to "get going" in the morning.

A person is generally considered to be dependent on alcohol when they have experienced three or more of the following symptoms during a year:

  • A strong urge to drink,
  • Difficulty controlling drinking,
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, agitation and nausea when they try to reduce drinking,
  • A growing tolerance to alcohol (needing larger quantities to get the same effect),
  • Gradual neglect of other activities,
  • Persistent drinking even though it is obviously causing harm.
  • Problem drinking occurs when a person is not dependent on alcohol, but drinks enough to cause actual physical or psychological harm.

Short-term effects

Alcohol suppresses the part of the brain that controls judgment, resulting in a loss of inhibitions. It also affects physical co-ordination, causing blurred vision, slurred speech and loss of balance. Drinking a very large amount at one time (binge drinking) can lead to unconsciousness, coma, and even death. Vomiting while unconscious can lead to death by asphyxiation (suffocation). Alcohol is implicated in a large proportion of fatal road accidents, assaults and incidents of domestic violence.

Long-term effects

Alcohol can be a dangerous drug. Drinking too much too often will cause physical damage, increase the risk of getting some diseases, and make other diseases worse. Excessive drinking over time is associated with:

  • loss of brain cells,
  • liver failure,
  • irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers,
  • high blood pressure (which can lead to stroke),
  • certain types of cancer,
  • nerve damage,
  • heart failure,
  • epilepsy.

Excessive drinking has also been linked to:

  • vitamin deficiency
  • obesity,
  • sexual problems,
  • infertility,
  • muscle disease,
  • skin problems,
  • Inflammation of the pancreas.

With many hypnosis sessions soothing music accompanies the therapy at strategic points, helping you to relax even more, and absorb the information whilst the therapist guides you with gentle suggestions, positive language, and life changing imagery. You will be in control at all times, able to awaken immediately should the need arise. No one can ever be stuck in hypnosis, nor can they be coerced into saying or doing anything they do not want to,  or does not fit with their own moral code. So if you feel that your social drinking is getting out of control, or you abstain all week then binge at the weekends, or you drink a little more than you know you should at the end of each day, or the thought of not having another drink again unduly worries you, then Hypnotherapy could be the answer.

It is not just hypnotherapy itself that allows a person to take control it is the way the hypnotherapy is delivered by a skilled technician. Northern Beaches Hypnosis Clinic have a tried and tested hypnosis technique and approach to controlling the drinking of alcohol that gets results'

If you would like to find out more about hypnosis to control the drinking of alcohol then contact us.

Binge drinking and alcoholism

The hypnotherapy that Skye offers is not aimed at diagnosed alcoholics and,if you fall into this category, please continue to receive help and support from the medical profession or the specialized, organization of your choice. If you are worried about any health related issues as a result of alcohol abuse, please consult a medical practitioner immediately.


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After my first session with Skye, I felt like a better person both physically and mentally. His ability to connect with people on so many levels is amazing and I felt very comfortable with him.
Jo, Manly, Sydney

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47a The Corso, Manly, NSW, 2095 Phone: 0402 006 985


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