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  1. rest-52495_1920So, what is insomnia?

    It is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping. The symptoms vary according to the type of sleeplessness you are experiencing but the important thing to understand is - insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood.

    How long does insomnia typically last?

    It depends greatly on the type of insomnia, and the cause of the sleeplessness, but can vary between a few nights and a virtually permanent state.  The general recognised types are

    • Acute insomnia describes a brief episode of difficulty sleeping
    • Chronic insomnia refers to a long-term pattern of difficulty sleeping
    • Comorbid insomnia occurs with another condition

    And the two typical symptoms are:

    • Onset insomnia which refers to difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night
    • Maintenance insomnia which is the inability to stay asleep for a beneficial period of time. (Struggling to stay asleep or waking up far too early.)

    There are a couple of other groups of people who experience extreme tiredness: 

    Parents of young babies and children can experience periods of disturbed and erratic sleep.  We’ve all known the chap who sneaks out to the car at lunchtime for a quick kip!

    Shift workers may experience symptoms of disordered sleep due to the struggles of having no sleep routine.


    There are many contributing factors to poor sleep, and in my practice I work with clients looking at how they might use some of these.


    • Causes – really a process of elimination
    • Sleep Environment – this is fundamental and can have a huge impact
    • Sleep Saboteurs – those things which prevent good quality sleep
    • Creating a Sleep Diary enables a clearer understanding of the issue
    • Contributing Factors to Poor Sleep – pain, stress and others
    • Complementary Therapies for Sleep – the facts and the fantasies
    • Sleep and Nutrition – basic dietary changes can make a substantial difference
    • The Mind-Body Connection – understanding and using that connection


    Each person is an individual, and different things work for different people so support might include stress management techniques, Mindfulness, Meditation and Mindset training, hypnotherapy or other support.


    If you would like to discuss how I can help you, your child or your team, drop me a message.


    Here’s what a client said,

    "As a long term insomniac I knew a cure would be difficult but Karen was a true professional who immediately put me at ease and after just two sessions was able to restore my sleep pattern and improve my wellbeing.  I would recommend Karen to anyone considering hypnotherapy."


  2. What is Laughter Yoga and why would you do it?

    In 1995 Dr Madan Kataria started his first Laughter Yoga Clubs in Mumbai with just a handful of people.  There are now Laughter Clubs in over 72 countries and in some parts of India it even forms part of the schools’ curriculum. Dr Kataria discovered that by making laughter available to anyone without needing to depend on humour, jokes and comedy had some remarkable effects both physically and mentally.

    The first thing to note is that our bodies cannot tell whether laughter is genuine or faked, just so long as it is done with willingness or intent.  A LY session is a group exercise where we all make eye contact and adopt an attitude of childlike playfulness whilst engaging in laughter activities.  I know, it all sounds quite strange, right?  Remember, everyone at a workshop is there for…. A laugh!!  So even if the first few chuckles are fake, it doesn’t take long for the real laughter to flow.

    Laughter is good for you, and to start to reap the benefits we need to laugh continuously for 10-15 minutes (either naturally or faking it becomes real.) That laughter needs to be loud, deep and hearty, coming from the diaphragm and then it starts to:

    • laughter-775062_1920raise the blood oxygen levels
    • increase circulation
    • relax muscles
    • increase production of hormones to lower stress.
    • increase the breathing capacity (vital capacity)
    • stimulate the parasympathetic system
    • elevate the mood
    • strengthen the immune system
    • helps maintain emotional balance

    Laughter is an effective form of cardio workout!  And it burns calories (tests show about 400 per 30 minutes, but I have seen people clock up a lot more than that!) 

    There are benefits for specific health issues including:

    • reducing anxiety and panic attacks
    • reduced hypertension
    • possible improvements in diabetes
    • bronchitis and asthma management
    • reduction of trauma in cancer patients

    Laughter Yoga has also been connected to a reduction in the intensity of pain, particularly associated with arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasm.  This is believed to be due to the release of natural opiates during a LY session.

    A typical Laughter Yoga session starts with an explanation of what’s about to happen, some warm ups and then laughter exercises. Each session can be adapted for its audience – so whether you are old or young, healthy or unwell, physically able or seated, you can still join in.  This is the part where the eye contact is encouraged, and we start to play and laugh.

    When we have laughed enough, we then laugh some more – but in a different way.  Either seated or lying on the ground, you have the opportunity to rest and release through laughter.  This is a difficult experience to describe, but whether you have spontaneous bursts of laughter or are simply aware of others laughing, there is something rather wonderful about it.  After a while, you are then guided into a deeply relaxing mind set, either using Yoga Nidra, Mindful Relaxation or Happiness Hypnosis.

    My next workshop is on Tuesday 21st August 10.00-12.00 in Ballinger War Memorial Hall
    Ballinger Common, Great Missenden BucksHP16 9LQ

    If you would like a Laughter Yoga event of your own, or would like more information then contact [email protected]