Erika Flint – Using The Power Of Hypnosis To Change Your Life

Content by: Erika Flint

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Erika Flint to the show. Erika is an award winning hypnotist and bestselling author, who uses her hypnosis techniques to train some of the best minds in the world. She founded the Cascade Hypnosis Center in 2013, to provide relief from a variety of issues, including weight loss, stress and anxiety, smoking, and many more. In this episode, we discuss the techniques involved with hypnosis, and Erika outlines the path she takes in order to get long lasting results. Over to Erika…

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What exactly is hypnosis and how does it work? (03:04)
  • What techniques can we use to ease an anxious mind? (15:31)
  • How can hypnosis help with weight management? (25:35)

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance, in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition, and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.AU and take a look. Okay. Back to the show.

00:44 This week I’m excited to welcome Erika Flint to the show. Erika is an award winning hypnotist and bestselling author, who uses her hypnosis techniques to train some of the best minds in the world. She founded the Cascade Hypnosis Center in 2013, to provide relief from a variety of issues, including weight loss, stress and anxiety, smoking, and many more. In this episode, we discuss the techniques involved with hypnosis, and Erika outlines the path she takes in order to get long lasting results. Over to Erika.

Stu

01:18 Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I am delighted to welcome Erika Flint to the podcast. Erika, how are you?

Erika

01:26 I am excellent, Stu. How are you doing today?

Stu: 01:28 Yeah, really good thank you. Really good. Thank you so much for sharing some of your time. First off, before we dive into the questions, I’d just love it if you could, for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, just tell us a little bit about yourself.

01:42 Sure. Well, about seven years ago, I was a software engineer, and I was working in Silicon Valley on different software platforms and programs. And when I realized I needed something more out of my life. And I went through a really low point in my life. And through that adversity on the other side, I realized I needed to do something different. And so, this is when I found hypnosis. And now, I am a three-time bestselling author on hypnosis. I’m an award winning hypnotist, and an award-winning a hypnotherapy instructor. I have a hypnosis center here in Bellingham, Washington. We’re about 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. And, where I have four other hypnotists who work at our center. And we help people with a variety of things. Most of my time is spent teaching people how to become hypnotists. So, helping people do that, and then also helping people lose weight, and slow down on the drinking, and get rid of anxiety. Those are the three areas that I really focus on helping people with.

Stu

02:46 Fantastic. Well, I don’t know whether I should be looking at your eyes or what should I be doing? Am I going to wake up in an hour and think, “I don’t even know whether I interviewed Erika or not?” So it’s really-

Erika

02:59 Exactly. And then all these wonderful things will happen to you in your life. So, hypnosis works.

Stu

03:04 So tell us about hypnosis. So what exactly is hypnosis? Because many of us would have seen, I guess more the commercialized side, where people, famous hypnotists do wild and wacky things on stage. But of course it’s then it’s got a much deeper medical use as well. So I’m intrigued, what is it and how does it work?

Erika

03:29 You know, a lot of people think the same thing. They’re wondering is hypnosis what I see when I go to the stage shows or when I’m at the fair or things online and things like that. And the reality is a lot of those techniques, that’s called stage hypnosis, is what it’s called. A lot of those techniques we do use in the hypnosis office, but we use it for completely different reasons. So I’ve had people come up and ask me, “Are you going to make me bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken?” And, therapeutically, that’s never been necessary for any of life, but normally I’ll turn it back around to them and say, “Hey, if you could do anything with your mind, with hypnosis, is that really what you’d want to do? Quack like a duck or bark like a dog?” and most everybody says no.

04:12 So,. hypnosis, we have different parts of the mind and I think everybody is familiar with the different parts of the mind. We have part of the brain that is our primitive part of our brain that responds to anxiety. We have the midbrain, which is a response to more of a heart, deeper emotions, richer emotions. And then we have our prefrontal cortex, which is what we would consider the planning and executive part of our mind. And for a lot of us, that’s where we’re operating. We’re operating from our prefrontal cortex, and we’re noticing things that are happening in the world. But what happens is we block a lot of information that’s coming from the deeper part of our mind. And so, what happens with hypnosis, we get to tap into those layers underneath the conscious mind. We get to tap into the subconscious mind, and even the unconscious mind. And, we get information from those areas.

05:07 And so what happens is when people think they should be able to do something. So for, Stu, for something in your own life, there’s probably something that you’re like, “Hey. I’m a smart guy. I’ve got this great business and family and my podcast. I know how to get things done. If I’m going to figure out something new, I go research it, and kind of follow through and figure it out.” Well, for a lot of our clients, and the reason that hypnosis is so useful, is because they know they should be able to do something like, “I should be able to stop eating so much sugar, but I can’t. I should be able to stop smoking. There’s every rational reason in the world for me to stop smoking, but I don’t.”

Stu

05:43 Yes.

Erika

05:43 So, happening there, there’s a gap. There’s a gap in between what they know in their mind and actually what they’re feeling in their feeling And then when I feel like smoking, or I feel like drinking, or I feel like having sugar. And hypnosis kind of draws the gap between those two things. So, it taps into the deeper part of you that is going to give you answers as to why are you doing behaviors you don’t want to do. And on top of that, then it will help you eliminate that behavior.

Stu

06:11 Fascinating. Fascinating. Yeah, I’ve often thought so many times people don’t want to smoke. Like they just don’t now. Not with all the messaging and the information that we have. And people that are struggling with any weight issue don’t want to be doing whatever it is that’s keeping them there, but they do. And I’ve had friends that said, “Boy, I just had such a blowout over the weekend. I feel so guilty. I don’t know why I do it. I really don’t.” So I am intrigued as to how hypnosis can unlock these different behaviors and turn them in a different direction. So, when we’re being hypnotized, are we aware of it?

Erika

06:49 Are you aware that you’re being hypnotized? Hopefully not. I mean, it sounds like when you’re in the hypnosis office, so part of what makes hypnosis work is really intense focus. And so, we’re focusing on… Your hypnotist will give you, say some words, what we might call a hypnotic induction,, to get you to focus. And so you are going to be focusing on those words, to the exclusion of everything else. And so when you’re highly focused, the idea is that you don’t realize you’re going into hypnosis, necessarily, because there would be a part of your brain, “Am I going into hypnosis? Am I going into hypnosis?” And that thought would actually keep you from going into hypnosis.

Stu

07:33 Yeah.

Erika

07:34 Normally, what happens is people aren’t necessarily aware of it. They’re aware of it after the fact because they feel better, the same situation that might’ve been bothering them in the past doesn’t bother them nearly as much anymore. Now, for those people who are seasoned let’s say meditators, for example. There is a feeling that goes along with meditation for most people. But that feeling is different from person-to-person. And hypnosis is the same way. So I can’t tell you what it would feel like, but if you are, meditating regularly or if you’re going into hypnosis regularly, you will notice it. You will notice a feeling there. I just can’t tell you what it is because it’s different for every person.

Stu

08:16 Yeah. Understand. So walk us through the procedure then that we might expect. If we came to see you, let’s just say I’m a smoker. I can’t give up smoking. I know I have to give up, but I don’t know what to expect coming into visit hypnotist, what would, where would we go?

Erika

08:37 Well, the first thing that we would look at is the why. One of first things we’d have to look at is why do you want to be there. And for smoking, especially, for some reason, a lot of spouses what their spouse to stop smoking. So, one of the first things that we check with our clients is do they really want to be there. Because a lot of times, they’ve been… Somebody wants them to stop smoking more than they want to stop smoking. So the why is a really big part of it. And, especially with smoking, a lot of people want to stop, but they’re afraid to stop because what happens when they stop. Like the cravings. They get angry and they’re short with people, and they just, they’re grumpy. And so we have to understand what is the experience like for our clients in the past and what are we trying to avoid? Because, it’s different for every client.

09:34 So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to help our client walk through that and what’s the experience for you smoking? And when are they smoking, and those types of things that we understand how to create a hypnosis session for them that is going to help them for the reason that they came in. We can’t just do a cookie cutter approach to the point. So, we really talk with our client first. Now after that and after we agree on the outcomes that the client really wants, which of course would be not smoking anymore. But, not smoking anymore is never quite enough. It’s got to be, “I don’t want to smoke and I don’t want to gain weight.”

Stu

10:13 Right.

Erika

10:14 Right?

Stu

0:14 Yeah.

Erika

10:15 Okay. I don’t want to smoke and I want to still be stress free during my day. Because those are the real reasons why people have a hard time. It’s not just the quitting smoking itself, it’s that it’s what the smoking is providing to our clients, and there’s always a positive benefit. No matter how much you dislike smoking, there’s a positive benefit for our clients for smoking.

Stu

10:37 Yeah.

Erika

10:38 And some of them just be, “I get to step away from the desk for 10 minutes, and clear my mind and not think about work.” So the smoke break.

Stu

10:46 Right. Of course. Yeah. Absolutely.

Erika

10:48 Right. Yeah. So then after that, what happens is, I would ask you to go sit in the hypnosis chair, which is a very comfortable chair. It’s not required to sit in a chair to do hypnosis, but what we are trying to do is make your physical body comfortable enough that it’s not interrupting the session. So usually a recliner is used. These days, of course, we’re doing a lot of our stuff online. So, we just want people to be comfortable where they are. And then I would help you enter into a state of hypnosis using a hypnotic induction. And, once I tested you, because there are certain ways that we can test to make sure you’re at the proper depth of hypnosis, then I would deliver the hypnosis suggestions, the suggestions that we would want your subconscious mind to accept.

Stu

11:40 Interesting. The hypnotic induction. So I’m very, very intrigued as to what that is, because many of us think about the swinging watch, or the spinning eyes. How, like I’m absolutely fascinated by this because I’m thinking about this from like a… Many of us have attempted meditation, and we try to enter this deep sleep. But then hypnotism just takes you into a very different space. So, what methods are used to be able to to shift you into that state?

Erika

12:13 Yeah. So, I mean first of all, meditation and hypnosis, there is an overlap.

Stu

12:17 Right.

Erika

12:17 So you can be in a state of hypnosis while you’re in meditation too. The distinction really is the intent. So the intention with hypnosis is something very specific, like stopping smoking. Whereas an intention with meditation might be something like clearing the mind, or just focusing on one thing, for example. Now, what you mentioned about the pocket watch and the eye swirl, that is… It’s an actual techniques called eye fatigue.

Stu

12:48 Okay.

Erika

12:48 And so what happens, and you can just try it right now. You want to try something right now real quick?

Stu

12:55 Yes, I’m game. I’m game.

Erika

12:55 I just want to show you the eye fatigue. So just look up through the top of your head.

Stu

12:59 Yeah.

Erika

13:00 Okay. And now you know you’re doing it right when it doesn’t feel well, it doesn’t feel well right away, doesn’t it? Yeah. So go ahead, and does it make you want to close your eyes?

Stu

13:09 Yes, it does.

Erika

13:10 Yes it does. All right, so go ahead and close your eyes. All right, so then take in a nice deep breath. All right, so you just experienced eye fatigue. So part… I mean it’s that simple.

Stu

13:22 Wow.

Erika

13:22 That is how the pocket watch works. That is how the eye swirls work. It’s just making you want to close your eyes. And, so why does this matter? Well, the brain is mostly visual. And so”, when we have you close your eyes, especially if you’re like, Oh, I can’t wait to close my eyes. This doesn’t feel well.” Now, what’s happening is you’ve just cut off a lot of extra sensory information from outside and you can focus internally. So, that’s part of the reason why we want you to have your eyes closed. But if you are doing something, like looking up at the ceiling, looking through the top of your head and closing your eyes,

14:00 You want to do it, so you want to do that organically and just keep your eyes closed. Now that’s not something … that might be used as part of a technique with other elements. So there’s a lot of different styles of hypnotic inductions, but I use what’s called a rapid induction and a rapid induction, the intent really is to allow our clients to really focus on what I’m saying to the exclusion of everything else. And when that happens we become present. And you’ve probably heard a lot about be present in the moment, be here now, that type of a thing. That’s what we’re going for. We’re really want our clients to be fully present in that moment so that they can experience all of the sensations in their body and become aware of the emotions that are associated to stopping smoking, the fears and everything associated with that.

Stu

14:56 So are they the most common issues then would be smoking and perhaps weight management that- ?

Erika

15:02 Those are the two most popular and underneath that are very standard issues for our clients, like stress, managing stress and anxiety and not sleeping well. So those are the two things that I have to work with. Every single client that I work with, I’m asking them what is stressful for them and how they’re dealing with stress and how they’re sleeping. Because those two things, if they’re not addressed appropriately, you won’t be able to get the results you want for that client.

Stu

15:31 Yeah. No, you mentioned not sleeping well and anxiety as well, and for everyone listening to this at the moment, it will be March, 2020 so a lot of us are going through lots of uncertain times, can be very anxious and sleep could be an issue. What strategies would you personally suggest perhaps to try and tame an anxious and racing mind? For the majority of us that are thinking about everything going on right now in the world.

Erika

16:05 Well, first of all, just be grateful that this is the job of your brain. So your brain’s job, the prefrontal cortex we talked about earlier, that planning part of your brain, it’s that part of your mind’s job to solve problems for you. So when you have a major crisis like this, smart people, their brains are going to be going crazy because it’s trying to come up with all of these solution. Right?

Stu

16:27 Yeah. Yeah.

Erika

16:27 Now, when you come up with a solution to an easy problem, like what should I have for dinner? Or something like that. That’s pretty straight forward and easy. But when we’re talking about the chaos that the world is experiencing right now, it’s not like, I mean, I would love to be able to say that I’m going to come up with the one thing that’s going to save the world right now. But it’s unlikely because it’s a very complex situation. So first of all, just know that this is the way that your brain is designed to function. Okay?

Stu

16:58 Okay.

Erika

16:58 So don’t be my brain for going crazy. But the second thing is we have to give that part of your brain relief. And so this is why I’m a huge proponent of teaching relaxation strategies. The brain, you can think of the brain as being hardwired for anxiety, hardwired for relaxation. And most of us these days are hard wired for anxiety. And so one of the strategies that works really well for my clients is listening to a relaxation recording, a hypnotic relaxation recording every day. And you can consider that, like if you’ve ever learned to play a sport or learned to play the piano, you would play your scales every day, or you’d go run your laps or throw your free throws, your 53 throws every single day, right?

Stu

17:42 Yes.

Erika

17:44 This is what we need for the brain too. The brain needs practice relaxing. And so I have a relaxation recording. I don’t know if you want to offer it to your guests, you certainly can, but-

Stu

17:57 Yeah. Absolutely would.

Erika

17:58 Yeah, you’ll do it every single day. So you’re listening to relaxation recording every single day and now it’s giving your brain practice relaxing. But one more practical tip. So I would do that every day. Just listen to the recording. And part of the reason why this recording works so well is you don’t have to do anything. You’re not trying to meditate, you’re not trying to go into hypnosis. It’s just about relaxing. That’s it. And so we really want you to basically think of nothing.

Stu

18:28 And would there be an optimal time to listen to that? First thing in the morning or before we go to bed?

Erika

18:34 This very particular recording, there’s two versions of it. One is the for bed and one is for the middle of the day. So the middle of the day was the original recording. And I created that just because I have so many corporate clients who were getting tired. The 3:00 PM donuts, you know, “We want the donuts around three o’clock we want the sugar.” So this was to counterbalance that. And so it’s 17 minutes, but listening to this relaxation recording around 3:00 PM in your afternoon should recharge you. And now at three 30 you’re able to put in another one and a half to two hours of really good work and you feel like you go home being very productive. And then the other one is where at night for falling asleep. But there’s one last thing that works so well because the way that the brain works and the prefrontal cortex, has all these ideas and wants to solve all these problems, Sometimes we just need to get it out and written down. So I am a huge fan of automatic writing.

19:36 Automatic writing is something where you’re just going to give your subconscious mind a voice basically. So and it’s best handwritten, not typed. So before you go to bed, grab a piece of paper and just write, write, write, write, write, write, write. Just keep writing until you feel like everything has been expressed. All of your fears. If you’re worried about something, just keep writing about it until it feels like it softens. When we give voice to certain emotions inside of us, they get expressed. It’s just like if you’ve got a cup of water and you drink it, you just finished off that water. Well if we experience and fully go into some of these emotions as we’re writing them down, they will be released, which means your brain will be able to fall asleep.

Stu

20:21 Excellent. Very intrigued. And I’m absolutely very eager to listen to the recordings for sure. So will be, yeah-

Erika

20:30 Okay, good.

Stu

20:30 I’ll be chasing you for those. So I’ve got a point here to talk to you about self hypnosis and I know that that’s something that you offer as well as a tool. And I look at that … I look at self hypnosis and think, Oh wow. Like could I, how could I go wrong from a self hypnosis standpoint? Am I literally going to be sitting there and go starry eyed and wet my pants and just not know where I am. Is how does it work? How safe is it? And what might we use it for?

Erika

21:07 Well, first of all, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. And what that really means is there’s not a hypnotist alive that could force you into a state of hypnosis. So hypnosis is normal, it’s natural, it’s safe. And so even when you’re in a session with a professional hypnotist, you’re still electing and allowing the hypnosis to take place. Right? And so it is self hypnosis. The only difference is that somebody else is giving you the ideas and you are listening to them rather than you doing it yourself. Okay. Now a lot of people will do self hypnosis for the same things they’ll come in to see a professional hypnotist or losing weight, stopping smoking and as well as the recordings can work because that’s usually how people are getting this. They get a hypnosis recording or they go on to YouTube, something like that.

22:02 It’s never going to be custom for that individual. So there really is a big difference between listening to a recording and working with a professional hypnotist who’s going to be able to get to the very specific thing that’s going on with you. So no, you’re not going to … those things are very likely not going to happen to you. You could potentially be blissed out. For me, myself, hypnosis experience really is a very enjoyable experience, but I’ve been doing it for many, many years. I think one of the biggest things for people to keep in mind as far as self hypnosis goes is you always, always, always want to ask for and talk about only the things you do want. Now you might’ve heard this before, but for a lot of people, if you were to say to yourself, “I don’t want a smoke,” or, “I don’t want smoke, I don’t want to smoke.” What happens in your mind as you’re thinking, “I don’t want to smoke.”? Like what is the image or the sense of that in your brain?

Stu

23:07 Well, possibly negative, I would imagine.

Erika

23:10 Yeah, and it might be you when you’re saying, “I don’t want to smoke,” you’re thinking about … Now I’ve never been a cigarette smoker, so I’m just making this up. But it’s like when I think about, “I don’t want to smoke.” I’m imagining me in my car picking up a cigarette and being like, “Oh no, I’m not smoking.” Right?

Stu

23:27 Yeah.

Erika

23:27 And after my morning coffee I’m like, ” Oh no, I’m not smoking after my morning coffee.” Right?

Stu

23:33 Yeah.

Erika

23:33 Yeah. Me at break at work, “Oh, I’m not smoking, taking a break.” So my brain is thinking of all the places I normally would smoke that now I’m not going to smoke. So it is a negative a suggestion. First of all. A better suggestion for not wanting to smoke is, “Breathe in only fresh, clean air.” And so we really want to take whatever suggestion in self hypnosis, it’s got to be the positive aspect of that suggestion. Meaning what are you doing? Not what you aren’t doing. What are you doing?

Stu

24:09 People are thinking right now, this sounds very powerful. Sounds very useful. And I could see that I could utilize that as a tool to help me overcome problem X, whatever it might be. How long, how many sessions would you typically need to start seeing results

Erika

24:32 On average, we see clients for about five sessions. Now that can be less for certain things, sometimes smoking is less. So sometimes we can see clients and help them in two sessions because they’re highly, highly motivated. Like they want to quit so badly they can’t stand it. I can tell you, it’s interesting, some of the folks that do, by the time they come to us and want to stop smoking, there’s a couple of themes that show up. One is, ” I want to spend time with my grandkids.” And then not being allowed to spend time with grandkids if they keep smoking. And new girlfriend or boyfriend. Those are two primary reasons. So it has to do with relationships. I just think that’s really interesting. So by the time our clients they want to have a relationship with their grandkids and be able to watch them. Well, “Mom, you can’t do that unless you stopped smoking. I don’t want my little one being around you,” right?

Stu

25:26 Yeah.

25:27 Yeah. So …

Erika

25:30 No, sorry, carry on.

Stu

25:31 Yeah, go head. Lost-

Erika

25:32 Yes.

Stu

25:34 Lost your train of thought.

Erika

25:35 So-

Stu

25:35 So I was going to dive into weight management. And I know that it’s a huge driver for so many people these days and often very habitual and can stem from childhood as well that drive these habits that then create the problem. And I know that you have, you’ve written a book called Reprogram Your Weight as well. And so I was really interested in you telling us a little bit about that and perhaps what our audience might expect with a title of that name.

Erika

26:12 Sure. Yeah. So the reason that I wrote this book was I was helping so many clients lose weight. This is my first book. I love this book because it includes client success stories. And so if anybody has any question about what hypnosis is or, can I use it to lose weight? This is a great place to start, Reprogram Your Weight. And as a matter of fact, I’m happy to offer a free digital version to any of your listeners who would like a copy. So I’ll-

Stu

26:41 Wonderful.

Erika

26:42 … send that information. But we are conditioned to eat wrong. We’ve been conditioned to eat wrong from a very young age. There’s the clean plate club, finish all the food on your plate. There’s starving children somewhere in the world, for me it was Africa. Where is it for you? Did you get the story- ?

Stu

27:01 It was, it was exactly that. It was exactly that. I had two sisters and it was, “Don’t you leave any food.There are starving children in Africa.” Exactly that.

Erika

27:10 Yes, so sometimes it’s China, sometimes it’s other places. India, but some of those messages we accept at a very deep level and so it’s really hard for people to throw food away. Really, really hard. They feel guilty. They feel bad. And what’s interesting is that they might not consciously know why they feel bad. If you ask them, “Why do you feel bad? I’m throwing that food away?” They can think about it and probably tell you why, but most people aren’t conscious of why they feel bad, so they feel a little guilty and they just finish all the food on their plate. Now, the reason that that becomes a problem is that a hundred extra calories a day, you and I probably wouldn’t notice that. Stu. I could eat an extra hundred calories and I probably wouldn’t notice it. Right?

28:00 I know we’re not talking about, at least here in the US a Thanksgiving style stuffing ourselves during the day, right? So we wouldn’t notice an extra 100 calories a day, but if you take that extra a hundred calories a day, over the course of a year, on average, people will gain between seven and 11 pounds. Now you do that over the course of five years, now adults have gained somewhere between 35 and like 55 pounds and they don’t know where it came from.

28:32 Well, a lot of it comes from these extra bites. Okay. So there’s the clean play club, another common messages, oh, you’re tired or you’re not feeling well, eat something, you’ll feel better. Don’t you want to grow up big and strong like your dad? All of those messages. Right? We accept all of those messages and we don’t realize how much they are impacting us.

Stu

28:58 Yes. And it’s so funny. I mean, you’re saying all these phrases and it is like they ring true for at least from my childhood grow up big and strong like your dad and clean your plate and don’t waste, and food costs money and things like that. What about the type of food that people are eating as well and the choices that they’re making outside of just that finish your plate mindset.

29:25 Because I’m thinking people might come to you and they could have a weight issue that they’re struggling with, but they may have just finished a can of Red Bull before they come in to see you and they are charged. I mean, you’d have to, I guess it would be, it would be excellent to be able to be more mindful about the choices that I’m making as well as the volume that I’m consuming as well.

Erika

29:53 Absolutely. I mean, this isn’t an easy problem to solve. So many people are having these problems right now. And if you look at the food and the marketplace, it’s the convenience factor that I would say really hurting people right now. Because we all have this expectation of working more, at least in most Western societies, right?

30:16 Working more and more and more and more and more. And then there’s this idea of staying, I’m going to stop on the way home and get food rather than cooking a meal. So I’m going to do something that’s convenient. And that’s where a lot of people get into trouble because food manufacturers are not creating the highest quality of food. Some are, but for the most part you have companies that are creating foods where their goal is to find the bliss point. Have you heard of the bliss point?

Stu

30:46 Yes, absolutely yes. Lots of scientists work very hard to find that magical bliss point and it hits the spot.

Erika

30:56 It does. And so their goal is to sell more products. It’s not to make sure that you’re healthy. Right? So as far as the food goes, I want my clients to eat healthy food and what I consider healthy food is your grandmother would recognize it as food. And if you leave it out on the shelf, if you leave it out on your counter, it will go bad. So that’s the definition there.

31:19 Even food that people might consider health food, that could be a real problem or things like yogurt with tons of sugar, granola mix or trail mix. Like those, that product trail mix is not healthy. Okay? It was originally designed to help you hike like 10 or 20 miles a day. So unless hiking 10 or 20 miles a day, you got to stay away from that stuff. So bottom line, I’d say half the people we work with on weight loss, it’s sugar. It’s sugar that we’re helping them get off of.

Stu

31:55 Yeah. And your thoughts then around the other habits or I guess pillars when looking at health from a holistic standpoint and we look at it from the position of sleep, nutrition, movement and mindset. And all of these things are so easy I think for ourselves to pull us off kilter in terms of staring at our smartphone before bed for hours, keeping us switched on, bathing us in blue light. Not moving as much as we can. Not feeling like we want to exercise because we just made all of these poor choices throughout the day that just leaders feeling low.

32:41 So it must be a really tricky job for you because somebody comes in ans says, “I just I want to lose a bit of weight and I’m mindful that I just need to reduce the amount that I eat.” But then unbeknown to you, they’re doing all of these things that are really working against them as well.

Erika

33:00 Right, right. And that’s a really good point because it’s hard to get to every single little thing that they’re doing. And so I have very basic, very basic things that I want my clients to do. First of all, eat only when you’re actually hungry. This sounds easy to do, but it’s harder to implement. Because we are trained to eat wrong, most people are not eating because of true hunger. They’re eating because the clock says so, or they’re eating because someone just walked in with some donuts. So that’s the first thing. Eat only when you’re actually hungry. It’s like one of those things that’s so simple. The concept is simple, but implementation is hard. Right? So you will find yourself grabbing food when you’re not hungry just because it’s sitting out. But there’s an awareness that I want clients to create around that.

33:46 And that will be one of the very first things we work on once they achieve a level of, I only ate when I was actually hungry. They’ve made by that point, they’ve already probably lost a lot of weight. And the reason is because when we have excess weight on our body, our appetite goes down. This is the way that our body and our metabolism are designed. Our body wants to self-regulate our weight.

34:09 Now our body doesn’t want us to be supermodel skinny. Right? [inaudible 00:34:14] program your weight is getting to a healthy weight. It’s not losing the last five pounds, so you can cram yourself into some skinny jeans. That’s not what this is for. Okay? Because I don’t believe that your body wants to be that thin. This is about meeting the needs of your body. So eat only when you’re actually hungry. The second thing is take half. No matter how much food you’re having right now, just take half. So if you normally would have two eggs and two toasts in the morning. So do you guys call toast?

Stu

34:42 Yeah. Yeah.

Erika

34:43 Okay. Okay. So two eggs, two toast in the morning, you’d have one egg and one toast. Now you’d have that and then you’d ask yourself, “Am I still hungry?” For most people that need to lose weight, they’re not going to be hungry if they reduce their food by half. And the reason is because they just don’t need all those calories. Okay?

35:03 And one of the responses I get from clients is, “But if I don’t need every two hours, won’t my metabolism go down?” And we know that that’s not true. So allow your body to tell you when it’s hungry. And I’ll ask my clients, “Who knows better about when you’re hungry a book or some other person or your own body?” Right?

Stu

35:24 So true. So true. And there are so many old myths as well that just seem to follow us throughout our lives. And oftentimes you’re exactly right, like listen to your body. Just need to sometimes change the foods you eat as well. And that will in and of itself send different signals to your body and will satisfy you and provide you with energy for longer, which is always the goal state.

Erika

35:55 Yeah. So I’ll ask my clients like, “Okay, so yes, it’s going to take you a little bit more time to get your food ready because I want you to be preparing and eating actual real food.” How extra time in the day do you think it will take you to make your own food as opposed to just going out whenever you need to? Most of them will say an extra 30 minutes a day.

36:17 And I’ll say, “Okay, so would you rather spend 30 minutes a day like chopping your carrot in the morning and an apple and getting a sandwich ready and would you rather spend 30 minutes a day doing that and lose the weight and keep it off forever? Or would you rather spend 30 minutes of your day feeling guilty for the food that you ate?”

Stu

36:34 Yeah, no, that’s a good point. And it gets us back into the kitchen. It connects us with our food again. And I guess it puts us in a position where we’re now preparing the food that we’re going to eat. So we’re consciously making more of a decision about the foods that we choose.

36:53 And I think, yeah, nothing could be more important getting back into the kitchen, getting our kids into the kitchen and create that environment again. We seem to have lost over the decades as we shift more into this convenience model, which is not serving us at all.

Erika

37:10 No, but people feel compelled because of financial crisises and worldwide crisises they feel like they need to keep their job, so they’re going to work extra at any cost. So the other things that you mentioned for your programs, I will always look at the level of stress and sleep for my clients.

37:29 We can’t look at every single thing, but guess what? We don’t have to, that’s what the power of hypnosis. In a state of hypnosis, you can ask your client, “What are the biggest reasons why you’re staying stuck? Or why do you keep eating this food when you know it’s not good for you? Or what are the things that are getting in the way of you losing weight?” And clients know exactly what their problem is.

37:51 They’ll say something like, “Well, I should not be picking up Starbucks for my colleagues every morning. I used to like to do that because it was fun for me to do something nice for them. But now I realize I shouldn’t be there.” Right? I shouldn’t be [inaudible 00:38:05].

38:05 And so clients, and this is the promise of hypnosis. All of the answers are inside of you. Your hypnotist doesn’t need to know the answers, they’re all inside of you. And if you could tap into them, you’re going to be able to understand the meaning and then change them. Change the messaging is kind of like an inner OS like an iOS for your body. Right? Like how are you operating? What’s your inner operating system like?

38:32 And if your inner operating system is saying something like sugar makes you feel better, why? Because when you’re a kid, you skinned your knee, your mom gave you a cookie, and guess what? The sugar did make you feel better. Okay. But that cookie isn’t going to make you feel better. That’s not going to solve the problem of not being able to make your mortgage payment, for example. Right? It doesn’t really work anymore.

Stu

38:54 Yeah. No, I love that analogy. Especially coming from a computer programmer as well, where I guess it’s all about logic, and it just makes perfect sense. Run these commands, you’re probably going to get this result.

Erika

39:08 Right, right. And the thing is is that there’s erroneous data [crosstalk 00:39:12] that’s guaranteed. There’s erroneous data in there. Something that you believe is true about yourself or the world that is not necessarily true, but you believe that when you were a kid. Right? And once it’s revisited or that idea flows to the surface and hypnosis because it’s in subconscious mind, it’s not in the forefront of your mind. It’s been too long. It’s that type of thing.

39:35 Now you can look up and say, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. I can’t believe that I’ve been believing that this whole time. I know that isn’t true.” Right? We’ll get the debugging. Right?

Stu

39:47 Clean up the code.

Erika

39:48 Clean up the code. Yeah, I love it. Yeah. Exactly.

Stu

39:51 That’s it.

Erika

39:52 [inaudible 00:39:52] Everything we’re talking about, I know we’re, we’re talking about things that aren’t directly hypnosis, but the way that hypnosis works is it reveals everything that’s happening and then it makes it so much easier for you to follow through. So all of a sudden when we install that new programming agreed upon with the client ahead of time, of course, wanting to cook their own foods or wanting just to eat natural foods and truly enjoying the harmony that the nature, the natural foods bring into the body.

40:21 So there’s a lot of things that happen that help clients be successful. It doesn’t do the work for them, but I’d say it makes it at least 50% easier.

Stu

40:32 Excellent. So fascinated. I’m intrigued to just dip in a little bit to your personal day and perhaps the daily rituals that you use. Outside of hypnosis though to optimize your health and it may be a morning meditation, it might be the morning coffee or the run or something along those lines. What do you do to maintain that you are the best version of yourself every single day?

Erika

41:02 I have to work out, first thing. I have to. I have a exercise bike that I love and so I ride my Peloton every single day. And then I’m thankful I have a sauna. I have an infrared sauna, so I ride Peloton for 30 minutes and I hop in the sauna and man, do I feel awesome after that.

Stu

41:27 Yeah. Well, I have an infrared sauna out the back and I use it every single day. And boy, Oh boy, what that does to my sleep is profound. It pushes you into such a deep level of sleep. It is unbelievable.

Erika

41:42 Do you do before bed then?

Stu

41:46 Not directly before bed, but I’ll do it about two hours before bed because I really want to elicit that change in core temperature. And then I finish up with a cold shower and I’m buzzing. But

42:00 I plunge into deep sleep very quickly and I track all of my data as well, so I know what’s going on. But yeah, that must be great. Well, are you far away from getting the ice bath as well then if you’re doing all that kind of stuff?

Erika

42:15 I have done cryotherapy.

Stu

42:18 Right.

Erika

42:19 Loved cryotherapy. Was not easy.

Stu

42:21 No.

Erika

42:22 The cryotherapy that I did was in the full machine. So it’s not just with your head sticking out. It’s like you walk into the …

Stu

42:28 Oh, wow.

Erika

42:28 It looked like a shower actually.

Stu

42:31 Yeah.

Erika

42:31 And I had gloves. I had little, teeny tiny shorts, slippers that they provided me, gloves, and a face mask. And I was in there, I think, like two minutes.

Stu

42:41 Yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:00:42].

Erika

42:42 So I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but-

Stu

42:45 Yeah. Yeah. Wow. So you start off with the Peloton bike and then the sauna. What else might you do throughout the day? When would you have breakfast, for instance?

Erika

42:58 I’m going to wait until I’m hungry.

Stu

43:00 Oh okay.

Erika

43:00 So that varies. I don’t always eat breakfast actually. Sometimes it’s not until lunch. Another one of the techniques, we didn’t talk about yet, but was eat within 30 minutes, just to be fully clear there. So bring healthy food with you wherever you go and eat within 30 minutes. If you wait too long, you always overeat. So I tend to just take it. I have healthy food available and I eat when I’m hungry.

43:24 But there is another thing that I do during the day.

Stu

43:27 Yes.

Erika

43:28 I love to measure my heart rate variability. And so I use HeartMath’s.

Stu

43:36 Yeah.

Erika

43:38 Inner Balance.

Stu

43:39 Yes. Yep.

Erika

43:40 Because what we know about the brain … and a lot of my work these days is working with online entrepreneurs who are wanting to grow their practices and be excellent, so I work with a lot of high performers. And I do have a neurofeedback device in my office, but a neurofeedback device, somebody has to come to you and it’s a big deal to get them all set up.

44:00 What we know about the brain and coherence in the brain, and when I say coherence in the brain, I’m talking about how the brain is organized for really easy retrieval of information. And I liken it to, I guess, a super highway where you live. If a super highway is clean and there’s hardly any cars on it, you’re going to be able to get information really, really quickly.

Stu

44:24 Yeah.

Erika

44:25 If you don’t have a super highway and all the roads are … there’s no grid, everything is confusing, it can take you a longer to get information. Your brain has to work harder.

44:36 And so we really want brain coherence. We want to increase any one person’s brain coherence because it’s going to lower the waters that the brain is functioning at and it’ll give you access to higher thinking basically.

Stu

44:48 Yes.

Erika

44:48 And so one way that we know we can look at the brain and the coherence of the brain is through the heart, because the brain coherence and heart coherence are synced.

Stu

45:01 Yep.

Erika

45:01 And so when you’re working on heart coherence with your heart rate variability, you are improving your brain coherence at the exact same time. And so without having to have a neurofeedback device is one good way to improve the functioning of your brain and your heart and your life basically.

Stu

45:20 Yeah. Well, I track HRV with an Oura ring. And for any of our listeners that don’t know, so HRV, heart rate variability, is the timing between the heartbeat, isn’t it, that indicates whether the body is under any undue stress. And I think we want irregular timing rather than static timing and trying to get that HRV score as high as we can. And perhaps people with Apple watch, I don’t know, I think Apple watch would track HRV because it’s got a pulse setting on there as well.

Erika

45:54 Right. Okay.

Stu

45:54 But what are the things that you might do that have had or do have a profound impact on increasing your HRV?

Erika

46:06 Well, I really like the tools that come with Inner Balance. I don’t want to talk about a very specific product, but it is a product that helps you. And so the way that I like to think about HRV is we have the parasympathetic response through our central nervous system. We have the parasympathetic response, which is relaxation. And then we have the sympathetic response, which is more of the anxiety. We need both, okay?

46:32 And so with really good HRV, and everything that you said about the timing is exactly right, but here’s why it really matters.

Stu

46:40 Yep.

Erika

46:40 Would you like to be able to choose to go into parasympathetic even if something is super stressful, right?

Stu

46:47 Yeah. Yes, please.

Erika

46:49 Yeah. So this is really about how can we get better control of our nervous system. And when this matters, where the rubber meets the road, is when your employee comes in and just up and quits, when someone cuts you off in traffic, when somebody spills your coffee, and you get that reaction, right?

47:10 There’s going to be a moment where you can pause. And with good HRV, you basically have access to calm your nervous system down in real time automatically so that you don’t explode, so that you don’t overreact and yell or scream or do things that two seconds later you now regret.

Stu

47:31 Yeah. So many tools as well that allow us to do that. I’ve been reading prior about things like metacognition where it’s the questioning of your emotions at any given time that allow you to switch into the-

Erika

47:44 Absolutely.

Stu

47:45 Yeah, from fight or flight to rest and reset.

Erika

47:52 Right. So blood is diverted from the inner workings of your brain to prefrontal cortex in order to aim.

Stu

47:59 Yes.

Erika

48:00 And when you do that, you will experience a lower sense of that anxiety in the moment. Yeah.

Stu

48:07 Yeah.

Erika

48:08 So aiming those feelings is very good. People are afraid of their feelings these days. So that’s one of the techniques that I highly, highly recommend, is get accustomed to your feelings, know what they are. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re there to motivate you to take some type of action.

Stu

48:22 Yeah. No, you’re right. And personally, I like to use tech in that because I’m a little bit of a techie nerd. But I like to use the Muse headband, the Oura ring, all of these things that provide realtime feedback but still allow you to access the sensations that you need to find just to make sense of this crazy world.

Erika

48:43 Right.

Stu

S48:44 So there’s stuff out there. So I’m just mindful, we’re coming up on time. And we have one question that we always ask that I think might be very useful from your perspective, and it’s three top tips that you think could make the biggest impact on our overall health given what you know about the mind and habits and struggles that we’re going through today. So perhaps three top tips.

Erika

49:12 Okay.

Stu

49:14 Could be hypnosis-based, could be completely left field.

Erika

49:20 Well, I think the number one thing that all of us should be focusing on now is really how do you control your nervous system? How do you control the automatic response from your nervous system in all cases? So using something like HRV or the ability, one of the things that most people have never thought of before is how do you know when you’re anxious?

Stu

49:43 Yes.

Erika

49:44 So do you know for yourself, how you know when you’re anxious?

Stu

49:51 Well, particularly for me, it would be the racing mind. It will be the heartbeat.

Erika

49:57 Yeah. And some people get sweaty palms.

Stu

49:59 Yes.

Erika

49:59 Some people feel it in their chest.

Stu

50:01 Yeah.

Erika

50:01 And so what I want people to know is how do you know when you’re anxious and you want to catch the anxiety there. Okay? So whatever tool you’re using for anti-anxiety, and there’s a lot of them out there, whether it’s a breathing technique or what, we want to catch it when the momentum is low. And so being aware of the first signs of anxiety are really important. Okay? Because the more you allow your brain to be anxious, the more it’s going to be anxious. So we really want to get rid of that happening in the first place.

Stu

50:32 Great.

Erika

50:32 All right?

Stu

50:33 Yep.

Erika

50:34 The second thing is really to feel your feelings, which we just talked about a little bit. But feelings are really there. Feelings do come from our subconscious and they’re there to give us information about something like, “Oh, why am I feeling sad?”

50:46 And if you actually sit there and think about it, you’ll figure out why, why you’re feeling sad. And one of the questions that I like my clients to figure out what’s going on with me, what is that feeling, is what do I want? If I could snap my fingers right now and you could have anything at all, and it could be something magical like a new job or something like that, it could be something magical, that gives you the permission to understand what’s happening deeper inside of you.

51:13 What most people do is they don’t like the feeling. Of course, we’re talking about negative feelings here, right? They don’t like the feeling of anxiety or worry or stress or guilt or anger. And so that’s when they turn to cigarettes or smoking or something or drinking or something like that, right? So if you allow yourself to just feel those feelings, you’re going to be much less likely to turn to one of those behaviors that you’re going to regret later basically.

51:39 And then the third thing is rest. It’s so simple, but people do not give themselves permission to rest. And it’s like, “I’m feeling tired. Maybe I should go work out. Maybe I should go eat. Maybe I should go …” No, maybe you should rest. It’s okay. Allow yourself to rest. If you can get good at resting, which is what I would consider recharging, like listening to the relaxation recording, coming back 100% 20 minutes later, that’s going to be very powerful tool in your life.

Stu

52:10 Yeah, and that’s an interesting point because many of us have lost the meaning of rest as well. Rest can be perceived as sitting outside in the garden, plugged into your smartphone, going through Facebook, checking emails. But I’m outside. But the stimulus and the digital overload as well can often be doing the very opposite. And so-

Erika

52:35 Absolutely. You’re right. You’re right.

Stu

52:38 When was the last time we went, just laid out and just looked up at the sky and just listened to our environment? So it’s really, really hard, especially today with this whole digital landscape that we’ve created for ourselves. Fascinating stuff.

Erika

52:54 It’s a great tool to be able to do that, to just watch the clouds go by and just allow yourself to stay focused on that. That’s really good brain training.

Stu

53:02 Yeah. Cool. Crazy stuff. Well Erika, we are just about at time. So I’m just keen to know what’s next for you? So what have you got on the horizon?

Erika

53:16 Well, because of the recent chaos that’s hit the entire world, I’m coming up with a new program. It’s going to be something like 10X your brain.

Stu

53:28 Right.

Erika

53:30 I don’t know exactly what the name will be, but the whole idea is let’s take some really awesome brain hacks that include hypnosis and also includes somatic techniques that allow you to have control over your mind and basically rewrite your inner OS basically. What do you want?

Stu

53:51 Yes.

Erika

53:51 How do you want your brain to function, right?

Stu

53:53 Yeah.

Erika

53:55 So yeah, that’s coming soon.

Stu

53:57 Well, I will be following you closely on that because that is, for want of a better phrase, right down my alley a lot. I’m very, very intrigued about all that kind of stuff.

Erika

54:06 Awesome.

Stu

54:06 And for our listeners that are super intrigued as I am, want to find out more, want to download the eBooks, and want to dial into everything that you offer, where can I send them?

Erika

54:18 Well, for the relaxation recording, CascadeHypnosisCenter.com/breathe. Breathe is the right word there. For the free book, I think I’ll have to send you a link. I don’t think [crosstalk 00:54:33].

Stu

54:33 That’s fine.

Erika

54:33 I think that’ll give you a little more information there. But you can find me at CascadeHypnosisTraining.com. That’s where a lot of my training material is on how to do hypnosis and other brain hacks.

Stu

54:46 Brilliant. Fascinating. Well, I will ensure that all of the links that we’ve spoken about today are plugged into the show notes, and then we’ll share that with our audience. And again, thank you so much for your time. Much appreciative. I’ve learned loads and can’t wait to share it.

Erika

55:01 Oh yeah. It’s been great to be here with you today, Stu. Take good care.

Stu

55:04 You take care. Thank you.

 

Erika Flint

This podcast features Erika Flint who is an award winning hypnotist and bestselling author, who uses her hypnosis techniques to train some of the best minds in the world. She founded the Cascade Hypnosis Center in 2013, to provide relief from a variety of issues, including weight loss, stress and... Read More
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