I am writing this on the train back from London on a beautifully sunny day. Making my way out of the city from Wimpole Street, to Bond Street Tube station, to Waterloo, with the masses, the huge throngs of people snaking it’s way to the various work places of the capital reminded me of my much younger days and what it was like to commute. I am majorly thankful to be leading a slower paced life at the seaside these days – it is lovely being back in London for the rare foray, but I’d struggle to live that way these days.
Yesterday was the second time in the past 3 months that I have lectured at the Royal Society of Medicine. The event was a sports hypnosis theme that I had been invited to present at some time ago. This is hot on the heels of me lecturing at the Royal Society of Medicine’s annual Waxman memorial event hosted by the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic medicine section and yesterday was jointly hosted by the sports medicine section. You can read more about that here: Lecturing at the Royal Society of Medicine.
I arrived on time and had a smooth journey this time around, and the tube journey from Waterloo on the Jubilee line to Bond Street is just 3 stops followed by a walk that is less than 5 minutes. Then I was in. That is, I went and took my bags up to my room as I was staying in one of the Medica Dormus rooms, just around the corner from the library. It meant that I got to prepare well, have a snoop around the awesome library once again and then head down to the lecture theatre.
Whilst getting registered and saying hello to a number of friends who were attending, I was introduced to and met a couple of wonderful people – a man who was using hypnosis to help with his swim across the channel, and a champion ballroom dancing lady who had suffered a stroke 7 weeks previous who had aided her recovery with hypnosis and planned on being back competing at championships very soon.
The event was filled with people who had a passion for hypnosis and sports and the atmosphere was a lovely one.
I was presenting the first lecture and offered up a presentation on the current evidence base for using hypnosis in sports, though with a particular reference to endurance sports such as long distance running, cycling and swimming.
I doffed my cap to Roger Bannister who sadly passed away last week, and got to quote my favourite line from Steve Prefontaine (as per the above picture), but aside from that, I really rolled my sleeves up and explored the current evidence base, feasibility for future research directions and outlined some methods used in the research for advancing sporting performance in terms of altering perceived levels of effort, advancing associative and dissociative cognitive strategies, advancing uptake of oxygen and also skirting across a handful of other areas that there is evidence for.
It is always tough making a virtual literature review seem exciting, but it seemed to be received well and I was happy that I managed to get all I had planed to cram into my 45 minutes.
Next up was Dr Jamie Barker from Loughborough University who discussed and presented his research whereby hypnosis had been used to advance self-efficacy in order to raise sporting performance. He presented case studies and larger studies to support this application of hypnosis and it was really good to listen to. One of the elements of my own research has shown that a bi-product of many self-hypnosis applications has been the advancement of self-efficacy, and the evidence base for self-efficacy in and of itself advancing sporting performance is impressive. It was great to therefore see some specific studies using hypnosis in this way.
Jamie and I took questions on the first panel of the day and the questions really gave a great indication to me about the level of engagement of the audience, some really impressive lines of enquiry they were exploring and was indicative of the obvious appetite there is for the subject and the literature supporting it.
Following the panel and break, was Gary Turner. Following the theoretical based presentations and discussion of literature and studies, Gary offered up a much more practical based presentation initially based upon his own substantial personal experience of being a world champion on no less than 13 occasions in a variety of fighting disciplines.
I have bias, I have known Gary for a number of years and consider him to be a good friend of mine, but there is so much I learn from him every time I watch him present. He draws upon some incredible real-life experience and reflects upon some grueling and painful experience in and out of the ring, it brings a sense of wisdom into what he talks about, regardless of how fast he goes.
He wanted to cover a lot of ground, and did so, but I really enjoyed his 6 point approach to using hypnosis to advance sporting performance and he makes good use of some very solid scientific studies that freshened up a few things I may have taken for granted previously. Mostly though, I smiled and laughed a lot through Gary’s presentation and not always at times when he wanted me too. His use of humour strikes a chord with me, I love it. I find him incredibly agreeable and he loves what he does and is passionate about helping others, he is a great example.
At one point, he referred to himself as “Lee Evans without a sweaty suit on” and did a silent impression that was just perfect.
We had a final panel where all 3 speakers were joined by Dr Brinda Christopher, the President of the Sport and Exercise Medicine Section and Dr Raj Lal Sharma, President of the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic medicine section and then hung around afterwards for a while fielding questions from delegates and talking all things hypnosis with some very cool people.
Us 3 speakers were joined by UK Hypnosis Convention head honcho Nick Ebdon. We had a lovely dinner in the Royal Society of Medicine restaurant and I was in fits of belly laughter for most of the time. It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to round off the day. We took this photo just after dinner prior to heading off on our separate ways.
Just a short report. My thanks to everyone who attended for making this a thoroughly stimulating and enjoyable event, it has been a major privilege to speak at both of these events at the RSM, I shall look back upon my experience there very fondly indeed.
Next stop for me later this week is Denmark. I’ll be teaching on the science of self-hypnosis and the application of it with immune functioning in a day long presentation. Then I will get to pause for breath a little bit and take stock of this crazy busy month. I will report back on that trip soon.
And yes, I’ll announcing in coming weeks dates for the certificate in sports hypnosis course that I will soon be offering here soon, keep your eyes peeled for that.