As we highlighted in our newsletter this month (which you can view here). Steve is now the first person in Wales to register as a Dementia Therapy Specialist through hypnotherapy.
In this blog post, we wanted to bring you a bit more information about dementia and what you can do to both look after yourself and help to improve the symptoms of those who live with it.
What is dementia?
Dementia describes a set of symptoms in which include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving and language, so when someone is diagnosed with dementia, they are describing the symptoms but not the cause. One of the most most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease however there are other causes such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The effects of these diseases are usually small changes to the person to begin with, but eventually can become severe enough to affect a person’s day-to- day life.
Some forms of dementia such as drug interaction (when a person who is ill has a different medication, sometimes the medicines do not interact well or have side effects) or a vitamin deficiency are actually reversible or temporary, unfortunately others are progressive, which means that the symptoms gradually get worse as time goes on.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that damages the cells in the brain. It also makes the chemical connections between brain cells disappear and so some brain cells die. It is the most common cause of dementia.
Has Alzheimer’s affected you?
You may know someone who is currently living with, or who has lived with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. I have witnessed it first-hand with my grandmother who sadly passed away a few years ago. As you may be aware, it is heart-breaking to slowly watch a person you know become someone unrecognizable. It’s a disease that we would like to see eradicated!
Dementia Therapy at LLLY
Steve’s dementia therapy is a great way to help you or any loved ones you know who suffer with dementia. Using pioneer Dr Daniel Nightingale’s techniques, Steve may be able to help the dementia sufferers slow down or improve their symptoms through hypnosis sessions. These sessions are found to improve the sufferer’s concentration, memory and socialisation. In addition, relaxation, motivation and activities of daily living can also be improved with the use of hypnosis. If you’re interested in talking to Steve more about this, just send him an email at: [email protected]
What can you do to help yourself?
Through Steve’s study of dementia through hypnotherapy and his research of neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change and adapt by creating new neural pathways), the best start you can give yourself to prevent a disease such as dementia is to establish a regular practice of relaxation and mindfulness. These activities help the brain to “re-wire” itself and produce the new neural pathways it requires.
Relaxation and mindfulness are easy tools to add to your toolbox. They include things such as taking regular walks outside or using adult colouring-in books that are really popular these days. A regular practice of mindfulness brings about greater awareness of the self and the environment around you. This reaps rewards for your brain, and could potentially keep dementia at bay for as long as possible.
The brain gym
Steve often likes to say that, by practicing mindfulness and relaxation, you are creating your own brain gym. Just like you need to have the right nutrition and do exercise to keep your body healthy or change your body shape, you also need to give your mind and brain that same attention. They need to be focussed on, flexed and moulded!
Creating your brain gym is a preventative measure. Unfortunately we live in a world which is very reactive, where we only take measures to change something when a problem appears. However, at LLLY we believe that we should all have happy, healthy and peaceful lives where we take responsibility for ourselves and start practicing the things that help us stay healthy. Prevention is cure. Start looking after your brain now – there’s no time like the present.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong first! Take time for you because you are the most important person in your life.
What can you do to help others?
Steve is also taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk on September 11, 2016. We are hoping to see lots of other participants join him as he sets out on a 10km from the Wales Millennium Centre. We know that every step taken by Steve and the other walkers will help change the lives of people affected by dementia.
You can make a difference too! If you would like to donate an amount to Steve to help him raise money in the long walk, then please do send him an email [email protected]
You could even register to take part in the walk yourself and with your friends and family: Register
This way, you can join Steve as you walk past Cardiff’s historical landmarks along the water in the Bay to Penarth, the Pont y Werin bridge to Cardiff Marine and the wetlands reserve.
Registration closes on Thursday 8 September, so make sure to sign up quickly if you’re interested.