Monday, September 25, 2017


Fear of flying is an overwhelming fear that is referred to as a phobia. It’s a kind of mental distortion that can be reversed when in a detached state of hypnotic trance.

It is an issue I encounter quite a lot in my practice. Hong Kong has the world’s highest proportion of frequent international flyers and many do so for business. Some of these passengers live in absolute fear of flying.

Flying internationally

One of my clients, John F, (name changed to protect client’s privacy) held a senior job based in Hong Kong with a financial overview of his company’s Asian operations. He had been in the job for a year when the stress of taking on the new responsibilities had fuelled an old fear of flying that he had been in control of up to then. He called me to find out if hypnotherapy worked with this kind of fear.

How does hypnotherapy help overcome fear of flying?

A fear or phobia like this is triggered unconsciously and is sometimes impossible to control by mere willpower.  Hypnotherapy has been particularly successful with such fears and phobias because it teaches the subject to be attentive to their unconscious thoughts. It does this helping the client access a state of mind that they experience all the time. A hypnotic trance is similar to daydreaming. It’s a relaxed peaceful hypnotic trance that provides the detachment a client needs to retrain the way their imagination is playing tricks on them.

Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming

One of the most successful hypnotherapeutic approaches for phobias is an NLP technique called Rewind which has been very successful at scrambling the thought patterns associated with the fear. It works by asking the client to imagine seeing themselves up on a screen going through the whole experience of a flight, then reversing it back and forth repeatedly. With each iteration, the therapist helps the client change the way they see, hear and feel what’s going on, adding humour, jokes and making positive suggestions of comfort and enjoyment until the client can actually begin to feel relaxed and safe again. And in that detached comfortable hypnotic trance, they feel huge confidence at being able to imagine flying in a comfortable state of mind. When that happens, it’s like the subject simply finds what he had lost, a kind of belief in their own feeling of safety. Eventually, his mind can forget that old fear because it doesn’t bother him anymore.

What’s it like to be afraid of flying?

For John, the anxiety generally begins the minute he discusses and schedules a meeting with counterparts in another Asian office, even when the trip is months away. And despite all the drugs and drinks he has on flight, it is still hell. He then stresses throughout the entire working trip because he’s got to face the flight back and the whole nightmare begins again.

Fear of flying is clearly a distortion of the imagination. Nobody really understands how it translates a very safe situation into a near miss tragedy but that’s what John’s mind was telling him would happen.

Disarming a phobia is like miraculously getting out of jail

As for most such clients, it was such a relief for John to discover that there was a way that his mind could safely process the flying experience and that he could feel comfortable about it. After a handful of sessions of hypnotherapy, John was looking forward to his first easy flight in a long time.

The last time I saw him, he was looking forward to taking his wife to Vietnam. He had a one-day meeting at the regional office and then he was going to enjoy a holiday with his wife for the first time in a very long time.

The mind is powerful like that. The hypnotherapist trains the subject to use the power of his imagination to outwit its own negative creations. This makes hypnotherapy a powerful ally to a frightened mind.

That was the first time John really got to know his colleagues. And the weekend? – Best ever!

If you are afraid of flying, it's important to know that you can overcome it. Feeling free and comfortable about flying opens you up to a world of personal and business opportunities!


If you would like to read more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy, check out Ellen’s website and her other posts. The website is:

Friday, April 28, 2017


Research shows a 300% improvement in quality of life for dementia sufferers after a course of hypnotherapy. The study was conducted in the UK by Duff and Nightingale and was published in Alzheimer’s Care Today in 2013.

There is no cure

Dementia is an umbrella term for about 100 different types of neurocognitive disorders. Of these, 60% are diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease and a further 20% as having Vascular Dementia. The incidence increases with age. By the age of 65, 1 in 10 people are likely to get it. To this day, there is no cure. The greatest difficulty for sufferers is to find an acceptable quality of life as they go through this deterioration that can last up to 7 long years.

You forget what happened in your life

It is an emotionally stressful and painful experience to realize that you cannot remember things that you should. Patients begin by losing their short-term memory and then by progressively losing memories of major life events such as children, spouses, and all the memories accumulated throughout a lifetime.

Can you imagine no longer recognizing people who tell you they are your children? Forgetting how to do the most basic things like eating and dressing yourself, for example forgetting whether underwear goes on top or underneath clothes? Being unable to find the words to explain your distress or your needs, even forgetting where the bathroom is that you went to a few hours before?

Patients suffer from chronic anxiety, depression and fear of what they’ll forget next.

Hypnotherapy is one of the really good stories in this dismal disease

Fortunately, hypnotherapy for dementia is one of the positive stories to help patients live a better quality of life as they go through this difficult journey.

The effectiveness of hypnotherapy is backed up by solid scientific research. The study was conducted in the UK to evaluate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy at improving the quality of life of sufferers. After a course of hypnotherapy, the quality of life of patients receiving hypnosis in the study improved my 300%, based on the 7 most important criteria of quality of life.

Trained nurses evaluated the patients before and after therapy, and then 12 months after the last hypnotherapy session. The results were unchanged 12 months after the end of hypnotherapy, proving its impact is long lasting.

The criteria measured were:
4.Immediate memory

5.Memory for significant life events
6.Activities of Daily Life

Ellen is a Dementia Therapy Specialist

If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy for Dementia, contact Ellen McNally at  

Her email address is

You can also reach her at her Hong Kong office at (852) 2523 7286.

Ellen is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Dementia Therapy Specialist.

Monday, February 20, 2017

ADHD, FASD Linked to Anxiety and Depression during Pregnancy.

Keeping your anxiety in check has never been more important that when you are pregnant.

According to Canadian Psychiatrist Gabe Mate, when pregnant women suffer from anxiety or depression , their bodies are less able to produce the necessary chemicals within the placenta that help their children’s brain learn self-regulation and focus.

By the age of 3, these children begin to display the behavioral problems associated with lack of self-regulation, difficulty focusing and other developmental delays- the key symptoms of ADHD and FASD. 

A recent study by psychiatrist and researcher Daniel Siegel at UCLA found a high level of the anxiety hormone Cortisol had leached into the placentas of anxious or depressed pregnant women. This hormone hinders the growth of these key brain circuits in their unborn child.

The incidence of children with Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has mushroomed in the past generation. 12% of US children were diagnosed with a Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in 2011. This number has jumped by 43% since 2003. These children are generally medically treated with stimulants such as Ritalin, a class of drugs which has only been tested on adults.

The important recommendation that emerges from this finding is the importance of reducing anxiety and depression among pregnant women, not only to improve their own quality of life but more importantly,  to reduce their unborn child's risk of developmental problems such as FASD, ADHD, etc.

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy use the latest findings in neuroscience to train the brain to manage anxiety and stressful negative thinking.

Ellen McNally, Hypnotherapist

Get in touch with me...
Email: Ellen at hypnosisinhongkong dot com
Telephone: 2523 7286

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


The hypnotic trance is what differentiates hypnotherapy from all other types of therapy. 

In a hypnotic trance, when the critical, judgmental part of our mind relaxes, the inner deeper part of our mind becomes open to changing the beliefs and behaviors that cause our distress.  When the mind is detached and free of fear, as it is in a hypnotic trance, it’s like  shining a spotlight on the misconceptions that distort our self-belief and fuel our anxiety. Under these conditions, the inner mind can gain perspective, can imagine and visualize changes, can rehearse solutions, and can be empowered again. And in that rehearsal, the sufferer can regain their natural confidence.

This post focuses on the level of anxiety that we cannot easily dispel with our usual coping mechanisms. When anxiety begins to interfere with our ability to manage our life and relationships, to build our career or to achieve our goals, it can be the cutoff line between normal and problematic anxiety. When it becomes a problem, a form of behavior paralysis takes over. We cannot think, perform or achieve to the level we know we are capable of.

This anxiety comes with a level of fear that something negative might happen to us. It’s like a coping mechanism that takes itself too seriously. In everyday life, we worry that we’ll perform badly or we may look stupid when we meet up with friends. It comes with a feeling of thinking and behavior paralysis.  It’s usually accompanied by uncomfortable body sensations.  It can remain with us when we try to relax and can follow us into our sleep.

It  can happen at work when sufferers feel unable to speak up in meetings or to a group, are unable to ask for a raise or a promotion, to express a dissenting view or to be overly sensitive about criticism or comments about one’s work.

It can appear in our closest most intimate relationships or in the way we  use our body to take the edge off the stress, as when we smoke, drink or eat to comfort and soothe ourselves.

It can be reinforced by stubborn recurring negative thinking, irrational misconceptions about ourselves, all of which predict the worst and consequently lead us to avoid taking steps to make good things happen to us.

Hypnotherapy draws its many techniques from a wide range of approaches used in all areas of psychology, energy healing, visualizations and uses both traditional approaches and new cutting edge results from neuroscience to help the inner mind find clarity, regain control over its perspective and change old stuck ways of thinking and behaving. 

Please contact me if you would think hypnotherapy can help you.

Ellen McNally

Email: Ellen at hypnosisinhongkong dot com
Telephone: 2523 7286

Monday, June 6, 2016


Hypnosis is the most successful way to stop smoking. In past clinical studies, it worked on average in 66% of cases. Behavior modification which involves changing the little rituals around your smoking, i.e.your brand, the fingers you use to smoke, how you light your cigarette, etc, has been successful in about 25% of cases. Smoking without the nicotine like e-cigarettes also have 25% success rate. Willpower works in 5% of cases, reminding us of just how difficult it is to do this cold turkey. My approach combines hypnosis with behavior modification and dedicates a whole session to neutralizing the cravings. More on this later.

Hypnosis uses the calm relaxing and enjoyable state of hypnotic trance to help the smoker switch their habitual way of responding to the smoking trigger. The quiet detached mind can more easily transfer their focus from a cigarette which has little pleasure, to instead shine the spotlight of one’s mind on one’s hopes and expectations of health, success and happiness.   

There are two conditions for success in hypnosis therapy: a strong motivation to quit and a good working rapport with the therapist.  Add the therapist’s fee and the client becomes even more motivated to achieve the desired results. That cocktail of strength, belief and hope is the environment that allows the smoker to create that successful change.

My program consists of three sessions: The first session is a week before the actual quitting day so that the smoker can begin modifying all those little smoking rituals and in the process, begin to scramble the automatic signals that feed the addiction. The second session occurs on quitting day,  after the very last cigarette, bringing that addiction to an end with a powerful confidence and new belief. The third session occurs about 4 days later. Its purpose if to reinforce that shift in belief and to take the wind out of the cravings. This is done through the use of EFT, a  shifting technique that disconnects the power of the craving from the thoughts that trigger it. In short, the three sessions use hypnosis along with behavior modification and EFT to successfully imbed the new belief into the deep inner mind.

Why is hypnosis so successful when other methods fail? Hypnosis allows the client to take the non-smoking message into that part of the mind where the habitual addiction is so solidly lodged – into the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is that programmed part of ourselves that never has to think twice about how to walk, how to ride a bike or if you’re a smoker, how to respond to the trigger causing you to light up a cigarette. It’s always on automatic. Hypnosis for smoking cessation allows you to switch that signaling and to point your mind to a healthier and more positive way of responding to the trigger, and to program that switch so that it’s always on automatic.  

Why not give it a go? It works!


Drop me a note at or give me a call at (852) 2523 7286 if you would like to discuss whether this approach is suitable for you, or if you want to book an appointment.

For more information, check out my website at

Monday, March 28, 2016


As recent brain science uncovers how our mind works, hypnotherapists use these same findings to help their clients achieve their goals, be they emotional, intellectual or physical. Achieving academic excellence is one such application of these new findings.

 When facing the prospect of a life-defining exam, it's normal to experience a high level of anxiety, a fear of failing and a lack of confidence in the study process. 

What Hypnosis does is to simply reinforce the client's own mental strength.

Clients who use hypnosis today have long overcome the old cliches associated with the field. Of course, hypnosis doesn't replace hard work - it simply builds your confidence, helps you focus, increases your concentration and allows you to access what you KNOW that you know - all you have to do is work hard and study!

This has been backed up by research - a review of this research on the use of hypnosis was published in The Journal of Counselling Psychology (Vol 29 (1), Jan 1982, 76-94. *'Improving academic performance in adults: A review of recent research'. Now neuroscience has come up with the physiological proof to back up what hypnotists have known all along!

My clients don't want 'good' results - they want 'great' results! 

In my experience as a hypnotherapist,  those who seek out hypnosis are the most highly motivated students. The same is true for those who have the most to lose: people for whom jobs, livelihoods or promotions depend on an exam score.

The bottom line is that hypnosis is a powerful tool for achieving academic landmarks, especially when anxiety and lack of confidence threaten the outcome one deserves.

Ellen McNally,
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist,
Hypnosis for academic protocol: 3-4 sessions
Email her at Ellen at Hypnosis in Hong Kong dot com or call her office at (852) 2523 7286.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


How would it feel to have that confidence that all your hard work would pay off?

Hypnosis is a powerful natural method for achieving confidence in test taking. It can help you be more relaxed and focus more easily while you study. The process can help you take the test with positivity and self-belief and access your memory more easily.

These tests are possibly the biggest stepping stone to your future: Language proficiency tests, SATs, TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson and others can be a huge source of anxiety. If your stress is interfering with your focus and confidence, hypnosis may be a great solution for you.

However, hypnosis is not a magic potion. It only works if you are willing to put in the time to study or practice your subject matter. And it only works if you are highly motivated to achieve your test goals. It’s not a way of replacing your hard work. But accessing that state of confidence in yourself after hypnosis is an effortless process.

It's a way to make your hard work pay off!

Anxiety and pressure can stifle your self-confidence. One-on-one hypnosis can be a powerful help in tapping into that natural confidence. If you feel confident, you can focus on your test instead of allowing stress to drain away your energy.  When confident and calm, you can shut down that stress. And you can access that memory, that fact or that fluency that you are capable of, even under pressure in the most intimidating setting.

Working with a hypnotist can build your confidence in a foreign language. As a first step, it can reduce the anxiety while you study for it and can help you have razor sharp focus in the process. During the test, you can tackle the written or spoken test with natural confidence, knowing that you’ve put in the work and you’re as ready as you’re going to be for it. It can also strengthen your belief in yourself as a competent speaker in that language. This new strong belief in yourself can have a multiplier effect every time you study.

To read more about hypnosis, take a look at my website at

If you would like to have a chat about how this can help you, at no cost and without any commitment, feel free to call me at my office at 2523 7286.

Ellen McNally
Master Hypnotist and Hypnotherapist


Fear of flying is an overwhelming fear that is referred to as a phobia. It’s a kind of mental distortion that can be reversed when in...