The Innovative Brain How To Use Self Directed Neuroplasticity To Rewire Your Brain For Change with Didi Vergados On Innovation Nation CIUT

 

 

Podcast Transcript:  The Innovative Brain How To Use Self Directed Neuroplasticity To Rewire Your Brain For Change with Didi Vergados On  Innovation Nation CIUT

Stephen: Welcome to the Innovation Nation on Career Buzz Canada’s unique radio conversation that empowers lives, enriches careers and energizes organizations.

Welcome to the Innovation Nation on Career buzz, I’m Stephen Armstrong and I’m pleased to be your host today on Innovation Nation on Career Buzz. Innovation Nation explores the intersection of the real world business practice in people’s career development. We will explore how individuals turn their personal passion for innovation into tangible commercial success. Thank you for tuning in this morning. Well, today on your show we focus on managing your mind and the Innovation brain or the Innovative brain. How do you, self-direct neuroplasticity to rewire your brain for change? Basically, to manage your brain and manage your thoughts. People really do want to help themselves from 2014 to 2015 the self-help book category in the United States rose by 15% from about 10 million units to 11 and 1/2 million units, that reference Milliot 2016, his book. We are joined by Didi Vergados who is a Director of Bloom Center for Hypnotherapy. Didi, welcome to the show.

Didi: Hi Stephen it’s a pleasure to be here.

Stephen: First we’re going to hear from Didi. She’s a board-certified hypnotherapist and a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming. She specializes in health, she’s also a personal development coach and a corporate trainer in the field of emotional health and wellness, the Gaski performance group, belief change and non-linear thinking. She’s also a presenter at various hypnosis conferences. Didi assist individuals in removing the obstacles that stand in the way of them becoming healthy, happy and passionate about life. Didi’s strategy for effective change, combines elements from the latest research in mind, body medicine, scientifically validated emotional management techniques and the time-honored success proven hypnotherapy techniques. We all know that to be innovative, one element is to be creative and to be creative, means coming up with ideas. And of course, when we’re managing people, having the emotional wherewithal to manage change and to manage all the complexities of change and this is what Didi is gonna talk about, how you can master that. So, we’ll get right into it. Didi tell us, what is self-directed neuroplasticity.

Didi:   Well first I’d like to share with our audience what neuroplasticity is in general. So, our brains are what they call very malleable or flexible. Our brains have the ability to adapt and change as a result of interacting with our environment. So, it was once believed that we were born with a certain amount of neurons and once those died they were basically gone. I remember learning that in my first biology class, but what they’ve now discovered is, your brain is so very flexible it’s adapting and it’s changing at all times. So, what self-directed neuroplasticity is, is it’s us using our conscious will to discover a pattern that we’re unhappy with, that maybe running in our brain and then to consciously change that pattern.

Stephen: I think of this concept of the autopilot. We get up in the mornings, we check who we are, we say okay, I’m John Smith. I put my clothes on, I go to work, I get in my car and we do that day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, we follow routines. And I think that’s what you mean by autopilot. Could you just explain that a little?

Didi:   Well 95% of the time we’re running on unconscious autopilot. So, our brain’s way of being efficient is to take a skill, a behavior, a thought pattern, an emotional pattern and anything we repeat over time and just put that on autopilot. And it literally wires our brain this way. So, for a good portion of our day, we literally are just running on autopilot from the time you get up, you have your routine, you take a shower, you eat breakfast, whatever order it is you do it, you do it without consciously thinking, it’s just wired in. When we think back to new things that were learning, for example, I remember when I learned to drive a car, you’re consciously learning something. So, we’re very aware of okay, where is the brake? Where’s the gas? Oh, I have to check on my mirrors. Where are my hands on the steering wheel? It’s a very conscious act to learn.

Stephen: And It’s all happening in a millisecond. Instant.

Didi: Yes, it is. When it’s conscious, it’s actually the opposite. When you’re very conscious, I recall by the time I had done all that and thought about everything, it was time to check all my mirrors again. But, once you learn something it goes underground, it goes on autopilot in your brain so now we can be driving our car, listening to the radio, drinking a coffee, some people are smoking a cigarette and they’re able to do many things and quite often what we can have is called a highway trance. Where we go into a hypnotic state, because we know how to drive so well we can afford to daydream to go into that trance. And a lot of times people will recognize this as, oh my gosh, I’m already here. How did I get here? or they’ll come to, and they’ll say have I missed my exit. So, that let you know that we truly are on autopilot cause we can afford to go off into that daydream.

Stephen: Now, you mentioned, you said the sub conscious and the conscious, could you just put that into perspective. What is the conscious brain versus the sub conscious. Why is this autopilot, this linear thinking in the subconscious? What’s going on there?

Didi: Ok, so the conscious is the everyday thinking brain, we like to call it the gatekeeper. That’s the part of your brain that is thinking, analyzing, commenting. The unconscious is actually where all that autopilot behavior comes from. Now, unconsciously by the time we’re 7, we’ve pretty much learned all our beliefs and a lot of our behaviors and how that happens is you model the world around you. You’re like a sponge, absorbing everything. So for example, let’s talk about how we learn to avoid pain. A child goes up to the stove, sees this nice, read hot element and decides to touch it. WHOO, they get burn and they say, ok I’m never gonna touch that stove again. The unfortunate thing is, this also happens emotionally. So, everything is getting wired in by the time we’re seven-years-old; whether it’s a physical pain, an emotional pain and we’re forming beliefs based on not only this, our experiences but also those who we’re surrounded by. So we’re gonna to model our parents, we’re gonna model our teachers, were gonna model our aunties and uncles and we’re gonna model their behaviors and also take in their beliefs, be it they be good beliefs or limiting beliefs.

Stephen: Something I just wanna bring up…I had a friend back in Northern Ireland, that I went to school with, and maybe 15-20 years later I returned. I met him on a trip and we were talking about who we are. When you immigrate, you usually immigrate to enhance change your life, advance it, do something but you usually immigrate for positive reasons to build something, but his philosophy was, you are who you are at 7 or you are who you are as a child no one can change, what’s your response to someone that has that rigid point of view?

Didi:   Well that’s that old school thinking that I talked about, you’re born with a certain amount of neurons and once they die you’re stuck with what you’re stuck with. I don’t agree with that at all, I mean the brain is so very flexible and it’s always learning and changing, and I know this from working with my clients. We know this from working with PTSD, I mean somebody…

Stephen: PTSD, what’s it mean?

Didi: Oh, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. So, people can go to war and then come back and they are literally traumatized by their memories and their day-to-day functioning is so difficult that they say one American that is killing themselves per day in the U.S. Due to PTSD. But sometimes things like PTSD can be dealt with and removed from the brain in a way that allows that person to function once again, in as little as 15 minutes.

Stephen: Now break down the word in Neuroplasticity, Neuro and then plasticity just break that down.

Didi: So, neuro being neurons in our brain are neuropathways and plasticity meaning very plastic very malleable, very movable, very changeable.

Stephen: Is this an emerging field in Psychotherapy? Is it in Psychotherapy and in Physical Medicine? Like, where is the research?

Didi: Yeah, it is so exciting. I mean they’re showing all the time that our brains are so malleable. Well, take firstly the work of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz. Ok, what he was able to show is that he could take people with obsessive-compulsive disorders and basically what was going on with them, I believe because they repeated this pattern overtime, my hands are dirty and then my hands are dirty would give them a feeling like I have to wash my hands and they repeated it so often that it actually when they looked at brain scans they could see that that was a neuro pathway that was firing off in their brain it was constantly locked on it means it never went off.

Stephen: So, they can scan the brain and prove the hypothesis through physical observation of the brain activity?

Didi: Yeah, they watched. They did MRIs, functional MRIs and what they actually saw is the part of their brain, that was the part that was worried, that had to wash their hands all the time was actually locked permanently on; it means it never went off. So they called this the worry circuit. So, people with obsessive compulsive disorders never got a break. Their brain was constantly saying my hands are dirty, I gotta wash my hands. It was producing a feeling like ugh I’m not gonna get relief till I wash my hands. But they wouldn’t get relief, the relief would be like well whatever however bad the habit was with those people. Some people every 5 mins, some people every half an hour. So, what he proved through neuroplasticity and specifically self-directed neuroplasticity, is that he could teach them to rewire that circuit, that worry circuit, to a pleasure circuit and what I mean by a pleasure circuit is what he had them do is redirect their thoughts. I’m gonna go through the four full steps that he used to help them rewire their brain.

Stephen: What motivation them to change?

Didi: Oh, it must be just a form of torture to live with you know OCD.

Stephen: Obsessive compulsive disorder

Didi: Yeah, It’s absolutely a form of torture so a lot of them are motivated to change because they structure their entire life around their rituals. And I’ve had people come in for that and it is a torturous way to be.

Stephen: In the second half of the show we’re gonna get really into some of your case studies by the way.

Didi: Yeah, so anyway here are the four steps that he had people go through. Okay, the first one was, he said we’re going to relabel that. So, he told people, when you have that feeling, you’re gonna use a form of mindful awareness. So, you’re gonna be aware that you’re having that feeling of I want to wash my hands. And act as more of a neutral observer, get some distance from It. So, kind of notice those thoughts that come up and call them what they are; they are simply an obsessive or compulsive, obsessive compulsive, obsessive thought or a compulsive urge. So call them that.

Stephen: So, step back, label it?

Didi: Yeah, just look at it as part a me

Stephen: So I’m having an obsessive-compulsive episode or urge

Didi: Yeah, so you’re going notice it with a form of mindful awareness which is just kind of like say oh, isn’t that interesting, I have an urge right now. Well you know I’m just gonna relabel that, it’s just an obsessive thought or compulsive urge. It’s not me, it’s my brain firing off you know it’s stuck in this rut it’s a medical disorder. It’s an intrusive thought medical disorder so just relabel it. And then step two that he taught people to do is reattribute. So reattribute, it’s not me, it’s my OCD thoughts these urges don’t mean anything they’re false messages from my brain. The discomfort is due to biochemical imbalances of the brain, that is just simply become overactive. So again, just call it what it is. It’s this worry circuit that’s locked on in my brain. And the third step is to refocus. So, with effort and focus mindfulness I’m gonna decide to switch to another behavior. And step four was, with effort and focused mindfulness to switch to that other behavior. So, he taught them to focus on something that was pleasurable; so being in the garden, shooting basketball hoops, everybody had their own thing that they found was pleasurable and overtime what he was able to show is that the people who had, had the OCD were able to change that worry circuit in their brain into focusing as a pleasure circuit. So, in other words, through mindful awareness and through a lot of will, there’s a lot of will involved in this because it’s very hard when you have some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder and the feeling that goes along with it to go, okay I’m going to take a breath and a step back it’s only my OCD and I’m gonna redirect my brain to more pleasurable thoughts.

Stephen: This will take a lot of exercise, exercising the mind and coaching and [facilitating back]. You probably couldn’t just do this on your own, you’d have to be guided through it right, initially.

Didi: Yeah they did guide them through because they’re a part of the research study but again, the end result was that overtime…

Stephen: You can self-direct it.

Didi: Yeah, they were able to rewire their brain from what was a worry circuit into a pleasure circuit so thinking pleasurable thoughts.

Stephen: I’m Stephen Armstrong and you’re listening to the Innovation Nation on Career Buzz here on CIUT 89. 5 FM in Toronto and worldwide online at CIUT.FM. There’s a special announcement. There’s a 10-day Art and World Music Festival, called In Future from September the 15th to the 25th at Ontario Place West and CIUT is one of the sponsors. Please attend, it will be great fun.

Back with Didi….Didi, talk about the impact of these destructive habits and problematic behaviors like, are there any statistics about how many people? I mean there’s a lot, we hear all kinds of horrendous stories, that addictive behaviors cause.

Didi: Oh yes. I mean I do believe inherently those who are self-aware will recognize these patterns in them self. So, because I have an NLP and a hypnotherapy practice, a lot of people realize, and they’ll come to me with anything from, hey I keep getting involved with the wrong man, I have a pattern of choosing the wrong person all the time and they have the same traits all the time and I’m not happy and I don’t like it but I can’t seem to break out of it or something like addictive smoking. By the time people come to me, they literally hate smoking cigarettes. They tell me, I’m smoking it and I hate it while I’m doing it but I’m still doing it. So, they can’t find a way out of problem so that’s why they have to come to somebody like me to help them use that self-directed neuroplasticity.

Stephen: Well that’s a good Segway into your background. How did you get into this? And for the listeners, google, Didi Vergados and watch her do real live hypnotism on the streets of Toronto. It’s quite something, it’s real, this is not Hocus Pocus, she really is a true hypnotist. Tell us your background that led to this and some of your practice areas.

Didi: I have always been almost obsessively, in a good way…

Stephen: So, you turned your obsessive compulsive, for good one? There can be good, yes?

Didi: Well there can be good obsessions, right? Yeah, so I mean when directed in the right way I mean obsessions can be good, when they’re used very directed and intentionally. So, I was always obsessed with both medicine but more so with the power of the mind. So, just from the time I used to read my aunt’s medical encyclopedias to just pondering, I know we can be so much more. As we grow up, we watch our aunties and our family and people, and they just seem to be stuck in a lot of ruts and I would look at that and say…

Stephen: Repetitive patterns day after day

Didi: Yeah, repetitive patterns and I would look, and I would say why don’t they just think outside that and change that? And it wasn’t till I studied a lot of something called neuro-linguistic programming, NLP for short, when I realized that, a lot of these patterns and behaviors are locked into our brain and we don’t even know what the structure is that causes them to be that way, which is what NLP does. NLP breaks down the structure of a person’s thinking and shows you the ineffective thinking, and then what we do is we reprogram an effective thinking. But again, a lot of times it’s hard to do this on one’s own, you have to go to somebody because somebody again has that perspective that’s outside of you. So, for example, we’re storing information in our brains in so many different ways. It can be visual, so what we’re see that’s causing us to act a certain way. It can be auditory, what are we saying to our self. A lot of times we have this inner self dialogue that’s going on that’s not very empowering. I’ll never be able to do this, what’s the point. I had a client yesterday what did she say, she was depressed immediately in the morning and couldn’t get out of bed. I said, what are you saying to yourself, and she said I can’t do this anymore. But a lot of times we’re not even aware of that self-dialogue or the pictures we’re making that support that or the feelings that those pictures and those things were saying to our self are causing within us and as human beings were driven by your feelings. So, change the feeling, change the picture, change the voice inside.

Stephen: Is it not thoughts, create feelings, create thoughts? Napoleon Hill in the 1930s wrote the book think and grow rich. And he opened the book the very first sentence in the book was thoughts are things. In other words, what you think, it will manifest.

Didi: Absolutely, and I’ll tell you why. Well thoughts and feelings are both intertwined; sometimes we have a thought that causes a feeling and sometimes we have a feeling that causes a thought, but here’s basically how our…

Stephen: Triggers!

Didi: Yes, absolutely. So, here’s how our mind works; we’re gonna have a thought and that might be a disempowering thought. Every time I think about, starting my own new business, I think I’ll never be able to do this, there’s too much to do. That’s gonna create a feeling in us and that feeling is gonna be, it could be overwhelm, and that feeling is then gonna drive us into a certain state of mind or attitude and the attitude could be like, I’ll never be able to do this a defeatist attitude. Those three things are what drive our behaviors and our actions out in the world. And you can imagine how your behaviors are driven when have a defeatist attitude, you feel overwhelmed; it’s either going to cause you to procrastinate or stop or not do things very effectively and of course, this all drives our outcomes and our goals. So, a simple exercise that I do with everybody is to show them the negative version of this. Okay, think about your problem and they go through that…

Stephen: And they probably can express that very well?

Didi: Oh yeah, they can, because they’re looped, it’s a loop.

Stephen: They’re anchored to it

Didi: Yeah, everything in the brain is a pattern or a loop. So, with this attitude is much like Jeffrey Schwartz just look at it like this isn’t me, the problem isn’t me a pattern has been created in my brain and we need to change that.

Stephen: From childhood or trauma

Didi: Our experiences. Yeah, our experiences. Think of the first time….this is a perfect example, I had a client that came in, he was painfully shy. He was close to being 50 years old and he couldn’t even talk to a girl. Well, what had happened when we did the hypnotic regression is when he was 16 years old, he like this girl that was a friend of his friends and she said

Stephen: She rejected him?

Didi: Even worse, she was horrible. She said well, you know, your friend is really nice but he’s really ugly. And she actually said that in front of him and from then on and he made a decision.

Stephen: I’m ugly?

Didi: I’m ugly and I’ll never get anywhere, and it hurts, it hurts to pursue a woman.

Stephen: Well, it’s a form of mind control as well. She didn’t do that with the intention of mind control but she sure did change his life.

Didi: Well, she did because up until he was 50, he was painfully shy. But when we do the reverse pattern, I have people think of something that they’re naturally good at, that they naturally enjoy and then I run them through that. I said okay, what are your thoughts? Oh, I’m really happy, I can do this really well. And then, what kind of feeling does it give you? Oh, It’s such a great feeling you know I just wanna go out and do it. What kind of state of mind does it put you in.

Stephen: So, you make them describe it? Do you make them write it down?

Didi: Yeah-yeah. No-no. Actually, I just do it like we are doing it right now, as we’re talking.

Stephen: Conversational?

Didi: Conversationally. And then, I said well what kind of state of mind does it put you in? What kind of attitude? Well, I can do anything, okay. When you have the attitude of, I can do anything, how does that drive your behaviors? I want to go out and do it and I want to do more of it, and of course if you do more of something, you’re more likely to achieve your goals. So, it’s just a simple 2-minute exercise that demonstrates the power of our thoughts. And by the way, once you get stuck in that negative loop, that’s the downward spiral where you feel defeated, you feel hopeless, you then begin to engage in activities, for example, I had a client and he said I would just wake up in the morning and feel overwhelmed about my business and things like that and I would play video games for 2 hours I would procrastinate on everything.

Stephen: Yeah, its powerful.

Didi: Yeah, it’s powerful. Our thoughts, our feelings.

Stephen: So, the action of engaging in these, I guess distractions, and where you’re 3, 4, 5 hours later watching certain websites or playing video games is a distraction from and a blockage that you personally have to be more productive right?

Didi: Yeah, he had no Idea what it is though. And what he was trying to do was put himself into a good state of mind so he would play video games for 2 hours but then of course that didn’t work.

Stephen: To the point of exhaustion probably.

Didi: Well, it doesn’t work. Then he gets mad at himself for wasting the first 2 hours of his day playing video games, so it doesn’t work. What we teach people is very amazing pattern interrupts. So here it is, okay I recognize this state of mind, I’m spiralling downwards, we’re gonna just boom, we’re gonna interrupt that pattern, we’re gonna switch into a more productive or optimal state of mind.

Stephen: Are there help lines that people can call once they understand this and then they can call a help line and say, look I’m having a obsessive? Is that the client kinda relationship you would have where they would call you or…….

Didi: Well they come in for actual appointments.

Stephen: What if someone at 3 A.M. is gonna act out on some destructive addictive behavior? What do these people do?

Didi: Well I know they have suicide call in lines.

Stephen: I don’t mean as extreme as that.

Didi: Yeah, I have no idea about actual call in lines. I’m sure there’re, somebody that offers that for a price around the world. But usually that’s when they come in to see me. Usually the hypnotist, or the NOP practitioners is the last person they resort to. We get the worst of the worst. So anyway, we went through how Jeffrey Schwartz does it, let me explain as a hypnotist or an NLP practitioner, we like to do that in three steps. So, the first thing is mindful awareness. A lot of us are not aware of our thoughts, so we have to start watching our thoughts. In fact when you think of it, the mind, the brain, it’s a muscle, and we spend millions of dollars a year in gym memberships and people are very habitual and they see the value in working out their bodies and their muscles but the emphasis is not placed on. The mind is the greatest muscle ever and it needs discipline, it needs focus, it needs awareness.

Stephen: I saw one of your videos, were you said to the guy, the guy was about 300 lbs. of solid muscle, he was bulging out of his T-shirt, they were probably 60-inch biceps but you said to him, did you know that if you vision your muscles getting bigger they will get bigger without lifting weights?

Didi: Well they’ve actually done research that shows that.

Stephen: Oh, I’ve heard it. So, what’s the story behind that?

Didi: Well, just imagining. Exercising a muscle, actually cause it to grow. You don’t even need.…It won’t grow obviously as much as when you’re going to the gym, but it will actually grow in size. So, it’s just like people who imagine learning to play the piano versus people who are actually playing the piano they’re almost as good in the end, through just imagining it, through this mental rehearsal.

Stephen: So you are what you think.

Didi: Absolutely. So, here’s how we change patterns; we use three steps for self-directed neuroplasticity. The first one is, you gotta, as I said, recognize the thoughts and feelings through mindful awareness and being a neutral observer. That means, I’m not gonna get sucked in. I’m just gonna realize this is a pattern my brain is running, I’ve probably had it a lifetime and then we have to do a pattern interrupt because we wanna rewire our brain, so we have to like to stop that immediately and I’m gonna talk about pattern interrupts in a moment. And then the third thing is redirect your thoughts to a healthier pattern of behaviors.

Stephen: Okay, well let’s pick that up in the second half. My guest today is Didi Vergados and I’m Stephen Armstrong and you’re listening to Innovation Nation on Career Buzz here on CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto and worldwide online at CIUT.FM. We’re gonna take a break now and we’ll be right back with Didi to discuss the development and impact of neuroplasticity and discuss more case studies.

We’re back at Innovation Nation on Career Buzz I’m your host Stephen Armstrong. Before continuing with Didi, I want listeners to know about the Innovation Nation archives. Go to AMGI Management and select radio show and you’ll hear all kinds of previous shows on; strategic thinking, Engineers Without Borders, Doctors Without Borders, design thinking, leadership and Innovation transformational change, creative destruction and entrepreneurships many great subjects.

Today we’re with Didi Vergados, and Didi Vergados is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)  expert as well as a hypnotist as well as a hypnotherapist and we’re talking about managing your mind and the concept of neuroplasticity. In the previous part we talked about the three steps for self-directed neuroplasticity and the work of Dr. Jeffrey Swartz. Ok Didi, let’s get back into this whole concept of the. You said the mind is a muscle and it needs to be exercised just like we go to the gym and we don’t exercise our mind enough. You talked about a concept of pattern interrupts, please explain what that is?

Didi: Ok, so once you have identified the pattern, so you realize, I’m having the thought or I’m…

Stephen: A compulsive thought or anything any thought?

Didi: A thought that’s gonna lead to a behavior, an action. So, it could be anything like, with weight loss, people who all of a sudden, they get a craving. We need to change that immediately, as immediately as we can because as we discussed if you get sucked down into that negative loop of thinking, disempowering thoughts or engaging in a craving to eat a whole cake when you’re trying to lose weight it’s not gonna work for you. So, the first thing we have to do is we have to interrupt that pattern and there’re so many amazing ways to interrupt the pattern. You can’t be stuck in the problem state. Einstein said you can’t solve a problem at the level of thinking that’s creating it, you’ve gotta get outside of that. So, how we do this, is we do a pattern interrupt and I’ll talk about 5 different pattern interrupts, time permitting; pattern interrupts that we can engage in. So, the first one, and I actually do this session with every single client that comes in because it’s how to manage emotions. So, our emotions are nothing but energy in motion and they can completely hijack us. When we engage in emotions such as overwhelm, stress, frustration, anger, beating ourselves up, that puts us into a really negative state or it causes us to be very reactive. So, literally when someone gets angry or frustrated they say and do things from a place of reactive mode. So, we’ve gotta make sure that we interrupt that pattern and get them outside of that. So, there’s this most amazing institution called the Heart math Institute and they have done so much research on the heart and the brain and how they’re interconnected. So, there’s something that they call a self-regulation tool which is hard breathing and gratitude, ok. So, the heart and the brain, what they’ve discovered are so intricately connected they’re connected on four levels neurologically through the nervous system, hormonal, biophysically, through pulse waves and energetically, through electromagnetic fields. So, just to give you an example, the heart puts out an electromagnetic field that’s 5000 times stronger than the electromagnetic field put out by the brain. So, it begs to wonder who’s really in charge here? So, when we do the heart breathing, which is simply imagining that you’re breathing through two big holes in your heart which allows you to focus there. And we want to focus there because then we want to enter into what it’s called a core state emotion; love, gratitude or Joy. By entering into this core state emotion what it does is it causes the brain, the heart, the nervous system and all the organs to align with one another and function in a perfect state of harmony or what we call energy coherence. Energy coherence is no wasted energy, which is the opposite of when we get stuck into frustration, anger overwhelm, which is, we feel discombobulated, we’re all over the place, we’re frantic, were frenetic. So, once we get into that state of energy coherence then we can choose a response that makes sense on all levels of our being. It just feels right and I have to be honest with you, those choices made from this very more Zen state are usually win-win choices, kindness. A lot of people say, oh, I just needed to stand back, to take a breath and to let that person speak or to walk away from the situation. They just come up with these amazing ways to deal with emotions and resolve them.

Stephen: Just for the listeners to conceptualize this, give us some examples where the heart is connected to the brain with three electromagnetisms and so on and then neurons and electrons. Tell us, a practical example of where you’ve used this philosophy ore this system to effect good behaviors to help people when they’re stuck or when they’re obsessive compulsive disorders?

Didi: Ok, so just as I said, the first step is realizing the thought and the pattern. Second step is interrupting it, by getting yourself into a different state.

Stephen: Give us an example.

Didi: Ok, so again when I do this with my clients, I’ll run them through it more hypnotically cause they really get it on an unconscious level. They will tune in and they will make a decision from a more heartfelt-I call it a Zen state, because it’s the only way to describe it is, when everything is functioning in perfect harmony or synchrony it’s like this is Zen state comes over us and we tend to make better choices. So, the question I would ask them is, okay now you’re in this state, what’s a better way or more effective way to handle this situation? And you got to remember, I put them in the worst of the worst situations, they’re fighting with their spouse, they’re overwhelmed, they’re frustrated, they’re angry.

Stephen: But they come to you because of that?

Didi: Well yeah. They come to me because they need to change these patterns. They don’t wanna fly off at the handle.

Stephen: What’s the difference between this action and going to a regular Psychiatrist or Psychotherapist over 10-15 years? It sounds like this stuff that you’re practicing gets more instant results. Doesn’t really cure the root cause?

Didi: Well ok, so we’re gonna talk about that for a second because that is the power of how versus why, ok. So, my belief is when you go to some other form of counseling other than hypnosis, is that they’re looking at why are you this way, why, why, why and they’re constantly searching, Oh is it because I had a bad childhood?

Stephen: And that can be years and years of dialog

Didi: Yeah, and you still I don’t know if that’s the real reason, it’s just conscious; it’s conscious wondering, conscious thinking and so what? big deal! So, you understand why it happened, did it change it? People come in to me and they say, I understand what I’m doing and why and I know what I should do instead but I can’t do it. I can’t do it. It’s like the smoker, I hate smoking I know it’s bad for me, I hate it while I’m doing it, but I still do it. It’s with the person who’s overweight, I know I shouldn’t over eat, I know I’m stuffed, I know, I know, I know but I still do it anyways. So, those reasons are being driven from the unconscious level which is why we’ve gotta go beneath the conscious thinking to the unconscious.

Stephen: If someone comes in to you with smoking issues or whatever; there are many addictive behaviors [I mean] there’s a list as long as your arm but if they come in, what kind of timing are they looking at as far as you know wellness? I’m not saying they’ll completely get rid of it, but developing a self-directed system to manage the OCD, what kind of timing are we talking about or is it different for various people?

Didi: It is. It’s very different, it depends on the person who comes in. A lot of times people want help but they’re not willing to do the homework so right away those people aren’t going to overcome the patterns of behavior as readily as quickly if they’re not making the initial effort. Cause they do give homework the homework will be watching your thoughts.

Stephen: Do you make them keep a journal?

Didi: Yeah. For example, with people for weight loss, they’re totally unaware of how they’re feeling, what’s driving the eating so I have them record a journal about okay, how did you feel when you ate this? Oh, breakfast, wow I feel hungry, lunch, feel hungry, after work, obsessive binging, whoo, I felt overwhelmed. When I ask them when they come in, I said I know every night you eat, you get home and you continue to eat all night long. Why do you do that? And they say, I have no idea, they have no idea what they are feeling.

Stephen: So, you force them to sit and think before they act?

Didi: Yeah. Well we do it through to hypnosis too but I want then to begin the process, the discipline of watching their thoughts.

Stephen: Ok, now the hypnosis touches the subconscious is that correct?

Didi: The hypnosis goes right into the unconscious behavior that’s driving the compulsion.

Stephen: If you have people under hypnotic state, when they come to, how they become aware if their unconscious?

Didi: They’re not unconscious, that’s a common mistake.

Stephen: Explain the process. The hypnotherapy….

Didi: Ok, when you’re in a state of hypnotic trance-we go into trance all the time, we go into trance when we’re driving, I had a client that went into trance the minute she sat on the subway. She said I don’t know what happens during the entire trip until I’m walking in the tunnel on the way to work. So, when you’re a child and you play, you have a hard day of playing all day and then you just lie down and you’re looking at the sky you just go off into a daydream. Trance is a normal state. The best way to describe hypnotic trance is, when you’re waking up in the morning we all have that feeling of rising up and becoming consciously aware. But there’s a choice at that point, am I gonna wake fully up. I know I’m aware, that I’m awake or am I gonna fall back into sleep, that’s called the hypnagogic state. And you’re aware if you have somebody beside you, you can talk to people, people in hypnotic trance speak to me all the time. It’s just, it gets that conscious thinking, that little gatekeeper out of the way so we can access the unconscious. And a lot a times when we do regression and we take that feeling and we follow it back through time to discover the root cause of it {under hypnosis under} a lot a times people say I never knew it was that.

Stephen: Do you tape them so they can hear?

Didi: No, No, they remember everything.

Stephen: So, while they’re under hypnosis and they come to, they can actually remember what they said under the hypnosis? Is that a fact? I didn’t know that

Didi: Yeah. Sometimes, it’s like when we have a dream and things are a little fuzzy but you can still recall the dream and some people like every single person is so different, some people remember every detail.

Stephen: So, you’re unlocking memories in corners of the brain, that’s really what you’re doing. You’re finding those files like in the computer system, that were lost. You’re bringing them to the fore.

Didi: Yes. After we bring them to the foreground, then we change the belief around it or we give them a new Behavior to carry out instead because you have to realize unconsciously, we’re always trying to do something positive for our self. So, for example that mother who yells at her child and tells them you’re not good enough, you’ll never be anything. Usually behind that, [well maybe that’s extreme example]

Stephen: Maybe, it was done by her mother to her.

Didi: Well, not only that but she just wants him to really study and be good. There’s always pretty much for our unconscious behavior, a positive intention behind the behavior.

Stephen: Sometimes?

Didi: No always…

Stephen: Always, you believe that?

Didi: A hundred percent. No, I know that. No, there’s always a positive intention, when you ask the unconscious part, it says, what are you trying to do for so and so through causing them to eat a whole cake every night? it will say, well I just want to make her happy she’s so unhappy.

Stephen: Ok, I’ll challenge you there, remember this Mommy Dearest, [the what was it] Joan Crawford, she was not being positive.

Didi: Ok, but that’s an extreme example. I’m gonna say our own behaviors.

Stephen: Ok so 90% people that come to you, are not really the products of abuse…

Didi: Some are, some have had horrible horrendous childhoods and I probably used the wrong example because…

Stephen: Cause there is abuse it’s just a fact, intentional.

Didi: yes, yes. I probably used the wrong…..But sometimes like our parents are really harsh on us because they want us to make…

Stephen: For the most part, yeah.

Didi: I’m talking about healthy relation, but not even that healthy if they’re using it in a negative way. If they are using sort of a negative form. But with our own behaviors, there is always a positive intention. A lot of times, it’s either to motivate us, to protect us. A lot of it is protection, it’s like we learned like that man that I spoke of, Ouch, I’m never going to ask a girl out again because that hurts. I need to protect myself at all costs

Stephen: It’s a huge trauma.

Didi: Yeah. It’s a trauma and we wanna protect our self so there’s always an underlying positive intention behind a behavior.

I’m Stephen Armstrong and you’re listening to the Innovation Nation Career Buzz here on CIUT 89. 5 FM in Toronto and worldwide online at CIUT.FM. Special announcement, there’s a 10-day art and world music festival called in the future, September the 15th to the 25th Ontario Place West, West Island please attend, you’ll have great fun.

Ok getting back to DIdi here, you talked about concept of brain scrambling, what’s that about, the brain scramble concept?

Didi: That is a most amazing pattern interrupt, once again. Ok, so again Einstein said you can’t solve a problem at the level of thinking that’s creating that. You’ve got to get outside of it, gotta get outside of it. It’s like being in pain, you can’t get out of pain while you’re into it, you have to shift the state. A lot of times if you imagine a person in the hospital, oh, there all by themselves, they’re thinking of the pain, it’s horrible, it’s horrible. Somebody comes in to visit, forget about that pain for a while, they shift states. So, the brain scramble is if you can imagine putting your fingers in front of your face about 6 inches away and you’re gonna rate whatever be, the craving, the bad feeling, whatever it is that you need to interrupt, you’re gonna say what’s this feeling on a scale of 1 to 10? I’m going to say okay, it’s an 8 out of 10.

Stephen: An 8 meaning very high urge?

Didi: An 8, yeah, very high urge. Very high urge to use, very high urge to eat, very high urge or a very bad feeling about myself to act. Whatever it is, it could be even a feeling, it’s like a procrastination and then what you’re gonna do is, you’re gonna hold those fingers outside of you and there’s a couple of different ways you can do this, I like to scramble it all over the place so to go high up into the left corner, like lift your hands up as though you’re going back and forth up and down sideways and just have your eyes follow this pattern so your eyes are watching your fingers move in all different directions and what this does is, you’ll do that for about a minute and you’ll stop and you’ll discover that that craving, that bad feeling, whatever it is really declines very- very quickly. Now this isn’t new.

Stephen: This eye movement concept?

Didi: Yeah, it’s eye movements. And EMDR is something that they use to get rid of trauma, it’s like moving the eye back and…

Stephen: EMDR? Could you just explain?

Didi: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. What we were doing is, we’re dislodging it from the brain. Okay so that habit of thinking is stuck in a certain part of our brain and by taking our fingers and scrambling it in the brain, it’s dislodging it and we’re no longer stuck in it. And of course, once you’re outside of the problem you can choose a better and healthier solution. So, let me get back to scrambling, it’s not a new concept, the shamans of the earth used to, when somebody has an addictive behavior, take your finger and move it around in circles and follow the circles. So, there’s many different ways you can do it, you can scramble it by moving your fingers and following it with your eyes back and forth, across, up and down, sideways I scramble it like in every direction possible, so it goes from a 8, then down to a 4, then down to a 2.

Stephen: Over what period of time?

Didi: Just a couple minutes, not even. Sometimes it…..

Stephen: And this is a proven technique?

Didi: Oh yeah, it works. We’ll try it after the show.

Stephen: Absolutely. Am I hypnotized now?

Didi: [You could be, whoo] Anyways, so now once you’re outside of the craving the bad feeling, then you make a healthier choice, you redirect your thoughts. What would I like to do instead? Okay, I don’t feel like eating a whole cake, maybe I’ll have some carrot sticks, maybe I’ll have some healthy food, maybe I don’t even wanna eat, maybe I’m not hungry, maybe I’ll go for a walk.

Stephen: It’s interrupting that….

Didi: Yeah, you gotta blow It right out of the brain. You gotta bust it right out of the brain. So, if you do this enough times, you’re creating a new neuro pathway. The neuro pathway is the minute I have that craving I’m gonna start to do something healthier. But let me explain why we need choices in life because unconsciously, when we’ve learned a bad habit, let’s go back to weight loss. Eating makes me feel good I only have one choice feel bad, eat to feel good. So by doing a pattern interrupt and then in turn we wanna give ourselves a couple of different options; I can go for a walk, I can call a friend, I can eat something healthy. We wana open up how many options we have and give us different choices. Now, you need more than two choices because if it comes down to I can eat to feel good or I can go for a walk what happens if you don’t want to go for a walk? Then you eat to feel good. So you wanna widen your options, so you wanna begin to program in there several different healthier options which quite frankly make you feel better than you would have if you ate a whole chocolate cake anyways because after that there’s only going to be shame and guilt and more self-loathing and more eating, right? So that’s when we redirect our brain and we choose a healthier behavior or habit to engage in.

Stephen: Now you talked about in the brain scrambling there’s visual, there’s auditory and kinesthetic and one of them is the eye movement. How do you differentiate between those three forms of pattern interrupt or brain scrambling, just explain that?

Didi: I’m gonna use a pretty dramatic example, it’s actually a horribly example but it’s so dramatic. So, when I was first learning NLP, we learned to track eye ‘movements so there was this girl in our class and she said, Didi I hate when people crack their knuckles, I hate it-I hate it and everybody was using NLP to change the sound and to do all this and the she looked at me and she goes, I hate it so much, I feel like people are going to die, especially when they crack their neck; when they tilt their head up and crack their neck. And I went whoa and of course I had just learned to track eye movements and by tracking eye movements, it will bring you to that place in the brain where it’s stored, so I said follow my hand and I moved it slowly across your field of vision and I saw her eyes glitch and they went up to her visual. And I held my hand up and I said what’s there in your mind’s eye, what do you see there? And she just started to scream, I mean she just started to freak right out and I said what are you seeing, what are you seeing, and she said, my roommate have committed suicide and I see her hanging there and that’s why, automatically unconsciously when people would crack their necks she goes I think they’re gonna die.

Stephen: Oh, I see. No, got it got it.

Didi: No the thing is… I know, it’s a really horribly example, but now the crazy thing is, she didn’t discover her roommate hanging, she made that vision up, she imagined it and then it got stored there unconsciously and unbeknownst to her she…

Stephen: So even if it wasn’t real you can still conceptualize…

Didi: Absolutely. We use our imagination all the time. I had a girl come in for anxiety and her anxiety was getting much better and then she said she came in one day and she says I only had it once this week, tell me the situation. I’m sitting outside on my balcony in my apartment building like, 17 floors up and she goes and I start to imagine, she had the most vivid imagination she was a computer graphic designer and she said I started to imagine what would happen if the building was collapsing and all the floors were collapsing in on one another and before you know it she gave herself anxiety right. So it’s the imagination, so…

Stephen: Your own worst enemy?

Didi: Well in our imagination but the problem becomes, what happened to the girl in the class. She wasn’t even aware that she was accessing, that she had created that, but all her unconscious knew was to crack your neck means to die. So, {well anyways] once you discover that pattern…..

Stephen: We have about 3 minutes and we’re gonna wrap up. To wrap up I think, cause Innovation we know about the creativity aspects of innovation and this concept of the left and the right brand. Engineers scientists tend to be right brain I think it is

Didi: No, they’re left brain, they’re analytical.

Stephen: They’re left brain, which is more analytical, logical step by step. Where the artist and so on, creative people are very right brained. Tell us about balancing those two?

Didi: Ok, so bilateral brain stimulation is a great way to bust a pattern out of the brain. So, if you find yourself engaging in a habit of behavior, something you don’t like or craving, then basically just take something like a water bottle and toss it back and forth from one hand to the other because what you’re doing is you’re synchronizing your left and right brain and you’re creating a whole brain thinking pattern.

Stephen: Both are working? Stimulating?

Didi: Yeah, you’re stimulating both hemispheres to work they’re connected. And what this does is it gives you more creativity, faster learning, more focus it increases your overall mental health, it enhances cognitive performance, you have better memory, more intellectual functioning, you’re happier, more optimistic. But the most important thing is, it allows for insights and thoughts to come up. So again, redirecting to a better and healthier choices.

Stephen: And there’s gotta be more ways. That not just water bottle.

Didi: There’s tons of ways where you can engage in balancing the right and left hemisphere if you want to look online the ancient way to do it is through yogic breathing. That will put you in a very-very Zen state.

Stephen: We actually have 2 mins. So, just talk about the yoga and meditation and how that stimulates the brain.

Didi: Meditation, also causes whole brain functioning. The yogic breathing, if you’ll notice every 90 minutes, if you put your finger up to one of your nostrils and block it, you’ll notice one is more clear than the other one. So, what the yoga tradition has you do, is switch between nostrils, so you’ll breathe in through one, hold them both closed, exhale through the other then you breathe through that one and that causes again the left and the right hemisphere to sync up and engage in whole brain functioning. That’s again a very ancient way, just look up, google alternate nostril breathing and again that’s another way to balance the hemispheres. There’s tons of ways, I can’t tell you, brain gym is one of them, EMDR is one of them, there’s so many ways, just any repetitive behavior where you’re going from the left to the right side of the body and that will bust that right out of your brain give you new options for healthier behaviors.

Stephen: Wonderful Didi, thank you. Didi where is your location, should people want to contact you, I will have her link my website with your link, but just let them know roughly where you’re located

Didi: I’m located at Chester and Danforth at 389 Danforth, the website is www. Bloomhypnosis.Com, like bloom into your full potential. And I’d like to extend a special offer to our guests, if you call in and you mentioned that you listen to this program I’ll give you 15% discount on your first session.

Stephen: Well done Didi, good marketing tactic. Thank you very much Didi. This has been Didi Vergados , Great conversation on hypnotherapy and neuroplasticity.

You’ve been listening to Innovation Nation on Career Buzz Canada’s unique radio conversation that empowers lives and enriches organizations and careers on CIUT 89. 5 FM. I’m your host Stephen Armstrong if you have any comments on today’s show or with questions about Innovation Nation please email me at sarmstrong@amtimanagement.com.

If you would like to reach Didi for  hypnosis on Danforth,  she works out of the Bloom Hypnosis Center at 389 Danforth Ave., Toronto (Hypnosis)  Her phone number is 416-709-8895

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