How Safe is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a popular drug in many countries of the world – but how safe is it?

I recently came across an interesting WA Government Health Dept. fact sheet in my library of information which is dated December 1988.   There were concerns about the long term effects of caffeine when taken in excessive amounts and it  was clearly written that “were the drug to be introduced today (meaning 1988), it would be available only on prescription.” That’s a strong, bold statement.

for healthier living, reduce caffeine

Caffeine in Coffee – Be careful how much you drink

Many years ago when studying  for my degree in psychology, I relied on caffeine to keep me focused and alert as I ploughed through research papers, books, everything and anything as I chased that ‘A’ grade pass mark. Tea, coffee and cocoa cola was all part of my daily diet.  The ‘warning bells’ were ringing loud and clear but I wasn’t listening.  It was only when I ventured into a new class on Health Psychology one year at the beginning of Semester 1 that the brain cells ‘joined the dots’ and I had my answers.  Whoa!  So that’s why my stomach was so upset some days, it’s the caffeine drinks I was having.  Easily fixed I thought, I’ll just stop drinking the caffeine laden drinks and the stomach will settle down.

I was so determined to take back control and live a healthier lifestyle but I was in for a rude shock.   I developed a king sized headache that lasted 3 days.  I hadn’t yet learnt just how powerful a drug caffeine is and coming off caffeine so drastically was not the wisest decision I’ve ever made.  But I learnt from that.

I learnt that if I had withdrawn from caffeine slowly, simply by reducing the number of glasses of coke or cups of tea or coffee over a few weeks, I would probably have saved myself from the pain of the withdrawal symptoms.  Yes, I learnt to respect drugs and their powerful effect on the brain and body.

A Stimulant Drug

Caffeine is a mild stimulant drug which affects brain and body and is considered to be quite addictive.  We can find caffeine in everyday beverages such as tea, coffee, cola and in products such as ice cream, energy drinks and chocolate.

Effects of Caffeine

Several factors will determine the effects of caffeine such as:

  • how much you have
  • whether you are also eating food,
  • how often you drink or eat something with caffeine in it,
  • your height, your weight, even your mood.

I’ve heard many people refer to their morning cuppa as a ‘heart starter’, and this is an accurate description of just what this powerful drug can do.  Our heart does start to beat faster and we can feel more awake and ready to start our day.   Did you also know that your body temperature can rise, you may go to the toilet more to urinate and  the stomach starts to produce more acid.

Common Problems of Large Amounts of Caffeine

Sleeplessness is very common, also feelings of restlessness, nervousness and even hand tremors are symptoms that need to be listened to. Lack of sleep (often called sleep deprivation) can cause chronic tiredness that can affect the ability to think clearly, affect mood and contribute to depression.  If you are not sleeping soundly every night or you are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, and generally struggling through the day, your long term health could be affected.

The Importance of Seeing a Therapist

Caffeine can often be used as a way of trying to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life yet in some people even a small amount of caffeine can increase their symptoms of stress and anxiety.  Finding a better natural way to deal with any day – day problems is how I can help.  I offer a FREE Personal Telephone Consultation to help you decide whether you prefer a Counselling process or would like to experience Hypnotherapy;  quite often a combination of both approaches can help.

How Much Caffeine is a Safe Amount

Health reports vary, some say no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, others say no more than 600mg per day.  When visiting outside coffee bars be aware that their coffee could be much stronger than the instant coffee you are used to at home which generally averages 60-80 mg per cup.  Constantly in the health news, pregnant women are advised to reduce their caffeine intake.

For more information on caffeine check out

Contact Me today, my name is Elaine Walker and I am an experienced and qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Specialist Counsellor. 

Call Me today for your FREE Personal Telephone Consultation 9300 6026 and I will be happy to assist you.

Health and Happiness to you.

Lose Weight – Not Hope

WaistNo Drugs. No Surgery. No Dieting.
Just the Power of Your Own Mind
can help you lose weight.

You can take back control of your eating habits
and reach your ideal weight safely and naturally.

Losing weight is not about going on a diet, diets often fail!
Losing weight is a personal journey -. it’s your body, your metabolism, and your goal.

No Fuss. No Dieting. No Counting Calories.
You do not need to rely on counting calories.
You do not need to starve yourself.

Your body and mind can be helped to work together
(this is where hypnotherapy excels as a safe, natural way to lose weight).
To help you start your weight loss journey some pre-planning can make the road to success so much easier for you. Here are a few tips to help you identify your personal goal to lose the excess weight and become the person you want to be.

First of all identify:
1) Where are you now?
(what weight are you now and what clothes size?)
2) What do you want to achieve?
(what is your ideal weight and ideal clothes size?)
3) What ‘stepping stones’ would help?
(break your weight loss goal down into small successful steps of achievement),

A goal needs to be specific, realistic and achievable.

Now ask yourself:
i)   “is my goal specific, i.e. I know how much weight I want to lose and what clothes size I want to fit into?”

ii)  “is my goal realistic, i.e. am I planning a sustained weight loss over a period of time and not a quick fix and put my health at risk approach?”

iii) “is my goal achievable, i.e. “is there anything that could interfere with me achieving my weight loss goal?
(be honest…do you eat if feeling angry, bored, lonely, stressed, anxious, etc. or perhaps just overeating, or maybe some other reason – seek help if you need to).

Losing Weight Can Help You Build Confidence and Self Esteem
How would you like to look in the mirror, see a reflection of yourself and think:
“wow! I look good!”

What you think as you look in the mirror will affect how you feel and as you admire the slim, fit looking body of yourself so your feelings about yourself will be given a tremendous boost.

Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.
How many times have you told yourself…tomorrow, I’ll start tomorrow!

Are You Ready to Lose Weight – Now?
If your answer is a firm YES then ‘go for it!’
If you need help then seek help, if you do not need help and you feel you can go it alone…I wish you well.

Health and Happiness to you.



Health Matters

Live Life today with EW Hypnotherapy JoondalupHow Do You Want To Improve Your Health?
Quit Smoking?
Lose Weight?
Curb or Quit Alcohol altogether?
Or do you have some other goal in mind?

‘I just want to live while I’m alive’ is a famous line from a Bon Jovi track and there is no better time than Now to really think about how you want to live your life.
Lifestyle changes are often on people’s lips of what they want to change, but generally speaking, after 3-4 weeks many people give up and feel disillusioned, stuck in the “I can’t do this’ mould. But success can be yours.

Plan for Success
Success is in the planning strategy – the step by step guide of how to make your goal a reality – long term, not just for a few short weeks. Achieving a personal goal to stop smoking, shed the excess weight or control alcohol intake involves many factors that most people are unaware of, so prepare yourself for success.

i) The Art of Saying ‘NO’
Initially in the first few days – or week, when motivation is exceptionally strong, it is generally easier to resist group pressure (and never underestimate group pressure). However, as time goes on, the human desire to ‘fit in’ can often override any personal desire to give up something that the rest of the group are doing, so falling into the relapse trap is common unless you have prepared yourself mentally – how to say ‘NO’ to others is a skill to be learned.

ii) Resisting Temptation
Equally important is the ability to say ‘NO’ to yourself, a good example is when you are dining out and you feel like indulging in a favourite food but know that health wise or weight wise, it’s a ‘no no’! This reminds me of being at a restaurant with a group of friends and one lady ordered chilli mussels. Within an hour of eating the mussels she suffered the stomach cramps and discomfort that she had always suffered when eating chilli mussels. One might ponder: Why did she eat them?

She was ‘in the moment’, dismissing her mind’s attempts to tell her that it wasn’t a good idea to eat the mussels, it’s as though she had ‘brought the shutters down’ on the reasoning part of her mind and ignored all the years of evidence that had gone before. She hadn’t mentally prepared herself for such a situation.
Whatever your goal is, listen to the commitment you have made to yourself. If you are struggling then seek Professional help in the way of counselling or hypnotherapy.

iii) Coping With Stress and Anxiety
If smoking, alcohol or food are your usual way of coping with a stressful or anxious situation then counselling or hypnotherapy can certainly help you let go of your dependence on these methods and adopt a healthier personal coping style.

4) Lifestyle Changes Can Lead To A Healthier Lifestyle
There is so much medical evidence that how we live day by day impacts on overall general health and even how long we live. Investing in yourself and living a healthier lifestyle now may improve your quality of life as the years roll by.

Health and Happiness to you.

There’s No Substitute For a Good Therapist. This is How You Find One.

There’s no substitute for a good therapist. This is how you find one.Not all therapists have the same qualifications or experience, identifying the right therapist for you if you ever needed one can be quite a challenge.   It’s important therefore to do your homework and to know what questions to ask.

First of all, check out their credentials.  Their title may not reflect their qualifications or experience.
A good example is Counselling, there is a vast difference between those who do a short few months counselling course as opposed to someone who undertakes a university degree – but the title is the same.  What about a Life Coach? This is an interesting title and I am still recovering from the shock of going on one website which was a Training Institute and their marketing blurb advertised  that:

“Today a successful Life Coach needs the skills of a Clinical Hypnotherapist, the listening skills of a Counsellor and the flair of an NLP Practitioner just to name a few.”

According to this website you can achieve all this training in 8 weeks of just two hours per week and they claim you can then work with such things as weight loss, depression and they even teach hypnosis.  Excuse me, did I miss something here?  Why would anyone bother going to university?

It doesn’t stop there; clever marketing has its hands in the hypnotherapy area too.  Learning a few skills in hypnosis does not qualify a person to practice as a hypnotherapist.  What the title Hypnotherapist means is:  hypnosis + therapy.  Hypnosis simply refers to our natural ability to be able to go into our own imagination which I confess has happened to me when confronted with some boring teacher at High School and my mind would just go ‘walkabouts’ on its own, it’s not magic – it’s natural.  A qualified hypnotherapist knows how to help a person become absorbed in their imagination in a therapeutic way, utilising specialised knowledge and skill to help their client   overcome a specific problem or make positive changes to their life.  A Clinical Hypnotherapist is someone who has undertaken more advanced study and is qualified to work with specific or more complex problems.

It’s amazing how many ‘new ‘ titles keep popping up in marketing hype so doing your homework prior to making that first appointment is essential.    Here are a few tips to help you choose the best therapist for you.

The Professional Therapist Check list

1.  Is the Therapist registered?
2. Who is their Registration Body?
e.g. PACFA / AHA
3. What level of Registration does the Therapist hold?
(There are several tiers of Registration from Student to Clinical Therapist).
4. What are the Therapist’s Qualifications?
Example of my qualifications includes:
Degree in Psychology BA (psych)

Cert IV Psychotherapy

 Relationship Counselling
Advanced Certificate Family and Marital Therapy

Clinical Hypnotherapy
Diploma in Hypnotherapy (Traditional and Ericksonian)

Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Advanced Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Certificate in Clinical Hypnotherapy

 Specialised Hypnotherapy
Masterclass Therapist –Smoking Cessation
Accredited Therapist for the ‘Virtual’ Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Weight Loss Programme

5. Check out the Therapist’s Experience
Have they been in private practice for more than 5 years?
How long have they been practicing as a ‘Professional Therapist’?
6. Does the Therapist’s Experience match what you are looking for?
eg. if you are having Relationship Problems with your partner, husband, sister, brother, etc.  or difficulties parenting your children/ teenager, are they qualified in Family & Marital Therapy?
7. What fees does  the Therapist charge and for how long?
Many therapists have cut their session time down from 1 hour to 50 minutes (I’ve even heard of some who only offer 45 minutes) so what appears to be the cheaper fee is not always so if the time has been shortened.  Always check out how long the session will be.

Always be on the alert for unqualified, unregistered so called ‘professionals’ whose motive may not be to do you harm, but are not aware that their ignorance and incompetence could do just that.  Please feel reassured about level of experience and qualifications.

For More Information on how I can help you Change Your Life for the Better
Call Elaine Walker
Clinical Hypnotherapist and Specialist Counsellor
Tel:  9300 6026



Have you ever used the phrase ‘I was mesmerised’ ?

Where the word mesmerised came from


Have you ever used the phrase ‘I was mesmerised’ and felt like you were in some sort of trance?  It’s a common expression in today’s world used by young and old alike, but the history of ‘Mesmerism’ is fascinating.

I knew very little about ‘Mesmerism’, to me it was just a word.  It was only when I started my studies in hypnosis that I was introduced to the origins of ‘Mesmerism’ and how modern day hypnosis had a link to the work of an Austrian Physician, Franz Anton Mesmer who was born in 1733.

I listened intently to the lecturer as he took me and my classmates on a journey back through time to the 18th Century.  The lecturer brought history alive.  I could visualise a mum holding her new born son but it was when this little baby grew up and graduated as a Physician that the tale really became interesting.  Mesmer’s devotion to his work as a physician would leave a footprint on the world for many others to follow.

I learnt that Mesmer was passionate about his work and involved himself in experiments with his subjects. Initially Mesmer thought he needed to use magnets to help the body to heal but after a while he abandoned the magnets and focused his experiments on his theory that an invisible healing energy is contained in the human body which can be projected into subjects. Mesmer thought he had special powers. He called this force “animal magnetism” or the “Magnetic Fluid” and so began the European therapeutic movement of ‘Mesmerism’.

What is known about early ‘Mesmerism’ is that people did enter a trance like state and Mesmer did have some remarkable successes but not for the reasons that Mesmer thought.

According to my lecturer whose depth and breadth of knowledge always amazed me, in pre 5th Century BC, trance rituals are believed to have flourished in the shamanistic religions of pre-literate societies throughout the world.  An interesting fact.

Mesmer’s way of thinking and his perseverance to develop a new treatment was not an easy career path for him given the time period that he lived in and the many sceptics within the medical profession. In 1778 Mesmer moved from Austria to France where his treatment was initially received with enthusiasm but later a Royal Commission investigation dismissed his treatment methods and the popularity of Mesmer himself, and ‘Mesmerism’ faded.

With the knowledge that we have today we know that the Royal Commission failed to draw the right conclusions from their investigation, it’s not that ‘animal magnetism’ is accurate either and Mesmer is not credited with having any special powers, but Mesmer had revived something that had been known for centuries and that is the power of the human mind.

Modern day hypnosis and hypnotherapy owes Mesmer some gratitude for reviving interest in the possible healing powers of the mind. Those that have followed in Mesmer’s footsteps have learned much more about brain function and how a person can be helped to use their own imagination to bring about changes to unwanted thoughts, feelings or behaviours.  In today’s world this is simply called Hypnosis, or Hypnotherapy.  We also know that we have the ability to focus on something or someone that can hold our attention to such depth that we can exclude the world around us (how often have you become totally absorbed in a good book or movie or interested in a particular speaker?).  In contrast we can naturally withdraw from what we are supposed to be focusing on (a boring teacher from my high school days comes to mind right now) and what happens?  We start to ‘day dream’.

When I think back to the time of emigrating from England to Australia and seeing for the first time in my life, the natural beauty of dawn breaking when flying at high altitude, and ‘setting the sky on fire’  I was truly mesmerised.  What a sight!