Seasonal Affective Disorder (SADS)

On the 27th October the clocks go back, our afternoons and mornings becoming darker. According to the NHS, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. The cause of this disorder is not fully understood although it is thought that it may be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year.

A lack of light affects the levels of two very important chemicals that are produced by our brains; Melatonin and Serotonin.
Melatonin is produced when it gets dark and makes us sleepy – it is how our body knows it is night time and that we should go to sleep. When the nights get in, we produce more Melatonin which makes us feel drowsy and encourages us to sleep more. People who suffer with SADS produce much higher than normal levels of this hormone.
Sunlight affects the production of Serotonin so as the days get shorter, we start producing less Serotonin. Serotonin is actually believed by most to be a neurotransmitter not necessarily a chemical and is responsible for maintaining a healthy state of mind. Serotonin is what helps us feel motivated, enthusiastic, happy and in control of our life and has a big effect on our mood and behaviour. It also has an effect on our appetite, sleeping pattern, memory and learning ability. People with depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, produce much lower than average serotonin levels. hypnotherapy helps stimulate the production of serotonin.

There are a wide range of symptoms associated with depression including:

  • Depressed mood, feeling sad or empty, tearful

  • Diminished interest or pleasure in daily activities

  • Significant weight changes, change in appetite and cravings

  • Sleeping too much, sleep disturbances

  • Hand wringing, twitching, pacing, tapping foot, hair twiddling etc.

  • Fatigue, loss of energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt

  • Diminished ability to think, lack of concentration, indecisiveness

  • Loss of libido

How can Hypnotherapy help? By re-framing your views and perception of this time of the year and creating a more positive and relaxed state of being. It can break the cycle of seasonal depression by lifting your mood and helping you focus on the positive aspects of your life. Studies have shown that self-induced changes of mood effect a person’s serotonin levels. With previous clients I have always first used Emotional Freedom technique (EFT) to check if there is a root cause for these feelings of low mood and/or depression as well as any other presenting issues perceived by the client to be associated with SADS.

Numerous clients believe that their problem is SADS but their low mood or other problems turn out to be related to something completely different and not SADS at all. I am happy to report that in each situation said clients experienced resolution and completely changed their quality of life for the better.

October is 'Stoptober' month.

Each year, Public Health England (PHE) runs the Stoptober quit smoking challenge, a mass participation event where smokers are encouraged to make a quit attempt in October. The campaign is based on research showing that if you can stop smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good. Currently, nearly 60% of smokers still try to quit using willpower alone despite this being the least effective way. PHE's latest independent e-cigarette evidence review highlighted the widespread public misunderstanding of the harmfulness of both e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies

Hypnotherapy has long been recognised by the NHS as an effective means of facilitating long-term smoking cessation. Mel Maelo is registered with the National Hypnotherapy Society and is experienced in assisting clients in this area. Get in touch this September in readiness for Stoptober. There is a 5% discount for any clients that book and pay for smoking cessation before 25 September 2019.

Does hypnotherapy really work?

The answer is YES, if you are really serious about giving it up. Two 90 minute sessions with Mel will assuredly set you on the healthier path of a non-smoker. Not sure? Here are some comments from previous clients that Mel has worked with in this regard:

Case 1:

I had hypnotherapy with Mel Maelo just over a year ago to help me stop smoking, I had been a heavy smoker since 13 so that's a 30 year habit stubbed out just like that ! I felt some withdrawal symptoms (mainly difficulty sleeping for the first week) but at no point did I feel tempted to actually smoke , I later had more hypnotherapy to help me with my anxiety which was equally as effective! ( my anxiety is linked to my illness not cessation of smoking) I cannot recommend her highly enough! Incredible results from an incredible woman! Thank you Mel you have changed my life! C.G. Southwick.

Case 2:

I went to see Mel about helping to stop smoking. I must admit that at first I was a little sceptical and didn’t know what to expect. Mel made me feel at ease from the word go but wasn’t lying when she said that she doesn’t pull any punches when helping people stop smoking. She went for my weakest points but boy did it have the desired effect. After seeing Mel and following her advice in the days and weeks after our hypnotherapy session I have not smoked. On the contrary I have felt physically sick at the thought or smell. I can really recommend Mel to help stop smoking, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. G.W. Shoreham-by-Sea.

Why Wait for New Year to Make a Change?

The season is turning to autumn - an excellent time to reflect and refocus.

For many this time of year is a time of new beginnings and growth. The start of the new academic year, back to work after a well-earned summer break, perhaps starting a new job. Although many see the New Year as the time for making resolutions, statistically autumn is the best time of year to make achievable, life-altering changes. Reflecting on what you may have or have not accomplished in the year thus far can help you to refocus and determine how best to move your life forward..

Time to revitalise your goals and aspirations.

Make the choice to see autumn as the ideal time to assess where you are right now - is it where you had hoped? If not, what can you do to change that? If it is, then what is the next growth phase in your life that will challenge you? What has and has not worked for you? It is a basic human need to have purpose and goals, to be stimulated and express ourselves creatively in some way by setting ourselves new challenges, learning and expanding our horizons. A life where these needs are not met can lack self-worth, cause us to enter into depressive cycles or low-mood or feel we have little value. We can find ourselves bored, stuck in bad habits and lacking the motivation to achieve goals.


  • Don’t rush headlong into making rash decisions or set unachievable aims and goals. First put a little time aside to reflect and be grateful for the things you have learned over the past year, then consider what it is that you would most like to achieve going forward.

  • Determine what is most important for you to attain over the coming three months, be that personally, professionally or perhaps both. Break that goal down into small achievable chunks which you can tick off as you make progress.

  • List your top five priorities/aims for the year ahead and then focus on the one that could potentially fulfill your intention, get you ‘unstuck’ or motivated - giving you that sense of accomplishment and achievement.

  • Sometimes it helps to create a road map or vision board to help guide you through accomplishing what is important to you - a visual aid or prompt. This can be a great, productive way to end the year and create the momentum you need to start 2020.

Refocusing in this way will set you well on the path to improving your sense of self-worth and value. Embrace the change to autumn and open yourself up to new opportunities and possibilities.

Dealing With Anxiety

Anxiety is a word I hear on a daily basis, a word that for far too many stirs up stress and fear. It can be a daily battle trying to live with anxiety in its many forms, ranging from general anxiety disorder (GAD) to social anxiety to outright panic. What’s more it can leave you feeling isolated and alone. Nine times out of ten the clients I help tell me that they feel their family and friends cannot understand the problems they are going through, especially in the long run.

The good news is that this turmoil you or a loved one are experiencing is absolutely treatable, even without the need for medication. Seeking the assistance of a therapist experienced in dealing with the various forms of anxiety and with whom you can feel comfortable and safe could be the first steps to a better quality of life. Over the past 4+ years I have been able to combine a range of highly effective therapies to help clients through their own personal battles with anxiety and stress in its many forms.

Not everyone can afford the services of a therapist of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some simple techniques proven to help combat anxiety. Here I’ve put together a list of ideas you can put into practice right now to help tackle problems on a day-to-day basis.

  • Breathing. When anxiety starts up our breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, our heart rate increases and we can also experience dizziness, nausea and sweats. To help combat this we need to control our breathing. A breathing technique clinically proven to lower your heart rate and slow your breath is called heart math or 7 breathing. Inhale for a count of 7, hold the breath for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 7, hold the breath for a count of 7 and repeat another 2 rounds then take a few normal breaths. Repeat the round of 3 another 2 times. Do not attempt this while driving or operating heavy machinery.

  • Re-orientation. If you are out and anxiety begins to overwhelm you, ground yourself, re-orientate yourself in place and time by asking yourself some or all of these questions:

    • Where am I?

    • What is today?

    • What is the date?

    • What is the month?

    • What is the year?

    • How old am I?

    • What season is it?

  • 54321. Another good one for when you are out and about, at school, college, work or home.

    • Name 5 things you can see in the room with you.

    • Name 4 things you can feel (“chair on my back” or “feet on floor”).

    • Name 3 things you can hear right now (“fingers tapping on keyboard” or “TV”).

    • Name 2 things you can smell right now (or 2 things you like the smell of).

    • Name 1 good thing about yourself.

  • Rapid Relaxation. Not the easiest thing to do when anxious but if you can slow your breathing down you will find it easier with practice. Choose a word or colour that for you resonates ‘calm’ even if it is just the word ‘relax’. Take a slow deep breath in and on your exhale focus only on that word. Continue doing this, keeping the breath slow and calm at the same time allowing your shoulders to soften and slacken. Eventually, after practice when you just focus on that special word your mind will help you with the rest, slowing your breathing and relaxing your body automatically. Do not attempt this while driving or operating heavy machinery.

Be patient with yourself as you learn to relax body and mind. It takes practice. While our bodies generally welcome relaxation our minds can be difficult to ‘switch off/slow down’. If we fight our thoughts we create even more tension, therefore we need to learn to encourage the mind to let go and relax.

To find a relaxation class near you have a look at your local library, health shop or school. Maelo Therapies also runs weekly relaxation classes aimed at reducing stress and helping with anxiety. For more information follow the link: There is also a free MP3 download for progressive muscle relaxation on the same link.

Wishing you all the best in your journey. Remember, there is effective help available no matter what your problem is.


Non-Epileptic Seisures

Over the past year I have had a number of clients suffering from non-epileptic seizures (NES) coming to see me for help and more enquiries from people seeking help in this regard keep popping up.
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) or dissociative seizures are different from epilepsy as they have a different cause. If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures it may be helpful for you to identify the type of seizures that are relevant to you and how you feel about them. Non-epileptic seizures (NES) are not caused by disrupted electrical activity in the brain and so are different from epilepsy. They can have a number of different causes. 
Types of NES:
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) can be divided into two types: organic non-epileptic seizures and psychogenic seizures.

Organic NES
These seizures have a physical cause (relating to the body). They include fainting (syncope) and metabolic (biochemical processes in the body) causes such as diabetes.
Because organic NES have a physical cause, they may be relatively easy to diagnose and the underlying cause can be found. For example, a faint may be diagnosed as being caused by a physical problem in the heart. In these cases, if the underlying cause can be treated the seizures will stop.

Psychogenic NES
Some NES are called ‘psychogenic seizures’. 'Psychogenic' means they are caused by mental or emotional processes, rather than by a physical cause. Psychogenic seizures may happen when someone's reaction to painful or difficult thoughts and feelings affects them physically.
Psychogenic seizures include different types:
Dissociative seizures happen unconsciously, which means that the person has no control over them and they are not ‘put on’. This is the most common type of NES. 
Panic attacks can happen in frightening situations, when remembering previous frightening experiences or in a situation that the person expects to be frightening. Panic attacks can cause sweating, palpitations (being able to feel your heart beat), trembling and difficulty breathing. The person may also lose consciousness and may shake (convulse).

Factitious seizures means that the person has some level of conscious control over them. An example of this is when seizures form part of Münchausen’s Syndrome, a rare psychiatric condition where a person is driven by a need to have medical investigations and treatments. 
Other names for non-epileptic seizures
Non-epileptic seizures are sometimes known as non-epileptic attacks. People who have non-epileptic seizures may be described as having 'non-epileptic attack disorder' (NEAD).
These terms are not always helpful because they describe the condition by saying what it is not rather than by saying what it is. NES used to be called 'pseudoseizures’ but this name is unhelpful because it sounds like the person is not having 'real' seizures or their seizures are deliberately 'put on'.
A newer name for non-epileptic seizures is 'dissociative seizures'. This is helpful because it does not describe seizures in terms of epilepsy. It is also recognised by the World Health Organization (this means that it is included in the International Classification of Diseases: a list of all known diseases and conditions).

So what can I do to help you? NES is considered a psychological issue and not neurological. Psychotherapy is the recommended treatment for NES. Psychotherapy is the name for a group of different ‘talking’ therapies (treatments). The blend of various therapies that I am trained in can help to facilitate you getting to grips with NES, improving your quality of life and in many instances, freeing you from them completely. It is advised that you first seek the advice of your GP to rule out epilepsy (which you may have alongside NES and that is fine) and/or any other underlying cause for what you are experiencing.The good news is - there is hope!

NES - Courtesy of Spectrum health Beat

NES - Courtesy of Spectrum health Beat

Loving Relationships

Loving others for the wonderful qualities they possess rather than how they make you feel can ensure that your emotions are enduring ones. It's easy to feel affection for those who have cared for you, praised you, or given you gifts. Love that lasts, however, will always be the result of your appreciation for your loved ones' real qualities. When you love others for who they truly are, your feelings for them do not waver when they show their faults or when they act less than lovingly toward you. Their imperfections are a part of who they are, and you are able to love them through good times and bad. Choose to love others today for who they are, and you will strengthen your bonds and create authentic relationships.

Lotus Mahal Hampi

Lotus Mahal Hampi

Raise your Vibration

Raise your Vibration!
Everything in the universe is made of energy. What differentiates one form of energy from another is the speed at which it vibrates. For example, light vibrates at a very high frequency, and something like a rock vibrates at a lower frequency but a frequency nonetheless. Human beings also vibrate at different frequencies. Our thoughts and feelings can determine the frequency at which we vibrate, and our vibration goes out into the world and attracts to us energy moving at a similar frequency. This is one of the ways that we create our own reality, which is why we can cause a positive shift in our lives by raising our vibration. 

We all know someone we think of as vibrant. Vibrant literally means "vibrating very rapidly." The people who strike us as vibrant are vibrating at a high frequency, and they can inspire us as we work to raise our vibration. On the other hand, we all know people that are very negative or cynical. These people are vibrating at a lower frequency. They can also be an inspiration because they can show us where we don't want to be vibrating and why. To discover where you are in terms of vibrancy, consider where you fall on a scale between the most pessimistic person you know and the most vibrant. This is not in order to pass judgment, but rather it is important to know where you are as you begin working to raise your frequency so that you can notice and appreciate your progress.

There are many ways to raise your vibration, from working with affirmations to visualizing enlightened entities during meditation. One of the most practical ways to raise your vibration is to consciously choose where you focus your attention. To understand how powerful this is, take five minutes to describe something you love unreservedly--a person, a movie, an experience. When your five minutes are up, you will noticeably feel more positive and even lighter.

If you want to keep raising your vibration, you might want to commit to spending five minutes every day focusing on the good in your life. As you do this, you will train yourself to be more awake and alive. Over time, you will experience a permanent shift in your vibrancy.


Self Care

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else, in order to say yes to yourself.

A great metaphor for self care and often used in psychology is taken from flight attendants. The airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs.This accurately expresses why it is important - if you can't take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it's easy to keep putting self-care off, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don't have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That's when we realise we haven't been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent it is vital and practical. 

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can encourage yourself by saying "I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others" .

It also helps to remember that self-care doesn't have to be massively time-consuming. Self care means taking steps every day to support your health and wellness and have an understanding of your physical state and any ‘dis-ease’ that may be starting up. Being aware of when you are in balance and when you are out of balance. Ensure that you are getting enough sleep, exercise whether that means gentle stretching or running and being in a gym. Meditate and learn to relax. Engage in a good, healthy diet and eat mindfully.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love.