1. Ladies lunch hosted by Lorain Thomas at her splendid home.
2. The Pen club lunch a place to wear hats
3. Fancy Guitars
4. You can even advertise yourelf as you play your guitar
5. Lovely beach in Floridas Hollywood.
I'm having an idyllic time in Fort Lauderdale with lots of fun parties in the wonderfully warm evenings but I will soon be back in the UK for Ascot and the fabulous theatre and entertainment.
One particular good charity luncheon was hosted by Lorain Thomas, wife of the founder of Wendies Restaurants in her lovely imprssive home with mouth watering food and lashings of champainge. I have been able to join the 'Pen' ladies group which you can join if you have books published. A very interesting group that has been the catalist for me to be asked to lecture in Borders book shops on writing books. The Pen club have regular meetings and charity lunches to raise money to give to aspiring artist and authors. At one of the lunches a substantial cheque was given to two college students and it was so nice to actually see where the money was going rather than to charities organisations. This seemed so much more personal.
I have finally got all my five books for sale on the iphone and I am amazed how many sell daily without any promotion, but I wondered if, when people buy books this way, with the intention of reading them later, they just buy more, forgetting to actually read the others. I was able to put this to the test quite by accident. One of my audio (talking) books went for sale with a chapter unedited by mistakes and it didn't get detected for a few weeks. I only had two complaints from the hundreds of books that had been sold. If it had been a hard copy I would have had a much faster response because people are much more likely to read the whole book; instead of several inquires for my courses a week it is down to maybe two a quarter.
My lecture at Borders is covering the book 'How to Be Your Own Matchmaker' by Patti Stanger who has an intriging show on US TV called 'Milionaire Matchmaker'. She is quite incredible and really give the millionairs a very hard time if they come out of line. I am probably more interested as I am involved with an internet love rooms relationship site www.theloverooms.co.uk where you can download my hypnotic relationship love package and the many "problems in love" audios. It is full of useful advice and I am rather proud of it. I would be delighted to get some feedback from you.
Iin my previous columns I have been questioning how people can look so good and active in their 90's here in Florida and one person that moves in the same circles attending the many charity events as these ladies, is Pat Riley, a personal friend. She has been graciously driving me around to hard-to-find elegant parties which have a mixed aged group from the trendy 20's to the glamorous 90 year-olds, proving once more that the older the Floridian ladies get the more they seem to party. Pat, a scientist and founder of Clientele Beauty, is known for her anti-aging products. You may have seen her on QVC shopping channel where she regularly flies to the UK for lectures.
For her pioneering in anti- aging skin care she has just been aculated with a Doctrine from North University and delivered the commencement speech to the graduates, something she is very proud of.
It was extraordinary to see the different and sometimes outrageous guitars in the Fort Lauderdale annual guitar exhibition. I was invited by my attorney and although I used to play guitar I didn't have too much enthusiasm to go but when I arrived I found it fascinating. There must have been a thousand guitars ranging from leather to even concrete guitars.
Proof Your Mind can Cure
The placebo effect come up trumps
A renound Havard Medical professor suggests that instead of ignoring the placebo effect, doctors should try to enhance it, he certainly has that right and what better way to do this than using hypnosis.
Stomach aches and much more unpleasant side effects from irritable bowel syndrome are among patients' most common complaints, but there is little drugs can do to help. Hypnosis has been proved to work however, in 2008 Ted J. Kaptchuk from Harvard created something else that worked and was also safe.
His cure was called magic but it was actually fake acupuncture delivered with lots of positive suggestions from the acupuncturist - but it was fake because there were no needles.
In a trial of 262 patients with severe IBS, 62% who received the fake treatment recovered whereas only 28% saw marked impprovement. A third group who received the fake acupuncture, but without any positive suggestions, showed only a 44% improvement.
This was able to show just how much the expectation of a cure - and the rituals associated with medical treatment - can improve real-world symptoms. "Our own will, imagination and belief can modulate the course of illness," says researcher Kaptchuk. He is one of a small group that are studying the mysterious placebo effect.
I am not surprised at the effects, but I am amazed just how long it has taken for a study to prove it. In the late 80's when acupuncture was hardly known in the west as new hypnotherapists we did a test ourselves. We got got a acupunchurists who was learning hypnosis to put the needles in different places that were nothing to do with clearing the channels, which is the basis for acupunture healling. He had the same success rate as using the needles correctly. It was a matter of the belief structure of the client. Because in the ritual of acupuncture the fact of getting the person to relax and then putting the needles in, which is painless, can put the person into a trance-like state. If you then give positive suggestions about their condition and instruct their mind to heal their particular problem then the results were similar to the findings from the professors. The difference is we call the words used in the acuppunture hypnosis. So the expectation of this method working has its own success rate.
The professors, like our test group, produces lasting effects on symptoms of many diseases - and real changes inside patients' brains. So you really have a lot more than just placebo going on here. You have placebo plus rituals, plus hypnotic suggestions.
They found that believing in a treatment may ease back pain, improve Parkinson's disease symptoms, alleviate depression and lessen nausea.
Traditional medicine has tended to dismiss or ignore the placebo effect and drug companies try to minimize it but Kaptchuk suggests that doctors should instead enhance this placebo effect by hyping up the rituals around their treatments. Doing so could help make existing treatments more effective, thereby reducing the need for expensive pills that can have extremely bad side effects. "The ritual of health care has an important role to play that gets overlooked," says Kaptchuk.
Cement injected in the back?
Kaptchuk's research helps explain why doctors often think they have found a breakthrough treatment, only to find years later that a placebo pill or other fake treatment works just as well. This was proved to a great extent in knee arthroscopy. It was thought to be a good treatment for arthritis pain but in 2002 a rigorous clinical trial found that patients got just as much relief from a fake surgery. Only last summer two major trials tested vertebroplasty. This is a procedure to relieve pain from osteoporosis fractures by injecting cement into the back and it was reported to have a high success rate. But it turned out that a 'fake' surgery with 'no' cement was just as good. It was all in the expectation.
But of course all hypnotherapists have known the expection theory for the last couple of hundred years.
High Heel Horrors:
I have just been looking at pictures of what is happening to the body with these Jimmy Choo type incrediblly high heels. It is not a pretty sight. What it does to the feet and back is horrifying. I had to wear flats for two years because I wore heels all my life without giving my feet a rest with flat shoes. I paid the price and that was with a much smaller heel. Do beware - you can be a long time regretting it with permanent damage. I can still only wear high heels for a short time before a terrible cramp sets in.
Eds Note: VALERIE AUSTIN is an author of six successful self-help books including SELF HYPNOSIS (Thorsons), journalist and trainer with an international reputation in the field of hypnosis. Her best-selling books and training help people achieve their full potential. She founded the Austin Corporate Stress Management Company focusing on reducing stress and anxiety amongst executives and CEO's. She is also founder of UKRAH (1992) The UK Register of Advanced Hypnotherapy. Valerie has also worked as a consultant in hypnosis at the Priory Hospital, the UK's equivalent to The Betty Ford Clinic, which specialises in food addiction and alcohol abuse. Her work in the film industry (Hollywood) interviewing movers and shakers, producing TV news segments and publishing celebrity magazines in London gave her invaluable experience for her current Harley Street practice.