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NLP & Health

Updated: Mar 16



‘To be or not to be’

Hamlet, William Shakespeare


Something we deal with on an everyday basis. To do or not to do; to eat junk food or to eat healthy; to go to the gym or watch Netflix.

Choices and more choices and to know which is the right choice is a daily struggle for us.

How many times have you been in two minds about something?

Should I quit my job or should I wait for a promotion?

Should I start something new or continue where I am?

Should I eat that fried food or something healthy?


There are so many situations that leave us in splits. Of not knowing what actually to do and we end up harming ourselves physically or mentally one way or the other.

Jimmy Durante sang what we all feel every once in a while

“Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go, But still had the feeling that you wanted to stay, You knew it was right, wasn't wrong. Still you knew you wouldn't be very long. Go or stay, stay or go...”


One of the most powerful tools for better health, changing beliefs and habits, losing weight and becoming more congruent is NLP. It is through number of power packed and permanent shifts in your thoughts and beliefs, you will begin to behave positively different unconsciously and make healthier choices in your day to day life.


The feeling of being in double mind is called incongruence. It’s that sense of an inner conflict, like one part of us wants to do one thing, and another part of us wants to do something else. Or it can seem that we’re just uncertain about what we really want to do.


One can feel incongruence for a situation or a goal; positive or negative. Negative incongruence is when you want to lose weight but you don’t want to eat healthy or exercise. On the other hand, positive could be deciding between going to the beach or the mountains.

The problem arises is when there is incongruence in relation to our values. Say your boss wants you to be more aggressive with your one of your clients. While you believe in being assertive, aggression just seems something against your values. Here you may face incongruence: “should I listen to my boss or keep trying my way?”


Flip side to this, there must be ample of times when you feel you are in the right track. You are doing what you should without any doubt or conflict. Thus, state of flow or ‘being in the zone’ is called congruence in the world of NLP. It is when your actions, thoughts, behaviour and results are all aligned with your values.


An important skill you can develop is learning to detect when you are in congruence and when you are not.

The more awareness you’ll develop, more the advantage of identifying and dealing with situations where you feel incongruent.


The faster you are able to resolve any kind of incongruence, easier it will be for you making you more effective and productive. Incongruence is a real source of friction in our lives. It takes a lot of personal energy to overcome a part of you that’s really opposed to a certain course of action. The more you try to override that part, the more likely it is that the unwilling part of you will object more strongly.

When you fight with yourself, you tend to lose.


One feels most stressed when your mind is trying desperately to override your body’s righteous desire to stop you from doing something that violates your integrity.

The most effective way to turbo-charge your life is to learn to move in harmony with your values.

Trust is congruence between what you say and what you do”.

Peter Drucker


NLP & Health Care


You may be already healthy and hearty, but still you want to improve yourself. Maybe its weight loss that you are looking, quitting to smoke, reducing drinking, perhaps some allergy or asthma that you want to control, worst case it’s a prolonged illness that you are dealing with.

Of course you want to live without these challenges, but maybe you have not found the solution that works well for you. Like most of us, you just want to get rid of these problems and live freely.

Like most of our problems, there could seem to be a conflict between what’s right and wrong concerning antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs in relation to your health and fitness.

Our bodies are made up of 14 billion nerve cells which go from our mind to our toes and communicated with each other though special connections called synapses.

There is a constant communication between these nerve cells which through electrical impulses and special chemicals called Neuro- Transmitters.

Fascinating right?

In order to communicate, each one of your nerve cells sends an electrical impulse down its ‘wire’, this then hits a synaptic gap. At this point chemicals are released which communicate to other nerve cells next to it.

However, and this is the amazing bit, those Neuro transmitter chemicals leak out from this gap and roam free around all the other cells in your body. The proof of this is these chemicals have been found throughout the whole body, not just in your brain or nervous system but literally everywhere in your body!

That includes your conscious, unconscious/ sub-conscious mind.

So let’s say you wake up and think “I am feeling feverish” even if there are no symptoms of it. You are basically feeding your unconscious mind and your body that you ARE feverish. So they abide by it and you become active to viruses. Just a thought has the power to open your body to different kinds of illness and then eventually when you do get fever you think to yourself “I knew it”.

Your thoughts affect your state of well being. Every single cell in your body is aware of the process and is calculating your wellness and long-term health on your state of your mind/thoughts.


Hence, NLP proves that there is a definite communication system between the body and the mind. NLP recognizes the nervous system, ‘Neuro’ as the communication system for the body, we have a direct link to helping you to ‘talk’ to your body, beginning a holistic healing approach. The ´Linguistic’ part is the precise language that NLP helps you adapt for internal and external communication.

The ‘Programming’ part of NLP deals with the ‘patterns’ that run your body. If you have a health problem, these patterns are working in an inefficient way. Finding safe and reliable ways to alter those patterns (or programmes), gives you a new way to deal with your body. This is a really deep method to change things from within.


NLP is a power packed tool which is extremely beneficial for people in the healthcare sector. If you are a service provider, doctor, patient or anything in between; NLP tools can drastically help you in your field of work.

  • As doctors and nurses: It will help you to communicate with your patients and colleagues effectively with favourable outcomes.

  • As a patient: Through powerful tools of NLP you can reframe your belief system around your health, motivate yourself and heal faster. It can help one reduce smoking or lose weight and much more.

  • As healthcare managers: You can increase effectiveness of your teams by applying NLP techniques. Health care professionals all around the world are currently using NLP tools and successfully leading their teams.


For Doctors and nurses


As a doctor or a nurse, how many times have you heard your colleague complain that by the end of morning surgery they have absorbed the depressed feeling or panic attack of one patient, have been emotionally affected by the anxiety of another, and lived through the abuse of a third?

Imagine behind this feeling is a self-critical internal dialogue saying “I could have done a better job” or “I don’t have enough time” etc. you’ll get a crystal clear picture of the pressure one goes though in the system.


These internal talks can change through the usage of NLP tools. The powerful tools will give you a selection of techniques that will help you empower yourself and control your negative emotions. You will be able to anchor yourself to resourceful states that will stop you from being unduly moved by the emotional current around you.

In any given situation, you will be able to choose which particular state is the most useful - and generate it there and then. You will also be free to transform your internal critical voice, break through your limiting or negative beliefs - and choose to replace them with more useful, effective and resourceful ones instead.


NLP for the Patient


As a patient, it is so hard for one to keep a positive mindset when everything looks dark and unclear. Let’s say your illness is not permitting you to walk around for the next couple of months. Your internal dialogue will eventually become negative and you may start to pity and victimize yourself. This can lead to helplessness and prolong the recovery time.


The doctors due to too many patients tend to not understand the psychological trauma of each and every patient of theirs leaving their patient more upset than they are. By using NLP techniques such as rapport-building, and then employing the meta model to nudge patients forward into considering possibilities they hadn't thought of before, the doctor can often easily get patients into receptive states of mind in which they can be taught quick NLP techniques to enable them to take control of their lives. For example, a patient who is suffering from work-related stress and comes to the doctor asking for a sick note and convinced that only tablets will work to "fix" him, can be taught techniques like spinning to remove the anxiety in the moment as well as anchoring to set up a more resourceful state.  The doctor and patient can then share a management approach to the patient's problems. Tools like time-lining to consider the future outcomes can help the patient to cope better and faster and enable the patient to gain a different understanding of his issues through reframing.


Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, trauma, obesity and panic attacks are some of the common conditions which can benefit from adding an NLP element to treatment. NLP can enable the patient and doctor to manage these conditions, providing techniques to influence disempowering patterns of thinking and behaviour, such as self-critical internal dialogue and negative beliefs, leading to positive long-term lifestyle changes. There are numerous NLP techniques for enhancing motivation which can also be taught to the patient to take control of his own health, help him feel more balanced, curtail the need to present time and again - and encourage the patient to live a fuller life.


NLP for the healthcare managers


If you are a healthcare professional, you will probably already be aware that you face a uniquely diverse set of challenges at work. Professionals are burning out and getting stressed which is becoming an ever increase burden on the system.

Several studies show that leading a team of over stressed people becomes a big toll on the leader as eventually the productivity of the team goes down and affects the company.

Through NLP tools of motivation and clear communication, one can handle challenges in a much better and effective manner and lead with clear line of thought and focus.

More and more healthcare professionals are looking for techniques to help them manage both the time they have in their day, and their internal state - so that they can get more done and feel more in control of their lives, while maintaining a focussed, positive attitude. NLP techniques will provide you with an "inner locus of control" so you can take charge of your life again - and in the process you will learn how to be happier at work and at home, and provide a better experience for all those around you - and of course, a better experience for yourself, too!


Your unconscious mind is amazing, it is responsible for overseeing the job of pumping blood around your body, regulating the beats of your heart, controlling how your muscles work together, maintaining the energy in your body and most importantly it is the part of you that makes sure you heal if you are not well. But what is your unconscious mind? Well, it is everything you are not aware of right now. That’s right, everything you are not aware of right now is your unconscious mind. Not only does that include anything you are not thinking about, it also includes all your cells, bones, organs, skin, memories, sleep time, metabolism, in fact everything, and your unconscious mind is responsible for maintaining all of that!

Through NLP you can balance your thoughts, mind and your body in a way that’ll provide you with great mental and physical health.

India | 

Anil Thomas NLP & Gestalt
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