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This January I am embarking on yet another advanced hypnotherapy training. This time with the energetic and passionate trainer Adam Eason. The training will take me about a year or so and will take up quite a good deal of time during my weekends.

So why bother? What’s the point of learning even more approaches, techniques and methodology? As a professional, I am required to be involved in continual professional development or CPD as it’s known. However, that only requires a few hours per year. There are a few major reasons why I find it important to be the eternal student. The first is my inquisitive mind – I’m always keen to learn more and understand just what hypnosis is and in fact what Life is all about. I also feel responsible to my clients – wanting to give them the best service that I can.

However, I do feel that learning in and of itself is such a vital aspect of being human that no matter what my profession I would always be studying. Our capacity for learning all throughout life is due to what’s known as brain plasticity. For a long time, it was believed that as we aged, the connections in the brain became fixed. Research has shown that in fact the brain never stops changing through learning.

You may have heard the fact that London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus than London bus drivers. The hippocampus is an area which is specialized in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London whereas bus drivers follow a limited set of routes (Maguire, Woollett, & Spiers, 2006).

As we get older, we are encouraged to keep our brains active with the oft repeated phrase “use it or lose it.” However, according to the research of psychologist Denise Park of The University of Texas, simply using our brains for tasks such as listening to music, doing a crossword or simply reading won’t help a great deal with cognitive decline (Park 2013). “It seems it is not enough just to get out and do something—it is important to get out and do something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging, and that provides broad stimulation mentally and socially,” says Denise Park. “When you are inside your comfort zone you may be outside of the enhancement zone.”

So my new learning with Adam Eason should fit the bill – Adam promises the course will challenge and provoke. I’m looking forward to the health enhancing effects. So get out and learn something new in 2017 and beyond.

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