Mercury Man: The sports reporter who became a hypnotherapist

Paul Green
Paul Green was sports reporter at a SE London local paper

Mercury Man logo853‘s special correspondent MERCURY MAN has done a bit of sports reporting in his time – but what happens when the local paper industry starts to fade away?

Sit back, relax, and let him talk you through what happened to one of south-east London’s best-known sports writers after the cuts came…

Sports journalism tends to throw up more characters than news because sports hacks work in groups at matches – where banter can flourish – whereas you’ll find the solo news reporter with a drink problem meeting coppers in dingy pubs.

That might sound like a gross over-simplification, but you don’t read this for balance. You read it to be enlightened and entertained.

So let me tell you about Paul Green.

Paul was as an excellent sports journalist for 14 years, mainly on the N**s Sh****r, and it was always a pleasure to share a philosophy with him whenever I had to cover for a sports hack doing a moonlight.

News Shopper strikers at The Valley
Paul Green, in his N**s Sh****r days, striking against the 2015 cutbacks at owner Newsquest that would see the paper leave its Petts Wood home

Anyway, I bumped into him in Sainsbury’s, Lee Green, the other day and there was definitely something different about him. He’s a striking lad at the best of times, very tall – 6ft 4ins, he told me over coffee – and less hair than Montalbano.

But it wasn’t that. It was the eyes. And soon all was e-x-p-l-a-i-n-e-d.

Paul still dabbles in sportswriting – covering Charlton Athletic for a bespoke agency, no less – but his main job? I’ll give you three guesses. No, no and no. He’s now a… hypnotherapist.

“Sadly I haven’t managed to hypnotically erase everything which has happened at Charlton under Belgian misrule from my memory yet, but I’m still working on it,” said Paul at the Euro Café in Lee Road, knowing a good quote when he uses one.

“Despite keeping my hand in with cameo journalism roles, my main priority on leaving the S***per was actually to do something completely different. Initially I looked at the law as an alternative career before quickly realising, like Dickens, it wasn’t for me.”

You’ve all got to concentrate now. Imagine you’re on Paul’s couch. This could change your life (Concentrate yourself – Ed).

Kicking the habit

Said Paul: “I used to smoke and was successfully hypnotised to finally kick the habit several years ago. I was amazed by this and that is where the initial interest in hypnotherapy came from, although I never imagined at the time I would end up doing it for a living.

“Then, in early 2017, I decided to look into the subject a bit more and signed up for the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) course in central London.

“The course was very practical in nature, which is one of the main reasons I went with CPHT because you were hypnotising fellow students, friends and relatives pretty much straight away.”

So – get Paul to stop you smoking. And what about needles and dentists… and flying?

“The results of the course were quite impressive,” said Paul. “For instance, my brother is terrified of needles and injections, so avoids dentists and doctors as much as possible.

Lennie Lawrence and Paul Green
Meet the guv’nor: Paul Green with legendary former Charlton Athletic manager Lennie Lawrence

“He had a dental appointment coming up which this time could not be postponed. I hypnotised him in the run-up to the dental trip and everything went absolutely fine.

“He was completely relaxed throughout his treatment, something which would never have happened before, and has even been back to the dentist since then without any nerves or anxiety.”

What is even more remarkable is that Paul’s brother lives in Toronto. All the hypnotherapy sessions he conducted were done online via FaceTime, (whatever that is).

Smoker or non-smoker?

Phobias? “They are a big thing and I really want to help people conquer them, especially the fear of flying because I used to suffer from that one myself until my mid-20s,” said Paul.

“A phobia can be conquered in three sessions in most cases. If you did have a fear of flying the aim would be to come and see me three weeks ahead of your trip with the final session taking place the day before the flight.

“Anxiety is the biggest driver when it comes to most issues I encounter, whether it be phobias, depression, confidence, stress, sleep problems, weight loss and even smoking.”

Interestingly, according to Paul, a smoker is far more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression than a non-smoker.

He said: “It’s because chemicals within cigarettes restrict your natural flow of serotonin, the natural feel-good chemical released in the brain. And yet smokers will wrongly tell themselves they light up to feel less stressed and anxious!

“If you can master your anxiety levels then you are going to be very surprised at how solution-focused hypnotherapy can help overcome whatever issue it is you are looking to tackle.”

I was awaiting my chance to quiz Paul on thought patterns and the REM (rapid eye movement) dream state, but he got there in his own time. He said: “Understanding how the brain works is key to the client achieving success, whatever success is in their terms.

“Hypnotherapy is beneficial because it recreates the REM dream state while you are still awake and fully aware, allowing the hypnotherapist to use positive suggestion to help people subconsciously rethink their thought patterns.

“It isn’t magic and certainly what I do as a solution-focused hypnotherapist is nothing like what you see at stage hypnosis shows where people perform ridiculous tasks for entertainment purposes.

“Once your anxiety is under control it becomes far easier to make changes because the less stress you have going on, then you move back into the intellectual area of the brain from the primitive emotional part.

Cavemen’s brains

“When I talk about the ‘intellectual’ part of the brain I am not referring to intellectual in terms of general intelligence, academic qualifications or ability as a pub quiz team member. It is the control part of the brain where we are able to assess situations and more often than not make the right decisions.

Paul Green
On the whistle: Paul Green in the press box at The Valley

“We have evolved over millions of years into where we are today and our brains have developed at the same time. We still possess the instinctive emotional brain from caveman times, it was only much later that what we call the intellectual brain developed.

“If the original primitive brain is in the ascendancy because anxiety or stress has raced out of control then that is when people start encountering problems like sleeplessness, weight issues, depression, OCD, etc.

“Hypnotherapy, or trance, is in fact a very ordinary experience we are all familiar with. We actually go into trance all the time when undertaking everyday tasks like watching TV, driving a car or even making a cup of tea (or sub-eding this column – Ed).

“It is a very simple state to contrive and extremely relaxing and enjoyable for the client.”

Paul is based close to Lee and Hither Green stations. Initial consultations are free and he charges extremely competitive London rates for hypnotherapy sessions, including discounts for unemployed clients and students.

Mercury Man logoTo find out more, visit paulgreenhypnotherapy.co.uk or call 07967 216123 to book a free no obligation initial consultation.

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