Breathe. You can make your breath calming or enlivening, depending on the circumstances.
Make your morning a strong foundation of your day. Take some time for yourself. Stay away from the news. Start your day with calmness.
Make a conscious decision to unplug after a set time at night: switch off your phone, and mentally disconnect.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Deschemin.
Christine Deschemin is a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in Hong Kong. She founded the Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre. She is passionate about helping other people enhance their lives. Her quest for effective and proven methods for performance enhancement led her to the discovery of hypnosis. With a strong interest in peak performance, she has helped athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, and individuals overcome emotional and behavioral challenges and achieve success. As a former banker, she has experienced first-hand the stress and tension of everyday life. In addition, she holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is certified by the NGH (The National Guild of Hypnotists, Inc) in the U.S. and has received a diploma as a clinical hypnotherapist in France.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Iam a former aeronautical engineer turned banker and now a hypnotherapist. Many years ago, I discovered that hypnosis was used by high-level athletes and doctors. With my strong interest in performance, I had to investigate, and I discovered many studies pointing to the power of hypnosis. Did you know that hypnosis is used in many operating theatres in Europe? It is the only mind-body technique allowed there. The irony is that in order to prevent full general anesthesia (aka putting people to ‘sleep’), medical staff use hypnosis in addition to local anesthesia. Did you also know that we all experience that state very often? Hypnosis is a natural and safe state — just intensely focused attention.
When I realized hypnosis could help us leverage the mind-body connection to achieve better wellbeing and enhance our performance, I wanted to share its benefits not with just my immediate clients. That’s how my UpNow self-hypnosis app was born. We have helped tens of thousands of people sleep better, alleviate anxiety, manage pain, even quit smoking, enjoy more creativity, and much more.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I learnt to fly planes when I started my career. We were a small group of aeronautical engineers who would fly in pairs. We would fly to a different runway and then change seats. Whoever was copilot would become pilot and vice versa. Once, as we were going back home and I was the co-pilot, the engine oil started to leak. It was a beautiful sky outside, there were no clouds, these were the ideal conditions to fly but the windshield was blurry. Because we were not too far from our destination and we knew the area very well, we had no problem directing the plane to the final runway. The problem was the landing, one of the most critical phases in a flight. With a blurry windshield, it is more difficult to assess the height.
We both stayed very calm and worked as a team. We landed very safely.
The main lesson from this experience is that we stayed calm, we worked as a team and we did the right thing thanks to our training. Most of our training focused on normal conditions but the few times where we were put in new and uncertain situations made a big difference. We had the right reflexes. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of drills. It is not about predicting everything that could go wrong, but about having the right mindset to deal with uncertainty.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I became a hypnotherapist, I assumed that I had to wait for about a year before actively promoting my business and becoming featured in publications. I decided to rely on word of mouth and search engine optimization. I assigned an arbitrary timeline to the development of my activity. And in hindsight, I limited its expansion just because of an assumption. I could have asked some of my clients to share their beautiful transformational stories during this first year. Where did that assumption come from? I guess from experiences in corporations where you had to wait until the next annual review to be promoted or get a raise. We underestimate these assumptions, but the truth is that they rule our lives until we confront them. Since then, I sit down on a regular basis and review my achievements and what I need to improve. I have replaced assumptions with pure and clear data.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I was in high school, one of my mathematics teachers wanted his students to widen their horizons beyond math. So, he would give us bonus points on our exam copies whenever we could write down a poem. I have always been interested in humanities and science. But this year of learning a poem at the same time as I prepared for a math exam made a long-lasting impact on me. I even started enjoying the process. Contrary to many who focused only on one discipline, I always understood the value of adapting and being versatile.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
We are making access to self-help and mental health tools accessible to anyone in need. Too many people do not have access to mental health professionals either because they are not any where they live or because they cannot afford it.
We are just starting to understand the strong connection between our minds and body. Everyone serious about being healthy should first take care of their minds, before considering exercise or nutrition. Are there bad habits that sabotage their effort? How much stress are they suffering from? When their mind is at peace again and their habits bolster their health and stamina, everything else falls into place. Our UpNow self-hypnosis app brings an effective self-help tool to the fingertips of anyone in need. In the privacy of their home, they can access a curated library of self-hypnosis downloads to help them feel better and be better at what you are doing.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Carve moments during the day for self-hypnosis practice. With our hypnosis downloads, you just need to find a quiet place, put your headphones, and relax. The more you do it, the better you feel and the more clarity you enjoy.
- Breathe. You can make your breath calming or enlivening, depending on the circumstances.
- Make your morning a strong foundation of your day. Take some time for yourself. Stay away from the news. Start your day with calmness.
- Make a conscious decision to unplug after a set time at night: switch off your phone, and mentally disconnect.
- Find activities that give you energy: reading, drawing, painting, singing… And go back to it as often as you can, even for short amounts of times.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I am in my movement now: the Partner with your Mind© movement. Having been an athlete at university and worked in very high-stress environments, I know that the most important asset we have is our mind. It is responsible for the good and bad habits we have; it helps get through challenges when we have enough resilience. It can also help us manage pain naturally without any drugs. When our mind is at peace, resilient and set on the right target, our eating habits improve, our sleep also improves, and we start helping ourselves achieve the wellbeing and get the promotion we deserve.
Many medical and psychological associations in the world approve the use of hypnosis for a variety of physical and mental issues. The use of medical imagery proves that hypnosis is not sleep. Imagine blue-clad medical staff in European operating theatres using hypnosis for pain. Picture mental health practitioners helping clients overcome a series of challenges or coaches using hypnosis to help C-suite executives or athletes be better at their game. That is the modern face of hypnosis.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
I wish someone told me that:
- There is so much to be done in the mental health industry.
I became aware of the looming issues around mental health around the time when I started training as a hypnotherapist. I could not imagine that there were so many unmet needs and so many people left behind. The statistics are alarming, and they keep worsening. We need more talent in this industry.
- Invest in a great self-care routine.
Creating a business is more than an intellectual or financial exercise. It does not only use your time, energy, or funds. It tests your mind in ways you can hardly imagine. There will be times when things are not so rosy. You need to brush off the doubts and worries, you need to preserve the quality of your sleep, you need to start every day as if it held the promise of a better tomorrow. For me, my self-hypnosis routine helps me both weather the storm and avoid overconfidence. It helps me stay on track. The beauty with a self-care routine is that it yields increasing returns over time and it can help you beat burnout, one of the biggest dangers for entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur must have a self-care routine.
- Your biggest asset is your creativity
Creativity is difficult to quantify and is often assigned to certain professions. I will define it as the ability to think outside the box. I am very comfortable manipulating equations, using physics concepts and now understanding mindsets and helping people adopt better behaviours. These are wonderful skills to have. But the one skill that I found to be even more important is creativity. That’s what sets you apart and keeps you moving forward.
- Go faster
Experiment, learn, repeat. When you help to design planes and then manage a portfolio risk, there is no margin of error. You need to get it right. When you run a business, there are many decisions you make which are minor and that can be changed quite easily, for instance the user experience on a website and on an app. You have to be willing to experiment.
- Your experiences in many industries will provide you with a unique skill set.
Many people are sometimes surprised by the breadth of my experience and how I went from aeronautics to mental health. But there is a common thread. It is about understanding how something works and make it better. I delve into neuroscience to understand the working of the brain, like an engineer assessing the design of a plane. I used my engineering experience to learn to code and develop a well-being app. I believe that those who have experience outside a particular industry are more likely to innovate than those who worked for a long time in that industry.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health of course! That’s why, after a career in engineering and finance, I decided to become a mental health professional. I am using my technical and business skills to change the way mental health aid is delivered.
Too many people are living with stress and anxiety, thinking that it is just the way things are. But what they fail to recognize is that chronic anxiety is the door to severe mental health issues. Feeling well should not be considered a luxury. It is the bedrock of a normal life.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Download the UpNow app at https://www.upnow.com
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UpNowHypnosis
Email me on: [email protected]
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RenewedEdge
Thank you for these fantastic insights!