Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Temperatures in the UK are today expected to tip 30 degrees, and it will be hotter over the coming days. There is a lot of advice being given in respect to how much to drink - and most of it is myth.

The ONLY time that you need to drink is if you are thirsty. Just drink to thirst and you'll be fine.

Drinking when you are NOT thirsty offers no advantage and can lead to water intoxication if taken to excess. The human body works best in perfect hydration balance, is designed to operate in a slightly dehydrated state, yet is NOT designed to operate in an over-hydrated state.

(All of these suggestions assume that you don't have an underlying medical condition of course - in which case seek medical advice particular to your condition.)

We get thirsty when our blood volume drops, or when the water balance between different compartments in our body is out of balance. This is the only time we need to drink.

STOP drinking when no longer thirsty. This allows your body to process the water that you have ingested. If you get thirsty some more, then drink some more. We should listen to our bodies.

We need to have a minimum fluid intake of about 1.75ltr a day to maintain water balance. This can come from food and/or drinking. From a hydration point of view you can get your fluid from water, coffee, tea, fruit juice, soup, milk...again it is a myth that you should avoid rehydrating with caffeinated drinks.

In hot weather we may need to drink more. Yet, drink to thirst - thirst is our body's signal we need hydration. At all other times we don't.


Start hydrated - the ACSM advises drinking 5-7ml of fluid per kg of body weight slowly at least four hours before exercise and allowing enough time for the excretion of excess water.

During exercise
we should only drink to thirst, and no more than 6-800ml per hour, ad libitum. Salts and electrolytes taken during exercise afford no advantage and can lead to physiological issues - ignore the marketing of sports drinks and supplement manufacturers.

In most training sessions up to one hour you may not even experience thirst, in which case don't drink. If you do experience thirst, and are training intensely, there may be benefit of taking a hypotonic or isotonic sports drink instead of just water.

Post exercise you need to drink around 1.2-1.5ltr per kg of weight lost during exercise. This is better sipped, and in small amounts, otherwise you'll throw your body out of balance, only at a speed you feel comfortable with, and drink in batches until no longer thirsty. A little sodium (salt) can aid in hydration at this time (increases urge to drink, improves palatability and promotes fluid retention) - although note we have electrolyte stores in our bodies and even an elite athlete will have enough from a single meal - there's no need to take salt tablets and electrolyte supplementation.

Salt tablets produce a very concentrated sodium solution in your stomach, delays stomach emptying and rehydration, as extra fluid must first be absorbed from your body into your stomach to dilute the solution.

Oh, a cheap and effective, perfect rehydration drink post exercise is skimmed milk!


For my friends who are fasting, if you are not drinking during the day it is strongly advised to ensure that you are properly hydrated before your fast. Take care on these hot days to keep yourself cool and not lose too much water in sweat. Note the post-exercise advice above.


This is a loss of thermoregulation - where our bodies can't lose heat fast enough and our core temperature rises above 40 degrees.

If you are not thirsty then it will not be due to dehydration. It is unlikely to be salt deficiency what with our modern diets. If suffering heat stroke seek medical attention - in the mean time take control of your environment - move somewhere cooler and take action to cool your body.


This is just a quick and general post, designed to give some simple understandings. The summary however is simple:

Drink when thirsty, and stop drinking when no longer thirsty.

Further Reading:

I have found the following books useful in understanding hydration:

Waterlogged by Tim Noakes
Human Physiology by Pocock, Richards and Richards
The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Further Developments in Eye Movement Interventions – IEMT, EMI, EMDR

This blog post will be of interest to the hypnotists, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and NLPers amongst us. It is a further development of my previous post here:

This previous post describes taking eye movements to 3D. Following that post I now have a host of observations and calibrations for the 3D model. In this post I’ll describe how I now take eye movements to multiple layers.

I had a talented young lady to work with the other day, who had a large number of multiple hub traumas to work with. My work was cut out with the time available. The lady was clever, IEMT/EMIplus was working well to alleviate all the negative emotion, yet, there were just a massive number of traumas for her to process.
So I started to think “how can we work quicker?” and an idea popped into my head. 

My original trade was as a Building Surveyor, and I still hold Chartered Status. I am a skilled CAD (computer aided design) operator. I also have skills with Photoshop. Both use something called ‘layers’. 

Think of layers as sheets of clear paper, acetate maybe even on an overhead projector. Different sheets can be laid on top of each other to form one image. I instantly wondered as to whether I can overlay one trauma on top of another – and process at the same time. 

Understanding Hebbs Law, and the plasticity of memories, I knew that initially the two memories would be combined together making the trauma worse. Yet I also knew that they would be being processed at the same time, neutralising the negative emotion. My work with this client already demonstrated she responded well to eye movement intervention. 

So I told her what I planned, and we started. 

We took two trauma memories and she managed to hold them both in her mind – overlapping on layers. We started the work. It took her intense concentration, yet she managed to hold both trauma memories at the same time, and we processed. It took just two passes and they were neutralised. 

The feedback was that it appeared as though they were one memory, before they were processed to neutralise the emotion, becoming dissociated along the way, with the submodalities going out of focus and distance being achieved. 

Testing confirmed it – the first double trauma layering had worked. 

So we repeated with two more, and yes, it worked. 

So we did three and achieved success once more. 

From memory, I think the most memories should could hold in layers was around five – all of which were processed. Interestingly, some of these memories jumped as would happen usually with processing, and the jumped memory continued one the same layer. The usual processes were happening – just all at the same time, each on individual layers.

My suggestion is to give this a go – when you feel the client is capable – remember we must put them first. I would suggest that not every client would have the resilience to hold several traumas in mind, let alone the concentration required to process. This first client could though – and it demonstrates what is possible. 

I feel it is our duty to share with each other our findings, especially when it can help us in our work. In this way we are putting our clients first. So please share this amongst others whom you know to be doing eye movement interventions, and hopefully we can all learn to be more effective in the future. Please let me know the feedback from this blog too – including what you notice, and any ideas you may have!

“Cage Fighter Floored by Sea Snake”

Here’s a bit of my life story. At the end of 2005 I was bitten by a sea snake and nearly lost my leg. It made the papers, Zoo and Nuts magazine, with the immortal headline “Cage Fighter Floored by Sea Snake”. The headline, and the reporting, made me laugh. But it was good publicity. 

I fought and defeated the French K-1 star Gregory Tony, fighting him in Germany. The following week my wife and I disappeared off to Egypt for a holiday. The final destination was Sharm El Sheik. The last day we went on a snorkel safari, and at one stage I nearly got blown onto the reef as the currents that day were strong. I pushed back to the boat, got on board, and my ankle immediately started to swell. 

Four hours later I had flu like symptoms and my leg was blowing up. It was OK though as we were getting on the plane home. By the time we landed at Heathrow I couldn’t put weight on my leg and it had blown right out, my taxi driver friend Richard helping me into the taxi home. 

The flu like symptoms passed within around 24 hrs but my leg had a severe infection. It turned out to be a staphylococcus infection causing cellulitis. I was in a great deal of pain from my skin, which was appearing like it was burnt. Even a sheet going across it in bed was agony. 

I was in and out of hospital that week, and it was a radiographer who noticed the pin pricks, my bloods were carried out, and their best suggestion was that I had kicked a sea snake as I was snorkelling which had bitten me – me not noticing as I was driving back to the boat. Fortunately it’s hard to be bitten by one cleanly due to the nature of their teeth; I also was in fine health and large volume. This had accounted for my flu like symptoms, and also why my oxygen count was so low. It had knocked my immune system into touch however allowing the infection from the bite to take hold. 

We fought it for several days before I was admitted to hospital. There the surgeons opened me up and strawberry milkshake poured out. They told me time was off the essence and they were rushing me straight in for surgery – and that when I awoke I may not have my leg. I told them “do your best then, just get me down there now if time is of the essence”, and off I went. 

Fortunately I awoke to find my leg there. I’d lost lots of flesh from inside my lower right leg. They had operated to clear the infection through two large holes which ‘tracked’ together. I could see my tendons move like in a Terminator movie. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg for a month. The medical team were superb in every respect – the British NHS is often criticised yet I had exceptional service and attention. I was in for five days before released, having to hyperventilate to pass the oxygen test that allowed me to leave – I still wasn’t oxygenating my blood properly.

After two months I did my first training session with Steve Fox. I was used to doing intense 45 minute rounds – yet here I was dead after a minute. My training team stuck with me and coaxed me back to full fitness in a short space of time – and all the time I was still receiving medical attention as my leg was growing back and the wounds clearing. 

I needed to get fit quick – just four months after the incident I was due to fight Carter Williams – K-1 USA Champion in his prime – in Ohio, opening the Arnold Classic for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately the medical team were doing wonders, my family were still helping me out nicely, and my team were being awesome as always. Fitness was returning fast - and my leg was quickly recovering.

The week before the fight I was finally cleared to fly by the medical team and off we went. I fought Carter in front of an 18,000 live audience and millions watching on PPV – and won! Just four months after nearly losing my leg I had defeated one of the most feared fighters on the K-1 circuit, and at a prestigious event too. 

As I think back I only managed to do this thanks to my fighting spirit and humour. A great medical team doing everything they could. My training team were quite simply awesome. My wife and my family for helping me every step of the way – in the early days waiting on me hand and foot even, as I couldn’t stand even with crutches. 

It’s a nice little journey to remember – nearly losing my leg to defeating a feared fighter. It reminds me that anything is possible, and it is easier to if you have the right people around you. 

So to everyone who helped me at that time – thank you so much, you know who you are, and every time I see the scars I’m reminded of your support with a smile. I know what the scars represent. 

Just thought I’d pop this in a blog, a quick glance at part of my life story.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Fat Loss – Time For Some Fresh Thinking?

This is a blog post to get people thinking, no more, no less. I’m putting some ideas out there. I’d love it if you could consider the content, think upon it, and let me know your informed opinions. Obesity is a growing problem, and I believe things need to change. Here are a few of my thoughts for you to consider.

Current fat loss approaches fail

Current advice for weight loss focuses on “eating less and exercising more”. If adhered too, such calorie deficit approaches have similar results at 6 months. In the short term weight can be reduced. The approach for you will be the one you can stick to – overall this should be the deciding factor for an individual. Different people will have different drop-out rates.

Interestingly, exercise/physical activity on its own is not an efficient way to lose weight, though should be a part of everyone’s lives for the physical and psychological benefits alone. Exercise also helps to maintain lean tissue during calorie deficit weight loss approaches. Nutrition is the key element to losing fat – as the saying goes; you can’t train yourself out of bad nutrition.

But long term maintenance of the weight lost is a problem. 8-9/10 people fail to maintain a clinically significant weight loss over 1-2 years. The calorie deficit approach fails over the long term, and worse, many end up larger. There are strong physiological and psychological reasons why. For a calorie deficit approach, for the vast majority of people, results are transient at best.

Behaviours that correlate with the successful few who have long term weight loss are increased levels of exercise/physical activity, weighing themselves every day, and peer support.

Calorie in v calorie out fails long term.

(For those concerned, this does not violate the Laws of Thermodynamics.)

I believe we should operate in evidence based practice. Currently the evidence shows that the calorie deficit approach fails nearly every time. So why are we being advised to follow methods that don’t work?

Time for a change

I believe, and I’m not alone, that we need to change our way of thinking in respect to nutrition, and particularly in respect to fat loss. This will require changes in beliefs, removal of common held misconceptions and perpetuated myths, and a look to the evidence and base science. It will even require a change in the language and phrases we use.  

We need to think fresh, and to move towards accurate science.

When we think fresh our behaviours and actions change. It can open up new directions, new methodologies, and hopefully better results. In this blog I’m just going to touch on a few key areas.

Our bodies have exquisite feedback loops to maintain a healthy body. We should stop working against our bodies and instead work with them. We should eat only when hungry, and stop eating when no longer hungry. We should not eat for emotional needs. We should drink only when thirsty.

The above can be derailed by the wanting and liking, addictive like behaviours from the reward and mood centres in our brain. We need to recognise that psychological interventions are often required to satisfy the reward and mood centres in our brains, in ways that satisfy them in ways which are more beneficial. Other psychological interventions may be appropriate such as motivation and emotional control, and to help drive the right behavioural changes. Teaching people that it is OK to not have three square meals a day, it is OK to leave food on your plate, it is OK to listen to your bodies and not follow the social norms may require such psychological input.

We should eat food that evolution has prepared us for. I believe that we should eat natural whole food, properly prepared. As a generalisation eating natural food is a lot more beneficial than eating man-made food. Natural food generally comes in the right proportions with the right components together, enabling our bodies to absorb and utilise the food correctly.

We should stop thinking about calories and instead thinking about molecules.

Calories are a measure of heat energy. When we think of the mass of a human body, energy is not a consideration. In practice our mass is in the mass of our molecules, not the energy contained within. We eat molecules and we breathe in molecules. We excrete and lose molecules. This balance of molecules, the conservation of mass, dictates our weight. It is perhaps more appropriate to think of molecules in v molecules out (MIMO) rather than calories in v calories out (CICO).

When we utilise fat for energy the fat is broken down into the molecules H20 and CO2 – water and carbon dioxide. The same is true for carbohydrates. The water leaves through sweat and other excretions, the carbon dioxide leaves through our breath. We use terms such as ‘burn fat’, yet this is misdirection. The chemical structure of fat is broken down into water and carbon dioxide and some energy is released. Very little of this energy is in the form of heat. Most of the energy goes to providing kinetic and potential energy to produce movement. A better term might be ‘utilise’ rather than ‘burn’.

 (‘Burning’ in chemical terms refers to explosive oxidisation of substrate, usually with heat sustaining the reaction. Fat is oxidised, yet heat does not sustain the chemical reaction in respect to fat, there is no explosive reaction, and instead it is enzymes that act as catalysts and sustain the reaction. Think of our use of fuel for energy as oxidisation of iron – the process of rust forming – rather than a burning furnace.)

Does energy count? Of course! Yet, the energy is stored in the bonds between atoms forming the molecules. Different molecules are treated differently by the body. A calorie is definitely a calorie in terms of energy, it is just a measurement, but the molecules containing that energy are treated completely differently by our bodies. Glucose molecules have different metabolic pathways to those of amino acids, different again to fat.

Those thinking in calorie terms tend to overlook that the body treats molecules differently. By thinking of molecule metabolism we can look more effectively at how our body utilises the food and oxygen we take in. Instead of looking to 'burn calories' we can look to 'utilise our fat stores as fuel' which enables us to focus our exercise/physical activity more directly on the source of the fuel rather than just the energy itself.

Dropping focus from calories and changing to molecules is far reaching for nutrition. It can lead to new approaches and assist in new thoughts. Talking in molecular terms allows us to talk in respect to amino acids rather than protein, the differing molecular types of fat and carbohydrate, all of which being processed and used by the body in completely different ways. I believe calories are the misdirection, moving our focus from where it should be placed.

We need to look at the environment in which we move. Fresh thinking is coming from Ray Cronise with his ‘Metabolic Winter Hypothesis’, looking at how environmental exposure to temperature fuels obesity and offers a solution. Our look at the environment can be taken further as the unconscious cues are all around us from the media and marketing, everywhere we go, keeping us in the old ways of thinking. Recognising that even the layout of a supermarket is designed to help you buy and eat more is just a small start. Everything from the layout, the positioning, the lighting, the sounds, the smells, the packaging – everything is telling your mind to buy. What would happen if we recognised the impact of the environment around us?

These are just some thoughts that I am putting out there. They are not a complete list of the changes required or a prescription for how to reduce fat. They are not the complete picture for solving the obesity epidemic. I haven’t gone into detail of any of the points, instead just this blog is putting a few ideas out there for discussion.

If we continue doing the same things we will get the same results. Obesity will continue to flourish. Time for some fresh thinking…

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Relaxation is vastly underrated.

I regularly teach my clients how to relax for a whole host of reasons. In the past I have used relaxation to help remove stress, anxiety and negative emotions from a client’s life. It works to remove fears and phobias. I’ve helped them to be free from chronic pain using it. I’ve used it with clients to help with migraines, to bolster the immune system, with heart and breathing arrhythmias, and other medical conditions. Even to produce testable analgesia and anaesthesia in clients.

I even teach clients how to do so in order to allow them time for ‘diffuse thinking’ or rest time from studying, allowing their minds to make the connections to create the ‘neural hooks’ they need to recall their study.

Most importantly by learning to relax you can focus on exactly what you need to focus on, seeing the big picture, moving through life efficiently and positively.

I use a methodology based on physiology, meditation and self-hypnosis. My approach heavily utilises the teachings of consultant cardiologist Dr Steve Murray, and Dr Alan Watkins, professor of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine. I also heavily rely on the works of the legendary Australian Psychiatrist Ainslie Meares, who carried out pioneering research into the use of relaxation for anxiety and pain relief rather than drugs.

In this blog post I will describe a sample methodology I use, pulling on all of the above. Other hypnotists will be able to take it further, and will recognise some elements of Dave Elman’s work in here too. Interestingly Ainslie Meares was utilising similar techniques to Dave Elman at the same time – an interesting parallel. Everyone though will find this methodology of benefit – please, give it a go, and notice the changes you can make in your life as a result.

Sample Relaxation Methodology

  • Close your eyes and let your body relax.
  • Tell yourself “I’m going to allow my body to easily, effortlessly relax completely now.”
  • Lightly open and close them, increasing the feeling of relaxation each time. Allow your eyelids to relax more completely each time. Each time you close your eyes say to yourself “relax”. Relax the eyelids completely so much so that you just don’t want to open them.
  • Take around 5 deep slow breaths. Every time you breathe out say the word “relax” to yourself, and allow yourself to relax more deeply every time you breathe out.
  • Allow your breathing to return to being automatic, and automatically allow your body to relax more each time you breathe out.
  • Say to yourself “starting right now, everything I hear, every word, every sound, inside or out will just help me relax more easily…everything I feel will just allow me to relax more easily…and nothing will disturb me in any way whatsoever as I relax more deeply…”
  • Regularise your breathing. Don’t speed it up or slow it down, just breathe. Yet breathe equal distance in to equal distance out, equal time in to equal time out, like you’re breathing to a metronome.
  • Breathe smoothly, smooth out your breath in and your breath out.
  • Allow your breathing to come from the centre of the chest, and allow it to slowly lower with each breath.
  • As you do this, take your focus to the heart area. Don’t do anything there, just take your focus there.
  • Once regularised and from the centre of your chest or lower, every time you breathe out imagine your arms becoming heavier and sinking down, every time you breathe out.
  • Every time you breathe out imagine your legs becoming heavier and sinking down, every time you breathe out.
  • Every time you breathe out imagine your body becoming heavier and sinking down, every time you breathe out.
  • Completely imagine yourself becoming heavier and sinking down, every time you breathe out.
  • Now completely relax your eyelids. Relax every nerve, every muscle, and every fibre. Relax until they just don’t want to open, so that as long as you hold onto that relaxation you just won’t be able to open your eyes.
  • Allow that feeling to completely relax the face, spreading out, completely relaxing the face now.  
  • Imagine that your body is totally relaxed. Imagine imagining everything you need to allow your body to totally relax now. Completely imagine it. Imagine it happening continuously so much that with every beat of your heart you just relax more deeply. Imagine it happening automatically so much that nothing you do say think or otherwise will stop you, you’ll just continue relaxing now.
  • Now place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and drift and dream.

(For hypnotists, at the end I will often use a ‘through the zero’ effect to stabilise the focused attention, and often use a ‘mind’s eye closer’ technique too for the same.)

Once you have practiced relaxing several times it will get easier and easier, and you’ll get more relaxed faster and more efficiently each time. After practicing a few times do it in a hard chair until you can relax equally well in that chair. Then lay on a hard floor and relax. Then practice relaxing on the hard floor with a tennis ball or similar object under you, so you can get used to relaxing despite an ‘obstruction’. Then relax standing up. Then relax standing up and lightly open your eyes. Then practice with your eyes open. Then relax and very gently move. Continue increasing until you can move through life in that relaxed state.

This is just a quick blog post. The more geeky amongst my readers have a treasure trove of learning here – working out exactly why the methodology works, what is happening and when, and will be able to adapt the processes to themselves, and if appropriately their clients.

Learning to relax is important in today’s fast-paced life. I would urge you to practice relaxation – your life will be better as a result. After all, it seems to serve my huskies well!