Do you have an excessive fear of gagging, swallowing, and choking, to the point that you can’t do ordinary things like eat or have oral sex? If so, you are not alone. The sensation of having your throat closed, preparing to emit what is inside, is not pleasant. It is not designed to be. The gag reflex is designed to facilitate vomiting, which is one of your body’s main defenses against ingesting harmful substances. It’s also a defense against choking: the muscles in the throat contract in an effort to help the body emit the dangerous foreign substance that is blocking the digestive tracts. Unfortunately, some people are so traumatized by the gagging and choking experience that they develop a true phobia. They are on the verge of panic every time something comes in contact with their esophagus. Each swallow of food becomes fraught with anxiety.

How phobias work

Unfortunately, the mind affects the body more than you might expect. Thus, the gag reflex and the sensation of fright are closely related to each other. In fact, your state of mind is a big part of how your body determines whether or not to allow you to place an object down your throat. If you love to eat horseradish and swallow a large amount of it while in a calm and delighted state, your throat will readily accept what your mind perceives as a tasty morsel. On the other hand, if you hate horseradish and are convinced your body can’t accept it, your throat may close up and you may end up gagging.

A phobia that perpetuates itself

In other words, the anticipation of gagging on something will make you much more likely to gag. This not only applies to food, but also to other foreign objects that are inserted into the throat and mouth. If you remain calm while your dentist or throat doctor probes you, your visit will likely be uneventful. On the other hand, if you are overcome by the fear of choking on the doctor’s instrument, your throat will convulse, confirming your fear.

Never fear gagging, swallowing or choking again

As described in the previous paragraph, a severe preoccupation with the unpleasant strange sensation of the muscles in your throat contracting as you struggle to expel objects can become a serious impediment in your life (including your sex life). Fortunately, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy techniques work very well to rid your mind of its unwanted responses.

NLP retrains your mind

Every time you experience the adverse reaction that leads to unwanted gagging, your mind follows a consistent and predictable thought pattern in response to a given stimulus (ie, the feeling of something in your throat). Regardless of why your mind works that way, NLP techniques can help you recondition it. Through a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy, you can learn to put yourself in a calm and relaxed state of mind at will. You can then learn to associate that state with the same triggers that normally cause you to choke. This way, after a few sessions of NLP and hypnotherapy, you will never again have to fear gagging, swallowing or choking.

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