Sandy Newbigging Mind Detox Method

In this interview I talk to Sandy Newbigging who is the founder of The Mind Detox Method. It is a way of releasing past emotional blocks and baggage which are getting in the way of you achieving your goals. This is a very interesting show, well worth a listen.

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Transcript of show

SANDY NEWBIGGING

JOHN PETROZZI: Hi. Welcome to Living is Easy. I’m John Petrozzi. Thanks for joining us today.

I’m sure you’ve heard of body detox for weight loss and health. But have you heard of Mind Detox? Well, today, I’m speaking to Sandy Newbigging from the UK who’s a developer of a method called “Mind Detox.” His method has helped countless of people eliminate self-sabotaging thoughts, move past depression, and helped heal themselves of various illnesses and sicknesses. So it would be great talking to him today.

He’s also written four books on the subject of the mind, and I hope he can teach us a few things today that will help us live a healthier and happier life.

Hi, Sandy, and thanks for coming on the show.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

JOHN PETROZZI: Sandy, I spoke to a colleague of yours some time ago, David Hamilton. We spoke about mind, how the mind works, and how it can affect our moods and also our general health. I sort of came across your work on the internet, and there are these nice YouTube videos of you doing some sessions on people. I watched you do those and you’ve been getting some fantastic results. What’s the Mind Detox method all about?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, the Mind Detox is a way of discovering and healing the mental and emotional causes of severe conditions: emotional issues and mind problems. When we started investigating and looking beyond the surface-level symptoms, what things have come up time and time again is the cause often lies within the mind.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yup. So your background is in meditation. You’re a meditation practitioner. Is that right?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, I’m trained in meditation under a meditation teacher. But the Mind Detox method is more drawing on my background in things that your listeners may be aware of, such as NLP, Total Mind Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, and so really drew upon that a few years ago to create this method.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay. Before we get into the methodology of your technique, tell us a bit about yourself. Because I read your new website, and it’s really quite interesting. You spent some time training and you’re doing some meditation training in the mountains of Mexico and on an island in Greece. You spend a fair amount of time on your own. How long was that?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, it was a total of about six months.

JOHN PETROZZI: Amazing.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: I wasn’t on my own. It was part of a group of people who were doing it as well. Essentially, what happened for me was I got to the point in my life, where change in the mind is fantastic, and we’re going to talk about the benefits of how to change your mind so you can change your body and change your life for the better if you want to.

But what I find also—and this is one reason why my methods are quite unique sometimes—is that it doesn’t just stop there. It’s more on this long term peace and happiness. It’s also important that we change our relationship with our minds, because the average person has, they say, about 100,000 thoughts every day. Of these thoughts, another study that I came across, suggested that 95% of the average person’s thinking can be negative.

So that was crazy when I saw that. For the average person, that could be 95,000 thoughts a day that they might need to change if they’re going to think positively. So even if you have the statistic to, say, 50%, it’s still about 50,000 thoughts that the average person will need to change if they’re going to think entirely positive.

So I’m obviously a promoter of thinking positively, and how it’s more useful to think positively than negatively. However, what I’d find is that I’m finding it really hard to think completely positively. It was such a relief when I find though that I didn’t have to – not all the time. I could just change my relationship with my mind and experience peace irrespective of what my mind was happening to talk about. That was such a relief.

That’s why I invested the time and went off and meditated. I went away and just started meditating and just helped myself change my relationship with my life-long habits of thinking all the time.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Okay. Were you in a bad state that you sort of had to go out there? Or were you just an average sort of Joe who wanted to improve himself?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: To be honest, I originally went into this because I felt really bad and I wanted to help myself. Things were going really well and everything was very fantastic, but then I hit rock bottom, which served as my wake-up call. My girlfriend left, I lost my home, I lost my car, I lost the money, you know, I sort of lost my future. I hit rock bottom and that’s was when it really became obvious to me that I’d set a lot of amazing goals in my life and they never made me completely happy. I was happy for a moment, but not long-term happiness that I hoped was possible. So that was my motivation for taking off and becoming a meditation teacher.

JOHN PETROZZI: Amazing. What do you think is the difference between happiness and satisfaction?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: I think both actually are a bit temporary. Joy is eternal; joy is like all the time. I mean that satisfaction and happiness are usually temporary, based upon some external result of some kind (I’m generalizing). It’s important to make a distinction between someone feeling satisfied because they’ve accomplished something and someone feeling contented. Contentment is a different experience. For me, contentment is being present. When I’m feeling present in this moment, completely filled up with whatever this moment has to offer, not wanting anymore than what I have right now, that is the experience of contentment.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: But if I’ve accomplished something and I’m happy that I’ve done that, then there’s happiness there. But that happiness tends to be temporary, because it’s often about something. You know what I mean?

JOHN PETROZZI: Yup.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: So for me, I wanted more joy and contentment and love and true peace, and that’s what really motivates me.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay. So can you tell me a bit about—it almost seems like there’s a bit of a spectrum here between happiness, contentment, and joy, and fun; there seems to be sort of a spectrum that goes on both sides—I’ve heard of a group called Heart Math and they tend to say that the heart and the mind are connected. They say that working from a place of love ultimately will get you contentment and happiness. Where does love sort of fit into your idea and also method of Mind Detox?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, the truth is, if someone isn’t loving something, then he usually experiences negative emotion. Mind Detox is moving someone from a place of resistance in their life, whatever that might be conscious or unconscious, but what I’ve discovered and observed is that for someone to experience a negative emotion, like anger or sadness or fear or guilt or hurt, then you’d have to be resisting something.

Now, when I meet them, sometimes the things they’re resisting happened many years ago, or few weeks ago, but they’re still resisting it in some way in order to be feeling about it and causing their body distress. So what we do to help them heal and to help them feel more peace is to move them from a place of anger or resistance to a place of compassion. When someone’s being more compassionate towards themselves or towards other people in their life, they find the resistance diminishes hugely. In fact, I go as far as to say it’s impossible to have any stress or resistance if someone’s living a completely compassionate life.

And in my experience, compassion is the act or form of love – if you’re just letting someone be as they are, trusting that they’re doing the best that they can, that if they had a choice, they would choose love and peace and happiness, but they don’t know how. That’s one of the biggest insights I’ve seen.

And what really may help some people that are listening today is, you know, I’ve had a chance to travel the world (that’s my work), and every time I’m in front of any audience, I ask them one question, which is, “What do you want more than anything else? What’s your heart’s greatest desire?” I’ve been able to ask people from all backgrounds, all ages, all financial statuses, all religions, and it’s amazing to see that every single person has wanted happiness, peace, contentment, love. Not a single person has said they want conflict, anger, loneliness. You know that in the heart of hearts, every single person you meet on a daily basis just wants to know they’re loved, to know they’re good enough, and to have peace of mind.

So when someone’s being, what may appear on the surface, as difficult, or someone might have done something to you in the past that might be a problem, if you can start recognising that in their heart they just want to be loved and to be accepted and to experience peace, then what you start to recognise is if they are having arguments, if they are having low moments, if they are doing bad or mean things, they’re doing it because they don’t have enough [0:09:23]. If they genuinely knew they could be something else, experience more peace and happiness, they would do it. They just don’t know any better.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yup.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: And that doesn’t need our criticism. It needs our compassion.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s interesting what you’re saying here, Sandy, especially with individual people, that when they’ve got a choice, they would choose (hopefully choose) happiness. But it’s funny when you put collective people together, whether it’s a group or society or country. We’ve got countries around the world that are fighting against each other and they have done for many years. Often, I know that it’s got to be some ingrained things in there that are driving that whole system of hatred and fighting, but what do you think—and with your experience in helping people’s minds—what do you think would shift a whole society, or even a whole country, to change their way of thinking when it comes to war and peace? I don’t know if you can even answer that, but I thought I’d ask you anyway.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Yeah. No. it can actually be very simple. I’m not thinking easy, but it’s a simple solution. You know, I’ve taken commitments in my life to heal humanity through the healing of myself. That really is where it’s at. When people are willing to heal whatever conflict they have with themselves and to learn to love themselves, then they don’t find anything negative or things to hate in others either.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Our external wealth is very much a projection of our internal wealth. As long as there’s conflict in people’s minds and they’re buying into that conflict, then there’s likely to be conflict projected over into the world. Because when you start to recognise your true self—I call it “your real self”—what you start to recognise is your real self isn’t separate from any other self. There is only one self in this universe, and we’re not separate from each other. We might appear to be separate. We might appear as distant bodies in different jobs in different life, but actually, at the heart of us, we’re all one. When people start to recognise that, its natural byproduct would be to not fight anymore and to experience more peace.

JOHN PETROZZI: Hm. Well, Sandy, tell us a bit about your Mind Detox method, how you apply it to people and how it works.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, it’s simply a script of questions asked between a therapist and a client or someone needing help. It helps them to discover what I see as the mental and emotional cause of that. Let’s say someone comes up and says, “I’ve got psoriasis (excessive cells in our skin).” What I say to them is, “Okay, let’s discover the mental or emotional cause of it.”

We start exploring what event in their life might be causing the skin condition, and then once we find that event, we’ll then we start to explore, “Okay, so it’s not what happened in life that’s the severe problem, but instead ‘why’ what happened was a problem for you?” In other words, it’s the emotion you felt at the time and the subsequent conclusions that you came to that caused it to be a problem at that time. So we start exploring the person’s belief system, because it’s really the belief system that’s causing them to interpret their life’s events in a way that’s causing them stress or anxiety or sadness, or whatever.

So when you start looking at the “why,” it actually helps them to change their mind. It’s helping them to change the relationship with what’s happened in the past or what they might be worried about happening in the future. When you start being able to change the mind, then you’re actually able to start changing how that person relates to what’s happened, and in doing that, he experiences more peace.

What I find is by watching on people’s emotions and memories and things that they’re resisting, and by reducing the amount of stress the person is experiencing in their body, then that’s not necessarily conscious stress. Because in stress, you know, you might have a deadline and you’re worried and then you’re stressed about that.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: But I’m more interested in the unconscious stress, the subtle things that we’ve actually forgotten that we’re resisting. There are these certain things that have happened in your life that when you think about them they might be negative emotions. These are the things that you’re resisting. The emotion is a clue that you’re actually resisting something, and that resistance, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, I believe, causes a person going to stress and the body just gets to the point where it starts speaking the mind and creates a condition.

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, we know that a chronic high cortisol level or stress hormone level in the body tend to eat away at itself and stops the body’s ability to heal itself, and it increases oxidation. Yeah, it’s amazing what stressful moments do to the body when they’re at high level chronically. How do you find out if someone’s got a subconscious block or a repeating thought that’s getting in the way?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Usually, they will have some sort of physical symptoms, they’ll be experiencing some emotional issues, like depression or anxiety or loneliness, or they’ll be creating something difficult or challenge in their life, like constant debt or separations or arguments with people, things like that. There’ll be some sort of evidence in their outside world.

The amazing thing with our belief system is that our beliefs are completely merged in our external world and our bodies. So if you want to know your beliefs that you might have, we just need to actually look at our life and our emotions and our body on a daily basis. The evidence is like staring back at us. So it’s not like this secret belief. They’re actually staring people right in their face every day.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: So our work then is getting into the cause of the belief, changing the first event when you first came to that belief. If it was the first time you’re even forming that belief, then we go back and we create a different belief instead, it’s like an emotional and mental knock on our face that literally is like time-travelling and changing the past. It’s quite incredible to witness. You know, I have people who have been struggling with things for many, many years, and when you change the root cause, many aspects that are related change simultaneously.

You know, one lady who had a pain in her abdomen that’s been there for a couple of years and nothing could get rid of it. When we got to the root cause event, it was simply that she managed to escape from nursery one day when she was a kid, and she ran home (because their house was just close to her nursery). Her memory was her crying on the front doorstep. Then when I asked her, “What was it that caused you to cry about that?” she suddenly burst out crying and saying, “I was abandoned.” So this feeling of abandonment had formed in her mind.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s amazing, isn’t it?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: It was fascinating, especially because afterwards—I met her a year later after we helped her clear that—the pain went away the day we worked on it, and a year later, she had discovered that jealousy had evaporated in her relationship. She was married and she struggled with jealousy, and it’s amazing that a year on, she said there’s been no jealousy. She realises because she cleared the belief of abandonment that her mind was no longer worried of that time her husband might leave her.

She had also left her job and she’s working for herself helping kids with confidence, of all things. It’s a beautiful story. When I asked her about it, she said, “Yeah, I’d always been working for a big company, because I was scared to be on my own.” And we burst out laughing because she realised that, again, was stemming from the abandonment thing.

So when you get to the core belief, it can, not only heal the body, but also heal most ills of a person’s life.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Sandy, it almost seems magical, doesn’t it?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: People are magic; I mean, I’m constantly blown away by the power we have to change our circumstances, and all that they require is a desire, just to know that it’s possible, and to go for it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Amazing. It’s almost sort of brainwashing, isn’t it? Changing beliefs?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, they were brainwashed originally with the negative belief, so it’s giving more of a spring cleaning.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Now, I understand for sure. So, do you always have to, in your sessions—and just for people listening—the way Sandy’s work works is that he’s using tapping, aren’t you? You’re using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and you’re using very subtle other techniques that you developed. Is that right?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Yes. The main method is a standalone self-sufficient method that I accidentally created a few years ago.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: I do use other forms of therapy, because I’ve been trained in them. So when faced with a client, I’ll do whatever they need. Sometimes, the person is like kinesthetic, you know, they’re very touchy-feely or very physical, so with that person, I’ll do some EFT with them, because it’s a physical, you know, you’re tapping on meridian points to help with their emotions. So I try to adapt the approach to the specific person I’m working with. Sometimes, they don’t need EFT or whatever; it just completely depends.

JOHN PETROZZI: So you said before, you stumbled upon your method. How did you develop it?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, it’s a fun story, actually. A few years ago, in 2005, I was a more classical dreams therapist, working with people purely with emotional stuff. Then I was invited over to a detox retreat in Spain, and I was like, “Yes! Fantastic!” I thought I’d made it, you know. I get there and it goes [0:19:24] very quickly. The first client walks in and she wants to work on a physical condition. I had never worked in that realm before. She said she’d like to work on her IBS, and I actually had to say, “What’s that?” I didn’t know that IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I just had no background in health.

Fortunately, a couple of weeks prior to that, and a few years ago, I happened to have been to a talk with Dr. David Hamilton, who you mentioned earlier. Back then, he hadn’t simplified it for the layman yet. It was one of the first talks he’d ever done. I couldn’t pick up all the complicated and big long words, but what I did get was that the mind and body were connected.

So, that day, in front of my client, I just said, “The mind and body are connected,” and she’s like, “Yeah?” Long pause. And I was like, “So shall we see if there might be a mental or emotional cause there?” And she said, “Oh, that would be fantastic.” Another long pause. Then fortunately, I just said, with the background I’d had, a few questions came up to my mind, and we were both amazed when she found an event that made sense. You know, it made sense, not only that the event had happened, but the belief that she formed that day as well. It made sense as to why the body was holding on, because she had fear of letting go, literally, so her body wasn’t letting go.

So when we cleared that, she left, and the next person walks in, and then the next person, and the next person. Because it worked with the previous person, I just used the same questions and the same approach. Before I knew it, it was being known as “being Sandied,” which was nice for the ego, but I didn’t feel that comfortable. Because I was the mind guy on a detox retreat, “Mind Detox” was born.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Wow. Fantastic. That’s great.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: And over the next year- Oops, sorry.

JOHN PETROZZI: No, no, please keep going. Interesting story.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: And over the next year, I ended up being shown on television in certain countries in the world and then another TV series happened. Things got very busy and people started going, “Where did you learn Mind Detox?” I just was honest and I said, “I made it up, but not expecting anything.”

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: So they came back and said, “What did you learn so we can learn it?” That’s when I started playing with the possibility passing the method on. It’s a transferable skill that other people can use. So for the next year, I started using the same questions in every single consultation to see if it was me or if it was a method. Thankfully, it wasn’t me; it was a transferable method. That was when the Mind Detox method was born.

So Mind Detox and Mind Detox method kind of grew very organically. I’ve been very blest over the last few years, because I’ve actually had a chance to train people from 14 countries in the world in this method.

JOHN PETROZZI: Amazing.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: And I’m coming to Australia in a couple of week’s time, in November 2010, to run retreats and to teach practitioners.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s exciting. So in your retreats, do you have people coming in with these specific problems and you try and help them change their beliefs around it? How does it work? How do your retreats work?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Well, retreats are like a life overhaul, so a person who feels stuck with something in their life—it can be a physical thing or a life situation—more often than not, they’ve tried other ways and none of them have worked or weren’t long-term or they just don’t know why it’s happening to their body. So they come along and we teach them two things: we teach them how to change their minds and how to change their relationship with their minds.

So there’ll be an aspect of the week that’s all about the Mind Detox, and there’ll be an aspect which is all about the meditation and helping them to change their relationship with their mind, too. But fortunately, I use a very fun and easy form of meditation that you can even use with your eyes open.

JOHN PETROZZI: Oh, brilliant.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: So it’s a very practical fun way of working. And obviously, because I’ve written books with healthy eating and life detox—I’m very much into detox myself—there’s obviously a healthy-eating elements in the week, but the focus really of my retreats is what I do best, which is the Mind Detox.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Fantastic. Sandy, we’re almost out of time. are there any little things or little tips you can share with us—we wake up one morning and we sort of wake up on the wrong side of the bed and we’re in a pretty unproductive bad mood—is there anything we can do to get out of that?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Absolutely. Actually, you got to remember that your physiology impacts your mood as well. So you can take the mind and body approach to feeling different. If someone’s feeling depressed, then you could see from a mile away that they’re feeling depressed: they’re going to be sitting in a certain way, their eyes are going to be dull, their breathing’s going to be shallow, the head’s going to be plopped to the side, probably, the shoulders curled in, and just not going to have a very positive physiology.

So first thing first is to get your body moving. You can do a few star jumps, you can look up at the ceiling with a big smile on your face and wave at the ceiling (I know it’s a little funny idea), but it just changes your physiology that can often impact your mood.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yup.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: You can also change your relationship with your emotions. So if you have an emotion and you don’t want to feel it anymore, you can do the following four steps:

1.      Just name it – Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” It could be anger or sadness or “a yucky feeling.” It doesn’t really matter what you call it, but you start by naming it.

2.      Locate it in your body – The funny thing is, your emotions are going to be located somewhere in the body. It can be located in your stomach, your diaphragm, your heart, somewhere in that region normally.

3.      Give it a color – Just any color will do. It just helps you to visualise and locate it for a moment. So once you’ve named it, located it, and given it a color—let’s say it’s in the heart, it was sadness, and it was red—what you then do, if you look at something ahead of you, a door handle or anything, and then (this is where it gets funny and weird, but just play along with me)

4.      Pretending that you got double-sighted eyes, just watch that coloured emotion get out of your body – So you’ve been looking at it with your eyes simultaneously looking in at your heart and that red emotion.

What you discover—and this has happened with 100% of people I’ve done it with—is that the emotion just very quickly evaporates. It actually just dissolves; it’s a phenomenal thing. So obviously, there’s no therapy involved. This is not the main idea or method of this part. It’s just a fun little toy that you can play with to help let your emotions move on.

When you start watching your emotions, you start being the emotion. And when you watch the emotion get that a little bit stage for it to just be able to move on and dissolve, which the emotion just wants to do anyway.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s just amazing, isn’t it? Sandy, it’s been great talking with you today.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Is there a website that we can go to and find a little bit more information about Mind Detox?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Absolutely. My website is minddetox.com. I’m literally, in the next few days, going to launch a new website, so if you get there and there isn’t an online club, please just send it out to the newsletter. If there is an online club, please send it to the club, because there are little freebies in there that you can benefit from.

JOHN PETROZZI: And you’re coming out here in November this year to Sydney?

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Yes. If want to meet me, please come in and hang out. it will be a lot of fun.

JOHN PETROZZI: Fantastic. Sandy, that was great to really have been talking with you today.

SANDY NEWBIGGING: Thanks again for your time.

JOHN PETROZZI: Thanks for your time.

And that was Sandy Newbigging. If you want to listen to this interview again, just go to our website, which is www.livingiseasy.com.au, and there will be this interview with Sandy up there shortly.

That’s all we have time for today. It’s really great having your company. I look forward to catching up with you all again next week.

I’m John Petrozzi. Until next time, stay well and stay happy.