Mindfulness and hypnotherapy downloads might be all the rage these days, but Andrew Johnson has been there from the beginning and helped shape what has become a massive element of the vast health and wellbeing industry.
Andrew spoke to WatchFit about his work…
How would you describe the field you work in?
My initial training was 1994 as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, however I’ve broadened out into stress management, meditation, mindfulness and resilience skills. I’ve always found it difficult to categorise exactly what I do, but the closest I’ve found is “pre and post mindfulness” training.
Pre-mindfulness is the act of relaxing the mind and body, slowing the heart rate, releasing physical tension, deepening the breathing and quietening the mind.
Post-mindfulness includes all the wonderful techniques that can be used when the mind and body are quiet and deeply relaxed, so positive affirmations and imagery, goal setting, habit breaking, boosting resilience, motivation, confidence and much more.
What is your background and how did you get into this?
I had a deep interest in meditation and the mind-body connection from my mid-teens and was always interested in the power of positive thinking. In the early 90’s I had a few things that I wanted some help with and I found Clinical Hypnotherapy. It was one of those magical moments for me. I threw myself into investigating courses and then, training for 18 months to Diploma standard.
Your downloads seem to cover the full range of health, wellbeing, motivation and positivity…
The recordings started out as giveaways for one-to-one clients, so Stop Smoking, Positivity and Relaxation were my first professionally recorded tracks. What really dates them is that they were on cassette tapes originally before being transferred to MP3s and, in 1998, apps for the iPhone and then the Android platform.
As the Apps gained popularity, I started recording all the subjects I had been asked to do over the years. Deep Sleep remains our most popular “single subject” app, but there are now 24 apps on the iOS app store and over 80 different titles available as MP3 downloads. I’ve been lucky enough to have a very interested social media following and have reached out to them to get suggestions about what subject to tackle next.
Do you work one-on-one with people or do group work and deliver presentations?
I stopped one to one sessions about seven years ago to concentrate on the recordings and the social media side of the business. I delivered corporate group training for many years and I am in the process of restarting the Corporate aspect of what I do with my “Relax-Change-Create” workshops.
You have made a name all around the world for your work and I gather you have even been recognised in a shop just on the basis of your voice!
It has happened a couple of times! A few years ago I was in a shop in New York trying to explain to the assistant what I was looking for and she suddenly stopped in her tracks and asked “Are you Andrew Johnson”? It turned out she had been listening to some of my apps for the last year!
Are the most popular downloads still relating to weight loss and stopping smoking, or have others started to come to the fore in more recent times.
The Deep Sleep app is by far the most popular “single subject” app. So many people are dealing with broken sleep these days due to stress and, in my opinion, over stimulation from information on screens (TV, computers, phones and tablets).
This leads to the mind trying to process the day at the most inopportune time – when people are trying to sleep.
There is also a growing demand for recordings that allow people to access intuition, creativity and positivity.
It must be satisfying to know you have made a difference to literally millions of people.
I know that the apps are hugely popular and it really does make my day when I get an email from a customer giving me some wonderful feedback. I know that my business partner Michael Schneider who works on the tech/ licensing side of the business is also inspired by these emails. We have watched the apps grow into a substantial business and both agree that this has been helped in a huge way by “word of mouth”.
The ‘Mindfulness Industry’ has grown massively in the last few years. As somebody who was ahead of the game and been influential, what is your view on this? Is the sudden prevalence of ‘experts’ and material out there diluting the better elements?
The acceptance and growth of Mindfulness in the last 5-8 years has been wonderful for people in my industry as it has introduced a massive new audience to what I call “eyes closed” work. Like all quickly growing markets, there will always be people jumping on the bandwagon, however because of the internet, it’s easy now to research and connect with the people in the industry with deeper experience and knowledge.
Any upcoming plans you can share with us here?
Our latest app “holistrio” is now live on all app stores and contains a large and ever-growing selection of tracks covering relaxation, meditation, mindfulness and coping skills”
The corporate workshops are launching late 2018 from www.RelaxChangeCreate.com
And look out for a new venture in late 2018 introducing relaxation, resilience and mindfulness training into the fitness industry.
Where can we find your downloads?
Follow the links on www.AndrewJohnson.co.uk or search for “with Andrew Johnson” in your app store.