How to Handle Cancer Pain: Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis Pain Relief for Cancer

Cancer pain help through both hypnosis and self-hypnosis may be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself while undergoing treatment for cancer. The pain of cancer can be tremendous but the drugs and other treatments have their own side effects and mind numbing issues that aren’t always desirable.

Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis for Cancer?

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis offers you the ability to find relief from pain without the fog of pharmaceuticals. This small piece of normalcy in your life at this particular time is a blessing all its own. The question becomes: do the drugs prescribed to bring relief bother you enough to warrant the unknown that hypnosis represents to so many.

Managing Pain

Pain management is one of the trickiest issues to deal with among cancer patients. Some patients prefer to feel no pain at all. Others feel that as long as they are feeling some of the pain they know, without a doubt that they are still among the living. Either way cancer pain help that is delivered in a manner that allows the most quality of life possible is the best way by far to manage that pain.

Why Hypnosis?

One question that remains for many is why? Why would hypnosis work and why should it be trusted? Hypnosis has been around for a long time. It is only in recent years that people have begun to harness the true power of both hypnosis and self-hypnosis for pain management, and put it to work for all manner of self-improvement efforts.

Hypnosis for pain management has been proven to be effective for chronic pain and cancer pain through various studies at Stanford University, Yale, Harvard and in studies completed in London and Sweden.

What Does Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis Have to do With Cancer Pain Help?

Pain management may seem like a bit of a leap but when you think about, it’s a logical next step. Pain rarely gets more critical or nearly as prolonged as the pain you will experience when going through with cancer. There have been studies done showing that hypnosis can help reduce cancer pain and chronic pain. Hypnosis is a case of mind over matter. ‘There is no pain, until it gets to the brain.’ Utilizing areas of the brain through hypnosis to help reduce/control pain via suggestion, imagery, and bio-feedback. This may be a simplistic explanation but ultimately that is what all hypnosis is.

Relief that can be felt is a worthy pursuit for all who suffer from cancer pain. Please keep in mind that the American Medical Association endorsed hypnosis for pain management in 1958 and the National Institute for Health (NIH) has also endorsed hypnosis.

More than Mere Pain Management

Cancer pain help through hypnosis and self-hypnosis doesn’t limit itself to physical pain. There are few times in your life when it is more important to handle emotional pain as well. Whether it is mending fencing, rebuilding bridges, or burning a few bridges along the way, life is too short to waste precious moments on pain. Hypnosis can be used to help you realize the battles that are worth hanging on to and those that you should have let go a long time ago. It can also be used to give you the strength to really let go and move on.

Beyond Cancer Pain Relief

Sometimes it takes cancer to remind you of the things that really are most important. Don’t let the need for cancer pain help rob you of your opportunity to enjoy them. If you haven’t taken the time to see what hypnosis and/or self-hypnosis can mean for you now is a great time to do so. Begin with cancer pain help and work your way up to healing all areas of your life and giving yourself the strength you need to face the pain of cancer and all the other living you have ahead of you.

If you would like more information on hypnosis for cancer pain or additional information on hypnosis for pain management please contact Traci Patterson at Advanced Pathways Hypnosis.

Traci’s Story

My name is Traci Patterson.  I’m the Founder and Director of Advanced Pathways Hypnosis, a Keynote and motivational speaker, writer, Delegate with the International Pain Foundation, an Ambassador with the U.S. Pain Foundation, patient advocate, and CRPS survivor.

Who was I prior to my diagnosis with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

Prior to my diagnosis with CRPS, I was a healthy, active, mother, wife, healthcare executive (at the top of my professional career), volunteer (with Young Life, Rising Tide and Orangewood Children’s Foundation), mentor, had been on the board for Tustin Eastern Little League, enjoyed softball, kayaking, outdoor activities, baseball, gardening, landscaping, and staying very busy.  I was one of those individuals that was always busy either with our family, volunteering or just helping friends or family.  I just loved to be active and busy.  That all changed after December, 2006 when I stepped over a box in our garage and turned my ankle.  What started out as a simple sprained ankle, triggered dominoes to something that what we could have never imagined. 

How would you define Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a long term condition that often worsens with time. It is characterized by severe pain and sensitivity, swelling, and changes in the skin. It may initially affect one limb and then spread throughout the body; 35% of people report symptoms throughout their whole body.

The cause of CRPS is unknown though CRPS is associated with dysregulation of the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system resulting in multiple functional loss, impairment and disability. Precipitating factors include injury and surgery, although there are cases where no injury had occurred at the original site. CRPS is not caused by psychological factors, yet the constant pain and reduced quality of life has been known to cause psychological problems (such as increased depression and anxiety). Although “research does not reveal support for specific personality or psychopathology predictors of the condition,” CRPS is associated with psychosocial effects, including impaired social and occupational function.  It is classified as an amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome.

Somebody who has chronic pain is living with a daily challenge to cope with pain that does not have a quick fix, sometimes it does not have a cure and the best you can hope for is to get into remission. As a patient you feel like you have to learn how to alter your dreams and bring focus and meaning back to your life.  Patients living in chronic pain also have to cope with others looking at them, not understanding what they are trying to deal with day in and day out, because most people only see a glimpse of what you are going through and to them you look normal.  You are not in a cast, you are not necessarily in the hospital, and you are home on medication dealing with a horrible pain condition that is wreaking havoc on your body.  This is why Chronic Pain, CRPS/RSD and many neurological pain syndromes are also known as ‘Invisible’ pain conditions.   

 How are people’s lives affected by this illness? What changes when they start dealing with this illness?

Your life is altered, your dreams for the future are never going to be exactly as you planned them to be, you have to change your expectations in life because now you are dealing with a condition with chronic pain, and now that you have pain you are not physically able to do things the way you used to.  So it alters your life.  Many will say it’s a matter of learning to live with it, around it and accept the changes that have come to your life.  The career that you had may now be gone.  The many activities that you were involved with, you now cannot continue due to high pain levels and it is very hard for others to understand this.  People that once stood by your side start to disappear as they just don’t understand why you are unable to do what you used to.  Your life as you once knew it changes, and this isn’t even talking about the impact it has on your family.

Why is this illness different from others illnesses?

You have to face this for the rest of your life, unless you are one of the individuals that can get into remission. Some people go to physical therapy for 6 to 8 weeks and then they get better. There is no cure for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Some people have an injury and they go through their process and the pain; medication, PT, injections, blocks and all of a sudden they graduate and then they’re able to get into remission and get back to their lives (this is not the norm). People like me that don’t respond to normal treatments go through aggressive treatment protocols that can include: heavy medications, injections, PT, regional blocks, lumbar sympathetic blocks, and maybe even Spinal Cord Stimulators.  Yes, I did all of that and had no improvement.  As a matter of fact everything they did to treat me made me worse!  I was told my case was one of the worse my Pain Management doctor had ever seen.  It was very aggressive and extremely volatile.  It started out in my left foot and ankle, moved into my back when they put in a Spinal Cord Stimulator (they stated this had never happened before to previous patients), then I had a build-up of scar tissue on my Dura of the spine that would have paralyzed me, so the final Spinal Cord Stimulator had to be removed.  At this point my Pain Management doctor was giving up!  My CRPS kept trying to ‘mirror’ to my right leg, but we were able to stop it each time.  How was I ever going to get better?  I refused to give up, my life had already been drastically altered, and I had been living life as a Chronic Pain patient on a cocktail of pain meds to just live…  I just knew in my heart that there had to be some answer out there, some hope, some way of getting my CRPS into remission and I refused to give up! 

At this point in my life I knew I had already been to hell and back, my CRPS was moving – getting worse (it was in my left foot/ankle, my entire back and had recently moved into my pelvic region), I knew God had other plans for me and I just had to figure out where that path was going to lead me.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Traci’s Case Report

My Name is Traci.  I was 36 years old when I originally sprained my ankle stepping over a box in December, 2006.  That started my journey.  Then a little over a year later I was formally diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in January, 2008. 

I was then referred to a DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) for assessment. After conservative treatment that included a CAM Boot, Physical Therapy and cortisone shots, the pain continued.

The DPM followed with three (3) surgeries of which several errors were made, including cutting the Tibial Nerves, Lateral Plantar Nerve, Rupturing the Posterior Tibial Tendon, and making the incision in the wrong place. 

I had two (2) surgeries by a top Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon to reconstruct my Posterior Tibial Tendon, and later he completed a Tarsal Tunnel Release hoping to help with the nerve pain.

During these surgeries, my pain continued to increase disproportionate to what should have been occurring.

In 2008, I was officially diagnosed with CRPS by my Pain Management doctor, and he put together an aggressive treatment plan to try to treat my condition.  Initially, he thought he could get my condition under control within 6 months to a year, and told me this could be one of the most devastating diagnoses of my life.

He started with putting me on a lengthy list of opioid pain medications that included: Methadone, Dilaudid, Ketamine (oral and topical), and more…

In addition to these medications he tried regional blocks with no results, and then we did 13 Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks (the last one shut down my adrenal glands, landing me in the hospital for several days).  Thus, my PM Doc stopped any further blocks and I was then told I had to get a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS).  In addition to the Sympathetic Blocks I also received a prescription from my pain management doctor to undergo HBOT.  I did 25-30 sessions of HBOT, which I had heard could help to relieve pain, but did not get relief.  The next step was a SCS trial which was a success. Yet once the real spinal cord stimulator (SCS) was implanted it functioned in-properly and caused swelling every time the battery was charged.  Thus, I had to have a 2nd surgery to change out the SCS Battery. It was at this time that I started to notice some CRPS Pain in my back.  I had continued trouble with the SCS, so the system was removed and replaced (Medtronic to Boston Scientific) – no precautions were taken to make sure the CRPS didn’t move into the back.

Following this surgery, I had full CRPS in my back (my waist to my shoulders).  I was told by the Neurosurgeon this was the first time he had this happen.  I had further issues with the Boston Scientific SCS, which included a build-up of scar tissue on the Dura of my Spine.  Upon further review, it was found in several articles that SCS in rare cases could cause scar tissue on the Dura that would lead to paralysis.  Therefore, my SCS was removed/explanted (2011).

It was at this time that my Pain Management doctor told me, “…after all of this I’m afraid to touch you. There is nothing else I can do at this time.  Therefore, you may have to do your best with pain meds.”

Three weeks following my post-op of the SCS removal, I flew to Frankfurt, Germany, for further treatment.  This was the first of my four trips over to Frankfurt, Germany, for treatment of my CRPS.

The first trip, we started with building up my immune system, Stem Cells (utilizing my own blood), Thymus Cell Extract, Blood Ozone Therapy, Neural Therapy with Ozone, Myers Cocktail IV’s, Lymphatic Massages, Physical Therapy and Detoxing.

On my second trip to Frankfurt, we noticed there was one area where they removed the SCS that was problematic.  Following an ultrasound, they discovered there was something foreign in the incision.  The Medical Director in Germany re-opened this area and found there was some gauze left in my incision from when the SCS was removed.  This was cleaned up, left open to heal, debrided on a daily basis until it closed on its own.

During this trip and my subsequent trips to Germany, I completed the following types of treatments (this is inclusive of the last three trips):

Neural Therapy with Ozone

Ionization

Ozone Therapy

Blood Ozone Therapy

Thymus Cell Therapy

Regional Hyperthermia (3x/day – 5days/week: first CRPS patient in world to be treated with Regional Hyperthermia)

Alpha Lipoic IV’s

Myers Cocktail IV’s

Homeopathic Injections

Regeneris Therapy (RNA Cell Therapy – 4 weeks treatment protocol)

PK Protocol

Physical Therapy and Massage

Bodywork

(Last trip to Germany was August-September, 2013).

 

I still feel that my trips to Germany were important in my over-all treatment process as they were able to shrink the area(s) of my CRPS and decrease my pain levels overall.  Following my last trip, my pain levels remained at a 5 for approximately six weeks and then started to increase again.

I contacted the Medical Director in Germany and it was suggested to do two more rounds of Regeneris or return to Frankfurt for continued treatment.

Between my trips to Germany, I was also treated in Mexico in tandem with the Medical Director from Frankfurt.

In Mexico, he treated me with the following over 3 different stays:

Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT – utilizing pain meds)

PK Protocol

Physical Therapy

Chiro

Alpha Lipoic IV’s

Myers Cocktail IV’s

Rife

Acuscope

Neural Therapy with Ozone

Ondamed Biofeedback

HBOT and detox

Regional Hyperthermia

 

These treatments only decreased my pain levels to a 6-7.  My last trip to Mexico was July, 2013.

Following my last trip from Germany I contacted highly regard clinic known for hypnosis for possible treatment.  I had previously done some hypnosis sessions, but was referred there due to their background and being known for Pain Management.  After speaking we set up a time to be seen mid-November, 2013.

I was told that it would be a week long intensive session that would include our time together and homework each evening (i.e. reading, listening to CD’s, etc…).  To me, this was an exciting avenue to go down and I was 100% dedicated to get the most out of everything that was set before.

Day one, I walked in with what I formerly called “Pain Levels”, and now have changed, calling them “Comfort Levels” up in the 8-9 range.  The evening prior they were at a 10+ due to the full day of travel to get from CA to my destination.  Little did I know, although I had hoped and prayed it would be, that my ‘Comfort Levels’ would drop to a ZERO by the end of the week! 

Over the week we used a combination of:

Hypnosis

Imagery / Meditation

Biofeedback

Light/Sound Therapy

“Issue Solution Training”

and learning Self-Hypnosis

 

While working together the first day, it was discovered that I was also dealing with a case of PTSD due to everything that I had dealt with over the years; the treatments; being given medications for anesthesia and not having them work – then listening to the physicians; having my Pain Management doctor tell me that there was nothing more he could do and I would just have to live with the pain;  going through some treatments that were extremely uncomfortable; and negative comments from physicians about the possible outcome of my situation.  This did not surprise me to say the least.

From the first day to the last day I saw progress.

Thursday of our week together, I was scheduled for a massage.  To be honest, I was a bit reluctant and worried walking to that appointment due to the fact that I had not been able to tolerate a massage on my back since 2011 when CRPS had moved into my back.  I knew that my ‘Comfort Level’ had already dropped to a ZERO in my back, but I wasn’t sure if I trusted it enough to do the massage.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how relaxed and comfortable I was during the massage.  I had no pain in my back and I was able to keep my ‘Comfort Level’ at a Zero.  To me this was a test, and it showed me what I had accomplished to that point was holding and would continue to get better.

The other huge thing that they were able to assist me with was a continual spasm or uncontrollable motor deficiency in the little toe on my left foot.  This was in addition to my CRPS, and it was due to a nicked Lateral Plantar Nerve.  I had had many doctors consult with me regarding this, and I was always told that they had never seen anything like it.  They had no idea what to do, etc.  Thus, I had been dealing/living with my little toe being in continual spams since 2007, and in 3 days, we were able to get my little to stop moving!  Wow, this was a mechanical problem and it had stopped.  This was huge!  Talk about bringing a smile to my face. It was intriguing to see how the process of hypnosis could access areas of the brain to stop the continuous signals being sent out.

Yes, it was an intense week of learning, working, and following all of the instructions given me, but to have my ‘Comfort Levels’ drop to ZERO for the first time since 2006 when I sprained my ankle, then was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), it was well worth it.

One of the things that I learned was that every cell has a memory.  It is essential to provide the cells with a new memory other than pain, and when you do this, new memories will take hold as the cells regenerate every 90 days.  Thus, in approximately 90 days after arriving home, new memories should be strong.

When I arrived home I was barraged with questions, because friends and family members immediately noticed a marked difference in my demeanor, a bigger smile on my face, my ability to put weight on my left foot for the first time since 2006, and an overall sense of well-being.  This was after 5 days with of treatment with hypnosis in a multi-therapeutic approach.

Once home and settled, I put myself into a routine that included listening to the CDs of the sessions that I had completed, doing self-hypnosis, and utilizing the tools given to me.  After the first week home, I was no longer utilizing my cane to walk.  I still needed to work on my gait, but this was a big milestone.  During this time, I also met with my Pain Management doctor.  He was used to me going to Germany for treatment and coming back with their protocols, but this time, he had no idea what to expect.  When he entered the exam room, I was sitting there with socks and running shoes on, no cane and long pants that could touch my ankle and medial side of my foot. 

My Pain Management doctor looked at me, pushed back on his stool, and started looking around the room. He was in disbelief at what he was seeing.  He then asked me to take off my left shoe and sock, because he wanted to see if my left little toe was still spasming or doing the rhythmical movement.  When he saw that it was not moving, I had shoes on, my coloration was not off in my foot, and I was feeling great, he was dumbfounded.  He next words were, “I’m being punked. Where are the cameras and how are you doing this?”  I had to laugh.  He wanted to know what I did in my treatments, but since he doesn’t understand what I did, he was skeptical.  Then when I asked him to take me off of my pain medications, he was awestruck.  He hesitated, to say the least, because he wasn’t sure this was going to hold.  As I told him, I am confident in where I am and what I have accomplished.  I have no pain at this time, so I don’t feel that I should continue on pain medications, and I asked again to be titrated off of them.

Week by week, I continued to see progress.  Having the ability to walk my dog at the park with no pain, completely comfortable, completing household chores with no discomfort, babysitting my nephew who was 6 months old with complete confidence, and spending time with my family in activities that I would not have been able to have done previously, these are all the rewards of learning self-hypnosis and following through with what I was taught during my treatment.

Now over 3 years later I continue to be completely pain free and have had the ability to regain my life.  It is important for people living with CRPS and other chronic pain conditions to hear about positive outcomes such as mine.  This is not a one off or something that cannot happen to others.  As a matter of fact I am honored to be able to treat chronic pain patients now with HCT (Hypnosis Combined Therapy).  This protocol is very similar to what helped me get into remission with some exciting changes based upon medical advanced.

I’m now seeing clients on an international basis with outstanding outcomes.

I know for some it is hard to believe, but trust me with everything that I went through with treatments in the United States (Traditional Western Medicine), in Frankfurt, German (Integrative Medicine), Mexico (Integrative Medicine), and then back to the US to be treated by a highly recommended clinic… I think I can say I looked at everything, tried just about everything and found what worked for me.  I have heard from others with CRPS that they have tried hypnosis and it just doesn’t work.  I too tried hypnosis prior to going back to be treated in 2013, my previous treatments with hypnosis didn’t help me – then again they were not well versed in chronic pain and not certified in ‘Pain Management’ either.  When I was referred to the last clinic I was told by everyone that it was the best, that they did things differently, and they do – they work with the biology and physiology of the brain and how it causes Chronic Pain.  It is a completely different way of looking at things, working with Chronic Pain and finding a solution for the pain.  What works for one will not necessarily work for all, but if it is successful for one it is likely going to be successful for many!

Now you have a better understanding of what Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is, how it affects a patient, just a little bit about what we go through and some of the treatments we endure.  I was a fortunate patient in that I was able to get into remission in 2013. 

I was determined to find a treatment somewhere, some way to help me regain my life, and I did it!  I went from not being able to have anything touch the areas where I had CRPS to being able to put a sock on my foot, to wearing a shoe and not being in pain.  I got my life back.

This is why I am so passionate about sharing my story, getting information out about chronic pain, trying to educate as many people as possible on the effects of CRPS/RSD and chronic pain syndromes, and viable treatment options.

Let me ask this question before you read on… if you or a loved one are willing to look at opioid therapy, spinal cord stimulators, pain pumps and other invasive treatments that are only bandaides… why are you not willing to seriously look at other treatments that have worked on other CRPS/RSD and chronic pain patients?  Is it because your doctor(s) are not talking to you about these types of treatments?  Possibly because the pharmaceutical companies are not advertising it or the insurance companies are not pushing it? Yes, I know that many patients, like me, find out about these treatment options after going through the ringer.  But, if this is a way to get your life back, to regain what you lost, and to start fresh… is it not worth taking a serious look at your options?   Please take a serious look at what will really work to help you or your loved one in the long run.   No, not every treatment is right for every patient, but if it is evidence based and non-invasive is it not worth looking into? 

HCT by Traci Patterson is helping chronic patients that have been diagnosed with CRPS/RSD, neuropathic pain, Fibromyalgia, cancer pain, phantom limb pain, PTSD, migraines, etc… to regain their lives on a global basis.  

I have a dynamic background from a perspective that few if any one other Certified Instructor and  Clinical Hypnotist can offer.  My background as a chronic pain patient diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), someone that was treated with/utilized hypnosis to get into remission, and is now a practicing hypnotist is rare.  I have patients that contact me on a global basis searching for viable treatment options.   

If you have questions regarding CRPS, my story or would like information on how you or a loved one can find relief from chronic pain please contact me.

 Info@Advancedpathways.com  | http://www.AdvancedPathways.com | 714-717-6633

Cancer: Doctors, Chemotherapy to Prescriptions – Knowing Your Options

By: Traci Patterson, CH, CI – Owner and Founder, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

 

According to statistics from the American Cancer Society and NIH there are 14 million new cases of cancer each year. Diagnoses of cancer are expected to increase by 70% in the next 20 years. Fortunately, only 5-10% of these cases are attributed to hereditary genetics. This means that 90% of cancers are preventable! Thus it is tied back to environmental toxins, poor nutrition and other stressors that are incredibly toxic to our health.

When a patient initially receives that diagnosis and hears the hollow word of “cancer” it is more than devastating. Our society has made this word, “cancer”, to be the equivalent of death, but it should not be this way. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence. It does not have to mean months or years of treatments that will suck the life from you. It is a wake-up call to the person diagnosed and to their family members and a message that needs to be taken very seriously.

What I have seen and learned from walking down this path with a loved one is that cancer is scary, cancer can be emotional and jeering, but ultimately we have control. Control over the doctors we choose to entrust with the care, the road we choose to go down, the treatments we choose to accept or decline, and the medications that we choose to take or not take. Ultimately it is about being as knowledgeable as possible, being your own advocate, not being afraid to speak up for yourself and trusting your gut instinct.

I cringe every time we walk into the oncology office with the bowl of candy on the counter and the cancer patients helping themselves. Hello, sugar feeds cancer and causes it to grow! So, why in the heck would you put a bowl of candy out for your cancer patients?

Remember, knowledge is power.

Do your research, look online, read some books and make yourself an expert in your diagnosis. Know that if you change your nutrition and add in specific supplements that it can alter your course for the better.

After several bouts with cancer and working with many different protocols my husband made the decision to move forward with chemotherapy. The combination and dosages were going to be grueling to say the least. We were told that he would have nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, diarrhea, etc. It wasn’t if, it was when. Needless to say we were given all of the typical medications that are dispensed for the side effects and sent home to get ready for the big day. I could not just sit back and watch someone that I cared for go through that knowing that something could be done to help decrease the side effects. It was time to reach out to colleagues and friends. I found a protocol and case study from Harvard that showed utilizing a photon bed within 24 hours of chemotherapy would increase healthy cells and decrease the noxious side effects of chemotherapy. More research showed using probiotics would increase the good flora in the stomach and intestines. This is key because chemotherapy kills off the good flora and this is what leads to vomiting and diarrhea. Rinsing with warm salt water can help prevent mouth sores. Add in some hypnosis specific to chemotherapy and giving an anchor to control any symptoms gives the patient the ultimate control. Of course diet, nutrition, juicing, sleep, decreased stress, etc. also play a big part in the body being able to recover and heal.

The addition of the protocols and resources that were researched has kept my husband from having to go through the nausea, vomiting, mouth sores and major side effects of the chemotherapy. It is amazing to see the difference between what he is doing and the other patients that I see on a weekly basis that are weak, beaten down, and going through hell due to a treatment that is supposed to help them. It breaks my heart watching and listening to the other patients that are dealing with unneeded side effects because physicians are unwilling to do more than dispense medications. Medications that may not be needed if protocols could or would be put in place to keep their patients from suffering needlessly.

Life is a journey. Cancer is its own journey and one that cannot be taken lightly. But, with proper tools, protocols, knowledge and treatment options it is survivable. Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate or to be your love one’s advocate. Ask questions, speak from your heart and listen to your gut.

Be well.

A Christian Understanding of Hypnosis

By: Traci Patterson – Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

I am a Christian myself; I was a volunteer with Young Life for many years and served as Christ’s ambassador to youth from the foster care system too.  Then my journey took a turn and I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  This turning point took my life in a different direction and introduced me to many things that I would have never experienced; good and bad.  Bad, being chronic pain and a debilitating illness.  Good, a new career path in the field of Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy, and helping others in the same way that I was helped.

After I got into remission with my Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) via clinical hypnosis (that included a multi-therapeutic approach) I took the steps to gain my certifications and credentials in Hypnosis, and additional certifications in Pain Management and Cancer Care.  I already had a background in the healthcare industry, and with my experience as a chronic pain patient this was a natural transition for me.  I wanted to bring the information that helped me regain my life to those suffering needlessly as I had for so many years with chronic pain.

Then, an interesting thing happened after I announced that I was opening an office in the field of hypnosis.  I received emails from some in the church that felt that this was not a Christian way of treating chronic pain, others referred to hypnosis as mind control and a few felt it was perhaps witchcraft.  No one took the time to ask me questions.  Instead they made assumptions based upon misinformation, stage shows they had seen or Hollywood movies they had watched.

Since I started my practice as a hypnotist there are still some in the Christian religion that want to have nothing to do with me as a hypnotist / hypnotherapist. In light of this very narrow minded view of the church, I thought it was good that I write something about the truth of hypnosis and hypnotherapy (from a Christian’s point of view). That is the reason for this article.

Hypnosis has been present since the dawn of mankind as an ancient healing treatment. The popularity of its use has gone up and down, according to societal factors.  Early man used drums and chanting to create altered states. The Roman Empire, in particular, was especially keen on hypnotic states and their healing effects.  Christianity was spreading when the Roman Empire was about to collapse.  Many early Christian leaders frowned upon hypnotic practices and fulminated against it as white witchcraft. Many evangelical authors referred to hypnotists as “charmers” and “enchanters”.  They believed that hypnosis put the soul in jeopardy by putting it in a passive receptive state, thereby opening the door to morbid spiritual influences.

What made the early priests and rabbis take such a strong stand against hypnosis?  Part of the reason was because healing in hypnosis seemed to take place without God. Priests were afraid that people would no longer believe in the power of God.  The concern may not even have been religious.  It was a politics of numbers.  If more followers fell away from Christianity, the priests would lose their power.

Today, hypnosis is neither anti-religious nor pro-religious.  Most religious groups accept the proper and ethical use of hypnosis for helping people.  Hypnosis is steadily gaining recognition in the world as the means to help people be successful and experience abundance in their lives. The late Pope Pius gave his approval of hypnosis, stating that the use of hypnosis by health care professionals for diagnosis and treatment is permitted.  In the context of medical hypnosis, patients are in safe hands, and on the road to recovery.  Practitioners have an ethical code, and it is important to note that hypnotists have no mind control powers. They can’t read the future, can’t cast spells or talk to the dead.  Plus there are many studies that have been done on the efficacy of hypnosis by Stanford University, Harvard, Yale, Mayo Clinic, NIH and in Sweden.

There is also an irrefutable safeguard of hypnosis that keeps hypnotists from abusing the power.  Any suggestion or idea not in accordance with the patient’s beliefs, morals, wishes, principles, or desires will quickly and automatically be rejected.  No one can make anyone do anything they do not wish to do through hypnosis.  If the hypnotist gives a suggestion and the person absolutely does not want to accept that suggestion, then he will not do it.  No one can be hypnotized against his will.  As God’s creatures, humans have the freedom to choose and decide and act; free will.

When evangelical authors wrote that hypnosis opened the door to evil spirits, they did not fully understand the Word of God.  Jesus says that light and darkness cannot live together.  Christ is the light, so if you are saved, that means Christ lives within you.  If Christ lives in you, it means no demon or evil spirit can take residence.  The light of Christ drives out the darkness.  It is much like the case of the leper – those with faith in their therapists, who trust and believe that hypnotherapy can help/heal them will get well.  Those with faith well – placed can and will be healed, inside and out.  It is true that there are still some among us who are a little wary of hypnosis.  In actuality, hypnosis is a powerful and valuable tool God has given to man to heal the mind and body.  God created hypnosis for the good of man.  He has a purpose in allowing us the ability to alter our consciousness, even if it seems to take place without Him.  But nothing takes place without his knowledge and permission.  Hypnosis and faith in God can work hand in hand to turn lives around.

Jesus indicated by his teachings that we should help people to live life to the fullest and to relieve pain whenever possible.  Hypnosis is a means to help people live a better and more abundant life and is a means of reducing and/or eliminating pain.  This was the main treatment that helped me to get pain free and into remission with my CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

The Bible records several instances of hypnosis:  In the book of Acts, it mentions, “Peter fell into trance.” In the same book, there is also a reference to an apostle healing a person by gazing into his eyes. “This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he began to walk.”  There are also various hypnosis acts performed by Jesus to manifest miracles.

Hypnosis has been used in place of anesthesia in World War I, and is used in modern day to rid unwanted behavior, relieve headaches, relieve chronic pain, induce pain-free labor etc.

Often, patients seeking solutions experience lack of confidence / focus and have ongoing issues because of limiting beliefs or a multitude of misinformation.  In hypnosis, the subconscious mind directs millions of neurons to produce positive mental pictures.  A patient can hold and project the idea and image of health, wellness or ‘abundance’ within the mind, causing it to happen in reality.  This therapy is in accordance to Christian beliefs.  Jesus said, “I come so that you may experience life in abundance.”

In Proverbs 23:7 it states that as a person thinketh in his or her heart so is he/she.  This can be interpreted that whatever images or thoughts held in the mind becomes reality. Picture happy moments, experience it again in your mind. By thought, you make feelings present again. The use of positive imagery improves life and health.

The brain is the channel which God communicates with Christians.  By using hypnosis to overcome the ruinous effects of negative thinking, anger, discontent, health issues and selfishness, we can keep our minds pure for God.

Frequently, unhappiness and discontentment are caused by our reaction and thoughts to situations.  It is estimated that 75% of cancers and body pains are caused by unresolved emotions.  In the Bible, God calls us to experience a renewing of our minds.  As we change the way we view things via hypno-suggestions, the same positive changes are manifested in our lives.  We are able to let go of the bad habits we once clung to.  We attract the abundance we desire.  We dissolve our hurts and sorrow.

During the storm in the sea of Galilee, the apostles panicked. “Wake up, Jesus, don’t you care that we perish?” Jesus said, “Have no fear.  I am with you. Peace be with you.” And the disciples grew calm.  If you are a Christian in the midst of a crisis, God is present amidst your broken hopes and dreams and stress.  In life, when the harsh winds of illness or injury blow, when we experience sorrow or grief, realize that we can, too, experience peace in the midst of the storm. This peace comes from knowledge that He is with us to endure it all.

Through positive thinking and optimism; relaxation and imagery induced by hypnotism; life can get better.  The past is still there, but we can begin where we are.  I had an opportunity to experience this first hand with my journey with CRPS.  I utilized hypnosis to regain my life, and it allowed me to take the steps to do things that I would not be doing otherwise.  With hopeful expectations comes a new life.

In Christ, suffering is not removed. It is transformed into victory.  The setback experienced causes the patient to forge a closer bond with God.  In the years ahead, may those who discount hypnosis come to see its value as a gift from God to help/heal us and the means from which we can experience his blessings.

The proper use of hypnosis can help those suffering with chronic pain, CRPS, Fibromyalgia, Arachnoiditis, Migraines, PTSD, stress, anxiety, phobias, help break unwanted habits, and more!  Owner and Clinical Hypnotist – Advanced Pathways Hypnosis 8 Corporate Park, Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92606.

714) 717-6633  |  http://www.Info@AdvancedPathways.com http://www.AdvancedPathways.com

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A Search For Effective Treatment Options For Chronic Pain Patients

by:  Traci Patterson, Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

There are over 100 million Americans dealing with chronic pain today. They are searching for answers. They are holding onto hope that they will find a way to get better. They are trying to get to a doctor that will have an answer. Many patients are being misdiagnosed for years prior to getting a correct diagnosis.  Others are put on countless medications that typically are not working, having to endure numerous procedures because doctors don’t know what else to do. And then when all else fails, they are told they need either a Spinal Cord Stimulator or a Pain Pump. Then if those options fail, the doctors want to refer them on to somebody else because they are out of options and the patient(s) feels like they are left, in effect, holding the bag.

What will it take for the patients to get access to effective treatment options without being denied access to what they really need? The unfortunate facts are that the majority of chronic pain patients and cancer patients do not get sufficient relief from their pain medications. Therefore, the doctors continue to prescribe a cocktail of various medications hoping that it will do the trick. The patients then end up paying the ultimate price with side effects caused by the medications. Don’t get me wrong, I am not, in any way, stating that Pain Management doctors should not be prescribing medications. What I am stating is that they do not get to the area in the body that is responsible for sending out the pain signals, and this is why they are not effective. The insurance companies are willing to pay for prescription after prescription, and yet they do not want to reimburse for creams that are more effective or for a treatment that is non-drug related.

I just received an update from a leading pharmaceutical company with a press release about a new drug that they received approval from the US Patent Office. This is for a new proprietary drug for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. This means they are able to start double-blind studies and placebo studies on the medication.  The interesting part of the write-up is when they mention, “The market for such a medication worldwide runs into many billions of dollars.” This is prior to their comment about the drug’s ‘lack of serious side effects’, but yet there is no further comment as to any side effects discovered to date.

It’s great that they are looking at putting other options on the market for doctors to prescribe to their patients, but what about making other treatment options that are currently available accessible to patients? When will this happen?

Spinal Cord Stimulators are heavily pushed by pain management doctors and neurologists for chronic pain. I have spoken with several physicians off the record about the implantation and use of the Spinal Cord Stimulators.  During these conversations, I’ve been told that some doctors utilize them more than others because they can make more money, and it is easier than doing multiple blocks and going down the long treatment road with a chronic pain patient. Again, it comes down to reimbursement, unfortunately, and a push by Durable Medical Equipment (DME) companies.  The general cost for a Spinal Cord Stimulator, unit, surgery, etc., can be close to $100,000 (sometimes more) depending on the manufacturer, area, hospital, and other variables.

What about Calmare Therapy? The Calmare device uses a biophysical rather than a biochemical approach. A ‘no-pain’ message is transmitted to the nerves via disposable surface electrodes applied to the skin in the region of the patient’s pain. The perception of pain is cancelled when the no-pain message replaces that of pain, by using the same pathway through the surface electrodes in a non-invasive way. Maximum benefit is achieved through follow-up treatments. The patient may be able to go for extended periods of time between subsequent treatments while experiencing significant pain control and relief.

This particular treatment option has been around for several years. Calmare tried for quite some time to get name recognition and focused primarily on social media, word of mouth, etc. Insurance companies have refused to reimburse for their treatments even though they have been found to be effective.  Why?  One reason could be that they are not tied into the large DME companies and conglomerates.  It is an interesting way of looking at it. Calmare did get a helping hand on June 30, 2014 when a Judge in New York ruled in favor of Calmare, instructing Allstate Insurance Company to reimburse for personal injury claims that involved the use of Calmare Therapy. Calmare also got some great publicity from the daytime TV show ‘Doctors’ when they spoke about a ‘brand new treatment option for chronic pain and CRPS’ on an episode in the month of June, 2014.  Then later in 2014 when the Mayo Clinic finally did research on Calmare for Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathic Pain, and found this treatment to be effective.  Keep in mind their therapy has been around for several years, but because a New York University decided to utilize it, it is now considered new.  Generally the cost for this treatment is around $2,500 for 10 treatments.   Patients typically start with 10 treatments and then will have to do follow-up treatments to stay pain free if they have CRPS/RSD.

Ketamine Infusions are talked about widely with CRPS patients.  This is also a medication used for those with severe depression, irretractable pain, and other chronic pain conditions.  There definitely is some baggage that comes along with the treatments, but they are mostly effective. Patients have to undergo a screening process, meet certain guidelines, and then of course there is the financial burden. I believe it is approximately $50,000-$60,000 for the initial set of infusions, hospital stay, and then the first follow-up infusions at six months. Insurance will not reimburse for this. They have gone to court to in some states to try to get reimbursement, but it is very difficult. More and more patients are looking at this avenue because they are unaware of Calmare and the other options available. Ketamine infusions do come with some side effects, and I would urge anyone thinking of this option to please do their research first.

I also urge some research at this juncture because I am hearing more and more about the infusions being done out-patient instead of in-patient and they are not as effective if done this way.  Secondly, I have not seen any studies as of yet on the long-term use of Ketamine when used in high dosages.

Last, but absolutely not least on the list is clinical hypnosis. I know many people are going to start reaching for their mouse to click away, but please keep reading. I am referring very specifically to a specialist in hypnosis that has a strong background with chronic pain patients, CRPS, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, phantom limb pain, PTSD, stress, anxiety, etc. You should first determine whether the hypnotist/hypnotherapist has a certification in ‘Pain Management’, and are they familiar with the condition that you are diagnosed with.  A good program will be ‘multi-therapeutic’; meaning it will include hypnosis/hypnotherapy, biofeedback, light/sound therapy and other modalities.

I personally was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and the final treatment that got me into remission was working with someone that had a background working with chronic pain patients using a multi-therapeutic approach.  He was credentialed in Pain Management and many other areas as well.  A one week commitment is what it takes.  Hypnosis for a week long intensive can run around $3,000 – $4,000, but can fluctuate depending on the geographic area that you are being treated.

This is a drug-free treatment option that can dramatically decrease your pain and in some patients they can even get into full remission.  At this time, it is not well-publicized as it is not backed by pharmaceutical companies or DME companies.  Yet there are many studies on the efficacy of this treatment by Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Mayo Clinic, NIH, etc.  Patients are given the tools be self-sufficient.  No side effects as it is drug-free, and no long-term follow-up needed.

If you are searching for answers for chronic pain, CRPS/RSD, fibromyalgia, chronic migraines or other health/wellness issues;  please take the time to consider some of the non-invasive treatment options in this article. Never give up on regaining you health, life and success!  Yes, it is possible… if I can do it, so can you!!!

For more information on CRPS, chronic pain or Traci’s journey, please feel free to contact the author, Traci Patterson.

Traci has a dynamic background from a perspective that few if any one other Hypnotist can offer. Her background as a chronic pain patient diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), someone that utilized hypnosis to get into remission, trained under Mr. Ron Eslinger, and is now herself a practicing hypnotist is rare. She has patients that contact her from all over the United States and Internationally.  Traci is considered, ‘The CRPS Hypnotist’.

Traci@AdvancedPathways.com, or visit my website at www.AdvancedPathways.com.

Achieve Your Goals in 2015

by: Traci Patterson, Owner of Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Ok, folks – January is heading to a close.  How close are you to achieving your goals that you set as a New Year’s Resolution?  Are you already making strides or getting frustrated?

How many times have you made those resolutions a reality?  How would you like to make it happen for you this year?  Or better yet, for those of you that have been dealing with a chronic pain condition and have been told you have limited options – are you ready to take control of the pain and regain your life?

Join me for private one on one session(s) that will allow you to learn how to make the changes you so desperately want to make in your life, health and wellbeing.  I offer individual sessions or a week long program geared towards helping those individuals with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, CRPS/RSD, chronic back pain, cluster headaches/chronic migraines, Arachnoiditis, PTSD, chronic stress/anxiety, and other health/wellness issues see fast relief and results.

At, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis, a week long program consists of:

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Neuroplasticity Training
  • Biofeedback
  • Light/Sound Therapy
  • Issue Solution Technique
  • EMT
  • and more.

Once you take the step into a week long program you can expect:

  • Significant decrease in pain, possibility of getting to zero pain or remission
  • Release of unwanted stress and anxiety
  • Empowerment
  • Gaining insight and knowledge about techniques and tools to utilize in your future:
    • Personal growth
    • Health
    • Relationships
    • And every other area of your life.
  • Control of your life
  • New perspective
  • and so much more!

Why? Because you deserve to have your life back, you have a right to live each and every day without the heavy burdens of living with chronic pain or a debilitating condition.

Yes, I know what it is like to live with the everyday burdens of chronic pain because I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in 2007. The final treatment protocol that helped me regain my life and get into remission was a very similar program! I continue to be 100% pain free and am honored to have the ability to help others to regain their lives just as I did.

Testimonial:

I went through a week of treatment with Traci in August, 2014, after being close to disabled for many years. The treatment worked wonders, partly because of the nature of the treatment, but also because of Traci’s customizing each client’s treatments to their own interest and goals.  I highly recommend this form of treatment, and highly recommend Traci as a Certified Hypnotist. She’s gone through her own personal journey of pain and recovery and truly understands. Thank you Traci, with all my heart!” ~ Colleen G.

Take the first step to achieving your goals. Call or email Traci at Advanced Pathways Hypnosis to obtain additional information.

714.717.6633   |   Traci@AdvancedPathways.com   |   http://www.AdvancedPathways.com

Treating Pain That Won’t Go Away

By Traci Patterson, Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Chronic pain is pain that will not go away long after the initial injury. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is chronic pain that develops out of all proportion to the initial injury, and it typically will start in an arm or a leg.

In a chronic pain patient there is a distal loop that occurs that doesn’t get to the spinal cord. This pain loop is what keeps the pain going as the neurotransmitters are not firing correctly. Thus, the normal things that stop pain don’t work in chronic pain patients.

There are two types of CRPS. Type 1, which accounts for 90 percent of documented cases, according to the Mayo Clinic, marked by nerve pain when no nerve damage was involved in the initial injury. Type 2 is a more explicable development of regional pain after damage to the nerves.

After a relatively minor or localized injury, perhaps only to a hand or ankle, pain can spread to the entire rest of the limb. The symptoms include either burning or a “pins and needles” sensation. The affected area can become very sensitive to touch (allodynia) and the limb can change temperature, color, and swell. This is due to abnormal microcirculation caused by damage to the nerves controlling blood flow and temperature, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH.

Many cases of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome occur after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg, such as a crush injury, fracture or amputation. Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections and even sprained ankles — also can lead to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Some psychologists have stated that emotional stress may be a precipitating factor, as well.

After regaining my life and getting into remission myself from CRPS, I am now treating chronic pain patients in my hypnosis practice. I see patients who have persistent pain because of chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, CRPS, chronic back pain, chronic fatigue, migraines, PTSD, cancer pain, etc. I see patients who have not responded to traditional treatments and they are searching for non-invasive, drug free treatment options.

Most people don’t realize that the body is in a constant state of ‘Fight – Flight’ when dealing with chronic pain. This causes the body to be in a continual stress state, and in response you have the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands from the stress. Continued high levels of cortisol have been shown to lengthen the healing period. Therefore, you are in a never ending loop.

The bottom line is that by utilizing hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques, visualization, biofeedback and other somatic therapies you can break the continual loops and allow the individual to gain control.

Yes, many people will say they have either heard of others that tried hypnosis or maybe they have tried it themselves. But, I would ask this question: Did you or the person you are speaking with work with someone that was also certified in ‘Pain Management’ and were they well versed in chronic pain or your condition?

I ask this question because when I was going through my journey with chronic pain I too tried hypnosis early on. Unfortunately, it didn’t work because the person I saw was not certified in ‘Pain Management’ and did not have a background in chronic pain.   Yet when I worked with someone with the proper credentials and someone that worked with the psychology, biology and physiology of the brain and how it responds to pain – I got into remission and regained my life. This is a large piece of the puzzle to allowing chronic pain patients to gain control over their pain and to regain their lives!

If you would like to know more about treatment options for chronic pain please contact Traci at Advanced Pathways Hypnosis.

(714) 717-6633 | Info@AdvancedPathways.com | http://www.AdvancedPathways.com