Outcomes With Hypnosis Combined Therapy by Traci Patterson

Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT) by Traci Patterson, CH, CI has proven to be an excellent drug-free, non-invasive, and evidence based treatment protocol that is providing positive outcomes for the patients diagnosed with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, chronic migraines, and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) [type 1 and type 2].  Yet it is not limited to these specific diagnosis.

The data in this report is specific to those clients/patients diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS); type 1 and type 2; that were treated with Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT).  The data is based upon all CRPS clients/patients that were seen over a one year period (June, 2015 – June, 2016).

Today, over 1 million people are diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) aka RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) worldwide.  While staggering, patients are not being given the options of treatments outside the box that can help them such as Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT).  What we have found through research and tried methodology is HCT gives hope and restores chronic pain patients’ lives.

The majority of patients diagnosed with CRPS aka RSD are treated with traditional methods (i.e. NSAIDS, PT, OT, local blocks, regional blocks, lumbar sympathetic blocks, ganglion blocks, pain medications/opioids, spinal cord stimulators and even pain pumps), and most do not see long term or permanent relief.

At Advanced Pathways we are seeing clients/patients that have been diagnosed with CRPS from all over the world.  Those from the United States have been seen at some of the top facilities (Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Scripts Medical Center, etc.) and by some of the top physicians including Dr. Chopra prior to coming to our office. These are individuals that have not been able to find relief from other treatment options (listed above), but they are able to dramatically decrease pain levels and regain their lives utilizing HCT.  Many have been able to get into complete remission.

The average starting levels are below:

Pain Level:      9.090909091   (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst pain imaginable.)

Sleep Quality: 7.272727273   (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst.)

Quality of Life:                      (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst.)

HCT Outcome Data – CRPS

 

The average ending levels following, “Week-Long Intensive”, with HCT:

Pain Level:      0.727272727   (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst pain imaginable.)

Sleep Quality: 2.363636364   (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst.)

Quality of Life: 3.363636364   (Rated on a scale of 0-10.  10 being the worst.)

HCT Outcome Data – CRPS 1

 

HCT is a combination of the following modalities:  clinical hypnosis, biofeedback, light/sound therapy, transdermal peptides (when appropriate), cold laser (when appropriate), PEMF, working with the limbic system, cell memory, and more.  This combination is evidence based while providing our clients/patients with the best outcomes possible.

We have found that it is critical to look at all aspects of the diagnosis and what the individual is dealing with (i.e. stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD).  It is imperative that the individual is able to resolve all of the issues they are dealing with, or have the tools to decrease these in order to regain their lives.

Hypnosis as an adjunct to medicine allows one to decrease pain and enhance healing. Often, a person with chronic pain may feel helpless, lost, and victimized. Hypnosis gives the person greater self-control, which decreases the effects on the autonomic system that activates the fight or flight response. Self-control also decreases the level of stress hormones. Both the reduction in fight or flight, and the decrease in stress hormones, can lead to a significant decrease in pain.[1]

We work with the subconscious mind.  The subconscious mind is not just in the brain or the head. According to research completed by Candace Pert, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University, she states, “The subconscious mind is a part of every cell within the body. Every cell in the body has memory units. Each cell has over 6,000 receptor sites for proteins capable of interacting with signals and converting those signals into intracellular activity. Through molecular division, each cell divides into a daughter cell and the mother cell dies. The daughter cells replace the parent cells; however they still contain the cellular activity or memory of the mother cell. This cell replacement process occurs every three months, except in skeleton cells that divide every six months. With each division and replacement new memories can replace old memories, creating new behaviors from the cellular level.”[2]

Another key area of focus is working with the limbic system and the autonomic systems of the body.  We understand that the human body is made up of four significant vital signs:  heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate.  Pain was added to this list of vital signs in 2000 by JCAHO.  As with other vital signs, pain impacts a number of functions such as emotions, behavior, long-term memory and olfactory senses. The limbic system influences these same functions.  Understanding how pain interacts in the limbic system and how it operates helps patients break the pain loop and move beyond chronic pain. “When we think the Limbic System responds”[3].

When the limbic system functions abnormally, numerous health problems can occur. Physical problems such as a lack of sleep, too much stress, or chronic pain, exacerbate the problems created by an out-of-balance limbic system. The results are devastating.  In some cases, depending on the external factors, these imbalances can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is the essence of stress turning into distress.

Hypnosis works well with the limbic system, specifically the Amygdala and the Hypothalamus, to change the stress response. Hypnosis allows a focused concentration and relaxation, resulting in an increase in oxygen throughout the body’s cells. This increase in oxygen has a major influence on decreasing a patient’s autonomic response to stress. Dr. John Rowlingson, the director of the University of Virginia Department of Anesthesiology Pain Management Center, is quoted as saying, “The limbic system might explain why therapies that act primarily in the brain, such as hypnosis, biofeedback, and brain stimulation, work so well to control pain.”

Transdermal peptides mixture of BPC-157, TB-500 and MGF has been proven to break up scar tissue, decrease inflammation, and decrease nerve pain.

Hypnosis Combined Therapy – the research and science of the mind-body connection, knowledge of how brain mechanisms interact, and pulling this together in individualized treatment plans – is what makes it so successful.  Utilizing different techniques through HCT, patients are able to break the chronic pain loop, bypass devastating memories, decrease inflammation, and set a path towards hope and a new life.

If you would like more information on Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT) by Traci Patterson, CH, CI please contact Advanced Pathways.

 

 

[1] Temes, Roberta, PhD. (1999). Medical Hypnosis and Introduction and Clinical Guide. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

[2] Pert, Candace B. PhD (1999). Molecules of Emotion. NY: Touchstone Publishing.

[3] Siegel, Ronald D. PsyD, Michael H. Urdang and Douglas R. Johnson M.D. (2002) Back Sense. New York: Broadway Books.

 

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.

New CDC Guidelines Effects on the Pain Community

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

 

In the last month the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) handed down new guidelines pertaining to opioid prescribing and the National Pain Strategy (NPS) was implemented. These guidelines and strategies have left the chronic pain community reeling, discouraged and feeling left behind. This is the time for advocacy for all evidence and outcome based treatments to be available to patients.

At this time the majority of chronic pain patients are receiving inadequate care and are not receiving information on all treatment options. With the new guidelines that have been set in place doctors and insurance companies are now limiting access to medications that can keep patients functional. If these limitations are going to be put in place then pain patients need access to all evidence and outcome based, non-invasive, drug-free treatment options.

I am proud to be the owner and founder of Advanced Pathways Hypnosis. I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) myself in 2007 and was fortunate enough to get into remission in 2013. I take what I learned through my journey with chronic pain and utilize that to help others regain their lives.

To make this situation even more horrifying, is the realization that the majority of patients do not have access to the appropriate treatments. It is a disgrace to know that medical professionals are being forced to follow the oath they took to do what is best for their patients, or to follow new guidelines provided to them by the government due to fear of losing their medical license. These same clinicians’ feel that their hands are tied because other treatments that hold much potential to bringing relief – such as integrative and complementary therapies – are not covered or paid for by health insurance companies. Therefore, these treatment options for the most part are not even discussed with the patients.

I understand the feeling like no one cares or is listening. There should not be so many roadblocks for people to have access to information on all viable treatment options and to receive adequate care. Society needs to stop minimizing the pain of which they do not understand or cannot see on display.

However, lashing out against rhetoric and society is not going to solve these problems. The community needs to come together to advocate for access to all viable treatment options. A message that is honest and real needs to be pushed forward to the doctors, universities, insurance companies and elected officials. Now is the time to push for more than medications. We need to push for access to treatment options that will create a real difference in the lives of those living with pain. Become empowered and unify.

Hypnosis Combined Therapy: Providing Treatment Options and Relief for CRPS and Chronic Pain Patients

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

Today, over 1 million people are diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) aka RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) worldwide. While staggering, patients are not being given the options of treatments outside the box that can help them such as Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT). What we have found through research and tried methodology is HCT gives hope, and restores chronic pain patients’ lives.

The majority of patients diagnosed with CRPS aka RSD are treated with traditional methods (i.e. NSAIDS, PT, OT, local blocks, regional blocks, lumbar sympathetic blocks, ganglion blocks, pain medications/opioids, spinal cord stimulators and even pain pumps), and most do not see long term or permanent relief. Unfortunately, physicians are not trained in alternative or integrative methods to treat CRPS/RSD and other chronic pain conditions. Thus, patients and their loved ones do not hear about other options. Sometimes, we have to be our own advocate as a patient and bring this information to our physician. I did, and it changed my life.

HCT has allowed countless chronic pain patients (CRPS/RSD, Fibromyalgia, phantom limb pain, chronic migraines, neuropathic pain, PTSD, etc.) to dramatically decrease their pain levels, if not get completely into remission, and regain their functionality. HCT therapies include: hypnosis, biofeedback, neuroplasticity training, cell memory, resetting the chronic pain loop in the limbic system, and more.

Hypnosis as an adjunct to medicine allows one to decrease pain and enhance healing. Often, a person with chronic pain may feel helpless, lost, and victimized. Hypnosis gives the person greater self-control, which decreases the effects on the autonomic system that activates the fight or flight response. Self-control also decreases the level of stress hormones. Both the reduction in fight or flight, and the decrease in stress hormones, can lead to a significant decrease in pain.[1]

If you have experienced hypnosis, you know that hypnosis is nothing more than focus and concentration. Hypnosis allows one to comfortably and easily set aside all the demands and pressures of everyday life. If you have never experienced formal hypnosis before, you will truly enjoy the experience. More importantly, it opens the door to a new perspective for making healthy changes in your life.

Many misconceptions about hypnosis exist today. However, the practice and process of hypnosis remains a consistent and safe approach to relieving anxiety, decreasing stress, and reducing pain. Many modern studies support the positive results of hypnosis. Although science continues to study why hypnosis works, there are many studies that reveal the complex interaction between our minds and our bodies, and our brains and our thoughts.[2] The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducts and supports medical research throughout the nation, and they support hypnosis for pain control. The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) endorsed hypnosis as a complementary, non-pharmacological management of pain in 2000.

Hypnosis works with the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is not just in the brain or the head. According to research completed by Candace Pert, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University, she states, “The subconscious mind is a part of every cell within the body. Every cell in the body has memory units. Each cell has over 6,000 receptor sites for proteins capable of interacting with signals and converting those signals into intracellular activity. Through molecular division, each cell divides into a daughter cell and the mother cell dies. The daughter cells replace the parent cells; however they still contain the cellular activity or memory of the mother cell. This cell replacement process occurs every three months, except in skeleton cells that divide every six months. With each division and replacement new memories can replace old memories, creating new behaviors from the cellular level.”[3]

Another key area of focus is working with the limbic system and the autonomic systems of the body. We understand that the human body is made up of four significant vital signs: heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate. Pain was added to this list of vital signs in 2000 by JCAHO. As with other vital signs, pain impacts a number of functions such as emotions, behavior, long-term memory and olfactory senses. The limbic system influences these same functions. Understanding how pain interacts in the limbic system and how it operates helps patients break the pain loop and move beyond chronic pain. “When we think the Limbic System responds”[4].

When the limbic system functions abnormally, numerous health problems can occur. Physical problems such as a lack of sleep, too much stress, or chronic pain, exacerbate the problems created by an out-of-balance limbic system. The results are devastating. In some cases, depending on the external factors, these imbalances can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is the essence of stress turning into distress.

Hypnosis works well with the limbic system, specifically the Amygdala and the Hypothalamus, to change the stress response. Hypnosis allows a focused concentration and relaxation, resulting in an increase in oxygen throughout the body’s cells. This increase in oxygen has a major influence on decreasing a patient’s autonomic response to stress. Dr. John Rowlingson, the director of the University of Virginia Department of Anesthesiology Pain Management Center, is quoted as saying, “The limbic system might explain why therapies that act primarily in the brain, such as hypnosis, biofeedback, and brain stimulation, work so well to control pain.”

Hypnosis Combined Therapy – the research and science of the mind-body connection, knowledge of how brain mechanisms interact, and pulling this together in individualized treatment plans, is what makes it so successful. Utilizing different techniques through HCT, patients are able to break the chronic pain loop, bypass those devastating memories, and set a path towards hope and a new life.

This is the time when opioid restrictions are being put in place and the consequences will be dire for pain patients if they do not have options to turn to.  Every patient is different as are their needs.  Therefore, they need to find a treatment options / protocols that are right for them.  Just as we are advocating for the right for physicians to treat their patients and prescribe medications – it is just as important to advocate for access to all treatment options.

 

[1] Temes, Roberta, PhD. (1999). Medical Hypnosis and Introduction and Clinical Guide. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

[2] Lipton, Bruce, PhD. (2005). The Biology of Belief. Scottsdale: Conference Recordings.

[3] Pert, Candace B. PhD (1999). Molecules of Emotion. NY: Touchstone Publishing.

[4] Siegel, Ronald D. PsyD, Michael H. Urdang and Douglas R. Johnson M.D. (2002) Back Sense. New York: Broadway Books.

 

Life in Remission: Two Years Down and Many More to Go

ByTraci Patterson, CH, CI – Owner and Founder, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Yes, it has actually been two years now since I officially got into remission, completely pain-free, from my Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  This is my Anniversary week!

Remission, a word that can mean so much to so many but yet can be so elusive for others. What exactly is remission?

According to the American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary:

remission re·mis·sion (rĭ-mĭsh’ən) n.

  1. Abatement or subsiding of the symptoms of a disease.
  2. The period during which the symptoms of a disease abate or subside.

Having an opportunity to actually get into remission when you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, a debilitating illness or for me it was: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS); is an incredibly surreal experience. To start with, it conflicts with everything you’ve learned throughout the duration of your illness, everything that has been instilled in you by your physicians, and everything that you’ve taught yourself.  It can be very unsettling, in a way, because it calls for a total readjustment of your routine and it raises a lot of questions about the way you live your life, about what you do, how you do it, and about how you should move forward from that point forward.

The adjustment in your behavior can also meet with a fear of misunderstanding from your friends, family and peers — if they have known you as house-bound or limited in your capacity to get around, how are they going to react upon seeing you in this different capacity? On top of dealing with your newfound and unfamiliar sense of health, you have to struggle with how others perceive you, or how you imagine they perceive you.  I think one thing a lot of people don’t realize about the experience of dealing with chronic pain, debilitating illness or being chronically unwell is that it’s accompanied by a constant guilt over the effect it has on the people around you and a constant fear of judgment.  There is a reason why chronic pain, CRPS, Fibromyalgia and many other debilitating illnesses are called, ‘Invisible Illness’ or ‘Invisible Pain’.  Too often you have to choose to present yourself as either ‘the sick person’ or ‘the healthy person’ because it feels as though people can’t comprehend the idea that you really have been dealing with a real health condition.

So, what do you do when your finally hit that elusive thing called remission? For some they may choose to continue to present themselves as ‘the sick person’, but then you denying yourself the opportunity to relish in your sudden improved quality of life which seems ludicrous.  I chose to live!  I had to re-learn how to be a ‘healthy person’.  My body knew what it was like to live with chronic pain day in and day out, and now it was time to learn what it was like to live a wonderful, healthy, active life again.  The life I had lived prior to my diagnosis, prior to the accident and prior to the surgeries.

Once I gained remission utilizing hypnosis, biofeedback, cell memory, working with the Limbic System and other protocols I had to discover what my new limits were.  I had to explain to people that I was no longer the ‘china-doll that would break’; I had to learn how to give my life new meaning and how to gain a sense of purpose. I had to stay focused on staying clear of the ‘sick person’ label and being me – healthy, happy and excited for life!

The thing about getting into remission is this, you have two choices: you can move forward with your life and continue down the road to wellness, or you can choose to move backwards and lose all the momentum that got you into remission.  For me this was a no brainer.  I never wanted to go back.  I never even wanted to take a glimpse back.  Even one step back was not an option for me.  I could not fathom living with chronic pain, with CRPS, for the rest of my life once I had a taste of remission.

I am now two (2) years out.  I am in remission from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and I have a deeper appreciation for family, friends and life!  Taking the time to appreciate the little things.  Allowing those irrelevant things to flow off of my shoulders.  Yet, taking the time to soak in every single minute of life:  the sights, sounds, the sunrises and sunsets.

I have had the privilege over the last year and a half (1 ½ ) to actually help others with chronic pain, CRPS, Fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, chronic migraines, PTSD and other conditions regain their lives and get into remission.  We have to remember that your journey doesn’t end once we hit remission we just shift gears.

I truly believe that every day we get up to a brand new day, a day that has never been lived before by you or by anyone else, so we have an opportunity to paint our own master piece each day because we start with a blank canvas.   What’s on your canvas?

If you would like to know more about the author, Traci Patterson, and her journey with CRPS contact her at:

Traci@AdvancedPathways.com  |  714.717.6633

Lessons Learned From Cancer

By: Traci Patterson, CH, CI, Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

December, 2014 I wrote an article, “Life Lessons I Learned from Cancer”. Well, it’s time to update that article a bit.

In 2015, there will be an estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed and 589,430 cancer deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. These are startling statistics to say the least; Cancer is claiming more and more lives every day.

Cancer is a diagnosis that will rock the foundation of anyone’s world and take the wind out of their sails. Yet, does it really have to be this way?

In June of 2015, the wind was taken out of our sail for both my husband and me when he was re-diagnosed with metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The official results of the PET CT came in while I was out of state treating a chronic pain patient. This is something that no one ever wants to hear and when you do your heart skips a beat, your stomach churns, you feel like you are in a movie and it just can’t be happening, and then you realize… yes, it is real.

In the United States we were faced with the grim reality of the spread of my husband’s cancer and were given the reality check that with this type of cancer that even chemotherapy would not stop it. In short, we were told to get our affairs in order, work on his “Bucket List”, spend as much time with family and friends, and my husband was asked where he was spiritually. I think that pretty much summed it up.

For me it’s yet another life journey, but cancer has proven to be a patient teacher that can and will unlock doors and open your mind, heart and soul to a wealth of lessons if you will receive them. There are many lessons to learn but here are just a few I have learned along the way:

  1. Knowledge is Power:   As aforementioned, in the United States we were told there really was no stopping this type of cancer. We were pretty much told to get our affairs in order and live life to its fullest as long as my husband was able. When we asked about getting treatment out of country and doing alternative or integrative treatments we were told we would have nothing to lose, but none of it was proven. We were told if he did get better with these methods he would be, “an anomaly”. I don’t know if physicians say this because they are afraid of being held liable for suggesting alternative routes, if they are not up to snuff on other options available, or if they legitimately don’t believe in the integrative/alternative treatments. What I do know is that plenty of people take such words at face value and remain discouraged or never seek other treatment options. My husband and I, however, decided we’d take a different approach. Despite the opinions of the oncologist(s), we choose to believe we could impact the cancer with integrative medicine and chose to do so. I contacted the Medical Director of Infusio, a clinic that I had been treated at myself for CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and my husband had been treated at previously. I was fortunate enough to know about Infusio from both of our previous treatments and was able to reach out to them for an immediate consultation. We made the decision to get the treatment needed with Infusio in Frankfurt, Germany. They gave us the best options to give us hope and health in the long run.
  2. Mind – Body Connection: The importance of the individual going through cancer to realizing the mind – body connection is huge. Utilizing hypnosis, self-hypnosis, meditation, relaxation techniques and biofeedback can be a big facilitator to the body having the ability to heal. Decreasing stress levels for cancer or any type of medical condition is a great starting point.
  3. Accept Support: This is the time to embrace the support of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We had a wonderful support system in place from family and friends. It is important to stay connected with loved ones and to allow them to nourish you when you feel depleted. So often, people go through life wanting to shoulder burdens themselves but at the end of the day, you only end up physically spent, emotionally exhausted, and mentally taxed. It’s imperative to allow people to help you and to allow yourself to be helped. Also know that the journey is not without surprised along the way. Cancer has a way of teaching you who your true friends are; the ones who will be beside you through thick and thin, through up’s and down’s, through the good and bad. Keep those friends close once their faithfulness is revealed through the trials. They are the ones who will help you build a life of unconditional love and memories.
  4. Celebrate Life: Anyone who’s walked through the footsteps of cancer or chronic illness can attest to the way you celebrate life as you are going through the storm and once the storm has passed. With every sunrise and sunset; with every butterfly; every bird song and rainfall; with every blossoming flower in the spring and every golden leaf in the fall – we celebrate the little notes that compose life’s great symphony. We take the time to breathe in the fresh air. We take the time to savor the sweetness of fresh fruits. We laugh, we play, we work on the “Bucket List”, and we spend time with loved ones. As ironic as it may sound, facing cancer has caused us to live life with even more resilience and passion.

We have received the encouragement that we needed from the doctors and staff at Infusio that allowed us to focus on fighting the cancer and my husband getting better. Sometimes you need to change your environment, your surroundings, allow yourself to do some soul searching while going through this journey and know that you will survive. Focus on the good!

We know what we have been through, cancer, and it continues to make us stronger. We live in constant gratitude, hearts brimming with love and thankfulness because no matter where we find ourselves, no matter what our present situation, no matter the trials before us… we’re here, we’re alive… and we can continue to make our mark on this world one day at a time.

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~ Francis of Assisi

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.