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.


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   |   |

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 | |

Migraines: Ways to Fight the Pain

September 18, 2014 – Traci Patterson, Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Thought there was no hope for treating your migraine headaches? Don’t give up.

In the past year, the Food and Drug Administration has given adults new options for treating migraines by allowing the marketing of two prescription devices for such headaches.  People who don’t tolerate drug treatments well might find relief by using the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator or the Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device.  Both devices have been shown in clinical studies to be effective and pose “minimal” risks and side effects when used according to their labeling.

A drug-free and noninvasive treatment option that may be an even better choice for many migraine suffers is hypnosis.  People don’t realize that this is a viable treatment for migraines and many medical conditions.  It has been utilized since the turn of the century and there isn’t a list of negative side effects.

There’s a growing need for noninvasive treatment options because many anti-migraine drugs have side effects that some patients can’t tolerate.  A drug or prescription medication may have the potential for systemic side effects because it’s ingested and metabolized, and those side effects will vary from person to person.  Patients have been looking for alternative migraine treatments for years.

Migraines and Treatment Options

Migraine headaches are characterized by intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. A migraine can last four to 72 hours when untreated. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 12 percent of Americans (about 37 million people) have migraines. These debilitating headaches affect children and adults, and women are three times more likely to have migraines than men (about 18 percent of women have migraines).

About one-third of people with migraines experience an aura—visual disturbances such as dots, flashing lights or a blind spot—that signals the beginning of the headache.

Cerena is the first medical device granted marketing by FDA to relieve pain caused by migraine headaches that are preceded by an aura. Patients use Cerena when they feel a headache coming on or when the pain begins. Using both hands to hold the device against the back of the head, the patient presses a button to release a very short (less than one second) magnetic pulse to stimulate the brain’s occipital cortex (the back part of the brain that processes visual information). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) technology, used in the Cerena device, has been studied for quite some time but has only recently been authorized for specific clinical uses.

Cefaly is the first transcutaneous (passing through the skin) electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device granted marketing by FDA for use before the onset of a migraine, as a preventive treatment for migraine headaches. Patients can use Cefaly daily, and the treatment has been shown to reduce the number of days during which they experience migraines. TENS technology has been around a long time as a treatment for general pain, but this is the first time it’s been authorized as a preventive measure for migraines.

The portable, battery-powered Cefaly device resembles a plastic headband worn across the forehead. The user applies an electrode (a patch) to the forehead, connects the plastic headband to the electrode, and the device then emits an electrical current to stimulate one of the large nerves in the head (the trigeminal nerve), which has been associated with migraines. “It’s a set-time therapy—running for 20 minutes and stopping automatically,” according to a FDA spokesperson.

Both devices’ side effects include skin irritations, discomfort, sleepiness, dizziness and pain at site of application. As reported by the FDA, and they go on to state, “The safety and effectiveness of these devices have not been established in certain populations, including children, pregnant women and people with pacemakers.”

Hypnosis is a time tested option for migraines that is noninvasive and drug-free. To understand why hypnosis is one of the most successful treatments for migraines it is helpful to understand the nature of migraines.  Migraines are triggered by changes in your body that can be set off by stress, medications, certain foods, poor sleep patterns, and other factors that vary from individual to individual. The symptoms include debilitating pain.  This can include nausea and vomiting which may be the body’s reaction to the pain that seems to throb throughout the entire body.  Light can also negatively affect migraine sufferers and they often need to lie still in the dark to alleviate the discomfort.

Since migraines can last for days and since they often seem impervious to pain medications, it is imperative that a faster and more effective treatment be utilized. Migraine hypnosis has been studied and shown to be highly effective – more than three times the people treated with hypnosis stopped having migraines than those who stopped having migraines after being given the prescription medication prochlorperazine.

Prochlorperazine is used for treating mental and emotional disorders, such as psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. It controls severe nausea and vomiting and moderate to severe pain. Basically it covers the painful side effects of a migraine. Speaking of side effects, the side effects of prochlorperazine include body and facial tics.

Hypnosis on the other hand does not have side effects. It is also a lot easier on your body than prescription medication and other migraine treatment options.  The relaxation techniques included in migraine hypnosis work on the stress factor and other such triggers. Hypnosis can help with techniques that circumvent your usual migraine inducing elements.

Limitations of Drugs

Although there are effective drug treatments for migraines, they can have side effects.  This is why it is important for you, the patient to know what your options are for alternative treatments with fewer or no side effects.

There are many drugs to reduce migraine pain and symptoms, says Eric Bastings, M.D., a neurologist at FDA. “Although these drugs are quite effective, they are not for everyone. Some can make you tired, drowsy or dizzy. Some can affect your thinking. And some migraine drugs can cause birth defects; so pregnant women can’t use them,” he adds. “It’s important to note that medical devices have some limitations as well, and that the safety and efficacy of Cefaly and Cerena have not been established in pregnant women.”

Many people who have frequent or severe migraines may use preventive medications, including beta-blockers such as propranolol. Beta-blockers, which slow the heart rate, are used mostly to treat heart conditions. “These medications aren’t for migraine patients who have asthma, some lung problems or slow heart rate,” Bastings warns.

Migraines are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. You need to tell your health care providers about your headaches and see a doctor who specializes in migraines if you don’t get adequate relief.  Doctors should be aware of the medications approved for migraines and of alternative treatment options.

Be aware of your options because you have more treatment options available now than any other time, and hopefully you can find the one treatment that works best for you.

Traci Patterson is the founder of Advanced Pathways Hypnosis in Irvine, California. She specializes in helping suffers from migraine headaches, chronic pain and other health and wellness issues.

To learn more about how hypnosis can help you please contact Advanced Pathways Hypnosis.

714.717.6633 |  |

Fibromyalgia: The In’s, the Out’s and the Details

August 29, 2014:  Traci Patterson – Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Fibromyalgia affects approximately 1 out of every 50 people. Experts say many more people are suffering from it because they go undiagnosed.  At this time, there is no test for fibromyalgia.  The diagnosis is made through exclusion of other diagnosis, syndromes or diseases.


Who Gets Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is far more common in women than in men.  Some interesting studies show that women have approximately seven times less serotonin in the brain.  That may explain why fibromyalgia syndrome, or FMS, is more common in women.

Another theory states that fibromyalgia is caused by biochemical changes in the body and may be related to hormonal change.  In addition, some (but not all) people with fibromyalgia have low levels of human growth hormone, which may contribute to the muscle pain.

Some have even speculated that lower levels of a brain neuro transmitter called serotonin leads to lower pain thresholds or an increased sensitivity to pain.  Serotonin is associated with a calming, anxiety-reducing reaction.  The lower pain threshold in fibromyalgia patients may be caused by a reduced effectiveness of the body’s natural endorphin painkillers and the increased presence of a chemical called, “substance P”.  Substance P amplifies pain signals.

There have been some studies that link fibromyalgia to sudden trauma to the brain and spinal cord.  Keep in mind, theories about what causes fibromyalgia are merely speculative.


What Are the Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia?

Risk factors are distinct characteristics researchers have identified that may increase your chances of getting certain illnesses.  While researchers have identified some common risk factors for fibromyalgia, there are still many people with the disease who have none of these traits.  Also, some women have fibromyalgia with certain diseases, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, erythematosus (SLE), and other autoimmune disease.  Yet, others have fibromyalgia without any underlying diseases.

Possible risk factors for fibromyalgia include:

  • Gender (females are more susceptible)
  • Genetic disposition (may be inherited)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor physical conditioning
  • Surgery
  • Trauma to the brain or spinal cord (after an injury, accident, illness or emotional stress)


Why Fibromyalgia Can Be a Challenge to Diagnose:

There are a number of reasons why diagnosis fibromyalgia can be difficult.  Let’s start with the following:


Doctors often need to rule out other conditions first.

Fibromyalgia can mimic other conditions.  Seemingly unrelated symptoms may lead your doctor to suspect other diseases or syndromes.  Doctors often test for other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Lyme disease, and mononucleosis before reaching a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.


Blood tests and X-rays can’t be used to diagnose fibromyalgia.

Since there are no tests, at this time, that can determine whether or not you have fibromyalgia, your doctor needs to rely solely on your symptoms.  And these symptoms often vary from person to person and from day to day.  It’s important to tell your doctor about your symptoms so her or she can understand the pain you’re feeling.


Not all doctors have diagnosed and/or treated fibromyalgia before.

Although fibromyalgia is not a rare condition, some doctors are more experienced with it than others.  So, it is important to find a doctor with the experience in making the fibromyalgia diagnosis and treating the condition.  Rheumatologist, neurologists, and pain management specialists frequently diagnose and treat fibromyalgia.


Guidelines to help YOU, and your doctor diagnose fibromyalgia:

There are guidelines that can be very helpful in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology published the following criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia:

  • Widespread pain above and below the waist, on both the right and left sides of your body, and in the axial skeleton (your skull, spine, rib cage, and the bones in your throat and ears) for at least 3 months.
  • Tenderness or pain in 11 of the 18 “tender points” on your body

Based on these guidelines, your doctor may perform a tender point exam.  Your doctor will do this by applying pressure to these 18 points and counting how many you find tender.

In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology published a new set of preliminary guidelines.  These guidelines include a widespread pain index that assesses the number of painful body regions, and a scale that assesses the severity of symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, comprehension problems, and others in the body. 

By using one or both of these sets of guidelines, along with tests to rule out other possible conditions, it is possible for your doctor to make a fibromyalgia diagnosis.  So, if you think you may have fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor about what steps you can take towards an accurate diagnosis.


What Are the Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia?


At least some (gentle) exercise and stretching is a very important part in controlling fibromyalgia.  It helps balance blood sugar, improves circulation, and can slow the potential nerve damage resulting from this condition.  Swimming or riding a stationary bike may be preferable to running because they are low impact exercises.  Yoga is also a great option.



Diet is crucial when addressing fibromyalgia.  Alcohol and tobacco should be eliminated at all costs. Other harmful foods to be avoided include; processed foods, foods with processed sugar, fast foods, junk foods, sugary drinks and sodas of all types, and foods containing trans-fatty acids. Products sprayed with pesticide should also be avoided.

The nervous system can be negatively impacted by sweeteners and additives contained in diet soda and processed foods such as MSG and aspartame, etc. Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia should have a balanced intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.



In addition to proper diet and exercise, clinical studies have shown time and again that vitamins and herbs can be very effective at preventing and even reversing signs of fibromyalgia.

B vitamins can be very effective at helping to control fibromyalgia but in most cases you get what you pay for. All forms of vitamins are not the same. In fact, there are 4 different forms of vitamin B12 alone. Most supplements use the cheapest available form of ingredients and since there is very little government oversight in the supplement industry, it is hard to know that what you are getting will be the best form to fight fibromyalgia.

Along with B vitamins, you should also consider vitamin D and a powerful anti-oxidant such as alpha lipoic acid.



In recent years 3 medications have been approved specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia; pregabalin (Lyrica®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®) and milnacipran (Savella®).  Unfortunately, most of these medications come with a host of unwanted side effects. 

People experience fibromyalgia differently, so fibromyalgia medicines don’t produce the same results in everyone. Often doctors prescribe non-narcotic pain relievers (tramadol), low doses of antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants/serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or benzodiazepines.

Please consult your physician for an appropriate medication for you or your loved one.


Working with a certified hypnotist that also holds a certification in ‘Pain Management’ has proven to be a great ‘Drug-free’ alternative treatment option for fibromyalgia patients.  A good program should include methods such as imagery, cell memory, bio-feedback, light-sound therapy, EMT, and other somatic therapies.  And learning self-hypnosis too.  This combination has allowed fibromyalgia patients to regain their lives, to go from an average pain level of 9-10/10 and take it down to a 0/10. 


Although they state there is no cure for fibromyalgia, or once you have it you will always have it… It is important to realize there are treatment options available.  Traditional trained physicians will most likely push for medications, but it is important to weigh out the side effects.  Look at all of your options if you or a love one is diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Know your options! 

If you would like more information on ‘Drug-free’ treatment options for fibromyalgia via hypnosis please contact Advanced Pathways Hypnosis.  We are known for our compassionate pain management program in treating fibromyalgia, chronic pain, neuropathic pain and other health and wellness issues.


1.714.717.6633   |   |