Advanced Pathways in Top Five of Healthcare’s Most Innovative Companies

ABL

 

5 Finalists Selected for 19th Innovations in Healthcare-TM ABBY Award;
Winner to Be Chosen on December 5, 2018, in Long Beach, CA
November 14, 2018: Five of healthcare’s most innovative companies have been selected as Finalists to present their approaches, medical devices, health IT, digital health, and diagnostic solutions at ABL Organization’s 19th Innovations in HealthcareTM ABBY Awards Event, to be held on December 5, 2018, in Long Beach, California. The event will be hosted by the Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization, whose first awards event was held in 1999, and since then has recognized over 60 innovative organizations whose approaches and technologies are making dramatic inroads in the quest to improve the quality of care and health outcomes – while reducing its cost. And this year, more than any other before, many of these innovations are blending technology with the human touch provided by providers, caregivers, and even family members and friends.
At the December 5th event, following live presentations made by the leaders of each Finalist company, each audience member will cast their secret ballot to determine one Awardee, who will take home the coveted ABBY Award.
The 19th Innovations in Healthcare (TM) ABBY Award Finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

 

ADVANCED PATHWAYS
Traci Patterson, Founder and Executive Director

ABL _ Traci Patterson

Advanced Pathways’ Hypnosis Combined Therapy (HCT) provides solutions for chronic pain patients (CRPS, Fibromyalgia, SFN, Migraines, etc.) through a personalized, evidence-based, non-invasive, drug-free treatment option that allows patients to regain their lives. HCT gets the patient out of ‘fight/flight’, resetting the pain loop, balancing the autonomic nervous system, reducing/controlling stress and anxiety, increasing restorative sleep, and helping with PTSD. Their 5-day protocol is not only changing patients’ lives, but is also dramatically decreasing the overall burden on the U.S. healthcare system.

CATASYS INC.’S ONTRAK PROGRAM
Rick Anderson, President & COO

ABL - Rick Anderson
Through predictive analytics, Catasys identifies, engages, and treats behavioral care-avoidant people who are suffering from untreated behavioral health conditions that are exacerbating chronic medical disease. By applying advanced tools and proprietary insights, during its 52-week program, Catasys care coaches motivate behavior change, resulting in better health, improved resiliency, and reduced costs: total claims paid, a reduction in ED and inpatient utilization, as well as a reduction in professional costs, such as doctor fees. OnTrak’s retention is 80%: four times the average behavioral health treatment retention.

HEALTHPIPER, LLC
Joshua Freedman, MD, CEO & Founder

ABL - Joshua Freedman
Among the millions of Americans identified as depressed by their primary care doctor, almost two-thirds don’t get treatment. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Freedman recognized the challenges his patients faced, particularly those suffering from anxiety and depression, to travel across town to meet with their doctor. healthPiper: a mobile medication-based treatment program for patients with depression and anxiety, that uses a cost-effective “concierge style” that harnesses mobile technology, coupling it with innovative approaches for delivering meds and staying patient-connected, all at less than half the typical cost of care.

IMPEDIMED’S SOZO® DIGITAL HEALTH PLATFORM
Richard Carreon, Managing Director & CEO

ABL - Richard Carreon
The post-surgical complication of lymphedema (in which fluid builds up in the extremities due to damage of the lymph system) is so significant that it is taken for granted. SOZO® provides a critical tool for the early detection, monitoring, and management of conditions like lymphedema. When used immediately upon cancer diagnosis, SOZO enables the monitoring of subtle changes in breast cancer patients – detecting lymphedema as much as 4-10 months earlier than other methods, allowing for early intervention and prevention of disease progression, decreasing the development of persistent, possibly irreversible, lymphedema in breast cancer patients by as much as 95%.

MEDCLINE BY AMENITY HEALTH, INC.
Aaron Clark, Co-Founder & CEO

ABL - Aaron Clark
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects 20% of the adult US population. For under $300, the MedCline Reflux Relief System is more effective than medications at reducing nighttime GERD symptoms, more effective than surgery at reducing Silent Reflux symptoms, and it provides physicians and patients with a powerful and effective alternative to Proton Pump Inhibitor medications and surgery. It has been clinically studied with patients with typical reflux symptoms – as well as laryngopharyngeal reflux, pregnancy reflux, post-esophagectomy, and lung transplant patients with reflux – with consistent positive results.

ALSO AT THE EVENT, the keynote presentation will be made by Robert Maloney, MD, Director of Maloney Vision Institute, and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Maloney has worked at the forefront of innovative vision-correction surgery for 20 years – personally performing 60,000+ vision correction procedures – including on Kim Kardashian. He’s also a brilliant medical edu-tainer and will share with attendees the inspiring backstory of one of the greatest Innovations in Healthcare of all time, and how it’s played out in history and art, as well as in today’s routine medical practice.

Information on the 20th Innovations in HealthcareTM ABBY Award event to be held on December 12, 2018, in San Francisco, CA can be found here. In preparation for this year’s Event, ABL’s Finalist Selection Committee – a group of Healthcare Executives with deep domain knowledge in the areas represented by this year’s Semi-Finalists – spent a recent morning presenting and discussing some 30 ABBY Award-nominated Semi-Finalists to the Group. Following discussions about each nominated organization, the Committee voted by secret ballot to select the Finalists. Further information about the Innovations in HealthcareTM ABBY Awards events is available by emailing laura@abl.org.

Past ABBY Award Winners: Previous ABBY Award Winners include numerous companies that have made breakthroughs and transformative advances in medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, information technology, and electronic solutions, as well as organizations that have applied innovative systems and technology to providing care and coverage, decreasing the numbers of uninsured, and engaging healthcare consumers more actively in their care and health status – all with a view to reducing the cost of quality care.

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.

 

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

CRPS Treatment Options: Why aren’t physicians discussing all options with their patients?

ByTraci Patterson, CH, CI – CRPS Survivor and Owner of Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

Treatment for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) must be individualized.  No one treatment will work for everyone.  That being said it is very important that patients have access to information on all treatment options available.

Treatment methods are continuously evolving as research and clinical practice provides new evidence and insights, but most physicians are not staying up to date on the latest treatment options. For example it was once thought that sympathetic nerve blocks were a diagnostic tool and a curative procedure. This has been disproven over time yet most Pain Management doctors are still performing them regularly on CRPS/RSD patients.

The majority of the physicians out there will want to start with anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), pain medications, Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy, local/regional blocks and then move on to sympathetic nerve blocks.   If there is no improvement with these modalities the next conversation will most likely be about having a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted, or a pain pump that delivers morphine directly to the nerves affected in the spine.

What happens to the patient when they are told by their physician there is nothing more they can do?  Do you just continue on large quantities of pain medications and continue down the slippery slope?  Or do you fight to find something that will help, a treatment that can possibly put this awful condition into remission?

I have been on both sides of this.  I personally was diagnosed with a very aggressive, volatile case of CRPS.  Local and regional blocks did not work on me.  My Pain Management doctor was dumbfounded when this occurred.  Thus we moved onto lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks (LSB).  I had 13 LSB, until the last one caused my adrenal glands to completely shut down.  This landed me in the hospital for a week.  Following this my Pain Management doctor stated we could no longer do any LSB.  His next step was talking to me about having a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) implanted.  I was against the idea and had a really bad gut feeling about it, but I was told this was the last option I had to reduce my pain.  I went through with the trial and it went well.  Approximately 6 months later I had a Medtronic SCS implanted.  I had nothing but issues with it.  Every time I charged the battery it caused my affected foot to swell.  They could not figure out why this was happening.  The next step was to have the battery replaced with a non-rechargeable battery.  I underwent the surgery to change out the batteries in hopes this would correct any issues.  Keep in mind that with each of these surgeries I had to be admitted to the hospital to control my pain, even though they were supposed to be an outpatient procedure.  Unfortunately, the second surgery to change the battery did not help.  I then started to have issues with the paddle that was implanted.  Long story short, they had to explant the Medtronic SCS and implanted a Boston Scientific SCS. It was during this time that my CRPS moved into my back!  I had asked my Neurosurgeon if this could happen and was assured it wouldn’t – it did happen after all…  I had this one for less than 6 months when I lost the ability to control the stimulation.  Upon further review of the situation and my symptoms it was determined that I had a buildup of scar tissue on my Dura which could cause paralysis if the SCS was not removed.  In Feb., 2011 the last SCS was ex planted from my spine.  At that point I was told by my Pain Management doctor, who is highly regarded, that there was nothing else he could do except to keep me on pain medication.  He was ultimately throwing his hands up in the air!  This did not set well with me.  I was dumbfounded that none of my doctors (Pain Management, Neuro Surgeon, Neurologist or GP) had anything more to offer me.  I had to research viable alternative treatment options on my own.

This is what the typical CRPS/RSD patient goes through once they receive their diagnosis.  Yet, the reality is there are other treatment options out there as I found out.  Treatment options that allowed me to get pain free and in remission.

The big question should be why physicians, hospitals and universities are not better informed about viable treatment options for CRPS/RSD, neuropathic pain and other chronic pain conditions, and what can be done to get the information out to the doctors that are treating us?

Some current treatment methods:

  • Antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Sometimes antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, and anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin), are used to treat pain that originates from a damaged nerve (neuropathic pain).
  • Corticosteroids. Steroid medications, such as prednisone, may reduce inflammation and improve mobility in the affected limb.
  • Bone-loss medications. Your doctor may suggest medications to prevent or stall bone loss, such as alendronate (Fosamax) and calcitonin (Miacalcin).
  • Sympathetic nerve-blocking medication. Injection of an anesthetic to block pain fibers in your affected nerves may relieve pain in some people.
  • Intravenous ketamine. Studies show that low doses of intravenous ketamine, a strong anesthetic, may substantially alleviate pain. However, despite pain relief, there was no improvement in function.

Therapies

  • Applying heat and cold. Applying cold may relieve swelling and sweating. If the affected area is cool, applying heat may offer relief.
  • Topical analgesics. Various topical treatments are available that may reduce hypersensitivity, such as capsaicin cream (Capsin, Capsagel, Zostrix) or lidocaine patches (Lidoderm, others).
  • Physical therapy. Gentle, guided exercising of the affected limbs may help decrease pain and improve range of motion and strength. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more effective exercises may be.
  • Occupational therapy. Mirror box therapy, and desensitization of affected limbs. Assisting with activities of daily living, improving range of motion and strength.  The earlier this is utilized in the diagnosis, the more effective it is.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Chronic pain is sometimes eased by applying electrical impulses to nerve endings.
  • Biofeedback. In some cases, learning biofeedback techniques may help. In biofeedback, you learn to become more aware of your body so that you can relax your body and relieve pain.
  • Spinal cord stimulation. Your doctor inserts tiny electrodes along your spinal cord. A small electrical current delivered to the spinal cord results in pain relief. (Always do your research prior to moving forward with the implantation of a SCS or pain pump.)

Alternative/Complementary Therapies

  • Calmare therapy. Non-invasive, drug-free treatment option. Many time ‘boost treatments’ need to be completed to stay pain free with CRPS/RSD.
  • Clinical Hypnosis. Non-invasive, drug-free treatment option. The utilization of hypnosis and a multi-therapeutic approach is proving to be an effective treatment option for CRPS/RSD.  Those patients going through a ‘One Week Intensive’ have been able to significantly decrease their pain if not completely get into remission.  Working with someone well versed in chronic pain, pain management, biofeedback, neuroplasticity training, etc. will give CRPS or chronic pain patients the best outcomes.

Some Pain Management physicians that I have spoken to have stated that they are treating their patients in the manner that they were taught (i.e while in medical school and residency…).  The outline they verbally gave me pretty much mimicked how I was treated and how thousands of other patients are treated with CRPS/RSD.  The stark reality is that new treatment methods are continuously evolving as research and clinical practice provides new evidence and insights, but most physicians are so inundated with the number of patients that they have to see in a day, charting and regulations that it is extremely difficult to stay up to date on the latest treatment options.  This is not an excuse but reality.

If we stop to think about this it does make sense.  Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars every year in an effort to ensure that their information and medications are in front of or in the hands of doctors.  Durable medical equipment (DME) companies do the same thing.  As a matter of fact they go as far as making sure their products and services are well known at the university levels too.  The bottom line is that updated information on alternative treatment options must be circulated back to those physicians and facilities that are treating patients with CRPS/RSD and any chronic pain condition (fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, chronic migraines, etc.).

Living with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or any type of chronic pain is challenging, especially if you don’t have a proper treatment plan or access to all your treatment options.  Share information with your treating physician from reliable sources and don’t be afraid to ask about alterative or complementary treatment options that may be available.

If you would like more information on CRPS/RSD, alternative/complementary treatment options, or the author – Traci Patterson please contact us at:

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

References

1.McMahon SB, et al. Wall and Melzack’s Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com.

2.Ferri FF. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com.

3.Borchers AT, et al. Complex regional pain syndrome: A comprehensive and critical review. Autoimmunity Reviews. In press. Accessed

4.Abdi S. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home.

5.Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/detail_reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm.

6.Abdi S. Prevention and management of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home.

7.Complex regional pain syndrome treatment page. RSDSA. http://rsda.org/treatment/

Anniversary Week of Remission: Celebration of Life

Written by: Traci Patterson, Owner, Advanced Pathways Hypnosis

This is my anniversary week! The week that I officially got my pain levels to a zero in all areas and regained my life. The week that I started down a new road in my journey…a celebration of life!

Remission is a topic that I have written about before, but it is so much more than just a word. It is a word that reflects independence, life, hope, future and so much more, and yet, there are so many physicians and patients that are afraid to speak about remission, afraid to speak about the possibility of getting pain free.  Why? Too often, physicians are unsure of clear treatment plans for this condition or what steps to take with patients, and stepping outside the box is just out of the question.

The causes and the symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) may vary a bit from person to person, but all those that suffer from this condition have many things in common. They feel isolated, they feel like they are the only one going through this, and they just want the constant neuropathic pain to stop. Too often, they are afraid to admit it because of the stigma that still exists with chronic pain. That is how I felt until I finally realized that I could no longer continue living the way I was living and sought out the help to get into remission – to get pain free!

My journey with CRPS was life changing. This is the case for every chronic pain patient, every patient with CRPS, or anyone with a debilitating illness. It changes your personality, your outlook, your life and your family unit as a whole. When you are in the clutches of chronic pain, you feel like it will never end and you wonder if you will ever get your life back. Yet, I was fortunate enough to get my life back and then some.

For me, traditional medicine consisted of physical therapy, NSAIDS, local blocks, regional blocks, lumbar sympathetic blocks and spinal cord stimulators. These treatments only progressed my CRPS from my left foot/ankle into my back (waist to my shoulder). After these treatment protocols failed, I moved my treatments out of country to Frankfurt, Germany. There, I was successful in decreasing my pain levels and shrinking the area of my CRPS, but unfortunately, I was unable to get into remission. As I continued on my journey, I was referred to a clinic in Tennessee that utilized clinical hypnosis, imagery, biofeedback, light/sound therapy and many other techniques. It was there that I was able to get into remission.

Remission seemed like a dream. I was in awe when it actually occurred! For the first time in over 6 years, I had zero pain and I had no idea what to do. Well, I did, but my body didn’t. My mind wanted to jump, skip, dance and run. My body, on the other hand, had to learn how to balance, how to walk and how to handle this new-found freedom.

This week, I am reflecting on my journey with CRPS, my new outlook on life, a greater respect for how precious every month, day and minute is in our lives, the ability to give back to others and to get the word out that remission is possible.

If I could go to the top of the highest mountain, the top of a skyscraper or to the ends of the Earth to get the word out that there is hope and there is a possibility of remission when it comes to CRPS/RSD, I would. And I am!

If you find yourself in a place where you are living a life of constant chronic pain, I will be honest with you. It is not easy to get into remission. It will take a lot of determination and hard work on your part. But no matter what difficulties are in front of you, no matter how alone you feel, no matter how dark life may seem even when the sun is brightly shining, you can do it! I have been where you are and I can tell you there is hope. I am living proof of it. Never give up hope of remission!

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 |  http://www.AdvancedPathways.com

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Life in Remission

Remission, a word that can mean so much to so many but yet can be so far away 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 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.

I had to discover what my new limits were, 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.  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 going on a full year in remission from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and I have a deeper appreciation for family, friends and life!

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