Jan 14 2014

Crossing Monkey Bars

Category: Pain ManagementPatricia @ 4:08 pm

“Letting go of a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. “ ~ C.S. Lewis

monkey-bars

Do you deserve to be angry? Are there circumstances in your life that are unjust? Have you had an experience where you were treated badly? Maybe you deserve to be sad too! Or frustrated. Or disappointed. I’d like you to consider that even though circumstances may create a right to be angry, you also have a right to be happy instead. You deserve it.  Letting go of negative thoughts and the emotions they create is always in your best interest.

Do you realize that whoever you are angry with or whatever you are angry about is not experiencing the results of your wrath? But you are!!! When you’re angry with your boss, or spouse, or kid, or government…they don’t suffer what you suffer. When you think angry thoughts, your body suffers. You may grind your teeth or clench your fists. You may experience flushing, paling or sweating. However you feel your anger, it’s much like the fight/flight response of survival. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol flood through your body. Your amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with emotion, is going crazy. It wants to act! And it wants to act right now! Meanwhile, the frontal lobe which controls reasoning, is desperately pulsing to balance it out. This is why it’s a good idea to count to ten before acting!

If you constantly think you deserve to be angry, this state of response can start to cause damage. Your nervous system is overworked and can eventually become overexerted. You can potentially damage your heart, your liver and your kidney. Anger may also be accompanied by depression or anxiety. Chronic anger can create disease and early death.

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah

I’d like to remind you that you deserve happiness and joy. You have a right to experience a life filled with the good stuff. Make a decision now to let go of the thoughts that create anger or any negative emotions. You are only hurting yourself. And that’s just not right. You deserve better.

 

 

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May 01 2012

Hypno-Reiki: A New Way to Let Go of Pain

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 3:56 pm

Look for the following article in a soon to be published issue of Your Health Connection (http://www.yhcmagazine.com/). This article marks the beginning of a new modality which is both powerful and gentle. I am very excited to launch this restorative and therapeutic practice of Hypno-Reiki with a compassionate and gifted healer, Reiki Master Claire Staffa.

Are you suffering? “Chronic pain is a problem that has reached near epidemic proportions,” said Edward Covington, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at the Cleveland Clinic. “The ‘can do, can cope’ spirit of Americans can lead to untreated chronic pain, which has a severe impact on people’s work, personal relationships, hobbies, and even sex, and can greatly diminish their quality of life. In addition to physical disability, it may also lead to irritability, anxiety, or depression.”

Do you endure discomfort to the point that it is affecting the way you live your life? Are you sick and tired of conventional methods of pain management? Are you taking pills that aren’t effective? Is your medication creating negative side effects? Are you ready to try something new? Perhaps it is time to consider an integrative approach to healing… a new way based on ancient methods. Are you aware of Hypno-Reiki?

Hypno-Reiki is a combination of two powerful methods of healing, Hypnosis and Reiki. Each method has proven to be effective, but when used together, the modality has great potential. Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation, or altered state of consciousness created by focused attention. For thousands of years, it has been used as an effective method for relief of physical pain and discomfort. In the hypnotic state, we are open to positive suggestions and imagery which will create change. It is an ideal time to implement other therapeutic modalities, such as Reiki, because our whole system is primed to healing. Reiki, a healing practice originated inJapan, is a non-invasive, gentle modality which translates to “spiritually guided life force energy or universal healing energy”. It helps the body’s natural ability to heal itself though the flow and focusing of energy.

The Center for Disease Control reports in 2002 that 62% ofU.S.adults had used some form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), often in conjunction with other alternative and conventional medical treatments. The 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey ofCAMuse by Americans, found that “people use Reiki for relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief, in efforts to improve overall health and well-being. Reiki has been used by people with anxiety, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and other health conditions, as well as by people recovering from surgery or experiencing side effects from treatments.”

Hypnotherapy can help with the perception of pain, by changing the expectation. In studies about how the human brain and nervous system work, Dr. Kenneth Casey, a professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and a neurology consultant to the VA Health Care System in Ann Arbor states that “the brain has mechanisms to directly control what we feel, it actively controls the flow of sensory information that results in our perceptions.” In fact, key regions of the brain appear to react as much to the expectation of pain as much as they do to actual painful stimulation. The mind can alter the feeling of pain by substituting another feeling such as heat, tingling, numbness. It can also divert the location of pain to another body part, thereby allowing relief.  In a January 5, 2004 article by Benedict Carey, The Los Angeles Times reports “the brain can virtually shut down pain signals when preoccupied.”

At that point, the body’s energy system is aligned with thoughts of health and wellness. The body-mind connection is fully functioning while in the state of hypnosis. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is imagined and what is perceived as reality. When Reiki is administered to someone in the hypnotic state, the benefits are magnified. The healing power of life force energy is added and the whole body becomes at peace.

Though Reiki may be an unfamiliar term and may sound “new-agey,” the effectiveness of this ancient treatment has been shown. The International Journal of Behavioral Medicine reviewed 66 clinical trials on biofield therapies. It was concluded that there was strong evidence that biofield therapies such as Reiki help reduce the intensity of pain. Julie Kusiak, MA, a Reiki practitioner in the integrative medicine department atBeaumontHospital inRoyal Oak,Michigan, states, “Recent studies on Reiki therapy reflect a broad spectrum of its benefit for pain relief.” Examples cited were decreased anxiety and pain, lower fatigue, reduced depression and better quality of life.

Hypnosis and Reiki create profoundly relaxing effects, which make the combination of Hypno-Reiki even more effective for the treatment of anxiety, stress and pain. Hypno-Reiki complements any other form of medical treatment, as there are no contraindications. There is a long history of both scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the use of behavioral and relaxation approaches to treat chronic pain. The American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock stated, “Complementary and alternative medicine has shown great promise in supporting and stimulating healing. It’s one of the many tools hospitals look to as they continue to create optimal healing environments for the patients they serve.”

Much research concludes the effectiveness of hypnosis as an alternative method of healing. Scientific American Mind’s (July, 2005) article titled “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis” which stated that “hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses- especially in controlling pain.” The article further cites a meta-analysis published by the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis which found that “the pain relieving effect of hypnosis is often substantial, and in a few cases the degree of relief matches or exceeds that provided by morphine.”

In Biofield Therapies:A Best Evidence Synthesis,a systematic review examined 66 clinical studies and found “equivocal evidence for biofield therapies’ effects on fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients, as well as for comprehensive pain outcomes and affect in pain patients, and for decreasing anxiety in cardiovascular patients”. Currently, there is a peer review method for analyzing the state of scientific studies done on Reiki programs in hospitals and clinics. The process is rigorous, impartial and incorporates the best practices for scientific review. Dr Mehmet Oz is a proponent of Reiki and is often quoted as saying, “Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals.”

According to a 2008 American Hospital Association survey, 84% of hospitals indicated patient demand as the reason for offering Complementary and Alternative Medicine services because of “clinical effectiveness”. Simply stated, it works.

More and more, science tells us that the condition of our body is directly related to our positive thoughts of wellness or our negative thoughts of stress, anxiety and pain. Thoughts are energy. Thoughts create. Your body is a manifestation of the thoughts of your sub-conscious mind. You have the power to change the way you think and to change the way you feel. There is an unlimited supply of “spiritually guided life force energy”  available to you to help create your natural state of being, which is a state of well-being. If you are suffering, you can give yourself permission to let go of the pain. You can change your expectations and move toward a better, more joyful life. Perhaps Hypno-Reiki is the way to do it!

 

Patricia Lynn Belkowitz, C.Ht., EFT-CC, and Claire Staffa, Reiki Master. Patricia Belkowitz is a clinical Hypnotherapist focusing on health and wellness. Claire Staffa is a certified Reiki Master specializing in balance and harmony. They practice together at Dr. Sharon Norling’s Mind Body Spirit Center in Westlake Village. For more information about Patricia go to www.TheMindMatters.com and to find out about Claire, visit www.HarmoniousReiki.com or log on to www.TheMBSC.com.

 

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May 31 2011

Love & Laughter

Category: Pain ManagementPatricia @ 11:49 am

“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.”  ~ August Wilson

Laughter improves the mind and spirit. If we can laugh at our troubles, we can create positive biochemical changes in our body which will help reduce feelings of depression or helplessness. When we laugh, we breathe more deeply, which fills our body with oxygen and improves our immune system. Our blood pressure decreases and endorphins and other natural pain-relieving hormones are released. We create a better state of mind and when we are in a better state of mind, we are able to think more calmly and clearly. Our entire body relaxes.

In stressful situations, our body suffers. Constant stress robs us of our sense of humor. It takes the fun out of life! When we are children, we laugh on average about 400 times in a 24 hour period. As adults, we only laugh about 17 times a day! What a tragedy!

Two women share a laugh.

A good laugh bursts forth from the soul.

You can bring more laughter into your life. Collect books and movies that are funny and the next time you’re feeling down, bring them out and laugh. Choose to surround yourself with happy and positive people. Be more playful in your daily activities. Give yourself some “laughter therapy” whenever you’re feeling down.

As Oscar Wilde said, “Life is too important to be taken seriously!”

In my practice as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I encourage my clients to lighten up. We focus on the positive aspects and the solutions which brings a sense of peace. Being able to laugh at yourself is an important step on the way to enlightenment…a state of acceptance and love for your true authentic self…including that part of yourself that laughs so hard, milk comes out your nose!

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Feb 03 2010

Hypnosis Reduces Pain

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 2:19 pm

Many research studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, points to the effectiveness of hypnosis and imagery for pain reduction and chronic pain management. The subconscious mind has the ability to change the perception of pain, thereby changing the experience.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain and Speeds up Recovery from Surgery

Since 1992, we have used hypnosis routinely in more than 1400 patients undergoing surgery. We found that hypnosis used with patients as an adjunct to conscious sedation and local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety, pain, intraoperative requirements for anxiolytic and analgesic drugs, optimal surgical conditions and a faster recovery of the patient. We reported our clinical experience and our fundamental research.

[Hypnosis and its application in surgery] Faymonville ME, Defechereux T, Joris J, Adant JP, Hamoir E, Meurisse M, Service d’Anesthesie-Reanimation, Universite de Liege, Rev Med Liege. 1998 Jul;53(7):414-8.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain Intensity

Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness.

Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain of Headaches and Anxiety

The improvement was confirmed by the subjective evaluation data gathered with the use of a questionnaire and by a significant reduction in anxiety scores.

Melis PM, Rooimans W, Spierings EL, Hoogduin CA, Treatment of chronic tension-type headache with hypnotherapy: a single-blind time controlled study. Headache 1991; 31(10): 686-9.

Hypnosis Lowered Post-treatment Pain in Burn Injuries

Patients in the hypnosis group reported less post treatment pain than did patients in the control group. The findings are used to replicate earlier studies of burn pain hypnoanalgesia, explain discrepancies in the literature, and highlight the potential importance of motivation with this population.

Patterson DR, Ptacek JT, Baseline pain as a moderator of hypnotic analgesia for burn injury treatment. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 1997; 65(1): 60-7.

Hypnosis Lowered Phantom Limb Pain

Hypnotic procedures appear to be a useful adjunct to established strategies for the treatment of phantom limb pain and would repay further, more systematic, investigation. Suggestions are provided as to the factors which should be considered for a more systematic research program.

Treatment of phantom limb pain using hypnotic imagery. Oakley DA, Whitman LG, Halligan PW, Department of Psychology, University College, London, UK.

Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain

Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment.

Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.

Hypnosis Useful in Hospital Emergency Rooms

Hypnosis can be a useful adjunct in the emergency department setting. Its efficacy in various clinical applications has been replicated in controlled studies. Application to burns, pain, pediatric procedures, surgery, psychiatric presentations (e.g., coma, somatoform disorder, anxiety, and post traumatic stress), and obstetric situations (e.g., hyperemesis, labor, and delivery) are described.

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2000 May;18(2):327-38, x. The use of hypnosis in emergency medicine. Peebles-Kleiger MJ, Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences, Menninger Clinic, Topeka, KS, USA. peeblemj@menninger.edu

Self-Hypnosis Alleviates Tension Headaches

In 169 patients, self-hypnosis was largely successful in alleviating chronic tension headaches. (International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis, 2000)

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Feb 02 2010

Hypnotherapy Effective for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 7:15 pm

The Journal of Family Practice (May, 2001) published Effects of Hypnosis on the Labor Processes and Birth Outcomes of Pregnant Adolescents  which states “Hypnotherapy has been found to be effective in providing pain relief, reducing the need for chemical anesthesia, and reducing anxiety, fear, and pain related to childbirth. Hypnosis has also been helpful in both managing various complications of pregnancy (such as premature labors), and reducing the likelihood of premature labor and birth in high-risk patients.”

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Feb 02 2010

Hypnosis Significantly Reduces Healing Time

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 7:06 pm

Healed 41% faster from fracture

Healed significantly faster from surgery

Two studies from Harvard Medical School show hypnosis significantly reduces the time it takes to heal.

Study One: Six weeks after an ankle fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing.

Study Two: Three groups of people studied after breast reduction surgery. Hypnosis group healed “significantly faster” than supportive attention group and control group.

Harvard Medical School, Carol Ginandes and Union Institute in Cincinnati, Patricia Brooks, Harvard University Gazette Online at http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/05.08/01-hypnosis.html.

Surgery

Hypnosis given during surgical radiology not only diminishes patients’ pain and anxiety, but also shortens surgical time and reduces complications from the procedure. (Lancet, 2000)

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Nov 03 2009

Success of Hypnotherapy in Pain Treatment

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 10:51 am

“Chronic pain is a problem that has reached near epidemic proportions,” said Edward Covington, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at the Cleveland Clinic. “The ‘can do, can cope’ spirit of Americans can lead to untreated chronic pain, which has a severe impact on people’s work, personal relationships, hobbies, and even sex, and can greatly diminish their quality of life. In addition to physical disability, it may also lead to irritability, anxiety, or depression.”

Scientific American Mind (July, 2005) featured an article titled “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis” which stated that “hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses- especially in controlling pain,” citing, among others, a 1996 National Institutes of Health panel which judged hypnosis to be an “effective intervention for alleviating pain from cancer and other chronic conditions.” The article further cites a meta-analysis published by the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis which found that “hypnotic suggestions relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects. The pain relieving effect of hypnosis is often substantial, and in a few cases the degree of relief matches or exceeds that provided by morphine.” Another meta-analysis of 18 separate studies found that “patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy plus hypnosis for disorders such as obesity, insomnia, anxiety and hypertension showed greater improvement than 70% of those who received psychotherapy alone.” Additionally, the article stated there is strong evidence that hypnosis can be an effective treatment for “asthma; some dermatological disorders, including warts; irritable bowel syndrome; hemophilia; and nausea associated with chemotherapy.”

The success of hypnotherapy in pain treatment and management has a very long history. The following studies are more than 20 years old and the supporting research is mounting.

Speigel and Bloom (1983b) reported that a study of women with metastatic breast cancer showed that patients who received group therapy with training in Hypnosis over a one-year period were able to reduce their pain experience by 50% when compared to a control group. In addition, at a 10-year follow-up of these same women, the Hypnosis treatment group had a mean survival rate of 36.6 months compared to 18.9 months for the controls. This suggests that the intervention may be both important quantitative and important qualitative effects (Spiegel 1989a)

In a neurochemical study of Hypnotic control of pain conducted by Domangue (1985), patients suffering arthritic pain showed a correlation among levels of pain, anxiety and depression. Depression was correlated with dopamine levels and negatively correlated with levels of serotonin and beta endorphin. Following Hypnotherapy, there were clinically and statistically significant decreases in depression, anxiety and pain, and increases in beta endorphin-like substances.

 In a controlled trial conducted by Olness (1987), self-Hypnosis was shown to be significantly more effective than either propranolol or placebo in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches in children between the ages of six and twelve years of age.

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Nov 03 2009

Hypnotherapy Alters Pain Perception

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 10:43 am

In studies about how the human brain and nervous system work, Dr. Kenneth Casey, a professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and a neurology consultant to the VA Health Care System in Ann Arbor states that “the brain has mechanisms to directly control what we feel, it actively controls the flow of sensory information that results in our perceptions.”

In fact, key regions of the brain appear to react as much to the expectation of pain as much as they do to actual painful stimulation. Experiments at the University of Michigan and Princeton University showed that the same region in the brains’ prefrontal cortex that anticipates pain is less active if a person expects a stimulus to hurt less.

Hypnotherapy can help with the perception of pain, by changing the expectation. The mind can alter the feeling of pain by substituting another feeling such as heat, tingling, numbness. It can also divert the location of pain to another body part, thereby allowing relief.  In a January 5, 2004 article by Benedict Carey, The Los Angeles Times reports “the brain can virtually shut down pain signals when preoccupied.”

In 2002, Mount Sinai researchers performed studies which found that adding hypnosis to standard post-surgical care sped the recovery almost 90% of the time in terms of levels of pain, anxiety and the need for painkillers. “The hypnosis seems to change expectations and this change appears to have a strong effect on what people actually experience” says Montgomery, an author on the studies.

Dr. Karen Olness, a professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Family Medicine and International Health at Case Western Reserve University states, “With sufficient practice, many adults can learn to tolerate various painful procedures without medication” Nearly everyone can use self-hypnosis to “reduce the fear and anxiety that accompanies and that can heighten pain.”

A 1999 study reported in the European Journal of Pain states “Hypnosis is a powerful tool in pain therapy.” Researchers used a PET imaging machine to trace the blood-flow patterns of fibromyalgia patients while under hypnosis and “proved there are actual blood-flow changes and patterns in the interplay between cortical and subcortical brain dynamics,” concluding “the patients had less pain during hypnosis than at rest.”

Are you suffering from chronic pain? Are you suffering anxiety and anticipating pain from a surgical procedure? Would you like to learn ways to manage it? Hypnotherapy may be the answer.

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Nov 03 2009

Hypnosis for Pain Management

Category: Hypnotherapy,Pain ManagementPatricia @ 10:38 am

Pain Management:  Olafur Palsson, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., states that hypnosis can help you manage pain by changing your perception of the pain sensation.  According to Palsson, hypnotism can help you block out pain. It can help change one sensation into another. It can let you turn down the intensity of pain, which may have a lasting, even permanent, effect. And it can be used to move pain to a place in the body where it’s more tolerable. (Natural Health, January 1999, “13 Ways to Wipe out Pain” by Claire Horn)

“Twenty-three experts in fields that included behavior medicine, psychiatry, and pain medicine presented to a National Institutes of Health panel both scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the use of behavioral and relaxation approaches to treat chronic pain. In particular, the panel found strong evidence for the use of hypnosis to alleviate cancer pain.” (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 1996).

Headaches: The January 2001 issue of Psychology Today references a 2000 study from the International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis in which self-hypnosis was largely successful in alleviating chronic tension headaches in 169 patients.

Pain & Grief: The National Hospice & Palliative Care Association (NHPCO) of Alexandria, VA in its reference manual Complementary Therapies in End-of-Life Care states “Hypnosis is an effective tool that empowers a patient to take control of her/his response to the physical pain and the psychosocial/spiritual pain of the dying process”.

Childbirth: The Journal of Family Practice (May, 2001) published Effects of Hypnosis on the Labor Processes and Birth Outcomes of Pregnant Adolescents  which states “Hypnotherapy has been found to be effective in providing pain relief, reducing the need for chemical anesthesia, and reducing anxiety, fear, and pain related to childbirth. Hypnosis has also been helpful in both managing various complications of pregnancy (such as premature labors), and reducing the likelihood of premature labor and birth in high-risk patients.”

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