Helping Symptoms with Hypnosis

Hypnotic Healing by Judith Westerfield - image stolen from her website.

I asked my friend Judy from Creativity to the Max if she thought some of her Hypnotic Healing CD’s could help me calm down during an attack.  I’ve been trying chanting and visualization techniques, which seemed to help a little, but I wanted more!!  : )

To give a little background, so you don’t think I just asked some quack about hypnosis tapes.  Judith Westerfield is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist, and Certified Clinical Hypnosis and Guide Imagery Therapist.  You can read more about her here: http://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/judy-judith/

She was kind enough to send me 3 CD’s to see if they would work for me.  I’m very pleased to say they help a lot.  Whenever I start to feel the anxiety building, and the fear that an attack is imminent, I take my meds, and hook my hearing aid up to the computer so I can hear Judith’s CD’s.

Since I started doing this, my attacks have been much milder, even on the day last week when I was spinning, full out rotational vertigo watching the room just spin.  It wasn’t as bad.  I didn’t even throw up, a miracle in itself.  I don’t know if the not throwing up part can be contributed to the CD, we were pumping in a lot of Phenergan, but I know the CD really helped me stay calm, focused, and relaxed.  Yes, I said relaxed.  (as relaxed as you can be with the world moving all around you.  But I have to say, I was more relaxed than I have been during a vertigo attack.)

The three CD’s she sent were Healing Your Body – Healing Waters, Heart to Heart with Love, and How to Listen so your Symptoms will Talk – How to Talk so your Symptoms will Listen.  I have found the Body, and Love CD’s to be invaluable.   I’m having trouble talking with my symptoms, I think deep inside, I don’t want to talk to or listen to them.  I just want them to go away, and I know they won’t so I don’t want to talk to them   I think of them more like an unwanted guest you just ignore so they will go away.  I need to work on that.

My favorite is Healing Your Body – Healing Waters.  I love to use water as a relaxation guide.  Another of my dearest friends would say it’s because my astrological sign is Cancer, a water sign.  I can just hear her, “Of course, you need water around you!  Let it feed your soul, you need it.”  (I love you Kym)  The sound of water makes me feel tranquil.  I’m simply more at peace when I’m close to water.  So having a visual guide that centers around water, has been very helpful for me.   The Heart to Heart with Love CD, is helping me learn more compassion for myself and others.  I need to love myself, as I do others.  I can’t continue to criticize myself for being ill, and not being able to do things.  I would never allow anyone to say those things about a friend of mine, why would I tolerate me saying it about myself?

The CD’s are meant to be listened to often, in a quiet place, a type of meditative feel.  I do this, but I also just have them on listening when I’m on the computer and or reading.  Even when I’m not concentrating on the words, the calm, soothing nature of the CD reduces my anxiety, and creates an all over sense of well-being.

I talked to my therapist about these, and she thinks they are wonderful.  She has made hypnotic recordings for some of her patients, and is thrilled I’m using this as a tool to help with my anxiety, and be more at ease with my symptoms.

I’ve been looking over the CD’s Judith offers and I want so many of them!  I especially want Healing your Mind, Pain Relief; Transforming Stress and Anxiety into Calm and Comfort, Weight Control, and I really wish I had the Preparing for Surgery CD right now, but my surgery date was scheduled so fast I couldn’t order it and get it in time.  Judith also creates personal CD’s focusing on your own special needs and using your own focal imagery.  I’m seriously thinking about getting her to create one for me.

I’ve listened to some recording that were supposed to heal through self-hypnosis, but they didn’t really work.  I don’t know if it was my mindset at the time, the voice of the person recording it, or if they were just junk.  So, I had my doubts about how well these would work.  I’m very pleasantly surprised.

For more information on Hypnosis and Interactive Guided Imagery(sm) see Judith’s web-site:

www.HypnosistotheMax.com

Yes, I still  have vertigo, I still have symptoms, but finding aids like this have made it easier to deal with them.

As everyone with Meniere’s knows, we may not have attacks every day, but we live with it every day.  Some days the symptoms may be minimal, but the fear is always there, the unknowing….when will it happen next.  Will I be home and safe?  Will I be driving?  Will I fall and get hurt?  Will I be in a crowded area?  How bad with the next attack be?

We live with PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder).  I have one doctor that describes what we go through as being on the front lines during war.  Soliders knows they will be under fire, at some point, but they never know when.   This is a disease of Random Punishment.  We have to use all the tools we have to keep ourselves sane, and safe.

I found these CD’s and Toni Bernhard’s book How to Be Sick a great help.  They both address my issues, and help me accept and control the situation.  I don’t feel as out of control.  I may not be able to control an attack, but I can control my life around them.  I don’t have to live shell-shocked all the time.

Have you found anything that works for you?  Anything that makes coping with your illness easier?

Please share, we all need to find our “happy place” or at least a happier place some times.  We can all use some help getting there sometimes too.

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13 thoughts on “Helping Symptoms with Hypnosis

  1. The CDs sound wonderful! I have a whole series of CDs and cassettes (I know–becoming obsolete) that have just music or nature sounds and even whales. They always make me feel better on my bad, high pain days. I swear they lower my blood pressure, calm my heart rate, relax my body…all of that. I still have pain, of course, but it makes it easier to bear, you know? That’s a wonderful thing to be doing and I am glad it is helping you. Whoohoo! 🙂 Makes me very happy. 🙂

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    • Rita, I actually thought about you when I read she had a CD for pain. Heck to us CD’s are becoming obsolete, we rip them into mp3’s. Easier for me to listen to on the computer, and for me to hook my hearing aid into. or my iPod…if it worked. : )

      I’m glad you have something that helps you. thank you for all your kind words, and support. wendy

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    • Mo, I have been very impressed by her CD’s…I know my post sounded like a commercial…I guess in a way it was, I’m just so happy with them. : ))

      thank you for the healing wishes. I’ll keep you all posted. wendy

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  2. Wendy,

    What an awesome, perfect post!! I’ve often wondered if anyone would classify what we experience as some form of PTSD. I know many people with Meniere’s are paralyzed with fear even when they are feeling well simply because an attack is so scary and can leave one feeling completely out of control. I love the idea of listening to guided imagery or meditation CDs during an attack. Too bad we can barely hear a dang thing! You worse than me, for sure. So far.

    You really hit the nail on the head about self talk and how we all should talk to, and judge, ourselves the way we would our best friend. Or anyone for that matter. I try to remember that when thinking of my own self image. I would never in a million years judge a complete stranger harshly for being overweight or unattractive, so why would I do that to myself? And, really, we are all so busy judging ourselves that no one is probably paying us as much attention as we assume they might be anyway. So we might as well be the one person we can count on to notice and give ourselves compliments, or at least cut ourselves some slack.

    I have been free of rotational vertigo now going on 10 months thanks to gentamicin. But when I was getting several attacks a week, I had it down to a science: when I started to feel the telltale signs that the spins were coming on, I learned to get myself into meditation mode. I got so that I had the “opportunity” to meditate 2 or 3 times a week for as long as half the day each time. I focused on my breathing, relaxing every muscle in my body, and keeping my mind in the present moment. I gently kept myself in this state if I found my focus on anything else, like feeling like I might puke at any second. (There was also a lot of imagery of being on a ship on the high seas during a hurricane that I had squelch.) I did have the rare occasion where it took all I had to hold in the tears and, as anyone with vertigo knows, crying during an attack is almost impossible and when you can do it, it seems to make things even worse, and to not scream at the gods.

    As the vertigo dissipated in the weeks and months after my last gent shot, I found myself physically and emotionally missing my forced meditation sessions. Something about the world spinning that keeps you centered on your meditation, similar to a centrifuge I suppose. Pun intended! Anyway, my attempts to regain that deep sense of relaxation are just not the same without the intense suffering to keep me focused. I suppose I will learn to live with it. 😉

    Peace,

    Angelea

    PS I’m a Cancer, too. When’s your birthday? Mine’s July 17th. Did we already share this? Brain fog!

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    • Angelea,

      Wow, I’m so impressed that you could meditate and hold yourself together so much during an attack. I can to a certain point, if the attack gets past that point (say about when the dry heaves have set in for a while) I usually break down. I cry, I shout to the gods, …well yeah, I just lose it. Then I try to reign it in and get it under control, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It also depends on how long it’s been since my last attack, if it was the day before, or earlier that day…I will break down much sooner…”oh, oh, not again, please not again.” (you know I think I’ve said that a lot – perhaps it was my mantra for a while. : )

      I’m glad you liked the post. (was kind of afraid it sounded like an infomercial…but I have been pleased with the results.) I don’t think I could listen to the CD’s if I was throwing up…actually, I know I couldn’t because the thing I have to use to hook my hearing aid to my computer loops around my neck – it’s a kind of blue tooth thing – it would be very much in the way. But so far, I have avoided getting to that point while listening to the CD’s. (again, not sure if that’s because of the CD itself, or because I’ve pumped in a lot of Phenergan.)

      my birthday is July 2nd. We should celebrate together sometime!!

      Peace to you! wendy

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  3. Hey Wendy

    great post, I’ve been wondering about hypnosis for pain and anxiety too. My vertigo has been playing up a bit lately (nothing like yours) so I do feel for you mate.

    BTW I am also a Cancer – June 29th!

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  4. Ohh, that looks neat! I’ve been using meditation along with yoga, but this sounds really cool. Definitely going to have to check these out in more depth on pay day!

    Funnily enough, just like the sound of water soothes you, the sound of a fire burning calms me right down! I’m a Sagittarius!

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