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:

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:

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.