A physician was asking me yesterday, “How can hypnotherapy work with a patient who is addicted to pain medication? sleeping pills? or anti-depressants? This physician told me that when patients have some type of operation, illness or chronic physical pain, he follows procedures and prescribes medications. He knows there is a chance of them becoming addicted to these drugs and yet, he has no choice but to prescribe. Then after several months, the patient returns wanting more drugs so he refers them to the pain clinic. He says the pain clinic often evaluates and instructs him to continue prescribing these drugs. He works in one of the finest Integrative Medicine clinics in the country and is searching for answers.
He has recently discovered Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and asked how we would treat a person with this type of multiple medication addiction.
Our treatment of this multi-layered addiction needs to be broken down into three hypnosis stages.
- we have the tool of pain control. Once in a trance state we ask the patient to evaluate the strength of their pain. “On a scale from one to ten, how strong is your pain?”
- We then instruct them to increase it by one number and when they have, to raise their finger. Through this experience, the patient realizes they can increase their pain merely through the directed thoughts in their mind!
- Now we ask them to decrease their discomfort two numbers and indicate when they have done that. Now they have learned how to have control of their pain by using the power of the subconscious mind. We have now taught them the first skill they need in order to become drug free.
- we need to use the power of the subconscious mind to extinguish their urge to use these drugs that they have become addicted to. We have many behavior modification tools to use here, but we find that when behavior modification is done in the subconscious mind, it is much more effective than when simply used in the conscious mind. The reason is that the conscious mind is only 10% of the mind and not powerful enough to effect permanent change. The subconscious is 90% of the mind and does have a much deeper capacity to effect permanent change.
- We may use a variety of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) extinguishing techniques which eliminate the desire for the drug. We may pair the drug with some extremely noxious substance in their mind, so that the next time they reach for it, they feel sick to their stomach or disgusted.
- We usually will make a recording of these techniques so the client can listen everyday to reinforce these healing tools they have been given. This is a complicated process and must be done by a well-trained hypnotherapist with training also in behavior modification.
- Once the above two steps are in progress and the patient has a good grasp of their daily practice, we now move into the deepest level of healing. After the physical area is covered and the symptoms are in regression, we always approach working with the emotional issues. There are usually a variety of underlying emotional and spiritual issues connected with any physical problem or illness that anyone has.
Most physicians have told me that emotional issues are something that the medical field is traditionally not informed about nor are they trained to work with. Psychiatrists are mostly prescribing drugs these days and family practice doctors do the same. Depression, anxiety, grief, anger, sadness are mostly all treated with drugs.
With Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, we use techniques that assist the patient to find the source of the illness and heal the original pain. There are millions of examples. We listen to how the patient describes their illness and then use their own words to ask their own subconscious mind to lead them to the internal fissure that needs to be mended. An example is a man who had a heart attack and nearly died. We asked him to allow his heart to speak to him. The heart took him back to his childhood when his mother had abandoned the family, leaving him and his siblings with an abusive grandmother who didn’t want them.
The words his heart spoke were, “I’m scared, angry and lonely.” This described his current situation when his wife had left him and he subsequently had the heart attack. He was put on many different medications including several pain pills, sleeping pills and anti-depressants. As we worked to give his little boy a voice from deep within his subconscious mind, he was able to release years and years of stored up emotions which eventually exploded into a heart attack when his current wife left him.
Through this work, he was able to understand how this heart attack was connected emotionally to the pain he had stored within himself for most of his life. He became conscious of all the feelings he had kept inside and understood why his wife had left him. She told him he was cold, unfeeling and disconnected. She was emotionally unsatisfied in the relationship and could not stay any longer. At first, when she said all this to him, he did not understand.
But as he began doing the Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and the deeper emotional work, his emotions became available to him for the first time since his mother had left him as a young boy. He now was able to get off the pain killers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants. He met new friends and was, for the first time in his life, able to connect with people from a heart-centered place. He understood why his “heart had attacked him” and what the message was for him. He eventually began living his life from a place of exuberant compassion for himself and others. His heart was healed on the mind, body and spirit levels.