Tuesday, 15 December 2009
This morning I went to see my hypnotherapist. Does that sound a bit new age and odd? As they say - don't knock it till you've tried it. I first saw her sometime ago as I was trying to deal with the prospect of a colonoscopy (that seems mere bagatelle now) and I can tell you that for me it was very powerful.
A beautiful and peaceful antidote to what I saw as the clinical brutality of the modern medical machine.
Hypnosis in reality is not like it is in films. They don't wave a watch on a chain in front of you, and the world doesn't go all wavy to the sound of a Theramin.
Instead I found myself a very comfortable chair in a warm room, speaking to a quietly spoken and understated woman. She uses the technique of progressive relaxation. You close your eyes and she asks you to relax; your neck, your shoulders, and so on all the way down your body. Then she asks you to go more deeply still.
Here is the interesting bit, you know what's going on, but you are very much in a small perfect world of your own. Everything is clear and possible. She gave me "anchors" and these got me through the colonoscopy really well. I was able to get through the experience without even sedation.
Even now, 3 or 4 years later, if I drive past the hospital I feel some of the anchors come into play. A medicine to equal Medicine. Hypnotherapy gives me a way of using my own mind and strengths as a repost to the procedural coldness of the medical experience.
So, I have seen her quite a few times on my journey to this point, and it has been a most gentle and effective way to deal with very brutal and intrusive experiences. Today I went to see her for the second time on my approach for the much feared, and anxiety inducing colectomy. I arrived in the grip of the heeby jeebies with the prospect of being disembowelled boiling angrily in my psyche.
I sat in the familiar chair and felt the warmth of the hissing fire on my face. As always, we had a bit of a conversation first - a conversation which as usual brings me into close connection with her, and which is in itself calming, non threatening, and positive.
Then I closed my eyes and I relaxed and went into the strong and enabling world that she brings out of me. And although I still feel anxiety, and although I understand I have new and difficult borders cross, I drove away feeling that I had a way of coping that belonged to me, More able psychologically to deal with the impending challenge.
So if you too are about to experience something really challenging and difficult I suggest that you consider finding a really good hypnotherapist. For me it has been good. I hope we all live to be 100.