Hypnotist Offers Relief to Tinnitus Sufferers

Many Americans struggle with tinnitus. Hypnosis counseling can offer significant relief.

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (PRWEB) July 20, 2011

Millions of Americans are distressed by tinnitus. Yet Certified Hypnotist James Malone believes many could experience significant relief through hypnosis counseling.

Tinnitus is a condition where the individual hears persistent noises that are generated internally rather than from the external environment, with some calling it “ringing in the ears."

Exposure to loud noises and certain medications are known to cause tinnitus, however in many cases the origin is unknown. In severe and persistent cases, it has the potential to severely disrupt a person’s quality of life.

Malone states, "many experts now believe tinnitus is similar to phantom limb pain, the condition where a person experiences discomfort in a body part that was amputated. Although there may be a physical origin of tinnitus, eventually the noise becomes like an endless tape loop that plays in the person's mind and brain rather than being an actual signal from the ears."

He adds, "its only natural that the more a person fears his or her tinnitus, the more attention it will be given. This focus makes the tinnitus more noticeable, creating a vicious cycle. The task of the hypnotist is to help relieve the stress and fear so that the client can begin to refocus his or her attention in a healthier direction."

Although people generally are becoming more open to the idea of hypnosis for self-improvement, Malone does feel it necessary to point out that, "your experience with a certified hypnosis professional will not resemble what you see in comedy stage hypnosis shows. You will not be given silly suggestions or ever feel out of control. Rather it is a relaxed state of focused attention where you can alter your perceptions in a healthy way. Once you release the fear of tinnitus you will become better able to ignore it."

James Malone has had hypnosis counseling practice at the Jersey Shore since 1995 since he was first certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the oldest and largest organization of its kind. He is also the publisher of the Creative Calm online newsletter and is the author of several self-improvement e-books.


Police pension group OKs hypnosis

Meghann M. Cuniff The Spokesman-Review A retired Spokane police officer will have his hypnosis weight-loss therapy paid for by city tax money.

Members of the Spokane Police Pension and Relief Board unanimously approved the unusual claim from board member Gary Gow at its meeting Thursday.

Gow, who retired from the Spokane Police Department in 1985 after 20 years of service, abstained from voting. He’s been a member of the pension board for 21 years.

The board agreed to pay $2,207 for the nine-month program.

Gow is required to submit a treatment plan and progress notes regarding his weight loss.

Gow said he expects the therapy to become a widely covered practice in the private insurance industry.

“I think that in time you’ll see a lot of this covered,” Gow said after the meeting. “They never used to pay for heart transplants, but they do now.”

The therapy is an example of unusual practices paid for through the pension and relief board, which manages health insurance and pensions for the city’s retired police officers. Washington’s Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Plan 1 pension system, which was replaced by a more modest retirement plan in 1977, calls for cities to provide retired police employees with free lifelong coverage of anything deemed “necessary medical services.”

The board previously has approved services including non-emergency flights, penile implants and Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs. Requests for unusual services are voted on by board members at their monthly meeting.

“There’s a lot of medical things that go on like this at every meeting,” said board member Ron Vanos.

No one could recall if the board had ever before approved a claim that paid for a retiree to undergo hypnosis to aid weight loss.

“We always consider the effectiveness of the treatment,” said City Council President Joe Shogan, board president.

Shogan said the board’s first priority is the retiree’s health and welfare, and the second is the cost of the treatment.

“It’s a balance,” Shogan said.


'Medical Muses': Putting hysteria under the microscope

Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris By Asti Hustvedt

W.W. Norton. 372 pp. $26.95

Reviewed by Joelle Farrell

Asti Hustvedt, an editor and translator in New York City, was first drawn to the subject of hysteria while working on her doctorate in French at New York University. She aimed to write a "nonhysterical book about hysteria," a condition that, at least in part, was "an illness of being a woman in an era that strictly limited female roles."Her book, 

Medical Muses

, examines the lives of three women diagnosed with hysteria who, through the work of a famous French neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, became medical celebrities.

Hustvedt's focus on the three women - Blanche, Augustine, and Geneviève - gives a face to her story of a condition that the medical community no longer recognizes.

Her thorough research and elegant writing bring the women to life and prevent the story from getting bogged down in social and medical questions about hysteria itself.

All three women came from impoverished families and suffered abuse and neglect that seemed to provoke some of their early hysterical outbursts. They ended up at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital, a massive institution that housed women suffering from mental and physical ailments, as well as some women who were simply poor or elderly.

Doctors diagnosed hysteria in women who suffered from a variety of symptoms that resembled conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia or epilepsy. But doctors also linked seemingly normal behavior to the illness, as was the case with Augustine, then 14, who had a rebellious streak and liked to look pretty.

"Everything in her . . . announced the hysteric," one doctor wrote about Augustine. "The care that she takes in her toilette; the styling of her hair, the ribbons she likes to adorn herself with."

Charcot believed that hysteria was an illness linked to brain anatomy, and he looked in vain for lesions in the cadavers of women who had suffered from the illness. He used the three women to prove his hypothesis that hysterics would present certain poses under hypnosis - that despite the array of symptoms, a common thread linked them.Hustvedt is unflinching in her descriptions of the treatment the women received at the Salpêtrière Hospital, then one of the most respected in the world. Ovary compressors were used to stop hysterical fits - the device worked like a vise grip to put pressure on an ovary. Doctors, fascinated by the apparent skin sensitivity displayed by some hysterics, would scrawl words, even their own names, onto a patient's skin. Needles were stuck through the arms of hysterics, who allegedly did not feel pain and would not bleed from the wounds.We can cut them, prick them and burn them and they feel nothing," a student of Charcot wrote, as quoted in Hustvedt's book. "Even better, these completely numb spots are so poorly irrigated that when we wound them, there is not a drop of blood."

It was Charcot's work with hypnotism that made the women famous. Under hypnosis, Charcot believed he could provoke symptoms of hysteria. His lectures took on a theatrical quality, as students, authors, and artists packed halls to see Charcot and his strange muses.

Under hypnosis, the women would strike odd poses and act on suggestions made by doctors, acting out skits for a rapt audience. They convinced the women that snakes were at their feet or that they were soldiers in a war. They would put the women into a catatonic state and mold them like wax sculptures into unnatural positions.

While Charcot's tricks made for a good show, Hustvedt points out that the doctors did little to relieve their patients' symptoms. And the doctors clearly abused their power. They once asked Blanche (under hypnosis) to undress for them. Blanche, who was said to be very modest, at first complied, but then broke down in a hysterical fit.

Hustvedt doesn't mince words in describing Charcot's "treatments" for hysteria, describing the doctors as "giddy with power."

But she also gives Charcot his due. She acknowledges that his work with hypnosis, which influenced Sigmund Freud, laid the groundwork for psychoanalysis.

And while his theories on hysteria were discredited after his death, Charcot left a legacy of groundbreaking research in other neurological diseases. He discovered the pathology of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). By studying cadavers, Charcot found lesions in the brains of those who had suffered from the diseases. Hustvedt also credits Charcot for taking the symptoms of hysteria seriously and for recognizing that " 'hysterical' did not mean 'unreal.' " Doctors may no longer diagnose women with hysteria, but that doesn't mean they don't deal with illnesses that are just as mysterious to them as hysteria was to the doctors in the late 1800s. Chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, appears to affect mostly women, and like hysteria in its day, the illness has become somewhat of a "medical trash can," a diagnosis made by ruling out other possibilities. Recently, doctors have begun to question whether antidepressants, drugs taken by one in 10 Americans annually, work any better than placebos. Some researchers now say the "chemical imbalance" theory of depression may be on "just as shaky ground" as Charcot's theories, Hustvedt writes. As for whether the women's hypnosis was simply an act, Hustvedt acknowledges that it's possible. But she still believes that the women were suffering, and that hysteria, like depression, anxiety, or chronic fatigue syndrome, was simply a socially acceptable manner of expressing their pain.

"[Blanche] lived during a period that allowed her to express her suffering in a particular way, through a particular set of symptoms, symptoms that are no longer an admissible way to express illness," she writes.

Contact staff writer Joelle Farrell at 856-779-3237 or 



Amethyst BioMat Newest Alternative Cancer Treatment

This newest mat addressing numerous cancer related issues

Richway company producer of this newest alternative cancer treatment, developer of medical and therapeutic products now introduces the BioMat.

BioMat which looks much like that of a yoga mat is said to help numerous cancer related issues including circulation, inflammation, pain, and fatigue by using thermo-technology.

The quantum energy it uses is said to alleviate several health and illness problems these include cancer, high blood pressure and even Lyme disease. According to what is written on this newest therapy, it uses the combination of infrared rays which can penetrate up to six inches into the body and attack the cancer cells. The negative ion therapy heightens the immune systems, aide’s waste removal and restores the body’s balance. The pure amethyst superconductor can soothe the central nervous system.

According to Calvin Kim, owner of Richway, when you get sick you have a temperature which aides in fighting the virus which made you sick. Therefore, by increasing the body temperature by one degree by using the BioMat, it remarkably increases the immune response. Mr. Kim further remarks that this treatment makes a major difference in peoples lives. Noting that it is simple to use, affordable and convenient.

This new treatment is registered by the U.S. FDA registered medical device for pain management

According the companies website it provides numerous benefits in which include alleviating migraines and tension headaches, improves cardiovascular health and decreases allergy symptoms.

If you wish to try it the price tag on the BioMat professional will cost $1450.00

You can get the mini-version for $550.00

If you wish to explore alternative therapies for cancer there are several available a few of these include:


Chiropractic care does aide cancer patients to better handle issues such as incapacitating pain and discomfort. The care in which they can provide can decrease stress and aide in increasing mobility. It has been noted to offer many effective strategies in decreasing the pain and suffering in cancer patients plus it is affordable. Many insurance companies cover chiropractic care. It has been established to boost the body’s immune system and provide overall health benefits.


For a long length of time hypnotherapy has been noted to aide in a long list of medical conditions and supported by reputable medical professionals. In 1959, Time magazine had released on article on hypnosis for cancer pain. The article had cited Dr. Jabob H. Conn, psychiatry professor at John Hopkins University stating that hypnotherapy (hypnosis) was relatively quick and easy method for pain relief. The relief it provides could last for hours or longer.

In trials conducted with children who endure cancer, hypnosis has demonstrated that children had decreased pain from medical procedures as well as cancer related pain.

In 2010, a researcher at the University of Buffalo had demonstrated that hypnosis does in fact help alleviate pain in women with metastatic breast cancer.

There is substantial documentation on hypnotherapy. Along with reducing or even eliminating pain it can also help in other ways which include decrease stress, eliminate or reduce the effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It will also improve sleep quality, restart a healthy appetite, improve mood, and even motivates a person to stick to their practitioners protocol. More and more major insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield do endorse the use of hypnotherapy as an additional treatment to improve health.


Acupuncture has numerous roles. It can be used to decrease post-operative pain, pain control and speeding up recovery from side effects of different therapies. It aides in reducing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and certain drugs.

Acupuncture just like chiropractic and hypnotherapy or used at a variety of medical institutions.

Debbie Nicholson is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is Anchor for Allvoices

Self-Hypnosis for Weight Control: Three Steps to Avoid the Buffet Binge

"Oh no! I can't resist Nana's famous coconut frosted devil's food cake! Well, just a small slice." "Look, honey, it's that special barbecue sauce we had when we were in Memphis. Pour some of that on these ribs for me."

"I never saw a cupcake wedding tower before. I'll just have a bite of each flavor. I'm on a diet."

"Hey, the sign says 'All You Can Eat Tacos,' so dig in, kids!"

Summer is a great time to visit with friends and family. Picnics, cookouts, beach parties, weddings and graduations fill up our calendar before the suntan lotion hits the store shelves.

Many cultures use food as a social event, and the temptation to overeat can be compelling. We often find ourselves face to face with some of our most cherished childhood memories, like Mom's secret recipe macaroni and cheese, a giant 12-pound cheesecake or those huge yeast rolls that don't even need butter. Perhaps the most insidious challenges are those loving relatives who hand you a paper plate loaded with all your guilty pleasures on one cheap wicker holder. Here's your dear Aunt Maria offering you an entire dessert buffet of brown sugar-laced strawberry rhubarb cobbler, blueberry pie with mounds of real whipped cream, a king-sized slice of key lime pie with a teetering tower of meringue and a "healthy" slice of watermelon with a layer of sea salt.

You try to take just one forkful of each dessert, convinced you can still maintain some semblance of your diet. And while you're talking and eating, someone's grabbed your now-empty plate, ladling on homemade vanilla ice cream with thick fudge sauce that's been sitting on the grill in a pot of hot water.

So on your guilt trip back home you feel bloated with too much food and a sinking sense of failure.

You think to yourself, "I may as well have that margarita to wash down the salsa and chips now."

Now you have the power to resist those food fetishes and avoid the guilt trip, too. Self-hypnosis allows you to take back control of your life by putting food in its proper place ... in your thoughts and in your life, too.

There are only three practical things to remember to regain your sense of balance over food.

  • Begin by turning off your all of your tech gadgets: TV, music, cell phone, computer, tablet, laptop, pager, etc.
  • Get into a comfortable chair -- not your bed. This is not nap-time.
  • Make-believe you can feel or see soothing, golden massage oil that follows gravity, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, relaxing every tense, knotted muscle.
  • Next, imagine there is a blackboard in front of your minds' eye, complete with a brand new piece of chalk and a new eraser, too. Begin to write and then erase your numbers, going down the scale from 100.
  • When the numbers start to look mixed up, and you feel like you've lost your place, just put down the chalk and eraser on the shelf in front of the blackboard.
  • You will see a damp sponge on that same shelf. Wash off the blackboard, and as it dries you will notice that you now have a clean slate before you.
  • Now, taking up the chalk, write in large letters, "My Plan" and underline it.
  • Next write:
  1. Food is Fuel
  2. Sugar + Starch= Sludge
  3. Water flushes Fat

Now you have the ability to enjoy a meal out or at home, alone or with others and keep food in its proper place in your life. Just as easily as you consistently choose the best fuel for your car, you will choose the best fuel for your body.

And enjoy those gatherings for the laughter and talking. Because food is just fuel!

Valorie J. Wells, Ph.D. has been in practice as a clinical hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years. Her educational background in industrial psychology, coupled with advanced hypnosis studies, creates an alternative healing environment that appeals to today's informed consumers as clients. Her determination to limit her practice to hypnotherapy has forged a secure bond between area health care providers, hospitals and their referrals. This innovative, cross-discipline approach to patient care serves as a vital link for the integrative chain of careful attention to the individual's needs. Moreover, the rapport between providers and patients encourages participation, dialogue and continuity of care. To find out more about Valorie and her work, read her blog on Red Room.

Are your allergies making your 4th of July Picnic unbearable? Try hypnosis, says East Bay CA expert.

PressMediaWire.com (Press Release Distribution) - Jul 02,2011 -With Accuweather.com allergy forecasts ranging from "Moderate" to "Extreme" for the 4th of July weekend in Northern California, grass pollen, tree pollen and ragweed may chase allergy sufferers throughout the East Bay area away from picnics, parties and parades. Most allergy sufferers turn to antihistamines and decongestants for relief. But a Vacaville clinical hypnotherapist offers a drug-free alternative.

How can hypnosis—most often thought of as a way to help people lose weight or stop smoking—help relieve allergy symptoms?

"Hay fever and allergies are physical manifestations of immune processes that can be controlled at the subconscious level," says Dennis Atkinson. "An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system encounters a foreign substance like cat dander or grass pollen," he says. "These substances are not poisonous or harmful for most people.

But if you suffer from an allergy, your immune system overreacts to something harmless like pollen—sending out killer T-cells as though it's an anthrax spore or bubonic plague bacteria. Your body is flooded with histamines. Your eyes water, you sneeze, you get itchy. You may get congested."

"The good news is that the immune system can be retrained with hypnotherapy," says Atkinson, who is certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.

"Many people with minor environmental allergies can give up decongestants and antihistamines completely after just a few sessions," says Atkinson. The retired police officer founded his hypnotherapy practice in Fairfield, California in 2009.

A hypnosis study published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis reported that 86% of the study participants who had been taking medication for allergy relief had been able to reduce their medications. Three out of four participants reported an improvement in their symptoms.

"We simply use hypnosis, guided imagery and other related tools to help your immune system react appropriately to the substances that are not otherwise harmful," says Atkinson.

For more information about hypnotherapy for allergy relief, contact Dennis Atkinson at 707-474-9230. An initial consultation for allergy sufferers is $45 and includes an assessment, a hypnosis session, and customized hypnosis CD to take home.

# # # #

About Dennis Atkinson

Dennis Atkinson has over 30 years of hypnosis experience, with a number of specialized certifications -- including allergy relief -- from the California Hypnotherapy Academy. With offices in Fairfield and Vacaville, Atkinson sees hypnosis clients from throughout the East Bay area.

Dennis Atkinson was inspired to learn hypnosis as a police officer for the City of Garden Grove, California in the early 1980s. "The department was training officers in hypnosis to help victims recall details about violent crimes," says Atkinson. "I wasn't in the training, but I was so impressed by what my fellow officers could do, that I learned hypnosis and hypnotherapy on my own."

Hypnotherapist tries to help equestrians curb fears



Amy Bower Doucette writes about the equestrian communities for Neighborhood Post. Send mail to 2751 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Call (561) 820-4763, fax (561) 837-8320.

Updated: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Posted: 7:03 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The crowd falls silent. Your horse trembles under you in anticipation of the course laid out before him. Your mind races. Am I good enough? Have I practiced enough? Your confidence wavers.

Even seasoned competitors can fall victim to self-doubt. But some of them have a secret weapon: hypnosis.

Laura King, a licensed hypnotherapist, works with equestrians from her office, Summit Hypnosis and Wellness, in Lake Park. King is a self-proclaimed product of hypnosis. She said that with her help, riders can access their subconscious to release hidden fears and believe in their own abilities.

"You have to figure out what is keeping you from what you really want," King said. "Olympians use hypnosis to figure out what obstacles stand in the way of winning. If you get rid of the obstacles, the brain will help you produce your desired outcome."

King suffered through a traumatic childhood and used hypnosis to recover.

"I was very depressed from things that happened to me as a child," she said. "I attempted suicide three times. After my third attempt, my mother said there had to be something else besides drugs that could help me.

"She found a hypnotherapist who worked with me and helped me. She got rid of what was going on in my subconscious mind and helped me find a way to function. She saved my life. Her name was Dorothy Gates."

King has ridden horses her whole life. When she started her own practice 11 years ago, she began with athletes and gravitated toward equestrians once she realized the same methods applied to them.

"I rode in the circuit a long time ago," she said. "When my kids got older and left home, I started a career in hypnosis. My first client was a professional golfer. I went to a hypnosis convention and took a course on hypnosis for golfers. The subjects were releasing performance anxiety, concentration, peak performance and fearlessness. I thought, 'The heck with golfers. I'm going after the equestrian market.' "

King offers in-person sessions, CDs and books.

"People love the CDs because they can listen to them when they go to bed," she said. "You can do reprogramming while you sleep. Some people like the sessions and get a CD to back them up. It depends on what kind of learner you are. They both work."

She insists there is no truth to movies and television shows that show a hypnotist snapping their fingers and controlling a person.

"I can help by desire only," she said. "If someone comes up to me and says, 'Make me stop smoking,' I tell them I won't take their money because I can't make them do anything. There isn't a hypnotherapist on this earth that can make someone do something they don't want to do."

Through hypnosis, King hopes she can help people find strength and peace within themselves.

"I'm on a passion-filled process to help as many people as I can," she said.

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Healthy Living > Hypnosis can be used in medicine

Written by Fred Cicetti

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 09:47


Hypnosis is one of several relaxation methods that was said to be useful by an independent panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The panel found it may be helpful for treating chronic pain, alleviated anxiety, reducing the frequency and severity of headaches, and controlling bleeding and pain during dental procedures.

Hypnosis is also promoted to change undesirable behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol dependence, and bedwetting. It is used along with other methods by some mental health professionals to help patients overcome common fears, such as the fear of flying or of meeting new people.

Hypnosis achieves focused attention. It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. When our minds are concentrated, we are able to use them more powerfully.

Hypnosis—also known as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion—has been a healing practice for thousands of years. The term comes from the Greek “hypnos,” which means sleep. The use of trance-like states and positive suggestion was an important technique used in the early Greek healing temples. Variations of those techniques were practiced throughout the ancient world.

Modern hypnosis can be traced to the German physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, who believed that imbalances in magnetic forces in the human body were responsible for illness. Mesmer applied a therapy, which he called mesmerism; it involved the use of tranquil gestures and soothing words to relax patients and restore the balance to their magnetic forces.

The evolution of Mesmer's ideas and practices led the Scottish neurosurgeon James Braid to coin the term hypnosis in 1842. Called the "father of modern hypnotism," Braid rejected Mesmer's theory of magnetic forces and instead ascribed the "mesmeric trance" to a physical process that resulted from prolonged attention to an object of fixation.

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychotherapy, found hypnosis useful for treating hysteria, but later abandoned the practice after observing that he stirred up powerful emotions within his patients.

Eventually, the notion of using a state of altered awareness gained greater acceptance in conventional Western medicine. Today, hypnosis is used widely in the United States and other Western countries. People who practice hypnosis are generally licensed and are often trained in several psychological techniques.

Under hypnosis, you're more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to modify your perceptions, behavior, sensations and emotions. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although you're more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, your free will remains intact and you don't lose control over your behavior.

Some people are not able to enter a state of hypnosis fully enough to make it effective. Certain qualities may mean you're more likely to have success with hypnosis. These include the ability to be so engrossed in an activity that you aren't aware of your environment, the capacity to recall vivid memories through the sense of smell, and the ability to recall physical sensations of past events.

Before using hypnosis, you should wear comfortable clothing to help with relaxation, and make sure you're well rested so you won't fall asleep during the session.

Choose a therapist or healthcare professional to perform hypnosis. When you do find a potential hypnotherapist, ask lots of questions, such as:

* Do you have training in a field such as psychology, medicine, social work or dentistry?

* Are you licensed in your specialty in this state?

* Where did you go to school, and where did you do your internship, residency or both?

* How much training have you had in hypnotherapy and from what schools?

* What professional organizations do you belong to?

* How long have you been in practice?

* What are your fees?

* Does insurance cover your services?

In general, a hypnotherapist explains the process of hypnosis and reviews what you both hope to accomplish. The hypnotherapist usually induces you into hypnosis by talking in a gentle, soothing tone and describing images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.

When you're in a deep trance-like state, the hypnotherapist suggests ways for you to achieve specific goals, such as reducing pain or eliminating cravings to smoke. The hypnotherapist also may help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images in which you picture yourself accomplishing your goals. When the session is over, either you are able to bring yourself out of hypnosis or your hypnotherapist helps you end your trance-like state.

A typical hypnosis session lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. You may benefit from just one session or several sessions of hypnosis. You can usually resume normal activities immediately. You may eventually be able to practice self-hypnosis.

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis recommends that you choose a healthcare provider who is properly trained, licensed and credentialed. This means that the individual has graduate training and holds a currently valid license in a healthcare field, such as medicine, dentistry, psychiatry, psychology, social work, or nursing.

This generally also means that the individual holds an academic degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, and has had supervised experience in offering professional services to clients and patients. An additional benefit of choosing a licensed healthcare provider is that your healthcare insurance may reimburse for services provided, although you should determine this in advance by contacting your insurer or asking your provider.

You're getting sleepy .

by Contributed - Story: 63159Jul 13, 2011 / 5:00 am

Do you remember The Man They Call Reveen? I do. Reveen was (is?) called the Impossiblist which, as self-chosen job descriptions go, totally rocks the house. His specialty was stage hypnosis, that is, his show would involve the selection (and subsequent culling) of various audience members until their existed a solid ten or twelve that would perfectly respond to his brand of hypnotic suggestion. Once his pigeons were prepared, Reveen would snap his fingers or say certain words and they would dance, sing, act or perform in all manner of stunt or spectacle without question. And they did it without realizing they were even doing it – Reveen owned them. They were under his spell.

Now, my exposure to all of this came via the television. Reason is, at the time, I was neither old enough (nor brave enough) to actually find my way into one of his shows. So I had to form my opinion of the modern day Mesmer based solely on his wonderfully camp TV spots, whatever news interviews he was able to wrangle and whomever I knew that had actually attended a show. And while I was fascinated by the idea of what he did, there was no way in blue bloody hell I was ever going to submit myself to it. Not in any single way, shape or form. Reveen and I were never destined to meet.

Hypnosis, generally, is considered to be something of a mental state of imaginative role-enactment. It is usually induced through a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions delivered (natch) by the hypnotist.  Many folks mistakenly believe that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness. In truth, research has shown that hypnotic subjects are actually awake and focusing their attention extremely intently. In fact, it’s mainly their peripheral awareness that decreases. This combination is what makes them vulnerable and wide open to suggestion. Paging The Brand They Call Burger King.

Without word of a lie, Burger King has taken over a channel on the DirecTV satellite network and has launched their very own sort of advertorial hypnosis. If you have DirecTV, go to channel 111 and feast your eyes on some pretty cutting edge (and slightly spooky) commercial genius. The only thing you’re going to find on that channel is a spinning Burger King Whopper, forever flambé-d within an eternally charbroiling flame. The question is why would you ever tune into this? Well, here’s the scoop:  Folks are promised that if they stare at the spinning burger long enough, they will eventually see special prompts that will randomly (and very quickly) pop up leading them to some free Whoppers of their own. But beware: look away and you might miss. Better to stare and avoid disappointment. So, the longer you gawk, the more free Whoppers you can get. Seriously, I could not make stuff like this up if I tried.

So far, Burger King has given away more than 50,000 Whoppers. They also claim that, collectively, folks have stared at this channel (and their ever-spinning burger) for well-over 750,000 minutes. Logically, they expect their numbers will only increase with time. So this is where we find ourselves today. Ma and Pa Normal are willingly submitting themselves to a sort of self-hypnosis by staring at a TV channel showing nothing more than a spinning hamburger in hopes of winning a free Whopper. You have to admit it’s quite elegant in its apocalyptic horror. This is probably the most direct form of advertising we have ever seen. Why bother trying to trick you into watching ads by mashing them in-between exciting dramas or hilarious comedies? Just go to our channel and watch. If you do, we’ll give you free stuff - maybe. What could be more clear? It’s base as all get-out, but pretty hard to argue with.

Photo: Contributed

So when it comes to viewing this BK channel I will admit to having more than a little interest in checking it out. How could I not? The problem is that, just like Reveen, I tend to view the whole thing with the same mixture of fascination and revulsion. While I am personally attracted to things like mind control, hypnosis, the Bermuda Triangle and Sasquatch, I recognize the folly in actually chasing them down. It’s just too freaky for me. So if I have to miss out on some free grub to safeguard my frontal lobe, well so be it. But I do wonder what would happen if Burger King made a deal to actually include Reveen in their ads. It’s likely that even I might find such a hypnotic combination impossible to resist.

DON’T FORGET! The AdFool is on the road again. Come see me Sunday, July 17, 2011, at the Spoken Word Festival in Polson Park, Vernon. I’ll be one of six performing at WordOut. Details are located here.

Help at hand to quit smoking


By Michael Ferrante, Fremantle-Cockburn Gazette


Sharon Sims and Dave Allan help smokers quit through hypnosis.

SMOKING is an expensive, unhealthy and unattractive habit that many have tried to quit on numerous occasions, with little success.

But there is hope for those wanting to break the habit once and for all.

Dave Allan and Sharon Sims, of Hypnosis To Quit Cigarettes Perth, who opened a branch in the heart of Fremantle recently, use a unique and specialised hypnosis technique they say has a 95 per cent success rate and has smokers quitting in just one 60- minute session.

They said it was the least painful and safest method of quitting because no dangerous chemicals, drugs or nicotine replacement was required for it to be effective, with no withdrawal symptoms, cravings or weight gain.

“We use a unique and proven method of hypnosis that also incorporates a technique called Neuro Linguistic Programming – and we also spend time talking to our clients about their individual background and smoking habit,” Mr Allan said.

Hypnosis To Quit Cigarettes Perth can be found in Woodsons Arcade, suite 37/13-15, Cantonment Street, Fremantle.

Visit www.howtoquitsmokingperth .com or call 1800 868 119.

The Authors Behind The Author Of 'The Hypnotist'

July 11, 2011

There's something about the frozen vistas and the unpronounceable street names of Sweden that seem to lend themselves to crime fiction. Stieg Larsson proved the point with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. And now comes a new thriller tipped to be this summer's Nordic hit. It's called The Hypnotist. It's by the Swedish writer Lars Kepler.

Except it turns out Lars Kepler doesn't actually exist. He's a pseudonym for the husband-and-wife writing team of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril.

"I am Lars," Alexandra tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelley.

"And I am Kepler," Alexander continues.

"Lars Kepler is not Alexandra or Alexander. It's us two writing crime fiction together," Alexandra said.

The Hypnotist By Lars Kepler Translation by Ann Long Hardcover, 512 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux List price: $27

The duo reveals that because each was already a published writer in Sweden, they wanted to create a new identity through which to write crime novels.

"We actually wanted to stay secret forever," Alexander said. "That was the idea, but it lasted for three weeks."

The true identity of Lars Kepler — whose name is a joint tribute to Stieg Larsson, author of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoobooks, and German scientist Johannes Kepler — kept the Swedish media enthralled, until a journalist was able to track down the couple in their summer home.

"They even had a telephone line where you could call and give tips about who Lars Kepler was," Alexandra said.

In The Hypnotist, a Stockholm family is brutally murdered and the only surviving witness is the family's teenaged son. In critical condition, the son is too weak to talk, and the investigators of the case decide to hypnotize him in the hopes of leading him to provide clues as to the identity of the murderer.

"One thing that we were really fascinated with was getting inside the head of the perpetrator," Alexandra says. "We thought that a hypnotist can actually get inside the head of a person and see the memories and the hidden, hidden things."

The violence in the book is largely carried out by women and children, a decision the couple says was crucial because they aspired to write about things that scared them. They have three daughters and during the writing of The Hypnotist, they fed off the "frightening" thought of their daughters turning evil.

"You will experience a book as scary when you care for the people in the book, and then you don't want anything bad to happen to them, and that's how we felt when we wrote the book," Alexandra says. "We were so scared ourselves."

Alexander notes that Swedish crime literature seems to traffic in darker subject matter than Americans are used to.

"In some way the Swedish society is a very good society, almost perfect on the surface," he said. "That is something that makes the writers forced to see what is underneath the surface ... We do feel safe in Sweden. That's why we can —"

"Write these terrible books," Alexandra continues.

"And explore what is frightening in the world," Alexander finishes.

Excerpt: 'The Hypnotist'


The Hypnotist By Lars Kepler Translation by Ann Long Hardcover, 512 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux List price: $27

In Greek mythology, the god Hypnos is a winged boy with poppy seeds in his hand. His name means "sleep." He is the twin brother of Thanatos, death, and the son of night and darkness.

The term hypnosis was first used in its modern sense in 1843 by the Scottish surgeon James Braid. He used this term to describe a sleeplike state of both acute awareness and great receptiveness.

Even today, opinions vary with regard to the usefulness, reliability, and dangers of hypnosis. This lingering ambivalence is presumably owing to the fact that the techniques of hypnosis have been exploited by con men, stage performers, and secret services all over the world.

From a purely technical point of view, it is easy to place a person in a hypnotic state. The difficulty lies in controlling the course of events, guiding the patient, and interpreting and making use of the results. Only through considerable experience and skill is it possible to master deep hypnosis fully. There are only a handful of recognized doctors in the world who have truly mastered deep hypnosis.

Like fire, just like fire. Those were the first words the boy uttered under hypnosis. Despite life-threatening injuries — innumerable knife wounds to his face, legs, torso, back, the soles of his feet, the back of his neck, and his head — the boy had been put into a state of deep hypnosis in an attempt to see what had happened with his own eyes.

"I'm trying to blink," he mumbled. "I go into the kitchen, but it isn't right; there's a crackling noise between the chairs and a bright red fire is spreading across the floor."

They'd thought he was dead when they found him among the other bodies in the terraced house. He'd lost a great deal of blood, gone into a state of shock, and hadn't regained consciousness until seven hours later. He was the only surviving witness.

Detective Joona Linna was certain that the boy would be able to provide valuable information, possibly even identify the killer. But if the other circumstances had not been so exceptional, it would never even have occurred to anyone to turn to a hypnotist.

1 tuesday, december 8 : early morning

Erik Maria Bark is yanked reluctantly from his dream when the telephone rings. Before he is fully awake, he hears himself say with a smile, "Balloons and streamers."

His heart is pounding from the sudden awakening. Erik has no idea what he meant by these words. The dream is completely gone, as if he had never had it.

He fumbles to find the ringing phone, creeping out of the bedroom with it and closing the door behind him to avoid waking Simone. A detective named Joona Linna asks if he is sufficiently awake to absorb important information. His thoughts are still tumbling down into the dark empty space after his dream as he listens.

"I've heard you're very skilled in the treatment of acute trauma," says Linna.

"Yes," says Erik.

He swallows a painkiller as he listens. The detective explains that he needs to question a fifteen- year- old boy who has witnessed a double murder and been seriously injured himself. During the night he was moved from the neurological unit in Huddinge to the neurosurgical unit at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna.

"What's his condition?" Erik asks.

The detective rapidly summarizes the patient's status, concluding, "He hasn't been stabilized. He's in circulatory shock and unconscious."

"Who's the doctor in charge?" asks Erik.

"Daniella Richards."

"She's extremely capable. I'm sure she can — "

"She was the one who asked me to call you. She needs your help. It's urgent."

When Erik returns to the bedroom to get his clothes, Simone is lying on her back, looking at him with a strange, empty expression. A strip of light from the streetlamp is shining in between the blinds.

"I didn't mean to wake you," he says softly.

"Who was that?" she asks.

"Police ... a detective ... I didn't catch his name."

"What's it about?"

"I have to go to the hospital," he replies. "They need some help with a boy."

"What time is it, anyway?" She looks at the alarm clock and closes her eyes. He notices the stripes on her freckled shoulders from the creased sheets.

"Sleep now, Sixan," he whispers, calling her by her nickname.

Carrying his clothes from the room, Erik dresses quickly in the hall. He catches the flash of a shining blade of steel behind him and turns to see that his son has hung his ice skates on the handle of the front door so he won't forget them. Despite his hurry, Erik finds the protectors in the closet and slides them over the sharp blades.

It's three o'clock in the morning when Erik gets into his car. Snow falls slowly from the black sky. There is not a breath of wind, and the heavy flakes settle sleepily on the empty street. He turns the key in the ignition, and the music pours in like a soft wave: Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue."

He drives the short distance through the sleeping city, out of Luntmakargatan, along Sveavägen to Norrtull. He catches a glimpse of the waters of Brunnsviken, a large, dark opening behind the snowfall. He slows as he enters the enormous medical complex, maneuvering between Astrid Lindgren's understaffed hospital and maternity unit, past the radiology and psychiatry departments, to park in his usual place outside the neurosurgical unit. There are only a few cars in the visitors' lot. The glow of the streetlamps is reflected in the windows of the tall buildings, and blackbirds rustle through the branches of the trees in the darkness. Usually you hear the roar of the superhighway from here, Erik thinks, but not at this time of night.

He inserts his pass card, keys in the six-digit code, enters the lobby, takes the elevator to the fifth floor, and walks down the hall. The blue vinyl floors shine like ice, and the corridor smells of antiseptic. Only now does he become aware of his fatigue, following the sudden surge of adrenaline brought on by the call. It had been such a good sleep, he still feels a pleasant aftertaste.

He thinks over what the detective told him on the telephone: a boy is admitted to the hospital, bleeding from cuts all over his body, sweating; he doesn't want to lie down, is restless and extremely thirsty. An attempt is made to question him, but his condition rapidly deteriorates. His level of consciousness declines while at the same time his heart begins to race, and Daniella Richards, the doctor in charge, makes the correct decision not to let the police speak to the patient.

Two uniformed cops are standing outside the door of ward N18; Erik senses a certain unease flit across their faces as he approaches. Maybe they're just tired, he thinks, as he stops in front of them and identifies himself. They glance at his ID, press a button, and the door swings open with a hum.

Daniella Richards is making notes on a chart when Erik walks in. As he greets her, he notices the tense lines around her mouth, the muted stress in her movements.

"Have some coffee," she says.

"Do we have time?" asks Erik.

"I've got the bleed in the liver under control," she replies.

A man of about forty-five, dressed in jeans and a black jacket, is thumping the coffee machine. He has tousled blond hair, and his lips are serious, clamped firmly together. Erik thinks maybe this is Daniella's husband, Magnus. He has never met him; he has only seen a photograph in her office.

"Is that your husband?" he asks, waving his hand in the direction of the man.

"What?" She looks both amused and surprised.

"I thought maybe Magnus had come with you."

"No," she says, with a laugh.

"I don't believe you," teases Erik, starting to walk toward the man. "I'm going to ask him."

Daniella's cell phone rings and, still laughing, she flips it open, saying, "Stop it, Erik," before answering, "Daniella Richards." She listens but hears nothing. "Hello?" She waits a few seconds, then shrugs. "Aloha!" she says ironically and flips the phone shut.

Erik has walked over to the blond man. The coffee machine is whirring and hissing. "Have some coffee," says the man, trying to hand Erik a mug.

"No, thanks."

The man smiles, revealing small dimples in his cheeks, and takes a sip himself. "Delicious," he says, trying once again to force a mug on Erik.

"I don't want any."

The man takes another sip, studying Erik. "Could I borrow your phone?" he asks suddenly. "If that's okay. I left mine in the car."

"And now you want to borrow mine?" Erik asks stiffly.

The blond man nods and looks at him with pale eyes as gray as polished granite.

"You can borrow mine again," says Daniella, who has come up behind Erik.

He takes the phone, looks at it, then glances up at her. "I promise you'll get it back," he says.

"You're the only one who's using it anyway," she jokes.

He laughs and moves away.

"He must be your husband," says Erik.

"Well, a girl can dream," she says with a smile, glancing back at the lanky fellow.

Suddenly she looks very tired. She's been rubbing her eyes; a smudge of silver-gray eyeliner smears her cheek.

"Shall I have a look at the patient?" asks Erik.

"Please." She nods.

"As I'm here anyway," he hastens to add.

"Erik, I really do want your opinion, I'm not at all sure about this one."

2 tuesday, december 8 : early morning

Daniella Richards opens the heavy door and he follows her into a warm recovery room leading off the operating theater. A slender boy is lying on the bed. Despite his injuries, he has an attractive face. Two nurses work to dress his wounds: there are hundreds of them, cuts and stab wounds all over his body, on the soles of his feet, on his chest and stomach, on the back of his neck, on the top of his scalp, on his face.

His pulse is weak but very rapid, his lips are as gray as aluminum, he is sweating, and his eyes are tightly closed. His nose looks as if it is broken. Beneath the skin, a bleed is spreading like a dark cloud from his throat and down over his chest.

Daniella begins to run through the different stages in the boy's treatment so far but is silenced by a sudden knock at the door. It's the blond man again; he waves to them through the glass pane.

"OK," says Erik. "If he isn't Magnus, who the hell is that guy?"

Daniella takes his arm and guides him from the recovery room. The blond man has returned to his post by the hissing coffee machine.

"A large cappuccino," he says to Erik. "You might need one before you meet the officer who was first on the scene."

Only now does Erik realize that the blond man is the detective who woke him up less than an hour ago. His drawl was not as noticeable on the telephone, or maybe Erik was just too sleepy to register it.

"Why would I want to meet him?"

"So you'll understand why I need to question — "

Joona Linna falls silent as Daniella's mobile starts to ring. He takes it out of his pocket and glances at the display, ignoring her outstretched hand.

"It's probably for him anyway," mutters Daniella.

"Yes," Joona is saying. "No, I want him here. ... OK, but I don't give a damn about that." The detective is smiling as he listens to his colleague's objections. "Although I have noticed something," he chips in.

The person on the other end is yelling.

"I'm doing this my way," Joona says calmly, and ends the conversation. He hands the phone back to Daniella with a silent nod of thanks. "I have to question this patient," he explains, in a serious tone.

"I'm sorry," says Erik. "My assessment is the same as Dr. Richards'."

"When will he be able to talk to me?" asks Joona.

"Not while he's in shock."

"I knew you'd say that," says Joona quietly.

"The situation is still extremely critical," explains Daniella. "His pleural sack is damaged, the small intestine, the liver, and — "

A policeman wearing a dirty uniform comes in, his expression uneasy. Joona waves, walks over, and shakes his hand. He says something in a low voice, and the police officer wipes his mouth and glances apprehensively at the doctors.

"I know you probably don't want to talk about this right now," says Joona. "But it could be very useful for the doctors to know the circumstances."

"Well," says the police officer, clearing his throat feebly, "we hear on the radio that a janitor's found a dead man in the toilet at the playing field in Tumba. Our patrol car's already on Huddingevägen, so all we need to do is turn and head up toward the lake. We figured it was an overdose, you know? Jan, my partner, he goes inside while I talk to the janitor. Turns out to be something else altogether. Jan comes out of the locker room; his face is completely white. He doesn't even want me to go in there. So much blood, he says three times, and then he just sits down on the steps. ..."

The police officer falls silent, sits in a chair, and stares straight ahead.

"Can you go on?" asks Joona.

"Yes. ... The ambulance shows up, the dead man is identified, and it's my responsibility to inform the next of kin. We're a bit short-staffed, so I have to go alone. My boss says she doesn't want to let Jan go out in this state; you can understand why."

Erik glances at the clock.

"You have time to listen to this," says Joona.

The police officer goes on, his eyes lowered. "The deceased is a teacher at the high school in Tumba, and he lives in that development up by the ridge. I rang the bell three or four times, but nobody answered. I don't know what made me do it, but I went around the whole block and shined my flashlight through a window at the back of the house." The police officer stops, his mouth trembling, and begins to scrape at the arm of the chair with his fingernail.

"Please go on," says Joona.

"Do I have to? I mean, I ... I ..."

"You found the boy, the mother, and a little girl aged five. The boy, Josef, was the only one who was still alive."

"Although I didn't think ..." He falls silent, his face ashen.

Joona relents. "Thank you for coming, Erland."

The police officer nods quickly and gets up, runs his hand over his dirty jacket in confusion, and hurries out of the room.

"They had all been attacked with a knife," Joona Linna says. "It must have been sheer chaos in there. The bodies were ... they were in a terrible state. They'd been kicked and beaten. They'd been stabbed, of course, multiple times, and the little girl ... she had been cut in half. The lower part of her body from the waist down was in the armchair in front of the TV."

His composure finally seems to give. He stops for a moment, staring at Erik before regaining his calm manner. "My feeling is that the killer knew the father was at the playing field. There had been a soccer match; he was a referee. The killer waited until he was alone before murdering him; then he started hacking up the body — in a particularly aggressive way — before going to the house to kill the rest of the family."

"It happened in that order?" asks Erik.

"In my opinion," replies the detective.

Erik can feel his hand shaking as he rubs his mouth. Father, mother, son, daughter, he thinks very slowly, before meeting Joona Linna's gaze. "The perpetrator wanted to eliminate the entire family."

Joona raises his eyebrows. "That's exactly it. ... A child is still out there, the big sister. She's twenty- three. We think it's possible the killer is after her as well. That's why we want to question the witness as soon as possible."

"I'll go in and carry out a detailed examination," says Erik.

Joona nods.

"But we can't risk the patient's life by — "

"I understand that. It's just that the longer it takes before we have something to go on, the longer the killer has to look for the sister."

Now Erik nods.

"Why don't you locate the sister, warn her?"

"We haven't found her yet. She isn't in her apartment in Sundbyberg, or at her boyfriend's."

"Perhaps you should examine the scene of the crime," says Daniella.

"That's already under way."

"Why don't you go over there and tell them to get a move on?" she says, irritably.

"It's not going to yield anything anyway," says the detective. "We're going to find the DNA of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people in both places, all mixed up together."

"I'll go in a moment and see the patient," says Erik.

Joona meets his gaze and nods. "If I could ask just a couple of questions. That might be all that's needed to save his sister."

3 tuesday, december 8 : early morning

Erik Maria Bark returns to the patient. Standing in front of the bed, he studies the pale, damaged face; the shallow breathing; the frozen gray lips. Erik says the boy's name, and something passes painfully across the face.

"Josef," he says once again, quietly. "My name is Erik Maria Bark. I'm a doctor, and I'm going to examine you. You can nod if you like, if you understand what I'm saying."

The boy is lying completely still, his stomach moving in time with his short breaths. Erik is convinced that the boy understands his words, but the level of consciousness abruptly drops. Contact is broken.

When Erik leaves the room half an hour later, both Daniella and the detective look at him expectantly. Erik shakes his head.

"He's our only witness," Joona repeats. "Someone has killed his father, his mother, and his little sister. The same person is almost certainly on the way to his older sister right now."

"We know that," Daniella snaps.

Erik raises a hand to stop the bickering. "We understand it's important to talk to him. But it's simply not possible. We can't just give him a shake and tell him his whole family is dead."

"What about hypnosis?" says Joona, almost offhandedly.

Silence falls in the room.

"No," Erik whispers to himself.

"Wouldn't hypnosis work?"

"I don't know anything about that," Erik replies.

"How could that be? You yourself were a famous hypnotist. The best, I heard."

"I was a fake," says Erik.

"That's not what I think," says Joona. "And this is an emergency."

Daniella flushes and, smiling inwardly, studies the floor.

"I can't," says Erik.

"I'm actually the person responsible for the patient," says Daniella, raising her voice, "and I'm not particularly keen on letting him be hypnotized."

"But if it wasn't dangerous for the patient, in your judgment?" asks Joona.

Erik now realizes that the detective has been thinking of hypnosis as a possible shortcut right from the start. Joona Linna has asked him to come to the hospital purely to convince him to hypnotize the patient, not because he is an expert in treating acute shock and trauma.

"I promised myself I would never use hypnosis again," says Erik.

"OK, I understand," says Joona. "I had heard you were the best, but ... I have to respect your decision."

"I'm sorry," says Erik. He looks at the patient through the window in the door and turns to Daniella. "Has he been given desmopressin?"

"No, I thought I'd wait awhile," she replies.


"The risk of thromboembolic complications."

"I've been following the debate, but I don't agree with the concerns; I give my son desmopressin all the time," says Erik.

"How is Benjamin doing? He must be, what, fifteen now?"

"Fourteen," says Erik.

Joona gets up laboriously from his chair. "I'd be grateful if you could recommend another hypnotist," he says.

"We don't even know if the patient is going to regain consciousness," replies Daniella.

"But I'd like to try."

"And he does have to be conscious in order to be hypnotized," she says, pursing her mouth slightly.

"He was listening when Erik was talking to him," says Joona.

"I don't think so," she murmurs.

Erik disagrees. "He could definitely hear me."

"We could save his sister," Joona goes on.

"I'm going home now," says Erik quietly. "Give the patient desmopressin and think about trying the pressure chamber."

As he walks toward the elevator, Erik slides out of his white coat. There are a few people in the lobby now. The doors have been unlocked; the sky has lightened a little. As he pulls out of the parking lot he reaches for the little wooden box he carries with him, garishly decorated with a parrot and a smiling South Seas native. Without taking his eyes off the road he flips open the lid, picks out three tablets, and swallows them quickly. He needs to get a couple of hours of sleep yet this morning, before waking Benjamin and giving him his injection.

Excerpted from The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler. Copyright 2009 by Lars Kepler. Translation copyright 2011 by Ann Long. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. All rights reserved.

World War II vet sees self-hypnosis as way to defeat PTSD

By Justin George, Times Staff WriterIn Print: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pat Myers, in his assisted living facility in Lutz last week, experienced suicide attempts, counseling and shock therapy from post-traumatic stress disorder. Then he hypnotized himself. He says he was a different man the next day.

Pat Myers, in his assisted living facility in Lutz last week, experienced suicide attempts, counseling and shock therapy from post-traumatic stress disorder. Then he hypnotized himself. He says he was a different man the next day.


The 85-year-old man has a bad heart. He can't walk more than 10 steps.

But Pat Myers has a message to share. So he wheels around his assisted living facility with a homemade sign on the back of his motorized chair: FREE CURE.

Self-hypnosis. That's his cure. Simple but effective, in his view. He wonders how life might have been different if someone had shared this with him after he returned from World War II, before all those years of suicide attempts, and shock therapy, and punching holes into walls.

Like some of the soldiers who return home these days, Myers struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, fear and guilt stowed inside him for most of his life.

Then, one night seven years ago, he read a self-hypnosis book and recorded himself reading passages about draining negative emotions into an imaginary balloon that he would release forever. He envisioned it all in bed. One night changed everything, he says.

He knows there are skeptics, including his own children. But even his kids can't deny something's different about him.

He has a purpose.

• • •

He remembers only bits of what happened in the Navy, like the time a suicide plane hit a ship in the South Pacific and killed several sailors. He should have been on the ship, but instead, was on sick leave. The man who replaced him died.

Myers felt guilty, as if he had cheated death at someone else's expense. The seeds of mental illness took root.

In 1944, he returned home to St. Mary, Mo., and never spoke of his experiences. He couldn't sleep for three months and tried drinking. But he found a coping method that suited him better.

He became a workaholic, a salesman. He made enough money to put all five of his kids in private school. He was intense. Ultracompetitive. Driven. Feared.

His son Steve remembers his father would stop in traffic if something was on his mind. He wanted it to be on everyone else's mind, too. His daughter Debbie McAuliffe remembers crouching low on the floorboard to be safe when her dad had a sudden flash of anger, punched the gas and hurtled through traffic.

The salesman bought and sold houses over and over, forcing the family to move, and went through 45 cars like they were baseball cards.

His children saw the cracks. But to Pat Myers, his breakdown was sudden, unexpected.

In 1988, retired at the age of 62, Myers was with his wife, sitting on the water in Tampa. It was a calm day. But inside, he was boiling with anxiety. He told his wife to summon his daughter, who had grown up to be a psychiatric nurse. They sent him to Memorial Hospital, where he was committed for a month.

For 15 years, he was treated for depression at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. He thought about driving into a tree and killing himself. He rode his bike on the Gandy Bridge against traffic. He was committed six times.

Doctors gave him shock therapy and prescribed drugs. He sat through group counseling sessions. A VA doctor finally suggested hypnosis.

So Myers found a book, Self Hypnosis for a Better Life, by William W. Hewitt. It urged him to take deep breaths and focus on all the negative energy draining out of him. In his mind, he went to the beach, stuck his toes into warm sand and waded into an ocean of faith and courage.

The book instructed him to forgive those who have wronged him and shut a door to the past, tossing the key into the waves.

The next day, something strange happened. He watched a World War II program on television without getting upset or having to change the channel. Myers couldn't believe it. He watched another one, to test himself. He got through that one, too.

He knew he couldn't keep this a secret.

• • •

At the Lakeshore Villas Health Care Center in Lutz, the once-strapping 6-foot-3 sailor requires constant blood pressure monitoring and is too weak for a pace maker.

But he circulates the center in his wheelchair, evangelizing with instructional tapes and a portable cassette player. He said he's helped a Vietnam veteran. He's made his kids listen, too.

"It halfway worked," said Steve Myers, now 56. "I pretty much challenge everything. Let me put it this way: I was surprised at the level of response I got."

But he acknowledges a change in his dad. "It was night and day."

His nurse daughter doesn't completely buy his methods.

But she knows one thing: This mission has given her father a meaningful, positive focus — a "life's work."

• • •

Pat Myers wants to talk to returning veterans, but he feels he lacks a stage. Every day, he reads the newspaper, looking for soldiers and trauma victims.

He knows he may not have much longer to reach others.

One day, he had his grandson put up a YouTube page called "PTSD: Your Exit Strategy."

He sat near the edge of a bed and wore a suit. He looked into a camera and began:

"I wish someone like me was there for me."

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or jgeorge@sptimes.com.

Pat Myers does not have any medical or psychological training. To view his "PTSD: Your Exit Strategy" websites, visit links.



LOOK into my eyes, deep into my eyes – Who hasn’t recited those words as a child while dangling a watch in front of their friend’s face? JUNE 10 EDITION.Yes we all know the stereotypes surrounding hypnotherapy. From drunken holidaymakers mimicking animal noises during a hypnosis stage act; to the amazing showmanship of Paul McKenna and Derren Brown – hypnotherapy as a form of entertainment is well established. Yet, it is so much more than this. It is a technique with a proven track record of treating a range of medical conditions. Eager to find out more, I booked a session with qualified hypnotherapist Belinda Clayton at her new Bishop Auckland base.

The timing of my meeting with Belinda could not be more fitting. This week, hypnotherapy has come under the media spotlight, with specialists from the Royal Society of Medicine’s Section of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine (SHPM) pushing for increased use of the technique in clinical settings.

Their reason – hypnosis is proven to aid in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and research has also shown it can provide effective pain relief to women in labour. Add to this its success rate in curbing addictions to cigarettes and fast food and its use for stress-busting and relaxation experts believe expanding its usage in medical circles could save the NHS millions of pounds.

However, there are two problems; the aforementioned stereotypes and a lack of understanding of what hypnotherapy actually is. And, according to SHPM, unqualified “cowboy” practitioners are to blame.

However, within minutes of meeting Belinda Clayton in her new therapy room at Trimmers Hair Salon on Newgate Street, it is clear she is as far removed from this description as possible. For starters, framed certificates hang off the walls showing her numerous qualifications.

She is a fully-fledged clinical hypnotherapist, a member of the National Council of Psychotherapists and has a background in social work and counselling. Her warm, friendly and down-to-earth persona is also in contrast to the dramatic, larger-than-life hypnotists we see on television. As we sit down for a chat and cup of tea prior to my treatment, Belinda gives me the lowdown on hypnosis and what attracted her to it.

“Hypnosis is a completely natural state of deep relaxation, which allows your subconscious mind to become more open to ideas and suggestions,” she explains.

“The theory is we all have a subconscious mind and a conscious mind. The best way of demonstrating this is when you drive from A to B, perhaps on your way to work, but you can’t remember the journey. This is not because you are an unsafe driver. It is just your subconscious mind has taken you there.

“Our subconscious mind is responsible for so much – body temperature, heart beat, sleep patterns, balance. By getting into a very deep relaxed state you are much more open to positive suggestion.”

And that is what hypnotherapists do, they offer positive ideas and suggestions to clients while in a relaxed/trance-like state, which can have a positive effect on attitude and behaviour.

Belinda’s impressive success rate is testament to the effectiveness of the practice. Since starting her freelance business in the Consett area several years ago, the mother-of-three, who recently became a grandma, has helped men and women tackle fears, anxieties, phobias and addictions. From addressing low self-esteem, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; to helping people overcome their fears of needles, operations, flying and spiders – no issue is too trivial.

“I love what I do,” she said. “It is fantastic and extremely rewarding. I think one of the most rewarding cases I dealt with was a lady who had not been out of the house for years. It was so exciting when she held my arm and walked down the street.

She was like a rabbit – her eyes darting around like she wanted to bolt down a rabbit hole. “I spoke to her again recently and she said she was 95 per cent right, which I think is a pretty good result.” Belinda moved from social work to hypnotherapy when her health broke down in 2000.

“I took six years out of work and during that time I started looking for something where I could use similar skills without having to be as physically active as I suffer from ME,” she explained. “I enrolled on a hypnotherapy foundation course and it just seemed to tick all of the right boxes. I also think the problems in my own life makes me more understanding with people who have problems and less judgemental.”

Belinda started practicing in her hometown of Consett but this March she moved to Binchester. She now hopes to expand her client base across Wear Valley – visiting clients in their homes and providing sessions at Trimmers on an appointment basis. “Trimmers is an excellent base and Jean and the team have been so welcoming,” she said.

Creating a welcoming environment is important to Belinda, as it is important her clients feel at ease. This is also the thinking behind her free, no obligation consultation – a 30-minute consultation where clients can discuss any worries or anxieties they have.

“It gives us a chance to really get to know each other and touch upon the issues that underlie their fears or addictions,” she said. “It maybe I recommend they consult a doctor before they come back and see me. I think it is important people go away and think about it before embarking on a course of sessions.”

“Each individual is different and we plan together the type of therapy suitable. Sometimes only one session is needed but usually it takes more. Most sessions take up to 90 minutes, they are safe, comfortable and confidential.” Belinda adopts a number of hypnotherapy techniques to induce a relaxed state.

These include NLP (Neuro-Lingustic Programming), which focuses on the links between patterns of thought and behaviour to encourage greater self-awareness, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), which involves tapping acupuncture points to target specific issues.

With our tea finished, it is now time for my session. Like most people, there are many habits I would like to kick – snacking between meals and an aversion to exercise are high on my list. However, on this occasion, Belinda is going to help me become more assertive and decisive.

As we begin, my mind is racing with fears it will not work but the more Belinda speaks to me the more relaxed I feel. It almost feels like I am in two places at the same time – I am still aware of being in the room but I am also somewhere else too. When the treatment comes to an end, I certainly feel happy and relaxed. And, if you notice my writing takes on a more direct and confident tone in future weeks – you know why.

If you would like to book a session with Belinda you can contact her on 07766 916720. For more information, visit www.bchypnotherapy .co.uk

Wisdom Hypnosis Joins Forces with Dr. Cesar A. Lara MD; Center for Weight Management


Clearwater weight doctor adds hypnotist to his menu.

Clearwater, FL, July 09, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Cesar A. Lara, MD; Center for Weight Management is now making hypnotherapy available in his Clearwater office. Debbie Lane C.Ht., owner of Wisdom Hypnosis, will be taking appointments on Wednesdays beginning July 13, 2011. Dr. Lara feels that lifestyle change is the key to successful weight loss, and hypnosis is a tool that can affect behavior and lifestyle quickly and effectively. Dr. Lara’s vision is not only to help his patients achieve their desired healthy weight, but more importantly, to help each patient develop a healthier lifestyle that will keep the weight off. He believes that the addition of hypnosis will enhance the experiences of his patients.


Lane states, “Hypnosis is powerful, when you use hypnosis to help your weight loss efforts, you get amazing results. Through hypnosis you work directly with the part of your brain that controls your habits, so it becomes easier to instill new habits and break old ones. Patients in medical weight loss programs or meal plans find that hypnosis is the skill set that helps their success.

The Clearwater office of Cesar A. Lara MD; Center for Weight Management is located at 1217 Ewing Ave., Clearwater, FL. 33756. The offices can be reached by phone at 727-446-3021.

Debbie Lane is the 2007 International Hypnotist of the Year. Lane is best is known for her work with the Hiccup Girl. Her office in Palm Harbor will continue to see clients Monday through Saturday. Two additional hypnotherapists have been added to the staff of Wisdom Hypnosis.

References: http://www.bestmedicineforweightloss.com/ http://www.wisdomhypnosis.com/


Behavioral Techniques a Better Value for Chronic Migraine Than Meds: Study

Over time, relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback more cost-effective than drugs

FRIDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral treatments such as relaxation training, hypnosis and biofeedback to help prevent chronic migraine headaches are cost-effective alternatives to prescription drugs, a new study suggests.

Click here to find out more!

Researchers compared the costs of several types of behavioral treatment with preventive prescription drugs. After six months, minimal-contact behavioral treatment was comparable with drug treatment using medicines that cost 50 cents or less per day.

In minimal-contact treatment, a patient sees a therapist a few times a year and for the most part practices the behavioral techniques at home, helped by literature or audio tapes.

After one year, minimal-contact therapy was nearly $500 cheaper than drug treatment.

The study is published in the June issue of the journal Headache.

Initially, the daily cost of prescription drugs taken as a preventive measure by many chronic migraine sufferers may not seem too high, said study co-author Dr. Donald Penzien, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

"But those costs keep adding up with additional doctor visits and more prescriptions. The cost of behavioral treatment is front-loaded. You go to a number of treatment sessions but then that's it. And the benefits last for years," he said in a medical center news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about migraine.

Astana: praying for the sick without authorisation can lead to fines and prison

The secret police accuses a Protestant clergyman of harming a man’s health by praying for him. Another pastor is told to apply for the appropriate “authorisation” from the Health Ministry. For months, police have been going after Protestant meetings and identifying participants.Astana (AsiaNews/F18) – Rev Yerzhan Ushanov, a pastor with the New Life Protestant Church in the city of Taraz, could face up to two years' imprisonment if criminal charges of harming an person’s health are brought against him for praying for the patient, this according to the Forum 18 news agency, which also reports other examples of heavy handed actions against religious freedom by Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (KNB), the country’s secret service.

According to the charges, Aleksandr Kereyev got sick after Ushanov used hypnosis against him in a church. Local sources say the patient was not a member of the community, and that he visited their church three or four times over a six-month period that ended in March.

"This is not the first time the authorities in the southern regions of Kazakhstan bring such absurd accusations against pastors for allegedly using hypnosis, while in reality all they do is pray for the sick," New Life Church members, who asked for anonymity, told Forum 18.

Rev Ushanov is facing prosecution under Criminal Code Article 111 ("causing severe damage to health due to negligence"), which includes heavy fines and jail time.

In another case in Jambyl Region, the KNB charged another local Protestant clergyman, Rev Vissa Kim, pastor of Grace Light of Love Protestant Church, Forum18 reported. The latter was given a fine of 141,300 tenge (almost US$ 1,000) for praying for a sick woman. The money is the equivalent of more than eight years of salary. The conviction was upheld in appeal and Kim was forced to pay the fine.

Eventually, the Kazakhstan Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision on a technicality but the clergyman has not yet been refunded.

Many members of the New Life Protestant Church want to know why the KNB and the Department for the Fight against Extremism, Separatism and Terrorism went after the Church.

The KNB has not stopped harassing the Church. On 19 June, it searched one of its places of worship in Taraz because a woman, Olesya Kotlyarova, had “complained that she was poisoned when she ate at the Church cafeteria recently”.

On 25 June, police searched Usharov’s home looking for evidence. They claimed to have found a book in Russian about modern hypnosis, which the reverend denies ever owning.

During the raid, the KNB seized his computer and hundreds of DVDs, Christian books, and documents and data concerning the Church’s membership. They told the clergyman to “change profession” and leave Taraz for his own good. They also warned him not to create “troubles” for the members of his Church.

Forum 18 contacted the authorities, which refused to discuss the case. However, the faithful continue to complain that the KNB has been interfering with their Church’s activities for months.

On 29 April, police barged into a church, interrupting a meeting. During their action, they videotaped those present and warned that their Church was a “dangerous sect”.

The church’s pastor, his wife and their three children were taken to a local station for questioning that lasted several hours.

In response to the Church's subsequent complaint, Aktobe City Police responded in an official letter that the actions of the officers were "not appropriate” and that they would be “reprimanded”.

On various occasions in the past few months, police has put pressure on the New Life Church to cancel its meetings, as well as on those willing to rent them space.


Having always had an interest in the power of illusion and mentalism, Harrington man John Cinderey has carved a new career for himself as a hypnotherapist.

The 56-year-old launched Inner Vision Cumbria on July 1.

The former police officer had practised hypnotherapy unofficially on friends and family for around eight years with great results, he said.

But an injury on duty with the police left him unable to work so he considered starting his own business.

He said: “I have always been very interested in hypnosis and the power of the mind so I decided to use this passion to gain qualifications in hypnotherapy.”

He worked to gain diplomas in techniques and procedures. He also took advice and guidance from the West Cumbria Development Agency’s Link Start Extra team, who suggested a six-week business start-up course.

John is one of a small number of hypnotherapists in the region to offer gastric band therapy, an alternative to the gastric band surgery available privately and on the NHS.

Also known as hypno-band, the therapy has an 80 per cent success rate, claimed to be 10 per cent higher than that of the surgery.

The programme includes five sessions, with each session running from one to two hours, depending on the patient’s ease at being hypnotised.

John said: “In the third session I hypnotically fit the band, and the patient wakes up fully believing they have a gastric band.

“But some of my clients have seen results from their first and second sessions.

“In the final two sessions I decide whether to tighten or slacken the band, depending on their weight loss.

“One volunteer went from eating 25 packets of crisps in a week to one packet every fortnight. The results have been astounding.

“Gastric band therapy is a specialised programme. Prior to any hypnosis I carry out free assessments on anyone interested in the procedure, and assess whether or not I am able to help them or not.”

He claims to instil positive suggestions into a client’s subconscious to build new eating habits and behaviours.

Through self hypnosis he says he has managed to lose five stones himself.

John, who also served in the army before joining the police, is a member of the Hypnotherapy Association.

First published at 19:24, Thursday, 07 July 2011 Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk


Fast Track Hypnosis – A part of my life

PEOPLE OFTEN ask me why my style of Hypnotherapy is different from the conventional way. It all stems back to my early years as a Hypnotherapist in Belfast in the early 80s, when Hypnotherapy was a relatively new alternative treatment viewed with scepticism by many people. Having trained as a Hypnotherapist I opened a small office in Belfast. One of the Sunday newspapers then did a feature on me, and word started to get around that there was this guy who could help people with their problems, and it just started to grow from there. I saw the employed; unemployed; multi-millionaires; TV and Radio personalities; people from every walk of life.  In a short space of time I had seven clinics throughout Northern Ireland and was working seven days a week flat out. People were coming to see me for various reasons, but in Northern Ireland it was completely different from Mainland UK because of the many victims of the troubles.

In those early years, counselling was very limited so I had to help thousands of people caught up in the conflict. There were bomb victims; people who had been shot; members of the security forces who could not cope; the list was extensive…   I attended the survivor of the Kegworth air crash which killed 46 people, to help them come to terms with it, and to get them on another flight. A woman came to me for insomnia after waking up one night with four gunmen standing around her bed. I could tell you countless more stories like these, and I am sure that no other Hypnotherapist has ever had to do what I had to!  And sadly, I am still getting these sort of people coming even now to my Northern Ireland clinics.

It was because of this that I came away from my conventional training whereby people would be regressed into their childhood to try to recall the original cause of their panic attacks, or other problems.  This could take up to 15 sessions or more to achieve, when clearly it wasn’t in their childhood at all - it was because of what had happened to them now! These people had suffered enough and wanted their problems sorted out as quickly as possible and to get on with their lives. And that is exactly what I did!

I came away from conventional Hypnotherapy and developed my own techniques, (also introducing specialised equipment from America to speed the whole process up) cutting everything down to the fastest way possible without losing any effectiveness, to get these poor people sorted out as fast as possible. Having developed these techniques I then called it Fast Track Hypnosis and I have been using this method ever since.

People would say to me “does it work?”  When I started doing these new techniques the media (TV, newspapers and radio) wanted to know if it really did work and so started putting me to the test. I proved my “Fast Track Stop Smoking in 30 minutes” twice on TV (and quite recently was put to the test with the Fast Track Weight control session).

On another programme I helped a psychologist get over her agoraphobia. On another occasion a programme featured my helping a company director overcome a fear of flying, then the cameraman who was in the studio filming it came along to get over his own flying phobia as well! Another showed me helping a young boy of ten years of age, who was having panic attacks. (Incidentally he did not want to go to school because of these attacks, and tried to throw himself out of a car at 45mph). Again all these problems were resolved in a very short space of time (only 4 sessions were required). And over the years there were many other tests!

In all my years in practice I have heard almost everything, nothing would surprise me anymore. It has not all been doom and gloom, hearing all these terrible stories, there is a great deal of satisfaction in my job.

People would also ask me if I ever use hypnosis for myself. Of course I do and have done so throughout my career!

I have seen Hypnotherapists advertising Hypnosis as a completely new way of helping women when giving birth to their babies. All my children were born under Hypnosis and my eldest is now 21 years of age! I used it for each one of them - no pain relief was required. My equipment was taken to the hospital and used there, along with a crowd of doctors and nurses watching everything that I did. (In fact one of the midwives came to me years later to stop smoking).

Hypnosis was also used for their exams and accelerated learning and when my children had injections our family doctor thought it was hilarious that they would laugh with him as he gave them the jab. I had to show numerous medical students this very quick technique. The children were also into horse riding – I used hypnosis to boost their motivation and confidence, each one a Championship rider.  I use ‘autohypnosis’ to simply chill out between sessions!

“Alan, I can't begin to thank you enough. It has just been TWO WEEKS since I first came to see you and the transformation in me has been unbelievable. Steadily I have become more like my old self. I feel a greater sense of calm at work, the fear has subsided and that's how it will stay. I look forward to my baby as a blessing. You have restored my hope and given me a new zest for life. Fast Track Hypnosis is a truly remarkable experience, one which I will happily share with others. Take care - K "

Alan holds Fast Track Hypnosis sessions in Cabo Roig, Guardarmar, and Benidorm.

For an appointment, brochure or free of charge initial consultation, contact Alan Gilchrist on 659 229 408.


Does Hypnosis Really Help With Weight Loss?

Another day, another question answered. Today in my e-mail inbox, I found an interesting question from James, who wants to know about an alternative method to weight loss. Does hypnosis help in attaining weight loss? – James Personally, I think that hypnosis could have a positive effect with weight reduction. Many times, people that struggle with weight are influenced by mood, behavior and lack of self control. Hypnosis can definitely help in these groups of patients that have those particular characteristics.

Hypnosis is a temporary, altered state of consciousness. Using hypnosis for weight loss is usually a two-part process.

First, the therapist attempts to help the patient understand their problematic behaviors, such as overeating or shunning exercise. Then, while the patient is in a relaxed, impressionable state of mind, the therapist suggests altering those behaviors.

While scientific studies vary in conclusions about hypnotism’s effectiveness for weight loss, individual reports from patients and doctors suggest that when all other weight loss methods have failed, hypnosis may be something for people to at least consider.

The thing to keep in mind is, hypnosis is a type of psychotherapy that tends to work best when people are submissive. If you are overly doubtful and resistant, it probably will not work.

Also, while hypnotism itself is safe, it is important to seek out a licensed therapist because you will be in a compromised state during that time.

But remember, it’s not hypnotism itself that causes the weight loss – it’s the healthy diet and exercise behaviors that hypnotism promotes. There is not just one thing alone that can help you keep your weight in check. As I like to say, it takes a village to drop a pound.

E-mail me your health-related questions at drmanny@foxnews.com.


Read more: http://www.askdrmanny.com/you-ask-i-answer-will-hypnosis-really-help-me-lose-weight/#ixzz1Rpd1mHno

Behavioral therapy best for migraine

Compared with medication, behavioral therapy approaches such as relaxation, hypnosis and biofeedback are more cost-effective for chronic migraines in long term.

University of Mississippi researchers compared the cost of several types of behavioral treatment with preventive prescription drugs.

According to their findings, the cost of minimal-contact behavioral therapy was competitive with that of the medical treatments after six months.

After one year, using minimal-contact therapy methods for migraines were almost 500 dollars cheaper than drug treatment, scientists wrote in the June issue of Headache.

In a minimal-contact treatment, the patient practices behavioral techniques at home, getting help from textbooks or audio tapes. She/he only meets a therapist a few times a year.

Researchers failed to compare the effectiveness of the methods or to calculate the overtime cost of each drug, considering its various dosage and price. They calculated the per-day cost of each method based on the fees charged by the physicians and psychologists.

According to their calculations, sessions arranged with a psychologist in clinic, costing more than the drugs, were the most expensive part of the behavioral therapy. After about five months, however, the price became competitive. After a year, they were cheaper than all other methods except for drugs costing 50 cents or less a day.

While the present study showed behavioral treatments to be both effective and cost benefit, many chronic migraine sufferers still prefer taking medications, saying the behavioral methods cost a lot, said study co-author Donald Penzien.

"But those costs keep adding up with additional doctor visits and more prescriptions. The cost of behavioral treatment is front-loaded. You go to a number of treatment sessions but then that's it. And the benefits last for years," he added.