Trinity Holistic Centre - Hypnotherapy project
We want to expand our services to offer hypnotherapy to patients who are struggling with cancer treatments. We have already piloted the service and found that patients can be helped to overcome lots of issues from anxiety and panic attacks to fear of needles and claustrophobia. Jean Brady provided the pilot, she has been a hypnotherapist for more than 20 years and says "Some patients are risking their lives by not having treatment, but they want to have treatment and all they need is someone to give them the ability to do it, someone to help change their mind set. Hypnotherapy helps people to reach a part of their mind that has the resources they need to overcome the issues they are struggling with. I use suggestions that help people feel relaxed because they are in a safe place in their mind. It's so beneficial, so powerful".
Hypnotherapy is essentially a state of deep mental and physical relaxation during which the mind, particularly the subconscious mind, becomes very open to positive behaviour changing suggestions made by the hypnotherapist. This is not needed more so than with the Head and neck cancer patients who have to have a mask of their head made which is then fixed to the table for radiotherapy. Many patients really struggle with claustrophobia and some feel they cannot go through treatment at all. Jean can provide them with techniques they can take away which they can use to help them get through their life-saving treatment.
The Trinity Holistic team offer supportive therapies to patients (as well as their family and carers) who are experiencing cancer. These are designed to go alongside the conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy and provide some relief from their effects. The team currently offer complementary therapies like massage, acupuncture and reiki as well as hair loss services, counselling and psychological therapy, mindfulness sessions and support groups.
Through the eyes of the patient
Mike Kipling is among those who have benefited from Jean's hypnotherapy sessions. Mike admits he was quite cynical at first until he tried a group relaxation session and came round to discover he had been snoring! Mike also had hypnotherapy to help him cope after losing his wife to breast cancer. "I never felt I was out of control during the hypnotherapy sessions, but I felt more relaxed and able to cope", he said. "Jean goes through a process of taking you to nice places in your mind and I used to take myself back to Santorini". He even says this is a coping mechanism he now uses in other walks of life, such as when he has to undergo a painful procedure at the dentist!
What do the clinical staff think?
Alison Comett, Macmillan Head and neck specialist nurse says "Since having access to hypnotherapy for our head and neck cancer patients we have seen significant changes to the coping mechanisms of our patients. It also helps us to reassure new patients".
The Trinity Holistic Centre is charitably funded and relies on the generosity of donors to provide their services. Any funding raised would help us to offer the hypnotherapy service to more people and make a real difference to people's lives.