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                                                Diabetes, Depression and Hypnosis--Part Two

By Devin Hastings, diabetic and author of:

"Control Your Diabetes With Hypnosis"






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(First article) (Third Article)


Discussed in this article:

1) More Ways A Hypnotist Can Responsibly Help A Person With Diabetes.

2) When A Hypnotist Should Never Help.

3) The Depression-Diabetes-Pain Connection.

4) Next Issue Highlights.

5) References

Thanks for joining me again in my mission to help those who have or who are at risk, for diabetes. Before we get into more interesting information, I want to mention a conversation I had last week. 

I received a call from a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has many clients that have diabetes and she is looking for methods to help them. She wants to take my Diabetes Motivational Coaching TM workshop and she asked if she had to be trained in hypnosis to take the class.

The answer is no, you don't. Knowledge of hypnosis is useful and perhaps, after the class you will be interested in learning more about the applications of a method that has been approved of by the American Medical Association since 1958.

My message is that if you are nurse, LCSW, chiropractor or just a person interested in helping a loved one, then please think about what the workshop can do for you, your clients and those you care about.

With that being said, I want to invite you to please consider attending my upcoming Diabetes Motivational Coaching TM workshop that is being held in the beautiful town of Kirkland, WA just outside of Seattle. The dates are June 11th and 12th. For more information please click here: Workshop Info. 

Now, let's talk about more ways in which hypnosis and a hypnotist, can help those with diabetes.

More Ways A Hypnotist Can Responsibly Help A Person With Diabetes.

Diabetes exacerbates many pre-existing conditions. Many conditions also exacerbate diabetes and, in some cases, can precipitate diabetes.

Let's look at a common situation. A patient walks in and is told that they are 'pre-diabetic'. In other words, they have impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT). What this means is that a person has some problems with their sugar processing, but they do not yet have fully diagnosable diabetes.

Now, all a health care worker can do is suggest guidelines for their patient to follow so that they avoid becoming diabetic. Most doctors and nurses will tell you that for the majority of these patients, nothing will change. So, they wait until they have to treat their patient for diabetes.

There are two points here:

(1) Physicians and nurses face a tough course because to do what they are trained to do can take up all their time and resources. To expect them to also engage in the crucially necessary behavioral coaching for their pre-diabetic (or diabetic) patients is simply too much and, inappropriate to their training.

(2) The challenge is that all their work may be for nothing if their patients are still engaged by counter-productive dynamics.

The overriding problem is that this is an easily avoidable situation that is very costly to our health care system never mind the emotional and physical havoc it can cause.

What can a properly trained hypnotist do to help? A great deal. People with IGT typically have several characteristics. These are:

1) They are overweight.

2) They are over-stressed.

3) They have poor eating habits.

4) They rarely, if ever, exercise.

5) They have little or no motivation to change.

There are many more characteristics that could be listed (feel free to send them to me) but, the above list addresses the major contributors to the eventual onset of avoidable diabetes. (Type 2 in most cases (1).)

Let's look at point one. Overweight persons are much more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and they are frequently told by their health care providers to lose weight. But they don't. Why? The answers are numerous and varied. But it ultimately comes down to emotional management. Of course, in some cases there are physiological reasons but in most, no.

I recently taught a hypnosis for weight loss class. A common reason I hear for being overweight is: "I love to eat." The problem is that there is no safe pill that can address this emotional cause for overeating.

So, what is one possible answer? Hypnosis. Please note the following quote from Clinical Hypnosis: Principles and Applications by Harold B. Crasilneck, Ph.D. and James A. Hall, M.D.:

"Hypnotherapy can often help in treating obesity, an observation that is one of the most clinically confirmed in all the literature on hypnosis."

What blows my mind is that insurance companies are paying huge dollars for obesity treatments that do not address the cause.

According to Dr. David Giles, a surgeon at the University of Connecticut Health Center, "Some of these folks (gastric bypass patients) end up in counseling, depressed for weeks or months because you have broken their relationship with food".

An additional consideration is that if there is an unhealthy emotional component to a person's relationship with food, then they are much more likely to simply transfer that need to another behavior that will end up becoming very costly.

Should a hypnotist work with an addict? This will be covered shortly in the section titled When A Hypnotist Should Never Help.

In many cases however, a properly trained hypnotist (motivational coach and stress management consultant) can be a great help so long as a physician approves of their contribution.

Another valuable contribution a hypnotist can make is in the reduction of unhealthy, inappropriate stress. There are pills for stress reduction but are they always necessary or appropriate? Well, even though a patient may scream at their doctor to give them a 'pill for their ill', most health care workers instinctively know that is not always a long term solution.

Speaking of long term solutions, diets donít seem to be a viable answer to poor eating choices. In this area a hypnotist can again prove to be a valuable member of a patient's health care team. This is so because oftentimes all that a patient needs is some one-on-one hypnotic motivational coaching in order to more easily avoid most of the temptations of eating foods that are harmful.

Referring again to diets, they seem to lack a key element to effective weight loss: exercise. They make mention of it but, a diet in and of itself is ineffective in motivating a person to engage in some sort of safe physical activity. So, again the services of a trained motivational coach (hypnotist) can be very valuable.

But, all of the above is for naught unless a person is motivated to want to change. Bear in mind the principle that small changes can make a big difference. So again, the point to consider is not why engage the services of a hypnotist who is a specialist in motivational coaching?

Frequently, when a person is in trance, they can be reminded of those things that are truly important to them and therefore, their focus will deeply shift to those activities that bring them closer to that which is important to them.

When A Hypnotist Should Never Help.

The hypnosis profession is no different from any other in that the majority of those involved are caring, qualified and concerned with doing things right. But, as in any other profession, there will always be those who have a different take on the world. And, just like any other profession, the most noticeable ones are usually the ones who are the most different because they are so unusual.

With the above in mind, those hypnotists who adhere to appropriate codes of conduct will never attempt to help when the following conditions exist:

1) When their client refuses to bring a valid doctor's referral for hypnosis coaching.

2) When it appears that their client has diagnosable issues and refuses to take care of them. Remember, do not diagnose; simply refer them to their physician for a full emotional and physical exam before working with them.

3) If you think a client is an active addict and they are not currently receiving treatment. Stress management is still a viable contribution if a client simply refuses addiction treatment but it is important you remind them that treatment services are available and strongly suggested. Also, even for the stress management in this case, request a referral or do not work with them.

4) If a client has active suicidal ideation do not work with them. Suggest they call 911. If they are planning on immediately acting on their impulses, a call to proper authorities is a must.

5) If a hypnotist's contribution in any way, shape or manner violates applicable laws.

The Depression-Diabetes-Pain Connection.

Now, if you have been given the go-ahead to work with either a pre-diabetic or diabetic client, there is a very important, common element that is almost always overlooked: pain.

This is where things can begin to look like the 'which came first--the chicken or the egg?' scenario. This is because, which came first--depression, pain or diabetes?

Pain raises blood sugar levels. Also, pain can definitely engender inappropriate pain management (self-medicating) conduct. This behavior may include over-eating and other activities that can precipitate or aggravate diabetes.

In a recent study involving 993 patients at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare system in Michigan, Sarah Krein, PhD, RN, noticed one strong conclusion: chronic pain was a major limiting factor in the performance of self-care behaviors that are important for minimizing diabetes-related complications.

The point here is that a diabetic client is likely to have pain that they have simply learned to somehow cope with. Interestingly, many people have also learned to live with depression. Many, many people learn to 'just (barely) live' with both.

There are three points to take away from this all-too-brief discussion of diabetes, depression and pain:

1) Pain management is definitely to be considered when a person has diabetes.

2) Pain and depression go hand in hand. They feed off of each other.

3) Hypnosis is truly useful for pain management (2) and such help could make a dramatic difference in a diabetic's daily life as well as their long-term prognosis.

In the next article on diabetes and how hypnosis can help, we'll look at a 'sleeper' issue---sleep and its connection to causing and worsening diabetes, depression and pain.

Until next time, remember to speak gently to yourself because your deep mind is always listening.

Warm Regards,

Devin Hastings

Diabetes Motivational Coaching TM Workshop Info. 

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1) Type 1 diabetes may be caused by the mentioned characteristics when you realize that in many cases a significant illness precedes the onset of diabetes. Dr. Peter A. Lodewick in his book, A Diabetic Doctor Looks at Diabetes, became diabetic after a severe flu episode. Had his immune system not been battered by stress or other preventable factors, he may not have succumbed to the flu and hence, may not have become diabetic. I realize this requires significant extrapolation however, the premise is worthy of consideration.  (Click here to return to text)

2) Scientific American--July, 2001. The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis, by Michael R. Nash.

"A 1996 National Institutes of Health technology assessment panel judged hypnosis to be an effective intervention for alleviating pain from cancer and other chronic conditions. Voluminous clinical studies also indicate that hypnosis can reduce the acute pain experienced by patients undergoing burn-wound debridement, children enduring bone marrow aspirations and women in labor. A meta-analysis published in a recent special issue of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, for example, found that hypnotic suggestions relieved the pain of 75 percent of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments. The pain-relieving effect of hypnosis is often substantial, and in a few cases the degree of relief matches or exceeds that provided by morphine."  (Click here to return to text)


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