Ajamu James Ayinde, A.C.H., Ph.D.
Medical Hypnotherapist,
Master Mental Coach (c)

Cancer

Cancer Support 

 

 

Four Phases of Psycho-oncology

Ajamu Ayinde, A.C.H.

Psycho-oncology is the study of the effect of emotions of the growth, spread and elimination of cancerous cells. As a Medical Hypnotherapist, I have a subspecialty in using hypnosis with people with cancer. As a complementary medicine practitioner, I work with oncologists, nutritionists, licensed professional counselors, ministers and others to support the whole person who has cancer.

Hypnosis has many uses for the person with cancer.

Four main areas that hypnotherapy are beneficial to people with cancer:

1) Fear and anxiety.
The diagnosis leads to fear and uncertainty. Many people who don’t have the proper background believe that having cancer equals death. The first thing that we share with clients is that cancer is a word not a sentence. Many people have successfully overcome cancer and are in long term remission. We share stories of other successful clients who have overcome cancer. Bernie Siegel, M.D. coined the term “exceptional patients” for patients who exhibit certain positive traits that make it possible for them to become long term cancer survivors. Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., noted neuro-psychologist has made a study of the seven characteristics of people who are “miracle prone”. We share these models with clients in order to help expand their healing paradigm. Hope is always realistic. We teach clients to be assertive and responsible for their health. Having someone to be supportive during the initial stages of diagnosis can be extremely helpful. We can give clients a clearer sense of what the process of treatment will be and alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from uncertainty. We also encourage clients to attend support groups for cancer survivors. Humor and positive thinking have been shown to have a marked effect of immune function.

2) Conventional treatment side effects.
There are many side effects of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy ranging from nausea, pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, low self-esteem, anemia and more. We are able to address these with guided imagery. We also  support the client’s choice to use conventional medicine by building confidence in their oncology team and the treatment. Stress has also been held responsible for rapid metastases and recurrences of cancer after surgery. Direct suggestion while in hypnosis however, has been proven to foster relaxation and strengthen the immune response.

3) Shrinking tumors.
Guided imagery is used to help clients to reduce and potentially eliminate cancer form the body. Clients are encouraged to develop a metaphorical image of the disease within the body and then a counter image for the immune system. For example, if a client imagines the cancer as a dragon raging in their body they are then taught to visualize a knight or a wizard “slaying” the dragon. The key to imagery is that it is personalized to the client. When clients begin doing imagery exercises they often see their cancer as solid, massive and virulent. In order to begin to get well clients are taught to see their “cancer” (an “incurable” disease process) as cancer cells (microscopic mutant organisms) that are small, weak, disorganized, confused and slow moving. In addition, their immune system is envisioned as powerful, swift, all-seeing, and all-knowing.

4) Spiritual counseling.
Not everyone will be able to have a spontaneous remission. For those whom death is imminent hypnotherapy can help a person to die with dignity. Before a client can comfortably transition he or she may need to forgive someone or complete communication with a loved one. Making peace with one’s Higher Power and beginning to see death as part of the life cycle can take much of the fear out of a person’s final days.


Hypnosis & Oncology
The contributions of hypnotherapy to the field of oncology

-Ajamu Ayinde, A.C.H.

Hypnotherapy occupies a unique position in the field of complementary medical support. Hypnosis can be used for the three main areas that a person with cancer seeks medical assistance: emotional support, symptom amelioration and cancer remission.

Hypnotherapy can be used in the context of a counseling session where a recently diagnosed person can share her fears and concerns and get the support of a caring professional. It is helpful to have someone who listens and understands and can walk with her down the frightening and sometimes difficult road of cancer treatment.

Hypnotherapy has many benefits in lessening the symptoms that are associated with the treatment of cancer through conventional medicine. Nausea, vomiting, insomnia, body image issues, lack of appetite and other chemotherapy side effects can be addressed with a hypnotherapist. One of the major hardships of having cancer is managing the pain. Hypnosis is one of the greatest non-chemical means of pain control available.

Hypnotherapy also involves the use of guided imagery to assist in the visualization and removal of cancerous cells throughout the body. All clients learn self-hypnosis and are taught ways to create a metaphorical representation of the disease within the body. Next clients learn how to create an accompanying image of his or her immune system effectively responding to the illness. The healing attitudes of survivors have been studied over the past twenty years and these beliefs can be taught through hypnosis. One of the most important attitudes of survivors is optimism. We will help you to maintain hope and hope is always realistic.


Lessening Chemotherapy Side Effects

-Ajamu Ayinde, A.C.H. 

Everyone knows the sometimes debilitating aftereffects of chemotherapy.  Hypnosis has been proven to be useful in addressing the side effects of conventional cancer treatment.  Two of the major presenting issues are pain and anemia. Medical hypnotherapists will use hypnoanesthesia as an adjunct to chemical anesthesia. Guided imagery and direct suggestion can boost production of white blood cells.  One of the lesser known uses of hypnosis for the person with cancer involves using it to lessen the nausea and vomiting that often accompanies chemotherapy. Nausea leads to loss of appetite.  Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.  Drastic weight loss can result in fatigue, poor body image, anxiety, sleeplessness and depression.  Catching the symptoms early helps to stabilize the recovering cancer patient and allow her to mobilize her full healing resources.

 

Below is a hypnosis script for dealing with chemotherapy and maintaining a good appetite and high spirits.

 

(You may substitute your favorite relaxation exercise)

There are many ways to enter a wonderful state of relaxation...  A place of peace…  relaxation... safety... healing...Allow yourself to go there now.  Watching your breaths, counting them...holding and releasing...releasing and holding... And trance is a process of holding on and letting go... and only you know what it is that you need to let go of...now... Just noticing...reflecting...being present in your body...relaxing from the top of your head...to the tips of your toes...taking all the time that you need to allow your body to relax and let go...release and sink in ...to a deep level of relaxation (pause)

 

 That’s right...very good... You are entering a safe place... a place inside where you are able to access power... control...activating the healing potential of your body...

Relaxed ...free and at ease... reinforcing these suggestions on your own...frequently throughout the day...whenever you need it...Seeing your body as a beautiful mansion...with many rooms...each room has its own color...its own light switch...its own  temperature controls...I’d like you to know that you can go to the room that controls the feelings of nausea...notice the colors...become aware of any sounds...what the temperature is...warm or cool...Once you’ve found the room you can  change the colors...imagine you favorite colors...making the colors lighter...brighter...prettier...Adjust the temperature...make it comfy...smell a subtle touch of mint in the air...Turn off the light...Close the door... so that the sounds from this room...can no longer disturb other parts of the house.  That’s it ...close the door...seal it...sound proof it...

 

See yourself after the chemotherapy and you are eating well...you can have a hearty appetite...  Eating until you are full... and sleeping when you desire.  That’s right... you’ve received your treatment and you’re eating well...with a hearty appetite...sleeping soundly .

You are able to benefit from the healing effects of chemotherapy ...without any negative reactions or side effects...Accepting all the benefits...letting go of all adverse effects...taking only as much radiation... as your body needs to successfully rid itself of the cancer cells...Taking on just enough chemotherapy ...releasing the unwanted...and so it is.
 

 

Additional info on this page:

Hypnosis & oncology
Lessening Chemotherapy Side
     Effects

Qualifications:
Since 2001, I have presented my workshop, Vitamin V-Using Visualization for People with Cancer.

Worked with clients from the Breast Center of Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY., writing a column for their newsletter Celebrate Life from 2001-2003.

Apprenticed and taught with Rev. Dr. Michael Ellner, catastrophic illness specialist and co-developer of Neuro-Linguistic Healing ™

Studied the work of Emmett Miller, MD, Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D. and Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. in the field of mind-body medicine.


Certified by:

Dr. Bruce Kaloski in Medical Hypnotherapy

Dr. Jerome Beacham in Pain Management and Hypnoanesthesia

Dr. Bruce Kaloski in Hypnoanaesthesia

Dr. David Frederick in Advanced Pain Management.

 

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