Coaching and Wellness

Hypnotherapy for Tics and Stress

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Well, it’s not surprising that I did an interview on hypnotherapy over 4 months ago and am just getting to posting it now. As you well know if you’ve followed this here blog, it’s been a whirl wind around these parts – but I’m finally seeing above the water thanks to a few days off from substitute teaching. (No, Thanksgiving break hauling two teens to San Diego, three family events, church and holiday decorating doesn’t count as downtime. And while I’m not complaining – I thrive on the busy – even this A-personality needs some time to settle down. I got it the past few days and I am ever so grateful!)

Today I spent the whole day – and I do mean the whole day – creating a new calendar system for myself. It’s not unlike a Bullet Journal, but instead of all the bells and whistles of a key and index, I am just utilizing a monthly goal list/overview/and then a day-by-day “what needs to get done” system.

(I love that I have the birthdays listed for each month also. I really want to get back to sending cards again. That’s what this beauty is for! Bought for $40 at the Salvation Army. I love me a good secretary’s desk!)

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For some of you more tech driven folk, this pen to paper stuff might be a bit old fashioned. But my brain calms down when the ink hits the page… it’s meditative. Even as I type this, I can feel my insides have started to settle knowing I have a plan in place to organize myself.

Yup, for this creative, I walk a fine line between over-managing (which so rarely allows grace in) and under managing (which means my kids, their friends and their friends’ friends invade my home like feral beasts, inhaling food not unlike Audrey 2.

sss

Of course, life is far from the perfect cubes holding everything in neat little rows on my beautiful new desk (thank you, Rex, for building it!) It’s more like the corner of my office: controlled chaos. Piles of items that are precious to me but don’t quite have a space. Photos, keepsakes and the occasional odd lot of Snoopy Christmas wrapping paper… it’s all a bit jumbled but, like so many of my dreams, it is waiting their patiently… ready for the light of day when the time is right.

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And so, with that out of the way,  here is the long awaited interview! Thank you, Carrie, for providing such a lovely overview of how Hypnotherapy works.

Hypnotherapy for Tics – Does it Work?

  1. Tell us about yourself and your kids

My name is Carrie, age 48, mom of 3 (18, 15, 13).  I am an overbearing (some would use the term “helicopter”) mom.  I am working on not being so overbearing, but it is a work in progress.  I work full time and try not to screw my kids up too much.  I tend to be a worrier and an over thinker (obsesser) and growing up I had my own OCD type of issues that I believe were passed down to my son (isn’t he lucky?) LOL.

2. What was the age of your son at the onset of his tics?

He was roughly age 10.  When he was in elementary school he would shout out a particular phrase routinely.  We didn’t think anything of it, thought it was cute and moved on.

How old is your son now?

He is now 18 and will be heading off to Military College in a little over a week (he chose that, not me.) 

3. What are his symptoms?

It started when he was in elementary school, age 10, with him shouting out a particular phrase.  He did that on and off for about a year and then it just one day went away.  Then he got a sinus infection (he has allergies and is prone to sinus issues) and he then started doing this thing where he scrunched up his nose because it was either dry or stuffy.  The colds would go away, but the “tic” stayed.  It was like the feeling of “having to scrunch up his nose” didn’t go away after the cold did.  It was noticed at a Well Child Visit with his pediatrician and by that time he couldn’t control it so the pediatrician suggested we take him to a neurologist.  She diagnosed him with Chronic Tic Disorder.  She said we could put him on medication, only if that was what he wanted (if it bothered him enough).  He did not want to be on any medication. 

More Info

One day the nose scrunching went away, but in its place he started stretching his mouth.  The mouth stretching turned into a vocal tic that he would make before he started to speak.  It got pretty bad at home, but when I asked his teachers (he was in junior high then) about it none of them even recognized he was doing it.  I think he was trying really hard all day to suppress it, but when he got home he had to release it.  At one point the vocal tic got so bad that it would cause us to not be able to understand what he was saying.  That one subsided a bit (but it does come back full force if he plays too much video or computer games).  Unfortunately that was when he started playing football and wearing an extremely heavy helmet for hours a day. This brought out the neck twitch and eventually the neck stretch which got so bad that he was causing himself pain and then the pain was causing him to want to stretch it.  It was like a vicious cycle. 

4. What had you tried before?

I tried different supplements, I really felt like Taurine helped, but he wouldn’t always take it. We went to a naturopath, changed his diet, and he was taking all sorts of concoctions (which he hated).  I made him go to two different therapists/counselors with hope that they could help him redirect the movement to something else, something that wouldn’t cause him pain. Those didn’t work very much, probably because he didn’t want to be there.

5. What is hypnotherapy?

I took this from the website of the Hypnotherapist that he sees:

“A means of communication between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Many human problems, habits, stresses, anxieties, attitudes or apparent deficiencies can be traced to interpretations by the subconscious mind which, when understood by the conscious mind, can reduce or resolve specific problems”.

6. How does it work?

From my understanding of what the hypnotherapist told us, he talks you into a relaxed state and then based on what he and the patient determine are the root cause of the issue (habit) he provides the patient with suggestions that reside in the subconscious.  I haven’t asked Mathew exactly as I don’t want to jinx the positive effects by having him start thinking about the tic again.

7. Were you skeptical?

I was hopeful!  Nothing else worked and I had seen an article in ACN about Dr. Lazarus and how he treated a boy that had a CHRONIC cough (tic) and in 4 sessions the boy wasn’t doing it anymore.  There was also an article about a teen that was able to help control his stutter with hypnosis. 

I was hoping it would work for Mathew because it appeared to my husband and I that his tics were all based on his compulsion to move a certain way, based on an obsession to a feeling (hope that makes sense).

My thoughts were that if he is this suggestable, maybe the hypnotherapist could offer him positive suggestions.

8. Is the process ongoing?

Mathew initially had two session and the results were AMAZING!  Gone was the overstretching of the neck and in its place was a slight movement from either side to side or back to front.  But, it was 80% better than it was.  My son described it as the little movement appeased the need of the compulsion to move it.  He had these results for about two months and then the stretch started become a little bit bigger movement.  It was still not as often as it had been, but I was worried that it would get there so he went in for another session, just yesterday.

I think that a person should be open to on-going sessions (as needed, of course) as you never know what might trigger the tic to come back again.  Mathew is going to be going to a very high stress environment when he leaves for Military College, so my thoughts are that if he needs to he can see his therapist when he is home on breaks.

9. Is it expensive?

Our insurance doesn’t cover it and the sessions were $160 each.  To be honest, I would have paid just about anything to get my son some relief.

10: Why has this worked vs. others? Thoughts?

Mathew tends to over think and stress about things that are suggested to him.  As an example; he was having chest discomfort because of all the swimming he was doing (his muscles were sore), so he started googling symptoms and was stressing about having a heart attack.  Poor kid got that from me – I do the same thing).

I think this worked because it dealt with his subconscious, which is where the compulsion/habit is coming from.

11. Advice for parents of a child who tics?

I am still searching for answers myself.  I try and tell my own self not to worry so much about my son, but as his mom I want to “fix” everything for him and I tend to obsess about doing just that (geez, wonder where he gets it from).  I am trying to not worry so much, easier said than done.

What do you think?

So, what do you think? Is it something you might be interested to try for your kids or for you? Personally I’m going to give it a go for my own ruminations.

Until then, I’ll keep on blasting my essential oils (that’s Peppermint and Thieves on my desk – smells like Christmas and delicious tea) sticking to my exercise and prayer routine, and loving my sweet kids exactly as they are. Teenagers are not easy, but I find when I stop demanding so much (translation: me trying to control and manage) and stay silent (um, not easy… pass the muzzle) they are so much more willing to talk to me. And when they do, it’s quite beautiful. Even with the tics. Because love over perfection wins every time.

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I am now offering two services

  1. Essential Oils: If you are interested in learning about how these all natural and organic oils can calm you down so you can better serve your child and family, check out Jen’s website here You can either buy retail or become a member and save 20%. Click here!  (Not gonna lie – I wish these products were around when my son was younger – I hear amazing things about their results with tics.)

2. Coaching

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I am currently offering over-the-phone sessions to help you deal with the  frustrations of a diagnosis that you were not expecting. $49 gets you a one hour phone call where I’ll dive in, get your story, tell you mine and get you on a plan to feeling better soon. (I promise – it does get better!)

9Click on this link and send $49 to AndreaPaventi@Yahoo.com.

Email Me!

Whether you are interested in oils or a session, feel free to email me at HappilyTickedOff@Gmail.com

Until next time, 

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook

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Coaching and Wellness

10 Ways to Jump Start your Dark Mood, Essential Oils and Tic Coaches. It’s a Thing!

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Okay, so my last post wasn’t all that encouraging. I was down and out over the sounds of these tics over and over (and over and over… and over and over) and I was ashamed that I was so angry. Shame comes in many levels, and here’s what my inner voice yelled at me:

  • “Again? The same complaint again?”
  • “How can you have published a book about being Happily Ticked Off and still feel so mad?
  • “Why can’t you concentrate on the great things that are going right?”

Here’s the answer I got back

  • “Because you’re human. Duh.”

This voice of reason (which I call the Holy Spirit… he’s a cheeky fellow) was quickly followed by another revelation… one that used to take me months, years, therapists, wine and meds to figure out: I can start over.

So… 8 hours later (and one trip to Wood Ranch BBQ thanks to a very patient husband who listened to me fret over my life, career, tics, worries about holidays, money and wrinkles while stuffing myself silly with overpriced but delicious chopped salad and more bread than the Pillsbury doughboy) I did.

I started over.

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(Oh, wait, that’s not my husband. That’s my spoiled pit bull who is not allowed on the bed no way needed some love just like me.)

Solution

Thanks to years of getting better tools in my tool belt, I did indeed begin anew the next day. Why? It’s the only way. I refuse to play the victim. As someone in my Sunday group likes to say, “Blame, Shame, Explain… it’s a nasty cycle.”

And so with that in mind, I reminded myself once again of a few things that maybe you need reminders of today.

A) No one is in charge of my feelings.

B) I can grieve, but self-pity has to go. It’s not productive.

Inability to Move Forward 

“But I’m sad! I can’t move on!” you might moan. I was like that, too – for more time than I’d like to admit. I remember the feelings of frustration and the well of despair that the sounds of tics brought on. (Heck, I lived in that space for eight hours the other night!) But I have done enough mental and spiritual work to know that tics aren’t truly my problem. Tics are simply a trigger for deep rooted beliefs that who I am is not enough.

And that, my friends, is a big fat, hairy lie.

Would I like less tics? Of course. But that’s not what I really need. What I really need is to get out of self, let my son be who he wants to be, so I can become the woman God intended me to be.

Who Am I?

These days I am substitute teaching, writing a pilot for a producer I truly adore, and considering getting a Masters/teaching full time next year if said pilot is not sold. (I am not trying to be negative… just realistic. I love teaching. I need income. And I’m almost 50. I need to go where God – and a paycheck – would have me be. That destination is not one of confusion but of peace.) And so there’s no point spinning in a bad mood now. Instead, I have options! And here’s what a few of them were that I took the day after my emotional 8 hour self-pity fest.

10 Ways I Jumpstarted My Attitude (Perhaps these will help you, too!)

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  1. Acceptance: I once again reminded myself that my son has Tourette Syndrome. There’s not a damn thing I can do about it in the moment the sounds are happening.

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2. Let Go: While there are solutions to some of the sounds that my son could employ (Acupuncture, Brain Balance classes, meditation, supplements, testing for leaky gut, CBD oil and more) he’s not willing to do embark on this journey at this time. I once again chose relationship over pushing my point. As my mentor likes to remind me, at this stage of my particular dance with tics, it’s like dealing with a chronic alcoholic where you think there’s maybe “Just one more thing” you could have done to keep them from going on a bender. Instead, I reminded myself,”There is no ‘One more thing to try. There is only acceptance. Let go.”

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3. Powerlessness: This is such a tough thing, but #1 and #2 drive me to my knees every time. I am powerless over the tics right now. I just am. There is no “one more fix.” I reminded myself, for this moment in time, “I am powerless.” That might sound like defeat, but it’s actually victory, because when I realize I have no control, I don’t have the burden of fixing it. It’s such a relief.

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4. Service: Thanksgiving was coming up. I could either ruin the holiday with my frustration or I could pour myself into making it a beautiful night. I chose the second and I am forever grateful. (High lite: Getting Western Bagels with my daughter and playing Christmas music in the kitchen while she baked and I cleaned the dishes. It’s a combo that works for us every time!)

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5. God: I remembered, once again, that I am not God. If I could fix the tics, and my frustration with them, I would. As of today, I don’t need a human fix. I need a supernatural fix – one that reminds me that there is something far bigger at play than what I see on the surface. When I can surrender to the fact that God has a plan for my life, and my sweet son’s, my entire mindset switches and I can get into #6…

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6. Gratitude: Gratitude is not something that comes naturally to me. Naturally I am a whiny, self-centered, give me comfort/instant gratification kind of gal. But when I remember all my blessings, and then thank God and everyone around me for them, I am immediately catapulted into a new dimension: one of peace and contentment. There is always, always, did I mention ALWAYS something to be grateful for. The lie: I think I can only be grateful when the tics go away or the house is clean. The truth: Happiness is an inside job. I get happy first and the tics bug me far less, never the other way around. Never.

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7. Friendship: I called a good friend and had an ugly cry. Instead of trying to find instant solution, I grieved what I had hoped would be a relaxing vacation without noises. She promptly reminded me of #8. (Personal shout out to Tuskany, Barbs, my sister, Susan, my 12-step homies, Ria, Linda, Rose, Karen, Lavender, PrairieMom, Jodee and so many other women in my tribe who I just couldn’t imagine life without. You ground me. You let me be me. And I am so grateful.

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8. Self care: I’m often the last person my list, and then I blame and shame other people for not meeting my needs. Um, not such a great dynamic. Instead, I took my friends advice and employed radical self care. I took 2 baths/day for a few days and didn’t obsess over people who had no water in Africa while I relaxed in an amazing tub

(Note: my tub does not look like this photo. I did use a candle, but it had half its wax missing. Brown stuff lined the shower grout… if the grout that was not missing… and my legs are so long they practically smash me in the face when I soak, but this picture is so much more alluring. And she has amazing legs!) I had that extra cup of coffee. I bought myself some amazing MAC Ruby Woo lipstick. I did some glorious window shopping at the mall and whenever negative thoughts came into my head, I told them, “Thank you, you are no longer welcome here. Now go piss off.”

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9. Exercise: I walked every day this vacation. Just 20 minutes. I did not lose 20 pounds, but I did get into gratitude for how lucky I am to live on a beautiful street, to walk as a woman without feeling fear for my life, and enjoy a wave hello or goodbye with a neighbor. (When negative thoughts about world politics entered my mind, I refused to feel guilty. I voted. I did what I could. But negative news does not negate my obligation to have joy regardless. It’s a must.)

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10. Organization/Decoration: I cleaned my house and decorated for Christmas. (See that tree? My daughter and hubby surprised me with it on Saturday. And by “surprise” I mean I put it on my Christmas list. I didn’t wait to get nothing while I shopped for everyone and then felt angry that I had nothing for me. Nope! I have always wanted a white tree and this is what they found. Perfect! It looks like candy on taffy. I truly could eat it. If I had a design company, I’d call it “Lickable Designs: Products So Amazing You Could Lick Them!” (Don’t judge.)

Beyond My Book and Blog

Many of you readers have bought my book. I’ve gotten so many letters from you on how it inspired you to move beyond diagnosis into acceptance, but some of you wanted additional support.

With that in mind, I am dipping my toe in the water of offering two things that could really help.

Two Services I’m Offering

this one

  1. Essential Oils: They have saved me. Over and over. If you are interested in learning about how these oils can calm you down so you can better serve your child and family, check out this website here. If you want more info, email me at HappilyTickedOff@Gmail.com (Put essential oils in the subject line) and ask away. Or feel to purchase through my website. You can either buy retail or save by becoming a member. Check it out here!

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2. Coaching: I am currently offering over-the-phone sessions to help you deal with the  frustrations of a diagnosis that you were not expecting.

NOTE: I am not a doctor. I am not a vitamin specialist. What I am, however, is a mom who has been down this road and has, despite many twists and turns, managed to raise a son who is happy and content in his own skin.

For $49 I will give you a one hour phone call where I will listen, give advice and get you started on a plan to feel better yourself so that you can best be there for your own sweet baby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write? I write! I can help! (And if you live in a different state and want help researching who would be the best specialist to see your child, I can help with that also.)

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If interested, click on this link – PayPal – and send $49 to AndreaPaventi@Yahoo.com.

Then email me so we can set up a time that works best for you!

Until next time,

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook

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Uncategorized

I’m Ticked. I’m Venting. How YOU Doin’?

I’m angry. There’s no other way around it. The tics are firing at me… up from my son’s bedroom into my office at a machine gun rate just as they have every ten seconds for the past 9 months and I’m just done. DONE.

He won’t take medication.

He won’t consider supplements.

He’s a vegetarian, also. My silver bullet was going to be some pill that would fix his nutrition deficit since we can’t talk Tourettes anymore and this pill would naturally STOP THE TICS oh my gosh, lucky lucky lucky for Mom! But oh, no, his vitamin report came back totally normal. No B-12 methylated unicorn shit in the name of no noises/good health for my six five giant! Oh no.

So here’s the deal – I surrender.

Again.

Just like every day, I surrender.

Every.

Single.

Day.

And most days, I’m okay. I really am.

Why Tics and I Are Mostly Sympatico

I exercise and I pray. I try to sleep well and substitute teach for kids far less advantaged than my own son. Combined with a few 12-step programs and reminding myself that I’m not, indeed, Queen of the Universe (and neither are you) I’m pretty happy. Even the writing is going okay! Turns out the workshop script didn’t work out for me. (I didn’t want to write for free with no credit, go figure). I recently landed a contract by another producer to write a parenting pilot for her. A writing conference wants me to teach this summer again. It’s all kind of cool when I remember to step back from the tics and remember what is working, not what isn’t.

Andrea, Where Are You Really on the Contentment Front

If I had to label it, I’d say I’m a solid B most of the time – not because of what I’ve accomplished, but because of what God has accomplished in me. Five years ago I was a wreck. These days, I rarely go there. (Once a month – usually with Tuskany – over too much coffee and not enough real food.) I know that the secret to happiness is not about my comfort, but about helping others. (Yes, I truly believe that. I tried it the other way – the striving and perfectionism… and if you’ve read my book, you know the result: abject failure and demoralization.)

Despite my wins, however, at this exact moment, I’m at a C-. Show canceled. Hack. Give it up.

Despite me being of service and roses and sunshine to everyone I have come in contact with at Trader Joes, Sprouts and Western Bagel… the neighbor kid and a friend whose kids needed a place to crash for a few hours… it still feels black and icky and ugly in my soul that just wants the gulps to cease.

No Sympathy/No Fixes

I don’t want anyone telling me how how to fix it. I don’t want any well meaning family members to tell me it doesn’t sound bad to them at all.

I just want to be honest and tell you that sometimes it’s just hard.

And after I hit “Post” I will go downstairs and make a few things for Thanksgiving dinner and be grateful that my son wasn’t at Borderline – a mere 20 minutes from my house.

He wasn’t in the coffin of the 21 year old girl whose memorial service my son and I attended yesterday.

He wasn’t bit by a tic in France like his best friend was two summers ago and who is now unable to attend high school or walk without a cane.

He cleans his own bathroom, makes his own bed, is getting straight A’s and has a million friends. He is blessed beyond measure.

But right now, despite all my sincere gratitude, it’s still hard.

You’re Not Alone

If your child is ticking, and you’ve done what you can, and you’re at a loss, please know that I’m right there with you. And it’s going to be okay. Most days for me it really is okay.

But today, right now, it’s not.

And maybe it’s not for you.

But I have a God who loves me.

And he loves you.

And despite the tics or the darkness, the shootings or the fires, God is good.

All time time.

And this, too, shall pass. Peace is through the doorway of serve and sharing, and we will come out the other side.

You are not alone.

Until next time,

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. (Yes, I’m back on Facebook for work mainly!)

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