Hypnotherapy Helps Rid Patient of Chronic Pain
Bill Mateski, 69, says his quality of life has remarkably improved
Just five months ago, Bill Mateski could only take ten steps before needing to sit. But after just six sessions with Hypnotherapist Brooke Lemke, the Bettendorf resident is quick on his feet.
“Now I can go to the store. Now I can walk across the street,” he said. “Just simple stuff that a lot of people take for granted.”
After a motorcycle accident in 1967 that left him with a concussion, skull fracture and several broken fingers, Mateski says his back never really felt the same. For years to come that pain would disturb his quality of life, forcing him to get surgeries and injections in search of relief.
The end of his rope
Lemke could tell that Mateski was at the end of his rope when he scheduled his first session last February.
“Bill came in with the mindset that he would do anything he needed to take control of his life,” she said. “And that kind of mindset is very important.”
Mateski’s pain was so intolerable that two months before seeing Lemke, he began taking morphine on a daily basis. While it reduced his pain, he wasn’t happy with the side effects and wanted something else. His wish was granted when he saw Lemke on KWQC.
“I immediately called Brooke to schedule an appointment,” he said. “Even though I was a little skeptical at first, I wanted to give hypnotherapy a try.”
Getting back control
While many think hypnotherapy is a form of mind control, Lemke says it is just the opposite.
“I tell every client that while they’re in that chair, they’re in complete control,” she said. “They can get up and leave if they want.”
Lemke says the primary goal of hypnotherapy is to work with a patient’s subconscious programming, also known as a person’s day-to-day functions. While a patient might have a physical diagnosis such as chronic pain, hypnotherapy works with the mental ties attached to that pain.
“Hypnotherapy puts you in control of your mind and ultimately your life,” she said. “It grants the individual control.”
Brooke Lemke, Hypnotherapist
How hypnotherapy works
Control is achieved during the state of hypnosis, which Lemke says most people enter on a daily basis without even realizing it. That state is your body functioning on its own, whether it’s driving the same route home from work or finishing off a bag of chips while watching the game; it’s all done with very little recognition.
In Mateski’s case, Lemke realized that relief would come only after he gained control of his pain. The first step was to get him to relax.
“The first session with a pain client always consists of the patient experiencing relaxation and comfort,” she said. “I want them to see how powerful their mind really is. When they achieve that relaxation in hypnosis despite chronic pain, they prove to themselves anything is possible.”
According to Lemke, the next step is to give the pain an identity. For Mateski he recognized two different pains: his back and sciatica.
He would characterize his back pain as a black bowling ball and sciatica as a wooden plank. Through hypnosis he was able to shoot the black bowling ball and saw the wooden plank into smaller pieces. The relief, he says, was almost immediate.
“At least three or four times I began to cry,” Mateski said. “Brooke told me it was an emotional release—I was letting go of all the years of pain.”
Living life one step at a time
After six sessions Mateski felt like he’d made tremendous progress, now able to walk for several minutes at a time. He is no longer on morphine and takes no other painkillers. While he first noted his pain at a nine back in February, now he says it’s at about a two or three.
But he is not pain-free. And according to Lemke, while some of her patients can reach a pain level of zero, not all do.
“We sometimes can’t get a patient’s pain to zero, nor do we always want to,” she said. “Pain is important. It’s how the body and mind communicate, and it can tell us when something is wrong. It just doesn’t need to be debilitating, so we aim to get it to a level to where they can live a better quality of life.”
The physical diagnosis is still there for Mateski—but she’s helped him to let go of the emotional factors.
For Mateski, he feels like he’s been given a second lease on life. And he also has a few wise words for anyone suffering with chronic pain:
“I would tell anyone that has chronic pain that you’re silly if you don’t give hypnotherapy a try.”
Request a free phone consult
To schedule a free over-the-phone consult with Genesis Hypnotherapist Brooke Lemke, fill out the form below: