How can a Flourish Therapist provide Cancer Support?
Cancer support is what I provide. Straight away I want to make it very clear that I cannot “cure” a person of cancer. I use these powerful mind-body-spirit processes to help the person improve their quality of life for the time being.
The Flourish Programme is to be used alongside the standard conventional medical treatments for cancer support. I will never suggest stopping any form of
The Flourish Prgramme is in 2 phases – Phase 1: Working on the immediate problems using Responsive Therapy.
Phase 2: Life Builder© to provide ongoing support intil recover is complete.
I use it in the following ways:
Relaxation for Stress.
Being told that you have cancer is certainly stressful and will compound any existing stress in your life. It is accepted that stress reduces the effectiveness of the human immune system, so reducing the client´s ability to deal with cancer or other tumours.
I truly believe that stress is about your attitude to stressors. It is not possible control many external stressors but you have a choice of how you are going to react to them.
Responsive Therapy is a very effective at anchoring in instant relaxation. From your very first session you will have a real change taken place and will feel calmer and more relaxed. You will be given some extremely powerful tools to elicit an instantly calmer feeling and keep stress at bay. (So long as you work with and follow the Flourish Programme correctly).
Psychoneuroimmunology has shown that there is an incredible relationship between the mind and the human immune system.
During sessions Psychoneuroimmunology techniques encourage the client to focus their immune system, to nurture it so that it will have a beneficial effect on their overall health.
The techniques used are Hypnoneoroimmunotherapy© which is a highly specialised form of the Flourish Programme. The client will be shown how to focus on boosting their immune system and ‘seeing’ it improving.
Some clients like to visualise the cancer shrinking or being ‘eaten’ by white blood cells. This has a real boost to self-esteem and confidence to fight the cancer.
(Click to go to the Psychoneuroimmunology page).
Side-effects of Cancer Treatments
Clinical Hypnotherapy has been researched for relief of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. Anticipatory nausea and vomiting was greatly reduced as was the need for antiemetic medication.
200 breast cancer patients has pre-surgical hypnotherapy and it lead to improved postsurgical side effects. And it worked.
All Responsive Therapy interventions are designed to specifically target the client’s expectancies about nausea and vomiting to help with their cancer support.
Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most difficult symptoms to reduce during the client’s treatment. Research suggests that fatigue can affect 60% to 90% of patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The fatigue is often managed through controlled exercise and pharmacological therapies. However; research show that with clinical hypnosis intervention, patients’ fatigue did not increase over the course treatment.
Within the Flourish Programme cancer protocols specific measures are instilled to motivate the client to exercise and keep active to aid their cancer support.
Breast cancer survivors underwent sessions of clinical hypnotherapy to negate the effects and feelings of hot flashes. The results showed a 69% reduction of hot flashes relative to baseline. These results are better than those from open-label studies with paroxetine and venlafaxine.
In another trial 184 post-menopausal women were randomised to either clinical hypnosis or to structured-attention control that provides supportive, non-directive counselling. The results show that hot flashes can be reduced by up to 70% at a 3 months follow-up among post-menopausal women.
Many cancer patients have sleeping difficulties due to; their diagnosis, resulting depression, pain, fatigue or other treatment-related side effects. Cancer patients are almost three times more likely than the general population to suffer insomnia.
Sleeping pills are often prescribed but this carries risks of dependency and potentially serious drug interactions. Not only that they do not treat the underlying source of the insomnia. Responsive Therapy provides a safe alternative to improve the ability to sleep.
In one study, 51 breast cancer patients were assigned to a hypnotherapy or control group. In the hypnotherapy group the outcomes were a huge reduction in hot flashes, major improvements in sleep quality and significant reduction in levels of anxiety and depression.
Hypnotherapy for the management of chronic pain has demonstrated positive outcomes for the reduction of chronic and procedural-related pain in cancer treatment. One of the most common is mouth pain and infections. This can have a serious effect on eating and recovery. Responsive Therapy is very efficient at helping to control mouth pain.
A study of breast cancer patients found that those assigned to a clinical hypnosis group demonstrated significantly less pain, which remained over time. The same applied to advanced-stage cancer patients with malignant bone disease.
In a study of 200 patients undergoing excisional breast biopsy or lumpectomy the patients in a hypnosis group had significant reductions in pain intensity, self-reported pain unpleasantness, nausea, fatigue, and discomfort compared with the control group. They also recovered quicker.
Diet Changes and Weight Control
Many people have poor diets and are overweight. These may have contributed to their cancer. So as part of their cancer care we can work on the dietay changes required to eat healthier and lose the weight required for safer surgery.
These techniques may be borrowed from the Hypnotic Gastric Band system to reduce the portion size and eliminate sugar and/or snacking cravings.
I do not use hypnotherapy in place of a general anaesthetic for cancer surgery.
I do use it to help to prepare a client for cancer surgery. A relaxed and de-stressed client will recover from surgery up to 30% quicker than one who is stressed. They will approach the surgery with a positive attitude and find it far less traumatic.
Loss of Hair, Mastectomy and Amputations
Generally, chemotherapy is the type treatment most likely to cause hair loss. Complete hair loss is unlikely with any other type of treatment. However; some cancer drugs can cause hair thinning. Responsive Therapy can give you the courage and confidence to take it in your stride and help you plan how you are going to present yourself to the world – bald and proud, with a different wig each day or however you choose.
The loss of a woman’s breast/s to cancer can deeply affect her self-esteem, her sex drive, and just how she feels about herself as a woman. However; women should get to help them deal with the emotional effects of a mastectomy before their breast cancer surgery. Again Responsive Therapy can give you the confidence to concentrate of the positive benefits of the breast loss and release all the negative emotions around it.
Amputation of a limb due to cancer can be very traumatic for some people. Many people who have had an amputation reported feeling emotions such as grief and bereavement, similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Some people also feel pain in the remaining part of their limb, or “phantom pain” that feels like it’s coming from the amputated part of the limb. These can all be worked on in Flourish Programme sessions some before the amputation and others after, (Phase 2: Lifebuilder), afterwards.
Empowerment and Self Confidence
A diagnosis of cancer can dominate a person’s thinking and they may feel overwhelmed and not be able to see a recovery. They become reliant on others and may feel they have lost control of running their own life.
Responsive Therapy can give clients their self-confidence back. It empowers them in their dealings with medical staff and family; allowing them to have their say in proceedings and ask questions.
They will be motivated and able to plan their post-recovery goals.
When a person is caring for somebody they love, and facing the fact that they may die, sessions to learn relaxation and motivation are a very good idea.
A carer often neglects their self so may need help to focus on their personal needs as well as on those of the patient. Cancer support extends to carers as well.
Are there any Risks?
It is highly unlikely that there will be any negative effects from working with the Flourish Programme. However; the human mind is quite complex and we can never be 100% certain of what it will do in any given situation – either in or out of trance.
I will not work with people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), or borderline personality disorder. Also epileptics whose medication does not provide total control over seizures.
I consider each client on an individual basis for their cancer support.