About Ted Heath
I have been asked to describe some of my work involving the use of hypnosis with MS clients, giving my view of the individual's experience and, hopefully, removing any fears that you, as a client, might end up eating onions, playing imaginary instruments or walking around with your hand stuck to your head!
During the past eighteen months I have been privileged to meet somewhere in the region of two hundred clients who have MS. Invariably charming people, seeking alleviation and hope and grateful for everything that is done for them. They (you) share common problems which confront them twenty four hours of the day, seven days a week.
Although my 'treatment' varies from client to client there are some basic areas which are worth consideration in virtually every case. I am sure you will be aware that one of the fundamental issues is muscular performance and my interest in this aspect derives from my earlier involvement in coaching athletes. That experience enables me to analyse the way in which an individual has adapted his mode of walking to cope with the muscular weakness and/or lack of signalling between leg muscles and brain. I emphasise "adapted" because my basic aim in these cases is to recruit more brain cells to receive the necessary signals, hopefully enabling the client to re-learn to walk in exactly the same way as he/she did as a child. This is where hypnosis comes in.
Hypnosis is often described as a state of "heightened awareness" in as much as the conscious mind is by-passed, enabling the sub-conscious to receive and act upon suggestions without the conscious mind interfering with thoughts such as "I am not a child, I will look silly walking like this" etc. The subject readily accepts the need to lift the knees higher than normal and to concentrate on placing the feet along a single centre line. This action sometimes depends upon me supporting the client and when the client is a 6 feet 4 inches giant you can imagine my concern for my own safety and my envy of the lumberjack's ability to make a tree fall "the other way". However, with a few supported practice walks, firstly with eyes closed and then with eyes open, looking at the feet and finally virtually unsupported and looking straight ahead, the client soon absorbs what is necessary and remembers the whole sequence when brought back to full awareness. It then needs regular practice, all the time being aware of the need to "be kind" to your body.
Obviously, all the above depends upon the client's current ability to walk, even if with a sway or stagger. For those who, at least temporarily, have lost the ability to walk at all then the focus has to be on developing muscles, particularly those in the thighs and the "core" muscles around the abdomen and lower back. There are various exercises to help this development but the onus is on the client to persevere and build up strength very gradually, effectively attaining a new platform of strength weekly or fortnightly with each platform being a small step higher than the last but at the same time attainable within the client's personal ability.
The emphasis again has to be on "being kind to your body". I recommend doing the strengthening exercises on only four days per week and suggest exercising Monday and Tuesday, day off on Wednesday, exercise again Thursday and Friday, a day off Saturday and then an extra day off Sunday. This should ensure not only that the body is recovered and ready to start again on Monday but also that an enthusiasm will be built up in the mind such that the client actually wants to get back to exercising again.
I also use hypnosis to assist with bladder and bowel problems by confirming that it is the role of the subconscious mind to monitor those bodily functions. Anxiety within the conscious mind leads to a feeling that there is a need "to go" and this false need can be over-ruled by the subconscious. With water retention another process or visual image is used under hypnosis to alleviate the distress and reduce or eliminate the symptoms. It usually only takes one session to achieve a good result. You may have read recently in "New Pathways" of the experience of two of my clients and there are now many more who can tell the same tale.
I have only touched briefly on some of the aspects of my work and I cannot guarantee success with my methods but the results achieved so far confirm my belief in the power of the mind and the seemingly limitless applications of hypnosis.
Frequently Asked Questions: "How will you hypnotise me and what will it be like"? Well, I shall only relax you, and very deeply, by talking to you (no swinging watches). You will be fully aware of all I say and will disregard "noises off" such as dogs and telephones. It really is a very relaxing and enjoyable experience, regardless of the treatment and there is probably a majority of clients who, when brought back to full awareness, express their disappointment at having to return to that fully aware state!
Finally, for economic reasons, please note that the only telephone number I use now, apart from my mobile, is 01493 443 556 and I do welcome your calls.