International Association of Counselors and Therapists

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“I wasn’t able to take medication after my partial knee replacement. The pain was excruciating and there was nothing anyone could do to ease the pain, except give me Tylenol. Toni’s Hypnotherapy session took away major amounts of pain so that I was able to get some rest and sleep. The physical therapist was so amazed at Cedars Sinai Hospital that they released me a day early. The Hypnotherapy-relaxation and wellness tape Toni made for me to take home was instrumental in helping me rest while I was bed-ridden.”

This was the first testimonial given to me as a hypnotherapist. I believe that hypnotherapists are going to change the way that modern medicine treats its patients (hopefully!). I put this quote in this article, because I am proud to be affiliated with the fine work hypnotherapists are doing all over the world. I feel fortunate to have studied with some amazing speakers and teachers I have met while lecturing and presenting through conferences, like Jillian’s IACT.

To say that I was nervous working with Miss Felicijan would be an understatement. She was at one of the most famous hospitals in the United States, Cedars-Sinai. Her doctors and nurses were wary of what was going on in the hospital room when they heard my voice and the taped music (Dick Sutphen’s, Mind Converter -Zapper) that I was using to hypnotize Miss Felicijan. I started to get frustrated because the nurses and interns kept interrupting us by opening the door with the pretense of having to take her temperature and check her vitals, when we knew they were just plain curious. Finally they sent a physical therapist to stick his head in the room to make sure that there was no voodoo or black magic going on in the room.

Chris was in a lot of pain and I wanted to hypnotize her before she went in for her surgery, because she’s highly allergic to the anesthesia. Chris is a very physical person, like Xena, warrior princess. I knew she would be a challenge, because she never seemed to stay still and relax.

After a surgery like the one Chris had on her knee, doctors say it is important to keep off one’s feet, until the patient has shown that they are able to walk with or without the use of a cane. I knew it would be a challenge to keep Chris still after the operation, while she healed, and to help her control the pain without any pain pills. Even though Chris had never specifically stated it, I had the feeling she didn’t believe in hypnosis — probably because she had never experienced it.

I was also apprehensive, because I was accustomed to speaking to large audiences in my workshops and when performing Mime and Stand-Up Comedy, making them laugh and keeping things light and fun. Even with workshops that I present at conferences, I try to instill deep messages through laughter, games and lightness. This was a one-on-one in a very cold and sterile hospital room.

I don’t know about you, but I try to find any way possible not to go to hospitals — they scare me! So, here I am, with my tape, in the hospital, and I have finally talked the nurses and everyone else into leaving us alone for at least 35 minutes. I had just started to put Chris under again when her cell phone rang. It was her mother. “Excuse me,” she says, “I really have to take this call.” I had already started the induction on Chris, so she was already in trance. She claims it was the best conversation she’d had with her mother in a long time! The nurses are gone, I convince her to turn her phone off, and I take Chris to a safe place in her mind where I can use deepening techniques for pain relief that I’ve learned from wonderful mentors — Al Krazner, Katherine Zimmerman, Richard Neves, Jamie Feldman, Shelly Stockwell-Nicolas, Dick Sutphen, Betty Scott, Nancie Barwick, Robert Otto, Patti Conklin and Tad James. I felt fortunate that I had the opportunities to study so many different modalities.

Chris turned out to be an excellent subject. I was able to make a tape with the music in the background, right there in her room. Although I couldn’t do a full session like I would normally do in my office, I was able to help her help herself ease phenomenal pain and assist her getting to sleep at night with a secondary tape that I made. It proved to me that, as a speaker, I always have to remember to walk my talk, because I am always telling my participants that if they breathe through their fear, the other side can be genius.

I learned a great deal from this experience about how hypnotherapy can go so much further than just popping a pain pill. Chris was up and about a day and a half after her surgery. I came to visit her one more time and she was walking. Her physical therapist even had her climb a few stairs. They released her early from the hospital and the physical therapist told Chris that he was amazed at her progress. According to Chris the doctor and physical therapist said other patients who had gone through the same operation were still bed-ridden taking pain pills were. Yet, here was Chris, walking. The physical therapist asked her what she had done differently, and she said, “Hypnosis.” So, there you have it, It Does Really Work! So to all you pioneers out there: I am so glad to be a part of this.

I really believe that Chris was someone I was Meant To Meet. Working with her gave me the encouragement and inspiration to further research many more modalities of Hypnotherapy and encouraged me to go through my own personal fear of doing one-on one sessions.

Toni Attell is certified as a CH.t Hypnotherapist who holds certifications in Timeline, Parts Therapy, Past-Life Regression, Mask Therapy, Huna, and Reiki. She tours as a speaker on Body Language and DNA recurring patterns and holds Intuitive workshops throughout Japan, China, and England. She has created a new program “ Hypnosis and Intuition for Actors in Acting” which she teaches at UCLA Extension. She is also a professor at USC’s School of Cinema and Television, where she has created a class called “The Acting Experience for Writers.” Toni is a working actress and comedienne and writes a column called “The Biz- Be the Star of Your Life”.


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