Are you, or someone you love, living with a chronic or complex medical condition?

Perhaps you have an autoimmune disease or another chronic condition that affects your quality of life. The experience of chronic illness can change a person, not only because of the symptoms of the illness itself, but the ongoing process of living with pain, fatigue and the diminished ability to live the life they want.

Often the process of accepting that a medical condition is chronic is accompanied by grieving. It’s not simply about the management of symptoms, there’s a changing of the world as we know it and our experience in it. Perhaps activities that we’ve loved become unmanageable and things that we’ve done for work or pleasure or simply taking care of ourselves become a struggle, if not impossible.

Perhaps like so many others, you’ve spent years being told that your medical condition isn’t real, that it’s ‘all in your head’ and that your experience is caused by your mental health, rather than having your experience supported and validated.

Unsurprisingly, alongside the illness itself comes a range of mental health difficulties like anxiety, depression, and loneliness.  The illness itself becomes more severe or the symptoms more difficult to live with because of the mounting emotional distress. I understand this from personal experience, having become very ill as a teenager and later being diagnosed with several autoimmune conditions.

What would it feel like to put down some of those burdens?

We’re moving towards a more complex and nuanced understanding of chronic illnesses and pain.  There’s now an awareness that our previous life experiences, our resilience, and our attributional styles affect both the severity of our illnesses as well as our emotional experience.

Knowing this puts the power back in your hands.  There are many different tools and techniques that can be learned which can shape the experience of illness in new and different ways, helping to release fears, understand and integrate past traumas and make peace with the situation.

Acceptance (from mindfulness) can be a powerful force for change in both the emotional and the physical experience of chronic illness. When we stop the fight against our experience we allow a state of peace to occur which research has repeatedly shown dramatically reduces inflammation. Inflammation is linked to the development or progression of a wide range of chronic illnesses, including chronic pain.

autoimmune disease and chronic illnessesImagine what it would be like to feel at ease in your body, and to be able to activate your body’s own healing process?

The techniques I use with clients who have long term and chronic health conditions can be powerful instruments of change for both physical and emotional health.  The process of neuroplasticity that other parts of the brain can develop connections which create functional recovery.

When it comes to the experience of chronic illness, you’re the expert and to effect change, I need to step into your world and be guided by your experience. There are many different understandings and models for why we develop chronic illnesses, and together we can discuss and find the path forward that feels right for you. Sometimes hypnotherapeutic interventions are the only effective treatment available for symptoms of chronic illness.

Life WITH an autoimmune disease or chronic illness

Working together, you’ll create a future that contains your life with a chronic health condition, instead of the life that you’re living because of the illness. Rather than letting the illness define you, we will find a different path that you can take.

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