How hypnosis saved my life

The first time I hypnotized myself deeply was about ten years ago, about a year before I received formal training by the National Guild of Hypnotists in 2007. Even though I did not know that I was undergoing hypnosis at that time, it certainly led me to the turning point in my life.
Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

I had contracted a painfully debilitating and highly contagious disease, commonly known as the “hand-foot-mouth” disease (HFMD), caused by a strain of the Coxsackle virus. This disease became epidemic in Asia at various times, where the virus is particularly virulent. I was living and working in Singapore during that time, where I contracted it from my son, who had contracted it while at childcare. The HFMD is almost unheard of in the United States, which has been my permanent home for over twenty years.

In addition to experiencing malaise and flu-like symptoms for over a week, my throat and mouth were covered with painful blisters. My son recovered rapidly while under my care while my condition grew worse and worse rapidly as the days passed. I am sure everyone has ever had a couple of large blisters in their mouth before. Multiply that a hundred times in your throat, palate, and tongue. Imagine a sharp stabbing pain every time a trickle of saliva flows down your throat. Attempting to swallow liquids would be many times more painful. Swallowing solid food was impossible. Having experienced childbirth before did not make the pain of HFMD easier to bear.

There is no known drug that cures this disease. You simply ride it out, or not. While the virus usually strikes children, adults can also get it, in which case it tends to be a lot more severe. There are children who have died from complications associated with HFMD. These are probably individuals who have a weakened immune system. That was where I was in my life at that time, struggling with my marriage at home, my philosophy about work, and confused about my purpose in life in general. I was unhappy with my surroundings and did not have the knowledge or skills that I possess today to make my life better. I was sick regularly from colds and coughs, but this was something that I was unprepared for.

Preparing for Death

One night, more than a week into the illness, after not having eaten any food for days, and having prayed repeatedly to every God that I knew but to no avail, I asked the divine to take my life. If my life was meant to end this way, I was willing to let myself be taken. No, I am not a person who thinks about taking my own life but this had pushed me to the edge. Looking back, it seems like a cowardly thought. Not brave, not stoic. Not how I would normally identify myself to be. After all, I had survived measles, mumps, chicken pox, pneumonia, bronchitis, and a complicated childbirth. Surely I could pull through this?! But no. The more I tried to rationalize it, the more I tried to stay positive, the more unbearable my condition became. The incessant pain crumbled me, physically and emotionally. It never let up. I never fell asleep for more than ten minutes at a time for days on end. Every time a tiny drop of saliva were to trickle down my throat, I got jolted up by the stabbing pain. I could not talk, and was only able to drink sugar water to sustain myself.

Goodbye, my child…

I thought about my beloved son. How I had overcome various obstacles to raise an adorable, intellectually advanced, and perceptive person who has now become my buddy and soul-mate! A child who didn’t talk till he was three-and-a-half years old and who didn’t sleep through the night or much at all till he started talking. This child who counted to hundreds and did addition at one year of age on his own and who was thought by some so-called learning experts to be autistic. This child who wiped tears off my eyes when I was sad and took walks with me as we read the numbers of houses in sequence. Is this special and wonderful person about to lose a mother? He is the one person in my life I could safely say that I love unconditionally. I would not have exchanged him for anything in the world. Yet, here I was, the mother of this special person—I had decided to give up hope. Here I was, the mother of this gifted being—I had chosen to stop fighting. I felt like a failure. I felt like I had failed my most beloved person. But I felt like dying anyway.

(Nowadays, I am very sympathetic towards people who are going through pain in terminal illnesses. Don’t judge them if they tell you that they are in so much pain that they don’t feel like living anymore. You have no idea what they are going through unless you have gone through it yourself.)

My first deep, deep hypnosis

Ironically, it was this sense of wanting to die that kept me alive. Do you know that popular song by Carrie Underwood, “Jesus take the Wheel”? Sometimes the best thing to do when all else fails is to let go. Let go of the fight. Let go of the struggle. Be prepared to accept what is meant to be for you at this time.

The moment I said to the Universe that I was prepared to leave the living world, I felt a wave of indescribable sensation spreading through me, from the head down. It felt as if a heavy weight was lifted off of my head region almost instantaneously. Within seconds, at least 50% of my pain had gone away. I reveled in the sensation of lightness and let it continue to develop into more of the same. I felt my mind suddenly become very clear, very aware. It felt like I was being teleported into another world, another dimension. I felt free, I felt painless!

At that time, being the trained scientist and born philosopher, I could not help becoming curiously fascinated by what was happening to my body, even while I was still in the trance state. Wow! This is probably as close as I could get to what people call ‘miracle’. It was an incredible feeling. It was something remarkably opposite to what I was experiencing just seconds ago. From excruciating pain to painlessness and healing. From feelings of immense struggle to feelings of lightness and freedom. How, if all that I was taught in human physiology and anatomy was indeed true, is it possible for someone’s pain that is caused by an actual viral pathogen to suddenly become eliminated without any medical treatment whatsoever?

Chickening out

I started to heal rapidly after that accidental hypnosis session. After two weeks of suffering, I was back at work, which appeared to worsen my symptoms a little. I recalled that I had made a pact with myself that if I were to get well from HFMD, I would quit this job, work on improving my marriage and focus on my own well-being. But then, I chickened out. I chose to do what others expected of me instead of what my inner being told me to do.

I continued to go to work, and continued to get sick frequently, with conditions ranging from bronchitis to bad colds. Even though I knew that my frequent illnesses had a lot to do with my unhappiness, I was not fully convinced that improving my state of mind could transform my health for the better. I chose not to think about the painful details of my close shave with death when I contracted HFMD. Also, I never thought about the miracle healing of that night with the accidental hypnosis again. Nevertheless, I know that this accidental hypnosis must have been at the back of my mind because of the serendipity of what happened afterwards.

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Reacquainted with an old friend, self-hypnosis

For almost a year afterwards, I continued to plough through the struggles of my life without addressing the issues with intent. Then, one day, as I became increasingly displeased with the after-school care that my first grade son was receiving, I finally made a decision to leave my job.

While at home in the afternoon, I flipped through the newspapers and came across an advertisement that I simply could not resist. It was a workshop by the National Guild of Hypnotists. Somehow, I made myself go for the information session even though I was quite nervous about what to expect. One thing led to another and I signed up for the training to become a Certified Hypnotherapist. When I got hypnotized by the instructor for the first time, I became reacquainted with an old ‘friend’. I realized that I had unknowingly hypnotized myself during my HFMD episode at the moment of desperateness. It was self-hypnosis! I didn’t know what it was and what it was called but now I know. I know how to practice it, over and over again, with better skills, and better self-awareness. I had a strong desire to find out what had happened to me during my HFMD but the incident was forgotten from my conscious awareness soon after the illness. However, the desire remained in my subconscious mind and helped me to seek the truth. This desire had magically led me to the ad in the papers that in turn gave me what I wanted and needed—a course in hypnotherapy that changed my life forever.

Hypnosis opened doors for me that I never knew existed:

Disclaimer:- The content presented on this website is not meant to replace medical treatment or professional counseling. The author is not a healthcare provider. The ideas and opinions here are solely that of the author’s and do not represent that of any organization that the author was or has been affiliated with.

© 2016 Chui Sien Chan

Have you experienced a painful struggle that led to a positive change in your life?

Have you encountered serendipitous events that led you to something that you had always wanted but never sought out consciously?

Have you ever experienced an “accidental” self-hypnosis that brought about miraculous healing?

I would love for you to share your experiences with me in the form of comments below.

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