Uganda – August 2013
Bringing Non-Pharmaceutical Pain Control
Education On Breast Cancer and Reproductive Health to The Poor People Of Uganda
While Learning Why Hypnosis is So Effective So Quickly
Having been to the third world before, it felt like returning to a place that I had already fallen in love with given the warmth and grace of the people who inhabit it. Warm smiles, much gratitude for whatever it was that these white strangers were there to bring to them.
Being in the clinic watching how Sister Angela went between the rooms of the clinic swiftly and adeptly while realizing the stark fact that she didn’t have the most basic of medical interventions. I was thrilled to be a part of “Pax The World” to pilot this simple, effective and inexpensive manner in which to create pain control for her most deserving patients. The product is a stress ball filled with a pleasant scent used with a mantra to help release pain simply and effectively without any expensive or potentially damaging medication needed. This the brain child of Kurt Elderacher CEO of Pax The World with whom I worked to bring this fantastic idea to Uganda.
Further on when we went to the Mission Hospital, I was taken aback by the stark realities of the crowded “wards” with cement floors, people sitting upon them, basic steel bed frames with dirty mattresses covered in the bed clothes the patients had to bring with them, some from many miles away. When I realized the reality of this world of healing, it was evident that these patients already were in the heightened emotional state allowing the Pax Ball to work from the get go without the need of a formal induction – which made the whole concept of using the Pax Ball with the scent an even more brilliant idea for its quick and effective use for these patients. It was one of those times when one realizes the wonder of innovation by someone who is outside the “normal” sphere of hypnotic influence – it was indeed magical. I knew that what we had come to accomplish was easy to do. Making it all the more impactful to be able to be there “on the ground” to help to make the concept work in the best, easiest and fastest way possible – something I never could have done had I not been there to see the actual conditions in which the Pax Ball was being used.
As one can better understand from reading about healing, it really does come from the heart. Being in the presence of Sister Angela and Dr. Alfonz one can better understand why their patients do so well even with the primitive facilities and crowded conditions. It is simple: love heals.
Being in on the educational piece with the volunteers, I was struck by the desire for learning all they could about health care. Even the gentlemen were most interested in helping the woman to stay healthy – knowing how to do breast exams and the steps to take if a lump were found. I was most humbled by these proud people doing their best to help their communities – something that is practically lost here in the US – a sense of community – a sense of helpfulness on a family and I guess more tribal manner (which I guess we could think of as our towns in the US).
From the “higher view” I was astounded by the love and care that I was seeing before me from our hosts in Kristin and Imaging the World, Sister Angela and Dr. Alfonze – all so gracious for the work that we were all doing to make the world of the poor rural Ugandan’s a healthier more humane place for them to exist.
I was blown away by all the projects given the broad range of areas in which Imaging The World (ITW) was working to make the lives of these Ugandans better. Not only the fact that there were four high school students able to work with mentors in a foreign land learning not only the special skills that they were there to learn, more importantly getting a wider understanding of the conditions under which the majority of the citizenry of the world is living giving them a unique understanding of who they are and what they can give back as a result of that – so important at such a impressionable age. We will have a few more people in the United States who are educated about what is really going on in foreign lands instead of being brain washed into thinking that these people are any different than they. This is especially important as one professionally trained person here at home stated to me that “Africans are lazy.”, to which I was quick to let him know that he needed to travel to these places before making assumptions based on ignorance. Luckily he was able to hear what I was saying since he admitted that he had never been outside of New England, never mind to a third world country.
However, as great as all of that was, it was my discussions with Dr. Magdalena Nyler, apsychiatrist, doing ground breaking research on the brain that are going to have the largest impact on what I am doing in my own work. You see, my goal is to discredit the medical concept that addictions are incurable and it seems that Dr. Nyler’s research into cognitive behavioral therapy is rather important. She did her research to prove that psychotherapy creates physiological changes in the patients brain, allowing for permanent change. Though she isn’t actually sure what the material is that she is seeing in her brain scans that looks to be doubling the size of the gray matter of the brain (that part of the brain involved in executive functions – decision making, priority making, control of impulses, etc.) and white matter for which we don’t really know its purpose according to Dr. Nyler- it is obvious that something rather important is happening here and may be the reason why my former addicts have no inclination of ever going back to their old destructive addictive behaviors – which is true of drug addicts, sex addicts as well as anorexics and bulimics as proven by my work since 2005.
Hypnosis and NLP are like CBT on steroids – in fact is like any conscious therapy on steroids and as such I am most excited to have learned what Dr. Nyler was doing in her research. She is going to next investigate what it is that she is seeing on the brain scans that looks to be like the doubling of the gray and white matter because as she stated in her most pragmatic manner – “It could be water, or it could be some sort of cells – till I do the next level of research I won’t know.” She also mentioned that at some point “I got it” regarding the effectiveness of using hypnotism and other holistic methods instead of merely pushing pills that poison and never get to the root cause of her patients’ problems with chronic pain as well as emotional distress she treats in her psychiatric practice.