Working with fibromyalgia can be emotionally and physically painful. Many people can barely make it through the day because they are dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. To help understand what type of impact fibromyalgia has on someone’s work experience and what someone can do to cope with fibromyalgia at work, I have interviewed certified hypnotherapist Vince Chung.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a hypnotherapist with practices in the Northwest Chicago Suburbs and
certified with the largest hypnotist organization in the world, the National Guild of Hypnotists, Inc.( www.NGH.net ) with over 11,000 members. My educational background is a BA from Columbia University and a Masters from The University of Chicago.”
“Currently, I am the organizer of the Chicago Fibromyalgia Meetup Group with over 140 members. I also run a hypnotherapy clinic that researches and helps relieve sufferers (only by written referrals from an MD or a psychologist) of their pain using “hypnotic pain relief” techniques.”
What are some signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?
“Only a medical doctor (often a neurologist or rheumotologist) may diagnose fibromyalgia using a “standard” set of criteria, which includes counting tender (painful) points at specific locations of the body. The fibromyalgia sufferers often tell me that they have pain in other parts of their body not included in this criterion as well as irritable bowel syndrome, fibro fog (confusion and recall difficulty), fatigue, insomnia, and depression.”
What type of impact can fibromyalgia have on someone’s work experience?
“Many people with fibromyalgia cannot work full-time if at all due to the pain and fatigue and many are on social security disability. Fibromyalgia sufferers often report that coworkers and employers do not understand why they need time off or are not carrying their workload because they “look fine” on the outside. This misunderstanding further frustrates and aggravates the condition of the fibromyalgia sufferer. Many employers need to be educated about the realities of this disease.”
How can someone cope with fibromyalgia at work?
“As an adjunct to traditional medicine, relaxation is a natural healing state and deep relaxation of both the mind and body would help tremendously but many fibro sufferers are reluctant to relax. If that is the case, I suggest finding someone knowledgeable in guided relaxation techniques such as yoga (including laughter and water yoga), meditation, hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming and making sure to learn how to do them yourself to use when having a hard time at work.”
“Guided imagery can be used for relaxation but more powerfully it can be used to directly relieve the discomfort by imagining changing certain attributes and associations of the pain. For example, if the pain is “hot,” guide the thoughts to make it “cool” by thinking and imagining “cool” thoughts. Guided imagery can also be used to dissociate, double dissociate, or even triple dissociate from either the current pain or the initial sensitizing traumatic event; this often relieves discomfort as well.”
“All these processes can be done easily by oneself but works much better in a clinical hypnotherapy setting.”
“Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment, psychological or psychiatric services or counseling. The Hypnotherapist does not treat, prescribe for or diagnose any condition.”
Thank you Mr. Chung for the interview. If you would like more information or have any questions you can contact Vince Chung at (630) 638-3877 or check out his website at www.chicago-hypnosis.com.
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