Hypnosis and HypnoAnesthesia for Pain Management – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Ron Eslinger, RN, CRNA, APN, MA, BCH, CMI, FNGH, OB
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
A Client’s Case Report used by permission.
The last fourteen articles published by me in the NGH Journal of Hypnotism describe the protocols and techniques I used when working with Traci for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). I follow the same protocol and use the same techniques for all my clients not just for clients suffering from pain.
I am Traci, a 44 year old female that was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in January, 2008. This diagnosis came following a sprained ankle in 2006 that didn’t heal properly. I was then referred to a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) for assessment. After conservative treatment that included a Controlled Ankle Movement (CAM) Boot, Physical Therapy and cortisone shots, the pain continued. The DPM followed with three (3) surgeries of which several errors were made, including cutting the Tibial Nerves, Lateral Plantar Nerve, Rupturing the Posterior Tibial Tendon, and making the incision in the wrong place. I then had two (2) surgeries by a top Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon to reconstruct my Posterior Tibial Tendon, and later he completed a Tarsal Tunnel Release hoping to help with the nerve pain. During these surgeries, my pain continued to increase disproportionate to what should have been occurring.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with CRPS by my Pain Management doctor, and he put together an aggressive treatment plan to try to treat my condition. Initially, he thought he could get my condition under control within 6 months to a year, and told me this could be one of the most devastating diagnoses of my life. He started with putting me on a lengthy list of opioid pain medications (Methadone, Dilaudid, Topomax, Valium, Oral Ketamine, Fioricet, Sulindac), Regional Blocks (wouldn’t take), completed 13 Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks (first 2, the sedation didn’t take & I was awake during the procedures – therefore they switched to a general for the remaining blocks) [The last LSB shut down my Adrenal Glands – thus, my PM Doc stopped any further blocks.] I was then told I had to get a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS). The SCS trial was a success. Once implanted, the SCS didn’t function properly and caused swelling every time the battery was charged. Thus, I had to have a 2nd surgery to change out the SCS Battery. It was at this time that I started to notice some CRPS Pain in my back. I had continued trouble with the SCS, so the system was removed and replaced (Medtronic to Boston Scientific) – no precautions were taken to make sure the CRPS didn’t move into the back. Following this surgery, I had full CRPS in my back. I was told by the Neurosurgeon this was the first time he had this happen. I had further issues with the Boston Scientific SCS, which included a build-up of scar tissue on the Dura of my Spine. Upon further review, it was found in several articles that SCS in rare cases could cause scar tissue on the Dura that would lead to paralysis. Therefore, my SCS was removed/explanted (2011). It was at this time that my Pain Management doctor told me, “…after all of this I’m afraid to touch you. There is nothing else I can do at this time. Therefore, you may have to do your best with pain meds.”
Three weeks following my post-op of the SCS removal, I flew to Frankfurt, Germany, for further treatment. This was the first of my four trips over to Frankfurt, Germany, for treatment of my CRPS. The first trip, we started with building up my immune system, Stem Cells (utilizing my own blood), Thymus Cell Extract, Blood Ozone Therapy, Neural Therapy with Ozone, Myer’s Cocktail IV’s, Lymphatic Massages, Physical Therapy and Detoxing. On my second trip to Frankfurt, we noticed there was one area where they removed the SCS that was problematic. Following an ultrasound, they discovered there was something foreign in the incision. The Medical Director in Germany re-opened this area and found there was some gauze left in my incision from when the SCS was removed. This was cleaned up, left open to heal, debrided on a daily basis until it closed on its own. During this trip and my subsequent trips to Germany, I completed the following types of treatments (this is inclusive of the last three trips): Neural Therapy with Ozone, Ionization, Ozone Therapy, Blood Ozone Therapy, Thymus Cell Therapy, Regional Hyperthermia (3x/day – 5days/week: first CRPS patient in world to be treated with this), Alpha Lipoic IV’s, Myer’s Cocktail IV’s, Homeopathic Injections, Regeneris Therapy (RNA Cell Therapy – 4 weeks treatment protocol), PK Protocol, Physical Therapy and Massage. (Last trip to Germany was August-September, 2013). Following my last trip, my comfort levels remained at a 5 for approximately six weeks and then started to increase again. Contacted the Medical Director in Germany and it was suggested to do two more rounds of Regeneris or return to Frankfurt for continued treatment.
Between my trips to Germany, I was also treated in Mexico in tandem with the Medical Director from Frankfurt. In Mexico, he treated me with the following over 3 different stays: Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT – utilizing pain meds), PK Protocol, HBOT, Physical Therapy, Chiro, Alpha Lipoic IV’s, Myer Cocktail IV’s, Rife, Acuscope, Neural Therapy with Ozone, Ondamed Biofeedback, HBOT and detox. These treatments only decreased my pain/comfort levels to a 6-7. My last trip to Mexico was July, 2013.
Following my last trip to Frankfurt, Germany, I contacted Captain M. Ron Eslinger at Healthy Visions. I had previously done some hypnosis sessions, but was referred to Captain M. Ron Eslinger due to his background and being known for Pain Management. I spoke with Mr. Eslinger to set up a time to see him in TN mid-November, 2013. I was told that it would be a week long intensive session that would include our time together and homework each evening (i.e. reading, listening to CD’s, etc…). To me, this was an exciting avenue to go down and I was 100% dedicated to get the most out of everything that was set before me while with Mr. Eslinger.
From my first step into the Healthy Visions office, I was treated with the utmost respect and put at ease. This was a big step with everything that I had been through up to this point. Day one, I walked in with what I formerly called “Pain Levels”, and now have changed, calling them “Comfort Levels” up in the 8-9 range. The evening prior to seeing Ron, they were at a 10+ due to the full day of travel to get from CA to TN. With a smile on my face, regardless of where my ‘Comfort Levels’ were, we started our first session. Little did I know, although I had hoped and prayed it would be, that my ‘Comfort Levels’ would drop to a ZERO by the end of the week! This was with the expert guide of Ron in Hypnosis, Biofeedback, Light/Sound Therapy and learning Self-Hypnosis. While working together the first day, it was discovered that I was also dealing with a case of PTSD due to everything that I had dealt with over the years; the treatments; being given medications for anesthesia and not having them work – then listening to the physicians; having my Pain Management doctor tell me that there was nothing more he could do and I would just have to live with the pain; going through some treatments that were extremely uncomfortable; and negative comments from physicians about the possible outcome of my situation. This did not surprise me to say the least.
From the first day to the last day that I worked with Ron, I saw progress. Thursday of our week together, I was scheduled for a massage. To be honest, I was a bit reluctant and worried walking to that appointment due to the fact that I had not been able to tolerate a massage on my back since 2011 when CRPS had moved into my back. I knew that my ‘Comfort Level’ had already dropped to a ZERO in my back, but I wasn’t sure if I trusted it enough to do the massage. I was pleasantly surprised to see how relaxed and comfortable I was during the massage. I had no pain in my back and I was able to keep my ‘Comfort Level’ at a Zero. To me this was a test, and it showed me what I had accomplished to that point was holding and would continue to get better. The other huge thing that Ron was able to assist me with was a continual spasm or uncontrollable motor deficiency in the little toe on my left foot. This was in addition to my CRPS, and it was due to a nicked Lateral Plantar Nerve. I had had many doctors consult with me regarding this, and I was always told that they had never seen anything like it. They had no idea what to do, etc. Thus, I had been dealing/living with my little toe being in continual spams since 2007, and in 3 days, we were able to get my little toe to stop moving! Wow, this was a mechanical problem and it had stopped. This was huge! Talk about bringing a smile to my face. It was intriguing to see how the combination of hypnosis and working with Ron could access areas of the brain to stop the continuous signals being sent out. Yes, it was an intense week of learning, working, and following all of the instructions given me, but to have my ‘Comfort Levels’ drop to ZERO for the first time since 2006 when I sprained my ankle, then was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), it was well worth it!
Prior to leaving TN, I was given a copy of all of my sessions with Ron, given my own Protesus System to utilize, copies of a couple of books to read, and instructions to continue with Self Hypnosis on a daily basis, in addition to listening to the CD’s of our sessions. One of the things that I learned while with Ron was that every cell has a memory. It is essential to provide the cells with a new memory other than pain, and when you do this, new memories will take hold as the cells regenerate every 90 days. Thus, in approximately 90 days after arriving home, new memories should be strong!
When I arrived home from TN, I was barraged with questions, because friends and family members immediately noticed a marked difference in my demeanor, a bigger smile on my face, my ability to put weight on my left foot for the first time since 2006, and an overall sense of well-being. This was after 5 days with Captain Eslinger!
Once home and settled, I put myself into a routine that included listening to the CDs of the sessions with Ron, doing self-hypnosis, and utilizing the tools given to me prior to leaving TN. After the first week home, I was no longer utilizing my cane to walk. I still needed to work on my gait, but this was a big milestone. During this time, I also met with my Pain Management doctor. He was used to me going to Germany for treatment and coming back with their protocols, but this time, he had no idea what to expect. When he entered the exam room, I was sitting there with socks and running shoes on, no cane and long pants that could touch my ankle and medial side of my foot. This would never have happened prior to going to TN to see and work with Ron. My Pain Management doctor looked at me, pushed back on his stool, and started looking around the room. He was in disbelief at what he was seeing. He then asked me to take off my left shoe and sock, because he wanted to see if my left little toe was still spasming or doing the rhythmical movement. When he saw that it was not moving, I had shoes on, my coloration was not off in my foot, and I was feeling great, he was dumbfounded. He next words were, “I’m being punked. Where are the cameras and how are you doing this?” I had to laugh. He wanted to know what I did in TN, but since he doesn’t understand what I did, he was skeptical. Then when I asked him to take me off of my pain medications, he was awestruck. He hesitated, to say the least, because he wasn’t sure this was going to hold. As I told him, I am confident in where I am and what I have accomplished. I have no pain at this time, so I don’t feel that I should continue on pain medications, and I asked again to be titrated off of them.
Week by week, I continued to see progress. Having the ability to walk my dog at the park with no pain, completely comfortable, completing household chores with no discomfort, babysitting my nephew who is 6 months old with complete confidence, and spending time with my family in activities that I would not have been able to have done previously, these are all the rewards of learning self-hypnosis and following through with what I was taught by Ron! One month to the date after arriving home from TN, my husband and I set a date to go to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. We spent close to 10 hours at both parks in total, walking, riding the rides, partaking in the attractions. Believe me, there was plenty of walking. This was all without a cane, in running shoes, and with complete comfort. To think that I would be doing this with my husband one month after seeing Ron is astonishing to me. It is refreshing to think that there is something out there that is non-invasive that can help so many Pain Management patients if they would take the time to learn it, do it, and dedicate themselves to it.
I look forward to continued success thanks to Captain Ron Eslinger!
Follow up email
I just wanted to touch base quickly to give you an update. Today is Sunday, Jan., 12, which puts me exactly 2 month and 1 day from the day I arrived home from seeing you.
Since that time my comfort levels have stayed at ZERO, I have been able to enjoy walking in the park across the street from our home again, walking my dog several times a day, wearing running shoes – dress shoes (amazing), having a sock on my foot without discomfort, sleeping better and not having to worry about the covers anymore! Plus, being able to sit down with a good book without nodding off. I could go on and on.
A young lady that I had mentored came over earlier in the week. She had not seen me since I returned from seeing you. She was in shock! She was laughing when she told me she kept looking at my foot expecting to see my little toe moving. She commented about how I had / my personality had returned to where it was prior to my injury in 2006… She said I looked wonderful, it was great to have me back, and she was in awe over my improvement!
I have been able to take a more active role as an Ambassador with the US Pain Association. I continue to keep my blog on CRPS and my twitter account updated with current information to help other CRPS patients. And I have diligently been reading away on the reading list you gave me. Trancework – fourth edition was great, it was very educational especially the transcript & video of Vicky. I have two books left to read: The Mind Body Prescription and Hypnosis & Suggestion in the Treatment of Pain. If you have any other suggestions above your original list just let me know.
I will be signing up for the April – CH training in the next couple of weeks.
At this point I am still coming off of my pain meds. I am half tempted to just stop taking the rest of them, but I am following the titration I have been given. The only odd thing I have noticed periodically is a faint tingling feeling on the top of my foot & by my big toe. It does not cause any discomfort thus it is not a concern… Just odd.
* I addressed this comment by telling her to look at it as what it is, not what it could be, or even better to use her self-hypnosis to create it as she wants it to be not as it is and stay in the present.
All the techniques I used with Traci can be found in the 14 NGH articles published prior to this case report.
Or you can go to … to down load two of the techniques.