Posts Tagged ‘hypnosis’

In a previous post called  Tourette Syndrome and Hypnosis I introduced our new endeavor of trying hypnosis to reduce my son’s tics.  Our doctor, who is a psychologist at a teaching hospital, seems to be real good.  I am not sure if the difficulty of finding open time slots is an indication of a good doctor.  Originally when we reached out to him, it was five months before we could get an appointment.

At this point, my son has seen this doctor three times.  My son enjoys seeing him because the doctor is a big joker, and he is constantly testing to see if you are listening.  My son’s remark to me was that this was the best doctor he ever had, which had been many.  In these three appointments the doctor started to show my son how to do self-hypnosis.

The doctor calls this self-hypnosis process the Three and Six.  The process starts off with deep breathing and the eyes closed shut.  The rhythm consists of breathing in for three seconds and breathing out for six seconds.  This wasn’t anything new for my son, because in the past he learned bio feedback, which also has a similar deep breathing technique.

While the deep breathing is going on, the doctor facilitated relaxation, by calmly describing the relaxation of the body, starting with the feet and working upward to the head.  The doctor suggested that my son visualize a relaxing scene.  Once again, he facilitated the visualization by suggesting different characteristics of  the scene.  An example would be, asking if it is a sunny day or if my son could feel the warm breeze.  I have used visualization as a relaxing and focussing technique with my son since he was three years old. I found that if you focused using all of your senses on the distinct details of the scene, the more relaxed you could become.

One thing to note is that the doctor asked questions to my son throughout the session.  I was surprised that the talking did not break the relaxed state.  Once my son was relaxed, he described a specific visual item, which in this case was a stop sign.  After asking my son if he saw it, he explained that when my son is having that feeling that the tics are going to start he should immediately go into the Three And Six mode and visualize that stop sign.  He then told my son that the stop sign is very special and if you focus on the stop sign the tics will stop, or reduce in intensity and longevity.

While we were at the appointment the doctor also helped my son to visualize and apply self-hypnosis when he takes a shot for his diabetes.  The goal was to teach my son how to use the self-hypnosis to not feel any pain.  After focusing on a specific location for the shot, the doctor asked my son to rate the numbness of the spot, with zero being not at all numb and ten being completely numb.  The doctor then had my son imagine the feeling of numbing ointment that we sometimes use.  At the beginning of this session my son rated the numbness a zero.  By the time the doctor walked him through the process of the self-hypnosis, my son rated it an eight.  It was really remarkable.

Since these appointments, my son has been using the Three and Six technique both at school and at home.  His teachers remarked that he is really giving it his all.  At home he typically does it right before we have to change out his inset for his insulin pump, which has a needle poke for inserting the cannula, which is how his insulin is administered.  We have found that the self-hypnosis process is practical when my son has a warning that the tics are going to start.  If he doesn’t have the warning and instead immediately goes into a round of tics, which are pretty severe, the Three and Six method does not work.  When this happens he can’t concentrate enough to calm his body down.

The doctor stressed that my son should practice the technique.  He indicated that with practice the technique could become an automatic reaction for when the tics start.  The key is practice.   Unfortunately, practicing is not one of my son’s strong points, but we will keep working on this.  The other thing we need to work on is to be more conscious of triggers for the tics.  If he recognized a trigger, such as bright car lights at night, he could immediately do the Three and Six technique before the tics begin.  Unfortunately, we mistakenly didn’t add appointments as we saw the doctor and as a result of this, we are stuck waiting until November for our next appointment, or waiting for a cancellation.

To be continued . . .

If you have followed some of my earlier posts, my son and I have started on a new adventure in treating his Tourette Syndrome.  We recently have been seeing a doctor who specializing in hypnosis.  Since I was researching this technique, I thought I would share what I have found.

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder which is defined by multiple motor and vocal tics lasting for more than one year.  The disorder was named for a French neuropsychiatrist who successfully assessed the disorder in the late 1800’s.  Symptoms change periodically in number, frequency, type and severity–even disappearing for weeks or months at a time No definite cause has yet been established, but considerable evidence points to abnormal metabolism of at least one brain chemical called dopamine.   Estimates indicate that some 200,000 people in the United States are known to have the disorder.

Associated conditions can include attention problems (ADHD/ADD, impulsiveness (and oppositional defiant disorder), obsessional compulsive behavior, and learning disabilities.  There is usually a family history of tics, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD.  Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders occur in all ethnic groups.  Males are affected 3 to 4 times more often than females.

While there is no cure, medications are available to help control its symptoms.  They include atypical neuroleptics, neuroleptics, anti-hyperactive drugs and anti-depressants. Unfortunately, there is no one medication that is helpful to all people with TS, nor does any medication completely eliminate symptoms.  In addition, all medications have side effects. Most neuroleptic side effects can be managed by initiating treatment slowly and reducing the dose when side effects occur. The most common side effects of neuroleptics include sedation, weight gain, and cognitive dulling.  Neurological side effects such as tremor, dystonic reactions (twisting movements or postures), parkinsonian-like symptoms, and other dyskinetic (involuntary) movements are less common and are readily managed with dose reduction. Discontinuing neuroleptics after long-term use must be done slowly to avoid rebound increases in tics and withdrawal dyskinesias. One form of withdrawal dyskinesia called tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder distinct from TS that may result from the chronic use of neuroleptics. The risk of this side effect can be reduced by using lower doses of neuroleptics for shorter periods of time.

There are also non-drug therapies, such as hypnosis.  Stressful situations can make symptoms of Tourette Syndrome worsen. Tension and anxiety can also be attributed to worsening the symptoms. Hypnotherapy has been found to improve the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. Hypnosis is a relaxed state of consciousness. This state allows people to be more open to suggestions. When these suggestions deal directly with their symptoms and anxiety, they are able to relax and make these suggestions a part of their life, thus reducing their symptoms. After a few sessions, people with Tourette Syndrome can dramatically improve their overall lifestyle.

During deep hypnosis the metabolism, breathing and heartbeat slow down, and the brain produces alpha-waves, which indicate deep relaxation and are also induced by meditation.  It is a state that most of us naturally drift in and out of during the course of a day: when we become engrossed in a task or a film, when we drive home on ‘automatic pilot’, when daydreaming.

Hypnotherapy itself can take several different forms. The most usual form is ‘suggestion hypnotherapy’, which aims to break patterns of thought and behaviour by means of positive suggestions and guided imagery.

A case study was conducted involving an adolescent male with Tourette Syndrome. He was referred to a hypnotherapist from his physician. The male had a total of 9 hypnosis sessions over a 6-month time period. The model used involved a 4-step treatment process including progressive relaxation, finger-tip temperature feedback using a biotic finger band,  and guided imagery. Immediately following treatment and at the 6-month follow-up, he reported minimal to non-existent symptoms. The hypnosis sessions had helped him reduce stress that triggered the symptoms and it helped him regain control of Tourette Syndrome.

Progressive relaxation is a method of deep muscle relaxation based on the premise that muscle tension is the body’s physiological response to anxiety-provoking thoughts and that muscle relaxation blocks anxiety.

Finger-tip temperature using a biotic finger band is a primary tool for general relaxation training.  The temperature feedback instrument shows when blood flow is increasing by showing an increase in finger temperature.  Because blood flow in the hands responds to stress and relaxation the client learns to relax by watching the rise and the fall of temperature.

Guided imagery is a gentle but powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination. Imagery involves all of the senses, and almost anyone can do this. Neither is it strictly a “mental” activity it involves the whole body, the emotions and all the senses, and it is precisely this body-based focus that makes for its powerful impact.  Even though it can be considered a kind of meditation, it is easier for most westerners to use than traditional meditation, as it requires less time and discipline to develop a high level of skill. This is because it seduces the mind with appealing sensory images that have their own natural pull. And because it results in a kind of natural trance state, it can be considered a form of hypnosis as well.  Guided imagery works because of 3 very simple, common-sense principles:

  • To the body, images created in the mind can be almost as real as actual, external events.
  • In the altered state, we’re capable of more rapid and intense healing, growth, learning and performance.
  • When we have a sense of being in control, that, in and of itself, can help us to feel better and do better.

Research and studies have shown that hypnosis, relaxation techniques such as bio feedback, and guided imagery are helpful in reducing the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. It can enable Tourette Syndrome sufferers to lead a more normal lifestyle with fewer tics and interruptions. Hypnosis also gives them more control.

Information provided by:

Tourette Syndrome Association

Learn more:

What is guided self imagery?

As you may already know my son has Tourette Syndrome and we have been looking for a treatment that will reduce the amount of tics and reduce the intensity of the tics.  The following is an overview of Tourette Syndrome and a description of some of the treatment options.

Tourette Syndrome

Just for a little background information, Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder.  The first symptoms usually are involuntary (outside the patient’s control) movements (tics) of the face, arms, limbs or trunk.  These tics are frequent, repetitive and rapid.  Many persons report what are described as premonitory urges — the urge to perform a motor activity.  There are also verbal tics.  These verbal tics (vocalizations) usually occur with the movements.  Associated conditions can include attentional problems (ADHD/ADD, impulsiveness (and oppositional defiant disorder), obsessional compulsive behavior, and learning disabilities.  There is usually a family history of tics, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD.   A diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome consists of the following criteria:

    • Both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics have been present at some time during the illness, although not necessarily concurrently.
    • The tics occur many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout a period of more than one year, and during this period there was never a tic-free period of more than three consecutive months.
    • The disturbance causes marked distress or significant impairment in social, occupational or other
    • important areas of functioning.
    • The onset is before age 18 years.
    • The disturbance is not due to the direct physiologic effects of a substance (e.g., stimulants) or a general medical condition (e.g., Huntington’s disease or postviral encephalitis).

Treatment Options

There is no cure for Tourette Syndrome yet, but there are a number of different treatment options to help control TS symptoms.  These treatment options include medications, hypnosis, Habit reversal training (HRT), massed negative practice, biofeedback, relaxation (such as exercise, yoga or meditation, deep breathing techniques), other behavioral approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  Each of these options have their good points and bad points and work differently from person to person.


Medications are available to help control TS symptoms and include atypical neuroleptics, neuroleptics, anti-hyperactive drugs, and anti-depressants. Individuals react differently to the various medications, and frequently it takes some time until the right substance and dosage for each person are achieved.  Almost all of the medications prescribed for TS treatment do not have a specific FDA indication for the disorder.  The biggest issue with these medication are the side affects.  Many people with TS would prefer to have their tics rather than dealing with the side effects of these drugs.

Trigger Avoidance

Trying to figure out what triggers the Tourette’s Syndrome tics is another way of treating the disorder without medication. By observing people with Tourette’s, one may be able to find something that triggers the tics, such as a certain phrase, sight or situation. Once the trigger or triggers have been found, they can be avoided. Of course, the key to this is identifying the trigger, which is not always easy.

One of the alternatives to the medications is hypnosis. Hypnosis is defined as a relaxed state of consciousness.  This state allows people to be more open to suggestions.  When the suggestions are related directly with their symptoms and anxiety, they are able to relax and make suggestions to reduce the Tourette Syndrome symptoms.  It is also known that stressful situations can worsen the tics of Tourette Syndrome.  After practicing the hypnosis methods people with Tourette Syndrome can make the suggestions a part of their normal life.

Stress Reduction

Other types of behavior therapy, such as meditation, deep breathing techniques and biofeedback have been shown to reduce stress, which increases how severe and how frequent the tics are.

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment

CBT is a type of behavior therapy used by mental health professionals to remove the negative thoughts and emotions connected to random or seemingly involuntary behaviors.  CBT involves modifying thoughts and behaviors that contribute to symptoms, problems in functioning, and quality of life. It is one of the most research-supported forms of therapy and has been used effectively to address a wide range of psychological conditions. CBT can be tailored for young children or those who have additional psychological or developmental issues.

A well-recognized CBT method to treat tics is Habit Reversal Training (HRT) a group of techniques that include awareness training and learning to replace tics with competing movements.

Habit Reversal Training (HRT)

The most effective type of behavior therapy is Habit Reversal Training. This type of therapy makes people more aware of their old habits and allows them to develop counter-habits. The therapist performing the Habit Reversal Training helps her patient become aware of when a tic will occur, then helps him practice the counter-response to the tic signals his body gives. Most of the time, Habit Reversal Training is effective in naturally treating Tourette’s Syndrome.

Cognitive restructuring is another CBT method that is often used in treating TS.

Cognitive Restructuring

This strategy, as the name implies, involves learning to modify the upsetting or rigid thinking that frequently accompanies TS. Since reducing body tension and overall reactivity is essential for those with tics, relaxation and stress management strategies are important for those with TS to learn as well. CBT strategies are also indicated to address family stress that is related to TS.

There are some factors that help determine whether an individual is a good candidate for CBT. One factor is motivational level. Another factor is being able to detect the thoughts, sensations, or feelings that occur right before a tic is a positive sign.


Hypnosis has also been recognized as a treatment for the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome.  Hypnosis is a relaxed state of consciousness.  This state allows people to be more open to suggestions.  When the suggestions are related directly with their symptoms and anxiety, they are able to relax and make suggestions to reduce the Tourette Syndrome symptoms.

*Information provided from Tourette Syndrome Association

This a continuation of the post A new specialist for Tourette Syndrome…   In this previous post I described my son’s new doctor who specializes working with kids with Tourette Syndrome. He is not a typical doctor, but an expert in self-hypnosis, and my son enjoys talking with him. Our first appointment focused on the doctor getting to know my son and for my son to get comfortable talking to him. Dr Dan is a pretty funny guy and is fairly easy to talk with him.

This week we had another appointment with Dr. Dan. He began our second appointment by asking my son, “What did you think about our last meeting.”  My son said, “It was all good.  I also talked to my mom about what it meant when you asked me what types of tics I had.  I didn’t understand by what you meant by ‘types of tics.  We also talked about hypnosis.”

Description of a tic

The doctor asked my son, “What is your worst tic?”  My son said, “It is a yelling tic.” The doctor asked, “What happens when a tic starts?”   At first my son had a hard time describing it. I jumped into the discussion to help, and said to my son, “Think about where you are at when these tics start.” My son explained, I usually gets movement tics at the grocery store.”  The doctor then asked him what kinds of movements and my son showed him his jerking head tics.

My son explained to the doctor that there are so many people at the store and he felt like they were watching him. The doctor asked if the tics stop and if they do, how do they stop?   My son responded saying they just stop. The doctor asked if he was sure. He added, “Tell me what do you do when they start? What if you are not done shopping?” My son explained that sometimes he sits down on a bench at the store or he goes to the car. Then he does deep breathing to try to relax. The doctor exclaimed, “Well there is a lot that you are doing to make them stop.  You are removing yourself from the location, and your are doing deep breathing and trying to relax.”

He then said to my son that he knew that my son could not control the tics but did my son know what caused his tics.  My son couldn’t really answer.  The doctor turned to me and asked the same question.  I explained that when this first started I thought my son was doing it on purpose.  Later I realized it was tics, and it appears the tics are caused by stress.  The doctor responded that stress is a big word and has a big effect on many people.

The doctor went on to tell my son about one of his patients that had the same type of tic my son had except his yelling tic was so loud that when the boy had an appointment with the doctor other people in the building would come to his office to see if everything was all right. The doctor explained to my son that he ran into this boy’s mother at a local mall. The mother approached Dr. Dan and told him she wanted to update him on her son David. The woman said, “David is now 26 years old, has graduated from college and is married. He hasn’t had a yelling tic for over ten years.” The doctor then said to my son that we can make that happen with him too.


The doctor asked my son if he can go some place without physically moving. My son laughed and said no. The doctor said that he could, and he asked us to watch him do it. He closed his eyes and explained to us he was on the beach and his dog was sitting beside him.  He even reached out to pet the dog.  My son then understood that by imagining the beach the doctor could go there in his mind.

The doctor asked my son to participate in an experiment. He brought out a pad of paper and a pen. He asked my son to close his eyes and then write his name on the paper. After my son did this the doctor said keep your eyes closed and now write your name in cursive. Then he said my son could open his eyes. Looking at the piece of paper, my son had perfectly printed and wrote in cursive his first name.  The doctor asked how did you do that?  He continued, “Did you tell your hand that it should write the letters of your name, making them nicely spaced, and beginning your name with a capital letter?”  My son said, “No, I just imagined my name and then I wrote it.”  The doctor then said, “That is exactly what I am going to teach you to do which will help you with your tics, or taking shots or falling asleep at night.  He also asked my son how did he learn how to write his name so well.  My son said it was with practice.  The doctor explained that my son will need to practice in order to get the benefit from self-hypnosis.  The topic of practice came up several times during the discussion.

What is hypnosis

As I mentioned earlier my son and I had talked about this doctor being a specialist in hypnosis. Since my son brought up this discussion in the appointment Dr. Dan began talking about that topic.   A good portion of the appointment consisted of  talking about what hypnosis was. Dr. Dan first quizzed my son and asked him to describe what he knew about hypnosis. My son gave the typical Scooby Doo television description of hypnosis:

It’s like a trance.  A man takes a watch and swings it in front of the person, telling the person they are getting sleepy. The man then makes a suggestion that the hypnotized person do something, like squawk like a chicken. Soon the hypnotist snaps his fingers to wake up the guy. Everyone is laughing and the guy doesn’t understand what has just happened.

The doctor then told my son he was going to ask me what I knew about hypnosis, which he did.  I explained that of course I had seen hypnosis in cartoons, but I also participated in a hypnosis group in my college group.  Though I didn’t achieve what I wanted to achieve, I still used the relaxation techniques to this day.  During this description the doctor interrupted me at one point when I said that I did not accomplish what I wanted to with hypnosis.  He smiled and said, “Not yet.”

The doctor then turned to my son and asked if I had taught him those relaxing techniques.  My son said no, which really wasn’t true.  I had taught him visualization to get rid of hiccups.  When he was little we also used to breath and count when he had some of his seizures.  My son had also worked with a specialist who taught him biofeedback which used the deep breathing relaxing technique.  In fact my son tries to use that technique when we have to change his insulin inset, which is administered with a shot.  During this description the doctor interrupted me at one point when I said that I did not accomplish what I wanted to with hypnosis.  He smiled and said, “Not yet.”

The doctor explained that none of the TV depiction of hypnosis is true and that only you, yourself, can control your mind. He then went on a small tirade about the lack of ethics with these people who offer programs to stop smoking, losing weight, etc. or even worse, using the topic of hypnosis as a means of entertainment. He explained, hypnosis is a medical treatment and these people are practicing medicine without a license, which is against the law. He explained, that is why these people have a show for one day in a city and then they quickly leave town.  I could tell that this topic of giving the wrong impression about hypnosis really bothered this doctor.

As he was having this little tirade he was trying to get a TV ready to watch a VHS recording.  Soon his tirade of false impressions of hypnosis moved to a tirade about how the university doesn’t provide better equipment.  The TV was ancient.  The doctor wiggled all of the cords, and still the TV would not work.  He also said, “They won’t even pay to convert my videos to disc.  This is just another example of poor budgeting by our state government.”  As he continued to fiddle with the TV he mentioned that recently he got a phone call from a department in Washington D.C. asking him if the shut down of the state government, was impacting his access to his grant funds, which it wasn’t.

Demonstration by a previous patient

Soon the doctor came back to the task at hand and said that he was not going to waste our appointment time to deal with faulty equipment.  He said we will look at a different recording that he had on disc and could watch on his huge computer screen.  The DVD was a recording of a ten-year old girl explaining how hypnosis has affected her and how she does it.  She called it meditation rather than self-hypnosis.  She also explained what type of tics that she had, which ranged from a head turn to as extreme as coprolalia, which are swearing tics.  She called them bad word tics.  She demonstrated that as she relaxed, envisioning a nice place, she would then see a stop sign.  She said it was really “cool” because when she saw the stop sign her tics would stop.

Just three words:  3 and 6

At this point our appointment was getting close to the end.  The doctor wanted to give my son a tip for starting the process of self-hypnosis.  He said all you have to do is remember three words which are:  three and six.  He went on to explain that he wanted my son to practice breathing in deeply, through the nose, for at least three seconds, and then exhaling through the mouth for six seconds.  He demonstrated this and then asked my son what happens to the doctor’s shoulder when he does this.  My son said they go up when you breathed in and then they went down when you breathed out.  The doctor explained that as you continue doing the breathing exercise slowly the whole body would relax, all the way from the head to the toes.  Then to end our appointment he asked my son to practice this and he will see us at our next appointment.

A talent for children

Looking back at this appointment I realized why this doctor appeared to be good.  My son and I have been to many doctors, including pediatricians, neurologists and psychologist.  But none of them had the gift of talking to a child.  Yes, some of them changed their language and tone, but this doctor was different.  It was not just the style of the language but it was the progression of the topic.  He clearly lead my son through topics without my son realizing he was learning new things.  This doctor was really an expert at this.  He knew how to start down a topic, ease into it, get my son’s impression of it, and then provide the details of it, along with reinforcement.  As a result of this, the appointment was actually enjoyable.  The doctor even mentioned that my son was a very good listener, and remembered things that many people would not remember such as not using the words “trying” or “can’t.”  The way this doctor was working with my son was actually boosting my son’s self-esteem.  It was absolutely wonderful to watch.  I am looking forward to our next appointment in a couple of weeks.

To Be Continued . . .

This is a follow-up to my blog post called Tourette Syndrome, in search for help . . .  Read on if you want to know what life is like when your child has Tourette Syndrome and you are desperate to find help.  In my previous post I described the doctors we had been working with and getting no positive results.  I also described this push by the school to get my son medicated.  I  talked about the medications we tried.  Finally I went on a search for a specialist that worked specifically with children that had Tourette Syndrome and who would look at the full picture of my son’s well-being.

As I said in the earlier post, I found a doctor pretty much by accident and we had to wait five months for our appointment.  Finally the appointment day arrived.  On the way to the appointment, my son was frustrated and didn’t want to go.  He was tired of doctors and he didn’t want to talk about his tics.  So we had a little fight as we drove to the doctor appointment.

Finally we arrive and get through the paperwork with the receptionist and then were escorted to a waiting room.  There were only two other people in the waiting room, a father and a son.  Soon, an elderly, short man entered the waiting room.  His hair was  gray and pulled back into a  pony tail.  Plus he had a gray, long beard.  A little like Dumbledore.   Immediately upon seeing him, I thought to myself, what an odd little character.  Suddenly he said my son’s name.  I was a little shocked.  This was our doctor.  This was Doctor D who was a specialist that we hoped would help us.  Definitely non-traditional.  Definitely not what we are used to in the stuffy world of neurologists.

Doctor D is the  Director of the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Program and Clinical Director of the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic. In addition he is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and has a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Family Practice & Community Health. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and by the American Board of Medical Hypnosis.

I later found out that his research interests include exploration of cyberphysiologic (self-regulatory) abilities in children and adolescents with headaches, Tourette Syndrome, children with sleep disorders, and in the ability of children to learn and use self-hypnosis to alter and regulate physiologic functions.  His bio said:

As an advocate for children and youth who live in families in communities I have an abiding faith in children’s ability to develop and cultivate skills in self-regulation and participate actively in their care toward promoting and maintaining optimum health. I believe in children and their families, and listen carefully to what children say and how they say it to best understand how I can help them and their family to help themselves. Most children and teens (and their parents) are pleasantly surprised to discover that they can learn self-regulation methods that can help them often dramatically with a wide variety of problems, from managing every day stress, to reducing/eliminating pain, to coping with repetitive procedures, managing fears and other forms of anxiety, eliminating habits.

Dr D led us to his large office, which was full of soft chairs and couches arranged comfortable and it didn’t feel clinical.  There was also a table full of 70s and 80s toy memorabilia.  The discussion immediately started with jokes from the doctor.  In fact the joking never stopped throughout our appointment.  He spent the hour talking directly with my son, with an attempt to have my son describe what was going on and to get comfortable talking to him.  Occasionally, he would turn to me for clarification or for confirmation.  One of the rules he told my son was, in our future appointments there were two words that were not allowed.  The words were try and can’t.  He told my son instead we would be using the word do.  Basically ‘Just Do It’, which he claimed was his slogan and Nike didn’t pay him a dime for it.  More humor.    Throughout the appointment he would test my son during the conversation to see if he would use those words.  Interestingly, my son caught himself every time just before he would have used one of those words.  The doctor commented that my son caught on quickly.

The majority of the conversation was the doctor asking my son questions about what kind of tics he had.  I was surprised to learn that my son had a hard time describing them.  Initially he said his whole body felt tight and that it hurt.  The doctor asked him what other ‘kinds’ of tics did he have.  My son responded questionably, “There are different kinds of tics?”  With a little reminder he started remember some of the movement tics he had and the vocal tics he had.

Toward the end of the appointment the doctor told my son that he could guarantee that he could reduce the number of tics my son was having and the intensity of the tics.  I was a surprised when he said this.  I don’t think I have ever heard a doctor use the word guarantee.  The doctor also asked if my son was anxious taking his shots for his insulin.  We described that my son had a real hard time changing his inset for his pump which was administered with a needle into the body.  The doctor said he could teach my son so that he will not even feel the needles. I addition the doctor talked about my son’s inability to fall asleep without taking melatonin.  He said he could teach my son to fall asleep and would no longer need the melatonin.

The appointment concluded with a confirmation that our next appointment was in two weeks and that the doctor would be showing my son and myself a video to explain what he was going to do.  And that was it.  That was our appointment with this new doctor who appeared to be an expert at hypnotism and teaching children self-hypnosis.  I was excited.  He recognized that my son was dealing with a lot of medical issues and that there is anxiety and stress associated with having these medical problems.  As we left the appointment heading to the car my son, with a smile on his face, said, “He is a really good doctor.  I really like him.  He is a hippy.  Kind of like you.”  I laughed and couldn’t wait for our next appointment.  We were headed for a new adventure.

To Be Continued . . .