October Newsletter 2010

Can I help?

– or –

Call me: 07753957371

I am very pleased to announce that I have become a trustee for Anxiety UK. I am also on the IBS register as a therapist offering help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and I have also completed a course in Hypnotherapy for Tinnitus.

Sleeping well course

The sleeping well course will comprise of a series of four monthly sessions with homework in between and will run at Sett Valley Medical practice from 6.30pm until 7.30pm and all are welcome. Bookings will be taken from January 2011. Please book your place f with Corrine at Sett Valley on Telephone 01663 743483 is essential as places are limited to 8 per course. The cost is just £40 per person payable in full before the first session to reserve your place. The course will begin in January 2011 – date to be confirmed. If you would like further information you can send me an email or give me a call.


Each issue I will include a ‘tips’ section on varying topics.

This issue, I will be focusing on tips to help you manage pain. Top tips taken from Powys health board website.

  • Have a go at getting yourself into a routine.

It can be very difficult to have any kind of a daily routine when you have chronic pain.  You may find that your pain is pretty much in control of what and how much you do. If you can begin to develop a routine, this may help you to regain control over your lifestyle.  Maybe use a diary to plan your daily activities. For example, perhaps you could set yourself a goal to walk a short distance every morning. Your body is likely to get used to this repetition and it is the beginning of a routine. Or have a go at getting up at the same time each morning – whether you have had a good night’s sleep or not. This will help create a daily routine. Having a routine may also help you sleep better at night and may help to reduce catnapping during the day.

  • Do some gentle stretches each morning

Before you get out of bed in the morning roll on to your back and gently stretch out your arms, back and legs. As you relax again, breathe out slowly and allow the stiffness to flow out of your body. People with chronic pain may find that they are especially painful and stiff when they get out of bed. Relaxed stretching movements done every day may help you to loosen up a bit.

  • Set priorities and realistic goals

With limited energy, mobility and confidence it is important to look at what matters in your life. Ask yourself what you want. Decide what would be helpful for you in your present situation rather than what have been your priorities in the past. Are you telling yourself that ‘I should be doing this’ or ‘I must finish that’ or ‘I ought to have done that’?  If you are, it is likely you are pushing yourself and trying to do things as you have always done them. You won’t be able to do everything you used to do, so make a plan of what you can do reasonably easily and what you want to do.

  • Avoid staying in one position for long periods

Remind yourself to change your position and your daily activities regularly. Change position every 10 to 15 minutes so that you don’t stiffen up and make your symptoms worse.

Follow the “read more” link to read the full article, followed by ‘Ask Annette’ and the rest of this month’s exciting newsletter!

  • Break up your daily activities into manageable portions.

Break your daily tasks and chores into smaller more manageable steps that you do more easily taking rest breaks in between each step. This is called pacing, and it can help you manage your pain better by not pushing yourself, overdoing and aggravating your pain. Pacing can help you to complete your daily activities more comfortably.

  • Make time for yourself each day and give yourself a treat.

It is important to value yourself even though your life has changed and you are restricted in what you can do. Acknowledge your achievements and reward yourself with something you enjoy.

  • Keep a record of your medication

Do you take your pain medication at set times or when your symptoms are worse? Does the medication reduce your pain? Keep a record of when you take it and how effective it is. You may find that pain killers are not doing their job, or that the side effects are greater than the benefits.

  • Treat yourself with respect

You have the right to treat yourself with respect, to say ‘no’ without guilt and to accept yourself as you are. Have a go at looking after yourself as you would look after a good friend.

  • Take a look at the stresses and strains in your life

Make a list of stresses in your life. There will be some that you can do nothing about. Cross them off the list. Look at the remainder and put them in order of importance. Have a go at coping with the little stresses first. This may well help you to feel less overwhelmed by anxiety and worry. Relaxation practice can also reduce stress – see next suggestion!

  • Have a go at some relaxation practice.

Relaxation skills can be very useful for people with chronic pain. There are a number of ways to lean to relax, using tapes, music, meditation or aromatherapy oils, for example. Prepare yourself for relaxation. Arrange some ‘time out’ each day to listen to music, have a scented bath, relax with a crossword or just listen to your breathing. You may also like to practise being relaxed when you are going about your everyday business. If you find you get tense when you are shopping, for example, take time to relax your shoulders and arms and breathe calmly.

  • Look at the amount of caffeine you drink

Coffee and tea may be keeping you awake at night.  Have a go at reducing the amount of tea and coffee that you have in the evening. A milky drink before bed can help improve sleep. You may find it helpful to replace some coffee or tea with water, juice or squash.

I would also include on the list

  • Mindfulness- when you are walking – this is a good time to practice mindful awareness – being in touch with and being fully aware, in the present moment, of all you can see, hear, and feel on your walk. Mindfulness enables you to switch off from the busy and demanding days and all the joys and challenges they bring- giving you time to acknowledge the space and peace around you. There is much evidence to show that mindfulness helps lift mood and increases overall well being.

Each Wednesday at Blythe House hospice Dave Oldham runs a mindfulness meditation group- if you are local to Chapel en le frith, this class is well worth attending and all proceeds go to the hospice. For further information, contact the hospice on 01298 815388. Otherwise if you live farther afield then I would suggest looking out for mindfulness meditation classes and learning the practice- it is simple, safe , and most importantly- effective.

‘Ask Annette’

A lot of you have asked about ‘Tinnitus’ So I am including information taken from David Collingwood Bell’s overview from a recently written chapter on Tinnitus. David is Specialist Adviser on Tinnitus to the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

I would like to begin with a quote:

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances” (Victor Frankl)

“The Otolaryngology Department of the Hadassah Medical Centre, incorporating a hospital with an international reputation for successfully specialising in and treating tinnitus, defines tinnitus as ‘a subjective complaint of hearing a sound or sounds that are attributed to the ears or the head. The sound is simple and has no linguistic meaning. In that respect it is different from auditory hallucinations.”

“The distressing noise or noises of tinnitus that are heard in one or both ears or the head are generated entirely within the individual in the absence of any external source. Distressing, even debilitating, as it may be, tinnitus is not a disease and in itself is not causing harm.”

“… Tinnitus can cause much emotional distress in many patients, resulting in such symptoms as irritability, high anxiety, depression, difficulties in concentration and sleeping problems. It can also negatively affect relationships and activities at work, home and social life.”

“Stress can be a significant factor in most cases of tinnitus and a number of research studies have found this correlation between stress and tinnitus, both from the point of view that the annoyance and suffering created by the aberrant noise creates stress and that excessive stress may well have contributed to the onset of the tinnitus in the first place.”

“..it is the reaction to and the attitude towards the tinnitus that are the crucial factors; this is why psychological therapies, such as hypnotherapy, are considered to be the most effective.”

Some treatment approaches may include:


Creating an alternative focus of attention to distract the patient away from the tinnitus, thus starting the process of habituation and giving hope by allowing the tinnitus, even for brief moments at first, to stop dominating the foreground of the patient’s experience.


Deep relaxation is a significant part of the healing process and a foundation for subsequent treatment interventions.”

 For further information on Tinnitus you can go to the website of “The British Tinnitus Association” www.tinnitus.org.uk

Relaxation classes and workshops

 Monday morning classes continue to prove popular and run from 10-11.00am in the community centre with a warm and friendly group.

The relaxation class is a really good way of boosting your energy reserves, and is a great way of boosting your immune system. It is a useful practice to do every day but this can sometimes be difficult so the classes help to give you some time each week for this beneficial practice. It is also a chance to share tips / ask questions about any concerns you may have around areas such as sleep and stress management.


My CDs are available to buy at my classes or from my practice by arrangement. Alternatively I can send them to you by post but there will be a £2.00 P&P delivery cost- for first class recorded delivery and safe packing. Each CD is £10.00

There are five CDs titles in all:

Sleeping Well; Weight Management; Relaxation: Tranquil beach; Relaxation: Tranquil forest

Relaxation: Tranquil garden

Also, I can now offer a new CD – Positive self esteem.

Recommended reading:

Pain relief without support: by Jan Sadler of ‘pain support’ (www.painsupport.co.uk)

Living with chronic pain
, Neil Berry, 2001. CD and tape. www.chronicpain.org.uk
or directly – £4.50 for one, incl.p&p – from: Pain CD, P O Box 84, Blackburn BB2 7GH
Listening version of pain management methods, well explained and easy to follow

Manage your pain
, Michael Nicholas, Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin & Lee Beeston, 2003. Souvenir press, paperback. ISBN 028563679. Well written, excellent all-round coverage of pain management methods, for patients and professionals

Turning the volume down- Kevin Hogan (A very useful book on Tinnitus)

Please note my tips and shared information are not a replacement for medical advice. They are intended for personal growth and development and to enable you to think about new ways of addressing and overcoming emotional challenges. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes if you are under medical care, this includes medication regimes.