I received my clinical and complementary medical hypnotherapy training through the National Hypnotherapy Training Center in New Mexico and became a certified childbirth educator and fertility consultant in 2011, then went on to become a certified Integrative Life Coach through the Center for Integrative Hypnosis in New York.
I’m an instructor for the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association and the International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy (and current President of ICBCH’s Seattle Chapter), and I’m on faculty with the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Training Institute. Also, I teach on specialty topics at conferences, and I enjoy putting together customized training for medical professionals to integrate hypnosis into their practices.
It was pretty amazing. My dentist installed three “buttons” on my right arm — the first removed all sensation from my mouth and caused me to feel as if I’d had a big dose of anesthetic. The next button eliminated bleeding from peripheral blood vessels (the ones in the mouth). The third and final button caused me to stop salivating while the dentist worked on my teeth (no suction tube!). At each appointment, I was aware of the friendly dentist beside me, I’d feel pressure (but no pain) in my mouth, and all the while I was pretending to watch my favorite cartoon.
A more serious application of hypnosis for pain relief arrived with my first migraine at 14 years old. It hit hard and lasted several days. Over the next 20 years these migraines progressed from classic onset with aura, developing to hemiplegic migraines with weakness and paralysis, and vestibular migraines creating profound ongoing dizziness. Exploring alternatives to the unpleasant medicines, I rediscovered hypnosis. Although I had no “buttons” for comfort, with practice I raised the threshold for my tolerance to triggers, and used hypnotic tools to interrupt migraines at the beginning or reduce the misery for those that slipped past my defenses.
I have also used hypnotherapy following a traumatic event that sparked escalating anxiety and vigilance. Within a short time after my first session, the helplessness and anxious feelings lightened and lifted – a choice that had simply not been there before became obvious and readily accessible, and that once insurmountable anxiety has never returned.
The enhancement hypnosis can bring to the mind-body connection is something I’ve experienced personally. I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to assist others to use hypnosis for pain relief, emotional freedom, and improved wellness in many areas of life.
Kayla holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University. She is currently working remotely from Chicago, where she directs theater professionally.