I’d always been sceptical about hypnotherapy. Acupuncture, spiritual healers, faith healers and Chi too for that matter. I dismissed them all as senseless waste of people’s time. But then I was brought up in the Cold, grey, North East of England during the late 70’s. Hardship was an everyday occurrence, Jobs were scarce and everywhere you looked people had to just ‘get on with it’.
Affliction was a regular part of life. A bump on the head was treated with a huge dollop of cheap butter, smeared on by your mothers baking spatula, whilst cuts, grazes and lacerations were cleansed using a simmering hot bath, mixed with a good dose of Dettol, usually on a ration of 50% water, 50% surgical disinfectant. I can’t begin to even imagine, had I dared to stay off school, that I’d ever mutter to my dad “I’m not bothering with school today father, I think I’ll relax and meditate here for the day instead whilst seeking enlightenment”. Any light I’d have found thereafter would have been from the operating theatre. Yep it was tough back in the day and you made sure you showed no sign of weakness.
Fast forward 40 years and I’m still based up in the North however times have changed. It’s now ok for boys to cry (now and again) You can tell a girl (other than your mam) that you love her, without been beaten to a pulp and you can even buy a half pint in your local without the barmaid calling you a wooly woofter. Unfortunately, anything mind related, whether that be depression, phobia or anxiety is still kept down to hushed tones as old habits die hard, although we’re getting better. One incident I can recall, I was out cycling with a friend of mine around the tranquil Yorkshire moors and thought the setting was right to hold a man to man conversation about some ‘issues’ I was having. He sped off and left me trailing in his wake and I never saw him again for a few weeks. To be fair to him though, he did text that same night and typed “If you ever needed to talk again mate, just holler” Like I said, we’re getting better.
So here I am, Mid 40’s and I’m starting to see the doctor more than before. He knows my name now, which isn’t good and after one recent visit he asked if he could take my blood…
Panic set in. My mouth became bone dry. Moisture began to form in places I never knew I had sweat glands and my inner chimp rattled its cage with such ferocity that I couldn’t think straight. With fight or flight mode demanding a decision, I chose to run and left the doctors in earnest when his back was turned. I can only imagine what he must have thought on turning around and seeing me gone. The only trace that I was ever there being a huge pool of human fluid on the floor. Either I had melted, had been abducted by aliens or was some kind of shape shifter. Either way, I bet he never told a soul, what with his mind playing tricks on him and him being from Middlesbrough? Nope he kept that to himself alright.
My fear of needles started early in life and if I had to pinpoint where exactly, I’d say around the time I developed yellow jaundice as a kid. I’ve never felt so ill and over the following weeks, I was used as a pin cushion. It was a disease that had gone unnoticed for a number of days, even when my skin looked like a shammy leather. The then doctor just told mam to lay of the Dettol for a bit and the pigments in my skin should retain their natural look over time. Though once the real diagnosis became evident, darts were thrown into my skin more regularly than Eric Bristow threw them at a cork board. I hated it, it hurt and I buried the resentment deep in my core and I’ve avoided having an injection ever since.
Now I understand that this can’t go on. At some point in my life I will require another injection. I’d also had numerous fall outs with my wife, who gives injections for a living, because I refused to go on an exotic holiday abroad as it required a needle.
And that brings me nicely to my chance meeting with Daniel Wellard. A lovely southern chap who happened to cross my path when work threw us both together. Now Daniel has a very different outlook on life than me. His wellbeing, his state of mind, his zen are all important to him. Where I tend to concentrate on where my next pint of bitter is coming from. We come from polar ends of the country and have different professions too, yet everyday Daniel would pop into my office and chew the fat over a cup of coffee, putting the world to rights, whilst whiling away a few minutes of work time. It’s there that he learned of my fear of needles and my reluctance to go on holiday.
“Bloody hell Mick, I can sort that out for you” he announced. “Come and see me.”
“How? By sticking a needle in me, yeah good one” I retorted
“By hypnotherapy” he replied, and I shot him that northern look that said ‘you calling me soft or something?’
Daniel knew not to push. If you wanted his assistance, he was more than willing to help but you had to at least go in there with him and give it 100% or what’s the point? Besides, Daniel’s a top bloke and I certainly wasn’t going waste his time by entering his practice with a ‘This is nonsense attitude’.
The next few weeks at work passed and it became apparent that a few of the other lads that worked there, had had hypnotherapy and for whatever it was that they needed aiding with, Daniel had really helped them. I listened intently, quietly on the periphery, Intrigued yet still Northern. I mean what would my old man say. Probably write me out of his will. But I still had a phobia with needles that needed dealing with.
So one night I sat with Daniel and when nobody else was in ear shot, I got him to explain hypnotherapy.
“Sounds like witchcraft” I said, “Nobody is controlling my mind, you’ll have me running around the rig like a chicken or something”
“It’s not like that” he reassured “look I’ll leave Sunday evening free in my dairy, if you want to come along and give it a try, fine I can help, if not, then that’s fine too I’ll leave it up to you. He’d left the ball well and truly in my court.
Sunday arrived and I decided I had nothing to lose. Ok maybe a little face. I almost got to his door undetected, but at the last moment I was accosted by a co-worker who asked why I was going to Daniel’s.
“Oh he wants a push up competition” I replied, flexing my arms like a seasoned body builder. Excuse seemingly bought, I burst in through the door of Daniel practise and sat in a comfy chair facing Him.
It would be unfair of me to type here how Daniel goes about his craft. Besides I’ve got nothing else to compare it too. But if you’re reading this and you’re like me, let me say this. Daniel puts you at ease. He doesn’t climb inside your head, doesn’t disable your body so you can’t move, and you can get up and go at any time you so wish. He talks to you, makes you feel relaxed and puts a different spin on your fears. He rationalises it so that it all makes sense.
Once we were finished, Daniel asked If I would like to see a needle.
“Sure, why not” I replied. No harm in my holding it I suppose.
“Do you want me to pretend to give you a needle?” He next said, and I found myself Rolling my own sleeve up.
“I promise I won’t puncture your skin” he next said and I 100% believed him before allowing him to place a tourniquet around my arm. He then rested a sharp needle on my skin just above the vein.
I can’t put that moment into words. So I won’t try, other than to say that nobody has gotten to within 10 foot of me holding a needle since I was a small child. How does he do it? I don’t know. Would I recommend Daniel? Absolutely. Have I had a needle yet? No, its not been required, Am I scared of them anymore? No.
Visit Daniel Wellard at DynamicHorizons. What have you got to lose?