I would like to offer my sincere apologies to readers who have been writing me over the last few weeks wondering where I have gone.
Well, I’m still here in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China!
Recently, I have shifted my focus from the Kunming Walking Program to full-time trading 10-to-12 hours a day. “A girl has to make a living!”
I pretty much use the SCI rehab center at Tongren Hospital as a gym now, working out vigorously 4-to-5 days a week for about 2 1/2 hours each day in order to stay in shape.
I will be slowing down my blog post entries over the coming months as I will be focusing a majority of my time on work. When I do post, I will update my blog with general news and photos of what I’m up to over here in China, and I will also focus on the progressive pain-reduction work I have been doing with my Chicago-based hypnotherapist, Dr. Stephen Kahn.
I have been working with Dr. Kahn for the last 4 months to reduce the intense chronic neuropathic pain that has plagued me for the past couple of years.
Before Steve Kahn’s involvement, I had tried surgical (spinal cord de-tethering) + drug (Lithium carbonate) + physical (acupuncture) solutions to address my pain, but I had no luck with any of these initiatives.
Since pain represents how the brain interprets incoming signals, it stands to reason that I should be able to change how my brain interprets these signals. And hypnotherapy has a clinical history of more than 100 years of being able to deal effectively with a wide range of pain issues.
For readers who may be interested in learning more about clinical hypnotherapy for pain management, I’ll be happy to provide details on a couple of exceptional books that are available in both physical and Kindle format.
I have tried meditation on my own, but I just could not focus by myself, and the meditation recording I was working with was perhaps not personalized enough for my specific needs.
The back story here is that my Dad and a very dear family friend, Ted Hearne, got together in Chicago early last June and interviewed Dr. Kahn, who subsequently agreed to work with me here in China several times a week via Skype video conferencing.
I prefer hypnotherapy, as opposed to meditation, because hypnotherapy provides me with guided visualizations that allow me to focus on specific pain issues. And while every SCI survivor is unique, I have already become a serious advocate of hypnotherapy and guided meditation.
Over the last few months, I would say my pain levels may not necessarily have gone down in an easily quantifiable way, but I’ve learned to refocus my attention, which distracts me from the chronic pain of pins and needles that I experience constantly with varying degrees of intensity.
Many therapies can take a lot of time and effort to produce meaningful results, so I’m minded to be patient with hypnotherapy, as it seems to be working already at some level. I practice every day with my own personal recordings that Dr. Kahn has made for me, and I work with him over video Skype several times a week.
I will keep you updated on my progress, but so far this is the most useful pain management strategy I have found, and I intend to pursue it. Indeed, Dr. Kahn has accepted our invitation to travel to Kunming to work with me face-to-face, and he arrives from Chicago on November 13th for a stay of 10 days.
In heartfelt appreciation …
On a different note, I wanted to take a moment to thank each of my readers for your support over the last two years. I would not have continued writing my blog without your encouragement and comments. Receiving the love and support of friends and family has been absolutely invaluable to my recovery and, yes, continued progress.
Thank You … each and every one of you!
And finally, a special announcement …
In closing today, I have a BIG announcement … I have decided to move back to the United States in April of 2015.
I will be moving to Raleigh, North Carolina and will live just several blocks from my sister, Tiffany, who has resided in Raleigh for the last 10 years. Raleigh (and the greater Research Triangle) is simply a wonderful community populated with exceptionally interesting people.
Tiffany and I have wanted to live nearby one another since we were children, and we have finally decided to take the leap! My sister and I have had the closest imaginable relationship since we were very small. So I’m really extraordinarily fortunate to have my sister as one of my very best friends, and I am so excited to move to Raleigh!
We are starting to organize now with finding an apartment, caregivers, etc. As you can imagine, moving a quadriplegic halfway across the world and getting her installed in her own home is quite an undertaking!
But then … we did it in China … :)
Until the next blog, I welcome anyone who wants to stay in constant contact with me to e-mail directly at Ali@Ingersoll.org. I am pretty good at responding to email within 48 hours.