A Lancashire mum who almost died after taking antibiotics triggered off a health crisis lives with chronic pain as a result of her ordeal. She tells AASMA DAY how she is using hypnotherapy to help herself and others to live as full and as normal a life as possible.
GAZING adoringly at her youngest child Blake, Joe Alder knows he is a miracle, as he was born after she came close to death after suffering liver failure.
For Joe, Blake is a symbol of happiness and positivity and despite living with constant pain, she is determined to make the most of her life – and she wants to help encourage others to do the same.
Joe, 38, who lives in Garstang, near Preston, with partner Andy, began feeling extremely tired a few years ago, but put it down to being a busy working mum of two teenage children.
However, when she suddenly became ill and her skin turned yellow, specialists discovered Joe had liver failure.
Joe was horrified to be told a low dose antibiotic she had been taking for several years to prevent recurrent water infections had probably kickstarted the disease.
Luckily, Joe’s liver was treated with steroids and is currently stable.
However, she has been left with a number of chronic health conditions and suffers constant pain affecting her muscles and joints.
Joe’s condition meant she had to give up her job as a project manager for an energy consultant. However, she has re-trained as a hypnotherapist after finding the technique so helpful in managing her own pain.
Joe, who also has children Josh, 19 and Chloe, 15, says: “I have to manage it and learn to live with it as there is no cure. I have to take painkillers, but they only take the edge off the pain.
“I decided I did not want to be left like this and not do anything, and I wanted to do something to help people.
“I use hypnotherapy daily myself and it helps me stay positive and manage my pain.
“I decided to re-trained as a hypnotherapist, as I wanted to help others using ways I have done myself, as I know they work.”
Joe says having Blake, who has recently turned one, has been a massive boon, particularly as she suffered a miscarriage before she had him.
She says: “It was difficult during the pregnancy as I was not able to take painkillers, so was in a lot of pain.
“It was very tough, and I spent a lot of time during the pregnancy in my wheelchair.
“However, the labour did not faze me as I am used to living with chronic pain.
“I used hypnotherapy techniques during my pregnancy and the labour.
“Blake is amazing and both my older children adore him.
“Andy is a wonderful dad to Blake, as well as being a stepdad to my other two children. Andy has been fabulous throughout everything and has kept me going and focused.”
Joe wants to promote hypnotherapy for positivity by using it on a daily basis.
Joe explains: “Hypnotherapy has helped me manage my pain and I use it to relax and manage my own health conditions and anxiety and stress.
“Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand, but it can help manage your symptoms, and it is important to relax and let your body heal.”
Joe works from clinics in Preston and Broughton by appointment, and offers hypnotherapy for many different reasons including weight control, anxiety and stress, pain and illness, habits and addiction and confidence and motivation.
Joe says: “Someone with cancer might suffer loss of confidence and motivation and hypnotherapy can help with this.
“Hypnotherapy isn’t just useful for losing weight, as it can be used to focus on encouraging people with health conditions to eat more.
“Using hypnotherapy, I am more focused and positive, and I want other people to be able to manage their lives like I do.
“My aim is to give people the inspiration to make the most of their lives.”
Joe is now a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and is registered with the National Council of Hypnotherapy.
• For more details about Joe’s hypnotherapy, visit: www.joannealderhypnotherapy.co.uk.
• Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide, is often misunderstood by the public.
• Hypnotherapy is not a magic pill. It requires that the client be committed to change and prepared to make the effort to make that change a reality.
• Contrary to what many people believe, hypnosis is not always a trance state or a sleep state, even though a person in hypnosis may appear to be sleeping. Practitioners say hypnosis is really a natural state of mind and is an important part of everyday life. Whenever our mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as reading a book, driving a familiar route, watching a film we are in a state of hypnosis.
• Hypnosis can be used to help treat a wide range of issues such as: fears and phobias, physical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, skin conditions and migraines; anxiety and stress, panic attacks, tinnitus, fertility, insomnia and lack of confidence.
• Practitioners say it can also be used as a tool to manage pain, improve performance at work or in sport and improve birth outcomes.
• For more information about hypnotherapy, visit: www.hypnotherapists.org.uk