Cara Gallucci, M.A., C.Ht., Certified Hypnotist, Meditation Instructor, and Reiki
OMNI Optimal Hypnosis
66 Central St. (Rte. 135), Suite 3
Wellesley, MA 02482 United States
Successful Treatment for Anxiety with Vomiting
A male high school junior, age 16, hoped that hypnosis would help him manage chronic anxiety with concurrent symptoms of nausea and frequent vomiting. The young man and his father came for an initial screening appointment. In addition to having the father’s permission to work with the son, I asked for and received written permission from the boy’s psychologist. Besides receiving ongoing therapy, the boy had been tested for allergies, but nothing had stood out. The family did not know of any physiological cause for the troubling physical symptoms. I myself was not convinced that there was not some underlying physiological issue in addition to the chronic anxiety, such as a candida infection or a food sensitivity that was not showing up as a full-blown allergy. However, my recommendation to consult with a holistic doctor or clinical nutritionist was ignored.
Bussiness Hours: By appointment only
Phone Consulting: Yes
Fees Schedule: All programs begin with a free screening. Fees will be discussed once we know whether we can accept you as a client.
As for the anxiety, it seemed to be connected to social and performance stress. This young man was intelligent, sensitive, and creative. He described himself as interested in writing, film, and politics, not at all athletic. When he was age 4, his family had moved to Europe. He had started first grade mid-year at an all-boys school where he felt his lack of athleticism was an issue. This stressful beginning may have set the tone for his overall experience of school. By fifth grade, he had trouble eating. Now, as a teenager, his symptoms were particularly bad in the mornings. He could not eat breakfast on schooldays and would usually start the day feeling nauseated, often to the point of vomiting. Symptoms were better during weekends and vacations, suggesting that school stress was a significant factor.
I did a 6-session stress management program with a strong emphasis on teaching him self-hypnosis and relaxation skills to empower him to take care of himself. We focused on themes of increasing his self-esteem, forgiving his body, reducing physical symptoms, developing a sense of belonging, being less hard on himself, and so on. He also received several CD’s to use at home. He really enjoyed the sessions and began using the CD’s and self-care techniques immediately. By our third session, he felt his symptoms had improved. He reported having a number of “good days.” By the fourth session, he reported having a whole week during which “every morning was a good morning!” At the end of the six sessions, he felt much improved and much more in control.
This work took place during the Fall term. About 3 months later, at the end of January, the father called to schedule some additional sessions. He felt his son had had a small setback, triggered—in his opinion—by the stress of starting to focus more on getting into college. I created another 6-session program, this time with an emphasis on teaching him a variety of meditation and visualization techniques while continuing earlier themes. The variety appealed to his creative temperament and increased his ability to choose for himself.
It was also at this time that, with worsening physical symptoms, he was diagnosed as having acid reflux, a painful problem from which both of his parents suffered. We addressed pain management in our sessions. Once again, our work got him back on track with relaxation and control of his symptoms. These additional sessions deepened and expanded the earlier learning he had accomplished. In addition, during the late Spring, he attended a hypnosis workshop I offered to help students get into the ideal alert but relaxed mindset for taking the SAT. In this way, he received support in handling stressful situations at key points throughout his pivotal junior year.