Former ER Nurse Ventures Into New Trend in Healing
By Lara Bricker
Hampton Union, Tuesday, August 26, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Lara Bricker Photo]
HAMPTON -- Sharon O'Connor was working as an emergency room nurse in Boston when she was drawn to learn about the role hypnosis can play in a person's health and wellness. She soon came to believe in the power of hypnotherapy and saw a way to combine her nursing skills with hypnosis to help people.
"As I worked with more and more people, I saw lots of healing happen," said O'Connor.
The Exeter woman left the hectic world of the emergency room behind to open Atlantic Complementary Medical Solutions on Dearborn Avenue in Hampton where she practices clinical hypnotherapy. She also has a line of creative visualization CDs that people can use on their own for a number of issues, from preparing for surgery or dealing with cancer, to general peace and wellness.
O'Connor attended the University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Technical College, Hypnotherapy Training Center of Boston, Banyon Hypnosis Center and studied ethics in medical practice at Harvard University. She became committed to the integration of complementary medical solutions into the primary health-care systems.
More medical professionals and health insurance companies are realizing the value of hypnotherapy as a complementary health service, she said. Research shows hypnosis is a valuable tool to help patients as they prepare for surgeries or medical procedures, as well as to reduce stress, which has been blamed for 60 to 90 per-cent of illness, O'Connor said.
Using hypnotherapy or guided imagery can help reduce health costs in the long nm. O'Connor uses the connection between the mind and body to help relieve stress and pain, speed healthy recovery and help the body subdue hundreds of ailments. Type II diabetes is an illness linked to stress, which often leads people to eat more unhealthy food as a coping mechanism.
"We know what stress has an impact on diabetes," O'Connor said, adding reducing stress through hypnotherapy is a tremendous preventative tool. "It's an amazing thing. It's so powerful, it's so simple and it doesn't have side effects."
A number of people come to O'Connor for help as they attempt to quit smoking. About 95 percent of those people are able to stop smoking after two sessions, though she points out people must truly want to stop a behavior for the treatment to work. "I Can't change their beliefs or their desires, but I can certainly help them make changes," she said.
Other people seek help from O'Connor to cope with anxiety, phobias, fear of the dentist, and infertility. Two years ago, O'Connor expanded her work to the line of creative visualization CD. She is working with several hospitals in the state to make the CDs available to patients and also sells them through her Web site and local office.
She says the CDs are a simple way for people to get into a more relaxed state prior to a medical procedure, which is beneficial on many levels. "A patient will typically approach a procedure with apprehension and anxiety, placing the immune system under stress. This is not a good beginning," she said. "By relaxing, the mind and body can be at their best."
She saw the relaxation CDs as a way to do more good through creative visualization. "I can help thousands, maybe millions of people. And it's also cost effective," she said, adding the cost of the CD is affordable and convenient. "Some people do it at night before they go to sleep."
O'Connor continues to see patients in her Hampton office and says the ability to positively impact her patients makes the job extremely rewarding. People often come to the first appointment anxious about what to expect and by the end of the visit they are a different person. By the second visit, the arrive much more relaxed and able to change their old habits for a better life. "I absolutely love what I do," she said.
Medical Solutions is
on Dearborn Avenue in
Hampton. For more Information,
go to www.atlanticcomplimentary.com or