Imagine a stairway. It can be a grand marble staircase that belongs to Cinderella, or like mine, a circular, winding staircase in King Arthur’s castle that goes into secret passageways. This stairway is yours. You decide what it looks like, where it goes, how wide and how deep. Is it lit by chandeliers, candles or torches? It is entirely up to you. This staircase obeys your every command. If you want it to change at any time, just imagine it. Since you control everything here, it is a safe place.
Breathe deep. Let out your breath as slowly as possible. As you release the breath, take a step down your amazing staircase. Relax your body with each step, with each breath. Every time you step down, let go of your body, let go of worry. Try to focus on the breath out, taking longer to release than it did to breathe in. Decide what serves you best. Do you want to count how long it takes to run out of air and improve that score each time? Maybe it feels better to count the stairs instead. The deeper you go, the safer you feel. On the other hand, you may think “To hell with counting! I’m gonna slide down on a gurney or a meal tray!” (I’ve done that many times myself.) Count, don’t count, slip, slide, glide, or fly.
The whole beauty of it is that YOU decide. No one tells you what you can or cannot do. There are no rules. Make up stories, create doors that open to new worlds, open and shut them at will. Go here, go there, go everywhere. If you’d rather stay put, you can do that too. Share, or keep it to yourself. You can visit these stairs whenever you need them. They are, and always will be yours. I love mine. I have visited them for over 40 years. Self-hypnosis makes medical treatment a little less of a nightmare. See you in King Arthur’s Court!
Why is this important? Because Lara is passing on a very important tool for those cancer patients that might benefit from it. In 1976 at age 7-8, Lara learned how to hypnotize herself to make the pain of needle insertion disappear when she was receiving her chemotherapy. She would sit in front of her doctor, concentrate (read hypnotize herself) and then place her wrist on the table where the procedure would take place. It was humbling to watch this happen week after week after week for a very long time.