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Keep Calm and Let the Sound Waves Do Their Job

By: Neil Adler, Freelance writer for INSIGHTEC
August 3, 2020

Beverly McGowan’s story is one of perseverance through relaxation.

Beverly first realized an issue when her hand began to tremble as she tried to use the mouse on her computer. She recognized it as an essential tremor as she had seen it as an issue with her father later in life. As her essential tremor progressed, Beverly was forced to retire from her nursing career. However, if you speak with Beverly you quickly learn she is not one to give up easily. She used her medical knowledge and experience to research what treatments might be available for her condition.

Beverly discovered a medical team in Florida that was performing a procedure using ultrasound to treat essential tremor. It was called Neuravive. The more she learned about the procedure, the clearer she became that this was the way to go.

She learned the focused ultrasound procedure would require her to be inside an MRI machine for several hours. For Beverly, this could have been a deal breaker as she had been experiencing a high degree of anxiety coupled with claustrophobia at the time.

She was torn about how to proceed but found two approaches that would help her prepare for the procedure and learn how to remain calm. They were hypnotherapy and mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is quite well known and entails breathing exercises that help to calm both the mind and body and bring you into the current moment. In other words, clear the mind of distractions. Beverly had some previous experience with hypnotherapy, successfully using the therapy to help her get through an accelerated Masters Nursing program several years ago. She knew that using the combination of hypnotherapy and meditation could bring about powerful changes in one’s psyche and were the right tools to employ to prepare for this procedure.

During her session with the hypnotherapist, Beverly was asked to relax and close her eyes. The hypnotherapist guided Beverly through visualizations of being in stressful situations and embedded positive thoughts and reinforcements into her subconscious to replace feelings of fear and panic. The 30-minute session was recorded and armed Beverly with a tool to help her remain calm during anxious moments that might occur during the procedure.

Beverly was instructed to listen to the recording every evening while falling asleep for 20 days. The idea was to introduce her to a new way of thinking that could override the “old recording” of negative thoughts that previously ran through her mind. These negative messages or “self talk”, were the source of her anxiety.

Hypnotherapy helped Beverly move mentally and emotionally in a calm and positive direction to remain at ease while in the MRI machine. For six months leading up to the treatment, she also listened to at least a 30-minute guided meditation on a daily basis and pictured what life would be like with a steady right hand. She changed her anxious and fearful mind talk into calm thoughts of being filled with joy, compassion, loving kindness and peace of mind. She became filled with confidence that the procedure was going to go well, that she would remain calm throughout and, in fact she would look forward to the procedure.

Her efforts paid off! When it was time for her to undergo the treatment, she felt like an excited teenager. She was completely confident in her ability to remain calm. “Hurry up, let’s get this going,” she exclaimed upon her arrival at the facility where she would undergo the treatment.

After the focused ultrasound procedure, Beverly felt like she had received a second shot at life. She has since returned to nursing where she is now doing home visits (virtually for now) as well as engaging in her passion as a photographer.

Beverly feels it is important to share her experience with others who may be considering the Neuravive procedure for ET and, like her, may be having some reservations or negative perceptions that are holding them back from going forward.

In addition to sharing her personal success story of improving her ET tremor with focused ultrasound technology with her patients, she is also engaged in educating the neurologists and providers in her area so that they can in turn pass on the information to their patients. Beverly recently went to Washington D.C. as a fly-in lobbyist to help support efforts to ensure national Medicare coverage for focused ultrasound treatment for medication-refractory essential tremor.

Beverly believes that her diligence with meditation and hypnotherapy gave her an incredible boost for the procedure and her experience. She hopes others can learn from her experience on how to stay calm and let the sound waves do their job!

This testimonial may not be representative of all treatment outcomes. For additional information about focused ultrasound for essential tremor, including safety information, please click here.

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