I was afflicted for 20 years with chronic dizziness that occurred any time I changed head positions, like lying down, sitting up, rolling over in bed, having my head too low on a flat pillow, looking up at the ceiling, fast changes in head position, etc. I could never consider putting my head down low to look for something under the seat in the car or under the bed. If I did any of these movements, I would instantly regret it because my world would spin around for an interminable few minutes. I saw an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor regularly and a balance doctor, as well. Nothing they tried would help reduce the dizziness. Once, for a few days, it became really bad and I had to crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees, because if I tried to walk, I’d just fall over from the continuous dizziness. Of course, the vertigo, when bad, has always brought on instantaneous severe nausea.
The balance doctor gave me a head movement exercise to do at home, called the Epley, which brought on the dizziness so severely, I vomited into a trash can and couldn’t continue it. A few years ago my husband and I were on a trip to visit the New England states and then Montreal. While in New Hampshire, I suddenly had severe continuous dizziness, such that I had to move very slowly and hold onto my husband, the walls, or the furniture. It lasted for days, trapping us at the hotel and cutting our vacation short.
Nothing had helped in 20 years, but then I tried yelling at my mind when the dizziness came on from a head position change. Yes, in my mind I yelled, “STOP” to myself. To my shock, the dizziness instantly stopped. So I did it again the next time I got dizzy from a position change…and the next time….and it stopped immediately every time. I was baffled. Never before had anything ever stopped it once it got started—it just had to stop on its own. Or so I thought.
Next, I did hypnosis while I was feeling dizzy from a head position change. While in the hypnotic state, I searched my memory banks for a time in my childhood when I also felt that spinning, dizzy feeling, and I remembered in vivid detail when I was at the beach with my parents and in the ocean alone. I was perhaps 7, so pretty small. In the ocean I was jumping the waves, but a big one hit me and I was too short to jump above it. It knocked me under the ocean water, which felt very deep since I was little. The wave spun me around and around under water, so much that I got disoriented and could no longer tell which way was up. I was terrified that I’d drown before the water stopped spinning me and I could figure out how to get my head above the water. While I was spinning I remember wondering why no one, not my parents nor the lifeguard nor anyone near me, knew that I was in trouble under the water, and I felt angry about that. Needless to say, I finally stopped being controlled by the force of the water, found the top of the ocean and survived.
I re-experienced that spinning under the water, as well as the fear of dying, at age 7, while I was feeling the dizziness in current day. I can’t explain it, but I have not had a single bout of dizziness since that hypnosis session. Prior to that session, I would have sworn that my vertigo problem was all from my inner ears, period. That’s the power of hypnosis.