Health and well-being are real concerns for so many people today, yet most physicians have only a little time to talk about them. When your life is changed because of health problems — you’re own, or those of someone close to you — it can be stressful and overwhelming.
As an experienced family physician, I can examine your individual situation and review the diagnosis and treatment recommendations from your other health-care providers. I can work with you on medical decision-making. We can evaluate any other medical care that may be of benefit to you, including both standard and complementary / alternative care, as well as preventive care and stress reduction, thinking “outside the box” whenever necessary. I can help you explore options and services appropriate to your particular situation, and can help you navigate the often daunting and confusing world of the health-care system.
Medical Counseling can help you and your family through many different kinds of challenges that occur in life. A few of these are described below. This list isn’t all-inclusive; if you have a concern or situation that isn’t discussed here, please contact Dr. Md. Shafiullah Prodhan to find out how Medical Counseling can be of benefit.
Medical Counseling and Cancer Treatment
When someone gets a diagnosis of cancer, it is overwhelming. There is the initial shock of what may be a life-threatening diagnosis. Then come so many decisions to be made about treatment; and the treatment itself can be onerous. Eventually, one (usually) faces life after cancer treatment (the cancer is cured or is treated as a chronic long-term illness), or there may be palliative and end-of-life care.
All of these phases are often accompanied by anxiety, which can be intense. Communication challenges (with family, caregivers, and providers), depression, and the need to endure difficult treatments can add to the stress, along with pain and other physical discomfort.
After treatment, moving on with life — assuming a new identity as a person who has had cancer — may bring its own anxieties. In these circumstances, it is important to find meaning, and to draw on inner resources for healing of body, mind, and spirit.
In Medical Counseling, I use powerful tools such as guided imagery, meditation, neuroplastic techniques, and psychotherapy to help people living with cancer.
Guided imagery can help people discover their own wisdom and strength, set personal and treatment goals, make decisions, and manage stress and anxiety. It is effectively used (as documented in many studies) to prepare for surgery and other treatments, eliminate hopelessness, help people tolerate treatment, relieve pain, and facilitate healing.
Cancer treatments are often arduous. When people are able to tolerate the treatments well enough to stick with them, they have a better chance for survival. A full 31% of cancer patients in one study discontinued chemotherapy because of anxiety and/or depression. Studies show that guided imagery decreases anxiety and depression, thus allowing more people to tolerate treatment. (Nausea and fatigue are also reduced.) Guided imagery is likely to have a positive effect on both comfort and survival.
Medical Counseling and Surgery
When you need surgery, you want to have the best outcome possible. You choose your surgeon with care for expertise, skill, communication, and caring.
It’s possible to improve your outcome by using recorded guided imagery before your surgery.
In a single visit, I work with you to create your own personalized imagery recording to prepare you to come through surgery with the best possible outcome.
Medical studies show that relaxation with guided imagery and/or self-hypnosis before and during surgery can:
Significantly reduce pain
Reduce need for pain medication
Return the intestines to normal function more rapidly
Shorten the hospital stay
Help people tolerate and comply with treatment
Help people do better in rehabilitation
The Importance of Meaning
Our goal in this time together is to encourage both wellness and healing. We seek physical wellness, not realizing that healing (“wholeness”) can also be experienced during illness and even at the end of life. This allows us to find meaning even when we are beset by harsh difficulties. It allows comfort with the mystery that is life, giving us the ability to go forward with our lives, embracing them, and live fully and completely.
Medical studies show that techniques connecting body, mind, and spirit can help with:
increasing the effectiveness of medical treatments, while decreasing side effects
strengthening the immune system
reducing stress, anxiety, and depression
providing faster and more comfortable recovery from surgery
decreasing the risk of medical illness, such as high blood pressure and heart attack
better quality of life
Some of these techniques include:
Accessing your own intuitive process
Music, art, and movement
We now know that the brain changes throughout our entire lives as it “learns” from our perceptions and experience. This ability is called “neuroplasticity.” Pain, discomfort from illness, anxiety, and depression actually change the brain itself, creating pathways that can increase and prolong those symptoms.
In individual Medical Counseling, and also in my groups (“A Change of Mind: Neuroplastic Tools for Healing”), I can teach you how to understand what is happening in your brain when you suffer pain, discomfort, anxiety, and depression.
With this understanding, you can then learn how to direct focused information from your senses and thoughts using a method that is most likely to create change within the brain.
As your brain pathways gradually change, your symptoms can also change, and you begin to feel better.
These techniques are based on the work of Dr. Md. Shafiullah Prodhan.