Karen Hoving, Ph.D. 


Mindfulness for Chronic Pain, Stress, and PTSD. A Cure All?

Many years ago, in the early 1980’s I had never heard of Mindfulness. But I had heard of Meditation and Hypnosis. What I knew about Hypnosis and Mediation were very similar. It was about getting your subconscious mind into a deep level of relaxation.

There are four levels of brainwaves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta (14 – 40 Hz) is the level your brain is in when you are actively involved in a conversation. It is a state of waking consciousness, when you are alert and a heightened state of awareness.

Alpha (7 – 14 Hz) is considered the relaxation brain wave. This is  typically the level your brain is in when you are in a state of hypnosis. We are aware of everything around us, but are deeply relaxed.

Theta is a deeper level : approximately 4-7Hz, your consciousness is deeply relaxed and you feel as though you are drifting in and out of consciousness because you are so relaxed.

Finally, there is Delta which is unconsciousness. Your brain waves are between 1-4 Hz. This is when you are deeply asleep.

When one goes into hypnosis you tend to bounce between Alpha and Theta states, depending on how comfortable you are with the person relaxing you and how many times you have worked with hypnosis or meditation. The more often you practice hypnosis, meditation or mindfulness you tend to go deeper and deeper.

Mindfulness is something that people started hearing about in the 80’s mostly because of the work of Jon Kabbot-Zinn. While I was utilizing hypnosis, Dr Zinn was a scientist at MIT (if memory serves!) studying the benefits of mindfulness or meditation. He has written over 10 books on the benefits of mindfulness, and several schools have added mindfulness programs in their schools. They have found that the children had an increase in math scores, they were more focused during class, and their behavior all in all showed dramatic improvement (http://time.com/3682311/mindfulness-math/). Now, I don’t know about you, but if my patients would teach their children to do a 10-40 minute period of meditation every day that would help them focus, I’d rather they did that then pop a ritalin ( and this is being written by someone who wrote their doctoral dissertation on AD/HD!)

Here is an article that came out recently about mindfulness and dealing with stress and dealing with children. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/05/mindfulness-parental-anxiety?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150502.

Please take a few minutes and read this article on mindfulness when you are experience severe stress- like having children that are sick when you are WAY over the edge!

Two years ago, Anderson Cooper did a program on Mindfulness on 60 minutes. For those of you that prefer watching as opposed to reading, here are some videos on what Anderson Cooper discovered on how mindfulness works, how it helps with depression, PTSD, stress management, pain control, and various other issues.


If you are interested in learning Mindfulness contact me and I can help. Or there are some programs utilizing these programs online for free.


About the Author:

Denver, Colorado Psychotherapist
Dr Karen Hoving

Dr Karen Hoving has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She specializes in Depression, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with predominately women. She works south of Denver in Aurora, CO and has been in practice since 1990. In the 1980’s she had a full time Hypnotherapy Practice in Ohio.

Dr Karen    720.878.8891

Leave a reply

Get in Touch

Please fill out all the fields below.