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Pain Management

Reduction or removal of pain (analgesia) is one of the most dramatic effects of hypnosis and suggestion, and is an excellent treatment for acute and chronic pain.

Hypnosis is a natural alternative to drugs for controlling pain. It works because your mind and body are connected: what is done to one affects the other.

Here's an example. Think about biting into a slice of lemon.

Really imagine the tart taste as the cool juice squirts onto your tongue.

What happened? Did your saliva start to flow?

Your thoughts caused your body's reaction!

Similarly, expectation determines the extent of your pain. If you expect pain with a certain procedure - like dental treatment for example - you will be prepared for pain and will experience it strongly. In other words it is your brain - your mind - that gives meaning to pain.

Hypnosis is very effective in relieving and controlling pain, and we know about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a pain management tool largely through the research and publications of Ernest Hillgard (former emeritus Professor of Psychology at Stanford University) who used a control research group to show that hypnosis was highly effective in managing pain.

One of the biggest ethical considerations for hypnotherapists should be that they rarely use hypnosis to treat pain unless the cause of that pain is already known and has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. Once that has been clearly understood, the client can be enabled to use their mental expectations to moderate pain.

By using hypnosis, it is possible to reprogram the way your body reacts to a painful situation, and these are some of the techniques and ways that it helps clients:

  • The use of different pain reduction techniques and all your senses help to make you feel painless, or even numb.
  • The use of ‘imagery’ can help stimulate the release of endorphins into your body.
  • Visualization of what you want to have happen triggers the correct physical response in your body.
  • Under hypnosis, I encourage the client to visualize soothing, healing endorphins reducing the pain: as they do so their pain will lessen and may completely disappear.(more to come....)

Under hypnosis, you will also be in a deeply relaxed state – which helps relieve pain. Headaches or IBS, for example, are aggravated by stress and therefore can be eased by relaxation alone. Even those conditions that are not directly stress-related can be helped with relaxation, as pain causes your muscles to tense up, and the tension increases the pain.

Since anticipation of pain makes it worse, hypnotherapy helps relieve your fear of pain if you are facing a situation that could be painful, such as natural childbirth. If you go into the procedure relaxed, without fear, and with confidence in your ability to handle the situation, and stay under control, it will be much less painful for you!

Last Updated (Thursday, 19 April 2012 00:14)


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