Feeling miserable with pain, wishing we could have a minute of respite just to relax a bit but all we can think of and feel is pain, pulsing, throbbing, burning, shooting down, electrifying, coming in waves, piercing, like barbed wire, pins & needles, crawling under our skin… the more we try and distract ourselves from it the more we cannot stop thinking about it and just takes over our life.
Pain can feel in many different ways and when there is pain, the painful area is instinctively withdrawn, and as muscle tension increases, the pain intensifies.
Experiencing pain leads naturally to become anxious. Being anxious can increase your perception of pain as you become more stressed and focused on the sensation. Also the anticipation of pain caused by being anxious will create more anxiety which will increase the perception of pain in an endless vicious circle just like shown below
A big part of hypnosis for pain looks at this very issue: by helping your mind to react differently to the sensation of pain, anxiety levels reduce and thus does the perception of pain.
Hypnosis for pain aims to manage any fear and anxiety you may have relating to your pain and with the help of relaxing images that arouse physical relaxation, such as ‘floating’ or ‘lightness’, the muscles become relaxed and the pain is reduced.
This changes the thought patterns related to pain which can therefore make a huge difference to pain perception.
Having hypnosis as a tool also helps eliminate the stress that comes from not having control. In this we can take an active role in managing our pain by taking mental control in those instances where medication is not enough or where a desire for reducing medication is present.
Chronic pain conditions for which hypnosis has been used successfully include, among others, headache, backache, fibromyalgia, carcinoma-related pain, temporal mandibular disorder pain, and mixed chronic pain.
Studies show that more than 75% of people with chronic conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis and related diseases, experience significant pain relief using hypnosis, however the bearer of a chronic condition may require a comprehensive plan that targets various aspects besides the pain experience. This is because living with pain on a daily basis can be incredibly difficult – both physically and mentally.
Having to cope with long-term conditions can lead to increased levels of stress, insomnia and even depression.
And in such cases insomnia has an especially important role in the experience of pain. Sleep is crucial as it gives our minds and bodies time to recover from the day and resets our capacity for resiliency. If we are in pain and unable to sleep properly there is no proper re-setting and the stress and pain threshold becomes lower and lower with time.
Remember: “Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says I’M POSSIBLE!”
Hypnosis Reduces Frequency and Intensity of Migraines
Compared the treatment of migraine by hypnosis and autohypnosis with the treatment of migraine by the drug prochlorperazine (Stemetil). Results show that the number of attacks and the number of people who suffered blinding attacks were significantly lower for the group receiving hypnotherapy than for the group receiving prochlorperazine. For the group on hypnotherapy, these two measures were significantly lower when on hypnotherapy than when on the previous treatment. It is concluded that further trials of hypnotherapy are justified against some other treatment not solely associated with the ingestion of tablets.
Anderson JA, Basker MA, Dalton R, Migraine and hypnotherapy, International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 1975; 23(1): 48-58.
Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain
Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment.
Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.
Healed 41% faster from fracture
Healed significantly faster from surgery
Two studies from Harvard Medical School show hypnosis significantly reduces the time it takes to heal.
Study One: Six weeks after an ankle fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing.
Study Two: Three groups of people studied after breast reduction surgery. Hypnosis group healed “significantly faster” than supportive attention group and control group.
Harvard Medical School, Carol Ginandes and Union Institute in Cincinnati, Patricia Brooks, Harvard University Gazette Online at http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/05.08/01-hypnosis.html.