. Pain management through Hypnosis
If you are someone who experiences Chronic Pain, read on. In this article I talk about how this can be helped through Hypnosis.
For a number of years I’ve been very interested in two key uses of Hypnosis in Clinical settings. The first of these is the use of Hypnosis for the treatment of ‘The Tree Ugly Sisters’ Depression, Anxiety and Panic, and I’m working on a new blog about that at the moment. The second is the use of Hypnosis in the treatment of Chronic Pain. I have a particular reason for this second theme, which I’ll talk about later, below. But more broadly, chronic pain is very widespread and has a huge impact on a great many lives.
Did you know:
Over 8 million people in the UK say they are in chronic (persistent) pain.
19.5 million people in the UK are in pain at least once a day
16% of over 16s in the UK are in constant (chronic) pain
38% of over 16s in the UK experience noticeable pain at least once a day
60% of over 16s in the UK experience pain at least weekly
The cost of prescriptions from the NHS is huge
Many pain killers are addictive and have unwanted side effects.
Research carried out in 2020 suggests that chronic pain affects between one third and one half of the UK population at some stage in our lives. With many people from a wide a rang of backgrounds ethnicities and demographics experiencing prolonged and unremitting chronic pain.
The pain being referred to here is often a symptom of a long term health condition such as Long Covid, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Functional Neurological Disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Myalgic encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Endometriosis. In some cases the pain itself is in effect the health condition for example in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Chronic Pain is a ‘whole lot of life factors problem’, so effective management needs to take a whole life approach. Put simply, the way we experience pain is highly influenced by our overall well-being.
Most of us can recognise stressful or emotional situations that have affected our pain. It might have been tiredness following too little sleep, an argument with spouse or kids, a rough day at work, anxiety about paying overdue bills, or grief over death of friend.
Hypnosis is a process in which we enter an altered state of consciousness. A therapist utilises this natural individual ability and induces it in the client, while minimising the usual distractions that are part of our life. Hypnosis can then be used to heighten one’s responsiveness to suggestions that helps alter thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physiological state.
Although each person responds differently to hypnosis, no negative reviews are associated with this treatment so far. In fact the Royal Society of Medicine not only recognises the value of Hypnosis, it is running profession development sessions for its members on this very subject. More and more Doctors and other medical professionals are incorporating Hypnosis into their practice, especially around pain management and anaesthesia.
And there is plenty of research to back up this increased use. Research for example using MRI to scan people brains whilst they experienced a guided hypnosis session. Which found that distinct sections of the brain have altered activity and connectivity whilst the person is experiencing hypnosis. The areas which showed changes were areas involved in focused attention, the control of the body’s functioning and the awareness of both internal and external environments.
Some years ago I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a form of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This left me reliant on a wheelchair for my mobility and in constant pain. I found that the two most effective treatments to be meditation and Hypnosis. So guess what I trained in? That’s right, I became a fully qualified Hypnotherapist and a meditation teacher; to be able to help others.
I still have a wheelchair, it’s in the loft and is only used very occasionally if I’m having a ‘bad patch’. This is probably a couple of times per year. I haven’t been cured of my pain, I’ve learned to live well with it and to manage it. Without medication and without distress.
I feel privileged to be in this position and would love to talk to you about it, explore the possibility that I could support you on a journey towards a life more free of the restrictions imposed by Chronic Pain.