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Pain Relief

Pain is a combination of physical and emotional component of any abnormality within one’s body or mind. Chronic persistent pain can be physical or organic but when emotions combine with it, the pain becomes worse and difficult to treat. Actually pain without an emotional overlay is more tolerable and easily treatable. Fear, rage, worry, and depression can worsen pain. Pain may be mandatory but suffering is optional (Eimer B.N 1999).

Hypnosis is one of the most effective methods of treating pain. It induces a trance like state, which gives complete relaxation; a focused mind and acceptance of the desired objective in the subconscious mind and removes the negative thoughts from mind. It not only treats physical component of pain but also the emotional overlay. It can relieve pain of varying intensity from any part of the body.

Many consider hypnosis as a psychological form of pain relief than physiological, which limits its practice in medical therapy, even though it has lot of merits. Various theories and studies have discussed about the mechanism of hypnosis. A neuro-physiological basis has been suggested for hypnosis (Spiegel, 1989). It is considered that hypnosis decreases the amount of pain signal that is sent to the brain. This suggests that hypnosis provides some chemical inhibitory effect on pain conduction. In some cases nor-epinephrine levels seems to be higher in hypnotized patients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypnosis provides hypnoanalgesia (to reduce pain) and hypnoanesthesia (to convert pain to numbness). There are four main stages of hypnoanalgesia (Chaves, 1994). The first stage consists of preparation of patient, where the hypnotherapist clarifies the outcomes of the treatment. Second stage consists of direct or indirect hypnotic inductions, when the person enters a focused and relaxed state. The third stage is the stage of therapeutic suggestions where the therapist asks the person to think about some imagery and thus to forget pain and reach the desired target. The fourth stage is posthypnotic suggestion and termination, which helps to preserve the achieved goals.

Hypnosis is used in acute pain, chronic persistent pain and pain in cancer patients. Earlier hypnosis was used to relieve pain in amputation of limb when chemical anesthetics were not discovered (Manusov, 1990). Even nowadays it is used for anesthetic purposes in high- risk patients and those allergic to the chemical anesthetic agent. Burns patients respond to hypnosis in acute stages as well as during the healing process. It has been effective in pain relief and also in enhancing the healing process. It has been proved efficient in dental clinics for tooth extractions and minor procedures, to relieve labor pain for childbirths, migraine headaches, arthritic pains, back pain and neuralgia. Hypnosis is used for a painless procedure during angioplasties. Patients with chronic debilitating and terminal illness like leukemia and other cancerous conditions have shown excellent pain relief and even good improvement in their overall general conditions. It also controls the chemotherapy induced nausea, vomiting and headaches in cancer patients. People hypnotized for fibromyalgia, which presents with chronic muscle pain and sleep disorders have shown good pain relief as well as normal sleep patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The method of hypnosis is more important than the type of pain (Evans 1990). For acute pain, a hypnotherapist must focus on reducing anxiety and lowering the emphasis on pain. For chronic pain hypnosis must deal with both the physiological and psychological impacts of pain.

 Cognitive psychotherapy, waking state reframing and hypnosis help in changing the negative thinking. Hypnosis provides analgesia, imagery and relaxation technique. Self-hypnosis is an important tool in managing day-to-day pain by patients themselves.

Here are some ways to forget pain

  • Keep on diverting your mind away from the pain.
  • In most cases verbalizing again and again that there is no pain, gives good results.
  • A combination of biofeedback with hypnosis helps to reduce anxiety
  • The person may imagine some protective shield or somebody inside him is protecting him.
  • Pain is compared with a colored circle. When the circle is closer and darker, pain is more intense and when the circle is lighter and far pain is reduced.
  • Pain is transferred to a less significant place like earlobe where it is changed or decreased.
  • In dental departments one hand is made numb by dipping in ice water and the numb hand is placed in the painful spot. This is called glove anesthesia.
  • Regression therapy for self forgiveness
  • Recollect past happy events to forget the present painful situation and sufferings.

 Hypnosis has no deep or long lasting side effects and it is an easy technique. A common problem with chronic pain management with pain-killing drugs is that the brain gets accustomed to the drugs requiring higher and higher doses successively. Hypnosis on the other hand stops the brain from responding to pain signals.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypnosis has its own disadvantages. When pain is completely relieved the patient forgets his illness and thinks that he is perfectly normal and cured and puts lot of stress in the already affected region thus causing permanent damage. So it is always better to have some residual pain, to remind the patient of their illness so that they can be cautious. It cannot cure the disease but only relieve the pain in certain conditions. (Hawkins. R 1988)

Hypnosis has an important role to play in pain and pain perception. With hypnosis the treatment and healing process will require the physician and the patient’s active participation. So it is important to understand the advantages of hypnosis and use it more efficiently and extensively.

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Gabrielle Mancuso PhD, MscD  ~ SCIENCE OF HYPNOPSYCHOLOGY ®    Copyright © 1999-2013 All Rights Reserved
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The services rendered by Gabrielle Mancuso and Science of Intuitive Hypnopsychology® are held out to the public as a form of motivational coaching combined with instruction in self-hypnosis and Hypnosis and Intuitive Certifications. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. We do not represent our services as any form of medical health care or direct psychotherapy, and despite research to the contrary, by law we may make no health benefit claims for our services.
Last revisions made on 02/25/2013