Welcome to my August blog article! Through my counselling and hypnotherapy I see more and more people who experience pain on a daily basis. Chronic pain is pain that persists for more than 3 months and some cases people endure this pain for the rest of their lives. Acute pain is sudden but of short duration usually less than 3 months.
If you are someone that experiences chronic pain on a daily basis then you are one of millions in the UK. You will know that the pain effects your mood leading to depression, reduced self esteem and confidence, feelings of isolation and sense of hopelessness, as the pain prevents you from doing normal daily activities let alone recreational activities and hobbies. Maybe you are also someone who has tried the conventional routes of medicine which include physiotherapy, pain relief medication and possibly surgery.
However if these conventional routes are unsuccessful is hypnotherapy a useful alternative to managing pain? People considering this alternative route should ensure that a full diagnosis has been made via their GP. Pain tells us that something is wrong in our body and this should be thoroughly investigated before considering alternative routes.
When seeking a hypnotherapist they will require the full details of your pain and circumstances which would include symptoms, triggers and a description of the pain itself. The hypnotherapist will also ask numerous questions of you to ensure that they fully understand your circumstances and tolerance levels so that they can plan and tailor your sessions effectively. This may include a test with the client before treatment commences to identify whether they are able to visualise or if other modalities need to be considered. In addition the hypnotherapist needs to consider the wider implications of the client which would be any sleep problems, concentration levels, confidence or anxiety issues that also need to be factored into the sessions. Techniques used in hypnotherapy sessions related to pain management would include Progressive Muscle Relaxations (PMR), visualisations, distraction and diffusion techniques which can be taught and used as self techniques outside of the hypnotherapy session.
Hypnotherapy can be effective in managing pain; however its effectiveness is influenced by the motivation and expectations of the clients themselves. A hypnotherapist would ensure that your expectations are explored and discussed so that they are realistic. You can then make an informed decision whether to progress with therapy.
Each session is tailored to the needs of the client to incorporate any positive changes in pain management from the previous session. It is necessary to explore the complexities of how and why the body feels pain and then we can teach the mind and body to let go of unnecessary pain through positive hypnotherapy suggestion.
So going back to the original question can Hypnotherapy help manage pain….then the answer is there are alternatives to consider when you have tried conventional routes and hypnotherapy can be an effective alternative therapy.