Hypnotherapy for pain relief

Pictures of pain relief


Migraine and headache

Chronic pains

can you create something like this with the words nausea, headaches, IBS, arthritis, fibromyalgia, disability related pain, temporomandibular pain (pain related to a dysfunction of the musculature system), low back pain, cancer pain.

Chronic pain like Migraine, IBS and other stress-related tension are a real struggle for many people, but Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness meditation can be the key to longterm relief.

Hypnotherapy for pain control

There is currently a great deal of time and money being invested in the area of research into pain control as can be seen at the Pain Less Exhibition running at the Science Museum in London. The exhibition draws attention to the complexities of researching the way the brain interprets pain. It is hoped that eventually medical science will be able to find a cure for all chronic pain, but in the meantime, there is a role for hypnotherapy in supporting chronic pain sufferers to manage their distressing and debilitating condition. As clinical trials both in the UK and abroad look at quantifying the efficacy of hypnotherapy in supporting clients in managing their chronic pain, the role of hypnotherapy may change. Perhaps in the future hypnotherapy will be regarded as a front line treatment, rather than as a last resort for those with the most life changing and previously intractable pain condition

Historically hypnosis has been used as pain control during childbirth and for long and short term medical conditions, and even for carrying out operations as an alternative to chemical anaesthetics. You might find this amazing, but if you’re interested in learning more about how this still happens, check these out:

Report on how hypnosis pain control might work (from This Morning TV programme) (video)

Dental hypnosis (warning – nothing gory but you can hear the drill!) (video)

CBS report on hypnosis being used in operations

My blog on hypnosis and pain control

I’ve worked with people diagnosed with arthritis, cancer and other long term conditions, and many found that self hypnosis, deep relaxation and/or visualisations was helpful in improving their sense of wellbeing and reducing reported levels of pain.

It’s important to realise that hypnosis cannot treat the underlying condition and doesn’t take away the need for medical intervention. Also that pain is the body’s warning system and it’s important not to try to ‘turn it off’ without identifying, and treating, the underlying cause. Therefore, learning techniques for this purpose can only be undertaken with your doctor’s knowledge and permission.

Please contact me to learn more if you’re interested in using hypnosis for this purpose.

Most people have suffered from neck pain that won’t quit or some other kind of stress-related tension at some point—if not all the time. Popping a couple of over-the-counter pills can offer a quick fix, but it turns out longer-term relief might be right on your meditation cushion. A study published earlier this year in The Journal of Pain found meditation may be the answer to easing recurring or more chronic neck pain. Researchers found a majority of study participants who experienced chronic neck pain reported a significant reduction in pain and pain-related complaints after eight weeks of jyoti meditation practice. Jyoti is a traditional Indian meditation technique, involving the repetition of mantras and focus on the third eye.

How Meditation Reduces Neck Pain

“Chronic pain is frequently associated with distress, and neck pain specifically is related to high levels of stress,” says Andreas Michalsen, M.D., one of the study researchers and a professor at Charité University Berlin.

Michaelsen hypothesizes that any of a variety of meditation forms shown to relieve stress could offer similar benefits for pain relief. How might your mindfulness meditation practice, say, compare with Jyoti, used in the study? “Both types of meditation go along with effects on brain centers that modulate the neurobiological pain signals and pathways,” he says. Meditation essentially eliminates the suffering related to pain.

“We were surprised to see the large effect on pain, but no clear effect on function,” Michaelson says. “This points to the idea that the ‘suffering’ from pain, but not the cause of it, is improved through jyoti mediation in the short-term.”

Also see 16 Poses to Ease Back Pain

Changing the Experience of Pain

“I’ve seen mindfulness meditation utilized for all kinds of physical and emotional pain,” says Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness at Work. “For one thing, it allows one to distinguish physical pain from added mental torment, such as being immersed in thinking: ‘This will never change.’ ‘No one else suffers as I do.’ ‘I’m all alone.’ ‘This is all my fault.’”

She says mindfulness teaches you to see the downward spiral of negative thoughts and let them go. “Mindfulness also helps deconstruct the pain: Rather than seeing it as a solid block that has taken over a part of your body, you go into the pain and see moments of pressure, moments of burning, moments of iciness, etc,” she says.

How to Use Meditation for Pain Relief

Mare Chapman, a Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapist, says meditation can ease everything from life-interfering chronic pain to stress-induced muscle tension to the occasional migraine or menstrual cramp. While you may not be able to eliminate the cause, you don’t have to suffer. Chapman offers these tips for using mindfulness meditation to deal with it:

  1. Notice the pain.

Mentally note where the pain is, what it feels like, how your body is reacting to it, and so on.

  1. Be present.

Encourage yourself to drop into the present moment. Start by focusing on your breathing. You can do deep belly breaths or just concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling as they come. Focus on your body connecting with the floor or the surface upon which you rest.

  1. Get interested.

Investigate the pain as if experiencing it for the very first time. Become interested about the pain in that moment. “The more curious you become about the actual sensations, the less you’ll worry about the ‘what ifs’ that can lead to suffering,” says Chapman.

  1. Repeat regularly.

Whatever form of meditation choose, make it a regular practice. Chapman says overtime you can train your brain to respond naturally pain this way.