How can hypnotherapy help with pain?
Firstly, you will need to get the pain checked out by your GP to rule out any medically treatable or potentially serious problems. If you haven’t seen your GP, you will be referred to them before any hypnotherapy can begin - this is for your health and safety and no hypnotherapist should ever treat pain without asking if you have seen a GP first.
If it is a chronic pain (a pain lasting over several months or years) without having a medical solution, hypnotherapists can often help you quite quickly.
How it works is, in effect your hypnotherapist tricks the subconscious into thinking that the pain level has changed. When we feel pain, such as when we touch a hot stove, sensory receptors in our skin send a message via nerve fibres to the spinal cord and brainstem and then onto the brain where the sensation of pain is registered, the information is processed and the pain is perceived.
Because our brain “perceives” pain ,we can alter the perception and make you more comfortable. I personally don’t recommend “switching off” the pain completely because you may find yourself in more pain later because you haven’t been “warned” to slow down or not pick up that bag of groceries.
Hypnotherapists can use a few techniques to change your pain level, one of which is the “control panel” this is used when a client is in a hypnotic trance.
The client is asked to call to mind a control panel and to locate their pain dial or lever, they are asked to turn it up ever so slightly, increasing their pain level, and then asked to turn it down to the predetermined level – discussed before the trance was induced. Suggestions are then given to ensure the client can access the panel at any time to “turn down the pain”.
A variation which some clients prefer is a dial to turn up their “comfort level”. I have found this works especially well with people who suffer certain pain-related illnesses, as the focus isn’t on the pain, but on making them feel more comfortable.
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About Karen Lee
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.… Read more
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