Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical assistance. Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than three to six months and can include headaches, migraines, arthritis pain, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also affects your emotional health, causing stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep.
Hypnosis has proven to be extremely effective for pain control, particularly with chronic pain.
Because anxiety and poor sleep exasperate pain, by using hypnosis to improve sleep quality and manage anxiety, you can begin to improve your comfort level fairly quickly.
Hypnotherapy for pain relief often involves therapeutic imagery. By imagining a peaceful, relaxing scene in nature, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. The parasympathetic nervous system is vital to help the body recover from stress (like the stress of enduring months of chronic pain). Guided imagery has been found to reduce tension, blood pressure, and heart rate. The goal of guided imagery is to redirect the mind away from thoughts of discomfort and fill it with healing, peaceful thoughts.
This state of relaxation increases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers. Endorphins are known as the “feel good” chemical and also decrease your stress.
Hypnotherapy for pain relief also incorporates teaching the client self-hypnosis. Learning self-hypnosis allows you to create a comfortable, relaxed state for yourself, decreasing anxiety and increasing pain tolerance.
Another common method in assisting people in learning to deal with pain is self-coping statements. For example, thinking or saying, “This will go away in a while,” rather than focusing on discomfort.
Most studies of hypnosis as a pain management tool focus on the analgesic effect, however, hypnosis has many other benefits, including improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, and improved quality of life.
Hypnosis is also extremely effective acute pain, such as the pain associated with labor and childbirth. Women who use six sessions of hypnosis in preparation for labor report shorter stage 1 labor, less labor pain, less pain medication, and a more pleasant birth experience.
The number of sessions required when seeking hypnotherapy for pain control can vary depending on whether the pain is acute or chronic. Most issues require about 6-8 sessions to achieve success.
Hypnosis provides welcome relief for people suffering from chronic pain. No matter the original source for the pain, hypnosis will help your brain perceive the pain differently.
If you're interested in learning more about hypnosis, check out iNLP Center!