Hypnosis As A Treatment For Pain Relief
By Alan B. Densky, CH
Pain can be defined as an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. This sensation contains both physiological and psychological elements. It often results in a lack of enthusiasm and energy. People feel exhausted and emotionally distressed. This sensation can negatively affect work, home, and social relationships.
When the body is injured, it releases hormones that signal the brain that something is wrong. The brain interprets this signal as pain, and notifies the person of the injury. The individual then responds to the painful signal, and acts to relieve it. Sometimes, however, the brain receives a painful signal when there is no physical injury. This can occur when the sensation has a psychological, rather than a physical, cause.
One way to relieve painful sensations is by using medications. Non-narcotic medications, such as Tylenol or Aspirin, prevent cells from releasing chemicals responsible for notifying the brain of painful stimuli. Narcotic painkillers, in comparison, directly connect to neurons in the brain and tell them that the problem has already been resolved. Narcotics, such as morphine and codeine, can be very addictive and create dependence problems in those who use them for long periods as pain management tools.
The body also releases substances known as endorphins. These are natural painkillers released by the brain's cells that tell the body that it does not ache. Runners, for example, release endorphins when they run long distances; this is the source of the "runner's high" often discussed by those who are running enthusiasts. People who enjoy participating in other sports experience a similar endorphin release. Sometimes, athletes are able to run or play in spite of an injury because of the presence of these endorphins in their body.
Another way to treat painful experiences is by using distraction, or guided imagery. People are instructed to focus on an image or to imagine a secure and comfortable place that offers freedom from the hurt they are experiencing. Alternatively, music or other activities can be used to provide this distraction. These techniques are often used with persons experiencing chronic lower back pain.
People can also experience a reprieve by using hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic programming techniques. These natural pain relief techniques can allow people to obtain relief from various disabling conditions, including migraines and other chronic, debilitating headaches or throbbing neck pain. Many people are able to significantly limit, or completely eradicate their use of medications by using these techniques.
Traditional hypnosis pain alleviation techniques work most effectively for people who are open to post-hypnotic suggestions. A trained consulting hypnotist assists the client to enter a deep state of relaxation. While in this state, the client is acutely aware of the suggestions being offered by the therapist.
The consulting hypnotist may suggest that the client focus on other activities or tasks, and that change of focus will diminish any feeling of discomfort. In fact, the mere use of the word discomfort during a hypnotic session versus the use of the word pain can radically reduce any sensation of pain. Many clients achieve excellent results, and they can be taught to practice self-hypnosis for pain relief to gain personal control of their situation.
More analytical clients generally require either an Ericksonian hypnotherapeutic approach, or an NLP approach in order to bypass their conscious resistance to suggestion.
The hypnosis pain treatment approach can also be used to program the brain to release endorphins, which can induce a state of light anesthesia, which is referred to as analgesia. This state can also be used to assist women to experience natural childbirth without the use of drugs that may harm the infant. It also helps to provide natural arthritis pain relief in long-term sufferers.
Hypnosis can also be used to induce a state of complete anesthesia in a percentage of the population. This is referred to in medical literature as hypnoanesthesia. In days before general anesthesia became widely available to patients, many surgeons performed major surgery under hypnoanesthesia.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can be used to assist people who tend to think critically or analytically. Professionals assist clients to perfect a very useful technique utilized by NLP, known as the 'Flash'. The Flash allows clients to train their unconscious mind to automatically divert away from a painful sensation, and to focus on thoughts that will create relaxation and comfort. People who have mastered this skill find that they are no longer able to focus on the pain, because their minds instantly exchange it for thoughts that produce comfort.
Both NLP and hypnosis are technologies that offer entirely natural methods of pain relief. They assist people to avoid using pain medication or decrease their dependence on these drugs. Both persons who are very suggestible and those who are critical thinkers can benefit from these types of programs. Furthermore, both have demonstrated high levels of effectiveness in helping people to experience respite from their pain.
Today there are many options available for receiving this type of help. Professionals routinely charge from $150.00 to $200.00 per hour. Anyone who has sought out this type of treatment will tell you that the money spent was well worth it. However, another more affordable course of treatment may be to consider one of the high quality hypnosis CD programs that are available.
Summary: People experience both physical and psychological pain. Many treatments are available, including narcotic and non-narcotic pain medications, as well as guided imagery and distraction techniques. The most consistently effective methods of relieving painful stimuli, however, are NLP and hypnotherapy.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
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