Relaxhypnotherapy - Pain Control

 

Pain is a way the body tells us there is something wrong with us. There are two categories of pain. Acute pain is pain resulting from disease, inflammation or injury. There is an ending to this type of pain and is treatable. However, acute sufferers may experience anxiety or emotional distress. Chronic pain however, is a form of pain persisting over long periods of time whereby the proximate environment of the sufferer may impact their psychological state due to it being incessant. Hypnosis can help with both types of pain by controlling and containing the pain to a degree the client can manage. Pain can be terribly frightening and can cause a person to tense up. Hypnosis can therefore be used to help a person relax. Only when a person is relaxed may one control their pain.

However, hypnosis is not used to turn pain off. Life without pain can be dangerous as we would not be able to know there is something wrong and for this reason cannot do something to attempt to correct the problem. Moreover, should someone be totally blocked from their pain, they will at one extreme feel the pain whilst in parallel be totally denied from the existence of that pain. This will ultimately create a conflict within this person which may be intolerable or even stressful and the block will eventually deteriorate with the pain returning to full consciousness.

Alternatively, if the pain should change in the client, if hypnotised effectively to block all pain, the client will be oblivious to the change, be it for the better or worst. It is essential therefore for the client to be prepared for change in their condition. Without question, retaining some awareness of pain ensures more confidently that any change will be perceived with ease and without hesitation so that appropriate action can be taken when and if necessary. Hence, except in cases where the client is in the final phases of a terminal illness, hypnosis is only used to lessen the pain to a level that can be coped with. Moreover, as with all therapies, medicinal and alternate, hypnosis will not work for everyone.

When attending hypnotherapy to help cope with pain, it is fundamentally important for a hypnotherapist to discover if the client has high blood pressure, suffers from a psychoses, is on any form of medication, and if so the intended use for it. If there is a known medical condition or the client is on medication, it is paramount that a written letter from the client's doctor is acquired before treatment can start.

When faced with a client who would like to use hypnosis for pain control, it must be ethically considered whether the cause of pain is known. Therefore, pain reduction hypnosis should only be performed after the client has been seen by a doctor to be certain that the pain is not a symptom to an underlying condition. Indeed, hypnosis for pain management should not replace medical treatment, but can be used to aid medical therapies. Ultimately, to show ethical consideration, a hypnotherapist should always only work with a client for pain control with written medical consent from the client's doctor so that pain is never treated for its own sake but for the underlying cause as known by the client's doctor.

In order to reduce pain in a client whilst ensuring their perception to changes in their pain can be perceived, hypnotherapists can have a part of the pain remain in the client's consciousness. Another method could be to have a part of the relevant body part in the client remain normally sensitive so that the client can be aware of any change. Or, it could be suggested to the client that should there be a change in the pain that is being blocked from their awareness, the change will cease the functioning of the blockage. Alternatively, it could be suggested to the client that they maintain a continuing awareness of the pain but at a level that is more tolerable to the client.

To be able to successfully use hypnosis to conduct pain control, I ascertain the level of pain the client is feeling. As everyone's perception of pain is unique, only by having the client score their pain can I understand the intensity. Hence, I ask my clients to score their pain from one to ten. It is useful to know before hypnotising my client the level they feel comfortable coping with the pain. With this information, I then use hypnosis to reduce the client's pain with a clear scope of how to do so in a manner that will allow the client to still have some awareness of their pain so that they can perceive any change to their pain.

Furthermore, only by working with an individual can I deduce the hypnotic technique that would work best for my client. There are many different methodologies that could be used to control pain hypnotically. For many, it helps to make the pain tangible by putting it into a shape or colour. In addition, one of the most important things to do, no matter the technique, is to help the client learn to relax both their body and mind as pain can only be reduced when relaxation has been achieved.

Moreover, to continually control their pain, hypnosis may help a client alter their perspective on realistic goals so that a client is able to accept the reality they are faced with. To further this, I therefore encourage my clients to create a strong support network so that when energy is low help is at hand. Although accepting their reality may bring out negative emotions, such as anger, hypnosis may be used to help clients control these emotions to allow a client to learn to relax in all manner of scenarios. For instance, not only can I help a client relax in session, but I can teach a client self-hypnosis for times when the client's body and mind signal they need time out from stresses in their lives. Additionally, pain can in an instance intensify and so by teaching a client how to relax will mean that they are prepared to control their pain more easily than if an onslaught of pain sears through them and they do not know how to control it.

While it is now accepted that hypnosis effectively relieves pain, it is not known how. Nevertheless, with much respect to Ernest Hilgard's research into the effects of hypnosis in pain control, it has been demonstrated to work.

 

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