(This blog was originally posted on March 18, 2015)
|Image courtesy of Microsoft/Bing|
Hypnotherapy and therapeutic guided imagery are fabulous modalities to help manage pain. There are two categories of pain: acute, which is characterized by sudden onset (occurrence) and is the result of an event that has just happened. Conversely, chronic pain has been present for some period of time after a causative event (e.g., car crash), develops over time due to a causative factor (e.g., repetitive stress injury) or disease. Hypnosis and guided imagery are effective tools in the following ways:
- They enable your subconscious mind to release from the physical sensations of chronic pain by changing the way your mind perceives pain by shutting off pain receptors during hypnosis. (e.g., breathing exercises, visualization);
- They can help you learn to change your physical reactions to painful sensations associated with your chronic pain (e.g., “glove anesthesia”; “transfer of pain” to a more tolerable part of the body to facilitate more control; remodel pain sensations to a more acceptable/tolerable level);
- They can help you reduce anxiety about experiencing pain by permitting the physical body to relax (release muscle tension) and the brain to release the body’s natural pain killers, serotonin and endorphins (e.g., “special place” imagery)
- They can help you re-establish your perception of being able to control your pain through self-hypnosis (e.g.: “control room”; “imaginative transformation” of the context of the pain).
California law allows me to provide hypnotherapy as a complementary or alternative treatment to help you manage/control pain as a way to achieve vocational and avocational self-improvement goals (Business and Professions Code 2908). However, I must receive a referral from a licensed medical doctor or mental-health professional in order to work with you on this issue. I would also need a medical referral if your pain gets worse or your condition changes during the therapy, or if your wakes you from sleep.
For more information about how hypnotherapy can help you manage pain, I invite you to read my previous blog titled What You Can (and Cannot) Expect From Hypnotherapy.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.