Disclaimer*- Results very from person to person. Hypnotherapy is not used to treat or diagnose any disease.
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Therapies that address the mind-body link are often recommended for those dealing with long-term pain. Stress and anxiety are common side effects of pain and can even make the sensation feel worse. The way the mind responds to pain also links to the perception of physical sensations. Helping to reduce stress and change the thought patterns related to pain can therefore make a huge difference to pain perception. For this, many opt for hypnotherapy. When you are under hypnosis you focus on relaxation and letting go of distracting thoughts. This temporarily tunes out the conscious part of your mind, opening you up to the power of suggestion. At this point your hypnotherapist can make suggestions to encourage pain relief.
Hypnotherapy gives you post-hypnotic suggestions, allowing you to carry out self-hypnosis after your sessions end. Rather than convincing you that your pain doesn't exist, hypnosis for chronic pain aims to manage any fear and anxiety you may have relating to your pain. It also helps to reduce stress and relax the nervous system to help it become less reactive to pain. Hypnosis for pain also refocuses your mind away from the pain and onto something more pleasant. For example, I will ask you to imagine that you're somewhere nice, like a beach. Using visualisation techniques you may be asked to describe the place in more detail. Thinking about what the sea looks like, the warmth of the sun and the feeling of sand between your toes will help to distract you from your pain.
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The number of sessions you'll need will depend on your individual circumstances, however hypnosis for pain usually lasts between four and 10 sessions. I can provide you with an mp3 recording for you to use at home so you can continue to employ hypnosis techniques. Hypnotherapy is a natural therapy with no side effects, so it is certainly worth trying. Many people say it is an effective tool to use as part of their chronic pain management plan.
Living with pain on a daily basis can be incredibly difficult - both physically and mentally. Having to cope with long-term conditions like this can lead to increased levels of stress, insomnia and even depression and anxiety.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may find you experience anxiety symptoms. You may worry about the sensation and what it means, or you may anticipate pain. In some cases, certain situations induce anxiety as you worry about whether or not your condition will cause problems. Being anxious can increase your perception of pain as you become more stressed and focused on the sensation. A big part of hypnosis for pain looks at this very issue. By helping your mind to react differently to the sensation, anxiety levels reduce.
With pain typically comes a great deal of negativity. You may think about how bad you're feeling or wondering 'why me?'. Negative thinking like this may lead to depression. This mental health condition affects quality of life and can become very serious. Many chronic pain sufferers find it helpful to join a support group. Here you can talk to other people going through the same thing and openly discuss your feelings. If you are diagnosed with depression, you may be advised to try therapies like counseling or hypnotherapy.
When we are in physical pain, relaxing and falling asleep can become difficult. In some cases it can lead to sleeplessness, or insomnia. Sleep is important as it gives our minds and bodies time to recover from the day - something that is often especially important to those with chronic pain conditions. Hypnotherapy for insomnia is a valuable tool for many, encouraging both relaxation and restful sleep.Painful conditions
Some illnesses and conditions are well known for causing pain. Some examples of these include the following:Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffening of the joints. Depending on the severity, the pain can be mild or severe, making day-to-day living difficult.
Most people who develop cancer will experience pain at some point. This may be due to the tumours themselves, or the cancer treatment. Again, the degree of pain will be dependent on the individual circumstances.Cluster headaches and migraines
Cluster headaches cause sudden, sharp pain in the head and can last anything from 15 minutes to three hours. As their name suggests, they tend to come in clusters, leaving the sufferer in a great deal of pain. Migraines are a particularly painful form of headache that can cause vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. If you suffer from migraines regularly, your doctor may prescribe medication.Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
This condition typically develops after an injury has been sustained. The pain following the injury is ongoing and tends to be disproportionate to the original injury.
This gynaecological condition occurs when cells like those found in the womb are found in other parts of the body. For some women, the condition is painless. The majority however experience pelvic pain, severe period pain and pain during/after sex.
The cause of fibromyalgia is largely unknown. Its symptoms include widespread aches with muscles feeling stiff. Painkillers, physical therapy and relaxation therapies are normally advised.
MS is a condition that affects the brain, nerves and spinal cord. Around half of those with MS will experience pain. This can either be musculoskeletal due to pressure on muscles/joints or neuropathic, where damaged nerve fibres cause a burning/stabbing sensation.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated by the back (which often happens after a slipped disc). This causes an ache down the leg for sufferers. Other forms of back pain can be caused by previous injury or overuse of the muscles.