Most people know that Hypnosis can be used to change behaviours, break habits and make people cluck like chickens on stage, but not as many people know that hypnosis can be used to help manage and reduce pain.
To understand how hypnosis can reduce (or even eliminate) pain it’s helpful to know what pain is. Pain is a chemical signal sent from the body to the brain that something is wrong and our attention is required. Lots of people even use the acronym, Pay Attention Inside Now.
If you slip and break your ankle you need to know that it’s best to not carry on doing the Macarena right this minute. The sickening pain your body sends you (even through the fog of numerous, highly alcoholic shots) ensures that you get the message loud and clear. In this scenario pain is very helpful and necessary.
What about 6 months down the line when your ankle has healed, but your body is still sending the pain messages? There is now nothing wrong with your ankle, but the brain is receiving pain signals and you suffer as a result.
Your brain is causing the pain, not your ankle. This doesn’t mean the pain is “in your mind”, it isn’t, it’s very real – it means that your brain hasn’t been able to turn off the switch now that you’re healed. Your mind is still running the “pain” program after the time has passed.
When you live with constant pain (such as back pain, arthritic pain or old injuries) it can cause a downward spiral, you’re in pain and therefore find it hard to relax and perhaps get enough sleep, making it more difficult for you to manage the level of pain you’re in. Hypnosis (and other complementary therapies, such as Reiki) can help you reverse this cycle, relaxing you enough to get some good quality rest, making you more able to manage pain levels, making it easier to get good quality rest.
So how does hypnosis for pain management work?
If your mind was a Smart Phone, the conscious mind is the user interface, the apps and icons that make it easy to navigate and user friendly. Hypnosis takes you to the subconscious, the bit below this, into programming itself which is actually making everything run as it does. The hypnosis will put you into a position to find and correct the bit of programming that has a developed the glitch or is popping up and running when it’s not needed.
You often find that when you expect something to hurt a lot, it does. Part of this is in the mind, you get what you’re looking for and can become more sensitive to the pain signals. Another part of this is physical, when you expect to be in pain you often tense your muscles, which eventually causes its own discomfort.
One of the only side effects of being in hypnosis is profound relaxation, which can remove long standing tension in your body. Allowing the muscles to relax will help to relief a good amount of pain in itself.
You don’t have to keep running a faulty program.