Pain Management Hypnosis
Most people think of hypnosis as entertainment instead of a technique used for medical purposes. Yet, hypnosis as a medical treatment is more credible than people realize; and can also be an effective pain management treatment for you.
How does hypnosis work?
The main goal of a hypnosis session is to bring the participant to a state of total relaxation with no distracting thoughts. Therefore, during a hypnosis session, the conscious part of the brain gets temporarily tuned out.
This makes his/her mind more focused and thus the participant can use it more strongly. You can look at it like focusing a magnifying glass on the rays of the sun to make them more potent.
So, what is hypnosis like?
People who are under hypnosis may undergo physiological changes. Often, their pulse and respiration decrease while their alpha brain waves tend to increase. In this state, participants become more receptive to the suggestions and goals provided by the therapists, such as pain reduction. The therapist follows up the suggestion phase by continuously boosting the use of the new behavior and mindset.
Every person experiences hypnosis differently. To some, it is similar to a “trance-like” state. Others describe it as an imaginary swell, while others may only experience it as soothing sensations of the body. Nonetheless, to most, hypnosis is a joyful experience that helps them focus while being acutely aware of their thoughts yet in a relaxed, comfortable and peaceful state.
Common myths about hypnosis
Hypnosis is not some miracle technique that can cure everything. Yet, numerous myths, misconceptions, and misinformation are circling around stating just that – probably at a higher rate than all other treatment for chronic pain. People have formed an inaccurate image of hypnosis based on entertainment performances, television, movies, and rumors. These inaccuracies often embellish its capabilities. Hypnosis is neither all curable nor dangerous. Participants of a hypnosis treatment don’t have to do things against their will. (The chart below explains common myths and their truths)
Hypnosis treatment for pain conditions typically consists of 4 stages:
- Induction – the complete focus of one’s attention
- Deepening – helping to bring the person into deep states of relaxation
- Suggestions – if there are noticeable changes in the client’s experience of pain
- Debriefing – to assess the process
Apart from this four-stage process, a therapist can employ various additional methods. For instance, the therapist may attempt to alter the feeling of pain or avert the patient’s attention from the pain. In the event the pain is influenced by subconscious dynamics, motivations or suppressed feelings, hypnosis can help bring these to the surface and resolve these issues.
Hypnoanalgesia is also a technique that therapists like to use to lessen the sensitivity to pain. Their aim is to use hypnosis instead of analgesic during surgery to decrease nausea, pain, vomiting and the length of hospital stay. It commenced as something anecdotal, but due to positive results for hypnoanalgesia, it is now undergoing strict experiments.
Benefits for pain management hypnosis
Research conducted proved that medical hypnosis aids in relieving acute and chronic pain. In 1996, experts from the National Institutes of Health concluded that hypnosis effectively relieved cancer patients’ pain. Topic studies displayed how effective hypnosis is for pain related to burns, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and reduction of anxiety due to surgery. A meta-analysis conducted in 2000, with 18 studies of hypnosis consisting of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain proved that 75% of the participants experienced considerable pain relief – this strengthened the assertion that hypnosis is truly effective for pain management.
Has a greater influence on the effects of pain rather than the sensation of pain
- Hypnosis treatment for acute chronic pain possibly supersedes or is equal to other treatments.
- A positive response from a patient to hypnosis treatment can save money and time for patients and clinicians.
- It also may reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, improve mood, give analgesia, and minimize the need for opioids.
- Using hypnosis in correlation with other well-known treatments for pain can amplify the efficacy of these treatments.
Good candidates for hypnosis
Some people are better suited to respond to hypnosis than others. And the degree to which people respond varies. There are researchers who believe that people need to possess a “hypnotic trait”, much like other individual traits, that make them more open to hypnotic suggestions. Others believe that all people start off with a sufficient ability to be hypnotized and achieve results and that hypnotic ability can be learned and enhanced through practice.
Hypnosis has been used successfully for people with a variety of pain conditions. The Arthritis Foundation has an entire page on its website dedicated to hypnosis for pain relief of arthritis. Other medical conditions commonly cited as being improved with hypnosis include:
As a consulting hypnotist, Luis’ role is help you resolve ordinary, everyday problems using hypnosis. He is not a medically trained doctor or a licensed mental health practitioner that can diagnose, prescribe, treat, cure, or heal any physical, mental, or emotional illness. The hypnosis services rendered are not to be considered in any way, a form of health care, psychotherapy, or counseling.