Hypnosis as a Natural Alternative Treatment for Chronic and Acute Pain
Hypnosis is a proven and effective strategy for chronic pain sufferers to help manage and control their experience of pain.
Hypnosis can be an incredibly effective means of decreasing and even eliminating the pain response. You can even find some astonishing footage on the Internet of individuals having their front teeth removed while only using hypnosis for pain control.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a collection of techniques that are engineered to increase concentration, decreased distractibility, as well as to enhance your responsiveness to suggestions.
This enhanced suggestibility allows for the alteration of feelings, thoughts, behaviors as well as physiological states. It is important to note, hypnosis is not a treatment in another itself, rather it is a way to facilitate other types of interventions.
Another important thing to note about hypnosis is that everybody respond differently to hypnosis, especially the degree to which they can be hypnotized at all. That said, the secret to being hypnotized is the individuals receptiveness to hypnotic suggestions, which many people think is a genetic characteristic.
- Pain is a critical component of human life that motivates immediate attention.
- Pain is considered as either acute or chronic.
- Hypnosis is a natural disassociated state.
- Chronic pain sufferers can use hypnosis as a means of distraction and disassociation to help them relieve the pain they experience.
Guided hypnosis video
What does the research say about chronic pain and hypnosis?
A 2000 research study by a collection of eminent psychologists discovered that hypnosis is able to change the psychological experience of pain which can then help to decrease the perception of its severity.
Another 2003 study that reviewed previous research into the effectiveness of hypnosis for decreasing sensitivity to pain discovered that hypnosis produced statistically significant reductions in the need for painkillers, patient self-ratings of pain, nausea and vomiting, as well as the length of hospital stays.
As well, hypnosis interventions have also been associated with healthier patient outcomes after medical interventions- including improved physiological stability.
Medical professionals, including surgeons, have also described that patients treated with hypnosis evidence higher degrees of satisfaction.
Brain imaging research has demonstrated that hypnosis can have an effect on areas of the brain associated with the perception of pain. The more receptive patients were to hypnosis, the more and longer lasting their benefit was from hypnotic interventions.
What does the hypnosis research mean for pain sufferers?
Hypnotic interventions have the potential to decrease the experience of acute and chronic pain in most people.
It is also a more cost-effective intervention, often times, than surgical procedures. As well as chronic pain, hypnosis has been used effectively to treat acute pain, most commonly the treatment of:
- childbirth pain,
- bone marrow pain,
- oral pain,
- as well as tumor excisions
When it comes to chronic pain, the conditions that hypnosis has most successfully been used for include:
- back pain,
- temporomandibular disorder,
- and carcinoma pain.
Hypnotic interventions typically work on the sensory as well as the affective portions of the chronic pain experience. When it comes to managing chronic pain, hypnosis can be an important tool in the arsenal. However, the patient may require a comprehensive intervention that includes promoting activity levels, improving dietary habits, restoring the range of motion, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy to address negative or faulty thought patterns.
How does it feel to be under hypnosis?
When an individual is hypnotized, they are focused on relaxation as well as relinquishing distracting thoughts and ideas. This will help to temporarily empty your mind allowing you to open yourself to the power of suggestion. A trained hypnotherapist can then make targeted suggestions that will help to encourage pain relief.
As well, the therapist will attempt to provide post-hypnotic suggestion that will give extended release after you left their office.
Hypnosis is not going to attempt to convince you that your pain isn’t real or doesn’t exist, instead what it intends to do is to help you manage the anxiety and fear you might feel on account of your pain. It will help you to reduce feelings of stress, and relax your frayed nervous system so that it will become less responsive to pain.
A good hypnotherapist will help you to refocus your mind away from the experience of pain and train it on to something that is pleasant to you. You might be prompted to imagine that you are somewhere that you especially like, perhaps a beach that you visited once in a distant country. These visualization techniques serve to distract your mind from the chronic pain.
How many sessions before you experience pain relief?
Hypnosis isn’t a one-shot deal.
Generally, it takes 4 to 10 sessions to begin to experience positive effects. There’s no telling how many sessions you will likely need to achieve meaningful results. Chronic pain is different for everyone and everyone’s receptiveness to hypnosis is different as well.
Some hypnotherapist create recordings for their patients so that they will be able to play them for themselves and self hypnotize.
Is hypnosis right for you?
As we have already seen, some people respond better than others when it comes to being hypnotized. However, there is no harm at least trying it.
There are no negative side effects and if it doesn’t work for you, no harm no foul.
That said, research studies, as well as anecdotal evidence from other chronic pain sufferers, have described highly positive outcomes from receiving hypnotherapy. If you’re looking to find a qualified hypnotherapist, you should consider asking your physician for a referral or you can try contacting the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. It’s possible that your health care plan may also provide coverage for hypnosis as a pain management tool.