- Hypnotherapy will only be used on pain management, if the cause of the pain is already known.
- Stress and pain are intimately related. When being in pain causes stress or being stressed worsens pain, psychological therapies — including hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation — may help break the cycle.
- With chronic pain, pain signals consistently being sent from the nervous system for weeks, months and sometimes even years. Often chronic pain begins with an initial injury or illness, such as a long-term serious condition like cancer, an ear infection, arthritis or a sprained limb. Even in situations where these injuries and illnesses have healed, pain signals may still remain in the nervous system for long periods of time and thus chronic pain persists. Some people also suffer from chronic pain despite no past injury or evidence of damage to the body.
TYPES OF PAIN
- General somatic painGeneral somatic pain is the awareness of bodily harm, for example the pain caused by your body reacting to a stimulus such as a physical fight or a chemical irritant. This kind of pain will usually improve in a few days but some people develop pain which does not go away so easily. Fibromyalgia and chronic back pain fall into this category and common treatments for this form of pain include anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Visceral painVisceral pain is the term used to describe discomfort caused by the internal organs. This pain is often difficult to determine as the connections between the pain sensors in the internal organs and the brain are not as effective as the nerves in the outer body.Most people will have experienced a mild form of this pain when suffering from acid indigestion, which is common and easy to treat using non prescription medications. More serious forms include chronic pancreatitus which is inflammation of the pancreas, gallstones and appendicitis.
- Bone painTemporary bone pain can be caused by a fracture or bruise and will usually result in a throbbing sensation. This kind of pain can also be long term, occurring in individuals suffering from bone cancer, osteoporosis, osteomyelitis or arthritis. In cases such as these individuals may require long-term pain treatment.
- Muscle spasmMuscle cramps and spasms can cause severe pain and may require muscle relaxants and pain medication in combination.
- Peripheral neuropathyPeripheral neuropathy is caused by a problem with the nerves which carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord and throughout the rest of the body. This process can lead to pain, inability to control muscles and a sensation similar to that of pins and needles among other side effects. This kind of nerve pain can be treated using tricyclic antidepressants and more severe nerve pain such as sharp and stabbing pains is sometimes treated with anticonvulsants.Often individuals who have lost a limb experience peripheral neuropathy as for some people it will feel like the limb which has been lost is still present. This causes a huge amount of discomfort which is known as deafferentation, or ‘phantom limb pain’. The pain can be treated with clonidine (Catapres), which is a blood pressure medicine which is effective at relieving nerve pain.
Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by ruptured discs in the spine, cancer which effects nerves and causes irritation, infections such as shingles and diseases such as diabetes and AIDS.
- Circulatory problemsPoor circulation can be caused by excessive tobacco use, diabetes and various autoimmune diseases such as lupus. If left untreated poor circulation can lead to chronic pain, which in many cases is caused by that particular part of the body being starved of oxygen and nourishment.Poor circulation can also be caused by reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), which is characterised by painful nerve transmissions which cause the blood vessels to become narrower. This process means that not enough oxygen is able to reach the part of the body which is affected. This problem can be treated using an operation which stops the nerve impulses from narrowing the blood vessels.
- HeadachesHeadaches exist in many forms and occur as a result of numerous illnesses. There are also various types of headaches, ranging from migraines and tension headaches through to cluster headaches. Recommended treatment will depend entirely on the kind of headaches and the severity of the pain experienced.
Hypnotherapy for pain management can either be used either alongside prescribed medication or alone, but if you are considering hypnosis then it is essential you have been to visit your GP for an appropriate medical evaluation before proceeding. As discussed in the above, pain is often a warning signal of a more serious underlying medical condition, for example a serious case could see an individual experiencing migraines which are a symptom of a brain tumour. If a hypnotherapist was to then go on and treat the migraines before the root cause of the problem had been found, this could lead to the tumour remaining undiagnosed.
Once the patient has been to see the doctor and the pain has been diagnosed with more serious causes having been eliminated, it is then fine for hypnotherapy treatment to commence.
Hypnotherapy has been used by many to manage numerous instances of pain, including irritable bowel syndrome, sciatica, spinal stenosis, burns, joint pain, neck pain and a variety of other injuries and illnesses. The basic premise of hypnotherapy is to change the way individuals perceive pain messages in order to reduce the intensity of what they are feeling.