Pain is a warning system that protects us from damage, further damage, or warns us that something is wrong with an area of our body.
Our experience of pain is subjective and is divided into two components:
This provides information as to the location of the pain and of its sensory quality, e.g. whether the pain is a stabbing, aching, burning, cold or tingling sensation.
This provides the subjective experience of pain (i.e. how much it bothers you). For example, the pain experienced during the birth of a wanted child may involve intense sensations for the mother. However, this may not bother her in the same way as a pain of similar intensity coming from a different origin.
Likewise, an athlete may experience injury during a performance but may not be bothered by it as he or she is focused on the goal of winning. After the completion of the performance the athlete then becomes aware of the pain.
“After a few sessions with Daniel and working at home using recordings of the sessions my lower back pain has eased considerably. I am very grateful to Daniel for showing me this alternative. I now have a relaxing way to calm my back pain. Brilliant.
Types of pain
- Acute Pain
Pain that is severe, but lasts for a relatively short period of time.
- Chronic Pain
Pain that ranges from mild to severe and is present for a long period of time. Both acute and chronic pain can be episodic, i.e. the sufferer experiences pain free periods.
Psychological factors influence our experience of pain (1). Fear, tension, low mood and interpretation (e.g. is the situation life threatening?) each lower pain threshold. Learning also plays an important role (1). Prior experience of an unpleasant painful stimulus may result in a person anticipating the next similar pain experience to be as unpleasant or more so as the previous one. This will result in fear, tension, etc. and will lower the pain threshold.
“I have had chronic pain for many years and been through the National Health pain management system and been taking many different kinds of medications and basically ran out of options. So I thought I would give this a try. I rang up and went to the treatment rooms in Bath, with an open-mind. Daniel taught me a few different ways to help me manage my pain relief. I was surprised how it worked for me. I would recommend him 100 percent. Thanks Daniel.”
N.B. If you have either acute or chronic pain symptoms, it is essential to visit a GP or other medical professional to have a full assessment and/or diagnosis of why you are experiencing pain.
Hypnotherapy for Pain Management.
The effects of hypnosis on pain are extensively documented (2) and hypnosis is increasingly being used as an adjunct to other methods of pain control (3). Research has shown that hypnotic pain control is not a placebo effect, but has a physiological action that explains its effectiveness. It has now been shown through PET (positron emission tomography) scans that hypnosis directly affects areas of the brain involved in our perception of suffering (the anterior cingulate cortex). During hypnotic pain control, activity in this area is decreased (3).
In a 2000 study by psychologists , among the benefits associated with hypnosis was the ability to alter the psychological components of the experience of pain that may then have an effect on even severe pain (4). Many people have found that they are able to reduce their reliance on pain killers by utilising the self hypnosis techniques I teach, which they can easily learn to apply at home.
A meta-analysis (a study of studies) in 2000 of 18 published studies showed that 75% of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain obtained substantial pain relief from hypnotic techniques (5).
If you would like to explore ways to reduce the severity of your pain with hypnotherapy in Bath or Salisbury, please do give me a call to discuss your situation or to book a session.
1. Hilgard ER and Hilgard JR (1994) Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain Brunner/Mazel
2. Barber J (1996) Hypnosis and Suggestion in the Treatment of Pain WW Norton and Company
3. Faymonville ME, Laureys S, Degueldre C, DelFiore G, Luxen A, Frank G, Lamy M and Maquet P (2000) Neural Mechanisms of Antinociceptive Effects of Hypnosis Anesthesiology 92 (5): 1257-1267
4. Lynn, S. J., Kirsch, I., Barabasz, A., Cardeña, E., & Patterson, D. (2000). Hypnosis as an empirically supported clinical intervention: The state of the evidence and a look to the future. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 48, pp. 235-255.
5. Montgomery, G. H., DuHamel, K. N., & Redd, W. H. (2000). A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: how effective is hypnosis? International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 48, pp. 138-153.