Written by: Rachael Davies, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
When chronic pain becomes too much. Chronic pain is a significant problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Defined as pain that lasts for more than three months, it can be caused by various conditions, including injury, illness, and disease. The pain can be mild or severe and often interferes with daily activities, causing a reduction in quality of life. Conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and diabetes can all result in chronic pain.
Traditional treatments for chronic pain, such as medications, physical therapy, and surgery, can be effective for some people; for others, these treatments can be ineffective or even cause additional symptoms. This is where hypnotherapy can be a helpful alternative. You can read more about how to cope with pain here.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses the power of suggestion to help people manage a range of conditions. It involves the use of hypnotic induction, followed by targeted suggestion. It consists of the hypnotherapist guiding you into a state of deep relaxation, often referred to as a trance, in which the person is more receptive to suggestions. You might be wondering how this kind of "treatment" can help you with anything. In fact, the mind is powerful enough to control the body 24/7, which is why hypnotherapy works so well. It helps your mind focus on what it needs to do in a targeted way. Research by Dr. David Spiegel suggests hypnotherapy is effective for pain as it acts on brain regions linked to pain perception and regulation. (See this article in Time Magazine here.)
How Hypnotherapy Helps With Pain
One of the ways hypnotherapy can help with chronic pain is by changing the person's perception of the pain. The therapist can suggest that the pain is decreasing in intensity and that the person is becoming more able to manage it. By changing the way the person thinks about the pain, they can reduce the suffering they experience. This can also help the client feel more in control of their pain. The second way hypnotherapy can help is by reducing the person's stress levels. Chronic pain can be a source of stress, and stress can make the pain worse. Hypnotherapy can help the person relax and feel calmer, which can help reduce the stress they experience and, in turn, their pain levels. Thirdly, hypnotherapy can also help the person to develop new coping skills and to feel more positive about their condition. The therapist can make suggestions that the person is becoming more resilient and more able to manage their pain and that they are learning to live with it positively.
By developing a positive attitude, the person can reduce the suffering they experience and improve their quality of life.
Does hypnotherapy work?
There is a growing body of research that suggests hypnotherapy can be effective in treating chronic pain. Several studies have found that hypnotherapy can help to reduce pain levels and improve the quality of life for sufferers. One study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, found that hypnotherapy effectively reduced pain in patients with chronic lower back pain. The study participants who received hypnotherapy reported significant reductions in pain intensity and improvements in quality of life compared to those who did not.
Another study, published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, found that hypnotherapy effectively reduced pain and improved function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study participants who received hypnotherapy reported significant reductions in pain, swelling, and stiffness, as well as improvements in function and quality of life. A systematic review and meta-analysis of hypnotherapy for chronic pain, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, found that hypnotherapy effectively reduced pain levels for a range of chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The study authors concluded that hypnotherapy should be considered a viable alternative treatment option for chronic pain. The research suggests that hypnotherapy can effectively treat chronic pain, particularly when combined with other treatments. However, it is important to note that the results of these studies should be interpreted with caution. Further high-quality studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for chronic pain.
Is Hypnotherapy Safe?
Hypnotherapy is generally considered safe for most people. However, like any therapy or medical treatment, some risks and potential side effects should be considered before deciding whether to go ahead.
People with certain medical conditions, such as a history of mental illness or epilepsy, may not be suitable candidates for hypnotherapy. It is important to discuss your medical history and any concerns you may have with a qualified hypnotherapist before undergoing hypnotherapy.
It is also important to note that hypnotherapy should not be used as a substitute for traditional medical treatment or as a cure for serious medical conditions. It is, therefore, essential to discuss your treatment options with your doctor.
Hypnotherapy can be an effective alternative treatment for chronic pain. If you are suffering from chronic pain, consider talking to your doctor or a hypnotherapist to see if hypnotherapy might be right for you. You can find answers to common questions about hypnotherapy in this article.
Rachael Davies, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Rachael Davies, is the owner of InsideOut Wellness, the leading natural wellbeing clinic in North Wales and InsideOut Wellness Academy, a home for personal and professional development. As an NLP Master Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Energy Healer Rachael has created a unique method to supporting clients to mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.