Hypnotherapy helps with chronic pain by reducing stress and the negative emotions that often accompany pain.
If you suffer with chronic pain you’re likely to notice that your pain tends to flare up when you’re under stress. It’s now widely accepted that stress makes pain worse and can even cause it. So reducing your stress and changing the way you respond in stressful situations is key to treating chronic pain.
Please contact me to book an appointment or find out more about how hypnotherapy could help you.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain or persistent pain, as it is sometimes called, is often defined as pain that lasts more than 12 weeks and can last for months or even longer. It can occur as a result of an injury or infection, or it may be due to an ongoing medical condition. Sometimes there is no obvious cause for the pain. The most common types of chronic pain include:
- headaches and migraines
- joint pain, e.g. neck, shoulders, hips, knees
- tendonitis, e.g. tennis elbow
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- nerve damage causing pain, burning or tingling sensations, increased sensitivity.
What are the symptoms?
Chronic pain can affect us both physically and emotionally and it can result in symptoms of:
- mild, moderate or severe pain
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Changes in behaviour, e.g. avoidance of activities
- Changes in mood, e.g. depression, anxiety, fear, irritability and stress
How does stress affect pain?
When we feel pain, our body’s built-in stress response takes over and we react without conscious awareness or intention. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises and our muscles tense. We become focused on the danger [the pain] which causes the pain to intensify and our attention to the pain becomes even more focused. We respond to all of this emotionally, perhaps with anger, fear, distress or hopelessness. Before we know it, we are caught in a vicious circle.
How does hypnosis help chronic pain?
Hypnosis is very effective at managing pain and can be used as an anaesthetic during dental work. Hypnosedation has also been found to be an effective technique for use in brain surgery.
Hypnosis switches on our natural relaxation response which reduces our blood pressure and heart rate and softens muscle tension. It tells our body that the danger has passed, that it’s safe to focus on other more enjoyable things and our mood begins to improve.