Easing Pain and Discomfort using Hypnosis
you are experiencing
pain or discomfort, your first port of call is always your medical
doctor. There are lots of effective treatments and medications for pain
relief, and it is very important to get a medical diagnosis and medical
testing. Hypnotherapy is a complementary treatment, not an alternative
treatment, so your medical doctor needs to be aware of the hypnotherapy.
will tell you that long term pain can be one of the most
intractable and frustrating things to deal with. Treatment will work
for a while, and that discomfort sometimes finds a way to come back.
How on earth can hypnotherapy help then?
has a lot of emotion and memory of past discomfort associated with it,
and anticipation of future discomfort. Through the use of hypnosis you
can use post hypnotic suggestions with appropriate cues to generate
hypnotic anesthesias (no feeling at all) and hypnotic analgesias
(sensation with much higher pain threshold). Hypnotherapy can be used
to tackle emotional issues around pain and discomfort.
theory behind hypnotic anesthesia and analgesia is based on
work of Ronald Meizack (a Canadian who studied phantom limbs and pain)
and Patrick Wall (an Englishman who studied pain and brain plasticity).
They wrote the most important article in the history of pain.
and Meizack’s theory asserted that the pain system is spread throughout
the brain and spinal cord, and far from being a passive recipient of
pain, the brain always controls the pain signals we feel.
“gate control theory of pain” proposed a series of controls, or
“gates:’ between the site of injury and the brain. When pain messages
are sent from damaged tissue through the nervous system, they pass
through several “gates,” starting in the spinal cord, before they get
to the brain. But these messages travel only if the brain gives them
“permission,” after determining they are important enough to be let
through. If permission is granted, a gate will open and increase the
feeling of pain by allowing certain neurons to turn on and transmit
their signals. The brain can also close a gate and block the pain
signal by releasing endorphins, the narcotics made by the body to quell
pain and discomfort, there tends to be a lot of muscle guarding,
inflammation, vascular stasis. If a person holds their arm up for a
period of time, it quickly becomes uncomfortable, and that discomfort
is quickly eased by moving the arm, and appropriate relaxing and
contracting of muscles. When a part of the body is injured, the brain
uses muscle guarding. Muscle guarding is where your subconscious mind
wants to keep the injured part still, so there won't be further injury.
The mechanism used to keep the affected part still is to
generate pain when there is a motor signal from that part of
body. A pain signal is quickly generated before the motor signal
becomes actual movement. The pain is there to inhibit the movement, and
over a long period of time the muscle guarding pain response can get
locked in, even if that part of the body is now healed.
can give you access to the deeper part of your mind that controls
automatic muscle movements and blood flow, and using different guided
imagery techniques your mind can convert your imagined healing
techniques to actual beneficial changes. A proof of this is the easily
repeatable scratch test, where a hypnotically anesthetised arm is
scratched at the same time as the other arm with normal sensation. The
scratch on the hypnotically anesthetised arm consistently
can work with emotional issues around pain, and deep subconscious
motivations. Bear in mind that these are not conscious motivations,
they are motivations you will not be aware of. Let me give you some
• Inadvertent Hypnotic
suggestions—can sink deep into our minds at times of high emotion like
fear combined with high levels of discomfort, e.g. “You’ll just have to
live with this pain”, can be interpreted by the subconscious as meaning
death follows if the discomfort goes away, so of course your
subconscious will want to hold onto the pain because it means life to
• Financial reasons: Your
subconscious can hold onto the discomfort because it fears losing
disability benefit for instance.
Punishment: If there is a part of you that carries guilt about
something, another part may decide to use a physical symptom as
• A part of you may be using the
symptom as a method of communication, telling you of some change
needed, e.g. forcing you to slow down or some other change.
• More attention from others: We all have basic needs for
security and intimacy, and our subconscious may hold onto discomfort as
a way of getting this.
• Identification with
someone else: E.g. “This runs in the family, so you are doomed to it
also” can be literally manifested by your subconscious.
• The intensity of emotion that goes with discomfort, having
deal with the emotions associated with past pain, current pain, and the
fear of more of the same. It has been said that removing the emotional
trauma from past pain and removing the fearful anticipation of future
pain sorts out two thirds of the emotional burden.
nothing to lose and everything to gain. Learning self hypnosis is a
fantastic lifetime skill that you can use to manage stress and
discomfort and access the resources of your deeper mind.
Hypnosis Makes it Easier to Manage Discomfort
• Hypnosis helps take away the anxiety of anticipation of future pain.
• Hypnosis helps to separate you from the emotions associated with past
You can access analgesia and anesthesia in hypnosis, and then use post
hypnotic suggestions to access them when you want them during full
conscious awareness. Like everything, this needs practice.
there is one or more sub conscious motivation(s) contributing to the
discomfort, hypnotherapy can be used to deal with that.
Guided Imagery Techniques can be used to alter how the mind perceives
the discomfort to heighten pain thresholds, and even to increase the
speed of healing.
• Hypnosis helps you to relax muscle guarding
which can lower inflammation and allow better blood flow to carry
nutrients and medicine to the affected area, and carry away waste.
you would like an explanatory brochure, or a free
consultation, please phone
Daniel Madden ADHP MICHP BE
Phone: 085 - 1318344