Pain signals use the spinal cord and nerve fibres to travel to our brain. Acute pain tells us that something is wrong and often needs treatment – for example, a broken bone. Chronic pain is more long-term pain, which often serves no useful purpose. It is estimated that there around 800,000 people in Scotland with chronic pain.
Chronic pain may be related to a condition, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be related to pain from an operation or injury which continues after healing would have expected to take place. Sometimes, chronic pain has no dectectable cause in illness, injury or operation. Over time, chronic pain can be highly debilitating, affecting our energy levels, sleep patterns, ability to work and relationships.
Pain can also take different forms. Musculosketal is pain felt in the bones or muscles. Neuropathic is pain that happens through the nervous system. Nociceptive is pain caused by inflammation of a tissue. Referred pain is pain that is felt in one part of the body, but is caused in another part of the body.
The power of hypnotherapy is that it works at the subconscious level and triggers the body’s natural ability to reduce chronic pain. Hypnotherapy has been used to relieve pain for a long time. Hypnosis can reduce the brain’s response to pain signals. Hypnohealing involves encouraging the subconscious mind to focus extra healing effort on an affected area to improve health. Hypnotherapy and hypnohealing can be utilised alongside conventional medical treatments to reduce pain and aid healing in a wide range of medical treatments, including cancer.
There is research that supports hypnotherapy being effective in reducing chronic pain. The European Journal of Pain reported on a study where people with osteoarthritis reported a significant and substantial decrease in pain activity using hypnosis which was maintained through six months of follow-up.
A workbook and CD is provided with a pain management session. If you are in pain it is important you see a qualified doctor and receive the appropriate tests and scans in relation to chronic pain.