According to the British Pain Society chronic pain affects more than two fifths of the UK population, meaning that around 28 million adults are living with pain that has lasted for three months or longer. It is known as the Silent Epidemic.
If you are suffering in silence, then rest assured that help is available. whilst hypnotherapy may not cure the cause of your pain completely, it is an effective complementary therapy that will help you manage the symptoms of your chronic pain.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is defined as pain that has existed for longer than three months after an injury, or acute disease, after the area of injury or disease has healed. In some cases, clinicians may be unable to identify your pain, although what you are feeling is very real.
You have chronic pain if:
It’s been diagnosed by a doctor
It affects your life
You have had it for longer than three months
Any physical trauma has healed
Chronic pain is complex and it can also involve psychological and social aspects of a person’s life.
Types of chronic pain
Some injuries or operations start with acute pain and then become chronic pain after the area has healed. Some people also experience emotional pain and that can be traumatic. Through hypnosis I can help you learn how to manage the severity of your symptoms.
Long term conditions such as arthritis will result in chronic pain. The pain can be in one or several joints and people can get headaches and muscular pain. The Arthritis Foundation states that studies have shown that more than 75% of people experience significant pain relief using hypnosis.
Other muscular chronic pain problems that can benefit from hypnotherapy include back pain, fibromyalgia and temporomandibular (jaw) conditions.
Many cancers can cause pain but following surgery or treatments, there may be additional chronic pain. Hypnosis can help take you into a deeply relaxed state to offer you some pain relief.
Other disabilities and diseases
People with some physical disabilities may experience chronic pain from contracted muscles. Sickle cell disease can also result in chronic pain all over the body. In these cases, hypnotherapy can provide some relief alongside conventional medical treatment.
What are the effects of chronic pain?
If you have been suffering with chronic pain for a long time you may have low mood or depression, anxiety disorders, or muscle weakness if you are unable to exercise. It can cause relationship problems, social problems and lifestyle issues which can impact negatively on your quality of life.
How hypnotherapy can be help with pain management
According to a paper published by the Oxford University Press, the results from three research studies are creating renewed interest in the application of hypnosis for chronic pain management:
The first study shows that hypnotic suggestion decreases activity in the brain areas that underlie the experience of pain intensity. It also decreases activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing the emotional aspect of pain.
Another research study demonstrates that hypnotic treatments can reduce pain and reduce the time needed to heal from medical procedures, resulting in the need for fewer analgesics (pain killers).
Finally, there is a growing body of research which shows that hypnosis help improve the effectiveness of other treatments. Furthermore, when people with chronic pain are taught how to use self-hypnosis for pain management and improved sleep, they not only experience significant pain relief, but report a greater sense of overall well-being and control.
If you want to find out more and how it works in practice, please contact me for a private consultation
Hypnosis for pain relief: www.arthritis.org
Hypnosis for chronic pain management: Max Jensen Oxford University Press 16/03/2013