Clinical Hypnosis for Chronic Pain
If you have chronic pain, you know what it’s like to constantly search for something that will relieve the pain. You’ve probably tried pretty much everything to get the pain to go away… massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, medications, even surgery. I know — I’ve been there. Maybe you were like me and these methods helped for a while, but they either stopped helping at some point or never quite took care of all of the pain. Or, maybe you have become tired of attending doctors’ appointments for prescriptions, you have side effects, you don’t particularly enjoy having a needle stuck in your neck or back every few months, or you have noticed less and less relief over time. Or, perhaps you just are looking for a way to make your current pain management regimen work better. There are many alternatives and complements to traditional Western medicine. Clinical hypnosis is one tool that you can learn to help yourself feel better.
What is Clinical Hypnosis?
Clinical hypnosis is the process of creating a trance state in an individual, usually within the context of psychotherapy or other professional helping relationship. Trance states are naturally occurring states of mind. You have probably experienced a trance state at some point already today. Maybe it is even occurring as you read this. A trance state is a state of intense concentration and focus. Some examples of trance states include being lost in thought, highway hypnosis (not remembering part of your drive, like when you miss your exit), being so wrapped up in a book or movie that you don’t notice when someone is talking to you, not noticing time passing when you’re working on a project, or a deep state of meditation or even prayer. You are not asleep. You are fully conscious, but just in a different, more relaxed, and more focused state of mind.
How Can clinical hypnosis Help my Pain?
When we use clinical hypnosis in our psychotherapy sessions, I will help you to bring yourself into a trance state. When you are in a trance state, you are more open to suggestion, which means that if I suggest to you that your pain is less bothersome or that you notice a growing feeling of comfort in your body, you will experience less pain. This effect often lasts even after the session is over.
a life-long Pain Management Tool
Clinical hypnosis is something that we work on in our therapy sessions, but I will strongly encourage you to practice on your own so that hypnosis becomes a life-long tool for you for pain management. The more you practice getting into a trance state and using suggestions to reduce pain, the easier it is to do so. You will likely even experience an overall reduction in your baseline level of pain if you practice this on a regular basis.
Practicing is as easy as finding a quiet place and listening to a recording of our session. I will encourage you to make recordings on your smartphone of our hypnosis sessions so you can listen to something tailored specifically to you. I usually recommend that you listen to these recordings twice per day, at least when you are starting to use hypnosis. The more you listen to the recordings, the more easily you will be able to bring yourself into a trance state on your own, which is called self hypnosis, and you can use this skill whenever you like for pain reduction or general relaxation.
Emotions and Pain
Clinical hypnosis is a very powerful tool in psychotherapy, and when working on pain management, we often address other aspects of the pain, in addition to the sensory/physical experience. If you are willing and ready to do this kind of work, you can make profound changes in how you experience pain. Sometimes this will include processing grief related to the loss involved in chronic pain, resolving trauma that caused the pain, even addressing long-standing trauma stemming from childhood or other difficult times of life. Of course, this kind of work is not suitable or even necessary for everyone, and we will work together to decide our approach to helping you feel better.
If clinical hypnosis sounds like something you would like to add to your toolkit of pain management techniques, give me a call at 651-998-8991, or click on the “Request Appointment” button below to schedule your intake session. I look forward to hearing from you.