Chronic pain can be debilitating - potentially leading to depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, lack of occupation, decrease in general health, etc. Approximately one in seven of the population lives with chronic pan and yet the treatments are limited.
Acute pain is necessary for survival and warns us that an injury is occurring. We can then take protective action. An example is when we are injured our body will react by bracing our muscles so as to protect the injured area. Chronic pain, however, is often much less functional and serves to disable us. An example is when the body is responding to a chronic condition as though there was an immediate threat occurring. Those of us with back problems will recognise how the muscles contract, often violently - frequently in response to feeling tired, stressed or emotional.
It is acknowledged by doctors that anxiety about pain creates much of the suffering and hence tranquillisers are often given during minor surgical procedures.
For some people, the brain may be remembering pain signals and acting as though there is an injury when in fact there isn't. Phantom limb syndrome being an example of this.
For others there may be an ongoing source for pain and the task of tolerating this and being able to live full lives can be made all the more difficult by our thinking style, our mood, our energy level and our attitude. We have all seen examples of the opposite of this in people who have been able to achieve remarkable feats despite pain and disability.
There is much that can be done to help yourself!
Most of us have had the experience of being in pain but then being so absorbed in an activity that we have stopped noticing our discomfort. It is thought that the brain operates a “gate” which regulates which signals get through. We know the more we focus on our pain, the worse it feels. So retraining our brain to adopt a different focus and act positively makes a great difference. Indeed, it is known that this serves to encourage the brain to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline that enable us tolerate and reduce pain.
A mindfulness approach to pain, being able to observe and describe it, is known to be able to greatly increase our tolerance.
How hypnotherapy can help
Hypnotherapy enables us to take control of our thought processes and anxiety levels. This can enable the body to relax and to activate our healing systems. It works to enable to positive frame of mind and action that allows us to feel in control of pain rather than the other way around. Hypnotherapy works to help you take the control of your life back – breaking the negative cycles of thinking, moving, feeling and reacting that can maintain chronic pain.
How many treatments?
The number of treatments necessary can be considered on an individual basis.