38% of UK adults experience pain daily. Are you one of them? Read on to discover how hypnotherapy can help your pain and how you can begin that process of change now.
What is pain ?
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage.”
In practical terms, it serves as a warning system letting us know that something is wrong. It may lead us to withdraw from activities to allow our body time to heal and/or to avoid situations that we believe will cause further pain, both now and in the future.
What types of pain are there ?
There are three types of pain; acute, recurring, and chronic. Acute pain relates to a short term injury e.g. a sprained wrist. Recurring pain appears and disappears over time e.g. a headache. In contrast, chronic pain is defined as pain that continues for more than 12 weeks e.g. arthritis.
How do we feel pain?
In the 1965 Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall published the Gate Control Theory of Pain which provided a breakthrough in understanding why pain can vary considerably from person to person and from day to day by recognising the influence of our minds upon our perception of pain.
The theory proposes that pain signals travel to the brain via the spinal cord. In the spinal cord the pain signal travels through a gate. The gate may be fully open, partially open or closed. The level of pain you experience is affected by the position of the gate e.g. a fully open gate will allow more pain signals to travel to the brain than if the gate if partially or fully closed.
The extent to which a gate is open or closed is affected by a range of factors that can be grouped within four categories.
- Physical e.g. the degree of injury.
- Emotional e.g. the level of stress or anxiety experienced.
- Cognitive e.g. the extent to which the pain becomes the main or sole focus.
- Behavioural e.g. the level of withdrawal from activities.
Hypnotherapy can help your pain
Hypnotherapy can help your pain by helping you to “close the gate”. When you “close the gate” the level of pain you experience reduces.
How does hypnotherapy help you to “close the gate”?
Hypnotherapy helps in five ways.
- As you enter into a state of relaxation your perception of pain is reduced.
- By focussing on something other than your pain your experience of pain becomes less intense.
- You can begin to reframe your pain. By viewing it in a more objective way, you will begin to feel more in control of your pain.
- You can begin to look beyond your pain, acknowledging that it will pass or reduce with time.
- You will learn self-hypnosis to enable you to independently apply the strategies used in our sessions, whenever the need arises.
If you are interested in working together with me to manage your pain more effectively contact me today for your free consultation.