The area of Neurolinguistic programming (NLP), Hypnosis and coaching can be very broad. When looking at what practitioners offer these days it stood out that most treatment areas covered by them are quitting a bad habit such as smoking or poor diet, being able to deal with stress better, tackling depression and anxiety and weight loss. However, the area of hypnosis goes beyond that. Some practitioners specialise in more specific areas for instance medical hypnosis. Within that, the options are endless from treating allergies all the way to pain (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
Pain can be experienced as chronic and acute and is a neurological phenomena (4). Hypnotherapy can be utilised on both types of pain.
The Arthritis Foundation in America (1) suggests that a study showed a 75% decrease of pain for sufferers with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, when using hypnosis as a treatment. They also refer to the fear and anxiety related when experiencing pain.
It is an individualised process which can be experienced in the brain as harm and therefore may have potential negative consequences (6). It is shown that if a person has low fear related to pain, the recovery is possibly quicker than when the fear is increased. When catastophising the expression of pain it can have a mental and physical impact. In that process a formation of beliefs are created which as a result can even impact the mental health of a person. As an example some pain sufferers experience depression due to fear of movement and going to work, ultimately leading to disability.
Even though most studies had a low number of participants there is a vast amount of research conducted on hypnosis for pain relief (2). Some studies recommend self hypnosis as a suitable way of dealing with the uncomfortable sensations in the body (3). This can be done as a one on one or group session.
The book “Essentials of Hypnosis” provides different process the practitioner can apply to the patients unconscious which will assist with analgesia and anaesthetic (4). Direct and Indirect approaches can be used for pain relief. Techniques such as “The Glove Anestetic Technique”, “Metaphor and Interspersal of Suggestions” and “Direct Suggestion of Numbness” can assist the client to decrease or completely be free of pain (4).
In “Heart of the Mind” processes to heal the body faster are explained in detail (5). It talks about utilising the NLP technique of submordalities to excellerate the healing process. This can be useful at times when pain is causes by an injury or even infection.
Overall, Hypnotherapy and NLP is a wonderful alternative tool to utilise for pain relief. It can be very effective for the relief and complete removal of pain. Many different processes can be utilised depending on the presentation of the client. As it is a well researched area with proven techniques, it will assist and benefit the general population to cope better with pain.
If you are struggling with chronic pain, contact Sarah today to book in a hypnotherapy session and start your journey to recover.
(4) Book: Essentials of Hypnosis by Michael D. Yapko, second edition
(5) Book: Heart of the Mind” by Connirae Andreas and Steve Andreas