My Pain Control Program
I work in conjunction with the client’s medical professionals. Once approval is attained from such I proceed with the following key areas for the first 2 hour session. (Note: The session can be shorter if pain dictates).
- Description of the pain
- History: origin, prior treatments, surgeries, medications and their effects
- Impact of pain on relationships and activity (work, leisure, sexual)
- Associated issues that may exacerbate pain such as:
- Trauma/abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
- Excessive weight
- Stress related muscle tension
- Determination of secondary gain, including getting out of work, receiving benefits, getting more attention, etc
- Motivational level: How would life be better if pain were reduced/eliminated?
- Positive thinking for ego strengthening and belief in one’s ability to reduce pain
- Affirmation practice
Hypnotherapy (optional on first session)
- This session explores/ uncovers possible unconscious factors (using ideomotor movements) that could contribute to the pain. In cases where medical professionals can find no physical cause of the pain, it may be necessary to do such a session. There are occasions when a pain problem is associated with a past trauma (e.g. incest and other abuses) or serve unconscious purposes (e.g. self-punishment).
- Further hypnotherapy can be used with the issues uncovered
- A hypnotherapist should know when it is appropriate to refer a client to a psychologist/psychiatrist when issues are beyond the hypnotherapist’s skills or scope of practice
- Breathing, relaxation skills are taught
- A quick method of self-hypnosis is practiced
Second Session (approximately 2 hours):
Review of Progress Since First Session
Pain Control Techniques Discussed:
As a certified medical hypnotherapist trained in guided imagery, I have used simple powerful images to reduce pain and promote wellness. Imagery utilizes the right brain taking thought in the form of images more directly to the unconscious. I discuss various images and encourage clients to create their own. Here are some of the most common that clients choose:
- Beautiful/Safe Place: Clients travel in their mind to a place where there body/mind is relaxed and comfortable
- Healing Light: Clients imagine light that is comforting and healing. Spiritual beliefs can be incorporated (e.g. “God’s healing light”)
- Color and Shape of Pain: Visually describing the pain as a color and/or shape and transforming it to a more relaxing or comfortable color/shape
- Control Panel/Switchboard: Using mental mechanical knob/valves/switches, or a numbered scale, the pain is lowered to an acceptable level
- Glove Anesthesia: Using the imagination to dip a hand into an anesthetic or cold solution to numb the hand and transferring that numbness to the effected painful part
This is just a sampling of techniques. I usually incorporate remembering a time when the pain was less or gone and practicing that comfortable state.
The last hour is the hypnosis bringing together all of the previous work/techniques as well as incorporating the selected pain control techniques. The relaxation in itself is very helpful in reducing pain. This session is recorded and mixed with relaxing music and the client leaves with a high quality CD for reinforcement. A phone call follow-up determines if further sessions are needed. The areas I have served with excellent results include:
- Postsurgical pain/recovery
- Cancer procedures/recovery
- Chronic back pain, especially related to muscle tension