Hypnotherapy for the Management of Pain
Hypnosis has been used for hundreds of years to control pain. Historically it has been used for setting fractures and amputating limbs. Within the last century thousands of operations have been performed using Hypnotherapy, its use in Chronic Pain Management, labour through Hypnotic Birthing and for dental treatment is on the increase.
At Hypnotherapy for Health we utilise our knowledge of Advanced Healthcare and Prescribing to enhance the effectiveness of our Hypnotherapy.
Pain can be defined as an uncomfortable feeling or unpleasant sensation within the body. The presence of pain usually indicates that something is wrong. Pain can come on quickly or slowly, stay in one place or spread.
A simplistic way to think about pain is:
Mechanical stimulation of pain receptors in the skin or connective tissue.
Generates impulses which are transmitted by a peripheral nerve to the spinal cord.
The impulse is then transferred to dorsal horns of the spinal cord
The impulse is transported up the spinal cord to the brain and is perceived in the brain as a noxious or painful stimulus.
These impulses can be modified by drugs or neuro-mediators in the brain itself or as they travel; e.g. local anaesthetic blocks peripheral nerves; morphine turns down the transmission in the spinal cord and part of the brain. This is an oversimplification but provides a brief overview.
It can also be described as Acute or Chronic, Acute pain can be mild and last a moment or more severe and last weeks or months. Chronic Pain can last years, it can be associated worth a long term condition such as arthritis or can be without apparent cause called idiopathic pain.
There are a number of acronyms that can be used to describe pain, one such is; SOCRATES
Where is the Pain
When did the pain start, what were you doing or had been doing before it started?
What is the pain like is it sharp, dull, crushing or tight? People’s perception of pain can vary from a typical textbook answer.
Does the pain go anywhere else, both chest and abdominal pain can often spread through to the back, arms, neck and shoulders.
Such as nausea or itching
How long and how frequent is the pain.
Does anything bring the pain on (Exacerbating), lessen (relieving) or prevent it. Pain that is more intense when taking a deep breath is more likely to be caused by problem with the lungs or the muscles between the ribs (Intercostal). But a patient with a constant central chest pain is more likely to have a heart problem.
How bad is the pain, is it at a constant level or does it come and go. A good measure is to use a Pain score, ask the patient to set a number against the pain “where zero is no pain and ten is the worst pain they have experienced” again this can be subjective but is a good measure to see if treatment is effective. Score the pain at the beginning and after each intervention that could relieve it.