Pain is an uncomfortable sensation that can be described as stabbing, throbbing, stinging, sore, and pinching. As human beings, we really need a pain response whenever we become injured or physically hurt in some way. Recent studies have found that our cells in our body respond to the sensation of pain by letting us know where the injury is located, the overall intensity and even just what kind of wound care regimen might be required.
Our bodies natural wound healing capabilities have been shown to depend on neuropeptides, which are well known in the central nervous system and are involved in pain sensation and involved in wound healing and new cell creation. So, having SOME pain when we are injured is essential it would seem as it sends messages to our cells letting them know where to go to help you heal faster.
There are two main types of pain that people may experience, and they are acute pain and chronic pain. When a person has acute pain, it usually comes on quite suddenly and is caused by something specific. Acute pain may only last up to six months and the sensations are felt to be quite sharp in nature. The causes of acute pain include:
- Broken bones
- Dental work
- Burns or cuts
- Labor and childbirth
When the acute pain goes away, and the wounds seem to be healed, a person can go on with life as usual.
Chronic pain, however, is pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. Whenever this type of pain signal remains active in the nervous system, it can continue even after the injury or illness that it caused has healed and can continue for weeks, months, or years afterward. Some people have been known to suffer from chronic pain even when there is no past injury or apparent body damage. Chronic pain is linked to the following conditions:
- Nerve pain
- Back pain
- Fibromyalgia pain
- Psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside)
Chronic pain can have physical effects that are stressful on the body. These include:
- Tense muscles
- Limited ability to move around
- A lack of energy
- Appetite changes
The continued emotional effects of chronic pain can cause symptoms of depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. Such a fear might limit a person’s ability to return to their regular work or leisure activities.
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) reviewed the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, which includes responses from more than 17,000 adults, and found that 1 in 5 Americans, or about 50 million people, suffer from chronic pain. Of those, 8%, or about 19.6 million, suffer from pain that interferes with their daily lives.
Statistics Canada says six million people across the country suffer from chronic pain, meaning 20 per cent of the population is affected.
Hypnotherapy has been known to help persons deal with both acute and chronic pain types. When helping persons with acute pain as is found from having surgery, burns and/or dental surgery it is possible to help a person to experience what is called, ‘Glove Anesthesia’ which is a way of hypnotizing a person to create a numbness or coldness in one hand and then use that hand to touch the area of discomfort so that they may be able to transfer that numbness into that area to provide relief. This can be quite comforting to a person as well as providing a feeling of desensitizing the anxiety about the discomfort that they are feeling.
Quite often persons experiencing chronic pain, however, it can often be the result of unresolved internal conflict. By finding the conflict we can help a person to find ways to deal with the cause. Because our thoughts create neuropeptides that enable the mind to talk to every part of the body it becomes evident that the mind can also tell the body to hold on to the tension or to release it and let it go. Hypnosis allows us to talk to the subconscious mind to help a person to resolve these conflicts both physically and emotionally.
The biggest benefit of using hypnotherapy for pain management is that it provides an additional tool for a person to gain back control in their life so that they can get back to enjoying positive life events involving family, hobbies, work, and social activities that they may have left behind for quite some time.
Hypnotherapy helps to build a foundation within the subconscious mind so that changes can be made to be accepted and acted upon. Hypnotherapy is not a magic pill to cure all ills, but it is an easy way to help a person to learn how to relax their mind to gently and calmly allow themselves to heal.