Pain. We all suffer it at one time or another. Migraine headaches. Back pain. Chronic pain from illness or injury. Birthing pains. Pain from surgery or other medical procedures. Whenever we're in pain we want relief - fast. So we call the doctor and he prescribes medication. We take it and most of the time it helps. But other times it doesn't help ... enough ... or for long enough. And sometimes we just don't want to take medication.
Is there an alternative? Is there a safe way to get pain relief without medication?
Today more and more people are asking this question. A two hundred year old technique - hypnosis - is gaining in strength as a modality of choice for pain relief in treatment of a variety of medical conditions from migraine headaches to chronic back pain to cancer symptoms. Hypnosis, in addition to regular medical treatment, has several advantages in pain management. First, it requires no drugs. In fact, studies show that patients with chronic diseases who practice hypnosis (as taught by a hypnotherapist trained in pain management) required fewer analgesics to maintain pain relief. They also suffered less anxiety about their pain and greater comfort during medical procedures. In a study at at Case Western University hypnotherapy was found useful as a pain management tool following such surgical procedures as hysterectomy, coronary by-pass, hemorrhoid surgery and abdominal surgery. The test patients also had shorter hospital stays, less nausea and more rapid healing.
Twelve studies have proven hypnotherapy to be the preferred treatment for reducing migraine headache attacks. With such impressive results, why do we reach for the aspirin bottle instead of the natural, relaxing, healing capacities within our own minds? The answer is obvious. Most of us don't know how to practice self-hypnosis. Many of us are not aware of its proven successfulness. Still others of us hold outdated, fearful notions that hypnosis involves "mind control" or loss of our own conscious will to another person. That's unfortunate because hypnosis - or hypnotherapy as it is often termed today to indicate the growing acceptance of its therapeutic value - is a resource that should be explored by all who suffer pain. It provides an ongoing method of pain management that, once established, can be monitored and adjusted by the patient him or herself. It returns a sense of control back to the patient and it has no side effects - except an overall increased relaxation.
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Certified IMDHA Hypnotherapist
Board Certified in Integrative Health
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