Hypnotherapy has a well deserved reputation for being very effective in controlling pain.
James Esdaile, a Scottish physician who worked for the East India Company, pioneered the use of hypnosis for surgical anaesthesia, performing his first operation in 1845 - two years before the discovery of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and a decade before its widespread introduction. His reputation spread throughout Europe and the Indian sub-continent for not only conducting painless surgery, but also for the far higher survival rates of patients compared to those who suffered at the hand of "orthodox" surgeons.
Today, we take analgesia (pain control) and anaesthesia (drug induced sleep) for granted. However, those suffering from back and joint pain, limb trauma, dental pain, neuropathy, post-operative pain and pain caused by cancer and radiotherapy/drug treatments, headaches, skin problems, sciatica etc know that the continuous administration of drugs for pain control produce life sapping side effects - a constant feeling of tiredness or being unwell, stomach upsets, skin irritations and rashes and a whole variety of other symptoms.
I use a number of well-established techniques to help pain sufferers control their pain (through self-hypnosis, visualisations, use of specially recorded CDs etc) and also help sufferers to access and release the pent up anger, frustration, regret, sadness etc which often accompanies the onset of chronic pain and exacerbates its impact on everyday life through irritability and a lack of understand from family, friends and workmates.
As a result, clients find that they can cope with their daily lives more easily, are in pain less and are more positive about their condition, thus improving their overall quality of life, work life and relationships.
Pain control can also help people facing dental or surgical treatments. By teaching a combination of self-hypnosis, pain control techniques and relaxation, I can help the treatment itself seem to pass quicker and with less discomfort and to relieve post-operative pain, thus stimulating a faster recovery rate.
If you'd like to discuss any of the above issues, please contact me for a free, no obligation, consultation.
Keith Jefford DCH, DHP, GQHP, PSTEC Advanced
Clinical Hypnotherapist (General Hypnotherapy Council and CNHC registered)
T: 01708 224698
M: 07970 111657
WHAT THE PRESS SAYS....
2012 has seen media coverage of a problem affecting up to 1m people in the UK who are suffering from “completely preventable” severe headaches caused by taking too many pain killers.
“Medication Overdose Headaches” have been brought to public attention by the latest NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) Guidelines on the topic.
It may surprise readers to learn that no one knows exactly how painkillers work or how it affects the brain in the treatment of headaches.
The new NICE Guideline to GPs is that patients suffering from MOH be advised to stop taking painkillers immediately, despite the fact that they run the risk of suffering potentially agonising pain as the headaches continue without the benefit of analgesia. Having been through this period of withdrawal, symptoms are expected to gradually improve if not disappear altogether.
Dr Massio Riccio, a leading addiction specialist at the Priory Clinic in Roehampton is quoted by the BBC News website as saying that “those trying to kick a serious codeine habit may suffer symptoms not dissimilar to someone weaning themselves off a class A drug. You may well experience increased perspiration, cold sweats, stomach cramps, a runny nose, and generally feel unwell. Psychologically you may feel more irritable and may not sleep well”.
If YOU think that you might be affected by the problem of MOH then the first thing to do is to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
If you are advised to stop taking painkillers with immediate effect and suffer painful withdrawals symptoms, you might consider consulting a hypnotherapist.
Hypnotherapy can help in a number of ways:-
- For Tension headaches, it can help you relax and release the tension which is creating the pain. It can also be used to help you deal with the source of the anxiety causing the tension and thereby help provide a long term solution to the problem
- Migraine can also be helped by hypnosis. In addition to release tension caused by an attack it can also help reduce the fear of future attacks and help you deal with the severity of the current symptoms, including the nausea and sensitivity to light and sound which accompanies it. It can also help you deal with the stressful things which might bring on an attack and teach you ways of protecting yourself from frequent re-occurrence.
- For those suffering from Cluster headaches (causing swelling around the eyes – making them red and watery - together with severe pain around the eyes and sides of the face) it can help reduce the stress of the attacks and the sensitivity to the pain it produces.
For all kinds of headache conditions I always teach a variety of pain control techniques and self-hypnosis to help put the client more in control of their own particular set of triggers and symptoms.
Self-hypnosis can ease cancer pain
Research done by social worker Lisa D. Butler at the University of Buffalo in New York found that women living with breast cancer, among others, were able to find pain relief through self-hypnosis. The study found that a combination of self-hypnosis and psychotherapy helped the patients with metastatic breast cancer manage their pain over a period of time.
Anticipation of pain can be just as much an issue as experiencing pain, and self-hypnosis worked as a pain management tool to ease their fears. Pain levels did not increase for those patients who used self-hypnosis, though it did not reduce the recurrence of pain episodes or their duration.
The study suggested that hypnosis techniques could help men and women with various forms of cancer – not just breast cancer, but other forms of cancer like mesothelioma or lung cancer – and individuals who are suffering from other painful illnesses.
Pain & Rheumatoid Arthritis
“Imagery and hypnotherapy were effective at reducing the most commonly reported problems of living with rheumatoid arthritis. An earlier review of 13 studies of hypnotherapy in patients with chronic pain concluded that “hypnosis consistently produced significant decreases in pain due to a variety of chronic-pain problems. And, hypnosis was generally more effective than nonhypnotic interventions such as attention, physical therapy, and education. The contribution of his study to our knowledge is that the results of hypnosis and visualization persisted for 6 months after the study, something that had not been studied in earlier research.
For full report see www.thecamreport.com 9/14/08
REVIEW OF THE EFFICACY OF CLINICAL HYPNOSIS WITH HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES D. CORYDON HAMMOND
"An updated review of the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of headaches and migraines, [concluded] that it meets the clinical psychology research criteria for being a well-established and efficacious treatment and is virtually free of the side effects, risks of adverse reactions, and ongoing expense associated with medication treatments. Hypnosis has an impressive history in the treatment of pain beginning with reports in the mid-1800s of major surgeries that were performed with hypnosis as sole anesthesia. More recently, a meta-analytic review of contemporary research documented that hypnosis meets the American Psychological Association Clinical Psychology Division's criteria as an efficacious and specific treatment for pain, showing superiority to pill and psychological placebos, as well as other treatments."
Intl. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 55(2): 207–219, 2007