Hypnotherapy for Pain Management

Long before the discovery of painkillers and anaesthetics, hypnotherapy has effectively been used to eliminate pain and conduct major surgery. Hypno -anaesthesia boosts the immune system whereas chemical anaesthesia lowers it, and blood loss increases. 

In the 1840’s, Scottish surgeon, Dr James Esdaile researched the ability of hypnosis to eliminate pain. While in India he performed thousands of surgical operations, using hypnosis to induce mental anaesthesia. Patients did not experience any pain and postoperative mortality was reduced to two per cent. The surgery ranged from major medical procedures to routine operations.

Recognising that the mind and body are closely related, the medical profession are increasingly recommending hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis to manage acute and chronic pain along with many other health problems.

Advanced Hypnotherapist, Christine Gould, uses a combination of hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy to address a client’s presenting symptoms. For nineteen years she has formed part of a multi-disciplinary team at the Pain Relief Clinic, Northampton General Hospital. Patients learn about the power of the mind and a range of self-help techniques for pain control.

Through self-hypnosis clients can be trained how to induce anaesthesia in any part of the body. This stands them in good stead for relieving both acute and chronic pain. These procedures can then be implemented in dentistry, for injections, pain-free childbirth, or in any emergency. 

The body has the ability to produce its own painkillers called endorphins and encephalins, which are similar to morphine and heroine. The key to increasing these is a relaxed mind and body. Good quality relaxation accelerates the body’s natural healing abilities, relieves stress and tension, leading to greater comfort and ease. After all, no one can be anxious, tense and relaxed at the same time, therefore the latter is effective for controlling pain.

Our thoughts are very powerful and pain is influenced by one’s emotions and beliefs. A positive mental attitude is beneficial for the process of healing. By implementing cognitive behavioural strategies and self-hypnosis, people can take control of physical sensations in their body. Actively taking personal responsibility and harnessing inner resources, leads to a better quality of life.

Christine Gould, MA, CHyp, DABCH, MABCH, MCAHyp.


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