Hypnosis, meditation and relaxation techniques can help with pain relief by improving coping, decreasing pain sensations, and helping you relax.
Living with pain is difficult because pain interferes with life activities and decreases mood.
Pain includes sensory (physical) affective (emotional) and cognitive (thinking) components. Hypnosis, Meditation and mindfulness impact all of these and can alter your subjective experience of pain.
Self Hypnosis is the act of focusing the mind, usually through concentration on a word, sound, phrase, or feeling combined with passively being aware of thoughts called mindfulness.
Meditation can help with the emotional states that make pain worse, such as depression and anxiety, and increase emotional states that make pain more manageable, such as happiness and a state of calm. Natural pain relief can be achieved through these changes in emotional state.
Physical changes associated with Hypnosis and Meditation can contribute to the analgesic effects.
Self Hypnosis teaches the ability to more effectively handle distress and regulate emotions, and overall can improve coping skills that can lead to better pain management.
Self Hypnosis can provide natural pain relief by changing the way information is processed in the brain.
Meditation provides a distraction from pain, which helps the pain feel less intense.
Paradoxically, meditation can also reduce pain through paying attention to the pain experience rather than ignoring it. A induced (eyes open) trance state can allow a person to achieve detached observation, in which the physical sensations are separated from the emotional and cognitive experiences of pain resulting in pain relief.
Self Hypnosis can help people transcend their pain by improving awareness and acceptance. Meditation can change the way people relate to symptoms, resulting in a less judgemental, non evaluative stance toward pain and less attachment to pain.
These changes in thinking brought about rapidly with Hypnosis allow the pain experience to be less distressing, and result in pain relief not through simply feeling less pain, but through improved pain tolerance.
Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, described as the Relaxation Response, results in a number of physical changes that can help to reduce pain, such as decreased muscle tension and the possible release of pain relieving neurotransmitters.
In 2009 I developed effective Self Hypnosis Scripts for amputees suffering Phantom Limb Pain, focused specifically on arm/hand or leg/foot amputations. These scripts have been adopted and narrated onto Cd and distributed worldwide by the Organisation ‘End The Pain Project’.
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