Chronic Illness and Pain Management
Pain that persists for longer than 6 months is referred to as chronic pain. Unrelieved chronic pain can cause considerable suffering, physical limitations, interrupted sleep, emotional distress, and codependent relationships. Further, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care but often persists despite treatment with analgesics and physical modalities. For example, epidemiological studies indicate that as many as 31% of individuals in the United States experience chronic neck or back pain, 75% of patients with advanced cancer suffer persistent pain, and chronic pain is the most common reason for the use of complementary and alternative therapies.
Interest in hypnosis for pain management has increased with growing awareness of evidence that hypnosis can reduce pain (and costs) associated with surgery and medical procedures, and there are now an adequate number of controlled studies of hypnosis to draw meaningful conclusions from the literature regarding chronic pain.
Hypnosis in the treatment of chronic pain generally involves a hypnotic induction with suggestions for relaxation and comfort. Posthypnotic suggestions may be given for reduced pain that can continue beyond the session or that the client can quickly and easily create a state of comfort using a cue or trigger.
The focus of hypnosis in the treatment of chronic pain also often involves teaching the client self-hypnosis or techniques to change the perception of pain that can be used on a daily basis outside the sessions. In our experience, some clients experience an immediate reduction in pain severity following one hypnosis session, and most others can obtain reduction in pain with repeated practice of self-hypnosis or hypnosis sessions.
Hypnotists have long recognized that chronic stress can lead to chronic illness, and most physicians will agree. Stress weakens the natural immune function and chronic stress weakens it significantly. A weak immune function inhibits healthy function of the body. Being habitually relaxed does contribute to a strong natural immune function, which promotes health.
Hypnosis is a catalyst for relaxation and stress management. It can help clients to locate the specific thoughts that cause their chronic stress. Hypnosis can then address these stress-producing thoughts so they’re seen in a more positive light and become non-threatening. If a thought isn’t threatening, it won’t produce a stress response and as such it won’t tax the immune function. Thoughts are non-physical, and unlike physicians who are great at dealing with physical conditions, hypnotists are experts at dealing with unhealthy thoughts.
Once we help you change the thoughts and resulting emotions, you can help to prevent or even reverse certain illnesses and restore health.
Read what Susan Dorne, a past client, said about her experience:
“For over 25 years I carried baggage, primarily emotional baggage. Lugging it around year after year, making it heavier as stress escalated. I heard about Todd through a mutual acquaintance. I figured what could I lose, I was offered a free consultation and his reputation was quite impressive. Let me start by saying never before was a free consultation so thorough and not rushed by any time or service limitation. Not only was Todd listening to me, he had so much to offer in our initial conversation. He made it so easy to talk, and so easy for me to open up and let him see my baggage. The sessions were designed specifically for me. I can honestly say that within two sessions, my baggage was so light, almost nonexistent. I would leave every session feeling so well that I kept wondering where all that ‘stuff’ went! It really didn’t matter, I was just so amazed with how I felt. On top of things, I was diagnosed 16 years ago with MS and had various limitations. I noticed my physical body was responding as well including improved GI system, my quality of sleep improved and even my walking was easier — my primary impairment from MS. Todd also helped me with nutrition. My sessions are done and I can honestly say I feel great. I have a better understanding of the body and mind. I have clarity and a sense of well being that is only getting stronger. I have learned ways to help myself and continue to work with tools provided and leaned. And best yet, I’m not lugging any old baggage. I now have suitcases that I store in a closet, not lugging around within me! I have already used them to travel, something I normally would be hesitant to do. Oh, I didn’t mention before that I developed anxiety for flying when my children were born, 21 years ago… and Yes, Todd took care of that as well! I am so grateful for the time and expertise Todd shared. Thank You!”