You’re likely familiar with hypnotherapy being used for quitting smoking and losing weight. But, did you know the power of hypnosis for pain relief and trauma?

While hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment, it can be a great adjunct treatment on your deep healing journey, getting to the roots of those irritating aches and pains, preparing you for surgery or aiding in recovery, and reducing the severity of certain conditions. Similarly, hypnotherapy is remarkably effective in addressing and reducing the effects of traumatic events. 

In this post, I’m happy to share with you how hypnosis can help with pain relief and reduce the effects of trauma.

Hypnosis for pain relief

You or someone you know may be suffering from fibromyalgia. According to the Mayo Clinic, “fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.”

Fibromyalgia can be crippling and while there is currently no cure, there are ways to address both the physical and emotional symptoms brought on by this disorder.

In addition to the medical protocol, many doctors accept hypnotherapy as viable adjunct support in order to access and address the underlying psychological and emotional causes of these symptoms. 

As is well-documented, hypnotherapy is effective in treating a number of medical issues, including fibromyalgia. Hypnosis for pain relief as well as for emotional symptoms has become popular. Also according to the Mayo Clinic website, hypnotherapy is effective for:

  • Pain control. Hypnosis may be beneficial for pain associated with cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), dental procedures, and headaches.
  • Hot flashes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.
  • Behavior change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, obesity, and phobias.”

In a session with a client who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 17 years earlier, we discovered some very interesting emotional and psychological factors that were contributing to her pain, anxiety, depression, and fears.

During the  90 minute session, we engaged in several hypnotherapy techniques: Core Transformation, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), several NLP and psychological protocols, Reverse Metaphor and Empowerment Symbols, plus a lengthy discussion and debriefing.

Very rapidly the client was able to control or eliminate her levels of pain. Her subconscious mind had several opportunities to communicate directly with her about the source of her condition, and what would be required to continue on a healing path.

An agreement was created between the client’s conscious mind and her subconscious to use her physical body sensations as a conduit to deliver a warning if she was engaging in activities or mental processes that were worsening the fibromyalgia.

With her newfound awareness and the techniques that she would be able to continue to practice on her own, my client was given the opportunity to maintain conscious control over her condition. If she falls back into old patterns, she has a known sensory signal that will remind her to take steps to decrease the severity of the disease and its painful symptoms.

How to Reduce the Effects of Trauma

By enlisting the services of a hypnotherapist, you’re able to pinpoint old patterns, traumas, and pains that may have been buried in the recesses of your mind. Accessing these old memories can have a drastic shift in your current life. Working through your past trauma can decrease the effect it has on you in the current moment. 

If you are aware of a past hurt or trauma, try the following technique to aid the process:   

Desensitization as a Tool for Healing Trauma

Some people believe time heals all wounds. While time certainly reduces the intensity, there are experiences that are just too impactful. Experiences of trauma can have a cumulative effect and even be carried with us as physical and emotional “baggage” from lifetime to lifetime.

Frequently manifesting as psychological pain and discomfort, and at other times as feelings of uneasiness and insecurity, these latent memories can have a tremendous impact on our effectiveness and success in modern life. 

In the most extreme cases, these feelings can lead to experiential avoidance, a psychological condition where people experience distressing feelings or images and then try to suppress their recurrence––an act that has been directly linked to anxiety and depression.

Desensitization is one of the numerous tools I use for dealing with these past traumas in a hypnotherapy session. It’s been helpful to countless clients bothered by emotions such as rage, anger, grief, fear, and other strong feelings.

The secret to its success rate is its ability to smooth the intensity of an emotional trigger, thus restoring a better sense of balance in life while reducing the length of time it takes to heal from the trauma of past events.

At the same time, the technique has the added benefit of enabling us to overcome stressful situations or knee-jerk fears and phobias in our everyday lives by combating many of the psychological stumbling blocks that keep us from achieving our goals. Popular uses for this application include overcoming fear of public speaking or shyness and awkwardness in social situations.

How Desensitization Works

Begin by recounting a stressful or frightening episode. Describe the event in detail, beginning from just before the event began, and ending when you’ve realized that you’re once again safe and comfortable after the event.

Now go back to the beginning, and start the story again. And again. And again. You can even change some of the details, or add stress-relieving humorous elements. Continue telling the story until you realize a diminished interest or an altered perception of the experience.

Coping Technique: If the association or memory is too stressful to even consider, try incorporating a repetitive physical action while recounting the event. Examples include tapping your foot, repeatedly touching the tip of each finger to your thumb, or tapping your wrist. Let this physical task distract the attention of your conscious mind. Alternatively, work through your worst traumas with a qualified hypnotherapist.

The goal is to create a sense of “boredom” in your recollection, gaining comfort and understanding with each retelling. Eventually, the story loses its intensity and stress is reduced because there is no longer a need to suppress the recurrence of this memory. The emotional charge has been dissipated, and you no longer rely on time to heal it.

Ending thoughts

Life can bring us experiences that can lead to pain, suffering, and emotional triggers. It can be as simple as a misspoken word or as devastating as being the victim of a traumatic experience. While these things may happen, we have ways of mitigating the resulting effects. Whether you are experiencing pain or illness, or have recurring triggers to  past traumas, hypnosis may hold the key to relief. 

If you have questions or comments about how hypnotherapy can assist with pain relief and healing trauma, please post them below in the comments.

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