Friday, January 01, 2010

Self Hypnosis To Manage Pain

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

Ring In The New Decade With A New Resolution - Include Self Hypnosis In Daily Regimen

Have you stepped into the new decade, carrying forward the pains of the earlier decade? Pains in the body that have defied the most modern of treatments and the latest of interventions? Pains in the mind that refuse to be brought to terms or be reconciled with? These first days of the new decade could be a great time to look at alternative intervention mechanisms to help relieve pain.

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

A typical session of hypnosis begins by an invitation to relax and focus one's attention, and a suggestion to use one's imagination. This first stage is known as "induction" in hypnosis parlance, which may take anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the skill of the practitioner as well as the response given by the individual undergoing hypnosis. This is followed by suggestions given by the practitioner that are subjective experiences pertaining to alterations in perception, sensation or behavior, including modifications in emotional processing. The final stage is known as "bringing up", where the practitioner suggests that the individual begin becoming aware of their own body and peripheral environs, and return to "normalcy". This is a very concise description, but generally this is all that is involved in hypnosis.

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

Support to the efficacy of this form of therapy in analgesia and pain management has emerged from imaging studies that have established the impact of hypnosis on the supra-spinal sites in the body. Hypnotic suggestions have been found to target specific areas of the brain cortex which are associated with pain.

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

People who have undergone hypnosis sessions with the guidance of a practitioner have been reported to have taken up self-hypnosis sessions at home, because of the immense relief they would experience after each session. These at-home sessions were conducted both with and without audio recordings of the hypnosis session they underwent at the clinic. That hypnosis can alleviate the sensation of pain, there is now no doubt.

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

Can all pain be cured through hypnosis? Research suggests that pain which is associated with neuro-physiological processes are first in the line for treatment through hypnosis. Literature is replete with mixed findings of the efficacy of this line of treatment on pain management: it has not found to be any better for coronary-artery-bypass patients, but on the other hand it has alleviated state anxiety in dental surgery patients, and has been found to be very effective on patients with IBS, breast surgery and maxillofacial surgery.

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

In order to make hypnotic suggestions more effective, virtual reality technology is being deployed. The advantage of this technology is that the patient does not have to exert as much effort to visualize the imagery that the practitioner's verbal cues are aiming to provide, as a rich audiovisual sensory experience that has been already pre-programmed, is in place for the patient to immerse themselves in. Hypnotherapists and other practitioners in the field might consider exploring this technology if they have not already done so; here is a 2006 paper that reports success in applying this technology for alleviating burn pains.

image by gazette.unc.edu

The site which this blog is part of has a huge collection of self-hypnosis CDs aimed at alleviating a diverse range of issues. There could be no better beginning to a new decade than by taking action to improve the quality of one's life. Development of the self: isn't that the larger goal?

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

[Why a string of words from a stranger clinician should have an effect on the psycho-physiology of the body is a mystery. But it does, as surely as somebody's words of insult cause the body to tremble in indignation, or somebody's words of praise make the cheeks go red and the pupils dilate. From our sensory organs, the cues reach in to touch our psyche and hit some vulnerable buttons, which then directs the brain to send out the appropriate commands to cause the body to act accordingly. The psyche has been a largely unexplored phenomenon, as are its powers. On the woolly and subjective conjectures and speculations about what exactly these powers are, this article attempts to put a structure: "The Tiers Of Psychic Powers". ]

image by xymonau, sxc.hu

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