Hypnotherapy for Pain Management and Auto Immune Disorders
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Milton Erikson, a famous Psychiatrist and one of the fathers of Hypnotherapy once said, “The subconscious mind is like a warehouse of resources and most people go into the warehouse with a little flashlight rather than turning on all the lights.” In other words, we have a choice what resources in our unconscious mind we want to use at any given time. So why not use the ones that will empower us the most? Hypnotherapy is the tool to obtain that empowerment.
Hypnotherapy is extremely effective in relieving pain. Pain perception really has two parts. First is the sensation of something uncomfortable happening to a part of our body, and second is our reaction to this information.
Pain is important as it lets us know that there is damage being done to our body. It helps us protect that part of our body and warns us to get away from the thing that’s hurting our body. So we need pain. But when the pain becomes chronic, we no longer need it to warn us. Maybe we’ll still need a slight discomfort to remind us to not overdo things, but we certainly no longer need the pain. This is where Hypnotherapy can help.
Did you ever go into a movie with a headache and get so engrossed in the movie that you forgot your head hurt? Or, did you ever think so much about your headache that it seemed like it was going to explode? That is a prime example of how our thoughts control how our body responds.
Using relaxation and focused concentration to change the way we think and to change our thoughts about the way we feel, can help us gain more control over pain and get our body to feel more comfortable. Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation which helps the mind focus allowing the unconscious mind to become responsive to suggestions. You don’t have to try to respond, it just happens, just as pain just happens. In the state of relaxation and focused attention, the Hypnotherapist can give your unconscious mind the information, suggestions and tools it needs to become more comfortable and to relieve the pain.
In summary, our thoughts have a major impact on how our body feels. In fact, our thoughts can regulate how our bodies feel. We are in control of our thoughts, therefore, the implication is that we can control the way our body feels. But sometimes, we need help in doing that. Sometimes we get stuck in a thought pattern that leaves our body feeling unwell, unhealthy, in discomfort. Hypnotherapy can help get patients unstuck, to begin to use different parts of the mind to think differently and behave in ways that are more healthful and helpful.
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. Some autoimmune diseases target only one area of the body or one organ; for example, type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas, other diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), affect the whole body.
Effectiveness of Hypnosis
Hypnosis can help in immunity management because it is effective, non-pharmacological, and a cost-effective self-care tool. The beauty of hypnosis is that it helps a patient get back in balance and boosts healing.
Once the body stars to feel better, emotions follow. When emotions go out of balance, the immune system takes a hit. The proper processing of the appropriate level of emotional experience allows the system to function in such a way that we can acquire the kind of energy that we need to be strong against any concern or issue presented to us.
In a study at Washington State University, a group of volunteers were given hypnotic suggestions to specifically boost their immune system. On the other hand, another group only received relaxing suggestions or no suggestions at all. Their level of T- and B-cells (special defence cells) were measured. Those who had received hypnotic suggestions showed a significant increase in their levels of protective cells. In addition, research and studies have also shown that hypnotherapy can help lower stress and reduce inflammation. Inflammation is what contributes to many physical ailments in the body.
The early symptoms of many autoimmune diseases are very similar, such as:
• Achy Muscles
• Swelling and Redness
• Low-grade fever
• Trouble Concentrating
• Numbness and Tingling in the Hands and Feet
• Hair Loss
• Skin Rashes
Symptoms might come and go over time with varying intensity.
Common Auto Immune Disorders
1. Type 1 diabetes
2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
3. Psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis
4. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
5. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
6. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
7. Addison’s disease
8. Graves’ disease
9. Sjögren’s syndrome
10. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
11. Myasthenia gravis
12. Autoimmune vasculitis:
13. Pernicious anemia
14. Celiac disease
17. Allergic Disorders
18. Cancer: Also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type. Hypnotherapy has been specifically employed in the palliative care of cancer patients to reduce symptoms associated with radiation and chemotherapy, such as pain, nausea, fatigue, hot flashes and sleep dysfunction.
Hypnotherapy help patients achieve a relaxed, therapeutic, hypnotic state.
The therapy soothes symptoms, improves wellbeing, and even retrain the immune system to better distinguish between friend and foe. As you access healing imagery the painful symptoms gradually ease.
Remarkable Effects of the Treatment
The hypnotic suggestions in sessions are designed to reduce the actual level of inflammation in the body as well as the experience of the associated pain. Part of the sessions even target the immune system itself, aiming to push it back towards a more healthy, balanced state - for good.
As the patient relaxes and listens repeatedly to the sessions, he will:
• Notice gradual improvements in the symptoms
• Feel more confident towards healing and in control
• Have progressively better sleep
• Require less pain relief medication
• Be happier and more comfortable.
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