Are you sick and tired of hurting? Has your healthcare provider told you to find a way to live with the pain? I’ll bet they didn’t tell you HOW to do that, did they? Did anyone give you a roadmap and tell you how to get to the other side of unrelenting pain? If you answered “no” then you are in good company. Depending on which statistics you read somewhere between 50 million and 100 million Americans have chronic pain and nearly half of them have trouble finding adequate relief. But there is only ONE that matters and that one is YOU.

Chronic pain is finally being recognized as a disease of its own and not merely a symptom of something else. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life: mental, physical and emotional. If your whole life is impacted by pain then the treatments must address your whole life as well. Pain does not exist in a vacuum.

There have been many advances in understanding the ways in which chronic pain is experienced. But, they have not led to more effective pharmacological treatments. It’s hard to give someone pain relief without making them sleepy. And, turning off the sensory nerves that transmit pain increases the risk of seizures or heart rhythm problems.

Because of the way the body is designed the pain signal seizes our attention and prioritizes it over other sensations. When you are deprived of a full range of sensations life begins to lose its quality. To restore the quality to your life the pain must be treated from multiple perspectives at the same time.

Several years ago when someone experienced chronic pain it was thought that the pain was all in their head. This belief has persisted. Many chronic pain patients are hesitant to seek adequate relief, fearing the physician will think they have an emotional illness or are drug seeking rather than suffering from a true physical illness. So, they suffer needlessly and in silence. This is a crime against reason.

Even though this is irrational thinking, it makes a point. You cannot experience pain without a mind. And, we know the mind is not confined to the brain. Therefore, the mind/body approaches should be among the front line of all treatment approaches for chronic pain. You must treat it where it is recognized and interpreted—in the mind. When you change the interpretation in the mind, pain loses its ability to create misery and suffering. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, hypnosis and self hypnosis, acupuncture and massage therapy should be prescribed along with Lortab, Oxycodone and Cymbalta.

Even though we do not know exactly how the mind/body therapies work, we have hundreds of years of experience knowing they are helpful. We don’t know exactly how aspirin works to relieve mild pain but we know it works and we do not hesitate to use it when it is appropriate. We know the mind can create pain and that it also has enormous powers to take it away.

Hypnotherapy has been endorsed by the American Medical Association since 1958 specifically for its ability to relieve mild to severe pain. And, more recently the National Institute of Health has stated that hypnosis is evidenced based to relieve mild to severe pain. Since hypnosis is non-invasive it is safer than medications, herbal remedies or accupuncture. Another safey feature of hypnosis is that it will not relieve a pain that could be harmful to the body that has not been properly diagnosed. Therefore, it becomes diagnostic. If the patient has not been correctly diagnosed and treated, analgesic medications can mask the pain symptoms. Hypnosis cannot.

It takes training and practice to learn to use the mind to relieve pain. You go to a physical therapist or a personal trainer to learn better ways to use your body. You go to a hypnotherapist trained in advanced pain control techniques to learn to use your mind to turn off the pain signal. Most people who have experienced significant levels of chronic pain over a long period of time will require four or five sessions to achieve maximum relief. However, most people begin getting some degree of relief from the first session and the degree of relief builds as the sessions continue.

If there is no hypnotherapist near you or the ones near you are not trained in advanced pain control techniques using pre-recorded self-hypnosis CD’s can be an effective option. Look for a multi-session program from someone who uses hypnosis every day. Success with hypnosis is largely influenced by the therapists technique, you want to choose a hypnotherapist who works with pain control on at least a weekly basis rather than one who only sees pain patients sporadically. If you see pain control CD’s advertised on the internet invest in a phone call to ask some pointed questions about the therapist’s background and training in advanced pain techniques and how frequently that therapist works with pain patients in their private practice. For more information on hypnotic pain control go to www.melissajroth.com.

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Roth, CHt.,PhD is a nationally certified hypnotherapist who specializes in medical aspects of hypnotherapy. After healing herself of both fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome in 1996 she founded Alabama Hypnotherapy Center in Birminghan, Al. She has a private practice in Birmingham, Al., and is a critically acclaimed author and lecturer in the field of medical hypnotherapy. She lectures and teaches at professional conferences all over the world and has written numerous textbooks on aspects of medical hypnotherapy that have become the definitive authority in their field. You can find out more about her at her website, www.tranceworkers.com.