Chronic Pain – Or Freedom

One of the solutions we played with for treating chronic pain, back in ’97 when I was training as a Hypnotherapist, was this odd-sounding thing called glove anaesthesia. One of the subject’s hands are hypnootised to feel numb (as if wearing a leather glove – hence the name) and then that numbness is transferred to the part of the body that is experiencing chronic pain. I was never very convinced by this.

Then, later on in my training, I was encouraged, by my tutor, to attend a Masterclass on something called Psychoneuroimmunology – PNI for short. This absolutely fascinated me – especially the part about curing cancer using mental imagery. Mental imagery, it seemed, could also be used to treat pain. This seemed to me to make much more sense as a pain treatment than attempting to numb a hand – especially as it is easy to teach people how to use PNI techniques and no hypnosis is required. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to try it out, even though it seemed just a little like magic.

At that time I was doing some meditation teaching combined with counselling work for the Consultant Psychologist at the local hospital when a client arrived with a headache that had been with her for over a week and was proving resistant to painkillers (medical attention had been sought). I thought, here’s an opportunity to try this magical chronic pain stuff out and see if it really works. Her chronic pain was completely gone in less than five minutes and didn’t return. I was as amazed as my client.

After I qualified as a Hypnotherapist I started to use these techniques regularly with clients for minor aches and ains – almost always successfully.

1. Then one day I had a phone call from a lady who was suffering chronic pain from something called fibromyalgia (I’d heard the word but had no idea what it was). When clients report any chronic pain that they want me to work on I always ask them to score it on a 0-10 scale. 0 being no pain, 10 being the worst chronic pain they can imagine. This client scored 8/9 while she was talking to me and said it was like this constantly. She also mentioned to me about never getting more than two hours continuous sleep a night, being unable to work, and of the hell of a life filled with chronic pain.

  • When she left an hour later the pain was scoring 3.
  • When she came back a week later she reported 8 hours sleep every night that week and the chronic pain was still a 3.
  • When she left after that second session the chronic pain was 0.

2. Another client of mine rang me up a week or so ago telling me she was in chronic pain. She’d had a lumpectomy followed a couple of weeks later by a mastectomy and the pain was having a seriously debilitating effect on her life. She just wanted me to ease it a little.

10 minutes after we started treatment the chronic pain was much reduced, another 10 minutes and it was gone. The thing that amazed her most was the total freedom of movement of her arm which she could barely lift to shoulder height when she arrived,. She hadn’t mentioned the arm to me so that was a nice surprise for both of us.

The other interesting thing about this session is that I decided not to work in trance to treat this pain. So there was no hypnosis here. I just asked her to close her eyes (just to make visualisation easier) and directed her imagination for a minute or two, then we stopped and checked the results. Repeating this until the pain was gone.

It took about 20 minutes.

…and the relaxation in her face, as the pain left, was a joy to see.

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