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Pain management

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Author: Holly Hannigan, Posted: Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 08:00

Roughly 43% of adults in the UK live with some degree of chronic pain, which is described as pain that lasts for longer than three months.

We all know the common, old school treatments for pain that revolve around medication, low impact exercise and perhaps some physiotherapy.

However, health professionals are now realising how important the link between the body and mind is based on research and scientific evidence, showing that we can improve our physical health through mind activities such as meditation, hypnosis and mindfulness.

Many hospitals now have specialist pain clinics where people who suffer from chronic pain can go to gain advice on living with pain and some pain management techniques.

Reduce the distress caused by chronic pain

Pain Management Programme (PMP) is a psychologically-based rehabilitative treatment, delivered in a group setting by an interdisciplinary team of experienced health care professionals. For many people, attending a Pain Management Programme reduces the disability and distress caused by chronic pain by teaching physical, psychological and practical techniques to improve quality of life.

Aromatherapy (using essential oils during massage) and Acupuncture (using ultra-fine sterile needles inserted into specific acupuncture points, triggering the body’s natural healing response) both stimulate the nervous system, blood supply and muscular system.

Acupuncture also causes the release of neurochemical messenger molecules, and the resulting biochemical changes promote physical and emotional well-being, providing relaxation and reducing anxiety.

Other complementary therapies that have been proven to reduce pain or improve living with pain include:
Bowen Technique
Pilates and Yoga

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist myself and someone who has a chronic illness that causes pain, I am very aware of wanting to find natural ways to manage pain without side effects. I often use self-hypnosis when having a flare up and have helped many clients learn this technique.

Way back in the 1840s, Scottish surgeon, Dr James Esdaile researched the ability of hypnosis to eliminate pain, using hypnosis to induce mental anaesthesia for surgery. Patients did not experience any pain, and postoperative mortality was reduced to two per cent.

Through self-hypnosis clients can be trained how to induce anaesthesia in any part of the body. This stands them in good stead for relieving both acute and chronic pain.

The body can produce its own painkillers

The body also has the ability to produce its own painkillers called endorphins and encephalin. The key to increasing these is a relaxed mind and body. Good quality relaxation accelerates the body’s natural healing abilities, and relieves stress and tension, leading to greater comfort and ease. After all, no one can be anxious, tense and relaxed at the same time, therefore the latter is effective for controlling pain.

For any chronic pain, always discuss treatments with your GP and look into all available resources.

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