One of hypnotherapy’s many uses has been in the application of pain management. It’s been used in dentistry, birthing and even surgery. But how does it work exactly?
Hypnosis is a procedure that involves cognitive processes such as imagination. Using these processes, a patient can be guided to respond to suggestions for changes in perceptions and sensations.
Modern technology now allows changes to be measured, thus allowing scientific evidence to be brought to light. This has also increased our understanding of how hypnotherapy works.
In a recent study in Sweden, volunteers who plunged their hands into ice cold water had their brains measured using a PET scan. Later, they were hypnotized and told the water would not seem as painfully cold.
The data obtained showed no decrease in activation in the somatosensory cortex region which is involved in processing the sensation of pain. These results suggest that although the brain may continue to register the sensation of pain, hypnosis helps patients shift their experience of pain away from distress and suffering.
It appears we have a lot more control over our pain than we originally thought. Perhaps it’s a matter of focus and we can choose what we dwell on.
To be or not to be in pain, that is the question!
If you would like more information on how hypnotherapy can help treat symptoms of pain please join our Masterclass on Pain in London on the 28th July 2018.
By Natasha Kelly