Do you prefer non-drug related remedies or alternative therapies for chronic pain management for yourself, a family member or a loved one?
While chronic pain tends to be more prevalent amongst older people, it is also commonly related to headaches, post-surgical pain, lower-back pain, cancer related pain, arthritis, and disability related pain.
The severity and frequency of chronic pain may vary but overall people affected by it face considerable suffering, physical limitations, and emotional distress.
And, despite treatment with analgesics and physical modalities, chronic pain often persists and is therefore a common reason for the use of complimentary or alternative therapies.
Over the years, hypnosis has gone through several periods of adoption and rejection and various researchers came up with different theories of what hypnosis is and how it could be used.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and we now see growing interest in hypnosis as a therapy for pain management as evidence strongly suggests it can significantly help reduce pain.
In fact, research finds that Hypnotherapy is now commonly used by medical professionals as a pain management remedy.
Hypnotherapy was first used in the early 1800’s by Liebault and Bernheim to treat sciatica. It was primarily used for relieving pain during an operation by Dr. Henry Munro. With the help of hypnosis, Dr. Munro could surgically operate on the patients by using 10% of the normal dose of ether.
Research has shown that Hypnotherapy is effective in pain management. It is specifically successful in those areas where patients are allergic to analgesic. It is also used for controlling pain in some complicated conditions such as burns, muscular-skeletal disorder, post-surgery pain, and facial neuralgia. Even ordinary bouts of body ache, excruciating pain due to toothache or headache can be reduced by hypnosis. Certain operative procedures that are life-saving like cardio-vascular surgery, caesarean section, thyroidectomies and hysterectomies can utilise hypnosis to alleviate pain. Researchers from the United States National Institute of Health in 1996 have shown that hypnosis is beneficial for easing even the most chronic cancer related pain. The latest analysis provided by Mt. Sinai Medicine School of New York has justified the efficiency of hypnosis in the pain management, making it useful to reduce pains related to rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer.
Several methods such as Rhythm, Imagery and Monotony are used as the tools in hypnosis for relieving pain. Another important technique is self-hypnosis, which is used by any person to generate positive thinking and for mitigating pain. Metaphor, suggestion, visualization are also effective in alleviating pain.
Hypnosis is not a miracle remedy or a stand-alone cure. When it is used together with the pain-relieving drugs. However, health care professionals have found good results with a lower dose of pain medication required. It is regarded highly valuable in cases of surgery-anxiety and drug-allergy.
Clinical research has shown that hypnotherapy as a healing modality, to be an effective management tool for pain.
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