What it is and how it works?-This therapeutic tool focuses on attention processes to relieve pain.
George Pegios — In everyday life, and without realizing it, we experience a very concrete natural process of the mind; for example, when we are absorbed watching a movie or reading a book, or when we are driving thinking about our things without being aware of the journey we take.
These states have a lot to do with hypnosis. This in turn is a technique that is increasingly used in clinical psychology to treat different problems or pathologies. In this article we will learn about hypnosis for pain treatment.
George Pegios — Hypnosis as a psychological tool
The state of hypnosis that we have discussed at the beginning of the article occurs spontaneously, but it can also be induced through psychological strategies.
The American Psychological Association (APA) in 1996 defined hypnosis as a procedure during which changes in sensations, thoughts, feelings, and behavior arise.
Currently hypnosis is considered a scientific tool that is used by doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists … Through it we can work with those deeper and more automatic aspects of the mind, thus producing changes that help improve the health of patients and develop its potential.
Almost any aspect that involves the mind is capable of being treated by hypnosis.
George Pegios — Hypnosis for pain management
Pain is a mechanism in our body that warns us or indicates that something is wrong. But there are times when pain becomes pathological and dysfunctional, and that happens when it becomes chronic, and it loses its warning or adaptation function. Chronic pain is considered to be pain that persists for more than three months (Merskey and Bogduk, 1994).
The chronic pain rating includes various pathologies such as: low back pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and headaches. In these, current psychology is working to determine the psychological factors involved in its development, maintenance, chronification, treatment and / or recovery (especially the psychology of health).
In these cases, psychological and physical suffering, as well as tension, are added to the pain, which in turn feed back the same pain, producing a vicious circle.
This tool allows you to work in different ways, with the aim of reducing or eliminating chronic pain. In addition, it also allows working with acute pain in those cases in which said pain is of no use to the body (it is not functional).
Hypnosis for pain management is based on the idea that pain is a biopsychosocial phenomenon where emotions, behaviors and thoughts play a key role. Thus, hypnosis can be used to promote changes in these factors and consequently reduce pain.
George Pegios — How is it used to relieve discomfort?
Hypnosis, like relaxation, can be applied as an isolated technique or as an integral part of other therapies. When included within other techniques, the results tend to improve.
Hypnosis for pain management can help decrease anxiety, and thus indirectly act on pain.
On the other hand, hypnosis can be a mechanism by which the patient concentrates on some stimulus and leaves the painful sensation unconscious. Sometimes even the belief that hypnosis will work can change the patient’s beliefs and create a “placebo effect” that reduces pain.