Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Hypnotherapy For Drug-Free Pain Relief

by Caitlin Obara

It's essential that you seek treatment if you are in any kind of pain. Once the source of the pain is found then it's time to make it stop. There are some strong painkilling prescriptions that may help, but there can be some serious side effects. Drug-free pain relief through hypnotherapy is one of the most effective alternative treatments.

What Causes Pain?

According to the Institute of Medicine Report on Pain, over 100 million Americans have chronic pain. The treatment of chronic pain costs over one half trillion dollars every year.

Pain control issues are always present with conditions like migraines, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy and nerve, joint, and muscle deterioration or injury. Chronic pain can result from a disease, disability or a side-effect of a medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or a surgery.

 The Problem with Prescription Drugs for Pain Relief

In the 19th century, opiates were first used for pain relief.  Morphine and heroin (strong drugs in any generation) were widely prescribed for chronic pain.

Prescription drug abuse can lead to death from drug overdose. Of the 22,400 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2005, painkillers were the most common drug involved, accounting for 38.2% of the deaths.

In 2007, the DEA reported that abuse of just the painkiller Fentanyl killed more than 1,000 people in the US. It is estimated to be 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Often drugs can help relieve your pain. The problem is these drugs can also lead to addiction, possible overdose or other serious side effects.

The Gateway Theory

The theory is that to stop hurting you must block or divert the pain message to the brain. This is known as the "gateway" pain control theory. Messages are sent through the nerve pathway, which runs through your spinal cord. When the "gates" are closed, it interrupts the pain. When the pain message being transmitted to your brain stops,  the sensation of pain stops there too. 

The Masking Effect

 When you block and disrupt the pain message from the affected area to the brain, you reduce or eliminate the pain you experience.  The message that is sent out to your brain that says "I hurt!" never gets there. Some medical experts refer to this as a masking effect.

You don't feel pain because either the pain message is never sent or it is never received. Pain drugs "mask" or hide pain by dulling the brain so that the message can't be sent.

Does Hypnotherapy Work to Reduce Pain?

Increasingly, hypnosis is being used as a complementary treatment to traditional medicine.

Studies have proven that hypnosis works for pain management. The recent (2009) imaging studies demonstrate that hypnotic suggestions effect brain activity. These suggestions can target specific aspects of pain.

Hypnosis decreases the intensity of pain. It also decreases  activity in the brain areas that are linked to the experience of pain intensity. Hypnotic suggestions can be made to decrease the unpleasantness of pain can have significant effects on how bad the pain makes people feel.

Hypnosis is proven as an effective tool to change the psychological reference to the pain and the physical experience of it.

Hypnosis can save money. Hypnotic suggestions for pain reduction and healing have been shown to speed up recovery time, and reduce the amounts of prescription pain medicines required. The patient is in less pain, and both the patient and the patient's insurance company saves money. In a time of skyrocketing medical expenses, this is a complementary treatment that can result in cost savings.

For more information about hypnotherapy you can contact a local clinic, like Positive Change Unlimited.