Medically, hypnotherapy is defined as the treatment of health ailments by inducing sleep in the patient. It is employed in surgery, dentistry, research, psychotherapy, and medicine. Hypnotherapy is the ideal tool that is used to tackle behavioral problems or psycho-somatic disorders like weight gain, smoking cessation, narcotics abuse, alcoholism and pain management.
History of hypnotherapy in pain-relief:
Hypnotherapy was used in as early as 1800 by Bernheim and Liebault to cure sciatica.
It was first used to relieve pain during surgery by Dr. Henry Munro. By using hypnosis, Dr. Munro was able to surgically operate on patients using only 10% of ether, by inducing them beforehand into a hypnotic state.
Areas of pain relief where hypnosis is used:
Hypnotherapy is extremely effective in the area of pain management. It is particularly successful in areas where the patient is allergic to analgesic or anesthetics. It is used to control pain in complicated situations like arthritis, burns, child birth, muscular-skeletal disorder, facial neuralgia. Even simple bouts of headache, body ache or even excruciating pain caused by toothache is curbed by hypnosis. Life-saving operative procedures like Caesarean sections, cardio-vascular surgery, hysterectomies and thyroidectomies use hypnosis for pain-alleviation. In 1996, researchers in the U.S. National Institute of Health proved that hypnosis is helpful in easing even chronic cancer pain. Recent analysis by New York’s Mount Sinai school of medicine justified the effectiveness of hypnosis in pan management by proving it helpful in reducing rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and surgery-anxiety.
Hypnotherapy techniques in pain-relief:
Various methods like Imitation, Rhythm, Monotony and Imagery are employed as hypnosis tools in relieving pain. Self -hypnosis is another valuable technique that can be used by any individual in generating a positive thinking and mitigating pain. Visualization, Metaphor, Suggestion etc are also instrumental in alleviating pain through hypnosis.
Why Hypnosis for Pain relief:
Pain is a condition of physical trauma that may be caused due to injury, disease or malfunctioning of internal organs. Pain may be localized or global but it is often partially experienced as an emotional anguish. Trauma is registered in the mind as a stressful factor.The patient is already in a pre-conditioned state where he is to believe that he is in acute pain. So while the cognitive part of pain may be partial, its emotional part also supplements it, this is where hypnosis comes in. Hypnosis is able to induce the patient to transform his negative and stress-related emotions to positive emotions whereby he is emotionally relieved of pain. Hypnosis treatment helps you to mentally block off the sensation of pain, thereby preventing it from further escalation.
Hypnosis is neither a stand alone-treatment nor a miracle cure. When used in conjunction with pain-relieving drugs, physicians often find better results with lesser quantities of medication used. Especially valuable in incidents of drug-allergy and surgery-anxiety, hypnotherapy makes the patient respond better to treatment by attacking pain from a different angle.
Thus hypnotherapy is the need of the hour as a psychiatric tool for effective pain management