Pain Management Strategies
There are many applications to hypnosis and one of the most common use of hypnosis is for pain management.
Fortunately in recent times we can confidently say there has been many studies relating to this topic and the many benefits and use of hypnosis for both chronic and acute pain management has been both successful and beneficial.
Over the past 12 years during Sheb’s clinical practice as clinical soft tissue therapist and sport scientist, Sheb has been fortunate to be involved with treatment plans as such offering a multidisciplinary approach within the Allied Health system. The purpose of offering hypnotherapy to pain clients and medical professions is to offer a substitute to pain medication such as opioids by providing a holistic approach and an alternative non-pharmacologic tradition to treatment.
Recent studies suggest that hypnosis treatment can be effective in two ways. Firstly, the treatment can offer substantial reduction in pain intensity for up to 12 months for some by interrupting how the brain processes sensory information. And secondly, the way patients administered hypnosis to their daily lives by offering self-management skills on a regular basis that can result in temporary pain relief (Mark P. Jensen and David R. Patterson, 2015)
Pain can be interpreted in many different ways for many different people. There is no one way is best suited over the other. It all depends on each individual view of their world and how they interpret their pain. Michael Yapko states that intervention should depend on the characteristic of the person to influence change and the way the person experience their pain. Things that can be considered are how the individual anticipates their pain, what meaning they give their pain, if the client is able to alter their pain, and how their pain level effects the clients life (M. D. Yapko, 2015).
Therefore, the effectiveness of each hypnotic intervention depends on each individuals perception, and what their focus is. The ultimate goal is to empower the client to go within and help them discover something that they never thought was there in the first place. It also helps to create a well defined goal and allow an adaptive process for a positive outcome.
There is a substantial increase in the use of pharmaceutical opioids across the world, including Australia which has one of the highest level of opioid usage globally1. In 2015, there was a significant increase with more then 15 million opioid medications that were dispensed. As the prevalence of opioid usage increased 0.6% between 2013 and 2017, with approximately 3 million adults using opioids each year2, it wasn’t long until there was a noticeable high demand for long term sustainability in terms of intervention for individuals who suffer from chronic pain.
Given that opioid related deaths were most common in people aged <50 years3, there is still a high chance and time to help people in chronic pain and turn things around.
A multidisciplinary approach to therapy will not only provide a holistic approach to therapy but may also be used as a postoperative intervention. Studies state that with hypnotherapy as part of treatment, individuals are more likely to recover faster and use less pain medication to combat their pain. This is a great tool that is non invasive, affordable and the quickest and most efficient way to help individuals during their painful moments in life.