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Chronic Pain Management

It doesn't have to hurt all the time.

AHA Diploma for Pain Management

Nobody deserves to be in pain.

Pain is useful. It tells us we are injured, that we need to seek help and we need give something time to heal. But all too often that "acute" pain can become lasting "chronic" pain. Pain has outlived its usefulness once our abilities to do something about it have been exhausted. When an injury is no longer acute or when you have done all the healing you can, sometimes the pain remains and can cause severe damage to the quality of your life.

Acute pain tells us of an injury and reminds us not to reinjure something. Chronic pain remains weeks, months or even years after pain signals have ceased to be useful in that respect.

Often, those who suffer from pain are told that there are no solutions available to them, that the solutions that are available consist of the protracted use of drugs that have their downside or even that the pain is all in their head. That last point is a bit ironic. Pain is an electrical signal, sent from a nerve to the brain. Sometimes the nerve is warning you of damage, but if it is damaged itself, it can misfire and continue to sound the alarm, even though the injury is long gone.

But what if you could teach your mind to turn down the volume control of chronic pain? What if you could just learn to ignore it like you do that barking dog, that crack in the ceiling, that bad smell, that dripping faucet? After all, all of them are electrical signals coming into the brain. It is entirely possible with hypnosis.

Only you and your doctor together can decide how to treat your chronic pain best. It's possible that your doctor will present several options for your case. But if your doctor doesn't suggest it, you should ask about hypnosis. As a Certified Specialist in Pain Management from the American Hypnosis Association, I can tell you that it is incredibly likely that we create a significant and dramatic improvement in your quality of life by decreasing your perception of chronic pain. Please contact me if you would like more information about your options and information about how to talk to your doctor about hypnosis.

Pain treatment will almost always require the consent of a medical doctor. I understand and want to help, but I believe that removing pain without knowing for sure that it is chronic can lead to worse problems. Most medical providers will routinely sign a referral for hypnotherapy of this kind when asked.

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Hypnosis Reduces Pain Intensity

Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness.

Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.

Hypnosis Reduces Pain of Headaches and Anxiety

The improvement was confirmed by the subjective evaluation data gathered with the use of a questionnaire and by a significant reduction in anxiety scores.

Melis PM, Rooimans W, Spierings EL, Hoogduin CA, Treatment of chronic tension-type headache with hypnotherapy: a single-blind time controlled study. Headache 1991; 31(10): 686-9.

Hypnosis Lowered Post-treatment Pain in Burn Injuries

Patients in the hypnosis group reported less post treatment pain than did patients in the control group. The findings are used to replicate earlier studies of burn pain hypnoanalgesia, explain discrepancies in the literature, and highlight the potential importance of motivation with this population.

Patterson DR, Ptacek JT, Baseline pain as a moderator of hypnotic analgesia for burn injury treatment. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 1997; 65(1): 60-7.

Hypnosis Lowered Phantom Limb Pain

Hypnotic procedures appear to be a useful adjunct to established strategies for the treatment of phantom limb pain and would repay further, more systematic, investigation. Suggestions are provided as to the factors which should be considered for a more systematic research program.

Treatment of phantom limb pain using hypnotic imagery. Oakley DA, Whitman LG, Halligan PW, Department of Psychology, University College, London, UK.

Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain

Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment.

Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.

Hypnosis is a Powerful Tool in Pain Therapy and is Biological in Addiction to Psychological

Attempting to elucidate cerebral mechanisms behind hypnotic analgesia, we measured regional cerebral blood flow with positron emission tomography in patients with fibromyalgia, during hypnotically-induced analgesia and resting wakefulness. The patients experienced less pain during hypnosis than at rest. The cerebral blood-flow was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex. The observed blood-flow pattern supports notions of a multifactorial nature of hypnotic analgesia, with an interplay between cortical and subcortical brain dynamics. Copyright 1999 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Functional anatomy of hypnotic analgesia: a PET study of patients with fibromyalgia. Wik G, Fischer H, Bragee B, Finer B, Fredrikson M, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden Eur J Pain. 1999 Mar;3(1):7-12.