Many people have pain that lasts more than six months. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined according to the National Institute of Health. Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system. It is a leading cause of disability and it is a major contributor to health care cost.

chronic pain, barbed wireChronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability.

The medical community, try as they might, just does not have the capacity to treat  pain well or with much success. The medications are problematic, addictive and coordination of integrative care is under managed.  Patients often view themselves as sufferers of pain with limited allies or understanding.

Health insurance companies limit coverage based on algorithms rather than need. Patients with chronic pain do not get an individualized treatment plan that best suits their needs. Physicians are not often assessing for pain. Nor are they sending pain patients to alternative treatment providers.

Hypnosis is an alternative and natural fit for chronic pain patients by using the mind’s natural healing capabilities through suggestions for reducing pain.  Hypnosis can be used to help with sleep problems, which most chronic pain patients encounter.

Hypnosis is focused concentration and all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Hypnosis was used as far back as the Celts and Druids. The Bible is purported to have many sections which allude to hypnotic suggestions. And we have all heard of Mesmer. The hypnotic   phenomenon is something we all experience everyday on our own. When we are driving long distances perhaps,  to the other side of town or even a road trip, we have a tendency to think about other things even while driving  and ending at our destination without incident. It seems like time has gone by so quickly. That is an example of dissociation of time and place. These are two of hypnotic phenomena.

So, hypnosis is not a new modality of treatment and can be an efficacious tool when added to other modalities of treatment like cognitive therapy or on it’s own to treat medical issues such as pain, IBS and phobias.

What can you do? Ask your physician for a referral to a psychotherapist who specializes in treating any of these conditions including pain conditions. .

Be your own best healthcare advocate!