Many doctors and people living in chronic pain are not aware of the efficacy and effectiveness of well-documented alternative approaches to pain relief like self-hypnosis and mindfulness. They are often surprised that pain relief without drugs is possible. But it really is.
Taking Suffering out of the Pain:
You can take the suffering out of pain, but let me make it clear the mind-body self-care exercises that follow are not a substitute for having your symptoms evaluated by a licensed health care professional.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” is a common phrase in 12-step programs and is helpful in the sense that all pain, no matter the source, is perceived inside our heads, where our brains reside. You are actually experiencing your reactions to painful signals (suffering). The great news is that you can change the way you react to your painful signals and take the suffering out of pain.
Role of Self-Hypnosis and Mindfulness:
That brings me to self-hypnosis and mindfulness. Self-hypnosis and mindfulness can help people reduce or eliminate all types of suffering — You can take the suffering out of pain signals
There are many factors that can impact the way a person experiences pain. These include stress, anticipation, arousal, deeply held beliefs, intentions and expectations. Stress, for example, will almost always intensify any pain experience.
Simple Self-hypnosis exercises:
Alternatively, self-care techniques like self-hypnosis and mindfulness can lead to pain relief. The following 3 to 5 minute self-hypnosis exercise is ideal for taking the suffering out of pain.
1. Close and open your eyes. Now create a safe space in your mind and allow yourself to feel the pain and whatever else is disturbing or upsetting you – get in touch with the emotions and feelings and as you do make a fist with your right hand, release the fist and relax you hand.
2. Inhale, and exhale and close and open your eyes.
3. Now picture yourself in your mind as follows: You are having a great hair day; You are at your ideal weight; Your skin
4. Now inhale and exhale deeply and gently close and open your eyes. Okay, now count to ten and at the count of ten; make a fist with both hands at the same time. Now just relax and mentally count to five before opening your fists.
5. Count backwards from 3 to 1 and bring yourself back to full alertness feeling ready and able to enjoy the rest of your day or night.
Feeling better? It’s enlightening to know that you can actually change your painful experience by altering your neuro-physio-emotional tone. Additionally, practicing “intentional relaxation” utilizing the self-hypnosis and mindfulness exercises below will help you feel better and that automatically reduces suffering. By itself, this can make the pain feel less urgent and more manageable.
Practicing one or both of these 3 to 5
Focus on the sensations of inhaling and exhaling or listen to your heartbeat without trying to change anything. Notice any distractions and gently bring your attention back to the sensations of inhaling and exhaling or listening to your heartbeat. Stay with it for 3 to 5 minutes and bring your attention back to what you will be doing next. Give what ever you are doing your undivided attention.
Tighten and relax the muscles in your face, neck and shoulders. Now, tighten and relax the muscles in your back and chest and then tighten and relax the muscles in your thighs, legs and feet. Now, imagine that your body is becoming warm and/or heavy as you de-stress and continue to release all of the unnecessary tensions in your mind and body. Now focus your attention on activities that are pleasurable and satisfying and enjoy them in the privacy of your mind