Chronic pain (can hypnosis help?)

Most back pain and other forms of chronic pain, can come from emotional pain and contrary to common belief probably have nothing to do with physical abnormalities.

dr sarno - hypnosis can help chronic painDr. Sarno, a professor and attending physician for spinal injuries at the rehabilitation centre of the New York University, in his book “The Mindbody Prescription” states: “Structural abnormalities of the spine are simply ‘grey hairs of the spine’ and in my experience they are rarely the source of pain”. Such abnormalities are present, in varying degrees, in most people over the age of twenty; even in those who have never suffered pain.

The two main causes of muscular spasm and chronic pain are physical stress of overworked muscles and emotional stress, what Dr. Sarno calls Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), where the emotional stress manifests in stressed muscles and pain.

“One must bear in mind that any structural abnormality is routinely said to be the cause of pain, when found on X-ray or imaging studies, in patients with TMS. In my experience they are rarely the source of the pain” says Dr. Sarno.

In fact, after some 24 years of treating patients, Dr. Sarno has concluded that very rarely conditions such as Degenerative Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Disc Herniation, Scoliosis and Osteoarthritis of the hip, to name a few, are the cause of pain.

Dr. Sarno said: “When I started to look into it, I found that large numbers of people in whom the pain was being attributed to some structural abnormality actually had a totally different disorder. It was a disorder in which the pain was very real, but it was initiated by emotion”.

Dr. Sarno Having said this, it wouldn’t make any difference if there were a half a dozen other explanations for the pain, as long as it was clear in one’s mind that the brain was doing this. That the brain was producing symptoms – and this is the heart of the matter and this is what’s extremely important – we haven’t gotten into the psychology yet.

But the brain was producing symptoms in order to protect the patient from psychological trauma, turmoil, something of that sort. And Dr Sarno came to that conclusion only after many, many years. He said: “I wasn’t ready to say that until I published my book, The Mindbody Prescription, in 1998.”

Having worked with people who suffered from chronic back pain for many years, Dr. Sarno reported that many have found permanent relief by having a series of treatments of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.

My professional experience as a hypnotherapist, supports Dr. Sarno’s findings.

Many clients report getting pain relief after attending hypnotherapy sessions and afterwards also listening to the hypnosis cd for chronic pain management. Clients say that three of four sessions of hypnotherapy helped to relieve long-standing crippling pain and they maintained the pain relief by regularly listening to the hypnosis cd at home.

Results of the hypnotherapy treatment will be different from client to client. Some will experience reduction in pain soon after a few sessions, whilst others may need more follow-up treatments to deal with the underlying emotional turmoil.

Written by Katherine Ferris
Clinical Hypnotherapist