Hypno-Analgesia – Pain: The Symptom is a Solution
Ron Eslinger, CRNA, BCH, CMI, FNGH, OB
Milton Erickson observed that there are certain common sense axioms of life. One being that halitosis is better than no breath at all.
I have had clients tell me their physicians told them they would have to learn to live with their pain. The suggestion being, if your pain goes away you die. A simple direct suggestion given at a venerable time when the conscious mind is less prepared to filtered out harmful suggestions. An experienced hypnotist is aware of the effects of direct suggestions and self-talk on the mind, body and spirit. That many of a client’s symptoms come from what they say, think, and listen to. The hypnotists who can uncover the cause of the symptom is the hypnotist who helps his/her client find the solution.
Definition of Symptom. Any subjective evidence of disease. Anxiety, low back pain, and fatigue are all symptoms; only the patient can perceive them. It is that perception, we the hypnotists must learn how to work with. Understanding the power of perception and its relationship to reality opens the imagination, a key factor in changing pain into gain, before it drives he client insane.
Both negative and positive self-comments or self-suggestions can make amazing changes in who we are, how we feel and how we maintain health and happiness or not. We have all either used or heard others use the following self-statements: You may have already discovered that the majority of your clients suffer from such negative self-suggestions. Our job is to get them on the positive track to health and wellness.
- Pain in the neck
- Pain in the rear
- You give me a headache
- My stomach is tied up in Knots
- I feel a headache coming on
- This is going to hurt
- You are getting under my skin
- You are killing me
- You make me so angry
- You make me a nervous wreck
- You make me want to vomit
This is only a few of the negative suggestions that people say to themselves that can create a new reality of pain. Practice replacing each negative suggestion with a positive suggestion
Case Example: Coccygodynia:
- Coccygeal definition, a small triangular bone forming the lower extremity of the spinal column.
- Coccygodynia is defined as a disabling pain in and around the os coccyx
A 48 y/o male suffering with coccygodynia for 6 months. He was referred to me for hypnosis by the hospital pain clinic. He had already gone through multiple pain management procedures including epidural injections, opioid medications and physical therapy. None of which decreased his pain symptoms. He was unable to sit and had difficulty walking. His suffering was causing major sleep interruption which lead to irritability and trouble both at work and at home. His continual severe sharp and burning pain did not respond to any medical treatments including medications.
During the first three sessions a week apart I used all the tools and techniques I knew at the time. He did not respond to direct suggestion, metaphors or even glove anesthesia. His lack of response to either hypnosis or me went on through 3-sessions with absolutely no improvement. On a scale of 1-10, he was still a 10.
I am at a loss, and with his 4th session just a few days away I am ready to give up. I then had an idea and to this day I cannot remember where I got it. I do know that it probably came from and article, book, I had read, tape I had listened to or a meeting I had attended.
During the 4th session I simply suggested he have a conversation with the area in issue. I requested he give that area a name and a form (he chose Gumby (a made from clay cartoon character from the 1960’s). I also gave him the suggestion, he was to ask these questions, but did not have to share the answers with me if he did not want to. He was to ask: Does it have a purpose? Is it willing to be go away? I gave him 1-2 minutes of silent time to carry on his conversation. I then added my usual suggestions for forgiveness stating that forgiveness would take the pain out of the memories. I also stated he was worthy of feeling comfortable and in control.
At the number five he sat straight up and said. “I said this job was a pain in the Ass, ever since I got it and it has been. He was comfortable for the first time in six months and very happy. What was his job? He was a Navy Chaplin. By speaking to the symptom the solution reveled itself.
I start every interview with a description of self-talk and that we are in-and-out of hypnosis continually throughout the day. Emphasizing our self-talk is self-hypnosis and our subconscious mind responds to our self-suggestions.
Hypnosis is simply a person entering a state-of-mind either automatically or through hypnosis that allow them to be more responsive to suggestions. It is at this time the critical factor or the filtering of the conscious mind acts less like a firewall.
The symptom is a solution and the symptom is a pollution that continually gets more pollution dumped into it. I notice my clients spend more time feeding the symptom than they do cleaning up the pollution of words. I give these example.
- My back hurts so bad.
- I can hardly walk my feet are killing me.
- I feel terrible this morning.
- Review the earlier examples.
Evaluate yourself. How much pollution are you feeding yourself?
As hypnotists we are obligated to teach and suggest in hypnosis to our clients that: The solution to pollution is dilution. What do I mean by that? Every thought creates a new neuro that establishes itself in the network of our mind and brain. We can keep piling in negative pollution neurons or we can dilute that network with positive suggestions and self-talk diluting out the negative input. It is that simple and must be done both in and out of hypnosis.