Hypnosis, Meditation, and Relaxation for Pain Treatment
Benefits of Hypnosis continued...
If you want to try hypnosis, you can expect to see a practitioner by yourself for a course of 1-hour or half-hour treatments, although some practitioners may start with a longer initial consultation and follow up with 10- to 15-minute appointments. Your therapist can give you a post-hypnotic suggestion that will enable you to induce self-hypnosis after the treatment course is completed.
Alternatively, audio recordings exist that walk the listener through the steps necessary to achieve the benefits from hypnosis.
To find a hypnotherapist, speak to your doctor or contact the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Meditation involves using a number of awareness techniques to help quiet the mind and relax the body. The two most common techniques are:
Transcendental meditation. The patient repeats a single word or phrase, called a mantra, and is taught to allow other thoughts and feelings to pass.
Mindfulness Meditation. The person focuses all of his or her attention on thoughts and sensations. This form of meditation is often taught in stress-reduction programs.
Benefits of Meditation
Studies suggest that meditating can increase pain tolerance, activity levels, and self-esteem and decrease anxiety, stress, depression, and use of pain medications.
Mindfulness meditation has been used successfully in programs to reduce pain and improve mood in patients with chronic pain from a variety of conditions, including headache, low back pain, chest pain, and gastrointestinal pain.
There are varied forms of meditation and training certification organizations; for example, one can get certified in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), but if you're not sure, speak to your doctor, who may be able to recommend a good teacher or teaching facility.
To practice meditation, repeated meetings with the instructor may not be necessary. A recent study examining the perception of pain and various mental training techniques has found that relatively short and simple mindfulness meditation training can have a significant positive and long-term effect on pain.
Relaxation therapies include a range of techniques with the goal of reducing stress. In addition to meditation, the major types of relaxation techniques are: