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Can hypnotherapy help me with post-surgical pain? I am so anxious going into my procedure because the last one was so painful to recover from. Thanks

Asked 1/22/2021 22:08 by Holly Windsor
Brian Balke, C.Ht.

Brian Balke, C.Ht.

Answered 1/22/2021 22:15

It can - and it can also help you with the anxiety you're feeling leading up to it which is great too. It's like when you hurt yourself as a child. When my sons had a tumble out the playground, I would see them tighten up and suggest: “It’s OK. Just breathe, relax, breathe. Don’t hold on to the pain – let it pass through you.” We all know that initial moment of physical insult. We stiffen up and try to figure out how serious the damage is. The body has reasons for that: as well as protecting us from further harm, a tight muscle resists the flow of blood. That limits bleeding. But when the insult is over, that tension causes strain on the surrounding tissues. Not good. And eventually blood must flow to support healing. The sooner we release the tension, the faster we recover. The sequence of reactions is managed by our subconscious. When properly prepared with hypnosis, those reactions can be fine-tuned for miraculous benefits. During surgery bleeding can be controlled, and the conscious mind focused on pleasing images that greatly reduce the need for anesthetics and pain medication. A direct dialog between conscious and subconscious, of course, is the unique preserve of hypnotherapy. As in all hypnotherapy, the process starts in discussion that prepares the conscious mind to accept responsibility and to act. The circumstances that created the emotional stress are identified and discussed. Deep breathing exercises facilitate a healthier flow of resources through the body. Tying to our emotional state, positive anchor words are sought to counter negative mood. “Peaceful” may be substituted for “conflicted,” or “calm” for “anxious.” Both breathing and anchors are tied into the hypnotic induction and reinforced throughout therapy. Once in hypnosis, rigidity challenges are used to focus stressful emotions and channel them into major muscles, simulating the strain of the fight/flight response. The ancient biochemical need is satisfied, and healing flows can be liberated. Moving to recovery, the therapy offers healing imagery – light, sensation, or sound – to the affected part of the body. The sensations of self-love flow back from the tissue into the mind, reassuring the subconscious and strengthening it to release the original emotional insult. Dream therapy can then be engaged to focus the subconscious to turn its energies away from self-protection and toward creating new behaviors that bring greater satisfaction – and increasingly joy – into our lives. Feeling good is something that many chronic pain sufferers lose sight of. Hypnotherapy’s great strength is that it unifies the mind in an immediate experience of relaxation, release and restoration. As the deepest parts of the mind become accustomed to that experience, they unify in its realization – and almost anything is possible!

Tasha Love, C.Ht

Tasha Love, C.Ht

Answered 2/3/2021 01:37

Absolutely hypnosis can help with pain manage many in just 1 or 2 sessions.

Kathy Gruver, PhD, Cht

Kathy Gruver, PhD, Cht

Answered 2/21/2021 17:33

yes, most definitely. This is actually what I see most of my clients for. The mind is incredibly powerful and we can program it to help with fear and anxiety, pain management, recovery time and expectations of healing. It's one of the most powerful tools I've used to help people through their surgery, everything from breast reconstruction to open heart surgery (twice) to knee and hip replacement. It's great for post-op as well.