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Chronic conditions including PAIN ---

Hypnosis works!  

Article
Daniel F. Cleary

When we begin to assist our clients to address the experience of chronic conditions, particularly pain, we may serve them best by remembering that we do not 'TREAT' the disease or trauma. As hypnotists, we assist the client to recognize, develop and utilize their existing skills and abilities in a manner that enhances their experience of life.

That the cause of the signals which are perceived as pain, may be related to a series of accidents, trauma or disease process, is just a detail and one that really doesn't matter. Again, our role is to assist in shifting the EXPERIENCE of life. That in doing so, our clients often experience a change in the symptoms or even an unexpected remission or healing of the medical condition, is a delightful bonus.

ALL PAIN IS REAL - EVEN IF IT IS IMAGINED

When a client comes to see us to address chronic pain, keep in mind that they ARE IN an altered state already. While conventional inductions and relaxation techniques may be useful as convincers they are unnecessary and often create pitfalls that interfere. The concept of 'relaxation' may be beyond imagination for an individual who is suffering intense, chronic pain. This doesn't mean that they cannot be guided to experience relaxation, rather that the way to get there is as an afterthought.

I seldom begin with a client by addressing directly the experience they refer to as pain. They already 'know' what pain is and have experienced the failure of other approaches to relieve those sensations. As you see in the previous sentence, I refer to the 'pain' as 'those sensations' which is a way to separate the signal from the experience and the reactions to the experience. That pain there ... The signals that you HAVE felt, etc. allow for the truth of the experience and yet also open the future for a different outcome.

All clients are different and in fact, I have no real preset approach to relief. However, I often tell them that while they came to address the signals they have been having before they came here, I first want to explore how they imagine other things and use their life knowledge to see, feel and hear things in a curious and often amusing way. I LOVE distractions in the environment and ask them to be aware of them while they listen to the sound of my voice. I will point out the sounds and if they choose to keep their eyes open (I don't tell them to close their eyes until they begin to do so on their own) to notice other things in the room or across the street. This sets them up for choosing where to focus their attention. Consider that most clients come in with a clearly defined area that 'hurts.' Even in the case of areas spread over their body (Fibromyalgia, etc.) the actual area that is uncomfortable is a small percentage of the body.

If they have a clearly defined area of discomfort, I will ask them to notice another area. I don't tell them what to notice, at least at first, rather I just ask them to notice how that area feels and then as they begin I ask them to notice another area and compare how that feels differently than the first. Depending upon the way they relate (A.V.K.) I will offer options: it may feel lighter, cooler, tingly, or they may find that one area feels so good they can forget the other entirely, unless they want to make them both feel the way that one that feels best, feels.

Most hypnotists are taught about 'Glove Anesthesia' in their basic training and immediately put it aside as an invasive or challenging technique that may not be appropriate. Also, in many areas it is probably technically improper for a person to touch a client unless they are a doctor, massage therapist, etc. ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION prior to touching a client. I usually say something like: In a moment I am going to touch your hand ... Numbing of the hand is a nice parlor trick (a great convincer at times!) and I use it often when working with pain relief but hey, there are other powerful tools that the client brings with her. ASK HER what would make the signals STAY THE SAME ALL THE TIME (she can believe that!) and where she could put them in her mind so that she can know where they are if they ever get around to having meaningful information for her. And then depending on how she describes the pain (not the suffering!) put it in a box or a room or whatever, so that while she is aware of it, the signals no longer interfere in her life. Moms have wonderful experience at ignoring the sounds, movements, etc. of children and yet will be aware if there is something 'wrong' and respond appropriately. This is a great way to take something they know HOW to do in one area of their life and use it to put the pain aside.

As to "Secondary Gains" it seems to me that we get them in all our actions and thoughts (When our client is successful, WE feel better as well.)  Many people mistake 'Secondary Gains' as the evil elephant in the living room (and if you recall, Horton wasn't evil at all) when they are natural and wonderful aspects of our experience and should be celebrated! The trick is recognizing them and determining whether they interfere with the primary goal. Is the primary to be ''Pain Free?" That ship has sailed (by the time they come to see us, the medical model has usually done all that can be done and told them: "There is nothing we can do, learn to live with it".) What she and all other chronic clubbers want, is to have their life back.  When we are told "There is nothing we can do" our life often seems out of control and living beyond control leaves us in the position of a passenger on a train just before the wreck. The pain itself is just noise, turn down the volume. Any associated disability is a separate matter that requires separate attention. Learning that she CAN CHANGE her experience, even a little, is where she regains control in life and hope for the future.


In peace,
Daniel F. Cleary
Hypnosis for Health Learning Center & Hurricane Hypnosis
P.O. Box 14784,  North Palm Beach, FL 33408,  (561)313-1844
http://danclearyhypnosis.com, www.transformationallstars.com

Note
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The Transformation All Stars sponsor teleseminars monthly. Contact info is above for topics, times and phone numbers. Be sure to get on their e-mailing list. The speakers are outstanding. I highly recommend Dan and his team.

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God Bless,

Dr. Anna



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    Hi Rhoda, It is my understanding that you have questions concerning the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association® conferences and membership. I can speak with certainty as to the value of the IMDHA. It is a no-nonsense organization with strict rules and great seminars, and workshop offerings throughout its conferences. I have been attending the conferences in October and find them delightful....like a breath of fresh air. The presenters are excellent, and the attendance is manageable. The area offers fine and very nice dining, easy to reach, in an upscale location. The Hilton Hotel staff is great. I am prejudiced as I presented the Keynote Address last year! The Founder of IMDHA, Dr. Anne Spencer is a leader in our profession and always has an open ear for her members. I know how dedicated you are to hypnotism and helping people and I feel you will benefit by your membership. If you want to ask me any questions, do not hesitate.

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