Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical assistance. Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than three to six months and can include headaches, migraines, arthritis pain, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also affects your emotional health, causing stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep
Hypnosis has proven to be extremely effective for pain control, particularly with chronic pain.
Because anxiety and poor sleep exasperate pain, by using hypnosis to improve sleep quality and manage anxiety, you can begin to improve your comfort level fairly quickly.
Hypnotherapy for pain relief often involves therapeutic imagery. By imagining a peaceful, relaxing scene in nature, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. The parasympathetic nervous system is vital to help the body recover from stress (like the stress of enduring months of chronic pain). Guided imagery has been found to reduce tension, blood pressure, and heart rate. The goal of guided imagery is to redirect the mind away from thoughts of discomfort and fill it with healing, peaceful thoughts.
This state of relaxation increases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers. Endorphins are known as the “feel good” chemical and also decrease your stress.
Hypnotherapy for pain relief also incorporates teaching the client self-hypnosis. Learning self-hypnosis allows you to create a comfortable, relaxed state for yourself, decreasing anxiety and increasing pain tolerance.
Another common method in assisting people in learning to deal with pain is self-coping statements. For example, thinking or saying, “This will go away in a while,” rather than focusing on discomfort.
Most studies of hypnosis as a pain management tool focus on the analgesic effect, however, hypnosis has many other benefits, including improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, and improved quality of life.
Hypnosis is also extremely effective acute pain, such as the pain associated with labor and childbirth. Women who use six sessions of hypnosis in preparation for labor report shorter stage 1 labor, less labor pain, less pain medication, and a more pleasant birth experience.
The number of sessions required when seeking hypnotherapy for pain control can vary depending on whether the pain is acute or chronic. Most issues require about 6-8 sessions to achieve success.
Hypnosis provides welcome relief for people suffering from chronic pain. No matter the original source for the pain, hypnosis will help your brain perceive the pain differently.
Let’s face it: our kids have a more difficult world to grow up in than we did. Yes, dial up internet was a hassle, but at least every stupid thing we didn’t wasn’t recorded and put on the internet.
So how do you let your children have access to technology but still raise mindful, thoughtful children? How do you get them off their phones and get them to experience the world around them?
Lead by example
If you are always on your phone or laptop, your child is going to model that behavior. No screens at the dinner table, while driving, or during family time.
When / Then
A great tool for kids is the “when/then” rule ….as in “WHEN you have finished all your homework and walked the dog, THEN you may have screen time.”
In our house, every once in a while we have a family meeting. Yes, this usually means there are behavioral issues to discuss - but I’m trying to make this just a routine part of life. I often put the agenda for the meeting on our whiteboard prior to the meeting so the kids know what to expect. And if there’s a particular issue my husband and I want to discuss (eg chores not getting completed), we give the kids the opportunity to come up with their own recommended solutions.
Setting SMART Goals
We’ve all heard about specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. Chances are, your kids have too, as schools start to put more focus on mindfulness and positive thinking. You can model this behavior by making goal setting something you work at - and share with your children. On New Year’s Day, our entire family takes time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the new year. I print worksheet outs for guides. Some kids stop there, and some of the older kids work in their journals or school agendas to take their goals to the next level. Having your kids hang their goals on a bulletin board in their room or homework area helps keep these goals fresh in their mind.
Family Screen Time
Movie night is an almost weekly occurrence in our home. Sometimes the kids pick the movie and sometimes we do - or we watch a television show together. Watching together opens up opportunity for physical connection as we’re cuddled up on the couch as well as opportunities to discuss the issues we see played out on the big screen.
During the year, we try to make time for board games, riding bikes, or tossing the football. With five kids in high school, it's more challenging than ever (and more important than ever!) to make this family time. Our family vacation is also a highlight. It's a priority each year. Again, we limit screen time (including movies and tv). We spend our time on the beach, taking walks, and playing card games at night. This family time is restorative for all of us.
What are your favorite ways to keep your kids experiencing the real world?
Does your child have trouble focusing in school? The school day is long and packed with so much information, so few breaks, and so little time outdoors, it’s no wonder kids find themselves fidgeting or tuning out in class.
Many parents first consider hypnotherapy for their child for working with an issue at school.
Hypnotherapy can help your child increase their focus and concentration and relieve anxiety in order to have a more successful academic career.
Kids love hypnosis because they are naturally imaginative. Kids don’t doubt the power of their own mind. They believe it 100%! Young children are naturally in hypnosis most of the time. They are wide open to the world around them and it’s very easy to teach them to use this to their advantage. In the state of hypnosis, kids learn to cultivate their imagination for problem-solving and coping skills. According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, “Because hypnosis allows people to use more of their potential, learning self-hypnosis is the ultimate act of self-control.”
Older kids and teens also enjoy hypnosis because they are able to vent out stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions. They are able to use the hypnotic state to release emotional and physical tension without having to verbalize their feelings. Children often have trouble expressing their emotions (just like adults), so being able to use their mind and imagination to create solutions for the everyday stresses of life is very comforting to them.
Kids are natural problem solvers, and when given the opportunity, often have wonderfully creative solutions to the issues in their lives.
What happens during a pediatric hypnotherapy session? Typically, the parents and child will meet with the hypnotherapist to discuss what the parents have in mind, as well as the child’s goals. Using creative play, beading, drawing, or crafts, the child can work out a solution to their issue. They then spend about 15 minutes in a very relaxed state, reinforcing the ideas to the subconscious mind. Often, there are techniques or tools provided that can be used every day.
In addition to school success, hypnosis is incredibly beneficial to help kids with issues such as nail biting, insomnia, nightmares, separation anxiety, bedwetting, or getting along with their siblings or friends.
We’re six months into the year. Do you remember the new year’s resolutions you made back in January?
I set 19 goals back on January 1st, and I’ve completed or exceeded about 10 of them - not bad! At halfway through the year, I’m halfway through my goals. Some of those goals were for the second half of the year, so I’m feeling pretty good about my success rate.
Looking at my (currently) unachieved goals, two of my goals were to learn crochet and to knit one pair of socks. I have dropped the ball on both of those, and it’s interesting to explore why.
“I don’t have time"
Here’s a common excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The difficulty isn’t in the actual amount of time in a day, but how we choose to spend that time. In the case of my knitting and crocheting projects, I’ve certainly had time when I could have chosen to start on my knitting.
What I learned in my networking group: there’s a difference between being interested in something and being committed to it. I’m interested in knitting and crochet, but at the current point in time, I’m much more committed to my personal development. I’m more likely to set aside 15-30 minutes for self hypnosis or tapping. This goal, set back in the New Year when I was fresh off the buzz of knitting a Christmas stocking for my son, probably had more to do with my state of the mind at the time than anything else.
If there’s something on your goal list from January that doesn’t have current value in your life, or simply wasn’t achievable to begin with, feel free to cross it off or revise it.
Life changing goals
At least three of my incomplete goals fall under the same category: Finances. Two have to do with budgeting and saving money, and one has to do with making a final payment for a big family vacation next year. Interestingly, a fourth incomplete goal could impact those goals because it is a professional goal that I haven’t achieved yet.
As a subconscious behavioralist, I can see that all of my remaining goals for the year are connected. By taking certain steps I can improve my business, thus increasing my income, and allowing me to save more money, and do things like take nice vacations with my family. These seem like pretty worthy goals, so what’s the problem?
The problem is my comfort zone. Think of your success like a thermostat. You set it to a certain temperature, and then the system only kicks in when necessary to make it cooler or warmer. The same is true for your mind and your level of success. But many times our success thermostat was set years ago, perhaps even when we were a child.
My favorite tool for working with these types of blockages is EFT tapping. The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. These energy disruptions cause anger, grief, stress, fear, and more. By tuning into a specific issue verbally while tapping on specific points on the body, we can clear these blockages.
Reviewing my 9 yet unfinished goals from 2019, I’ve decided to remove my two knitting goals. I may revisit them in the fourth quarter of the year, when the weather turns chilly.
That leaves me with 7 goals to conquer over the next six months (assuming I don’t set any new goals).
1. Review the goals in order of importance. “Meal plan all meals” doesn’t sound as important as writing four blog posts per month, but with a full time job and a family of nine to feed, taking the time to meal plan takes a lot of stress off by freeing my mind from thinking about what to make for dinner, as well as improving my budget by keeping food expenses in check.
2. Evaluate which goals will naturally fall into line when other goals are achieved. If I am meal planning all meals, then my health related goal will naturally be achieved.
3. Rate resistance to goals using a SUDS scale (Subjective Units of Distress) and see what emotional issues or triggers might be preventing me from achieving that goal, and use EFT accordingly to help clear that resistance
Program Yourself for Success
In the summertime, many business owners can become distracted. It’s easy to make excuses and stop pushing forward. By reviewing your success thus far, you can evaluate what changes need to be made. If you’ve invested in some personal development, you may have new ideas that you’d like to explore.
Take a quiet 15 minutes or so to imagine yourself one year in the future. Think about your personal relationships, your financial success, your business. Visualizing this future can help you gain clarity on what you could be doing now to make that future a reality.
PS: It’s also fun! Seeing yourself in the future enjoying a fulfilling relationship, thriving health, plenty of money, and loving your job is a great way to spend 15 minutes...far better than, say, reading this blog post….so get to it!