Medicine of the Mind
Natural Pain Relief with Hypnosis and TFT
Everyone has experienced the pain of stubbing a toe, the ache of a twisted ankle or a throbbing headache. The most important reason we feel pain is to warn and protect us from doing more harm to the body, but we also want the pain to stop. Sometimes acute or chronic pain never seems to go away.
The pain response we feel is a complex, fascinating and automatic process which causes an immediate physical reaction. The brain is the control center for signaling pain in the body. Pain starts at the injury when receptors in the skin send electrical signals and release chemicals like cortisol, the “stress” hormone, through fiber-like nerves to the spinal cord and through neural connections to the brain. The brain then sends the pain message back to the source of the injury. The brain’s emotional control center interprets the significance of the pain, and can affect how intensely pain is sensed. Physical discomfort—along with accompanying fear, anxiety and stress—can affect our lives with tremendous negative impact. Hypnosis and thought field therapy, the Callahan technique, can both be natural, fast, effective and integral parts of the healing process because they provide relaxation, relief, pain management and peace.
Hypnosis Unlocks the Power of the Mind
There is historic documentation that many ancient cultures used hypnosis in some form. Myths or misconceptions about hypnosis have been replaced with proven, scientifically sound applications. Stress reduction, smoking cessation, weight loss, sleep issues, success, memory, fear, motivation and healing are commonly helped with hypnosis. Over the years, millions of people worldwide have benefited from its use and doctors are recommending it to help men, women and children with many problems, from pain of arthritis to childbirth to stress reduction.
Major hospitals across the U.S. are using hypnosis to reduce pain, speed surgical recovery, heal fractures weeks faster and improve the healing of burns. In 1996, the National Institutes of Health found hypnosis to be effective in reducing cancer pain. More recent studies have demonstrated its effectiveness for pain related to burns, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, and reduction of anxiety associated with surgery. In 2000, another hypnosis study documented 75 percent of the participants with various forms of pain experienced significant pain relief.
A ground-breaking new study has been done at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center where they are using an innovative advanced technique. They are successfully using hypnosis and local anesthesia, instead of general anesthesia, to modify anesthesia regimens for some surgical patients. “Pain is felt in the brain, so if there’s a way to deactivate that part of the brain, then a person doesn’t experience pain,” says Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, director of the center’s integrated medicine program. In this technique, patients are conscious during the surgery, but guided into a state of
hypnosis with just a local anesthetic.
Neuroscientists know pain is multifaceted, noting that emotional and psychological issues can affect the severity of physical discomfort. The degree of pain we experience may be amplified or diminished and is directly related to stress, upbringing, past personal life experiences, culture and even genetics. According to a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, “A large body of evidence is dedicated to elucidating the relationship between chronic stress and pain; however, stress is rarely addressed in pain rehabilitation.”
Research shows that an increase in the body’s production of stress hormones can make pain feel worse because the stress hormone cortisol can increase sensitivity to pain. The feelings of deep relaxation we experience during hypnosis are a powerful, yet natural way, to reduce pain and increase the level comfort in the body.
Hypnosis helps to create long-term positive changes to reduce levels of chronic pain. Hypnosis has been used for centuries as an anesthetic for injury and pain relief before anesthesia was created, or in war time or during emergencies when no anesthetic was available.
Thought Field Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Pain
Thought Field Therapy, the Callahan Technique (TFT), is a therapy developed by Dr. Roger Callahan, clinical psychologist. TFT is a natural protocol of healing that works with the meridian system, the body’s energy system. By stimulating specific points on the body, TFT can produce immediate and dramatic results for those suffering from a variety of problems, such as fears, phobias, anxiety, stress and pain. TFT is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHA) within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Releasing negative thoughts and emotions with TFT and solidifying positive changes with hypnosis may help us manage and reduce pain, sleep better, feel more relaxed, happier and healthier. Then we are able to enjoy life once again.
Diane Bahr-Groth, CH, TFT-Adv, is the director of Mind-Body Transformation Hypnosis Center in Stamford. With over 24 years of experience in mind-body therapy, she is a registered consulting
hypnotist; a certified member of the National Guild of Hypnotists; and certified in the Virtual Gastric Band Hypnosis Program, Thought Field Therapy and other modalities. Connect at 203-595-0110 or MindBodyTransformation.com. See ads, pages 36 and 53.