Hypnosis as a Supportive Treatment

Hypnosis is the tool I recommend most often for the management of chronic pain. It’s enjoyable, low-tech, and easy for most people to use. But direct treatment of pain is not the only use for hypnosis — it can also serve as a way to support other aspects of health and medical care. Here are a few examples:

Sleep

No matter the underlying cause of a health problem, good sleep will help recovery. While you sleep, tissues heal more quickly, and the brain consolidates its memories of healthy new behaviors. Plus, a well-rested person has a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort.

Unfortunately, as many of us know all too well, pain and poor sleep can lead to a self-reinforcing spiral of restless nights and dragging days. Hypnosis can change the trajectory, helping kids to fall asleep more easily and sleep through the night with fewer interruptions.

Habit Change

Recovery from chronic pain may involve the development of new habits, like taking medications regularly, changing activity levels, or eating on a different schedule. Hypnosis can help to make unfamiliar behaviors more automatic and less effortful.

Medical Testing

Medical evaluation and monitoring have their own barriers. Needle phobia can make it very difficult to have lab draws and IV placements, which might be needed for certain radiology tests. Fear of being in an enclosed space or difficulty tolerating loud noises can make it hard to go through with MRIs and other studies. Kids (and adults!) can learn to calm themselves and undergo these sorts of procedures without distress.

So, while pain itself can be treated with hypnosis, kids with chronic pain can also use hypnosis to support other treatments and testing. In the process, they acquire a lifelong skill that they can apply to a wide variety of other activities and challenges.

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