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Relaxation for Pain Relief

Nevertheless, modern society pain serves an important purpose by warning us of an injury, therefore, medical diagnosis is always necessary, it is the body's natural way of communicating a problem. Pain is very personal and individual with no two people experiencing it in the same way. It can be a very unpleasant experience. We often think of pain as a purely physical sensation but the pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors too. especially if it continues for a long time as it can begin to affect all aspects of your life, including work, your relationships with family and friends, and your sleep and activity levels. How would your quality of life improve if you could manage your pain and reduce any discomfort?

Hypnotherapy is excellent at lowering stress and anxiety levels, both the general level of anxiety surrounding chronic pain and the discomfort related to chronic pain. combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to improve the inner mind and mood, changing habits, thought behaviours and beliefs can also help the sufferer to regain their self-confidence and self-esteem and alleviate any fears and or phobias that have resulted from suffering from chronic pain using various techniques e.g. relaxation breathing exercises, meditation, or nature walks can also relieve the strain and improve sleep patterns and to develop better coping skills for pain and other stressors.

Relaxation for pain relief

When we are in pain our bodies typically tense up. This only exacerbates the sensation, continuing the cycle of stress, tension, fear and pain. Relaxation techniques can help to alleviate this. When we are relaxed mentally, our bodies follow.

There are several different relaxation techniques you can employ for pain relief including meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and breathing techniques.


Meditation is a process that aims to quiet the mind and relax the body. The two most common types of meditation are:

  • Transcendental meditation - This is where you repeat a word or phrase (known as a mantra) to allow other thoughts to dissipate.

  • Mindfulness meditation - This is where you focus on the present moment.

Studies have suggested that regular meditation can increase pain tolerance as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation in particular has been used to help those with chronic pain conditions such as headaches, low back pain and gastrointestinal pain.

Progressive muscle relaxation

Also known as systematic muscle relaxation, this technique involves tensing and relaxing muscle groups. The idea behind this is to help the participant recognise the difference between tension and relaxation, which in turn relaxes the body. Some hypnotherapists employ this technique during hypnosis for pain relief.

Breathing techniques

Breathing techniques are designed to teach people how to use their breath to relax and reduce stress. Hypnotherapists typically use breathing techniques to help clients relax and enter the hypnotic state. Many will also teach clients breathing techniques to practise at home.

Pain and mental health

Living with pain on a daily basis can be incredibly difficult - both physically and mentally. Having to cope with long-term conditions like this can lead to increased levels of stress, insomnia and even depression and anxiety.


If you suffer from chronic pain, you may find you experience anxiety symptoms. You may worry about the sensation and what it means, or you may anticipate pain. In some cases, certain situations induce anxiety as you worry about whether or not your condition will cause problems.

Being anxious can increase your perception of pain as you become more stressed and focused on the sensation. A big part of hypnosis for pain looks at this very issue. By helping your mind to react differently to the sensation, anxiety levels reduce.

Some illnesses and conditions are well known for causing pain including the following:


Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffening of the joints. Depending on the severity, the pain can be mild or severe, making day-to-day life difficult.


Most people who develop cancer will experience pain at some point. This may be due to the tumours themselves, or the cancer treatment. Again, the degree of pain will be dependent on the individual circumstances.

Cluster headaches and migraines

Cluster headaches cause sudden, sharp pain in the head and can last anything from 15 minutes to three hours. As their name suggests, they tend to come in clusters, leaving the sufferer in a great deal of pain.

Migraines are a particularly painful form of headache that can cause vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. If you suffer from migraines regularly, your doctor may prescribe medication.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This condition typically develops after an injury has been sustained. The pain following the injury is ongoing and tends to be disproportionate to the original injury.


This gynaecological condition occurs when cells like those found in the womb are found in other parts of the body. For some, the condition is painless. The majority however experience pelvic pain, severe period pain and pain during/after sex.


The cause of fibromyalgia is largely unknown. Its symptoms include widespread aches with muscles feeling stiff. Painkillers, physical therapy and relaxation therapies are normally advised.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

MS is a condition that affects the brain, nerves and spinal cord. Around half of those with MS will experience pain. This can either be musculoskeletal due to pressure on muscles/joints or neuropathic, where damaged nerve fibres cause a burning/stabbing sensation.

Sciatica and back pain

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated by the back (which often happens after a slipped disc). This causes an ache down the leg for sufferers. Other forms of back pain can be caused by previous injury or overuse of the muscles.

Hypnosis for pain relief

Therapies that address the mind-body link are often recommended for those dealing with long-term pain. Stress and anxiety are common side effects of pain and can even make the sensation feel worse. The way the mind responds to pain also links to the perception of physical sensations.

Helping to reduce stress and change the thought patterns related to pain can therefore make a huge difference to pain perception. For this, many opt for hypnotherapy.

Research suggests that hypnotherapy can be an effective way of managing pain, chronic pain, and surgery-related pain and anxiety. When you are under hypnosis you focus on relaxation and letting go of distracting thoughts. This temporarily tunes out the conscious part of your mind, opening you up to the power of suggestion. At this point, your hypnotherapist can make suggestions to encourage pain relief. Most hypnotherapists will also give post-hypnotic suggestions, allowing you to carry out self-hypnosis after the end of your sessions.


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