Today I want to share a very helpful pain relief strategy that I learned when I got my hypnosis certification. I didn't realize how beneficial it could be until recently when I was in agony and had nothing except my own mind to help me through the night.
When I got home from the hospital after being attacked, I had a broken arm, cracked skull, and bruises and contusions all over my body. It was midnight, I was in terrible pain and had to wait until morning for my prescription to be filled. The pain relief technique below is the one I described using in my book "Taming The Tokolosh: Through Fear into Healing. "
Previously, I have discussed mind-body techniques using guided imagery, deep relaxation, breathing exercises, and meditation to decrease mental and physical discomfort and change states. This technique uses mind visualization and imagery specifically for physical pain relief.
The key to this exercise is to surrender to, not resist, the pain you are
feeling. Relaxation is key, and when you resist, you naturally become
tense. Tension creates more stress and therefore more discomfort.
I find it helpful to imagine pain as stored energy that needs to run its course before moving on. The sooner I surrender to it, the sooner it can"have its way" with me and exit my system resulting in ultimate pain relief.
1. Begin by focusing on your breath, taking nice slow deep breaths and
exhaling slowly. Maintain a rhythmic flow of breath throughout the
exercise. If you get distracted, come back to your breath.
2. Scan your body and accept whatever it is you are feeling without resistance.
3. Breathe into the area where you feel the highest amount of discomfort for a few moments until you feel yourself relaxing and opening.
4. Visualize rich, oxygenated blood flowing into that area, bringing nourishment and healing. Keep breathing slowly and deeply.
5. Imagine a pain meter in front of a big dial marked in fives from 0 to 100. Notice where the discomfort is on the dial, and imagine it diminishing as you count backward in fives.
6. See the dial going down to zero and imagine how it feels with the discomfort dial at 0: healed, healthy, free of suffering.
7. Don’t look for the pain. Imagine yourself feeling well and vibrant. Tell yourself that you are feeling better and better.
Because most of us are constantly talking to ourselves in our minds, it is always helpful to use auto-suggestion along with imagery when doing these kinds of mental exercises.
People sometimes criticize these kinds of techniques by saying "It is just the Placebo Effect."
My answer? YES! That is the point. When we use these kinds of techniques, it is a form of self hypnosis and our goal is to create a placebo that works. We have the power within us to do anything we set our minds to. That includes reducing pain and healing ourselves.
Aches and pains can be a sign that you need medical attention. If that could be your situation, see an appropriate physician. However, most headaches are tension-type headaches and the following technique can help you train your mind to stop producing tension headaches.
If you do this exercise every time you begin to feel a headache.
As soon as you feel a headache starting, use this simple Silva Method technique that uses auto-suggestion and self hypnosis.