Just Close Your Eyes and See Your Pain Melting Away

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

Just Close Your Eyes and See Your Pain Melting Away…

How Much Better Would Your Life Be Without All That PAIN?

Are you one of the 50 Million Americans who suffers with chronic pain?  Is your pain limiting your ability to work or enjoy life?  Just imagine what it would be like to be able to control or even eliminate that life-limiting pain, without the use of dangerous opioid drugs.   So, #LetsTalkAboutPain.

For those who suffer chronic pain, every day, every month is about pain awareness.  However, for the rest of the population, the focus on pain comes once a year.  September is National Pain Awareness Month.  As part of recognizing the impact of chronic pain on the lives of millions, I believe it is important that we look at a technique that is gaining in popularity among health care providers, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and patients.

The NIH, in response to the devastation caused by the opioid crisis, has undertaken a serious examination of ways that can be used to reduce the suffering without the dangers caused by common pain medication.  The CDC, recognizes the importance of using pain medication for the short-term management of pain.  They warn, of the potential dangers associated with such medications in various publications they share with providers and the general public.  “Prescription opioids (like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine) are one of the many options for treating severe acute pain. While these medications can reduce pain during short-term use, they come with serious risks including addiction and death from overdose when taken for longer periods of time or at high doses.”[i]

What is truly interesting is that medical science is once again looking at a very old, but highly effective method to control and mitigate pain.  If we look back a little more than 150 years ago to the civil war, the US Army was training their doctors in medical hypnosis to control the pain and provide a way to perform amputation surgery.   Brendan L. Smith, writing for the APA Monitor “Hypnosis has been used for centuries for pain control, including during the Civil War when Army surgeons hypnotized injured soldiers before amputations. Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness as a tool to reduce pain.”[ii]

In order to understand how we deal with pain through hypnosis, it is important to understand how the body deals with pain.   Pain is perceived in the brain through the nervous system.  Peripheral nerves are receptors in the skin and organs that transmit pain signals from the nociceptors to the spinal cord.  From the spinal cord, the signals move to the thalamus, which is located deep in the brain.

The initial stimulation of the nociceptors release neurotransmitters activating cells in the spinal cord.  When the signals reach the thalamus, three areas of the brain are activated at the same time; the somatosensory cortex (the physical sensation area), the limbic system (the emotional feeling region), and the frontal lobe (the thinking region).  This results in the brain sending signals to respond to the pain.[iii]

The amazing part of understanding how and why hypnosis is so effective in dealing with pain comes from the understanding of how pain is recognized in the body and the origin of this and all other feelings.

One theory of how pain works called the Gate Control Theory of Pain, developed by researchers Patrick Wall and Ronald Melzack[iv]  suggests the presence of a “gate” that controls the perception of pain.  The gate either allows pain messages to flow, or blocks them.[v]  This result is dependent upon the volume of  stimulation of non-nociceptive (large nerve fiber messages) vs. nociceptive messages carried by the small nerve fibers.  A simplified explanation of the theory states that when the large nerve fibers are stimulated to a greater extent than the small fibers, then the perception of pain is blocked.  This is mechanism is critical in understanding how hypnosis can be highly effective in the process of managing pain in our clients.

Studies conducted by the National Institute of Health have repeatedly shown that hypnosis is an effective tool .  In a significant number of medical studies, hypnosis has been found to be an effective treatment for chronic pain across several conditions [1516]. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of individuals with chronic pain are able to experience a short-term reduction in chronic pain during a treatment session or hypnosis practice, and between 20% and 30% achieve more permanent reductions in daily pain [1540][vi].

In a 2005 paper written by Hansen and Stretlzer,  the authors acknowledge that there is an emotional component to pain.  “The perception of pain involves far more than mere sensation. The affective and evaluative components of pain are often as important as the production and transmission of the pain signal. These emotional aspects are most prominent in chronic pain patients, but knowledge of the psychology of pain can greatly improve the treatment of acute pain as well.” [vii]

What this means is that if the brain can create the pain, then it has all the tools it needs to control, or even eliminate it.  Pain medication doesn’t remove or heal the injury, but merely blocks the neural pathways to or in the brain to making the individual unable to perceive it.

So how then do we empower those who suffer to take back control of their lives by providing them with a scientifically proven tool that reduces pain to return function.  The answer is hypnosis.  Despite popular misconceptions, hypnosis, is not mind control.  Rather, it is shifting the client/patient from one state of awareness to another, an even more focused state.  It is the mechanism of shifting awareness that makes hypnosis incredibly powerful in allowing patients to find relief and empower them to take back control of their lives.   Through the various stages of work with the client/patient, the hypnotist shifts the awareness of pain and breaks down existing emotional and neural connections to the pain that frequently keep the client in the pain loop.   When this loop is interrupted and replaced by a new, more powerful state, the client/patient experiences a reduction or elimination of the chronic pain.  No longer are they the victim to something that they mistakenly believed was out of their control.  Now, the clients/patients are able to experience life free from the debilitating emotional and or physical sensation that was chronic pain.

In 2019, we find ourselves dealing with the fall-out of too many people who are victims of the devastation of an over prescribed pain medications.  The Federal Government, has tasked departments responsible for addressing these issues to find safe and effective alternatives.  Hypnosis, has once again risen to their attention as a highly effective and promising option that pain management specialist, the NIH and doctors are recognizing that hypnosis is a promising weapon in the search to help pain sufferers without the harmful side effects of dangerous procedures or prescriptions.

I work with a significant number of clients in my hypnosis practice who have found relief through hypnosis.  Many of these clients have suffered with chronic pain for years before finding relief and empowerment through hypnosis for pain.   Hypnosis is safe and effective in helping you get back to enjoying life and stop suffering through it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marc Marshall is a certified medical hypnotist and certified mind-body specialist, author and motivational speaker.  He works with clients to empower and teach them how to improve their lives through hypnosis and mindfulness practice.  For more information or to schedule an appointment or interview, email info@hypnomarc.com or visit his website – www.hypnomarc.com


[i] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/patients/Opioids-for-Acute-Pain-a.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/patients/Opioids-for-Acute-Pain-a.pdf

[ii] Smith, B. (2011, January). Hypnosis today. Monitor on Psychology42(1). http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/hypnosis

[iii] Medical Hypnotherapy Practitioer Course – Become a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist, Module One, The Mind Body Connection.  Roth Seth-Deborah 2009 pg 22

[iv]  Pain mechanisms: a new theory. Melzack R, Wall PD
Science. 1965 Nov 19; 150(3699):971-9.

[v] Mendell, L. (2019). Constructing and deconstructing the gate theory of pain.

[vi] Dillworth, T., Mendoza, M. E., & Jensen, M. P. (2012, March). Neurophysiology of pain and hypnosis for chronic pain. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3717822/#targetText=When hypnosis is used as,tingling or numbness [31].

[vii] Hansen, George & Streltzer, Jon. (2005). The Psychology of Pain. Emergency medicine clinics of North America. 23. 339-48. 10.1016/j.emc.2004.12.005.

#LetsTalkAboutPain #Painmanagement #hypnomarc #hypnotherapy #hypnosis #hypnosispain #marcmarshall #PAM #PAM2019

Women… Suffering from Hot Flashes?

Posted Posted in Interesting

Hypnosis Can Help with Hot Flashes!

 

Over the years a significant part of my private hypnosis practice has been helping people deal with physical aliments that make live difficult.  Typically, when people think of this, they immediately think of pain management.  And while that is a large part of my practice, I also help people with other physical challenges that include improved sexual function, improved focus and concentration, managing migraines, removing crippling fears, and pre- and post-surgical healing.

One area that I have had good success in is that of helping women deal with hot-flashes brought on by illness, cancer treatment, or menopause.  I know that I do not need to tell women how uncomfortable and even disruptive these sudden onset.  They often disrupt sleep, which results in more stress and decreased functioning in the woman’s day-to-day life.   This starts a vicious cycle of anxiety in anticipation of the next hot-flash episode, which in turn leads to hyper-focus and magnification of the symptoms.

Think about it this way.  When you go to the dentist and he or she is about to give you a shot of Novocaine, what is the thing they usually say?…. “You are going to feel a pinch.”   The problem with this is that they have now implanted a suggestion that has you focused on the “pinch” which creates anxiety, triggers flight/fight/freeze response to pain, and makes the dental procedure a negative experience.  Honestly,  I am grateful for the inarticulate way that dentists do this to their patients.  It begins the dental fear/phobia cycle that begins with the painful negative experience and continues to grow as people anticipate the discomfort in front of their next dental visit.

Similarly, we magnify pain and discomfort as a result of unpleasant experiences, such as hot-flashes.  The fear of that experience creates a cortisol stress reaction that wreaks havoc on the body.  However, the really great news is that the impact of hot-flashes can be control by your powerful subconscious mind when the right post-hypnotic suggestions are implanted.

To this end,  I would like to share a story about a friend that I recently had a chance to help control her severe hot-flashes.  My friend, S.A. is a breast cancer survivor who is presently undergoing treatment to keep her cancer at bay.  During her intense chemo-therapy and recovery, she discovered the power of hypnosis and having a positive attitude.  She spent her time watching the comedy hypnosis of a good friend and colleague of mine, the Incredible Hypnotist, Richard Barker. This lifted her spirits and helped get through the ordeal.

One of the drugs that she is currently taking has severe hot-flashes as a side-effect.  I had previously worked with S.A., who lives about five hours from my office.  Over this past weekend, she was in agony and didn’t know what to do.  In desperation, she contacted me and asked if I could help her.  I am extremely pleased to be able to help her again.  I am happy to be able to share her experience in her own words:

“Thank you Marc Marshall for being my saving grace this weekend. He hypnotized me via FaceTime to assist with my hot flashes. Yesterday, I had 37 intense ones and today not one. With his implanted suggestions, I was able to ward off 13 hot flashes! I love hypnosis, I love Richard Barker for introducing me to Marc and the world of hypnosis and I love Marc for helping me deal with my intense hot flashes, which are a direct side effect of the drug Lupron I take so I can keep the cancer at bay. I am so blessed to have such friendship and love surround me. “

S.A.  you are very welcome!  I am so glad that you are a friend and more importantly, that I could help.  I wish you continued strength as you demonstrate how important positive thinking and focus is in battling cancer.   I am excited that you have made the decision to become a hypnotist yourself.  You will be amazing because you know that the subconscious mind is amazingly powerful.  That which we focus on becomes our reality and our destiny.  You have demonstrated that power to yourself and so many of those you come in contact with.

For those of you who want to learn more about how hypnosis can help you improve your life… email me at – info@hypnomarc.com or better yet, just click on the red bar on the side of this page.

Hypnotically yours,

Marc

(photo credit – skin of the night by Emily – Flickr 2009)

Change Your Thoughts

Posted Posted in Interesting, Proms & Graduations, You Can Fix That

I’m sure that most of us have heard this quote from Mahatma Gandhi

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

During my time as a high school teacher in an alternative high school environment,  I had the challenge of changing the way my students viewed themselves, their abilities to achieve their goals, and move their lives from that of chaos and confusion to a more orderly and sane life.  As part of the work that I did with them, I developed some exercises and lessons based on Sean Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.  Those habits – “1) Be Proactive, 2) Begin with the End in Mind, 3) Put First Things First, 4) Think Win-Win, 5) Seek First to Understand Then to Be Understood, 6) Synergize, and 7) Sharpen the Saw” – were completely foreign concepts to them, as to many adults I encounter. 

You are probably asking yourself what any of this has to do with hypnosis?   I promise that I will tell you in a moment.  Along my journey to perfect my skills as a hypnotist, I came to fully understand the power of language in shaping our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  In simple terms, picture your mind as an iceberg.  The part that you see above the water, about 10% is our conscious mind.  The conscious mind is the rational mind that judges the information we are receiving and deciding whether it is true or false, whether we should believe it or not. This is where our short-term memory resides.   The other 90% of our mind, the subconscious mind, is like a hard-drive that is switched on at (or before birth) and records everything that goes on around us.  It notes every experience and feeling.  It regulates our body functions, and does not require us to be aware of its functioning.  This is the emotional mind.  Our behaviors are controlled by our subconscious mind.  This is important since our subconscious mind, that part of our mind that makes up 90%, relates all behaviors to emotions.  As a hypnotist, I work with language to help my clients reach their maximum potential by replacing negative emotions and behaviors with positive habits.   These changes bring about dramatic impacts in the lives my clients who are dealing with things such as anxiety, stress, pain, fear, inability to stop smoking, or lose weight, or want to perform better in work or sports.

It is our focus that becomes our reality.  If we are focused on negative outcomes, we surely will miss the positive opportunities.   I had a sign in my classroom that read: “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE – THERE IS ONLY FEEDBACK!”  That does not mean that students did not earn D’s or F’s, but rather the grades they earned gave them feedback about what they needed to do to improve their performance.  Did they need to study?  Did they need to come to class?  Did they need to spend time with me asking questions on things they did not understand?  That was their job and my expectation.

A friend of mine, Colin T. Fisher, who is also a Master Hypnotist and Law of Attraction Coach from the UK (www.TheRealLawOfAttraction.com), shared with me his book – Dreams into Reality.  The book consists of a series of 12 poems that take you on a journey of self-discovery and reinforces what I have demonstrated to clients, the incredible power of their minds to achieve anything they focus on.  As a hypnotist, I work with you to create positive feelings that replace the negative ones that hold you back. 

Begin focusing on the positive, today.  Do what I teach all my clients to do, begin with a simple practice of mindfulness meditation and see how your life will improve.  Here’s a link to my simple guided mindfulness meditation recording that has helped my students, my friends and my clients.  

Mindfulness Meditation Practice - Week 1

Study Shows Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Pain

Posted Posted in Interesting

One technique that I teach all clients, regardless of what they come to see me for, is mindfulness meditation.  I have found that when clients practice mindfulness that they often experience dramatic and lasting improvements in all areas of their lives.  The linked report is a short read and shows just one benefit of this powerful technique.

Ask me how this can help you reach your goals at improvement.

Click this link for the article -> Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Pain