We often take for granted feeling physically well and fit, so when we experience pain for prolonged periods of time, it can have reverberating effects on our lives in terms of our work and relationships.
With chronic pain, pain signals consistently being sent from the nervous system for weeks, months and sometimes even years. Often chronic pain begins with an initial injury or illness, such as a long-term serious condition like cancer, an ear infection, arthritis or a sprained limb. Even in situations where these injuries and illnesses have healed, pain signals may still remain in the nervous system for long periods of time and thus chronic pain persists. Some people also suffer from chronic pain despite no past injury or evidence of damage to the body.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts for longer than six months. In some cases untreated pain may worsen as the nerve fibers which transmit pain signals to the brain become more efficient and effective at sending these messages to the brain. This means that the intensity will increase to more than is necessary to get your attention and thus your brain will become more sensitive to pain. If this persists then the usefulness of the pain will diminish and could instead lead to preventing individuals from going about their everyday activities.
Moderate pain is categorised as worse than mild pain to the point that it interferes with function and can’t be ignored during daily life and will also require stronger medication than mild. Severe pain is defined as pain which interferes with daily life and may confine the sufferer to bed rest. This pain does not go away over time and instead requires continuous treatment.
Hypnotherapy for pain management can either be used either alongside prescribed medication or alone.
Hypnotherapy has been used by many to manage numerous instances of pain, including irritable bowel syndrome, sciatica, spinal stenosis, burns, joint pain, neck pain and a variety of other injuries and illnesses and childbirth. The basic premise of hypnotherapy is to change the way individuals perceive pain messages in order to reduce the intensity of what they are feeling.
Why is hypnotherapy effective for childbirth?
Unfortunately myths, rumours and the press have portrayed birth as something to be feared, a notion which has been picked up on by many women and only acts to hinder the birthing process. When we feel afraid our nervous system automatically kicks in and starts producing adrenalin which fuels the fight or flight system. In a pregnant women this would generally cause the cervix to tighten in order to prevent the baby from being born into what our body and our minds see as an unsafe environment. Heightened levels of adrenalin would then react with other hormones needed for birth causing the body to slow down and even put a stop to the process. The fight and flight preparation is hugely draining for a women in labour and this is why relaxation is such an important factor.
Feeling relaxed during labour ensures a high level of oxygen is entering the body which is not only good for the baby but also good for the production of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain reliever.
Benefits of hypnotherapy for childbirth
Hypnotherapy for childbirth has a plethora of benefits which could help any women during and after her pregnancy. Listed below are a few examples of issues hypnotherapy can help to address:
- can reduce labour time
- can reduce fatigue in the mother during and after birth
- can reduce postnatal recovery time
- can reduce the risk of intervention
- increases the chances of children feeding and sleeping better
- can help aches and discomforts during pregnancy
- can help morning sickness
- assists the natural birth process
- can speed up post birth recovery
- can improve oxygen levels in mother and baby.