Hypnosis for Fibromyalgia - Managing Pain and More
Fibromyalgia has a range of physical symptoms, including chronic fatigue, muscle stiffness and increased sensitivity to pain.
There is no known cause for the syndrome, and no test that can be reliably used to diagnose it. Its symptoms can be very similar to a number of other conditions, which makes it difficult to diagnose.
It is believed to be caused by abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain (perhaps a trait passed on genetically), that can appear to affect the central nervous system.
Fibromyalgia can be triggered by a traumatic physical event, such as giving birth or suffering an injury or an infection, but it can also be triggered by a significant emotionalevent, such as the death of a loved one or the breakdown of a relationship.
As fibromyalgia is a chronic pain (as in, it persists over a very long period of time), it can be resistant to orthodox medication. It can also be made worse by a persons living situation, such as their relationship or home environment, as well as their psychological state.
Given that a certain element (the amount of which is debatable) of the symptoms and causes of fibromyalgia are known to be psychological, hypnotherapy is an ideal course of treatment (possibly as a part of a more holistic treatment plan) for sufferers, as working directly in a therapeutic capacity could help to alleviate symptoms that orthodox medication may struggle with.
Hypnosis is known to be one of the best alternative therapies in alleviating the pain of suffering. The National Institute of Health in the US conducted a study showing that Fibromyalgia sufferers who used hypnosis to manage their symptoms reported 80% fewer painful episodes as opposed to those who did not use hypnosis.
There are several ways to approach treatment depending on the symptoms that are most concerning to the the sufferer themselves. It’s possible that each sufferer will experience the condition very differently.
Pain management will form a key part of the treatment for a person with fibromyalgia, as the condition is chronic and it’s likely that they experience pain regularly. The sufferer needs to be given the tools to cope with and manage pain in various areas of their bodies due to the nature of this particular condition.
Relaxation techniques should allow the person to feel less pain immediately during hypnosis. A thorough progressive muscle relaxation will release tension in the body, and should allow them to relax to the point where the perception of pain will be decreased or erased.
A sufferer can be taught how to achieve this state of relaxation themselves over time, so that they are able to use self-hypnosis to manage their pain whenever they need to.
On a physiological level, it may be possible through suggestion to enable the sufferer to visualize their minds making changes to the way that chemicals are regulated within their bodies.
Research has found that neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine were lower than normal in Fibromyalgia sufferers. Serotonin plays a part in the regulation of substance P (substance P amplifies pain signals) which is why some of the symptoms found in fibromyalgia are quite similar to those of depression.
A low level of serotonin leads to lowered pain thresholds or an increased sensitivity to pain.
Hypnotherapy may help the body increase the levels of serotonin and maintain the correct regulation of substance P.
A common symptom of fibromyalgia is insomnia, and this can be caused by a number of reasons, including experiencing pain, or stress and anxiety. Sleep deprivation can often increase and exaggerate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and leave the sufferer even less likely to cope with their condition effectively.
As mentioned previously, fibromyalgia can often develop after a very traumatic or stressful event in someones life.
If you are able to attribute a traumatic or stressful event which could be linked to the onset of fibromyalgia, then treating this ISE (initial sensitising event) would form one of the core points of treatment. Treating the root cause of the problem may reduce stress, anxiety or trauma, and therefore free the mind and boost confidence which will allow the sufferer to be much more capable of dealing with the symptoms of the condition moving forward.
A positive approach can make a real difference to their condition and improve quality of life!