Pain can be a blessing in disguise (analytical hypnotherapy)
“When a problem is acute, treat the stem; when a problem is chronic, treat the root” – Oriental saying.
Welcome to my first blog post. I came across this saying while reading about the power of Chinese tonic herbs the other day. It made me think about my work and about hypnotherapy in general, because the core of analytical hypnotherapy is concerned with finding the root cause of a problem. A lot of people suffer from anxiety, depression, phobias, stress, pain etc. They pretty much become a ‘normal’ part of our busy lives to the point when they are chronic.
You will not hear me mentioning the world of psychiatry very often (unless you enjoy someone having a proper rant – perhaps a topic for my next blog!) but a great psychiatrist and medical hypnotherapist called Milton Ericsson said that pain is the primary symptom motivating clients to seek therapy. Most people want to focus on eliminating pain, whatever it may be, as quickly as possible so that they can carry on with their lives. However, he went on to point out that pain can be a blessing in disguise as it tells us that something is not quite right.
Rather than our first reaction being to quickly eliminate the pain, perhaps we should treat it as an opportunity to go within and reflect? What is my body telling me? Why am I so anxious, why do I have these feelings, fear, discomfort….etc? Used in this way, pain can be a useful signal. Ultimately, it guides us to discover the thoughts or patterns of behavior that we need to look at closely. As Ericsson said, comfort is the primary goal; the creation of comfort, pleasure, health, success and happiness – not the elimination of discomfort or pain. Pain can also allow for personal growth as it is through difficult times that we are most likely to re-evaluate much about our lives.
Western medicine can place too much emphasis on eliminating symptoms, rather than identifying and treating on what may be the actual cause of pain or discomfort. Whether you’re feeling anxious, stressed or depressed or you have a stomach pain, headaches or back ache….there is a pill for pretty much everything. Often, what it’s doing sugar-coating the symptoms and not dealing with the root cause of the problem. I like to say that having a problem is like having a thorn stuck in your heel. It hurts, but you eventually learn to live with it. Every so often you feel it but you just carry on walking. Hypnotherapy can help you take that thorn out. Sure, it may hurt a little in the process… but this will allow for proper healing.
The human body is like a well oiled, well designed super-machine. If you neglect it though, that will inevitably catch up with you. For example, too much stress floods the body with stress hormones like adrenaline. This is fine for short periods of time, but in the long term it means your body is being flooded with a hormone called cortisol and this can be very damaging (those of a geeky nature look up ‘psychoneuroimmunology’ for more info). Our immune system can be weakened and we can become more prone to illness. Think of how much more prone you are to colds or other illnesses while feeling ‘run down’ through stress. This is just one example of the undeniable connection between mind and body.
Hypnotherapy is a great tool for uncovering the root causes of various issues. The subconscious mind stores all our emotions, thoughts and behavioural patterns and 95% of time we do not even know why we behave the way we do. We are conditioned from a young age by our parents, by our time at school, by authority figures we encounter and so on. As Dr. Bruce Lipton said (Google his YouTube videos,they are very informative, I also have one on my site here), 95% of time it’s the subconscious mind that runs the show. Unless you address the actual cause of a problem at the subconscious level, you will not get very far. Every day, the conscious mind will put up all sorts of barriers which you struggle to get past. It’s like trying to demolish a building with a hammer. You will get there eventually, but it will take you a hell of a long time to do it. This is also the reason why traditional psychotherapy a la Freud can take years.
So listen to your body and quieten your mind. You may be surprised at what your body and your inner-self really want to tell you.
If you’d like to find out more about how I may be able to use hypnotherapy help you get to the root of any troubling thoughts or behaviours and overcome them, please contact me.