Posts tagged #chronic pain

Meditation and chronic back pain

Chronic back pain is a common problem often making everyday tasks and attending work difficult.  

Mindfulness meditation is a self care technique that enables you to experience the moment rather than being consumed by thoughts of the past or worries about the future. The awareness and acceptance that develops promotes a calmer more resilient outlook.  Mindfulness meditation can be included in your daily routines.

back pain

A recent study suggests that mindfulness meditation eases chronic back pain. The study involved 342 patients aged between 20 and 70 with chronic back pain. The subjects were divided into three groups receiving  either mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy or usual care for back pain such as analgesia. The results led the Group Health Research Institute to conclude that mindfulness gave meaningful improvement in patients' pain. 

After six months 61 percent of the subjects who received mindfulness meditation showed a reduction in the limitations caused by their back pain.   The researches who led the study believe that the mind and body are intertwined in the way they sense and respond to pain. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The research suggests that training the brain to respond differently to pain is more effective that pain relief medication.

Study leader Dr Daniel Cherkin stated:

‘We are excited about these results, because chronic low back pain is such a common problem and can be disabling and difficult to treat.’
Greater understanding and acceptance of the mind-body connection will provide patients and clinicians with new opportunities for improving the lives of persons with chronic back pain and other challenging conditions that are not always effectively managed with physical treatments alone.’

There were also improvements in self-reported 'pain bothersomeness' with a 44 per cent improvement among the mindfulness meditation group and 45 per cent in the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy group compared to 27 per cent in the group who continued with their usual care. The improvements found in the mindfulness group persisted when the group was followed up a year later, researchers found.

For more information on mindfulness please do contact me

Please visit here to experience  mindfulness meditation

Posted on April 13, 2016 and filed under mindfulness.

Hypnotherapy and Pain Management Research

The use of hypnosis for pain relief has been explored in many research studies.

One area of study is the use of hypnosis for pain control during child birth. A study in 2002 (Bobart and Brown) found that over 60% of the women who received hypnotic training required no  anaesthetic medication compared to only 2.7 % of the women who had no hypnosis training. Also, only 5.5% of the hypnosis group required pain medication whereas 75% of the non hypnosis women needed anlagesia.  

An analysis of over 14 hypnobirthing studies, that included over 1400 women, concluded that hypnosis reduced the need for pain relief medication in labour whilst also increasing the number of spontaneous vaginal deliveries.   Women taught hypnosis had decreased requirements for analgesia including epidurals and they felt more satisfied with their pain management. 

A study published in 2004 (Jeffrey B. Feldman) looked at hypnosis and pain more generally. The conclusions suggest hypnosis should be considered as a powerful tool for many aspects of pain management:

   "Hypnosis therefore appears to be a potentially more potent clinical tool for pain management than approaches that do not use it (i.e. relaxation, cognitive-behavioral)."

A review in 2007  (Elkins etal) looked at a number of studies focusing on hypnosis for chronic pain. The research included conditions such as low back pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia.  After considering the studies they concluded that hypnosis had a significant role to play in the management of chronic pain:

"The current review indicates that hypnotic interventions for chronic pain results in significant reductions in perceived pain that, in some cases, may be maintained for several months. Further, in a few studies, hypnotic treatment was found to be more effective, on average, than some other treatments, such as physical therapy or education, for some types of chronic pain."

The American Psychological Association also reviewed a number of research studies looking at the use of hypnosis for pain management, also called hypno-analgesia.  They concluded:

"A meta-analysis (a study of studies) in 2000 of 18 published studies by psychologists Guy Montgomery, PhD, Katherine DuHamel, PhD, and William Redd, PhD, showed that 75% of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain obtained substantial pain relief from hypnotic techniques. Thus, hypnosis is likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain, with the possible exception of a minority of patients who are resistant to hypnotic interventions"

In 2009 (Donald Roberston) the evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain relief was explored. They concluded that there were effective empirically supported evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain including pain in surgery and cancer treatment. 

There are very many more  studies exploring the use of hypnotherapy for chronic and short term pain. Pain is both physical and psychological and consequently, as research supports, can be influenced by therapies such as hypnotherapy. The video below shows hypnosis for pain management in action. The video shows a women having throat surgery without anaesthetic  to allow her to sing to preserve her vocal chords. 

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.