Everyone knows that the use and abuse of opioid pain killers has reached epidemic proportions in this country. Opioid overdose is now one of the leading causes of death in young adults. Every day 650,000 prescriptions for opioids are filled, 4000 people start abusing opioids without prescription and 78 people die of overdose! As a result, there has been a major effort on the part of government agencies and medical societies to combat the problem by decreasing the use of these medications to treat chronic pain.
So what is a person with real chronic pain to do? Controlled medical studies over the last 80 years have proven that hypnosis is a safe and effective drug-free alternative to pain medication for chronic pain of all kinds, from chronic low back or neck pain to pain related to fibromyalgia and even pain associated with childbirth. So why isn’t hypnosis offered as a treatment option. The first answer is ignorance on the part of most healthcare professionals. Although I took a short course in medical hypnosis in medical school, most programs ignore this area, and in fact it was never mentioned again in my 9 years of medical training. Interestingly, hypnosis is actually taught and used in many dental schools.
Also, most hypnotherapists, especially those without a medical background, don’t have much experience with using hypnosis for pain management. While I do hypnosis for a variety of purposes, I specialize in the use of hypnosis for medical conditions including chronic back or neck pain, pain related to arthritis and other degenerative conditions, and control of symptoms related to cancer treatment. My clients approach surgery or other procedures with less anxiety and less need for pain medication during and after procedures. In additions they tend to recover faster and with less side effects from chemotherapy and other drugs.
Please view my video about how hypnosis works for pain management. Wishing you a happy and pain-free life!
Gideon Strich, M.D.