by: Paul Gustafson RN, BSN, CH
Did you know that we all have the ability to enhance self-healing, increase comfort and improve nutrition, exercise, communication and flexibility? This article explains clinical hypnosis and how it can bring relief to clients suffering from arthritis. Hypnosis is easy to learn, you can do it on your own and it empowers you to take an active role in your healthy well-being.
The subconscious mind has many jobs. It quietly and effectively regulates our bodily functions and stores all of our values, beliefs and memories. It also balances our blood pressure, heart rate and co-ordinates each step we take everyday of our life. The negative effects of arthritis extend into many areas of a client’s life, as does the positive resolve and relief of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is the simple process of accessing and directing the subconscious mind to support certain positive changes. It is the language of the mind, it access the most powerful level of awareness and down loads new applications of freedom and relief.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It causes a deterioration of the protective lining of cartilage in our joints. This deterioration occurs due to a breakdown of the chondrocytes that form cartilage. Osteoarthritis affects men and women equally. Most people over 30 years of age have some features of early osteoarthritis. The degree of limitation depends on the location of the inflammation. The major areas of concern are hips, knees and spine. The development of osteoarthritis may be related to trauma, aging or heredity.
The symptoms of stress play a big role in exacerbating the situation. Communication with family and friends plays a key role in managing stress and hypnosis makes this a lot easier. Suggestions offered to a client during a hypnosis session encourage them to share what’s on their mind enabling them to offload concern and frustration, giving them more time doing things they enjoy.
It takes energy to deal with any physical or emotional burden. Hypnosis creates ideal sedation allowing for sound sleep. We all follow the path of our most dominant thoughts and if the last thoughts a client has at bedtime involve deep restful sleep, they are in a much better position to recharge their body and mind for tomorrow’s challenges.
For those suffering with arthritis it’s often difficult just keeping up with the fast pace of day-to-day life. Hypnosis helps individuals adjust to a more appropriate pace and also to release the frustrations and anxiety associated with any limitation. Clients who routinely relax with hypnosis are more centered, balanced and less affected by things they can not control.
Increasing muscle tone reduces stress to affected joints, which increases mobility and comfort. Low impact activities like swimming; walking and range of motion exercises are commonly recommended to clients with arthritis. With hypnosis it’s easier to integrate new regimes and to establish positive subconscious connections between healthy activity and improved mobility, comfort and freedom.
The more protection in your joints, the more comfort and mobility you create. Since the subconscious controls the multitude of our bodily function, hypnosis can direct it to increase the production of chondrocytes, which increases the growth of healthy new cartilage. Pain is often the biggest issue with arthritis. Some pain, however, is necessary; it acts as a warning system telling us that something isn’t right. The responsible approach with hypnosis is to only reduce unnecessary pain, leaving intact the body’s ability to signal us and protect us from further complications.
Hypnosis can also be used to regulate the flow and distribution of endorphins, which are the ‘feel good’ chemicals the body uses to create comfort and relaxation. Using hypnosis to regulate endorphin production plays a big role in putting the client in control. Hypnosis can also alter the perception of where the pain is located. By redirecting sensitivity away from key areas such as hips, knees and vertebrae to a less critical part of the anatomy like a finger tip, the client has much more control.
The same approach can be used to attach a different quality to pain. A sharp pain can be perceived as dull; burning pain can be perceived as cool. Involving other senses is one of the distinct advantages hypnosis offers in managing the symptoms of arthritis. Another technique involves using one color to represent pain and another to represent comfort, and then blending the two offering instant relief.
Lastly, by attaching a number value to pain creates the option of change. By imagining a yardstick during hypnosis a client can pick the number that best reflects their current level of pain, and then they are directed to different numbers which changes their perceived level of discomfort.
With hypnosis arthritis sufferers gain a distinct advantage in managing and even reversing the limitations of arthritis. Hypnosis is simple, empowering and extremely effective. A few sessions with a hypnotherapist gets you started and with a little practice you begin to effect healthy positive changes in your life. We all have remarkable self-healing abilities and hypnosis is an excellent way to jumpstart a return to a healthier more active life.
About The Author
Paul Gustafson RN, BSN, CH runs HealthyHypnosis.com of Burlington, Massachusetts. His 11 years of acute cardiac and hospice experience offer a solid foundation supporting his clinical approach to hypnotherapy. Visit HealthyHypnosis.com or call toll free at 888-290-3972.