Let’s just start with a little disclaimer: if you’re experiencing severe pain, you should call or visit your doctor immediately because it’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. That said, you may be one of the more than 100 million Americans (according to a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine) that suffer from chronic pain of some sort. This growing epidemic is leaving more and more people dealing with ongoing and unabated pain symptoms, often with little indication as to the cause of the pain. While some choose to take prescription pain-killers in order to cope and resume their daily lives, you might not be particularly keen to live your life in the drug-induced haze that many of these narcotic solutions can generate. In this case you might be on the lookout for alternative solutions that can help you to keep the pain to a bearable minimum. And according to Lyndall Briggs, a practicing hypnotherapist with 25 years of experience, guided visualization could be the key.
In her audio book, ‘Drug-Free Pain Management: Clinically Proven to Manage, Reduce, or Eliminate Pain’, Briggs delivers her seven-part ‘Relieve Pain’ sessions, part of the Health and Vitality series. These hypnotherapy sessions are designed specifically to help listeners relax and to change their conscious and subconscious minds, developing behaviors that will help them to reduce and even eliminate pain without the use of pharmaceuticals. Lest you wonder what lends her audio book credence, Briggs spent more than two decades honing her hypnotherapy skills in private sessions with clients. In fact, the guided visualization practices presented herein were developed from actual recordings that she developed to send home with patients as a way to reinforce in-office sessions. However, they have now been subjected to modern recording technology in order to ensure that the sound waves are just right to induce a state of deep relaxation needed for the sessions to be the most effective.
Now, you might be a bit put off by the idea of hypnotism, but hypnotherapy is different from the parlor trick you’re picturing. The sessions presented by Briggs in ‘Drug-Free Pain Management’ are designed to help listeners relax into a state where the mind is open to suggestions (not necessarily control). It is expected that you will remain awake throughout the sessions you choose to listen to, aware of what you are hearing at all times. In this way the suggestions issued through the guided visualizations have the opportunity to take root in both your conscious and subconscious mind, so that you are fully aware of the directives. But they may also become ingrained in your mind so that you can break down bad habits and replace them with those that will help you to effectively cope with your pain.
Although plenty of people will probably write Briggs off as some kind of quack, anyone dealing with chronic pain has probably already tried all kinds of strategies for comprehensive pain management, likely with varied results. So if nothing else seems to be working for you, why not give the power of your own mind a try (led by guided visualization, of course)? All you stand to lose is the few bucks you spend on this audio book. And if it helps you, as it has helped so many others, you could be facing a future with less pain and no need for pharmaceutical aid.