Pain Awareness Month 2023

By Chris Hoare 1st Sep 2023


Something we ourselves  have absolutely no doubt about is our ability to end the misery of chronic pain for many people through hypnosis and hypnotherapy. 

It is difficult to explain the delight that comes from witnessing a person move and stretch completely pain free. Only minutes before that same person may have been reporting pain on a subjective scale of 8, 9 or even 10 out of 10. Suddenly they cannot find the pain. I have even had people say, “I’m sure the pain must be there somewhere, but I just can’t find it.”

Having recently watched the Netflix dramatisation “Painkiller”, I was reminded that, although pain medication plays an important role in many people’s lives, it has its limitations, not the least of which is the addictive nature of opioid-based painkillers. As hypnotherapists we have no pills or potions, but we have something far more powerful; we can change the way in which the brain responds, without any side-effects, by making use of “Neuroplasticity”, an important part of our normal brain function. 

A new perspective

A major shift in the understanding of pain happened when researchers realised that pain is not something felt by the brain; instead pain is created by the brain. It is not an input, but an output. This goes a long way to explaining how hypnotherapists are able to totally transform a person’s experience of pain. With the techniques we use we are rewiring the brain itself.

Recently I have been looking into the insights and work of Prof. Lorimer G. Moseley, whose research has shown that pain perception goes far beyond being a response to tissue damage or injury. Professor Moseley’s groundbreaking work has in my mind started to close the gap between the fields of hypnotherapy and neuroscience. 

Benefits of a new approach

The potential benefits to the economy and the individual are colossal, especially when we consider that back pain alone costs the NHS roughly £10 billion every year, as well as being a major problem in terms of lost working days. It is difficult to put a value on the potential for improved quality of life. Having personally witnessed the devastating effect that opioid use can have, I feel there has to be a major shift in the NHS approach to chronic pain. I believe hypnotherapy can be that shift.

I would recommend that anyone experiencing chronic pain, whether back pain, fibromyalgia or arthritis related, view the video links below. They are entertaining and very informative. 

Pain has a purpose. It is there to protect someone from injury and danger, and make them respond appropriately;  it should not make anyone a prisoner

Chris Hoare

Clinical Hypnotherapist – Hammer in the neck – Why things hurt – The Pain Revolution – Chronic back pain isn’t what you think