Helping people who need your help
Recently, I had the chance to work with a person who was experiencing intense, unexplained back pain. She rated her pain as a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (ouch). In a 45 minute session, we were able to get the pain level down to a 2. Within an hour or so after the session, she was completely comfortable.
It brought to mind a huge opportunity in the NLP & Hypnosis fields–namely, working with folks with chronic pain, illnesses or who have experienced an accident or trauma. According to the National Pain Survey (1999), about 75 million people in America alone are living with chronic or acute pain due to disease, disorders, surgeries or accidents.
About 40% of people suffering moderate to severe pain are unable to find adequate relief–that’s a lot of folks you can help. And pain relief is only one of the areas you can help with. There’s stiffness, range of motion issues as well as anxiety and fear related to traumatic injuries and disease.
Introduction to Healing with NLP & Hypnosis
Always, always, always work with a referral from a qualified medical professional when you’re working with a physical issue or a qualified mental health professional when working with a psychological issue. Most of us in NLP & Hypnosis are not medical doctors and we need to make sure it’s medically OK before we proceed.
2) Direct suggestion can be a fall-back
Hippolyte Bernheim (yes, that’s his real name) was a doctor who wrote a book about hypnosis in the 1880’s. In those days they didn’t have a many of the techniques we have today–regression, parts work, timelines etc. Bernheim himself used mostly direct suggestion. Even with the crude methods he used, Dr. Bernheim was able to achieve remarkable results-even when patients were afflicted with physical maladies.
So, if you don’t have any other ideas, you can always fall back to direct suggestion and suggest that their symptoms improve or disappear altogether (again, with a physician’s approval).
3) Attitudes and beliefs
In my experience, a lot of success or failure in working with physical issues has to do with your beliefs and your attitudes. Hold, in your mind, a representation of your client in a healthy, vibrant, comfortable state. Continue to work toward that goal diligently.
4) Get rapport with everybody–especially the symptom
People often have multiple motivations going on at the same time – some of them at cross purposes. In the hypnosis biz we sometimes call these conflicting motivations “parts.” Working with physical conditions is often about parts work. The part of them that runs or maintains the symptom may be out of rapport with other aspects of their personality. It’s your challenge to get rapport with everybody in there.
Reframing can be thought of as interpreting or even “spinning” things to help get the outcome you’re after. I’ve noticed that masters of healing with NLP & hypnosis are also masters of reframing and use reframing extensively in their work.
Here’s an example…
Client: “The pain has moved from my back and is now rolling up and down my spine and I’m feeling tingling sensations.”
Therapist: “Your unconscious may be experimenting with different ways to communicate with you. Perhaps, as it finds ways that are more comfortable for you, you can agree to pay more attention to the communication and you can grow more comfortable, even still.”
Client: “Yes, that feels better.”
In this example, the sensations of pain rolling up and down the back could be interpreted in a variety of ways. It could be a sign of things getting worse, of new problems arising or even of demonic possession. The therapist instead, chose to interpret the meaning of the new sensations as progress toward the client’s outcomes (namely, a healthy, vibrant, comfortable state).
The therapist couched these terms with soft words such as “may” and “perhaps” in order to invite the client to experience it that way–not to force the client down that road.
Common reframes in healing
* Pain, or other symptoms, are a communication. We’ll teach your mind other ways to communicate that are much more comfortable for you.
* The unconscious mind holds on to symptoms when it doesn’t know how to deal with a particular situation, It’s the mind’s way of protecting you. As soon as we give your mind a better way, it will exchange that symptom for the new learning.
6) Regression, trauma and learning
Many people are experiencing chronic conditions as a result of an accident or injury. Regression to that incident, coupled with new perspectives and learning about that event are often key in making tremendous progress with symptom relief. Dave Elman style regression, timeline work, re-imprinting, the NLP fast phobia cure and the Traumatic Injury Relief Pattern are just a few of the techniques you can use to decrease or eliminate the trauma and take the power out of those old memories.
Usually, even when not working in formal hypnosis, clients are in a highly suggestible state when doing this kind of work. Use it. Suggest that they will continue to improve, even after the session is over. Suggest that the learnings, understandings and experiences they’ve had during the session will deepen and spread out to help them in all areas of their lives.
Now, obviously there’s a lot to working with physical issues. This is a good start though. And remember… If you get stuck, you can always hypnotize someone and just suggest they get better!
To you health (and everyone’s).