One of my goals in this continuing series on alternative pain care is to help people find an effective treatment that they hadn’t considered before. Even we help just one person, it makes it all worthwhile.

I understand that not all treatment options work for everyone. I am also very aware that some patients would rather only do what is “traditional” for their chronic condition. But what if you could get even more relief by adding another therapy or combining multiple treatment options? I believe a treatment I received took me from a wheelchair to walking, but I know that I would have done even better by adding a multi-modal approach to my pain care.

This segment of my series will cover the 4 H’s: hypnotherapy, hyperbaric therapy, holistic living and herbal therapy.

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is used in chronic pain treatment to create a subconscious change in patients. It will not “cure” a patient of their pain or physical challenges, but it can help form new responses, thoughts, attitudes, and behavior patterns to help cope with constant pain.

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that utilizes suggestive techniques that patients can use to alter their state of consciousness. Using skilled relaxation techniques, the hypnotherapist makes appropriate suggestions to relax our conscious thoughts in order to focus on the subconscious ones.

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There are multiple approaches to hypnotherapy, so learning about the different types may be helpful. A few of them include cognitive behavioral therapy, Ericksonian therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, cortical integrative therapy, and past life regression.

There is wide endorsement for hypnotherapies that can be used in habit breaking, stress-related challenges, and treating long-term conditions. We have a hypnotherapist on the iPain board of directors and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has also endorsed hypnotherapy for multiple uses.

But there is still a need for more testing and research to provide more concrete evidence that hypnotherapy can help and be used in tandem with traditional treatments.

Not everyone responds to hypnotherapy, as our susceptibility and commitment to the process varies from patient to patient, as do the treatments. It could be a single hypnosis session for issues like smoking cessation or it could be weekly visits for chronic pain.

Costs can vary between $50-150 per session. Some insurance companies will cover hypnotherapy, so it’s a good to check with them before making an appointment. If you want to feel more comfortable about hypnosis before trying it, I suggest that you talk to the therapist first and do some research online. If you need help finding a hypnotherapist in your area, you can start by clicking here.

Hyperbaric Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is painless to participate in. It was originally created for deep-sea divers to help them overcome decompression sickness, but has also been used for decades to treat infections, severe burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. More recently it has been found…