One bout of polio would be sad enough, but Milton Erickson (*) had two in his life. This left him in a lot of pain. He would control his pain using his mind just as he helped other people.
Milton focused on what he could control, by shifting his mindset. Let’s discover what Milton knew and what NLP has to offer to pain control.
Danger of Pain Control
Pain exists for one primary reason. It’s a warning signal that something is wrong and depending upon how it was created it is telling you not to do that thing again.
Headaches, for example, can be a signal of not drinking enough water. The sharp pain of a hammer hitting our thumb warns us to be careful and not do that again.
But someone with long-term pain issues knows why they are hurting and doesn’t need a warning. They need a way to reduce those sensations of that pain.
Focus the Mind on Increasing Pain
A person in pain finds it difficult to think of anything else. What is worse is when they attempt to distract themselves and the pain seems to increase. This makes sense, doesn’t it? Pain is a warning signal – ignore the pain and the warning needs to turn up the volume.
So what happens when instead we choose to actually focus on the pain?
First, the pain tends to increase before it decreases just a little. Why would that be? Well the distraction causes the signal to increase to get your attention and when you focus on the pain you become aware of that pain, hence the increase.
But that focus on the pain means you’re going to do something about it and that decreases the pain. This may happen only for only a few moments initially, but that’s a start. So could we take advantage of this slight relief and improve the result? Let’s jump in with both feet and find out.
Mental Focus and Pain Reduction
Some people can see relief right away. Most will get the best results over a period of time.
First focus on the pain. Take your time and pay close attention. Look at it in an imaginary mirror. Determine where is it in your body? What shape is it? Is your pain moving or is it still?
Can you make that sensation larger? Now make it even larger? But won’t that make it worse?
I’ve found over the years that people resist attempts to make the pain smaller. The unconscious mind resists less when you do something unexpected and changing the size to make it even larger gives you control over the pain. Then you can start to make it smaller. Mastering this size changing technique can take up to four days.
Now, focus on the pain again and move it around. You may only be able to move it a centimeter to the left at first. Then move it up. Move it down. Move it to the side. After a week or two you may find you can move it down and out of your toes.
What colour is your pain? Select a different colour and change it. As you change the colour you may discover other colours that make it better? Some may make it worse? Try different shades of colour to find if they increase or decrease the pain.
This can take just hours to master. Not all in one go, you understand.
Mark Makes it Happen
After Mark Pollock (www.markpollock.com) lost his sight in 1998, he went on to compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole. Then in 2010 Mark was left paralysed after falling from a second story window. He is now exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery on his mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.
In his book, ‘Making it Happen‘, Mark says it’s important to deal in facts. In striving to achieve something it’s important to balance both acceptance of now and hope for the future. This may relate to pain control, but understand that the results you get will be unique to you.
Perhaps someone else got rid of their pain using these techniques. You may only improve 10 percent, but that 10 percent may be a game changer for you.
Both Milton and Mark got results that were unique to them. You can benefited from these NLP pain control techniques.
I am currently preparing some audio material to help people to understand and use the techniques described above for pain management. If you would like to be kept updated drop me a line.
(*) Milton Erickson was an American psychiatrist who specialised in medical hypnosis and family therapy (1901-1980).
(#) Mark Pollack is an adventurer, athlete, rower, author and international motivational speaker from Northern Ireland who became the first blind man to reach the South Pole
Thank you so much for sharing this article John!!
Yes i would like to be kept updated as the pain management topic interests me so much unfortunately as i face some chronic pain issues am afraid.
NLP since i took the course in London has helped me so so much in so many different topics with my self and life.
John Cassidy Rice Thank you and i will always will
Hi Iren, Good to hear from you, sorry to hear about your chronic pain. I will keep you updated. Hopefully catch up soon all the best John
Thank you John
Have to tell you that through NLP course and the knowledge throughout books that you advised at the time i managed somehow to find ”invent”my own pain control method. Somehow it works sometimes, but i would love to be able to follow specific advices on the matter
Thanks million thanks
Hi Irene, That is great, NLP at its best is all about you take control of your situation. Thank you for sharing.
Nice artikel om pain and NLP.
I’ve seen some pretty amazing results using NLP to remove pain from the body – literally 🙂
Submodalities and chain anchors are powerfull tools to do just that… 🙂
Better & better
PS: But then again, sometimes lots of omega-3’s also works (another specialties of mine)…
Hi Pete, thank you for sharing your insights. Yes, i agree omega 3’s can help
Yes. Keep me updated please as I have a few friends who have chronic pain and find it difficult to concentrate on words as a consequence. Audio would be better. Thanks John.
Hi Pat, Yes, I think if you have never had chronic pain you can’t really understand how it effects life.