Everyone experiences pain in some form many, many times throughout their life. Physical pain shows up as bumps and bruises as we are growing up. For many young girls and women it is often a monthly ordeal. For most as we age we tend to feel it more and more often. Emotional or psychological pain is experienced almost on a daily level throughout life and can become more and more intense as we grow up and grow older. For many, either physical or psychological (in some cases both at once) pain can become debilitating, limiting an individual’s ability to interact effectively in their lives. There are many ideas about how and why this happens to most people and can range from genetics to dietary imbalance to environmental issues such as noise, air or other types of pollution. The one thing these different theories have in common is that both the problems and therefore the solutions will be found outside of the individual sufferer. That is actually a theme we see everywhere in association with almost all of our individual as well as societal problems. Looking outside the self for answers. The reality may be both more difficult and easier to grasp and deal with. That reality is that the problems begin and end inside each and every one of us. What I mean by that is that there are two things happening here that we assume are inextricably linked; pain and suffering.
Pain is the physical or psychological sensation that we are feeling. Suffering is what we think about those sensations. At first glance, most people will reject this idea out of hand. Come on, they are the same thing, some might say. So let’s take an example, consider that one night you get up from bed to get a glass of water and stub your toe on the bed frame. You hop around a bit, you might even swear because it does hurt a lot. But you hop or limp to the bathroom, get your drink and go back to bed and don’t really think about it again. Let’s take a similar situation, but let’s say that it is a pain in your chest. You think about it and you can’t understand where that pain may have come from. In both situations there is a pain sensation, but in the first instance you feel you understand the cause and effect. In the second situation there may be a cause and effect, but you don’t know what it is so you will likely tell yourself a story about what that cause and effect might be. This is where the mind becomes involved (it already is in both cases but for simplicity I’m taking it from here). The mind sees the first case as basically open and shut. But in the second case, it is a bit more fuzzy so the mind might present several scenarios to see what might seem like the most likely solution. What scenarios are presented will vary dramatically from individual to individual depending on innumerable factors. It might settle on indigestion, anxiety, or jump right to heart failure depending on the person and their background. So this pain in the chest might be a slight upset with no lasting consequences or it might engender a trip to the ER with thoughts of imminent death. This is how the mind deals with physical sensations (and everything else). No matter what is going on, the mind deals with it by telling us a story. The story can be short and what we consider inconsequential or it can be related to a longer narrative that is life-threatening.
Some of you might be feeling really offended right now. That is not what happens! You’re saying that I am making up my pain and I’m not! It’s very real! Followed by: you have no idea what you are talking about. Of course I feel upset or out of sorts, what I’m feeling really hurts! How am I supposed to feel differently about that? I absolutely hear you. I have thought those very thoughts and sometimes still do. I have chronic pain. It is a daily experience that has completely turned my life upside down. I can no longer work at the job of my dreams and have moved across the country to try to find a climate more conducive to relief than midwestern winters and humid summers. This of course did not work in removing the pain and the suffering is going to go with me wherever I go. If you have a chronic pain condition you might be able to relate to some of these circumstances. Your next question might be: but how can I relieve my suffering if I am always in pain? I think this is the ultimate question and a very valid one. The answer, however, is counterintuitive and rejected out of hand by most initially. Accept the pain. When I say accept the pain, I am not saying don’t go to a doctor or therapist to further understand what is going on with your body (I almost said, or mind, like it’s separate from the body. The mind is part of the body, even though we often refer to it as a separate entity). What I am saying is that the pain you are feeling is what your are experiencing right now, so why not accept it? Try not to follow the mind’s storytelling about what is happening. When you simply accept what is happening in the moment, whatever is happening is likely to change and possibly disappear much quicker than if you follow the mind’s story about what is happening.
Now what if you are in a situation that has become chronic and seems to be taking over a great deal of your life and is increasing your suffering? If you have already exhausted all avenues of healing that you are familiar with, what do you do? This is typically when people turn to religion or spiritual practices or in some cases alternative healing. Alternative healing is what my service is all about. Hypnotherapy is an alternative practice for healing all sorts of issues that are often either not addressed by allopathic medicine or where allopathic medicine has not been effective. Within the practice of hypnotherapy there are several paths that one can take toward a solution to a problem. Typical hypnotherapy offers a path that includes relaxing the body (which of course includes the mind) so that the subconscious is taking in positive suggestions for healing. There are also avenues available that help to bring the different roles that each of us play into a more cohesive balance. This is called Parts Therapy. There are also forms of hypnotherapy that can take you back in time to when you were younger to help heal old traumas and release stuck energy from those traumas. This is called Age Regression. Finally, there is the sometimes controversial practice of Past Life Regression or Life between Lives Regression. This practice will take you back in time through your current life, to the time when you were in the womb and finally back to a previous lifetime. The controversial part of this therapy is that most Westerners do not believe in more than one lifetime. Christianity has more or less taught us that we live once, are judged upon our death as to whether we are good or evil and our souls are then sent to heaven or hell accordingly. Your belief may preclude you from entertaining a Past Life Regression, which of course is fine. The idea, though, expressed in most major religions, that we are not just a body, but also a soul that continues after death is the main focus of this type of therapy. When a Past Life hypnotherapist works with you, she is addressing the soul within you. This soul is wiser and more expansive than the conscious human that is it’s vehicle. In working with this soul presence, either with Age Regression or Past Life Regression, the hypnotherapist will facilitate finding hidden areas of trauma and allow the soul presence to process, integrate and finally release any stuck energy from those traumas. The result of this process can be quite dramatic in terms of lessening or removing symptoms of disease, but also in the overall evolution of the soul in it’s eternal journey.
There is no right or wrong path toward finding relief for pain. Allopathic practitioners, religious practitioners, and alternative healers are all trying to help bring the body into a better alignment to promote healing. However, working with some religious and alternative practitioners will help bring both the body and soul into that better alignment that will lead to healing and possibly also help the soul’s continued evolution toward a higher plane.