Westminster Therapies

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Health Articles : Pain Management


What is pain?
Pain is an individual perception of our physical or mental experience, which can cause distress or even disturbance. It is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage (IASP,1992)
There are two pain categories of pain.
1) Acute — is a relatively brief sensation and lasts usually less than six months duration. This type of pain alerts us to danger. 2) Chronic — lasts more than six months. This type of pain can have a gradual impairment on other functions. Some people can begin to experience learned helplessness and hopelessness and this leads to the classic signs of depression.
Categories of chronic pain
  • Chronic recurrent pain — benign condition consisting of intense pain, which includes pain free periods
  • Chronic intractable-benign pain — benign condition where pain is persistent with no pain free periods, however the pain may vary in intensity e.g. low back pain.
  • Chronic Progressive Pain — condition where pain is continuous and increases in intensity as the organic condition (disease) worsens e.g. cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
Research by Eastwood et al, (1998) suggests that analgesic effects for acute pain are obtained by good hypnotic subjects rather than poor hypnotic subjects. For some of you who don´t respond to hypnosis very well non hypnotic cognitive and behavioural approach may be better. There are many theories about pain and pain reduction but if one assumes that experience of pain has survival value, then it is either to mobile the organism for a fight or flight response in the case of external pain producing stimulus, or for immobility and restfulness for an internal pain or recuperation from an injury (Heap,2002).
Pain Management Programme
A Pain Management Programme (PMP) is a psychologically-based rehabilitative treatment for people with chronic pain which remains unresolved by other treatments currently available. The main aim of the Pain Management Programme is to assess your individual perception of pain, how best to cope with it and how to live a more active life. I can also recommend some other complementary therapies, which would be suitable for a particular issue. For the majority of people, attending a Pain Management Programme reduces the disability and distress caused by chronic pain by teaching physical, psychological and practical techniques to improve quality of life. Use of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and breathing techniques introduces relaxation, visualisation and sense of control back into your life.

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