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    Pain: It’s a Family Affair – Part Four: When your child is in chronic pain

    There is nothing worse for a parent than seeing their child in pain. I am going to set out here a simple technique you can use with your child to reduce and manage their pain. If you have a child who suffers chronic pain you may find this pain reduction technique helpful. It is not that different from a tried and trusted technique which I recommend to adults, and often I find that children pick it up even quicker. The reason for this is they have very active imaginations and are used to playing games. Make this technique playful and use it as a game and you will get excellent results. Storytelling pain away Storytelling forms an important part of hypnosis for chronic pain. You…

    Pain: It’s a Family Affair – Part Three: Talking to teenagers about your chronic pain

    This can be both easier and harder than talking to younger children. It is easier because they will have more understanding of the physical causes and your experiences. It is harder because teenagers often have so many changes going on themselves it can be difficult for them to step back and realise that you sometimes have to put your needs first. Here are my ‘Dr Sue pain expert’s 5 top tips for talking to teenagers’ Give them space. As they negotiate the world around them they will be trying out their independence so make a deliberate effort to allow them to have their own time and time with friends which is away from your pain. Remember they are going through the quite normal process of…

    Opiate medication for chronic pain – the crisis of our time

    Those of us who work in the field of pain management may have noticed that recently there is a growing move by medical practitioners to try to get their patients off of opiate medication. There are several reasons for this: the addictive qualities of these drugs the impact on the life of patients the cost and hassle to GP practices of prescribing a controlled drug. The move has also been fuelled by a growing realisation of where over-prescribing can lead. The situation in the US has been described as an ‘epidemic’ and now much stricter controls on the prescribing of opioids is in place as we discussed in a previous blog post. And it is certainly the case that prescriptions for opioids were on a…

    Pain: it’s a family affair – Part Two: Communication

    I often see how family tensions can compound the problems when I discuss how to manage pain with clients and their families in my pain psychology clinics in Milton Keynes and Bedford. Communication, or lack of it can be a big issue here. Often when someone is in pain they can become withdrawn and silent. This can make family members feel that they have done something wrong, or that they are powerless to help. If you are finding family communications difficult, here are some of the things which I advise. For both of you: Make a regular time to talk. Even if it is just five minutes, set aside time. Think about how to put this: ‘let’s just have a catch up,’ ‘let’s have a…

    Pain: it’s a family affair – Part One: Relaxing together

    I am always aware that when a client walks into my hypnosis for pain clinic in Milton Keynes or Bedford that they bring their family with them. I don’t mean that their family is literally there, although it can sometimes be useful if they are. I mean that the effects of chronic pain spread way beyond the individual patient to the whole of family life. So, I decided to do a short series of blog posts on family relationships and pain and this is the first. Often people who live with someone suffering with chronic pain can feel as if they are walking on eggshells. A US study found that people who are living with someone who has chronic pain are four times as likely…

    What’s the deal about opiate contracts?

    As you might know, abuse of opiate prescription drugs is a serious global problem, and it is a major problem in the US. It is now estimated that over 2 million people in the US have a serious opiate abuse problem and the numbers of unintentional deaths from opiate overdoses has quadrupled in 1999. Prolonged use of opiates at a high level, even when these drugs have been prescribed under clinical supervision, can have serious effects. Tolerance increases so the brain demands ever higher levels of the drug, withdrawal symptoms are common, addiction can set in and there is a risk of an overdose, which could even be fatal.   Given this, it is not surprising to see the US government has made attempts to…

    Let’s talk about pain

    If you think you are isolated and alone then let me assure you there is help out there. A good start is if we all acknowledge how common chronic pain is. Hi and welcome to my blog – I hope by reading this you can become part of the growing movement to get pain taken seriously and learn that no-one needs to suffer in silence. I will be posting here every month on the 1st of the month and the blog is going to be called A Pain in the Mind – because as I am going to be showing that is where pain lies and that is where we can begin got deal with it. Helping people in chronic pain So, onto more serious…

    Does hypnosis for pain work? Yes, says the American Psychological Association

    New clients of often ask me, ‘Does hypnosis work?’ It’s not surprising they are sceptical. It’s very unfortunate that hypnosis for clinical purposes is often confused with the stage entertainment you sometimes see on the television. My clients often worry that they are going to be made to look foolish or do something they do not want to do. On the other hand, some clients just don’t believe that they can use their own mind to make any significant changes. So, often I give a bit of an academic lecture before we get down to using hypnosis. I want to prove to my clients that hypnosis is a respected, tried and proven technique which is used by health professionals the world over. And I want…

    Long nights, bad thoughts: there is a reason why pain keeps you awake.

    Has this ever happened to you? You’ve had a niggling pain which has been bothering you all day and will not shift. Perhaps this pain is always with you, the result of a chronic problem.  A busy day has meant you had to push it to the back of your mind, but every time you stopped you were aware of it again. You longed to get home, get warm and get into bed. “A good night’s sleep will sort this out,” you said to yourself as you got ready to curl up. You shut your eyes and . . . that niggling pain seems to grow. You can almost see it, expanding like a great fat spider and taking over your body. The longer you…

    Brain and pain: an amazing story from the “World’s Strongest Man”

    As I go about my work, I often find a lot of scepticism about the possibility of controlling pain. “Oh . . .you’re not telling me that a bit of deep breathing can get rid of THIS!” is a comment I hear all too often. Sometimes this is said out loud, even shouted in anger and frustration. But more often it is indicated silently, I know it is there is the eyes, the body language and the quiet sigh of despair from a client or patient . . . and my heart goes out to them as I step into action. This is what I do. The proof of the pudding in pain control Often I go straight in with “the proof of the pudding...
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