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    Breaking the taboo of talking about chronic pain –  September is Pain Awareness Month.

      Pain awareness month has been going in the United States since 2001. It’s good to have a time when the wider world is focused on the issue of pain and I often get invited to talk to groups in this month.  I also find it very useful in my psychology and hypnotherapy for chronic / persistent pain clinics in Milton Keynes and Bedford. Not only does it raise the issue, it also helps to break the taboo about talking about chronic / persistent pain. We know that a positive attitude and good support can make a real difference to how we perceive pain. We also know that there are treatments and techniques which can help without the use of drugs. I want to take…

    Effects of sleep deprivation on psychological wellbeing

      Your central nervous system is the information highway of your body. Sleep is necessary to keep it functioning properly, but sleep deprivation / chronic insomnia can disrupt how your body usually sends information.  During sleep, pathways form between nerve cells (neurons) in your brain that help you remember new information you’ve learned. Sleep deprivation leaves your brain exhausted, so it can’t perform its duties as well despite working harder. This has been demonstrated in brain imaging studies which show the brains of the sleep deprived desperately pumping energy into the prefrontal cortex, trying to overcome the effects of sleep deprivation Lack of sleep causes memory problems You may also find it more difficult to concentrate or learn new things. Lack of sleep causes sharp…

    Pets and Chronic Pain – can they help?

      In this blog I want to talk about how pets can help control pain. I know this works. I have seen the evidence in my own psychology pain clinics in Bedford, Milton Keynes and video link. But now I can show you some hard science to prove it. Pets can reduce reliance on pain medication  There is evidence that pet therapy can reduce reliance on pain medication. Back in 2007 a clinical trial monitored pain medication in adults undergoing rehabilitation for injury degenerative disease or physical disability. The facility where they were being cared for had a therapy dog, a collie called Neil. After Neil’s arrival on the team pain medication dropped by non-less than 48 percent. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ascp/tcp/2007/00000022/00000007/art00003 How do pets help chronic pain?…

    Pain and anxiety: can we worry ourselves into pain and physical problems?

    I write a lot here about how we can cope with chronic pain by using non-drug methods using various psychological approaches and  hypnotherapy. This time I am going to take a bit of a different angle. I am going to look at how our mental states can make pain worse and in some cases even create it. There is a lot of evidence that people who have persistent anxiety are at more risk of developing physical illnesses. Specially, they are more likely to develop chronic conditions. Let’s start be looking at why this is. What happens when we are anxious? We know that anxiety feelings are closely linked to activity in the amygdala region of our brains. This is the region which generates our emotional…

    Get together with your friends. You will find it easier to manage your pain.

    If you suffer from chronic pain, then it is easy to drift into never seeing your friends. You may feel you just cannot face going out or that you are too much trouble at social occasions. Or perhaps it is just too hard to get dressed up and get out. I am not going to make light of this. It can feel like an impossible aspiration. But although it may be hard, I cannot stress how important it is. If you can manage even a short time with people you like being with you will feel better.  I am saying much more than, get out it will take your mind off things. I know the evidence to back up what I am saying. There is…

    Is it possible to live a happy life with chronic pain?

    his is a question which clients who come to my chronic pain management clinic in Milton Keynes and Bedford, or even via video call often ask me.  It usually springs from desperation, from a wish to get back to a previous life, or from a feeling that life has changed irrevocably for the worse. I think it might be helpful to run through with you what I say to my clients who raise this. I believe that you can change the way you look at things and find control and happiness even if you have chronic pain. And by doing so, you will often find that the pain lessens. It is all about using your powerful mind. Power I try to start by steering my…

    Pain coverage on the radio: the good and the bad

    Hi everyone, I often listen to the radio whilst travelling between my clinics, so, this is a bit of a radio blog this time. Both the bad and the good from BBC Radio 4. Opiate danger: three things all GPs should do First the bad, I heard a horrific story on the Radio 4 Today programme recently. It was about how opiate problems are spreading to the UK. It focused on an interview with a lady who had suffered an injury, been in chronic pain, and was prescribed morphine. No doctor ever explained to her how addictive morphine could be. She went to the same GP practice but no-one seemed to consider that she should be looked after in any other way. When she became…

    Chronic Pain and depression: My new venture…

      This is a very exciting time for me as I am launching with Steve Miller HypnoAntiDepressant (www.hypnoantidepressant.com) The Hypno AntiDepressant is the brand new premier, aspirational ‘virtual AntiDepressant’  that Steve Miller and I developed. It is designed to lift the emotional spirits through the roof. It’s is a refreshing aspirational hypnotherapeutic and motivational product that is massively strong and supportive, helping those suffering with depression to break free and move forward. Training hypnotherapists At present we are training a select group of hypnotherapists, who will be offering this service to people with low mood and/or depression from March 2019 onwards. Already we have had enquiries from the public wanting to know more about Hypno Antidepressant. Chronic pain and depression This is a natural step…

    Something different to chronic pain: Dental fears and phobias

    No-one likes going to the dentist, but some people are truly terrified. They may try to avoid the dentist, risking their dental health. When they are in the dental chair, they can be so distressed that it is difficult for the dentist to do their work. The process takes longer and the patient still dreads the dentist. It is estimated that up to one in five people suffer from dental fear or dental phobia. No-one knows how many seek help as figures have never been collected. But my experience as a qualified hypnotherapist tells me it is a common issue. It certainly brings a lot of people to my clinic. Many of these people are suffering badly. I see people who are so frightened of…

    WHEN CHRONIC PAIN INTERRUPTS YOUR SLEEP – How positive affirmations can help!

    Whether you have throbbing pains, sharp pains, burning pains, or indeed any other description of pain, it’s frustrating because your chronic pain keeps you awake and its exhausting. I find that many of my patients avoid going to bed or leave it later and later to go to bed because they think that they won’t sleep, so think what’s the point of going to bed? This sets up a vicious cycle as we associate our bed with not sleeping, so that’s what happens! Changing our negative thoughts patterns relating to our chronic pain and sleep will help improve our sleep. “ I don’t know how to change my thoughts about my chronic pain and sleep” Often, I’m told, “I don’t know where to start changing…

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