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 to be depressed, for example.
There are many aspects to this, financial worries and pain, a disappearance of intimacy, never going out, all these can take their toll and, if you come to see me, on your own or with your family or as a family member I will address whatever it is that is bothering you.
You might find it useful to take a look at this website. It has some lovely videos of people’s experiences which I hope will help you realise that you are not alone. There are even some positive experiences as families work through the issues and become closer as a result.
These reflect the one piece of advice I would give to everyone who is suffering pain and their families. That is to work on the problem together.
Here is one example. I always teach my clients a number of relaxation techniques. There is no reason why family members should not use these as well. Completing a self-hypnosis relaxation together will make you all feel better. The experience is pleasant in itself and you will feel refreshed and relaxed, you are also likely to experience a reduction in pain. An extra bonus is that you are doing something together and something which is making a difference – and that is such a valuable activity in itself. Contact me at Sue@apaininthemind.co.uk and I will send you my special relaxation MP3
Next time we will look at how to improve communication when there is pain in the family.