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

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 could even say the hypnosis is a turbo-charged form of storytelling.

I often find that this storytelling technique works best when you practise it first, and practise it a lot at times when your child’s pain is at its least. Then you can get a good routine going and become expert in the method for when it is really needed.

Start with relaxation, make sure you are sitting somewhere quiet and comfortable. Starting with the top of the head, ask your child to imagine that a warm soothing feeling is growing in that area and then slowly spreading down their body. Ask them how it is feeling and make it light and playful.

When your child has spread this feeling all the way down their body to their feet, ask them to wrap themselves in that lovely soft feeling, perhaps describe it as giggly and tickly so they feel it is safe and funny.

Then move on to the storytelling. You will know your child best, so choose with them a memory which they like and find pleasant, perhaps a favourite walk or a scene from a holiday or a playtime. Choose the scene with your child. Then ask your child to close their eyes and imagine this scene. Play a game with them to make everything they are experiencing even stronger and better. Do this in a systematic and specific way. Ask what colours they see and let them play making the colours stronger, ask what they are hearing and play with how to make those sounds even nicer, perhaps louder, or add a song or tune. Ask your child about their physical feelings and work with those. Make the feelings better.

Take it very slowly and ask your child to tell you how they feel about the scene and go with it, the only limits are your joint imaginations – if your child turns their sky purple then ask if they can make it sing as well. You will know where your child’s imagination leads.

When your child has had enough suggest that they ‘save’ the experience so they can use it again when they need it. Perhaps they can make a film of it which they can then replay on their ‘magic tablet’, which you can now invent or they might keep their special scene inside of their body, ready to bring it out when they want.

I hope you find this useful. It is just one of the many techniques I use at my chronic pain management clinics in Milton Keynes and Bedford. If you want to know more do call me. I offer a complimentary phone call so you can find out more.

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