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How to Reinterpret Pain

The self hypnosis for pain session I’d like to introduce today involves re-interpreting pain sensations so that they’re experienced as something else.

This hypnosis session involves focusing on the details of your pain, attributing qualities to it and then re-colouring and transforming your pain into its opposing qualities. Changing the way that you interpret pain in this way helps to block pain signals, reducing your experience of pain. It’s important that you observe the pain passively, without making negative comments, judging or criticising it in any way.


Quiet and undisturbed...

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable, relaxed posture with your arms and legs uncrossed. Take yourself into hypnosis and relaxation by using a hypnosis induction and deepener of your choice, or one I’ve written about previously.


Ask yourself questions about your pain

Focus your attention on the pain in one part of your body. Start to become aware of the shape and colour of the pain. Is it large or small, does it have well-defined edges or is it blurred and spreading? What colour is it? Is it dull or bright, opaque or transparent? What texture is it; rigid or grainy, smooth or rough? Is it hard or soft? Is it moving or still, or is there a vibration or throbbing? Is it warm or cool? Is there a sound associated with the pain? Perhaps a drilling, grinding or grating noise. Continue to notice all the tiny details of the pain, without judging, criticising it or commenting negatively. Notice if the sensations are changing in anyway.


Begin to change the image you have of your pain

When you know the shade, colour, texture and sound of your pain you can start to change it. You can change the colour to one that is more pleasing and soothing for you; perhaps a colour you consider to be healing. If it is rough make it smooth. Change the noise to a more harmonious and enjoyable sound. Continue to change all the elements of the pain to a more pleasing, comfortable nature.


Shrinking the image you have of your pain

Once you have changed and recoloured the pain start to shrink it, perhaps imagine it’s made of ice and is melting away. Imagine it becoming smaller and smaller.


Moving the image of your pain

Finally imagine moving it to somewhere it won’t bother you as much – perhaps a fingernail, or your little toe, or your earlobe – perhaps you can even imagine it shooting out of your body and disappearing into space.


Noticing the differences

Spend some time focusing on how you feel now, enjoying these more comfortable sensations.



When you’re ready to finish your hypnosis session take a few deep breaths, slowly count from 1 to 5 and open your eyes, slowly re-orientating to your surroundings.

Before beginning any techniques for pain management it is vital to see your doctor first for a diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment. Pain is a warning system and it is not advised to alter your perception of pain until your GP has ruled out serious disease or illness.

Practice this regularly, have fun with it and enjoy altering your experience of pain. Let me know your experiences and as always I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

I’m a hypnotherapist providing a friendly, professional service in Devon, working from Buckfastleigh. I offer a free initial consultation, so please feel free to contact me

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