Living with chronic pain can really get you down, often we are told that it is something we just have to learn to manage. However, as we learn more about our brains we also learn more about how we can radically change our approach to so many of the things we suffer with, and pain is one of these things.
When we suffer from chronic, persistent pain we set up a 'circuit' which relays the information of the pain from the source to our brain. There are no actual pain receptors in the body, just messages. These messages for persistent pain are sent on what are called 'c' fibres, these messages are heard only until something more important or more painful is felt. These more urgent messages are carried to the brain along 'a' fibres. It is an essential set up for keeping us safe - when we suffer from chronic pain we can ignore this pain if we were to put our hand onto something burning hot. So our brains decide to over-ride the messages of the persistent pain in order to deal with the more urgent pain. With this information we can see that our brains listen, interpret and tell us what to do depending on the interpretation of events. This goes someway to explaining how it is that we can help cope with chronic pain so much better: it is what is called the paingate. It is possible through hypnotherapy not to 'hear' the c fibres so loudly, so persistently. We can drastically reduce chronic pain and make life so much more enjoyable again.