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functional pain and hypnotic suggestion

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  • ??? functional pain and hypnotic suggestion

    If pain is serving a function, then the subconscious won't let it go.

    Generic example of a functional belief:

    "If I have pain I am cared for by professional carers - I just pay the fee and it happens. If I don't have pain, then I'm all alone, because I lack confidence in social interactions".

    It would actually be quite detrimental to help the patient in terms of his physical symptoms, wouldn't it? It would make the whole situation worse. I've seen that before - huge resistance when the possibility of symptom resolution is offered.

    But if the underlying belief can be altered to reflect instead:

    "If I am physically comfortable, then confidence just naturally follows", then this allows the pain to disappear whilst simultaneously giving the subconscious new instructions that will promote social interaction.

    Something I'm experimenting with. Most human problems are to do with interpersonal relationship. And the best way to avoid conscious rejection of new ideas is to be conversational. I have enough clinical evidence to suggest that most pain conditions are functional in some way or other.

    A common template for a faulty belief system might be:

    "I need to feel free to be myself, but there's a risk of rejection/disapproval in my relationship with spouse//partner/friend/colleague/relative".
    Last edited by EG-Physio; 13-09-2017, 03:29 PM.

  • #2
    Here's a few common subconscious drivers which appear consistently:

    - elbow pain = feeling pressured, not enough personal space
    - neck pain = over-thinking, separated from feeling emotions in the heart/body
    - shoulder pain = responsibility, burden
    - thoracic pain = love issues
    - low thoracic = weak willed
    - lower back = sexual issues
    - hip = movement (or lack of) towards a goal.
    - knee = support from spouse/partner/children/parents
    - shin = anger/physical threat

    These come from clinical experience, not some damned book (even though you may see some of them in books, sometimes with different interpretations).
    As you allow the patient to go inwards to explore the neurotag, information gets released. Symbolic language is very revealing. Ref: Milton Erickson.
    Last edited by EG-Physio; 14-09-2017, 01:17 AM.


    • gilbert
      gilbert commented
      Editing a comment
      They are also B.S. Human beings are a lot more complex than that.

  • #3
    When people are unsure if they can trust the therapist, it's not uncommon for them to present a separate issue for testing. Yesterday I had a young bloke begin by telling me that his shoulder was the problem (which is was to some degree), but the very moment he felt safe, "but what I'm really here for.... what I really need is you to look at my middle back". The urgency with which this new statement came forth, and the timing... left me in no doubt this was the core issue, not the shoulder. He needed to know it was safe, and he 'tested the water' with his shoulder.

    [edited] to remove patient details.
    Last edited by EG-Physio; 16-09-2017, 07:49 AM.


    • #4
      I feel like the emperor has no clothes, but that might be a boring thing to say.


      • EG-Physio
        EG-Physio commented
        Editing a comment
        If I Google "Milton Erickson + criticism", the link you provided matches the top result displayed. If that's what happened, then yes, that's boring.

        But if you have a sincere criticism, go for it. Let's hear it.
        Last edited by EG-Physio; 15-09-2017, 03:00 AM.

    • #5
      Hi Ag!

      it’s quite probable that his results were not much better or worse than other experienced therapists employing different modalities of treatment
      This seems to be what we inevitably come to in many of the discussions and disagreements we've had on "what works." Maybe that's what happens when success comes from the patient's analysis of the treatment. And as Eg pointed out above, patients can present separate issues.


      • #6
        Originally posted by Ken Jakalski View Post
        Hi Ag!

        This seems to be what we inevitably come to in many of the discussions and disagreements we've had on "what works." Maybe that's what happens when success comes from the patient's analysis of the treatment. And as Eg pointed out above, patients can present separate issues.
        The "what works" question is easily handled. I've described it before. First, we open up a controlled environment where individual therapists can compete. Next, allow open slather on technique - you can use anything you want, so long as it's safe. Theory, justification, rationalization, intellectual arguments and opinion have no place in such a competition - it's all about outcome. So it's just a straightforward comparison of speed, depth and longevity of the outcomes between therapists.

        Unpacking the 'whys and wherefores' comes afterwards. In other words, if your results are due to the fact that you wear a wizard's cape, then so be it. That gets unpacked later.

        What this does is challenge therapists to put their money where their mouth is. In such a competition, a defense such as "I needed more time - this is complex!" won't fly, because your competitor has probably already swooped in, fixed the issue and the patient is happily out the door.

        Possible flow on effects of open competition:

        -- Massive acceleration of practitioner learning. The #1 ranked sprinter from Lapland is going to have his eyes opened when he gets to take part in a heat at Olympic level. If he's dedicated, there's no way he will go back and train in the old ways. He'll step up.

        -- Massive filtering of rubbish techniques. If experienced reiki practitioners consistently rank near the bottom, then that technique can probably be discarded.

        -- Some clarity on the 'technique versus practitioner' question. If practitioner A always ranks highly with Travel and Simon trigger point work, and practitioner B always ranks lowly with T&S trigger point work (exact same training), we can start to construct some useful hypotheses to test.
        Last edited by EG-Physio; 15-09-2017, 04:28 AM.


        • #7
          Hi Eg!

          And you don't see this competition being influenced by the way the patient might view the therapist? I wonder if positive outcomes may at times be influenced by the way a patient reacts/relates to the therapist's appearance, style, demeanor, confidence, etc.. In other words, might there be some role playing wherein the patient is happy and pain free because he or she wants the therapist to have a positive outcome?


          • EG-Physio
            EG-Physio commented
            Editing a comment
            In a sample big enough, individual patient preferences and biases would possibly be neutralized. If not, you can take measures to control them. Screening could be used to assess patient preferences for male/female, firm/gentle, conventional/alternative, as well as factors like open-mindedness, expectations, etc.

            But your question is getting into mechanism a little bit. The whole idea is to avoid thinking about mechanism. Outcome only - no other measure, just outcome. Everything else can be worked out after that, including potential mechanisms. If therapist A is consistently thrashing the rest of the field, something is happening in and around those treatments. A huge filtering of junk has just happened.

            A statistical analysis might show that pre-Rx patient expectations are the sole determinant. That would be pretty funny, wouldn't it?
            Last edited by EG-Physio; 15-09-2017, 07:12 AM.

        • #8
          I think you should definitely approach the nearest Rehab school, EG, and propose this study. Immediately. Then you will have your answer. No sense in telling us about it, many of us are not in the position to carry out this study. You have the idea, you need to pursue it.


          • EG-Physio
            EG-Physio commented
            Editing a comment
            That's a valid point. Posting on some obscure web forum in the back blocks of cyberspace doesn't help anyone (only me, as a kind of diary). At some point I will have to decide which direction to take and do something useful.

        • #9
          Oh sorry, being obvious again, and boring.