One of the earliest discoveries in Neuro Linguistic Programming was how to deal with pain. Often in my seminar, I do demonstrations of relieving somebody of pain in less than a minute as demonstrations of relief techniques. For an actual ‘healing’, I use a more elaborate process called ‘the Reframing’ or ‘the Healer Within’. And generally in about 45 minutes, the person gets some internal changes that relieves the pain as well, for good.
So, why would I spend all that time doing an elaborate pattern, when obviously I have demonstrated a pain relief technique already that works within a minute?
Here is why I don’t recommend Pain Relief Techniques:
1. Pain is a Messenger, don’t shoot him.
What I think about pain (most times) is that there is an underlying condition that requires immediate attention. This has been ignored for a while. And the neurology is bringing it to your attention in the form of pain. There are exceptions to this, especially in cases of phantom limb and so on. But most times, the pain is a messenger for you to take care of something urgently. Using a pain relief technique like hypnosis, submodalities and metaphors to get rid of the pain, fully, breaks that channel of communication.
2. The person sending the Messenger is an Ally, listen carefully.
Most often in my interventions when I help people get over pain, I have noticed that the underlying condition has a very useful and positive intention for the person involved. When I was working with this young lady on her acute headache at that moment, she told me she is getting pictures of a pillow. And I asked her if she intends to sleep. She said, ‘NO’. And then I came to know that she had planned all-nighter for the rest of the week. This is typically what happens with what appears to be chronic pain for most people. As soon as I had her commitment that she will give herself self-sufficient sleep, the pain stopped instantly! To most people, this appears like magic. To me it is just common sense. And yet, what stops most people from catching it is that they do not consider the source of pain as an ally. Its their. brain. It obviously must be working for their good.
Then what is the purpose of Pain Relief Techniques?
1. As a precursor to permanent healing
Let us say, someone is having extreme pain, and you know if you have 30 minutes of their full attention you can help them deal with this properly. It may be helpful at that moment to help them get over this pain.
Example of this would be – when someone has a severe headache, and I want to do a ‘trance induction’ on him for the purposes of the 6-step reframing technique. I will first have to do a pain relief that helps me get them to focus enough to elicit involuntary responses and proceed with the pattern.
2. For medical interventions
Performing a dental surgery or even a bypass surgery without anaesthesia. Or maybe even helping someone deal with pain during child birth or any other procedure.
3. Updating missing information
Sometimes, as silly as it sounds, the brain seems to forget that certain pain is no longer relevant and useful. I have met people who have met with an accident, and after 15 years the pain in their spine still persists, although medically reports show that everything is normal. Just teaching the brain to reconsider if the pain is still relevant seems to fix this problem for most people. This is also the case with the pain caused by phantom limbs and so on.
How to deal with pain, properly?
Although I am tempted to share some pain relief techniques in this blog, I am not going to do that because of the obvious concerns expressed above. However, following is one technique that you can use to deal with pain properly in the long run. This technique is based on the principle that you can use the pain itself as communication channel with your unconscious resources.
This is one way to deal with pain properly:
1. Sit or stand in a place where you can have your full attention to yourself
2. Place your hand where you feel the pain
3. Go into as deep a state of internal focus as you can
4. Empty your mind
5. Tell yourself, “if the pain is a signal, move it to the left or to the right. Or just double the intensity or half of it – as a way of saying – yes the pain is a form of communication”
6. After getting a proper, repeatable, verifiable communication signal, use the ‘healer within’ pattern if you know how to do it or just engage your very powerful neurology in a communication using this signal and explore what you need to do for the pain to stop.
7. Once you figure out what you need to do, make a commitment to do it and request your unconscious processes to stop the pain as a response for your commitment.
Tip: Often when you ask the question, “What do I have to do for the pain to stop”, the response may come as a metaphor as images, thoughts and memories. Pay attention to them carefully, instead of discarding them as irrelevant thoughts. Remember if you are able to move the pain or change the intensity of your pain as a response to your questions, you have established communication with whatever part of your neurology is responsible for the pain. Use it well.
Extending this beyond Pain & Spontaneously Occurring Signals ( SOS )
If you consider the above principles in a much broader sense, you may recognize that these messengers may not always take the form of pain. They may come in the form of anxiety, fear and what people sometime call as negative thoughts or blocks. And Dr. John Grinder calls them as the Spontaneously Occurring Signals (SOS). One way to utilize them to deal with the underlying challenge is using the exact attitude and technique as described above for pain.
If you find this useful, do share with your friends, so that they too recognize the powerful ally in the neurology!
Warning: This is not medical advice or intended as an alternate to medical cure. And if you have any form of pain, please consult a qualified medical doctor first. This article is only intended to help in addition to whatever medical procedure you need to perform.
Very useful! Thanks for writing it Antano :) This is an eye opener!
Anytime Preethi. What topic would you like next?
Wow!!! Thank you so much for sharing this Antano. I cant wait to try this on myself and others.
Sure Rafiaa. Play with it and let me know what you get here.
Antano, this post made a very productive read, early in the morning. Does this article also imply that Reframing Pattern can be used for multiple pains, anxieties due to multiple/different reasons, all at the same time? My coach had told me that I can use patterns like Sanctuary and Peak Performance for multiple contexts ‘at the same time’. Now if I look at Reframing, if I use it for multiple contexts at the same time, do I need to specify all those intentions while communicating with the Unconscious?
Preet, when you are doing the Alphabet Game (for peak performance) as well as the Sanctuary you are utilising a form of collapse or chaining anchors to condition your response ahead of time. So, as long as the states (emotions and feelings) in each of the contexts are the same or you end up stacking these emotions – you can combine them into the same activity. When you are doing activities like Reframing – you are working at the level of intention with the assumption that every behaviour (useful or not) may have a useful positive intention. The way I would do it, if I have to work with multiple contexts as the same time, is by chunking up. Which means – ok – if all these contexts together have to happen, what will I get that I not currently getting. And what stops me from getting that? And then do the reframing on that problem. However, when setting timeframe and outcome, I will chunk down as well and check for each of the activity. And you can always go on a recursive loop if you don’t get a positive response to any of those contexts when checking for time frame and outcome.
Having said that, my recommendation, when doing things like reframing is to work on ONE specific target properly. Trust in the amazing ability of the human neurology to generalise. Generalisation mean that the brain is excellent at taking the learning/transformation in one area and replicating it in every other contexts of your life.
These are all the various options. Play with it. Explore what works more effective for each person. And always remember to use your calibration to improve the effectiveness.
Got it. Thanks Antano. Today, I did Reframing on my mother, with one specific target, i.e., getting rid of pain in her right shoulder that she’s been experiencing for 6 months. As you said, every behavior ‘may’ have a useful positive intention, which, I guess also means that there may ‘not’ be any useful intention either and that’s what UC answered in context of my mother’s shoulder pain and I proceeded accordingly. I’m now looking forward to her telling me that her pain has gone. :)