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Book Review by Anne M. Courtney, MA, CH: Hypnotise yourself out of Pain Now by Bruce Eimer, PhD
(2008, Second edition, Crown Press Publishing, ISBN 978-184590087-8)
Eimer's well written book is targeted at chronic pain sufferers who have not responded to conventional medical or drug treatment.  When one finds that pain persists despite applying appropriate medical intervention then that pain signal has outlived its usefulness and one can then decide to manage that pain using techniques such as  self hypnosis and hypnosis.  Recognising that everyone is unique in his or her expression and experience of pain, and that no one technique suits everyone, Eimer clearly describes and makes understandable for the lay person, a large number of techniques and strategies based on self hypnosis which may be of help in pain management. 
Self hypnosis is an empowering technique which not only allows one  to understand the message of pain at a subconscious level, but also helps one to manage the pain.  Unlike conventional medicine, self hypnosis has no side effects and can be used as an adjunct to traditional medical treatment.  However the reader is warned to take self responsibility and seek/obtain medical opinion on diagnosis and treatment prior to using self hypnosis.  
This book is divided into two sections and in my opinion the reader will obtain maximum value from this book if they read it from start to finish.  Part 1 of the book informs the reader about the characteristics of pain and explains what hypnosis is all about.  Pain is a signal telling you that something is wrong and to heed this warning and seek help.  Pain which is persistent enforces limits on one's life and robs one of the freedom to live life effectively and fully. 
Reading Part 1 will encourage the reader to begin the process of change by reflecting and evaluating  their own experience of pain, by rating it, examining its history and pattern and existing coping strategies.  This evaluation is thought provoking and causes one to consider a very important question 'Do I want to get better?'  In turn this leads one to query one's level of motivation to work at getting better. Hypnosis and self hypnosis can help one uncover the source of pain and tackle blocks to healing such as poor lifestyle choices and so on. The author also provides a pain description questionnaire covering 30 multi-factor pain groupings. Using this to analyse one's expression of pain gives clues to identifying beneficial opposing qualities which can in turn be helpful  in setting goals for  how we want to feel instead. By examining one's coping strategies, one determines where one exists on the continuum between avoidance and awareness.
By participating in the self evaluation process in Part 1, the reader has set a baseline for the process against which he or she can measure their success in applying the many techniques outlined in Part 2 of the book - around 50 techniques in all.  The techniques are based on what Eimer calls the 6D's of coping: deep relaxation, decatastrophising, direction, distraction, distortion and dissociation. All these techniques are described in a clear way and additional self suggestions are provided which the reader can  tailor make to suit their own individual needs. 
One of the techniques which appealed to me as a reader and as a practicing hypnotist comes under the heading of 'Direction'.  This technique focuses on monitoring one's thoughts surrounding one's pain and modifying one's thoughts towards obtaining positive and healthy outcomes.  In this technique one learns to monitor the typical negative self talk and replacing it with positive self talk and positive self suggestion. This technique can be employed before, during and after a bad episode of pain.
Eimer provides many scripts which the reader can use/amend to suit themselves.  I advise the reader to record these in their own voice.  Self hypnosis implies that you are your own hypnotist and what better than to listen to your own voice feeding positive suggestions to the subconsious mind.
Dr. Eimer is a licensed clinical psychologist in Philadelphia with over twenty years of experience treating chronic pain.


Tapping into one's subconscious mind can bring up many issues which may have been repressed for a while and this process may be painful.  It is therefore important that you seek the help of a professional hypnotist.

Clients seeking hypnosis for pain management must  get a medical referral from their GP or consultant. Contact me for a medical referral form.
NEWS from Hypnosis Tralee

Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers
If you are familiar with the book written by  Dermot O Connor called 'the Healing Code' and would like me to facilitate you in the  application of the NLP /relaxation techniques he advocates in his book which helped him on his personal  path to health, give me a call.
I am trained  in these techniques  by the Irish Institute of NLP.
Please get your doctor's permission before availing of my services in this area.