The sensitivity and tolerance people show towards pain varies predictably according to several factors, including gender, ethnicity, personality, and culture, all interacting and overlapping. Our perceptions are the key to our experiences of pain. 

My source of inspiration

I have had the pleasure of working with the cardio-vascular patients at the Royal Brompton hospital since February 2010. Ever since the first day “in the office” I have met many incredibly inspirational individuals who are determined to improve their challenging lives despite of their chronic physiological symptoms including shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling faint, swelling of the feet or ankles, chest pain, particularly during exercise.

Initially I was working with referrals diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) which is a rare lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises far above normal levels. At the same time as the pressure rises, the walls of the pulmonary arteries become thicker. Sometimes the cause of PH is unknown.

Health anxiety versus healthy concern

Four years ago, I started to receive referrals from Professor Collins, Consultant Cardiologist, who were diagnosed with  Syndrome X  which is a cardiac microvascular dysfunction or constriction causing angina in patients with normal epicardial coronary arteries on angiography. Although presentations of the symptoms, medication and side effects varied, the referrals frequently reported health anxiety and specifically catastrophizing thoughts as their main psychological problem. Some also presented with depression especially when they experienced more challenging and often prolonged periods of discomfort.

Using the combined approach of Clinical Hypnotherapy and REBT has often been beneficial to my clients who needed to feel empowered as well as equipped to manage their own unique symptomatic experiences on daily basis.

They found REBT an effective treatment in reducing highly anxious thinking and depressive thoughts about pain and future pain. They also benefited from relaxation techniques utilising natural patient’s subconscious resources to distract, or reduce pain via breathing techniques, progressive relaxation, and visualisation.

Are you ready to change your direction? Or would you like more information about the subject of pain management, REBT, and clinical hypnotherapy, then I would love to hear from you.

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