When a client is having any physical discomfort, which is usually referred to as pain, we must remember that there are two distinct components to this discomfort. One is physical pain and the other is suffering.
Pain is a noxious sensation. And while beneficial in the acute phase to inform us when we are in danger, in the chronic form, it has frequently outlived its usefulness. Pain is due to stimulation of certain nerve fibers. Mainstream, allopathic, medicine relies on narcotics, non-narcotics and surgical procedures to ameliorate these complaints with varying degrees of success or failure depending upon one's viewpoint.
Suffering accompanies pain and is the often over-looked stepchild of pain. In fact, the more chronic the pain, the greater the suffering. The greater the suffering, the less effective are pain relieving drugs and procedures. Suffering is derived from our thoughts about the pain. Our thoughts of, "Why me? Whom can I blame? What will happen to me tomorrow. What about my family? What will others think?" Suffering is our frustration, anger, resentment, anxiety, fear, panic, worry, etc.... Much of this conflict is subconscious. The precise treatment for pain and suffering is as different as the causes.
Hypnosis therapy in different formats is useful for both pain and suffering. Glove anesthesia, distraction, dissociation, displacement, substitution, and nerve signal disruption imagery are suitable for pain reduction. While regression, parts therapy, reframing and forgiveness work are appropriate for ending our suffering.
The problem with so many therapeutic choices for so many possible presentations is the Hypnotherapist must be vigilant and client oriented. We must separate the pain from the suffering and treat each accordingly. Each person suffers in his/her own unique way and each treatment plan must be individualized.