When Leena asked me how her friend is able to use hypnosis to create anesthesia for dental work, I got curious myself. Leena’s friend says that she “communicates with her nerves and synapses” in some way that eliminates the pain. And, since I am unfamiliar with that specific technique, I began to wonder how it might work.
First, I remembered a hypnosis technique that involves using the imagery of a dimmer switch. The client imagines a wire with a dimmer switch that runs between the painful spot and the brain. Perhaps the pain looks like a stream or pulses of light moving to the brain. Seeing the pain shifts the client’s focus away from of their feelings and into the visual system, which is likely to reduce the intensity of the pain to some lesser or greater degree in and of itself.
Next, the the client is instructed to increase the intensity slightly for a few moments by imagining turning the dimmer switch up. Depending on each person’s preferred imagery, the images of the pain running along the wire may get brighter, the color may intensify, or impulses may speed up, or slow down. Many people in pain believe that they cannot just make the pain less at will. Turning the pain up first is a way of demonstrating to the client that it is possible to control the intensity, at least to some extent.
Now, the client is directed to turn the dimmer switch down and notice the representation of the pain getting dimmer, the pulses less frequent, or whatever signifies a lessening of the pain. The hypnotherapist can then ask about the intensity of the client’s current pain level. Typically the client is noticably more comfortable.
Some clients report that they are not able to turn the pain off completely. However, the ability to lessen the pain and increase comfort can be a real blessing for someone who has been suffering.
The next step is to teach the client how to go back into hypnosis and adjust the dimmer switch any time he or she needs to. Once the person learns how to go into hypnosis, they can go deeply into the state in a few moments after just a little practice.
So, how does this relate to Leena’s friend who communicates with the nerves and synapses? The underlying pattern is most likely the same as the dimmer switch technique. Her friend sees or talks to the nerves in her mind, separating herself from the pain (feelings) by putting her awareness in another sensory system, auditory or visual, that has no pain. The communications may come in the form of a mentally spoken request or imagery of the nerves being soothed. So, Leena’s friend slips into a nice state of hypnosis with her imagery and receives her dental work painless and drug free.