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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Some Pain Relief Techniques for Young and Old


Due to your extensive background in working with children, I am writing to inquire as to your recommendations for dealing with a very mature, above normal intelligence 6 year old male with Cerebral Palsy. He is quite bright and has typical skills for focusing. My purpose in working with him is for acute pain management during his quarterly 24 injections of Botox, all in his legs. I have established very good rapport with this child and I'm sure he will follow directions. He is easily motivated. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle pain management with a child this young?




Here are several suggestions for controlling pain, which can be used whether a client is 6 or 60. All of these methods can be transferred to “Self-hypnosis Homework”.


     1.  The Cold-hand Method: The child imagines his hand in a bucket of ice becoming very cold, and then putting that hand on the leg that will receive the shots, letting the leg become numb.


     2.  Cold Climate Method: Have child imagine being in Alaska where there's lots of snow.  He's driving a sled of dogs across the frozen land.


     3.  TV Sound Control Method: The child imagines the sound control dial on a television set, or some other dial that is familiar to the child.  He can turn that dial up or down to control the sound.  When he or she controls the sound, they control the pain.  So you need to help the child practice bringing up the pain when it is the most severe, and dialing it down like he would “sound.”  Anchor it, and practice.

     4.  Tugging the Ear Method: Another anchoring method is to have the child bring up the pain, take a deep breath in as he raises his left arm up, and touch his left ear. As he exhales, he drops his arm into his lap.  This immediately lowers the pain level. (In our bodies, exhaling sedates the nervous system, thus allowing more relaxation of muscles, ligaments and tendons.) You need to practice this several times together, and then encourage its use at home.


     5.  Changing the Picture: Have the child imagine the pain. What is its color?  What is its shape? How loud is it? etc.  Then have the child change the color, shape, etc. to something more muted.


     I’m sure these will trigger other methods in your mind. You’ll do just fine, and so will he.








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