Pain may be due to a trauma or illness and basically involves pain messages being sent along the peripheral nerves and the spinal cord to the brain.

Pain is universal, however the degree to which you feel it and react to it are the results of your own biological, psychological and cultural make up. Previous injuries or illness can also affect your sensitivity to pain. 

Pain can be classified as Acute or Chronic with acute pain being triggered by tissue damage generally accompanying illness, injury or surgery. It can be mild, not lasting for long such as a sting, or severe and last for weeks or months such as a pulled muscle or a broken bone.

Chronic pain however can be due to a chronic condition such as arthritis, or may stem from an accident, infection or surgery which may have damaged a peripheral or spinal nerve. Damaged nerves can then misfire and send painful messages to the brain.

Recent scientific research shows the most important aspect behind the cause of pain is due to a process called Sensitisation. When pain signals are transmitted from injured or diseased tissues, these signals can then activate (sensitise) pain circuits sometimes distorting the pain messages, and resulting in a painful condition which is out of proportion to the disease or injury.

A good example of sensitisation is the problem of phantom limb pain, whereby pain can be felt in the place of a missing body part due to persistent sensitisation in the transmission pathways from the amputation site to the brain.

Currently much of the scientific research all around the world is focused on identifying the molecular and cellular process that cause sensitisation. The results of which are likely to provide new and improved treatments for alleviating chronic pain.

Pain can be an awareness created by the brain!..Over time a strong memory of pain can be created so that any future pain may be easier to feel, because the message gets through more quickly. Hypnosis can help to break that memory pattern.

The mind can quite easily affect our response to pain, for example a minor dental procedure can produce exaggerated pain for a child who has never been to the dentist before and is frightened. On the other hand emotional states can work in our favour, improving even severe pain experiences. This was concluded by a study comparing former wounded war veterans with men in the general population having the same kind of surgery. Due to previous experience of pain the veterans saw the surgery as less severe and did not need as much pain medication. Athletes also can condition themselves to endure large amounts of pain in order to achieve the results they want

Hypnosis and NLP techniques can be very useful tools in helping to reduce, lessen or even completely alleviate pain. The power of the mind is immense, the use of hypnosis as anaesthesia in operations being a great example of how the mind can work in this way.