The Hypnotic Pain Therapy of Tattoos
Tattoo's as a pain therapy? Are you CRAZY?
Well, yes. I am slightly eccentric. That being said, using tattoo's as a pain management therapy is actually a very logical and useful tool for anyone living with chronic pain.
First things first, let's get to know Pain a little better.
Pain is a very interesting part of your natural neurological system, designed to let you know when there is a part of your self that needs care and attention. It's a very useful feature of the human body, and not one that you want to get rid of.
That being said, pain can be a pain when it wears out it's welcome. You'll know what I mean if you've ever injured yourself in a way that left you in pain for months or even years, or if you've had any painful experiences that left scars in your memory that were powerful enough to create a long term phobia.
In those cases, your conscious mind developed a pattern of think that the pain would never go away, and never get better, and then your prover got itself going in the process of focusing on the pain, even subconsciously, so much so that the pain even seemed to intensify as time went on. It created a cycle of pain, which is the root of all chronic pain.
Pain has this stranger feature of instantly hypnotizing us when it comes around.
Have you ever had a really bad toothache, that took so much of your attention that you had a hard time thinking, breathing or focusing on anything other than the pain? In those moments you are highly suggestible, and open to a lot of influence both internally and externally. Pain is designed to do that, because it's job is to make sure you get the notice that something is wrong, and it needs you to be suggestible, otherwise you probably wouldn't do much of anything about the pain other than thinking "ouch".
So when you are struck with pain, it LITERALLY puts you into Hypno-Shock. During that time, your unconscious mind will start accessing your internal database, looking for other times when you've experienced pain. It specifically looks for experiences of the same time of pain, or the same place, and if it finds experiences where the pain went away, then the pain gets placed in the "acute" category, because you know that it will go away eventually. Once this is known, the pain is often bearable because you know it won't last forever.
However, if your unconscious is either not able to find any similar painful experiences to the one you are having, or it finds that the pain experience happens often, it will get thrown in the "chronic pain" category, because it expects it to continue for an undetermined intensity or amount of time, even if the pain is really just an acute experience that is very common after certain injuries or experiences.
Now, this all happens in an instance, a matter of minutes at most. And because it happens so fast, and because you are in hypno-shock, your highly suggestible mind gets instantly set into a pattern of pain-centered thoughts if you've categorized the pain as "chronic". Once the pattern is set, it turns into a metaphorical program that seeks to find any and all pain happening at any given time, and that creates a strong and very real experience of constant and seemingly never ending pain for the person.
Have you experienced this before?
Down with the system...
Now, because our system of western medicine is designed to cover up, hide or mask symptoms and not actually find cures, going to an allopathic doctor rarely ever helps. You'll recognize what I'm saying if you've ever had chronic pain. The first thing they do is get you hooked on highly addictive and dangerous pain killers, muscle relaxers and other pharmaceuticals. They will continue the process of testing drugs on you until you are out of your mind and just can't feel anymore, addicted to pain-killers and no longer seeking to just end the pain or they move onto to other dangerous activities like surgery.
I will not discount allopathic medicine completely. I do personally know a few people that have found relief through new innovative western medical miracles. Though even with those few experiences, I find that in general, that allopathic medicine can do nothing good for chronic pain. And it's not necessarily the fault of allopathic practitioners. The very root of the word "allopathic" means "other pain". So it is destined for them to replace your first pain, with another sort of pain (often addictive drugs).
Still though, our society is so used to believing that western medicine can bring cures, that when we find ourselves in intense or chronic pain, we flock to them, in our highly suggestible states and come home with a dozen new problems.
Are you ready for a change?
Chronic Pain Cures...
A "cure" can take on so many different meanings. Some look at a cure as that takes away an issue or dis ease. Other look at a cure simple as a resolution. When it comes to pain, I look at it like this: a pain cure is remedy that can either completely eliminate the pain, or it can reduce the sensation of pain so drastically that quality of life is no longer effected.
Now, in order to "cure" pain so that it is either eliminated or no longer covering up your road to successful and healthy living, the first step is to understand that pain is simply a signal. A signal that starts at the point of infliction, travels through your limbic and nervous system, up to your brain where the mind can receive it and decide what to do with that information.
It is your challenge, to uncover just how to reprogram your body and mind to perceive pain, so that chronic pain is no longer given a priority over your conscious mind, which will reduce and effectively stop you from going into hypno-shock when you experience it, and stop you from getting into the cycle of pain.
It is my challenge to help you get there =)
Now, if you've never gotten a tattoo, you might be wondering why in the world I am suggesting you go out and get one to help you deal with your chronic pain.
So here's the deal. Your mind is a very powerful tool that you can program to work in any way you like it to. Though in order to reprogram your mind to deal with a trauma (like pain) in a different manner, sometimes you have to subject yourself to a different trauma. The thing about trauma though, is that not all trauma is bad.
The trauma of going on a roller-coaster is not bad (for most people), and often brings us into a euphoric state that lasts for days. Likewise, the trauma of finding out you just won the million dollar lotto is not a bad trauma either, is it?
Similarly, the trauma of getting a tattoo is a good one. It not only leaves a lasting positive memory of a time when you experienced pain, but it can effectively reprogram the way your mind deals with pain all together. And I'm saying this out of experience, not just theoretical knowledge.
I got a sleeve tattoo on my right arm, then found out I was pregnant. I decided to continue with the next few months of tattoo work, and was glad I did, because my experience of dealing with the pain from the needle, gave me the tools I needed to deal with the pains of labor, delivery and healing afterward from the c-section.
I'm not along either, and it is one of my favorite tidbits of knowledge to know that there are many tribes around the world where women regularly get tattoo's in sensitive places, because they feel that it is every woman's rite of passage before giving birth. They also know that experiences pain in a positive way can create a better way of experiencing pain in the future. Likewise, there are many tribes and cultures around the world that encourage both men and women to get tattoos as a rite of passage and transformative way to discipline and condition themselves to cope effectively with pain.
Don't get crazy on me
Now, I am not suggesting that you should go out into the world and find all sorts of ways to inflict pain on yourself in order to better deal with issues of chronic pain. What I am suggesting, is that through various reasonably safe methods of inflicting pain, you can create a more positive perspective of pain for your body and mind, which will help you understand yourself, your pain response and the way to break the cycle of pain.
This isn't an isolated thing either, as I am sure you know of at least one person who has tattoos or piercings, or who tests their bodies through hanging on hooks, sky-diving, bungie jumping, thrill seeking, or has some other method for creating positive pain experiences.
Everything to gain, nothing to lose.
The simple matter, is that with getting a tattoo (from a professional), you have nothing to lose from the experience and everything to gain. At the very worst, you might not enjoy the experience, but even if that is the way it goes, you'll still be able to handle other pains from a better perspective because there are very few accidental inflictions that are worse then the voluntary pain of a tattoo.
At best, you'll love the burning tearing sensation that brings your whole body alive, and you'll find yourself with a much large pain threshold, created as if by magic.
How to use tattoos as a form of pain therapy
Okay, so here's the part you've really been wanting to learn about - How do you use tattoo's as pain therapy?
Now, I could very well just say "go get a tattoo and you'll know what I mean." Which would make sense to anyone who's already gotten a tattoo. Though I find that there is a very specific way to get a tattoo, that makes the biggest difference.
In order to give you a clear understanding, I want you to think back to earlier in this hub when we were talking about "hypno-shock". That instant hypnotic state that pain brings you into after infliction. That hypnotic state is not unique to pain, and can be created all sorts of ways, but the important part, is that when you know the hypnotic state can be brought about by accident, it can also be brought out on purpose.
Getting a tattoo also puts you into hypno-shock the instant the first needle touches your skin. This leaves you highly suggestible, both internally and externally. So what I want you to do, is to bring some music with you, the kind that makes your heart sing and your mind sway in bliss. Then, when you feel yourself so overtaken by the pain that you can't think about it any longer, I want you to start thinking about anything and everything else you can think about.
Go over your to-do list for the week, or the honey-do list you need to create for your mate. Think about you vacation plans for this year, achieving your new years resolutions or how you're going to celebrate up coming birthdays. Think about as many happy memories as you can. About that christmas morning when you were a kid, and you woke up to a tree full of gifts. That first time you kissed your first crush. Puppies, kittens, wild sex (did I say that?), money, ice cream or whatever floats your boat.
Eventually you will realize that you're not thinking about your pain, and that you really aren't feeling it, which will instantly bring you back into conscious awareness of the pain. NOW, this is the important part, when you realize that if you are not giving your direct conscious energy to think about pain, then it will go into your unconscious mind, where you are no longer forced to deal with it above all other activities that you could be dedicating your conscious mind to.
The power of that experience, and not just the knowledge of it, is an amazing and liberating experience that you can take with you anywhere you go, through any experience. And hopefully, it is an experience that you can use to take yourself out of the cycle of pain, and bring yourself back into a cycle of success.
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