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Neuro-Linguistic Programming
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by Jeff Napier, copyright 2011-2013

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NLP and Physical Pain

What about physical pain? Can NLP help with that? Yes!

Here's a two-part system for dealing with physical pain that works most of the time. This is written as if you want to use it on yourself, but it works great when you use it on others, too. And, like all of NLP, you don't have to do it exactly right. Just get it approximately right, and do it with the right spirit. It will still work fine.

Part 1: It helps to understand that pain is not bad. It is a message system. It's your body's way of telling your conscious mind, "hey, we've got to take care of something," that your conscious mind might otherwise disregard. 

Using the parts of yourself that know how to do it, let your body tell you all about the pain. Really listen to the message. You may be surprised by what your body wants you to know. In some cases, such as a sprained ankle, the message may be simple, "You've got to keep your weight off that ankle so it can heal." 

A message like that can't be argued with. And, you wouldn't want that pain to go away, because you probably would walk on it, which would indeed interfere with the healing.

The message may be, "seek medical help." OK, that's the way to take care of this pain. If you get that message, skip the rest of this chapter for now and get that medical help, you can come back to this later.

Once you have listened to your pain message, you can work out a solution that your body can accept. For instance, "How about if the pain can be gone as long as I don't walk on it?"

Be ready for really interesting messages. And, you may have to be inventive to come up with an acceptable deal. 

Part 2: Did you know you can change pain? If the pain is sharp, like a knife, try making it duller. Or if it is dull, sharpen it a bit. So, if you can change that, what else can you change? Go ahead and experiment. How about the size of the painful area? The depth? Does it have a frequency? A sweetness? If you've never tried adjusting the submodalities of pain, you might be quite surprised how easy it is, once you get the knack of it.  

If you are working with someone else, and they aren't able to change the submodalities of their pain, you might take a break for a minute, and let them learn that they can learn new things of this sort. Try this: Have them learn to inhale deeply, by asking them to exhale forcefully and fully. To their delight, the deep inhalation then comes automatically. Then go back to adjusting the pain. 

Oh, and an aside: Referring to it as "their pain," gives them ownership of it. I don't think they really want to own 'their' pain. 

Now, the most interesting submodality of pain is location. Can you move one inch higher? To the left? So, if you can move it an inch, how about further? How about putting it in another part of your body? How about somewhere outside your body? Isn't that a nice solution? When it's outside your body, you can still have the safety of the awareness that it exists, but it doesn't have to bother you any more. 

 

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