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'
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.