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The Pain Brain Connection. The H.A.V.E. E. (TM) Model for Pain Management Ron Eslinger CRNA, MA, APN, BCH, CMI 1. Objectives. 1. Understand how the brain functions in chronic pain. 2. Understand the role of Cortisol.

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The Pain Brain Connection

The H.A.V.E. E. (TM)

Model for Pain Management

Ron Eslinger CRNA, MA, APN, BCH, CMI



1. Understand how the brain functions in chronic pain.

2. Understand the role of Cortisol.

3. Review methods in glove analgesia/anesthesia

4. Learn how to develop a treatment plan for chronic pain

5. Be introduced to the Sarno Mind Body Prescription for chronic pain

6. Tweaking the Friedberg eye movement technique

7. Discuss hypnosis for chronic pain. When does it end?


Perception of Pain the Friend


If Pain Perception is Misinterpreted

What if the Brain does not understand the signal and sends back the wrong message? This can result in Chronic Pain that does not respond to conventional treatment.


When Pain Perception is Modified

Pain can be modified by TENS, Massage, Acupuncture, and Hypnosis.



  • Chemical substances within each cell of the nerve tract

  • They either pass the pain message on or stop it

  • Act as either pain killers or pain producers

  • Pain killers are

    • Serotonin

    • Endorphins

    • Melatonin

People produce different amounts of these neurotransmitters, which explains why some experience more pain than others.


The Gate Control Theory

  • The Gate Control Theory proposes that a sufficient amount of stimuli can close the gate to the pain sensation.

  • “A” fibers transmit milder pain sensations or pressure faster than the slower “C” fibers so the simple act of rubbing an area that is hurting closes the gate to the pain.


Limbic System Parts & Location


Limbic System Functions

  • sets the emotional tone of the mind

  • filters external events through internal states (emotional coloring)

  • tags events as internally important

  • stores highly charged emotional memories

  • modulates motivation

  • controls appetite and sleep cycles

  • promotes bonding

  • directly processes the sense of smell

  • modulates libido


Limbic System Problems

  • moodiness, irritability, clinical depression

  • increased negative thinking

  • perceive events in a negative way

  • decreased motivation

  • flood of negative emotions

  • appetite and sleep problems

  • decreased or increased sexual responsiveness

  • social isolation


The Amygdala

  • Remember by One Word FEAR

  • Input - Sensory input that signals danger

    • Perception is truth

    • Response is to the perception real or not

  • Out put - Must be able to control the Autonomic nervous system

    • Fight or flight

  • It is involved with mood and the conscious emotionalresponse to an event - Neg or Pos


The Hippocampus

  • Remember by One WordMemory

  • Three types of Memory

    • The first is short term is working memory

    • The second is Long-term or declarative memory

    • The third is procedural Memory


Working Memory

  • Like the RAM of a computer

    • Adding numbers

    • Composing sentences

    • Following directions

  • It does not become permanent memory


Declarative Memory

  • Like the hard drive of the computer

    • composed of all the facts, figures, and names you have ever learned

    • All of our experiences and conscious memory are of this type

  • Hippocampus is necessary to file away all this memory

  • It is not know where memories are stored


Procedural Memory

  • Probably the most durable form of memory

    • actions, habits, or skills that are learned simply by repetition

  • The hippocampus is critical in laying down declarative memory

    • is not necessary for working memory

    • procedural memory

    • memory storage



  • concerned with homeostasis

  • Homeostasis is the process of returning something to some “set point.”

  • It works like a thermostat

    So why is the Hypothalamus important to hypnotists?



  • The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating your hunger, thirst, response to pain, levels of pleasure, sexual satisfaction, anger and aggressive behavior, and more.

  • It also regulates the functioning of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which in turn means it regulates things like pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal in response to emotional circumstances.



  • A study of bi-directional interactions between the mind/brain, nervous system (endocrine system/hormonal release) and immune system.

  • Mind & body are united by messenger molecules, the common communication channel between the emotions, sensations, thoughts, and images of consciousness and the molecular -genetic mechanisms of the Body. (Rossi, 1993, p.22)


The Nature of PNI

  • Organs of the immune system (e.g., thymus, bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes) are enervated by sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and have catecholamine neurotransmitter receptors

  • Sympathetic nerve endings in these organs make contact with lymphocytes - thus, brain physically connected to immune system.

  • The SNS being involved in mediation of feelings is connected to the immune system through brain and mind.


Cortisol - Stress Hormone

  • It is an essential hormone for survival because it is responsible for producing and maintaining high levels of glucose necessary for the response to stress

  • Can be destructive because

    • High Levels of glucose breaks down the protein in muscle and inhibits the replacement of calcium

    • Can contribute to these pain syndromes

      • Fibromyalgia

      • Rheumatoid arthritis

      • Chronic fatigue syndrome

      • Lupus

        Ronald Melzack & Patric D. Wall Handbook of Pain Management


Change the mind change the brain thange the behavior




Alpha Change


  • Hypnosis

  • Affirmation

  • Visualization

  • Expectation

  • Education


Why Hypnosis??

  • Mind/Body Therapy

  • Changes Stress Response

  • Improves Healing

  • Facilitates Rapid Recovery

  • Gives the Patient Control

  • Around since the beginning of time

  • Simple

  • It Works!!


An Altered State of Consciousness

  • 20% can reach a light stages of Hypnosis

  • 80% can reach the medium stages of Hypnosis

  • 20% can reach the deeper stages of hypnosis

Affirmation & Coue’s Law

  • Suggestions only become permanent with repetition

  • Suggestions tend toward dominant effect

  • Law of reverse effect

  • Law of will power vs imagination

Self - Talk Affirmations

  • Must Be

  • Simple

  • Realistic

  • Believable

  • Measurable

  • Positive

  • Present tense

  • Rewardable


Meditate & Affirm

  • I meditate 2 times daily and walk 20 minutes daily so that I am healthy and happy.

    Positive Affirmations

  • I am relaxed and in control.

  • I feel good.

  • I control how I feel.

I feel good.



  • Putting the Affirmations into pictures

  • Albert Einstein uses creative day dreaming

  • See yourself as you want to be as if you have already achieved it.

  • Use the Limbic System



  • Play a central role in pain experience

    • Expectations of the hypnotists

    • Expectations of the Client

  • Directly related to the placebo effect

  • Self fulfilling prophesy

  • How did they get the expectation they have?



  • Client

    • Pre session knowledge

    • Personal experience

    • Pre-talk

    • Handouts before and after session

  • Hypnotist

    • Development of treatment plans

    • Are they prepared

    • Reading


How do we bring this together?












Suggestibility in Hypnosis





Limbic System Parts & Location



From many practitioners those suffering from chronic pain take on the behaviors of Catastrophizing and Learned Helplessness.

These are the people that have basically thrown in the towel and are coming to, or being referred to hypnosis because of the earlier mentioned confounded practitioner. That provider at the time of the referral will be a pivotal point. The provider sets theair of expectation and it can be either a negative (I doubt if it will help but try this) or a positive (this has been very beneficial to many and I think you will do well).

Hypnotize yourself out of Pain now, Bruce N. Eimer, Ph. D., ABPP, 2002.


Pain Cycle


Assessment Tools

Adult/Verbal Pain Rating Scales (12 y.o. and over)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

No pain Moderate Worst Possible pain


Numerical Ratings Scale (NRS) -COMMAND CHOICE - Ask the patient to rate his pain on a scale of zero to ten, with zero being no pain and ten being the worst pain he has ever experienced.


Hypnotic Procedures for Pain Management

  • Glove anesthesia

    • o Numbness from local anesthesia

    • o Cold

    • o Arm or leg falling asleep

  • Bouncing ball

  • Shrinking ball

  • Erase pain scale (comfort level) as deepen hypnosis

  • Coloring book or computer graphics

  • Color

  • Warm orange colored liquid

  • Cell memory

  • Religious and spiritual needs


First Session

  • Why and what do you know about hypnosis

  • What are the Concerns / Expectations

  • The Basics

    • Gain Rapport today just learn to relax

    • Suggestibility testing

    • Explain Hypnosis

    • Expectations / Goals / Comfort scale / Sleep Scale

    • What do to me to make me feel like you (Brewer)

    • What do different if pain 2 points less

  • Progressive Relaxation / CD

  • Ego Strengthening / control / Sleep

  • Home work


Hart BASIC Assessment

  • Name:___ Date:____

  • Situation or Problem to be assessed:

  • What am I currently doing regarding the situation?

  • What are my emotions related to my behavior?

  • What Physical symptoms do I have related to my behavior?

  • How do I imagine myself related to my behavior?

  • What are my thoughts related to my behavior?


Second Session

  • Discuss previous session and home work

  • Answer questions / self talk

  • Discuss Coue’s law of suggestion

  • Elman induction to Glove anesthesia

  • Memory image of dental work

  • Walk through the process

  • Remote control


Glove Anesthesia

  • Returning from the dentist and remembering the numb feeling of the jaw, lips and tongue

  • Putting ones hand into a cooler of ice reaching for a cold drink until the hand becomes numb

  • Having the hand or leg go “to sleep” after having the circulation cut off

  • Imaging putting the hand into a blue thick rubbery paint

  • The Dave Elman induction creates glove anesthesia without challenging or tasking the client


Third Session

  • What do you want me to talk to you about today

  • Self induction

  • Warm orange liquid

  • Imagery, Visualization

  • TV seeing what is to happen

  • Block negative / accept Positive


Fourth Session

  • Self Induction or ...

  • Reinforce

  • Glove anesthesia

  • Practice self Hypnosis



Eye Movement Techniques

  • From the Book, Eye Movement Technique for Emotional Healing by Fred Friedberg

  • Great for Calming and Stress Reduction

  • Eases Pain by dealing with the emotional aspects of pain


Eye Movement Techniques

  • Steps

  • 1. Sitting up focus on stressful feeling, image, or thought ask client to evaluate stress (1-10)

  • 2. Rest hands, palms down own thighs

  • 3. Tap back of hands with index fingers one at a time about 2 times a second

  • 4. Do this for three minutes

  • 5. Reevaluate stress (1-10)

  • Start or continue hypnosis


Releasing Anger and Rage

Three potential sources in subconscious

1. That which may have been generated in infancy and childhood and never dissipated.

2. That which results from self-imposed pressure, as in driven, perfectionist or goodist people.

3. That which is a reaction to the real pressures of every day life.

James Sarno, Mind Body Prescription


Substitute for Morphine

A raisin might not always be a substitute for morphine, but it appears that meditation can help people control their response to pain -- and their outlook on life. "The raisin exercise makes you aware of sights, sounds, scents, and tastes," says Benson.

"Now I relax, slow down, and take time to appreciate things around me -- a bird or a cricket, the wind in the trees. Meditation makes my life a little more peaceful. It's made me a better me.


Self-Hypnosis Subliminal Tapes / CDs

Can enable you to channel your ability to put your whole brain to work for you when you need it.

May help the hypersensitive neurotransmitters and nerve endings to work to the client advantage. The format should aim at banishing negativity or frustration. For extremely analytical clients subliminal tapes can be a way to open the mind to the power of subconscious healing.