an’t sleep? Take a pill to knock you out.
Problems focusing? Take a pill to boost your energy.
A pounding headache? Take a pill to dull the ache.
There is no question that modern medicines have helped us both manage pain and save lives by staving off often fatal illnesses like cancer or heart disease.
But there can be a darker side to prescription drugs, which, at best, can see us grow resistant to their effects and at worst lead to addiction or even death.
Perhaps worse still is our reliance on them, as a major report last year stated that half of us take at least one prescription drug daily.
The NHS Digital survey of more than 8,000 adults showed that one quarter of people are on at least three drugs at any given time, with blood pressure pills, painkillers and indigestion remedies some of the most prevalent.
Of course we are not yet approaching anything like the levels of America’s current opioid crisis, but the warning signs are there.
Yet for those out there who suffer daily from chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia or other conditions which require some level of pain management, swallowing a cocktail of pills can feel like the only solution.
But what if it wasn’t? Emma Armes was a paramedic for 17 years before severely injuring her back and being forced into medical retirement.
“I had a prolapsed disc in my back,” said Emma, 44.
“I had a few operations to try to get rid of the pain along with physiotherapy, acupuncture and medication.
“But nothing helped and I fell into a depressive state, it was a really dark time in my life.
“One day I saw an advert on Facebook for a local hypnotherapist and thought I’d give it a try.
“I had nothing to lose and it felt like it’d exhausted every other option to get rid of the pain I was in.
“It ended up being the most amazing experience which absolutely changed my life.
“I came off anti-depressants and pain medication, it felt as though I had been lifted out of a fog.”
Inspired by her experience, Emma retrained as a hypnotherapist herself, and in March 2016 opened her own practice in Aberdeen.
In May of the following year, Emma came across OldPain2Go.
This branch of hypnotherapy aims to dramatically change
“It ended up being the most amazing experience which changed my life. It felt as though I had been lifted out of a fog”
how pain messages in particular are processed by the body, reducing or removing old aches and pains altogether.
“Hypnotherapy is all about speaking to the unconscious mind,” she said.
“Our daily lives are controlled by just 10 per cent of the brain while the other 90 per cent is the unconscious mind.
“Hypnotherapy is all about connecting with that 90 per cent.
“There is no touching or manipulation, which people can find hard to get their head around.
“Because we are dealing with the mind we can ask it to do anything, so hypnotherapy can work with a whole range of ailments from physical pain and anxiety to stopping smoking.
“Pain itself is a warning message, for example new pain can be touching a hot ring on the cooker.
“This pain acts as a protective mechanism telling you to avoid something which will cause you hurt.