The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - YL MAGAZINE -

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.

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