Go number too

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That’s number like to be more numb. Originally this post had the subtitle “relieve that pain in your ass” but I thought that would be too confusing.

Today, we continue our talk on eliciting ideosensory phenomenon for addressing pain and discomfort. Last post I talked about using the sensation of warmth to bring comfort and relaxation. Now I’ll talk about using cold for numbness and relief.

Who doesn’t know the relief a timely cold shower can provide? Using cold imagery and sensory details can help elicit relief through numbness. Building on last post’s routine (bathing in warm water) – you actually can do the exact same routine just using cold water. It could be mountain stream or winter lake. In the warm water routine, you have them place the pains in their body into a block of ice and then, generally, melt the ice (and pain with it). In the winter routine, you have them place their pains in a block of ice and then freeze the block even colder until it expands to the point that it shatters and disappears.

As awesome as shattering your pain is, I tend to use a much simpler, but more natural (in my mind) method. I guide them through a winter place visualization where they come upon a stream. The kind of stream made by the ice that melts on top of mountains and flows down into a valley. Then I inform them that they have a water bottle in their hand. In a moment, they will bend over and plunge their hand into the crystal clear water to fill the bottle. As they fill the bottle, they will feel the sensation of the ice cold water flowing over their hand for a few seconds and then their hand will go completely, and comfortably, numb. It’s important to fully explain what will happen to prime their nonconscious to create the sensation of numbness. Then, I tell them to go ahead and bend over, plunge their hand in the water, fill the bottle, and feel their hand go comfortably numb.

From here, you can do 2 things. You could then tell them they could use that hand to touch anywhere on their body to transfer that sensation, replacing any pain or discomfort with the comfortable numbness. Or you could tell them that in a second, they can take a sip of that pure mountain water from the bottle. They’ll feel it, ice cold and refreshing, flow through their body – going anywhere in their body that could benefit from that calming sense of comfort and numbness.

Like any guided visualization, you could then chain more things on to accomplish either greater or different effects. A common one with this would be to keep walking, leaving the river behind, and move towards a winter cabin. There you could do any number of additional things in this winter cabin, like have them get in a warm bath or hot tub to increase their relaxation and comfort. Another interesting winter routine is to walk to the top of the mountain where they can form a snowball in their hands. From there they can think about a goal they have in their life and “place” that in the snowball. Then they can roll that snowball down the mountain and watch it grow larger and larger, until it’s so big that it breaks through any obstacles that stand in its way.

The United Strengths