People will often be referred by a doctor to emotional therapy after complaints of headaches, backaches, neck pains, etc., from which they suffer but tests came up inconclusive.
Sometimes these pains are so intense that medication does not help and the person cannot function on a daily basis.
When doctors see this type of pain, they suspect a psychosomatic disorder.
Psychosomatic (or psycho-physiologic) disorders are when the person experiences deep emotional distress by way of their body.
These disorders can have symptoms of high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, atopic dermatitis, and most commonly pain.
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The field of medical psychology is extremely familiar with psychosomatic disorders and offers different types of treatments.
Treatments usually start with the goal of pain reduction, by understanding when the pain first appeared and if the pain gets worse or better in certain situations, in order to be able to understand its development.
Many times it’s found that emotional distress is a main factor of the pain, and psychological treatment therefore tries to uncover the root of the distress and how to reduce it, therefore reducing the pain.
Treating psychosomatic pain also involves learning exercises and methods for reducing stress.
For example, in The Tal Clinic we work with patients to identify which situations have a high “stress potential” and then learning techniques to lessen the stress.
Treatments might include different types of complimentary therapies, such as hypnosis, EMDR, CBT
and more, in order to lighten the load the body bears from emotional distress.
For example, CBT helps the patient identify which thinking patterns are harmful in certain stressful situations and provides the patient with new, better thinking patterns to apply during stressful situations.
Relaxation exercises are also taught and are recommended for practice at home.
For people who suffer from psychosomatic disorders the treatment may vary in accordance to the individual’s needs.
In each case though, it is clear that the mind and body are closely connected and are constantly interacting.
Understanding this connection in each patient will help the symptoms become a thing of the past.