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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ludlum

Chronic Pain, Math and Hypnotherapy



One of my most memorable clients was within my first few months as a hypnotherapist. This person prefers to remain anonymous, so I will call him Bob to tell his story. I saw Bob for one long extended session and I wasn’t sure why he initially decided to come.

As the session began, he mentioned he was coming because he was “bad at

math.” I was confused by this because it didn’t seem to be affecting his life. However, when I dug deeper he revealed that he was in horrible debilitating pain that he would forget to do mundane tasks like brush his teeth. Because of this he lived in an assisted living facility in his mid thirties.


He mentioned that the pain always got worse every time he tried to do math or anything with numbers and logic. It was a specific area of his head where the pain would start and he had tried everything, so he thought it could be something that stemmed from his thoughts or emotions. I helped him drill down to the root of the issue and it turned out that he grew up in a culture that heavily valued math and science. If you were doing anything other than math or science or performing badly in those areas, teachers and authority figures would shame you.

He remembered being a young child and his teacher scolded him for performance on a math test. From there he grew up with this notion that he was bad at math. Throw in a few life hiccups and he developed a subconscious limiting belief that he was “a bad man.” This pesky belief had been running in the background unknown to him and would be more intense when something like math, numbers or logic reminded his brain of that negative belief.


The way we knew this was the root cause of the problem was because when I said the statement “I am a bad man” back to him, he said it was very negatively charged for him, he felt a heaviness in his body and his head throbbed a little.


We started the hypnotherapy and emotional clearing process and at the end of the session he said he had never felt lighter and that his pain had gone significantly. He was in disbelief and expected this new feeling not to last. Prior to our session, he said he smoked marijuana every day to help with the pain. I saw him a week later and he had not smoked once and his pain had remained subsided. He felt he could manage any flare up with his other tools when it happened occasionally now instead of constantly. He found himself being able to face math, numbers and logic without a flare up as well and was completely lit up. He looked like an entirely different person.


Two weeks later, he moved out of the assisted living facility, gaining his freedom back enough to even move out of state, and he started singing and hiking again. He later revealed to me that the pain had been so bad prior to our session that he had considered not living anymore to give himself peace. He said because of our session (I would argue also in conjunction with all the other work he was doing), he said he never has those thoughts anymore and that he lives his life with joy.


To me, I am so grateful we found each other because what a tragedy it would have been to lose a life when a resolution could have been found easily through the mind. The subconscious mind is so powerful and always tries to keep us safe. At one point, his mind recognized he would be punished for doing math, so it tried to send him a signal to avoid that action and to keep him safe. Years later, that no longer applied and his mind simply needed reminding of how it is safe to do math, work with numbers or think logically. This is where accessing the subconscious mind can really have rapid, long lasting and life changing results.











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