I figured out last Saturday how to be preemptive with pain management for sports performance. I rode the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Flying Wheels Century ride in preparation for the STP (Seattle to Portland) 204 mile ride on July 9. I have never been concerned about my ability to spin my legs for 100 miles or 204 miles, it was my butt on the saddle that had me concerned. But, thanks to self-hypnosis, I relaxed, I felt good and I rode with the wind. Find out how hypnotherapy can help you prevent pain in sports and in daily life.

In previous long bike rides, my butt would get sore on the saddle. As I have talked about the STP, I have had comments made to me about how I will be feeling the saddle pole in my throat and worse yet was a woman who has ridden the STP both in 1 day and in 2 days said, “Do it in one day. Two days is like giving birth two days in a row!” WOW – that is powerful imagery and powerful negative suggestions! That is not what I wanted on my mind for the next six hours as I rode my bike.

One of the pain control techniques that I have used for years was taught to me years ago. The idea is that you imagine holding the part of your body that hurts over your head. When I had a shoulder injury, I imagined my shoulder over my head and the discomfort was gone. A few years ago, Scott Sandland gave me a slightly different twist on this technique. Scott said that when he stubbed his toe cleaning the garage, he imagined leaving his toe in the garage. This twist worked even better for me – just leave the hurting part of my body behind me.

So on June 11, I arrived at Marymoor Park and parked my truck. There were thousands of people busy getting dressed and ready to saddle up. I took a moment for self-hypnosis while sitting in my truck seat. As I did this, the thought crossed my mind that my driver’s seat is very comfortable and that my butt felt very good sitting on it. Then I had an ah-ha moment. I thought to myself, OK butt, you stay right here in the truck today. Rest comfortably all day here on this cushy seat and have a great day.

Throughout the day as I rode, I on occasion had the thought about my butt on the saddle and I would smile and imagine my butt resting comfortably in the truck seat. Not once did my butt hurt all day. It felt good when I crossed the finish line. It felt good when I went out to dinner that night back on the Island with my wife and it felt good the next day when I went for a 20 mile bike ride. It even felt good Monday morning in spin class.

Oh how I wish I would have thought of using this pain management technique preemptively when I ran marathons! I always waited until I was in pain to use it.

So, when you are preparing to do a physical activity that is apt to be painful, use self-hypnosis and imagine leaving the part or parts of yourself that may hurt behind and leave it somewhere where it is relaxed and comfortable. And, of course if you discover a body part is hurting, just imagine that part with the discomfort comfortably somewhere else.

Most athletes and professional sports teams use hypnosis and often have professional hypnotherapists on staff. You can learn self-hypnosis here at Hypnosis Health Info and you can receive additional support in my Seattle hypnosis and Bainbridge Island hypnosis offices or via phone and Skype.

I’d love to hear how you have managed pain during sports events so please leave me a comment.

I am relaxed and I feel good riding with the wind.

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I am relaxed and I feel good riding with the wind.

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