Milton H. Erickson at a young age suffered from polio. But this did not stop him from becoming a world famous hypnotherapist. Actually, it all started when he was afflicted with it. He was bedridden and was not able to do what normal kids his age would do; be out in the sun and experiencing the usual games that kids play. He was such a strong man of character, and he did not let these physical shortcomings allay his dreams of becoming accomplished some day.
It was from his early memories and experiences of his childhood where he mostly gets his anecdotes and metaphors. This was covert hypnotherapy. It will seem to the patient that he is just having a conversation with the hypnotherapists, but all the while he's already being hypnotized. His indirect suggestions used all the while during narrations of his anecdotes puts the subject in a very light trance. It is also through trance that Erickson facilitates relaxation for the subjects. Under trance the unconscious mind will see clearly and understand fully suggestions that will alter a behavior or an undesirable pattern that needs to be broken. Erickson was mostly famous for healing patients with psychosomatic conditions whose main complaint is pain. Erickson, with all the painful experiences that he had felt during those days when he was inflicted with polio already has a set of ways on how to stop the pain through relaxation techniques.
Milton H.Erickson provides a couple of steps on how to decrease or make the pain disappear. This is true to patients suffering chronic incurable diseases, who still want to function normally daily. Hypnotherapy has been widely used for pain management. Together with guided imagery and therapeutic communication; hypnosis has worked most of the time in aiding to decrease the pain, and at the same time provide the subject a positive mindset to work and live a normal life.
Milton H.Erickson teaches these pain management skills as autohypnotic. He wanted his patients to master being in control of their body and mind, so that the need for therapy with a professional hypnotists will be less and less; and self-reliance and independence be developed in each of them, until physical condition is healed or cured.