CLINICAL PAIN MANAGEMENT WITH HYPNOSIS
Hypnosis has been found to be generally more effective than other non-pharmacologic interventions, such as physical therapy and pain education. There is growing evidence to suggest that hypnosis has greater influence on the affects of pain rather than the sensation of pain.
Hypnosis may be able to provide analgesia, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, improve mood, and reduce the need for opioids. Further, hypnosis can enhance the efficacy of other well-established treatments for pain.
Hypnosis can be included in effective pain management, according to a paper published by the Oxford University Press. The results from three lines of research are creating renewed interest in the application of hypnosis for chronic pain management.
First, imaging studies demonstrate that the effects of hypnotic suggestions on brain activity are real and can target specific aspects of pain. Hypnosis can effectively reduce the intensity of pain, and alternatively it can decrease the unpleasantness of pain. In the first case brain research shows that decreases in the intensity of pain through hypnotic suggestion also decreases activity in the brain areas that underlie the experience of pain intensity. In the same way, hypnotic suggestions to decrease the unpleasantness of pain have significant effects on how bad the pain makes people feel, because of decreases in activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing the emotional aspect of pain.
Second, research studies demonstrate that hypnotic treatments can save money. Hypnotic suggestions for reduced pain and improved healing have been shown to reduce the time needed for medical procedures, speed recovery time, and result in fewer analgesics needed — all of which not only result in more comfort for the patient, but save money for the patient and the patient’s insurance company. In a time of growing medical expenses, it’s nice to have a treatment that can actually result in cost savings.
Third, a rapidly growing body of research shows that hypnosis works. When hypnosis and hypnotic suggestions are combined with other treatments, those other treatments become more effective. When people with chronic pain are taught how to use self-hypnosis for pain management and improved sleep, they experience pain relief and sleep better. This research also reveals that hypnosis has many “side effects”, which are overwhelmingly positive. People who learn self-hypnosis can not only experience significant pain relief, but report a greater sense of overall well-being and control.
For all of these reasons, more clinicians are seeking to learn how to apply hypnosis and to teach self-hypnosis to their clients with chronic pain.
You can learn effective self-hypnosis techniques to reduce or eliminate your chronic pain as well as reduce or eliminate opioid medication use.