Hypnosis is very effective in chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, headache, carpal tunnel and back or neck pain. It allows you to manage pain by disassociating from it, displacing it to a location in the body that is not as debilitating, reducing its intensity and, in some cases, eliminating the pain altogether. Hypnotherapy is also very effective in controlling pain as it targets 88% of the components of pain – tension, anxiety, and stress.
Several papers have been written that review the various research in hypnotherapy for pain management. This paper finds hypnosis to be an effective pain management tool: Hypnosis and its place in modern pain management and A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia.
Hypnosis for Treatment of HIV Neuropathic Pain: A Preliminary Report determined if hypnosis could reduce the neuropathic pain of HIV patients. Participants received three weekly training sessions in self-hypnosis. 20 out of the 36 participants improved in their pain scores with a mean pain reduction of 44%.
Functional Anatomy of Hypnotic Analgesia: A PET Study of Patients with Fibromyalgia studied the effect in the brain of hypnosis for pain relief. The study recruited people who were suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia. The subjects all reported experiencing less pain when they were in the state of hypnosis then they did when they were in a state of rest. This study also proved that hypnosis leads to real physical changes in the brain.
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