Hypnosis for Chronic Pain Management

A complementary & alternative therapy for pain

Hypnosis can be an effective alternative therapy for chronic pain.  Its most common use is 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.


“Hypnosis may be beneficial for pain associated with cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures, and headaches.” The Mayo Clinic


Hypnosis is also very effective therapy in managing pain as it targets 88% of the components of pain – tension, anxiety, and stress.

Research in Hypnosis as an Alternative Therapy for Chronic Pain

Several papers have been written that review the research in hypnosis for pain and pain management:

A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia found hypnosis to be an effective pain management tool and indicated that it has a place in modern pain management.

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.

“Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions.”  –Hypnosis and Clinical Pain, University of Washington School of Medicine, 2003

Hypnotherapy, An Alternative for Healing the Deeper Cause of Pain

What is less known about this alternative therapy for pain is its use in working through the deeper cause of the onset and recurrence of pain, what in integrative and functional medicine is referred to as the psychosocial factors. MINDbasedHealing’s mission is to provide education to the public on the psychosocial factors of disease and disorders and provide advanced training to hypnotherapists and psychotherapists to address those factors and provide lasting relief.