Through the technology of brain imaging, researchers have found out that hypnosis or clinical hypnotherapy consistently and significantly decreases chronic pain experiences. Studies have shown that about 75% of experimental and clinical participants having various kinds of pain attained substantial pain relief because of hypnosis. The most receptive patients receive the most lasting and greatest relief while those moderately responsive patients have also made some improvements. In addition, the benefit of hypnosis for pain is a better holistic outcome for greater physiological stability and medical treatment. The benefits will increase more if the patients are motivated in using all their treatment options in order to manage pain.
In the well-controlled experiments, they have proven that the sensitivity of the patients towards pain decreases. This means that hypnosis works by helping the patients to change their psychological components of pain. Also, it has proven that it is beneficial for people who have cancer, headaches, fibromyalgia, backaches, mixed chronic pain and temporal mandibular disorders.
Hypnosis can produce significant reduction of pain ratings, dependence on analgesics or sedation, the time to stay in the hospital and nausea and vomiting. During a hypnosis session, the hypnotherapist may tell a patient he can turn down the pain experiences just similar to turn down a radio’s volume. This process is very helpful to patients because they know that they can control the pain. Generally, hypnosis is more effective compared to the other interventions of pain management like physical therapy and education.
How Hypnosis Works For Pain
Hypnosis will not cure the cause of pain but it helps patients on how to manage it. In different research activities where researchers are doing brain scans of people suffering from chronic pain while they are under hypnotic trances, they found out that the brains of the patients showed significantly reduced activity in the part responsible to experience pain. This is a clear indication that hypnosis for pain works. In other studies, they reveal that hypnosis is more effective compared to other methods to relieve pain.
Until now, there is no exact reason how hypnosis works and it is still a subject that is yet to be fully understood but there are several possible ways why it can reduce, eliminate or block pain. First, hypnosis helps the brain to realize that even if there is pain, it does need to entertain or include that the patient is actually pained. Second, there is a possibility that hypnosis redirects the attention of the patient away from his current condition. Third, hypnosis can lessen the actual signal of pain that originates from the location of the body going to the brain.
What Happens During Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is conducted in the office of the licensed hypnotherapist. He will explain the meaning of hypnosis and how does it works to lessen the pain. In every session, contrary to what people perceived, the patient is in control of how he responds to the different hypnotic suggestions. The session will start with various relaxation exercises so that the patient will be deeply relaxed and his mental state is hypnotic. By this time, his blood pressure and heart rate will drop and his brain waves will have a different pattern. Then, the hypnotherapist will create suggestions to alter his experiences of pain and he can teach the patient some techniques about self-hypnosis to help him when the need arises.
Finally, the results of the various research studies showed that hypnosis for pain is more effective than other methods.