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Fibromyalgia / CFS / ME

Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/ME are very difficult to treat conditions, often described as 'refractory', meaning non-responsive to treatment. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, I treated these conditions with various degrees of success but including hypnotherapy in the treatment makes a huge difference, clearing negativity or trauma from the past or from the condition itself, finding peace and calm, also important, as CFS/ME patients tend to be buzzy go-getters who have been forced reluctantly to turn-off, though often couldn't before they succumbed to the condition. Tapping into 'feeling good' and dealing with all the niggling symptoms makes hypnotherapy a great choice of treatment.

From the research below...

"We conclude that hypnosis may be a useful tool to help people with fibromyalgia manage their symptomatology". (Martinez-Valero)

"We conclude hypnotherapy may be useful in relieving symptoms in patients with refractory fibromyalgia". (Haanen)


Derbyshire, Stuart W. G.; Whalley, Matthew G.; Oakley, David A. 
(May 2009). Fibromyalgia Pain and Its Modulation by Hypnotic 
and Non-hypnotic Suggestion: An fMRI Analysis. European Journal 
of Pain, Vol 13(5), 542-550. 

The neuropsychological status of pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, commonly 
categorized as ‘psychosomatic’ or ‘functional’ disorders, remains controversial. 
Suggestion following a hypnotic induction can readily modulate the subjective 
experience of pain. It is unclear whether suggestion without hypnosis is equally 
effective. To explore these and related questions, suggestions following a hypnotic 
induction and the same suggestions without a hypnotic induction were used during 
functional magnetic resonance imaging to increase and decrease the subjective 
experience of fibromyalgia pain. Suggestion in both conditions resulted in 
significant changes in reported pain experience, although patients claimed 
significantly more control over their pain and reported greater pain reduction when 
hypnotised. Activation of the midbrain, cerebellum, thalamus, and midcingulate, 
primary and secondary sensory, inferior parietal, insula and prefrontal cortices 
correlated with reported changes in pain with hypnotic and non-hypnotic 
suggestion. These activations were of greater magnitude, however, when 
suggestions followed a hypnotic induction in the cerebellum, anterior midcingulate 
cortex, anterior and posterior insula and the inferior parietal cortex. Our results thus 
provide evidence for the greater efficacy of suggestion following a hypnotic 
induction. They also indicate direct involvement of a network of areas widely 
associated with the pain ‘neuro-matrix’ in fibromyalgia pain experience. These 
findings extend beyond the general proposal of a neural network for pain by 
providing direct evidence that regions involved in pain experience are actively 
involved in the generation of fibromyalgia pain. 

Martínez-Valero, Consuelo; Castel, Antonio; Capafons, Antonio; Sala, 
José; Espejo, Begoña; Cardeña, Etzel. (Apr 2008). Hypnotic 
Treatment Synergizes the Psychological Treatment of 
Fibromyalgia: A Pilot Study. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 
Vol 50(4), 311-321. 

In this pilot study, we compare the efficacy for fibromyalgia of multimodal 
cognitive behavioural treatments, with and without hypnosis, with that of a purely 
pharmacological approach, with a multiple baseline N = 1 design. We randomly 
assigned six hospital patients to the three experimental conditions. The results 
suggest that psychological treatment produces greater symptom benefits than the 
conventional medical treatment only, especially when hypnosis is added. We 
conclude that hypnosis may be a useful tool to help people with fibromyalgia 
manage their symptomatology. 

Wik, G., Fischer, H., Bragee, B., Finer, B., Fredrikson, M. (Mar 1999). 
Functional Anatomy of Hypnotic Analgesia: A PET Study of 
Patients with Fibromyalgia. European Journal of Pain, 3(1), 7-12. 

Hypnosis is a powerful tool in pain therapy. Attempting to elucidate cerebral 
mechanisms behind hypnotic analgesia, we measured regional cerebral blood flow 
with positron emission tomography in patients with fibromyalgia, during 
hypnotically-induced analgesia and resting wakefulness. The patients experienced 
less pain during hypnosis than at rest. The cerebral blood-flow was bilaterally 
increased in the orbitofrontal and sub-callosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, 
and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate 
cortex. The observed blood-flow pattern supports notions of a multifactorial nature 
of hypnotic analgesia, with an interplay between cortical and subcortical brain 

Berman, B. M., Swyers, J.P. (Sep 1999). Complementary Medicine 
Treatments for Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Baillieres Best Practice & 
Research Clinical Rheumatology, 13(3), 487-92. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic-pain-related syndrome associated with high rates of 
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use. Among the many CAM 
therapies frequently used by fibromyalgia patients, empirical research data exist to 
support the use of only three: (1) mind-body, (2) acupuncture, and (3) manipulative 
therapies for treating fibromyalgia. The strongest data exist for the use of mind-body

techniques (e.g. biofeedback, hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy), 
particularly when utilized as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. 

Haanen, H. C., Hoenderdos, H. T., Romunde, van, L. K., Hop, W. C., 
Mallee, C., Terwiel, J. P., Hekster, G. B. (1991).

Controlled Trial of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Refractory Fibromyalgia. 
Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 18, 72-5. 

In a controlled study, 40 patients with refractory fibromyalgia were randomly 
allocated to treatment with either hypnotherapy or physical therapy for 12 weeks 
with follow-up at 24 weeks. Compared with the patients in the physical therapy 
group, the patients in the hypnotherapy group showed a significantly better outcome 
with respect to their pain experience, fatigue on awakening, sleep pattern and global 
assessment at 12 and 24 weeks, but this was not reflected in an improvement of the 
total myalgic score measured by a dolorimeter. At baseline most patients in both 
groups had strong feelings of somatic and psychic discomfort as measured by the 
Hopkins Symptom Checklist. These feelings showed a significant decrease in 
patients treated by hypnotherapy compared with physical therapy, but they remained

abnormally strong in many cases. We conclude hypnotherapy may be 
useful in relieving symptoms in patients with refractory fibromyalgia. 

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