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So many people suffer pain every day of their lives, and for the most part drug therapy is the only form of relief, and that doesn't always work. With hypnosis, we can turn down the pain as well as release the negative emotion which can feed and enhance pain. During clinic sessions, I also teach techniques for patients to use at home to reinforce the treatment.

From the research studies below...

"Our findings strengthen the assertion that hypnosis is a very efficacious intervention for alleviating clinical pain". (Leonard, 2021)

"As a result, the group participants gained a greater sense of control over the pain, eased or abolished the pain, and decreased the stress, anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain." (Pavlek, 2008)


"We conclude that, while both structured empathy and hypnosis decrease procedural pain and anxiety, hypnosis provides more powerful anxiety relief without undue cost and thus appears attractive for outpatient pain management." (Lang, 2006) 


"Clinical trials show that hypnosis is effective for reducing chronic pain, although outcomes vary between individuals." (Jensen, 2014)

Hypnotic Approaches for Chronic Pain Management: Clinical Implications of Recent Research Findings

Mark P. Jensen and David R. Patterson Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington. 

Am Psychol. 2014 ; 69(2): 167–177
The empirical support for hypnosis for chronic pain management has flourished over the past two decades. Clinical trials show that hypnosis is effective for reducing chronic pain, although outcomes vary between individuals. The findings from these clinical trials also show that hypnotic treatments have a number
of positive effects beyond pain control. Neurophysiological studies reveal that hypnotic analgesia has clear effects on brain and spinal-cord functioning that differ as a function of the specific hypnotic suggestions made, providing further evidence for the specific effects of hypnosis. The research results have important implications for how clinicians can help their clients experience maximum benefits from hypnosis and treatments that include hypnotic components.

Hypnosis and the Alleviation of Clinical Pain: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis
Leonard S. Milling,Keara E. Valentine,Lindsey M. LoStimolo,Alyssa M. Nett &Hannah S. McCarley
Pages 297-322 | Received 24 Aug 2020, Accepted 14 Nov 2020, Published online: 26 May 2021

This is the first comprehensive meta-analysis in approximately 20 years of all controlled studies of

the use of hypnosis for relieving clinical pain. To be included, studies were required to utilize a

between-subjects or mixed model design in which a hypnosis intervention was compared with

a control condition in alleviating any form of clinical pain. Of 523 records screened, 42 studies

incorporating 45 trials of hypnosis met the inclusion criteria. Our most conservative estimates

of the impact of hypnosis on pain yielded mean weighted effect sizes of 0.60 (p ≤ .001) for 40

post trials and 0.61 (p ≤ .001) for 9 follow-up trials. These effect sizes fall in the medium range

according to Cohen’s guideline and suggest the average participant receiving hypnosis reduced

pain more than about 73% of control participants. Hypnosis was moderated by the overall

methodological quality of trials—the mean weighted effect size of the 19 post trials without

high risk ratings on any of the Cochrane Risk of Bias dimensions was 0.77 (p ≤ .001). Hypnosis

was also moderated by hypnotic suggestibility, with 6 post trials producing a mean weighted

effect size of r = 0.53 (p ≤ .001). Our findings strengthen the assertion that hypnosis is a very

efficacious intervention for alleviating clinical pain.

Pavlek, Mirko. (Dec 2008). Paining Out: An Integrative Pain 
Therapy Model. Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol 36(4), 385-393. 

This article describes and evaluates an integrative pain therapy model as a 
beneficial form of pain-management for chronic pain. The author based his model 
on cognitive-behavioural modalities, progressive relaxation combined with art 
therapy, sensory awareness combined with indirect clinical hypnosis, formal 
clinical hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Those techniques were applied in small group 
settings to systematically alter pain perception, pain interpretations and response to 
pain for the group participants’ benefit. As a result, the group participants gained a 
greater sense of control over the pain, eased or abolished the pain, and decreased 
the stress, anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain. The techniques used 
were synthesized into ten group therapy sessions. A small data sample suggests that 
the model has clinical utility and maintained its benefits in a 6- to 12-month follow-up. 

Jensen, Mark P. (Oct 2008). The Neurophysiology of Pain Perception 
and Hypnotic Analgesia: Implications for Clinical Practice. 
American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Vol 51(2), 123-148. 

Although there remains much to be learned, a great deal is now known about the 
neurophysiological processes involved in the experience of pain. Research confirms 
that there is no single focal “centre” in the brain responsible for the experience of 
pain. Rather, pain is the end product of a number of integrated networks that 
involve activity at multiple cortical and subcortical sites. Our current knowledge 
about the neurophysiological mechanisms of pain has important implications for 
understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnotic analgesia 
treatments, as well as for improving clinical practice. This article is written for the 
clinician who uses hypnotic interventions for pain management. It begins with an 
overview of what is known about the neurophysiological basis of pain and hypnotic 
analgesia, and then discusses how clinicians can use this knowledge for (1) 
organizing the types of suggestions that can be used when providing hypnotic 
treatment, and (2) maximizing the efficacy of hypnotic interventions in clients 
presenting with pain problems. 

Fass, Arthur. (2008). Hypnosis for Pain Management. In Weintraub, 
Michael I. (Ed); Mamtani, Ravinder (Ed); Micozzi, Marc S. (Ed). 
Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Pain Management, (pp. 
29-40). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co. 

Hypnosis has earned a secure place in the modern armamentarium against pain. 
Given its long and somewhat chequered history this may seem an unlikely 
development. However, in spite of a somewhat mysterious quality, and its 
occasional use in some decidedly unscientific quarters, the medical community has 
maintained a continued interest in its clinical use. In the course of recent years, the 
science of hypnosis has greatly expanded. There are now abundant reports 
published in the medical literature describing the benefits of hypnotherapy for a 
variety of medical conditions. In addition, numerous controlled studies of its effects 
have appeared. The technique has found important applications in the treatment of 
such varied disorders as migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, 
phobias, as an aid to smoking cessation, as well as in the relief of chronic and acute 
pain. With the advent of sophisticated brain imaging techniques, such as MRI and 
PET scanning, it has been possible for the first time to understand some of the 
physiologic changes that accompany a hypnotic state. This chapter will deal 
primarily with the use of hypnosis in the management of pain. The anxiety-relieving 
properties of hypnosis are intimately associated with its analgesic effects and will 
also be discussed. Whenever possible, reference will be made to prospective, 
controlled studies, the foundation of clinical research, in validating therapeutic 
applications. The authors start with a look back on the fascinating history of 
hypnosis and its evolution as a modern therapeutic technique. 

Lutgendorf, Susan K.; Lang, Elvira V.; Berbaum, Kevin S.; Russell, 
Daniel; Berbaum, Michael L.; Logan, Henrietta; Benotsch, Eric G.; 
Schulz-Stubner, Sebastian; Turesky, Derek; Spiegel, David. (Feb-Mar 
2007). Effects of Age on Responsiveness to Adjunct Hypnotic 
Analgesia During Invasive Medical Procedures. Psychosomatic 
Medicine, Vol 69(2), 191-199. 

Objectives: To assess the effects of age on responsiveness to self-hypnotic 
relaxation as an analgesic adjunct in patients undergoing invasive medical 
procedures. Material and Methods: Secondary data analysis from a prospective trial 
with 241 patients randomized to receive hypnosis, attention, and standard care 
treatment during interventional radiological procedures. Growth curve analyses, 
hierarchical linear regressions, and logistic regressions using orthogonal contrasts 
were used for analysis. Outcome measures were Hypnotic Induction Profile scores, 
self-reported pain and anxiety, medication use, oxygen desaturation =89%, and 
procedure time. Results: Hypnotisability did not vary with age (p = .19). Patients 
receiving attention and hypnosis had greater pain reduction during the procedure (p 
= .02), with trends toward lower pain with hypnosis (p = .07); this did not differ by 
age. As age increased, patients experienced more rapid pain control with hypnosis 
(p = .03). There was more rapid anxiety reduction with attention and hypnosis (p = 
.03). Trends toward lower final anxiety were also observed with attention and 
hypnosis versus standard care (p = .08), and with hypnosis versus attention (p = 
.059); these relationships did not differ by age. Patients requested and received less 
medication and had less oxygen desaturation =89% with attention and hypnosis (p < 
.001); this did not differ by age. However, as age increased, oxygen desaturation 
was greater in standard care (p = .03). Procedure time was reduced in the attention 
and hypnosis groups (p = .007); this did not vary by age. Conclusions: Older 
patients are hypnotizable and increasing age does not appear to mitigate the 
usefulness of hypnotic analgesia during invasive medical procedures. 

Lang, Elvira V.; Berbaum, Kevin S.; Faintuch, Salomao; Hatsiopoulou, 
Olga; Halsey, Noami; Li, Xinyu; Berbaum, Michael L.; Laser, Eleanor; 
Baum, Janet. (Dec 2006). Adjunctive Self-hypnotic Relaxation for 
Outpatient Medical Procedures: A Prospective Randomized Trial 
with Women Undergoing Large Core Breast Biopsy. Pain, Vol 
126(1-3), 155-164. 

Medical procedures in outpatient settings have limited options of managing pain 
and anxiety pharmacologically. We therefore assessed whether this can be achieved 
by adjunct self-hypnotic relaxation in a common and particularly anxiety provoking 
procedure. Two hundred and thirty-six women referred for large core needle breast 
biopsy to an urban tertiary university-affiliated medical centre were prospectively 
4110 Journal of Heart-Centred Therapies, 2010, Vol. 13, No. 1 
randomized to receive standard care (n = 76), structured empathic attention (n = 
82), or self-hypnotic relaxation (n = 78) during their procedures. Patients’ self-ratings

at 10 min-intervals of pain and anxiety on 0-10 verbal analog scales with

0 = no pain/anxiety at all, 10 = worst pain/anxiety possible, were compared in an 
ordinal logistic regression model. Women’s anxiety increased significantly in the 
standard group (logit slope = 0.18, p < 0.001), did not change in the empathy group 
(slope = -0.04, p = 0.45), and decreased significantly in the hypnosis group (slope = 
-0.27, p < 0.001). Pain increased significantly in all three groups (logit slopes: 
standard care = 0.53, empathy = 0.37, hypnosis = 0.34; all p < 0.001) though less 
steeply with hypnosis and empathy than standard care (p = 0.024 and p = 0.018, 
respectively). Room time and cost were not significantly different in an univariate 
ANOVA despite hypnosis and empathy requiring an additional professional: 46 
min/$161 for standard care, 43 min/$163 for empathy, and 39 min/$152 for 
hypnosis. We conclude that, while both structured empathy and hypnosis decrease 
procedural pain and anxiety, hypnosis provides more powerful anxiety relief 
without undue cost and thus appears attractive for outpatient pain management. 

Elkins, Gary; White, Joseph; Patel, Parita; Marcus, Joel; Perfect, 
Michelle M.; Montgomery, Guy H. (Oct 2006). Hypnosis to Manage 
Anxiety and Pain Associated with Colonoscopy for Colorectal 
Cancer Screening: Case Studies and Possible Benefits. International 
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol 54(4), 416-431. 

This study explored using hypnosis for pain and anxiety management in 6 
colonoscopy patients (5 men, 1 woman), who received a hypnotic induction and 
instruction in self-hypnosis on the day of their colonoscopy. Patients’ levels of 
anxiety were obtained before and after the hypnotic induction using Visual 
Analogue Scales (VAS). Following colonoscopy, VASs were used to assess anxiety 
and pain during colonoscopy, perceived effectiveness of hypnosis, and patient 
satisfaction with medical care. Hypnotisability was assessed at a separate 
appointment. The authors also obtained data (time for procedure, number of 
vasovagal events, and recovery time) for 10 consecutive patients who received 
standard care. Results suggest that hypnosis appears to be a feasible method to 
manage anxiety and pain associated with colonoscopy, reduces the need for 
sedation, and may have other benefits such as reduced vasovagal events and 
recovery time.


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