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Uses of hypnotherapy in chronic pain reduction.

Hypnosis has been described as “attentive receptive focal concentration” with

the trance state being a “normal activity of a normal mind” which occurs

regularly, as when reading an absorbing book, watching an engrossing movie,

daydreaming, or performing monotonous activity. A common assumption is

that, during hypnosis, the subconscious mind is in a suggestible state while the

conscious mind is distracted or guided to become dormant.

The evidence for hypnosis in chronic pain management has improved

significantly over the past 20 years. Studies have shown that hypnosis therapy

is highly effective in the reduction of pain, although outcomes may vary

between individuals. Hypnosis treatment can lead to long-term changes in

how the brain processes sensory information in a small group of patients’

studies. These results have important implications for how clinicians can help

their clients experience maximum benefits from hypnosis and the treatments

that include hypnotic components.