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.