Pain Mangement Research

Evidence for the effectiveness of hypnosis as a treatment for pain


There are many studies and clinical trials examining the brain function associated with hypnosis. Here a few articles for your information.

Hypnosis for Pain Management

Professor Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, head of the Pain Clinic at Liege University Hospital in Belgium, who has operated on more than 6,000 patients using hypnosis combined with a light local anaesthetic, said: “The local anaesthetic is used only to deaden the surface of the skin while a scalpel slices through it. It has no effect inside the body.”

“The patient is conscious throughout the operation and this helps the doctor and patient work together. The patient may have to move during an operation and it’s simple to get them to do so if they remain conscious. We’ve even done a hysterectomy using the procedure.

The theory behind medical hypnosis is that the body’s brain and nervous system can’t always distinguish an imagined situation from a real occurrence. This means the brain can act on any image or verbal suggestion as if it were reality. Hypnosis puts patients into a state of deep relaxation that is very susceptible to imagery. The more vivid this imagery, the greater the effect on the body.”

Hypnotism for Surgery

In an operating theatre in the Saint Luc University hospital in Brussels, the anaesthetist is also a hypnotist. Belgium is in the forefront of using hypnotism for surgery, more so than, for instance, France, Switzerland or the US. Compared to general anaesthetic, post-op comfort is greater; people who have.

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Hypnosis for Operations

In the UK some hospitals are using hypnosis for operations.

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If you are being treated by a doctor, you will be asked to contact your GP for their permission to treat. This is to ensure that the hypnotherapy does not interfere with any treatment you might be currently undergoing.

Hypnosis for Chronic Pain

Dr Mark P Jenson, Professor and Vice Chair for research of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington ( for over thirty years has worked in the field of psychological pain treatments. The most recent paper from Jensen & Patterson show

“Findings from controlled trials indicate that hypnosis is effective for reducing chronic pain intensity on average, but that there is also substantial individual variation in outcome. Importantly, hypnosis for chronic pain has few negative side effects. In fact, with hypnotic treatment most patients report positive side effects, such as an improved sense of well-being, a greater sense of control, improved sleep, and increase satisfaction with life, independent of whether they report reductions in pain.” (Jensen & Patterson, 2014).

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Please check with your doctor before undergoing hypnosis to eliminate any possible underlying medical condition.

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DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide medical advice - content is for informational purposes only. You should consult your Doctor on all medical issues and treatment. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help people to solve problems, increase motivation or change behaviour patterns to create positive change.