HYPNOSIS—Clinical hypnosis to quit smoking or overeating is fairly well known, but hypnosis is also useful in helping people learn new techniques in self-management of chronic pain. “Part of what hypnosis does is to work with patients to give them means of modulating their level of discomfort,” says a certified hypnotherapist. By creating a personalized scripts, Clinical Hypnotherapists help patients learn how to turn down their pain. The goal, he says, is for the brain, the body’s pain regulator, to reinterpret pain as numbness.
Since people vary in the degree to which they are able to use their unconscious mind, part of hypnotherapy is to assess a patient’s ability and willingness to be educated in using his mind to decrease the pain response.
Results can vary based on the individual patient and consecutive treatment plans. In the case of patients with pain from fibromyalgia, positive results were reported after four or five sessions in an eight-session treatment plan.