Pain Management

iStock_000002475249MediumHypnosis for Pain Management

Many people have used hypnotherapy for anxiety successfully to manage pain. In fact, hypnosis has been used for pain management by the medical community all over the world for centuries. One reason it can be so helpful is that when in pain, people often feel helpless and out of control. When using hypnosis to relieve pain, a person has an increased sense of control which can give a big emotional boost.

How does it work?

Pain is a signal from the nervous system to the brain. Using hypnosis, the brain can be taught to modify pain signals for brief and longer periods of time.

A second aspect of pain relief happens when pain is present and muscles tense, not consciously, but as a coping mechanism against pain. This tension magnifies the pain. The secret of pain relief is total relaxation of every muscle. Relaxation of the body also raises the pain threshold. The time of self-relaxation during which you can be almost pain free can last as long as you wish.

A third aspect of using hypnosis to manage pain is in the relaxation of the mind which reduces the anticipation of the pain.

A fourth aspect of pain relief is that putting one’s attention on pain makes it worse. The opposite is true also. The mind can be distracted away from pain. For example, a person cuts a finger or skins a knee while very involved in a game or some activity and may never notices it until things have quieted down.

Finally, hypnosis can help the anxiety and depression that often accompanies pain, making it less likely to interfere with life. The emotional response to pain can sometimes be as debilitating as the pain itself. Sometimes a course of hypnoanalysis is helpful in relieving the emotional component of pain.

Many dentists now use hypnosis to reduce fear and the need for anesthesia.

However, in some situations, pain is a warning that something is wrong. This kind of pain needs to be medically evaluated, not relaxed away—unless relaxation is a temporary coping device used until the underlying causes are assessed and diagnosed.

Take charge today and call for more information on how hypnosis can help you. If you would like more information on how hypnosis can help please call Jeanne Clark, LCSW in the Riverside/Chicago area at 708-442-5728 or e-mail her at Or call Mary Kullman, LCPC in the Naperville/Aurora area at 630-983-4577, or e-mail her at Start improving your life today. To find a hypnotherapist click here. Not all hypnotherapists are qualified to do hypnoanalysis, so be sure to check your hypnotherapist’s qualifications.

  1. The Amygdala and Insular Cortex
  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Hypnotic suggestion reduces conflict in the human brain” Amir Raz, Jin Fan & Michael I. Posner102 (28): 9978, July 12, 2005.
  3. Reported in New York Magazine, October 15, 2007, “Snooze or Lose”
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