The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials

This latest research review by Thompson, et al (2019) in Science Digest examined a total of 85 experimental hypnosis related pain trails and found that the effectiveness of hypnosis induced analgesia was increased with those who were suggestible to hypnosis when analgesic imagery was incorporated into the hypnotic suggestion. Pain reduction was demonstrated in 42% of those who were highly suggestible and 29% in those who were medium suggestible. The study also concluded that pain reduction was minimal in those who were low suggestible subjects.

So from this review one can conclude that those who are most suggestible will benefit from hypnotic analgesia for pain reduction, when analgesic imagery suggestions are given. Hypnotherapists should take this new research finding on board and ensure they are using analgesic imagery in their pain management work, as it suggests that hypnosis for pain reduction can deliver meaningful pain relief for most people and may be an effective and safe alternative to pharmaceutical intervention (Thompson et al, 2019).

 

Thompson et al, 2019, The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials,Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 99, Pages 298-310

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