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Chronic pain can be associated with many severe health conditions, as well as can reduce the overall quality of life. It is often difficult to treat chronic pain because the reason for pain often remains unidentified. On a positive note, recent studies have identified that hypnosis and hypnotherapy can act as an effective alternative intervention to medication to treat both active and chronic pain.

Hypnosis and pain
Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a therapeutic process that is used to increase concentration, reduce distraction from surroundings, and improve responsiveness to suggestions for changing a person’s own believe/thoughts, feelings, behavior, or state of mind. Although hypnosis is not intended to be used as a sole treatment strategy, it is generally employed as a part of a treatment plan to significantly improve the intensity and efficacy of treatment.

Although hypnosis is found to be effective in the majority of people, some may be resistant to its effects. Several studies regarding hypnotic management of pain have clearly demonstrated that hypnosis is particularly effective in modulating psychological consequences of the pain experience.

Hypno-analgesia, which is a technique to reduce pain by hypnotic suggestion, is known to significantly reduce pain rating, the need for a hospital stay, and the requirement for analgesics. Patients who undergo hypnosis have been shown to have higher treatment-related satisfaction, improved overall quality of life, and increased physiological stability. These effects are maximum in patients who are highly motivated and receptive to hypnotic suggestions.

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By Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta, a science communicator who believes in spreading the power of science in every corner of the world.