Hypnosis, relaxation, and meditation are often considered complementary therapies for disease and pain management. There have been numerous studies, in both adults and children, which have found that mind and body therapies provide many benefits, including decreased pain and stress, improved coping, and increased sense of well-being and relaxation.
Hypnosis is a therapy that produces a relaxed, trance-like state where the human conscious is temporarily turned out of focus through non-attention to distractions, such as pain. During hypnosis, a person is more open to specific suggestions.
Medical hypnosis has been shown to reduce pain and stress. One study from the National Institutes of Health found hypnosis to be quite useful in treating chronic pain associated with a variety of medical conditions, including cancer.
If you want to try hypnosis for pain management, you should contact a licensed or certified mental health professional who is specially trained in this technique. You can expect to spend at least one hour with your therapist for a first appointment and you may have short follow-up appointments. Your therapist will give you a post-hypnosis suggestion that will enable you to induce self-hypnosis once treatment is complete. Audio recordings are another option, and these walk you through the steps to achieve benefits from hypnosis.