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Am J Clin Hypn. 2008 Oct;51(2):123-48.

The neurophysiology of pain perception and hypnotic analgesia: implications for clinical practice.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6490, USA.


Although there remains much to be learned, a great deal is now known about the neurophysiological processes involved in the experience of pain. Research confirms that there is no single focal "center" in the brain responsible for the experience of pain. Rather, pain is the end product of a number of integrated networks that involve activity at multiple cortical and subcortical sites. Our current knowledge about the neurophysiological mechanisms of pain has important implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnotic analgesia treatments, as well as for improving clinical practice. This article is written for the clinician who uses hypnotic interventions for pain management. It begins with an overview of what is known about the neurophysiological basis of pain and hypnotic analgesia, and then discusses how clinicians can use this knowledge for (1) organizing the types of suggestions that can be used when providing hypnotic treatment, and (2) maximizing the efficacy of hypnotic interventions in clients presenting with pain problems.

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