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Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 1996 Jan;44(1):33-51.

Hypnosis treatment of clinical pain: understanding why hypnosis is useful.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1759, USA.


Clinical and experimental research literature indicates hypnosis is very useful for severe and persistent pain, yet reviews suggest hypnosis is not widely used. To encourage more widespread clinical application, the author reviews recent controlled clinical studies in which hypnosis compares favorably with other interventions; links advances in understanding endogenous pain modulation to a neurophysiologic view of hypnosis and hypnoanalgesia; relates the neurophysiology of hypnoanalgesia to management of chronic pain; challenges the view that hypnotic pain control is only for the highly hypnotizable patient; and raises issues about how people learn to control pain with hypnosis. Training in hypnotic analgesia may usefully enhance nervous system inhibitory processes that attenuate pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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