Hypnosis and clinical pain

Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.4.495.


Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / classification
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic