Pain reduction is related to hypnotizability but not to relaxation or to reduction in suffering: a preliminary investigation

Am J Clin Hypn. 2005 Oct-2006 Jan;48(2-3):153-61. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2005.10401512.


The present study examined the facilitation of pain reduction through the use of a pain reduction protocol. The protocol emphasized converting pain sensations into visual and auditory representations, which then were manipulated through therapeutic suggestion. Hypnosis was not mentioned in the intervention, minimizing creation of expectancy effects related to hypnosis. At the conclusion of the study, the Stanford Clinical Hypnotic Scale was administered. Measures of relaxation and reduction of suffering were not related to hypnotizability. However, pain reduction was significantly related to hypnotizability (r = .55, P < .001). High hypnotizables had a greater reduction in pain than low hypnotizables, even though both had equivalent degrees of relaxation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Displacement, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Relaxation*
  • Suggestion