Hypnotherapy for the management of chronic pain

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Jul;55(3):275-87. doi: 10.1080/00207140701338621.


This article reviews controlled prospective trials of hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain. Thirteen studies, excluding studies of headaches, were identified that compared outcomes from hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain to either baseline data or a control condition. The findings indicate that hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic-pain problems. Also, hypnosis was generally found to be more effective than nonhypnotic interventions such as attention, physical therapy, and education. Most of the hypnosis interventions for chronic pain include instructions in self-hypnosis. However, there is a lack of standardization of the hypnotic interventions examined in clinical trials, and the number of patients enrolled in the studies has tended to be low and lacking long-term follow-up. Implications of the findings for future clinical research and applications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Arthritis / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications