Hypnotic approaches for chronic pain management: clinical implications of recent research findings

Am Psychol. Feb-Mar 2014;69(2):167-77. doi: 10.1037/a0035644.


The empirical support for hypnosis for chronic pain management has flourished over the past two decades. Clinical trials show that hypnosis is effective for reducing chronic pain, although outcomes vary between individuals. The findings from these clinical trials also show that hypnotic treatments have a number of positive effects beyond pain control. Neurophysiological studies reveal that hypnotic analgesia has clear effects on brain and spinal-cord functioning that differ as a function of the specific hypnotic suggestions made, providing further evidence for the specific effects of hypnosis. The research results have important implications for how clinicians can help their clients experience maximum benefits from hypnosis and treatments that include hypnotic components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autogenic Training / methods
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods
  • Hypnosis, Anesthetic / methods*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Management / psychology
  • Suggestion
  • Treatment Outcome