Hypnotherapy, neuroscience and pain management

Hypnotherapy is a tangible method of creating a mind-link, via which we tap into powerful resources within the subconscious mind, helping to regulate pain.

Hypnotherapy for pain managementDr. Sarno, well known and respected back specialist, a pioneer in clinical observations of origins of chronic back pain, claimed that a large percentage of chronic back pain stemmed from unresolved and deferred emotional pain. He had successfully treated many of his patients not with the scalpel, but with teaching them how to release emotional trauma. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I couldn’t agree more. I have also worked with many people who have managed pain with Hypnosis, in particular in childbirth.

Just recently neuroscientists identified some key mechanisms activated at a non-conscious level which are responsible for the placebo effect in pain perception. These findings demonstrate that the subconscious mind plays a key role in pain response, another reason I believe why hypnotherapy is found very effective for pain management.

Neuroscience studies and neuroimaging experiments published in science daily found that the placebo effect in managing pain can be activated outside of conscious awareness. This provided an explanation for how patients can show clinical improvement even when they receive treatments devoid of active ingredients or of known therapeutic efficacy.

The research study coauthor Ted Kaptchuk notes, “It’s not what patients think will happen (that influences outcomes) it’s what the nonconscious mind anticipates despite any conscious thoughts. This mechanism is automatic, fast and powerful, and does not depend on deliberation and judgment. These findings open an entirely new door towards understanding placebos and the ritual of medicine.”

“Neuroimaging studies of the human brain have suggested that certain structures, such as the striatum and the amygdala, can process incoming stimuli before they reach conscious awareness, and, as a result, may mediate nonconscious effects on human cognition and behavior.”

Personally, I have observed that during hypnotherapy sessions the subconscious mind can help automatically regulate pain and generate appropriate responses and desired outcomes.