Hypnotic Suggestions

Hypnosis has been used to reduce pain in a number of painful clinical conditions as well as experimental pain (Jensen et al. 2000). Hypnosis is appealing as a potential treatment because it is non-pharmacological although its use is controversial given the variability in hypnotic responsiveness.


Jensen et al. (2009) randomly allocated participants into hypnosis or the biofeedback treatment group. Participants in the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease in neuropathic pain intensity compared to those in the biofeedback group (p<0.01). However, no such effect was seen between the two groups in individuals without neuropathic pain. Jensen et al. (2000), in a before and after study, examined the impact of hypnosis on pain post-SCI. Eighty-six percent of the SCI patients reported a decrease in pain intensity and unpleasantness after hypnosis, although there was no control group.


There is level 2 and level 4 evidence (from one RCT and one pre-post study: Jensen et al. 2009, 2000) that hypnosis reduces neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain intensity post SCI.

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