Archive | April 2014

Pain Management Hypnosis and Guided Imagery Los Angeles

Chris Harris Los Angeles Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Services

Hypnosis has long been the subject of movies and television shows but today it is becoming known for much more than entertainment: It is regarded by many doctors as the future of complimentary medicine. The fact is that hypnosis is actually very different from the movies. You don’t go to sleep, you don’t lose control and you are fully-aware of everything happening in your environment. Studies have shown that hypnotherapy can be especially effective for helping people to manage chronic and acute pain. Today a new breed of hypnotists are working hand-in-hand with medical doctors to manage pain associated with everything from Firbromyalgia, Cancer, Migraine Headaches, Back Pain and much more.

· A study conducted at The Burn Centre at the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, The Netherlands found a 50%-64% reduction in reported pain level in patients.

· In 2006 a study conducted at The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine reviewed various controlled trials involving the use of hypnosis to control pain. It concluded that hypnosis can provide a significantly greater reduction in pain than physical therapy or the management of medications. It even found that the hypnotic treatment did not have to be called ‘hypnosis’ for it to be effective.

· The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York reviewed 18 studies conducted on the use of hypnosis to relieve pain over a two-decade period. It concluded that hypnosis provided an effective way to help people deal with pain because it had a “moderate to large hypnoanalgesic effect.” It further concluded that hypnosis should be more widely used in the treatment of pain.

· The Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, University of Liega, Beligum confirmed that hypnosedation combined with local anesthesia can be used as an alternative to more traditional means of sedation. It based this conclusion on the reported use of hypnosis in over 1,650 surgeries.

· A study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, USA found that hypnosis was very useful for patients undergoing angioplasty procedures. Thirty-two subjects were recruited for this study. Sixteen were randomly assigned to be in the control group and 16 were hypnotized before they underwent an angioplasty (a procedure where a balloon is inserted into a vein and then inflated to help open the vein while the patient remains conscious and aware). This study found that the surgeons involved were able to keep the balloon inflated 25% longer with the hypnotized group. Forty-four percent of the control group also asked for more pain medication, compared with only 13% of the hypnotized group.

· A study published in the European Journal of Pain (Vol. 3(1) 1999; 7-12) conducted by The Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden studied the effects of hypnosis for Fibromyalgia. The subjects taking part in the study all reported experiencing less pain when they were in the state of hypnosis compared to that of when they were in a state of rest. The researchers also found that there were significant differences in the way the blood flowed through the brain in these two states. They found that during hypnotically-induced analgesia the blood flow “was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex.” This study provided verifiable proof that hypnosis leads to real physical changes in the brain, which is something many clinicians are unaware of. (In an attempt to understand what happens in the brain when a person is hypnotized and then given suggestions for pain relief, subjects were recruited who were suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia. PET (positron emission tomography) scans were then taken of their brains when they were resting and then when they were in a state of hypnotically-induced analgesia).

· Another study involving the use of hypnosis for burn pain was conducted by The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The clinical utility of hypnosis for controlling pain during burn wound debridement was investigated. Thirty hospitalized burn patients and their nurses submitted visual analog scales (VAS) for pain during 2 consecutive daily wound debridements (the process of removing nonliving tissue from burns). On the 1st day, patients and nurses submitted baseline VAS ratings. Before the next day’s wound debridement, subjects received hypnosis, attention and information, or no treatment. Only hypnotized subjects reported significant pain reductions relative to pretreatment baseline. This result was corroborated by nurse VAS ratings. Findings indicate that hypnosis is a viable adjunct treatment for burn pain.

· A study performed at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, London England found that hypnosis was very effective for helping to treat Migraine Headaches. Forty-seven subjects were recruited and asked to report the number and severity of migraines they had each month for one year. Twenty-three subjects were treated with hypnosis (and taught self-hypnosis) and 24 were treated with the drug prochlorperazine (Stemetil)(belongs to a group of medicines called phenothiazines & helps to correct chemical imbalances in the brain, allowing it to function correctly). At the end of the study it was found that those who had been treated with hypnosis experienced significantly fewer blinding migraine attacks than did the medicated group. Furthermore, 10 of those who had been treated with hypnosis no longer experienced any migraines at all, compared to only 3 in the other group.

· D. I. Rosenthal, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Director of Dept. of Bone and Joint Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that hypnosis can actually accelerate healing. He conducted a study showing that broken bones healed an average of 2.5 weeks faster with hypnosis. Other assessments also revealed that those who had used hypnosis required less medication for the pain, had a significant improvement in the mobility of their ankle, and had an easier time descending stairs. This preliminary study reinforces findings of a fascinating link between mind and body in augmenting healing. If the mind can be harnessed to accelerate the speed of healing in a difficult test – that is, the relatively fixed, normative course and time frame of a nondisplaced bone fracture – it may be even more effective in other applications in which the course of healing is presumed more variable.

For more information on Clinical Hypnotherapy for the use in Pain Management feel free to contact Christopher Harris, C.Ht at 424-278-4465 or via email at You can also visit my website at

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