Approximately 75% of the population report significant pain reduction after hypnotic analgesia suggestion for both clinical and experimentally induced pain, regardless of
Hypnotic suggestion — the act of offering an idea for action or for consideration of action— is an empirically validated form of pain control, although exactly how or why it helps to control pain remains unclear. Using brain scans in fibromyalgia patients under hypnotic induction, researchers found that the technique produces changes in underlying neural activity related to the effects of suggestion, and the mechanism of response in patients differed from that seen in controls — even though their behavioral response was similar. The study, “Suggestions to Reduce Clinical Fibromyalgia Pain and Experimentally Induced Pain Produce Parallel Effects on Perceived Pain but Divergent Functional MRI–Based Brain Activity.” is published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Targeted suggestions after a hypnotic induction are well-established in clinical practice and have been increasingly used as a research tool in cognitive neuroscience. In particular, several reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated the efficacy of hypnotically suggested analgesia in reducing chronic pain, acute surgical pain, and acute nonsurgical pain.