Experimental Pain Ratings & Reactivity Of Cortisol And Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Receptor II Following A Trial Of Hypnosis: Results Of A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

 

There is a growing mountain of evidence that hypnosis is effective for pain management for acute and chronic pain.  Up until recently, researchers have been baffled as to the mechanisms behind hypnotically reduced pain levels.

Function magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI) scans have shown that different areas of the brain are affected differently than other areas

It’s been shown that post-hypnotic suggestions cause different areas of the brain to be impacted differently via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans.

Post-hypnotic suggestions of reduction in pain triggered activity in the anterior cingulate cortex.  Post-hypnotic suggestions for a reduction in pain intensity triggered a response in both the anterior cingulate cortex and sensory cortices.

Researchers behind this study were mainly interested in the effect of hypnosis on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

The participants were randomized into one of two groups.  They either were in the hypnosis group or the non-intervention control group.

The hypnosis group had significantly reduced levels of pain.  They concluded that this pilot study supports a further large-scale study of the effects on the HPA axis and the pro-inflammatory cytokines.

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