How Hypnosis can help with Recovery and Pain


This week The Possible Mind came across a great article from the Stanford School of Medicine which discussed ‘Easing pain and improving recovery with hypnosis‘.

So to start I would like to thank Emily Hite of Stanford School of Medicine for her article and sharing her frank views.

What has really heartened us is that this article is from the medical profession and their research does add credence to the industry.

Emily starts her article with the following statement:

A growing body of scientific evidence supports the belief that hypnosis holds therapeutic value, and recent studies have begun to illuminate how. Researchers are now likening hypnosis to the placebo effect, altering a patient’s expectations in order to lessen pain and fear and even improve recovery efforts.

This is really interesting for us at The Possible Mind and gives a great feeling and knowledge of what we are doing and the direction we are heading is the correct one. Like Dr David Hamilton, we are fascinated why the Placebo and Hypnosis is so successful in helping people control their pain and recover quicker just by suggestion.

This is supported by David Spiegel,Psychiatrist and Director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University, in an Wall Street Journal article in which he states:

There’s been this mistake in medicine that if you have a certain amount of tissue damage, you should feel this amount of pain. But many things can alter how much pain you feel.

There are many thing that can alter pain, like the 6 D’s

Emily goes on to say that scientific evidence is showing that hypnosis can also be effective and useful in medical situations such as:

  • Easing migraine headaches
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Controlling asthma attacks
  • Minimizing hot flashes
  • Diminishing side effects from chemotherapy

We are sure there are many other examples, like Dr Dabney Ewin use of hypnosis to help patients with burns.

Emily’s article then goes on to share 2 examples of research in to hypnosis and visualisation that has had successes in effecting the body.

1: One Stanford study asked subjects to imagine that they were eating, and their secretions of gastric acid increased by 70%.

This is very similar to a very common mind body experiment where you ask a person imagine they are cutting a juicy lemon thus creating the person to salivate.

2: In a study from Harvard Medical School published in the Lancet in 2000, patients who had 15 minutes of hypnosis before surgery not only needed less pain medication afterward, but also took less time in surgery, saving an average of $331 each.

Again there is considerable evidence to back this up and the book and CD by Peggy Huddleston called ‘Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster – A Guide of Mind-Body Techniques‘ shares techniques, interesting stats and information on how this is done.

If you are interested in this article and would like to comment please do so below.

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