InfoSurHoy - 29 May 2019
A study found hypnosis on humans can reduce pain by almost half, and could provide a genuine replacement to common painkillers.
More than 3,000 people were tested and subjected pain, including laser “shocks” — some lasting up to five minutes — and asked to rate how much it hurt. Experts at the University of Greenwich in London found almost all of those tested reported lower sensations of pain when they were hypnotised.
Psychologist Dr Trevor Thompson, who led the project, said: “This is by far the largest review of its kind, examining the effects of hypnosis in over 3,500 people, and presents very compelling evidence. “About 15% of the population are highly receptive to hypnosis, and those people saw just over a 40% drop in pain.” “It can be administered quickly, cheaply and easily at home with a 20-minute audio recording” Dr Trevor Thompson, psychologist, University of Greenwich
Data was collected from 85 studies across 14 different countries around the world, with 3,632 subjected to different forms of pain. These included extreme cold and heat, very high pressure, intense exercise, and even lasers. The pain was then ranked on a scale of 0 to 10. On average, before being hypnotised, patients rated their pain as 5.5 on the scale.
Dr Thompson explained: “To put that in context, a five-level of pain would significantly disrupt our daily lives and have most of us using medication.” His team believes hypnosis could be “a safe and effective alternative” to painkillers. “It can be administered quickly, cheaply and easily at home with a 20-minute audio recording”, he adds. His study found hypnosis is most effective with more easily suggestible people.
Dr Thompson went on: “Based on these findings, most people would experience around a 30% drop in pain or more, which is generally considered to be clinically meaningful pain relief. “The next step is to extensively test hypnosis on people with chronic pain, such as back conditions, which people live with every day.” He added: “We need to go and try this with people in their day-to-day lives.”
Dr Thompson believes his findings — which are published in this month’s Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews — could be used to tackle the opioid crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands in the US become hooked on painkillers. “Misuse of prescription painkillers such as codeine and fentanyl has increased massively over recent years and is a national crisis in some countries,” he went on. “In the US, around 47,000 people died from opioid overdosing in 2017 and around a quarter of people prescribed the drugs for pain misuse them.”
The study is the latest to offer a radical alternative to traditional methods of treating drug addiction. Last year, Daily Star Online reported one British doctor believes cannabis should be used to treat heroin addicts on the NHS.
Medicines could be replaced by hypnosis in the near future – as it’s often more effective than most painkillers. Any relief for pain that ensures that clients are not repeatedly taking medication is a bonus and we have seen here how hypnosis can benefit them. Pain relief hypnosis at The Harley Street Hypnotherapy Clinic at their London hypnotherapy clinic.