Opioids increase suggestibility


Hypnosis is one of the oldest methods of psychological pain control. After a brief historical review and the definition of hypnosis will be Hypnotic Pain Control Techniques described. These can be divided into dissociative, associative, symbolic and psychodynamic techniques; their application is symptom or problem-oriented. Afterwards, experimental and clinical studies as well as a meta-analysis will be presented. Hypnotic pain control is shown to be an effective technique, but it has certain limitations.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. A continuously updated list of literature “Hypnosis for Pain” can be viewed at http://www.medizin.uni-linkoeln.de/projekte/dgss.
  2. Berlin J, Cartellieri S, Schwendner H, Pfotenhauer M, David E, Erdmann W (1990) Integrating method of hypnosis and autogenic training for classic migraines. In: Woerz RG (Ed) Chronic Pain and Psyche. Fischer, Frankfurt am MainGoogle Scholar
  3. Bongartz W, Flammer E, Schwonke R (2002) The Effectiveness of Hypnosis: A Meta-Analytical Study. Psychotherapist 47/2: 76-76Google Scholar
  4. Crawford HJ, Knebel T, Vendemia JMC (1998) The nature of hypnotic analgesia: Neurophysiological foundation and evidence. Cont Hypn 15: 22-33 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Faymonville ME, Mambourg PH, Joris J et al. (1997) Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis vs. stress reducing strategies: A prospective randomized study. Pain 73: 361-367 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Friederich M, Trippe RH, Özcan M, Weiß T, Hecht H, Miltner WHR (2002) Hypnotic analgesia and distraction of attention: Identical or different mechanisms of cortical pain control? HyKog 19: 63-77Google Scholar
  7. Haahnen HC, Hoendors HAT, Hop WC, Hekster B (1991) Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of refractory fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol 18: 72-75Google Scholar
  8. Hilgard ER (1965) Hypnotic susceptibility. Harcourt, Brace, World, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Hilgard ER (1969) Pain as a puzzle for psychology and physiology. Am Psychologist 24: 103-113 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hilgard ER (1977) Divided Consciousness: Multiple controls in human thought and action. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Hilgard ER (1989) A Neodissociation Theory of Divided Consciousness. HyKog 6/2: 3–20Google Scholar
  12. Hilgard ER, Hilgard JR (1975) Hypnosis in the relief of pain. Kaufmann, Los AltosGoogle Scholar
  13. Kiernan BD, Dane JR, Phillips LH, Price DD (1995) Hypnotic analgesia reduces R-lll nociceptive reflex: Further evidence concerning the multifactorial nature of hypnotic analgesia. Pain 60: 39-47 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kosslyn SM, Thompson WL, Costantini-Ferrando MF, Alpert NM, Spiegel D (2000) Hypnotic visual illusion alters color processing in the brain. Am J Psych 157: 279-1284 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lang EV, Benotsch EG, Fick LJ et al. (2000) Adjunctive non-pharmacological analgesia for invasive medical procedures: A randomized trial. Lancet 355: 1486-1500 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mehrstedt M (Hrsg) (1999) Dental hypnosis. HyKog 16 Google Scholar
  17. Miller ME, Bowers KE (1986) Hypnotic analgesia and stress inoculation in the reduction of pain. J Abnorm Psychol 95: 6-14 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Montgomery GH, DuHamel KN, Redd WH (2000) A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: How effective is hypnosis? Int J Clin Exp Hypn 48: 138-153 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Montgomery GH, Weltz CR, Seltz M, Bovbjer DH (2002) Brief presurgery hypnosis reduces distress and pain in excisional biopsy patients. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 50: 17-32 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Patterson DR, Everett JJ, Burns GL, Marvin JA (1992) Hypnosis for the treatment of burn pain. J Consult Clin Psych 60: 713-117 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Peter B (1998) Possibilities and Limits of Hypnosis in Pain Treatment. Pain 12: 179-186 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Peter B (1999) Perineal Pain. The failure of psychological treatment. In: Kröner-Herwig B, Franz C, Geissner E (Hrsg) Psychological treatment of chronic pain syndromes.Thieme, Stuttgart, S 163–176Google Scholar
  23. Peter B (2001a) On the history of hypnosis in Germany. HyKog 17: 47-106Google Scholar
  24. Peter B (2001b) Age Regression. In: Revenstorf D, Peter B (Ed) Hypnosis in Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Medicine. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  25. Peter B, Kraiker C, Revenstorf D (Eds) (1991) Hypnosis and behavior therapy. Huber, BernGoogle Scholar
  26. Primavera JP, Kaiser RS ​​(1992) Non-pharmacological treatment of headache: Is less more? Headache 32: 393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rainville P, Carrier B, Hofbauer RK, Bushneil MC, Duncan GH (1999) Dissociation of sensory and affective dimensions of pain using hypnotic modulation. Pain 82: 150–171 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rainville P, Duncan GH, Price DD, Carrier B, Bushneil MC (1997) Pain affect encoded in human anterior cingulate but not somatosensory cortex. Science 277: 968-971 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Revenstorf D, Peter B (Ed) (2001) Hypnosis in Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Medicine. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  30. Ter Kuile MM, Spinhoven P, Linssen ACG, Zitman FG et al. (1994) Autogenic training and cognitive self-hypnosis for the treatment of recurrent headaches in three different subject groups. Pain 58: 331PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Whorwell PJ, Prior A, Faragher EB (1984) Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable bowel syndrome. Lancet II: 1232-1234 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available