Skip to main content

How Do you Treat Pain with Hypnosis?

kid on beach with hurt knee

We are built to experience pain to become aware that something is amiss.    Pain can be triggered by either a physical injury or an emotional state.   

In the case of physical pain, the nerves from the site of the wound send a signal to the brain that is interpreted as being painful.   On the other hand, an emotional trigger may lead the brain to cause a disruption in the body, which is painful, or may cause the brain to interpret common body sensations as painful.   Sometimes, the physical manifestations of pain can serve as a way of expressing the nature of the emotional distress.  For example, when we deal with disruptive people in our lives, some of us develop a “pain in the neck,” a “killer headache,” or feel as if we are being “punched in the gut.”    

How Pain Can Be Useful 

Pain that occurs right after an injury is useful as it causes us to protect ourselves by moving away from the source of the pain and tending to our wounds.  Chronic pain, on the other hand, might be caused by nerve damage, and serves little useful purpose.  That being said, some philosophers have benefited by deriving meaning from learning how to deal with chronic pain. 

Aside from the pain trigger, many other factors affect how pain is perceived.  For example, athletes who are very focused on their competitive sport may not even recognize they have been injured during a game.  Patients who are very depressed may experience pain more intensely because they may feel that everything is going wrong, or that they deserve to be punished.  Religious individuals may welcome pain as a way of helping direct their thoughts toward God or repenting from sin. 

Treatment of Pain 

Treatment for pain can involve both medications and complementary therapies including hypnosis.  When pain is addressed with hypnosis, therapy can be provided for its physical nature as well as emotional components, which frequently complicate its management. 

By teaching patients to process the pain signal differently, with use of hypnosis, the experience of pain can change, and sometimes even dramatically.  For example, a patient who is gifted at hypnosis may be able to tune it out sufficiently that typically painful medical procedures (such as blood drawing, dental work, or even surgery) can be performed without use of chemical anesthesia.   

Hypnotic imagery to help change the physical experience of pain can include changing its color, size, or shape, or imagined manipulation of a pain control center in the brain, such as by turning off imaginary pain switches.   To address the emotional aspects of pain hypnosis can be useful in helping patients identify the nature of their emotional state, and how to shift that frame of mind through visualization of a peaceful experience.  Further, the hypnotic state can be used to promote insight that can serve as a foundation for counseling patients deal better with their emotions.   This can lead to an associated improvement of their pain. 

Take Home Message 

Hypnosis can be very effective in the treatment of discomfort when it is directed at both the physical and emotional aspects of the pain experience. 

About Center Point Medicine 

You can learn more about Center Point Medicine, hypnosis, and other great topics by following us on social media or heading over to our website. New blogs are added weekly. A list of all current blogs can be found HERE. 

For medical professionals looking to open their own Center Point Medicine office providing pediatric counseling and hypnosis services to your local community, please follow this LINK to learn more about our franchising opportunities.  


CPM | Facebook     CPM | LinkedIn     CPM Official Website     CPM Franchise 

Profile Photo or Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP Ran D. Anbar, MD Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP, is board certified in both pediatric pulmonology and general pediatrics, offering hypnosis and counseling services at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California, and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Anbar is also a fellow and approved consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Anbar is a leader in clinical hypnosis, and his 20 years of experience have allowed him to successfully treat over 5,000 children. He also served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of pediatric pulmonology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, for 21 years.

You Might Also Enjoy...

sign that reads drug free, gun free school zone

School Shooting and Young People

Improved mental health care should help decrease violent behavior. However, our society and mental health care industry will need to undergo significant changes to enhance such care.
Sign that reads vaping regrets

Nicotine Addiction as a Result of Vaping

Hypnosis can be used to help overcome vaping and nicotine addiction including through its use to reinforce the reasons for quitting, and as a method to enhance coping with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Young women at a party on their phones not engaging with anyone, together but isolated

Pitfalls of the Smartphone

In 2022, use of a smartphone is an important part of daily life.  However, it is clear that its near constant use is detrimental.
two hands holding pieces of paper in them one reads Good News the other reads Bad News

Dealing with Hard Times

Through learning how to change our thought patterns we can learn how to deal better with bad events.