It has been misunderstood as hypnosis for entertainment for a long time, and Hypnotic Analgesia has finally incorporated into the medical system. The American Medical Association (AMA) approved a report on the medical use of hypnosis in 1958, which encouraged clinical work on hypnosis. Two years after the AMA sanctioned, the American Psychological Association also recognized hypnosis as a branch of psychology. According to the U.S. Department of Labor occupation Name Directory,
Hypnotherapist-induce the client’s hypnotic state to increase motivation or change behavior patterns through hypnosis. Consult with the client to determine the nature of the problem. By explaining the working principle of hypnosis and what the client will experience, the client enters the hypnotic state Conduct tests to determine the degree of physical and emotional cues. Based on the interpretation of the test results and the analysis of customer problems, personalized hypnosis methods and techniques are used to induce hypnosis among customers. Customers may be trained to self-hypnosis. (DOT 079.157.010)
Among the well-known medical hypnosis programs, hypnosis analgesia is particularly effective. Modern medical practices should include hypnotic analgesia because it has become a medical treatment, has medical research and is evidence-based, and private health insurance, National Health Insurance (NHS), and Medicare approve the use of hypnotherapy in many cases.
With decades of medical research as the foundation, the medical field has understood the principles of hypnosis analgesia, an evidence-based treatment, that can be followed by medical treatment. In the past few decades, many studies on hypnosis analgesia have shown that it can change the activity of the prefrontal cortex and painful nerve matrix to increase its analgesic function. The pain threshold can reach the level of surgical anesthesia (Facco). In terms of analgesia, hypnosis has advantages over other interventions. Understanding the progress of endogenous pain regulation and the neurophysiology of hypnotic analgesia can be linked to the treatment of chronic pain (Holroyd). Research has also found that hypnotherapy is a technique that induces changes in perception through specific suggestions. The process of hypnotherapy changes self-awareness to change the brain network. Hypnotic sedation uses this objective quantification to characterize brain changes after hypnosis induction and its clinical application. Hypnotic sedation can reduce anxiety and pain during surgery. It can also ensure faster recovery of patients and reduce the need for sedative or analgesic drugs during an operation. In this regard, hypnotic analgesia is an effective alternative to sedation during the surgery and symptomatic treatment and is highly cost-effective (Trujillo-Rodríguez). For example, Dr. Elvira Lang and Dr. Max Rosen, conducted an analgesic cost analysis in 2002, to comparing traditional intravenous conscious analgesia with hypnotic analgesia during radiotherapy, which found that the cost of hypnotic analgesia could save twice as cheap as the cost of standard analgesia (“Hypnosis for”). The evidence-based research on hypnosis analgesia over the years has indeed provided a lot of medical support.
Clinically, in addition to traditional pain relief and treatment methods, subjects suffering from pain are also seeking complementary and alternative therapies. Among them, the evidence of hypnotic analgesia efficacy is the most developed (Dillworth). For example, patients are trained to accept and use hypnosis for clinical pain management (Jensen). A lot of shreds of evidence show that hypnotic analgesia can be significant and useful. Hypnosis analgesia has been used in the medical environment to treat and control various medical conditions, significantly reducing clinical pain related to acute and chronic pain, such as pain, such as headache (Hammond), chronic pain (Adachi). Even spread the hypnotic analgesia technology to medical institutions and hospitals (Yeh). The use of hypnotic analgesia in hospitals and clinics has become the norm in clinical practice, including Stanford Health Care, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic, and Massachusetts General Hospital. For example, Mayo Clinic has added hypnotherapy to clinical programs, including pain control, hot flashes, behavioral change, cancer treatment side effects, and mental health conditions (“Hypnosis”). It seems that after many years of medical research on hypnotic analgesia, hospitals and clinics have opened the use of hypnotic analgesia in many clinical pain projects.
While clinics and hospitals have applied hypnosis analgesia to pain treatment, private health insurance, the NHS and Medicare also include hypnotherapy within health insurance benefits in many cases. For example, Medicare only accepts hypnotherapy, which mainly treats medical conditions that require hypnotherapy as a medical necessity. Such medical conditions include acute and chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder. However, Medicare generally does not pay for hypnotherapy, even if it has been prescribed to help quit smoking. On the other hand, Medicare will pay for the conditions that hypnotherapy treats. Some advanced insurance companies are willing to cover the cost of hypnotherapy, such as Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, United Health Care. However, some health insurance companies such as Aetna believe that hypnotherapy is still in the experimental and research stage, so it will not be covered. Although some private health insurance, NHS, and Medicare provide hypnotherapy benefits in some exceptional cases, but most conservative health insurance still includes a wait-and-see attitude. The reason may be that the quality of hypnotists has not been included in the control of medical law. Even if a health insurance company is willing to accept hypnotic analgesia, careful quality control is still an essential key. With more and more clinics and hospitals applying hypnotic analgesia in clinical practice, it implies that hypnotic analgesia has also been trusted and valued in the medical field.
As the most well-known hypnosis is stage hypnosis, which serves for entertainment purposes, medical hypnosis is one of the many professions in the hypnosis field, and hypnosis analgesia is one of the many items in the medical hypnosis. People enjoy stage hypnosis for entertainment, which is the same as taking medical hypnosis for pain relief. At present, medical hypnosis based on evidence-based research has developed very maturely. In the case of being adopted by many hospitals and clinics, especially hypnotic analgesia, it has successfully attracted the attention of health care organizations and hospitals. However, Medicare generally does not pay for hypnotherapy, even if it has been prescribed to help quit smoking. On the other hand, Medicare will pay for the conditions that hypnotherapy treats. Nowadays, if medical hypnosis includes more health insurance parties, then patients will have more opportunities to learn about medical hypnosis, and health insurance companies would also save more insurance costs. Medical hypnosis has absolute benefits for patients, health care organizations, and the medical industry.
- Adachi, Tomonori et al. “A meta-analysis of hypnosis for chronic pain problems: a comparison between hypnosis, standard care, and other psychological interventions.” The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis vol. 62,1 (2014): 1-28. doi:10.1080/00207144.2013.841471 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24256477/
- Dillworth, Tiara et al. “Neurophysiology of pain and hypnosis for chronic pain.” Translational behavioral medicine vol. 2,1 (2012): 65-72. doi:10.1007/s13142-011-0084-5
- Facco, Enrico. “Hypnosis and anesthesia: back to the future.” Minerva anestesiologica vol. 82,12 (2016): 1343-1356.
- Hammond, D Corydon. “Review of the efficacy of clinical hypnosis with headaches and migraines.” The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis vol. 55,2 (2007): 207-19. doi:10.1080/00207140601177921
- Holroyd, J. “Hypnosis treatment of clinical pain: understanding why hypnosis is useful.” The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis vol. 44,1 (1996): 33-51. doi:10.1080/00207149608416066
- “Hypnosis.” Mayo Clinic, n.d., https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-proce…/…/about/pac-20394405
- “Hypnosis for the Relief and Control of Pain.” American Psychological Association, 2 July 2004, https://www.apa.org/research/action/hypnosis
- Jensen, Mark P. “The neurophysiology of pain perception and hypnotic analgesia: implications for clinical practice.” The American journal of clinical hypnosis vol. 51,2 (2008): 123-48. doi:10.1080/00029157.2008.10401654
- Trujillo-Rodríguez, D et al. “Hypnosis for cingulate-mediated analgesia and disease treatment.” Handbook of clinical neurology vol. 166 (2019): 327-339. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-64196-0.00018-2
- Yeh, Vivian M et al. “Disseminating hypnosis to health care settings: Applying the RE-AIM framework.” Psychology of consciousness (Washington, D.C.) vol. 1,2 (2014): 213-228. doi:10.1037/cns0000012