August 19, 2009
Steve G. Jones, M.Ed.
Hypnosis has long been studied for its usefulness in easing pain, also known as hypnoanalgesia. Modern studies on hypnosis date back to the late 1700`s and they involve both psychological and physiological mechanisms. The founder of hypnosis was Friederich Anton Mesmer and hypnosis was known as mesmerism. Since then, many studies have been performed on the efficacy of hypnosis on pain. Although there are many causes of pain, many studies have shown hypnotherapy to be a natural and effective form of treating pain.
In the mid-1800`s, an English surgeon, James Braid renamed mesmerism to hypnosis after the Greek mythology god of sleep, Hypnos. Braid was the first to recognize hypnosis and its effects on psychological variables. This led to an increase in popularity in using hypnosis during surgeries to help reduce pain.
In the late 1800`s two researchers, Bernheim and Liebeault performed many studies involving hypnosis and found that it was beneficial in curing sciatic nerve pain. In the past 100 years, the studies that have been performed using hypnosis to treat pain have been overwhelmingly supportive. Studies have found hypnosis to be effective in treating pain associated with childbirth, angioplasty, leukemia, and headaches (Marcuse, 1993). More…>