What Are the Pros and Cons of Hypnosis for Pain Management?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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Hypnosis for pain management can be helpful for some patients suffering from injuries or recovering from surgery, as it can help relax the mind and divert attention away from afflicted areas of the body. Using hypnosis as a sole source of pain management can be dangerous in some cases where proper medical interventions are needed to maintain the health of the body. There are no known side effects of using hypnosis for any type of pain management; however, the cost of hypnotherapy sessions can sometimes be costly and are not often covered by insurance. Most doctors do agree that hypnosis for pain management can be effective in some individuals when used as a complementary approach to healing.

Medical associations generally recognize hypnosis for pain management as an acceptable form of therapy, as long as it is used alongside conventional medical advice. Individuals suffering from minor pains in the muscles or tendons due to injury or surgery can often find short- and long-term relief in the use of hypnosis. This is mainly due to the relaxation benefits that naturally follow the hypnotic state, also known as a trance. Although the scientific community does validate some findings that hypnosis can be useful in the area of pain management, there are still some areas of health in which hypnotherapy has its limits.


The use of hypnosis for pain management in individuals with severe and chronic pain can be somewhat helpful, yet most scientists disagree on its use as a sole form of treatment. Those with chronic inflammation may need further treatment, like anti-inflammatory medications or surgery, to fix a problem. More often than not, these individuals may use hypnosis only as a means to help relax the body and calm the mind during stressful times in their illness. Using hypnosis as a sole form of treatment in individuals with a high level of pain or disorder in the body can be dangerous without proper medical advice.

Hypnotherapy is not often covered by medical insurance, even though it is recognized and respected as a complementary medicine by some medical organizations. This can make it difficult to use if a doctor doesn't build hypnosis into his or her practice, as practicing hypnotherapists usually charge a fee for their work. Since meditation has been shown to have the same benefits as hypnosis for pain management, some physicians teach patients simple meditation techniques to accomplish this task. Self-hypnosis can also be learned for pain management, and usually doesn't involve the cost of hiring a professional hypnotherapist.


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