Readers interested in pain management, hypnosis, or neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) may want to take the time to read the brief, well written article, “Hypnosis for Chronic Pain Management: A New Hope.” The author (Mark P. Jensen, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine) speaks to three trends in hypnosis’ role in pain management.
First, chronic pain is related to the supraspinal nervous system activity (ie. Thalamus, Insula, Sensory Cortices, Anterior Cingulate, and Prefrontal Cortex). Second, studies support that self-hypnosis has direct effects on the supraspinal sites. Third, self-hypnosis is effective in decreasing the severity of pain.
Also of interest, brief information on EEG brain activity associated with hypnosis is discussed. Specifically, beta activity (faster brainwaves) tends to decrease, while alpha activity (mixed slow and mid-range brainwaves) shows increases. Neurofeedback research substantiates that individuals can learn to alter their brainwaves; hence it is likely that an individual may be able to create a “hypnotic-like” state through neurofeedback training to enhance response to hypnotic suggestions.
The author discusses three possible ways to enhance the effectiveness of self-hypnosis that includes:
- “using virtual reality hypnosis,
- combining hypnosis with EEG-biofeedback (neurofeedback) training, and
- providing self-hypnosis training much earlier in the course of the development of a chronic pain problem.” (pg. 236)
Readers interested to read more on chronic pain management and neurofeedback/hypnosis are referred the to the October – December, 2009 issue of the Journal of Neurotherapy (p. 196-213) for another article by Mark P. Jensen, Ph.D., et. al.
Jensen, M. (2009). Hypnosis for chronic pain management: A new hope. Pain, 146 (3, 5), 235-237.