Hypnosis as a treatment for pain

A researcher describes the therapy as "giving suggestions that your brain can use if it is helpful."

Media Contact: Chris Talbott - talbottc@uw.edu, (206) 543-7129

With promising initial results in hand, UW Medicine researchers led by Amy Starosta are testing clinical hypnosis as a therapy for certain types of pain.

“It's really focused on this deep state of relaxation,” said Starosta, a clinical assistant professor in rehabilitation medicine. “Hypnosis is not something (in which) we can make you do something that you don't want to do, or something that isn't helpful for you is going to be implanted. This is more of giving suggestions that your brain can use if it is helpful and when it is helpful.” 

In a news release, read about how Starosta and colleagues conducted a pilot study in which clinical hypnosis was applied to treat patients' pain that stemmed from spinal cord injuries.

“There's a lot of reason to think that this could be helpful for many different chronic pain populations, especially with those related to nerve injuries,” Starosta said.

Download broadcast-ready soundbites on clinical hypnosis.

UW Medicine