The authors investigated the feasibility and possible effects of hypnotic suggestion and music for chronic pain. Ten people completed the 2-week intervention that consisted of daily listening to hypnotic suggestions combined with music. Averaged subjective pain intensity, pain bothersomeness, overall distress, anxiety, and depression decreased from baseline to endpoint. Participants rated pre- and postlistening pain intensity and pain bothersomeness decreased for each session. Information provided during end-of-study interviews indicated all participants were satisfied with treatment and felt they benefited from being in the study. Means and standard deviations are reported for outcome measures and a case study is provided. This preliminary study supports the use of a combined hypnotic suggestion and music intervention for chronic pain.
This proof of principle study examined the potential benefits of EEG neurofeedback for increasing responsiveness to self-hypnosis training for chronic pain management. The study comprised 20 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who received 5 sessions of self-hypnosis training—1 face-to-face session and 4 prerecorded sessions. Participants were randomly assigned to have the prerecorded sessions preceded by either (a) EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) training to increase left anterior theta power (NF-HYP) or (b) a relaxation control condition (RLX-HYP). Eighteen participants completed all treatment sessions and assessments. NF-HYP participants reported greater reductions in pain than RLX-HYP participants. The findings provide support for the potential treatment-enhancing effects of neurofeedback on hypnotic analgesia and also suggest that effective hypnosis treatment can be provided very efficiently.