Pain is common in patients with multiple sclerosis. This study evaluated self-hypnosis for pain control in that population. A randomized clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients, who were assigned to either a control group or to a self-hypnosis group, in which patients performed self-hypnosis at least 10 times a day. All patients were trained to score the perceived pain twice daily on a numerical rating scale and also reported the quality of pain with the McGill Pain questionnaire. Repeated measures analysis showed a significant difference between the groups; pain was lower in the self-hypnosis group but was not maintained after 4 weeks. Self-hypnosis could effectively decrease the intensity and modify quality of pain in female patients with multiple sclerosis.
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.