World Hypnotism Day

While the name World Hypnotism Day sparks images of everyone walking around like zombies, I suspect there’s more to hypnosis than what I saw on Three’s Company. Shedding the stereotypes I was mired in, I learned that hypnosis is helpful for headaches because it encourages relaxation and reduces stress. However, it doesn’t appear to be more effective than any other relaxation technique

Thus far studies have shown that the usefulness of hypnosis depends on the type of headache a person has. Tension-type headache sufferers trained in self-hypnosis had modest improvement compared to those who recorded their headaches during a study, according to an ACHE article. The same article says that behavioral treatments for migraine, like biofeedback, are useful, but hypnosis alone has not shown to be beneficial. Both ACHE and the National Headache Foundation say that hypnosis is not effective for cluster headaches.

I’ve never tried hypnosis, but am willing to. Since my headaches are caused by migraine, though, I think I should try biofeedback first. If you’ve tried hypnosis, was it helpful for you? Even if you haven’t, I’d like to know what you think of hypnosis for headaches.

3 thoughts on “World Hypnotism Day”

  1. I used to have a hypnotherapist in my office–in fact, I have had two different ones who sublet from me over the years. Hypnotherapy can be a terrific non-medication means of managing pain. I still do refer out to hypnotherapists, but it’s handy to have one in house.

    Now…why do they keep moving to Washington?


    That’s really neat. I love how open you are to all sorts of treatments.

    Maybe your hypnotherapists moving to Washington is a sign that I should see one. 🙂


  2. I’ve been learning how to hypnotize myself and others for about a year now. One of the first things I did was to convince my wife to let me try to use hypnosis to help her stop having migraines. She would have them regularly two or so times a month. She knew it was a migraine because of the spots of light or dark in her field of vision along with the throbbing headache that wouldn’t recede with medicine. I used a relaxation induction with her (since that was all I knew at the time) and following a pattern I had read about, I asked her to simply focus on the pain of her migraine until it started to fade away and disappear. I continued with suggestions along those lines for about five or ten minutes, inviting her to stay focused or concentrate on the pain until it naturally faded away and was completely gone. When she told me the pain was gone I could see it was true just by looking at her. I brought her out of trance. Since then she has been free of migraines with the exception of one or two a year during periods of her menstrual cycle where she suspects she has more hormones in her system than usual. I just re-induce trance and help her clear the pain. Hypnosis is very effective, cheap, easy, and fun.

    That’s great! It’s definitely an intriguing technique.


  3. I’ve given serious thought to trying it. I haven’t yet, but it makes sense to me that it could help with relaxation.

    Let me know if you do. I’d love to hear about it.


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