Check out How Hypnotherapy is being increasingley recognised as an effective treatment of nearly all issues

Hypnosis takes your mind off chronic pain medical reporter Sophie Scott

Posted September 16, 2011 16:25:43 Chronic pain is when pain occurs for

most days of the week and for longer than three months.Chronic pain is when pain occurs for most days of the week and for longer than three months.. Flickr: Travelin Librarian Map Australia A visiting American pain

expert says hypnosis can alleviate chronic pain and should be considered a

mainstream therapy. Professor Mark Jensen from the University of

Washington says pain management for patients, particularly those w

ith long-term illness, needs a considered and holistic approach. Pain is

considered chronic when it occurs for most days of the week and for longer

than three months. The latest statistics show one in five Australians suffer

 from chronic pain. Many of them are elderly. Current approaches to

 treatment include cognitive behaviour therapy, distraction technique

s and keeping active. Professor Jensen says there is physical evidence that

hypnosis works to alleviate chronic pain. "Imaging studies have shown that

hypnotic therapy influences all of the cortical areas and neuro-physiological

 processes that underline pain," he said. "Helping patients manage pain can

have a significant psychological impact. What people do to manage pain and

 what they think about pain, and their social environment, can all influence

pain and its negative impact on functioning." Professor Jensen says clinical

 trials have shown hypnosis can reduce daily pain intensity for patients.

"Hypnosis still has a certain stigma to it," he said. "However we are seeing

this treatment option used to manage debilitating physical and psychological

 conditions including phobias and addiction. "It may be that physicians are

 not recommending hypnosis to their patients due to a lack of understanding

 of the process, or it may be that patients are wary of hypnosis." He says any

 therapy that can help with pain management will lessen the burden for

patients and their carers. Professor Jensen is in Australia to speak at the

Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine annual scientific meeting in Brisbane.