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Airing Pain 65: Hypnosis and Unexplained Pain

Bring­ing mind and body togeth­er to reduce pain with self-hypnosis

This edi­tion is fund­ed by a grant from the Dorothy Howard Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

In this edi­tion of Air­ing Pain we hear how health­care pro­fes­sion­als can use hyp­not­ic tech­niques to help peo­ple in pain. This is not the hyp­no­sis of stage per­for­mances, but rather sim­ple skills that can be mas­tered by most people.

When patients enter the ‘med­i­ta­tive-type’ state of hyp­no­sis they are able to use the imag­i­na­tion to change the per­cep­tion of their pain and even reduce its inten­si­ty, says retired GP Dr Ann Williamson. More than just relax­ation, hyp­no­sis, she argues, gives us access to ‘mind-body links’ that are ide­al­ly suit­ed for address­ing both the phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al dimen­sions of pain.

Dr Jane Boissiere, also a doc­tor prac­tis­ing hyp­no­sis, calls the lack of avail­abil­i­ty of hyp­no­sis on the NHS ‘a tragedy’. She believes it is the most effec­tive way of address­ing med­ical­ly unex­plained symp­toms by tar­get­ing emo­tion­al trau­ma in a way that puts the patient in control.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Hyp­nother­a­py, self-hyp­no­sis, med­i­ta­tion, alter­na­tive ther­a­py, mind­ful­ness, CBT: cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py, psy­chol­o­gy, mir­ror ther­a­py, neu­ro­science, neu­ro-engi­neer­ing, fibromyal­gia, pain per­cep­tion and men­tal health.


  • Dr Ann Williamson, British Soci­ety of Clin­i­cal and Aca­d­e­m­ic Hypnosis
  • Dr Jane Boissiere, British Soci­ety of Clin­i­cal and Aca­d­e­m­ic Hypnosis.