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Hypnosis for Migraines

Research scientists have been studying the affects of hypnotherapy on pain since the 1970s. Since that time, research has indicated that hypnosis can help migraine sufferers manage their pain symptoms. Because many migraine sufferers experience aura (also called prodrome) or other indications that they will soon experience a migraine, hypnosis can be an especially appropriate form of treatment. When patients can achieve the hypnotized state before the migraine occurs, pain can be significantly reduced.  Clients find their episodes are reduced and that they can reduce  the severity and/or duration an episode.

Treating and preventing chronic migraine headaches with hypnosisis a cost-effective alternative to prescription drugs. Actually, hypnosis is of benefit in the treatment of headache whether the headache is migraine, episodic, or chronic.

Does Hypnosis work for Migraines?

There have been many scientific studies on the efficacy of hypnosis for migraines and pain reduction.  Here are just a few.

Relief Found During Hypnosis and Cancer Pain Trial

The International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis published a study in 2007 that reviewed the findings of several hypnosis and cancer pain trials. Within those findings they found evidence of hypnosis helping patients with both headaches and migraines. The findings suggest that it is an effective approach to pain relief with no side effects.


An Encouraging Hypnosis and Migraine Pain Case Study

In this 2010 case study published by The American Psychotherapy Association a patient suffering from debilitating migraine headaches for 15 years tried hypnosis after trying several conventional treatments for her migraines to no avail. After eight sessions, her condition improved greatly. Ten months after her last office visit, she is still practicing self-hypnosis and is migraine free.


Treatment Resistant Chronic Headaches and Hypnotherapy

In 1992, a study was conducted and published by Prevention. Researchers gathered 42 patients whose chronic headaches were unaffected by conventional approaches to pain management. Half of them were administered hypnotherapy as a treatment, while the other half was a comparison group. The group receiving hypnotherapy experienced reduced frequency and intensity of headaches by 30%; a substantial improvement given previous unresponsiveness to other treatments.

Source: Gutfeld, G. and Rao, L. (1992). “Use of Hypnosis with Patients Suffering from Chronic Headaches, Seriously Resistant to Other Treatment,” Prevention, 44, 24-25.

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