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Why is Hypnosis Effective in Pain Control?

  • Paul Sacerdote

Abstract

The author briefly reviews the concepts of “pain” and the distinctions between pain and suffering. He then reviews some of the theoretical constructs that have been advanced to explain the effectiveness of hypnosis in pain control. These include psychological abstractions, psycho-social observations and generalizations, analysis of communications between patient and hypnotizer, anatomic, neuro-physiologic and bio-chemical conjectures, behavioral principles, and psycho-analytical theories, among others.

He sees little or no contradiction between the different view points which simply examine different facets of the same phenomena from distinct frames of reference. Within the general conceptualization of learning theory it can be hypothesized that hypnosis facilitates certain learning processes: the translation of every-day language (verbal, numerical, visual, audial, etc.) into neurophysio-logical, bio-chemical, anatomical language which the unconscious areas of our nervous system can understand, activate and communicate to other organs, systems, and individual cells. Concepts of learning, of different languages do not seem so outlandish since the discovery of the genetic code.

Keywords

Pain Control Distinct Frame Mystical State Satisfactory Compensation Direct Suggestion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Sacerdote
    • 1
  1. 1.Montefoire Hospital and Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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