Hypnosis for Pain Management

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

In this blog post we are going to teach you some effective ways to manage pain, what pain really is, and how you can use simple techniques to naturally decrease painful sensations.

This article is the blog post version of a Youtube video we published. You can watch it down below. Remember to subscribe to our channel and to leave us a comment.

"Don’t worry… it’s just a little jab!"

Whenever the dentist said that, I knew it was going to be bad, and it usually meant he’d be drilling into the pulp soon. In retrospect, I wish I had hypnosis skills back then, which could have helped a lot.

Let’s face it, most of us don’t like pain; which is kind of a no-brainer. 

Whether it’s physical pain, like having a tooth filled, or emotional pain, like feelings of grief or regret, we tend to live our lives avoiding pain, or at least trying to.

It’s pretty obvious though, that some pain will come and will be unavoidable. That’s the sort of pain we’ll be looking at here, and discussing how hypnosis can help.

Pain is so universal; that I’m not even going to define it; because you already know what I’m talking about. As the old song says:

It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong.

If you think of it as a signal, pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For instance, while a sprained ankle hurts a lot, the pain ensures you won’t walk on it too soon and increase the damage you’ve done.

Two Types of Pain

All pain will fit into one of two categories; acute or chronic. Acute pain is sudden onset like a burn or a broken bone. Chronic pain, like arthritis, is long-term, and the kind of pain you might carry until the day you die. 

Amazingly, hypnosis is highly effective against both types!

Pain and swelling, for example, can be reduced through hypnosis if a person suffers an injury or a burn. In fact, in the case of burns, if hypnosis is applied within a couple of hours of the burn, the severity of the burn can be greatly reduced.

For chronic pain, hypnosis can be used in many ways. The pain of a long-term neck injury can be greatly reduced hypnotically, by putting the pain in the background where it isn’t noticed by the conscious mind.

Mesmerism in India

When the average person thinks about hypnosis, they typically think of using hypnosis for smoking cessation or perhaps a stage-show they saw.

In reality, dealing with pain is where hypnosis really shines!

In the late 1800s, Scottish surgeon James Esdaile worked in Calcutta with the East India Company. Over a period of twenty years, Esdaile performed 300 serious operations without pain to the patient and he reduced surgical complications without ever using anaesthesia. The reason he didn’t use anaesthesia is because it hadn’t even been discovered yet! 

His landmark book, Mesmerism in India, tells how he used Mesmerism, an early form of hypnosis, to do even major surgery with excellent results. 

In more modern times, Dr Stanley Fisher wrote of how hypnotizing patients' pre-surgery caused greater relaxation and faster recovery time. 

Hypnotic Methods

So how does it all work?

When using hypnosis, patients will almost always experience a strong, even profound, relaxation. Although relaxation isn’t necessary for hypnosis to work, it’s generally a good idea. That’s because the brush endings of the nerves that carry pain impulses move further apart during relaxation, and pain is reduced automatically.

Guided imagery is another powerful way to reduce or even completely eliminate pain. A subject in trance may be directed to imagine a control room with levers and dials that run every function their body. By finding the pain control center, the subject can turn the pain down and greatly reduce discomfort. 


Even the words we use will affect a hypnotized person’s response. That’s why once the subject is in trance, we never say pain, which is considered to be a “painted word” that carries a lot of negative emotion.

By framing the pain as “discomfort”, “that bad feeling” or even “pressure” hypnotists are able to avoid inadvertently amplifying the client’s pain.

Breathing Shifts

When we change our breathing, it changes a lot of other things. Yoga practitioners and martial artists have known this for thousands of years. 

It’s a simple matter for a hypnotist to instruct a suffering client to breathe in pale blue or green healing light and then send it to the place needed, while exhaling and relaxing. 

This can be a very powerful method, combining relaxation, guided imagery and breathing shifts. It’s an effective method, and works with self-hypnosis too. Stacking techniques like this is a great idea and amplifies results.

The Power of Dissociation

Dissociation is when we imagine we see ourselves from the outside. Normally, we’re associated, which is perceiving life from inside our own skin. 

When we dissociate, we view ourselves as out in front of us. This is another remarkably powerful technique; and the further away you imagine yourself to be, the stronger the effects of the technique will be. 

There are all sorts of creative ways of using dissociation, but it’s most powerful when done along with hypnosis. 

If a client is in an ER having sutures put into a nasty cut, he can imagine floating up out of his body and viewing the procedure from the ceiling. 

Another way to think about dissociation is to imagine that instead of being in the front car of a roller-coaster, you imagine watching yourself in that same roller coaster, but from the perspective of a park bench nearby. 

The great thing about dissociation is it works for both pain and emotions! It really is that powerful.

Representational Systems

We all experience the world around us through our senses. Interestingly though, we don’t react to the world itself. We respond to our internal experience of the world. This is accomplished through submodalities

Submodalities are the way we code information so the world makes sense. We do this by storing all of our experiences in visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (or feeling) terms. When we change the code, we change the meaning and the experience itself. 

Let’s say you have a headache. Ask yourself what colour it is. 

Now imagine you pull it out of your head so it’s in front of you in space. Now change the colour and put the pain back in. 

Repeat as needed!

By changing the colour of the pain, you are affecting it indirectly. Then when you put it back as a feeling, it will have changed. That’s because the way the headache was represented through colours has now changed, so the way it was coded was changed. 

Direct Suggestion

The great Dr Milton H. Erickson, arguably the most skilled and experienced hypnotist ever, said that hypnosis is an amplifier of human experience. That’s why all the various methods of dealing with pain will benefit from adding hypnosis to the mix. In fact, the simplest way to use hypnosis with pain or discomfort is to use direct suggestion. 

DSiH, or direct suggestion in hypnosis can be a very powerful and effective way to help people feel better. 

In this case, the hypnotist would induce a deep trance and give a series of direct and simple suggestions for health and wellbeing. Relaxation would probably also be suggested. 

Amazingly, any disorder that responds to anti-histamines or anti-inflammatory drugs will respond to hypnosis. By giving direct suggestions for reduction of discomfort and reduced inflammation too, the hypnotist can magnify their results.

Over Description

To over describe something is to break it down into tinier and tinier details. When we continue to ask an ailing subject to give us greater and greater detail about their pain, it will tend to become too abstract to keep track of and will fall apart. 

It can be as simple as asking if the discomfort is more at the front or the back…the top or the bottom…on the left or right…off to the side…more toward the front…or the back…and so on.

When we add hypnosis to over-description the results can be startling.

Glove Anaesthesia

We cannot close this discussion without mentioning a very old but highly effective method of pain relief; glove anaesthesia.

The hypnotist puts the subject in a trance and causes one of the person’s hands to float in the air, becoming rigid and cataleptic. By adding guided imagery, the hand is made to feel very cold and frozen. 

The hypnotist then has the subject move the numbness around their body, increasing the numbness each time it transfers to another limb. This is called compounding suggestions, and when the numbness is profound enough, it is sent to the site of the physical or even emotional pain. 

Ecology First!

Clearly, there are many powerful ways of using hypnosis to reduce or eliminate pain. 

In the last decade or so, many new and highly effective techniques have been perfected, like Freddy Jacquin’s Arrow, and Stephen Blake’s Old Pain to Go. These methodologies provide easy to use methods to set people free, even from chronic pain!.

But should you do it? 

We believe that any competent consulting hypnotist or hypnotherapist shouldhypnotherapist, should consider using their hypnosis skills for pain management. 

But there is a caveat…

Never work on a client's pain without permission in writing from their primary health-care physician. 

Note: We cannot stress the above sentence enough and we always instruct our students to follow this suggestion.

To take away the pain of a headache which was caused by an unknown tumour without a medical examination, can lead to a client’s disorder worsening, and perhaps a ruinous law-suit! Yikes! 

Generally speaking, we found doctors to be very open to hypnotic help.

Always think of ecology first - yours and theirs.

By keeping the client’s wellbeing, first and foremost, you’ll be able to work safely and set people free to enjoy their lives again.

Pain Relief At Your Fingertips!

In our experience, when it comes to overcoming a difficulty there are usually 3 different types of people.

The first type are those who would rather seek the help of a professional for their issue, like going to a doctor or hypnotherapist for pain management.

The second type are those who would much rather handle it themselves.

Finally, the third are the kind of people who want to learn how it all works so they can help others overcome the difficulty.

Whether you are the first, second, or third kind of person, we’ve got something that can help you on your journey.

If you would love to manage your pain all on your own, then we would suggest our amazing hypnosis audio program called, The Pain Management Solution

This amazing product will help you discover more ways to manage pain and the included hypnosis audio tracks will all but remove pain in its entirety.

As a bonus, you’ll also get a 2 video course on using a highly effective tapping protocol that Mike used to overcome fibromyalgia all on his own!

For those who want to learn even more incredible ways to improve their quality of life besides just managing their pain we’ve created something called the Personal Growth Membership

The Personal Growth Membership is a specially designed program which includes a plethora of courses and hypnosis audio tracks to help you in every facet of your life. 

Whether you want to relieve anxiety or stress, discover ways to empower and motivate yourself, learn about physical and mental health, or improve your performance, The Personal Growth Membership has something for you! 

Finally, we know that some of you really want to learn this amazing skill called hypnosis, which is why we’ve developed The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.

The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy is our premier training package, where we’ve helped thousands of students go from beginner to advanced hypnotists. Everything you could ever want to learn about hypnosis is inside of our ever expanding library.

The best part is that The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy contains so much bonus content, that other hypnosis trainers consider us the go-to academy to learn hypnosis.

In other words, we know a thing or two about the topic.

If you would love to learn more about The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy, click here.

If you would love to discover new ways of improving the quality of your life, then click here to learn more about The Personal Growth Membership

Lastly, if you would like to be able to manage your pain all on your own, then The Pain Management Solution is the answer you’ve been looking for, so click here to learn more.