Will hypnotherapy work for pain? Will it work for acute, chronic, or both types of pain? Will it work for back pain? Arthritis? Fibromyalgia? We share the answers to those questions and more in the content below, in the hopes, it will help you make an informed decision about using hypnosis for pain and conditions where pain is a known symptom.

Does Hypnotherapy Work for Pain?

There are a lot of people who would like to know, will hypnotherapy and hypnosis work for pain. The short answer is, yes.

The long answer is: Hypnotherapy through different research and studies has been shown to work for pain. A part of how hypnotherapy works is through an individual person's level of hypnotizability. The higher a person's level of hypnotizability, the greater hypnotherapy will work for treating pain.

Through a study, it was found that hypnotherapy may improve pain in the following health conditions including:

How Does Hypnotherapy Work for Pain?

Wondering if there is there any proof for hypnotherapy for pain management? Or how does hypnotherapy work for pain? A study called: Use of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Pain looked at how hypnotherapy works for pain.

The study found that there are many parts and areas that are responsible for how humans experience and feel pain. When a person feels pain, the following areas of the brain are activated:

  1. Thalamus

  2. Primary somatosensory cortex

  3. Secondary somatosensory cortex

  4. Insula

  5. Prefrontal cortex

  6. Amygdale

  7. Anterior cingulated cortex

The name given to these seven areas of the brain responsible for feeling and experiencing pain is the neuromatrix.

In the study, it was found that these areas are activated when a person feeling pain undergoes hypnotherapy. During hypnotherapy people experiencing chronic pain were put in a state of hypnosis. Then they were told suggestions about the level of pain they experienced to undergo an increase in intensity ranging from:

  • Weak

  • Moderate

  • Severe

As these suggestions were made, the people and participants of the study experienced not only a change in the level of pain they were experiencing but also a change in brain activity.

Pain Management and Self-hypnosis

Pain can also be managed and helped with self-hypnosis before, or after in-person hypnotherapy. In fact, there are benefits of daily hypnosis and daily hypnosis for pain management. Want to know about the benefits of daily hypnosis? Read: Benefits of Daily Hypnosis.

How Many Sessions Will I Need For Pain?

The number of hypnotherapy sessions you will need for treating pain will depend on your individual needs and the health condition (or conditions) that are the cause of the symptom of pain. You may find that you experience improvement in the intensity or frequency of pain after as little as three sessions or as many as twelve weekly sessions. Talk to your hypnotherapist about your needs so that the best hypnotherapy treatment plan for you can be uniquely created and carried out.


Cost per a hypnotherapy session is not set in stone. Every hypnotherapist may have a different fee even within the same city. Fees can range from $75 to over $200 a session. Although most hypnotherapists will offer packages for hypnotherapy sessions packages are more than often offered for weight loss and for those looking to stop smoking. Nevertheless, when looking for a hypnotherapist for pain, be sure to ask if they offer packages for pain and if they offer any discounts. Here is a list of three other cost related questions you may have when it comes to hypnotherapy and pain:

  1. Will my insurance pay if I get hypnotherapy for pain?

  2. Will Medicaid pay for hypnotherapy sessions?

  3. Will Medicare reimburse me?

For answers to these questions and more, read: Hypnotherapy Costs

Books and CDs

Here are some recommended books for hypnotherapy and pain.

YouTube Videos: Hypnotherapy for Pain

Here are some YouTube videos offering free hypnosis for pain.

Complementary Approaches to Treating Pain

Other complementary medicines and holistic approaches recommended for the treatment of pain include:

More Information

Want more information on hypnotherapy? Check out these other resources:


Elkins, G., Jensen, M. P., & Patterson, D. R. (2007). Hypnotherapy for the management of chronic pain. The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 55(3), 275-87.Retrieved January 8,2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752362/

Lee, J. S., & Pyun, Y. D. (2012). Use of hypnosis in the treatment of pain. The Korean journal of pain, 25(2), 75-80. Retrieved January 8, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324744/