Hypnosis can significantly reduce acute pain awareness, according to researchers.
Study authors directed a laser of differing intensity at the hands of 13 patients, once when under hypnosis and once when fully aware. Patients underwent brain imaging to show neural responses to the stimuli and were asked to rate their sensations on a five point scale.
Study author Steven Laureys, from Liege University in Belgium, said: 'Perceptions of intense pain was significantly altered while participants were under hypnosis. Hypnosis reduced acute pain perception by about a third.?
The study results were presented last week at a meeting of the European Neurological Society in Rhodes, Greece.