Hypnosis can offer significant reduction in pain awareness without any effect on non-painful aspects of the subject's perception.
A study used 13 healthy subjects and tested them twice, once in a normal state and once while hypnotized. Each participant received 200 laser stimuli in increasing intensity on the left hand. They were then asked to rate their sensations from no pain perception, on a five point scale, to intense pain. Perception of intense pain was significantly altered while participants were under hypnosis. Measure by brain activity, ypnosis reduced acute pain perception by about a third. A map of brain scans allowed the research teams to identify which areas of the brain were affected in the hypnotic state specifically affecting pain that is registered in the primary somatosensory cortex.
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