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  • Tara Foulkes

Are you in pain?

Pain relief in this country and in other countries, the US especially, has led to a dramatic increase in opioid dependency. Back in the 1990’s pharmaceutical companies advised the medical community that these pain relief products where non-addictive, this led to the levels of prescriptions of products such as, morphine, tramadol and codeine increasing (National Institute for Health, 2019).

Over time, these drugs were diverted and misused leading to the crisis that we see today, with more than 130 people dying per day in the US alone due to overdosing on opioids (National Institute for Health, 2019).

In the UK we have seen a 30% increase in the use of these types of painkillers between 2007 – 2017, this is mirrored by a rising number of overdoses and death. In the UK alone 113,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed each day (BBC News, 2019). These types of drugs can be useful to relieve pain for a few days, like after an accident or surgery (BBC News, 2019). However, they are no longer recommended for use in the long term due to their highly addictive nature.

Hypnosis however, is a successful pain treatment option to reduce pain intensity or change the experience of pain with few adverse effects (MP, et al., 2006) Research in this area continues to grow each day, but, gaining acceptance of its use in the medical community continues to prove difficult due the differences in expert opinion regarding the core components of hypnosis (Jensen & Patterson, 2014)

Clinical studies on hypnosis on acute and chronic pain demonstrate that hypnosis is effective over and above placebo treatments, having measurable effects on activity in brain areas known to be involved in the processing of pain. (Jensen & Patterson, 2014).

The studies found that hypnosis treatment has two potential effects on chronic pain, firstly on substantial reductions in average pain intensity and secondly on teaching self-management skills that patients can continue to use regularly. Other non-pain related beneficial effects noted included improved positive affect, better quality sleep, relaxation and increased energy (Jensen & Patterson, 2014).

Clinical research into pain now shows us that there is no one “pain centre” in the brain responsible for the processing of pain, we know that pain is activated in several areas of the brain and central nervous system. Hypnosis seems to tackle all the brain areas affected by pain, which is why we see considerable effect in the reduction of pain (Jensen & Patterson, 2014).

Hypnosis works by guiding the subject through focused attention, relaxation, therapeutic attention, ego strengthening, and other elements as required. Taking the focus from the pain, reducing this attention and changing the presentation of the pain using a variety of models which can be tailored to the individual need.

I have a new pain relief group hypnotherapy session starting this week Wednesday 27th March 2019 at Scartho community Library, Grimsby, 11.30-12.30pm £6.

Simply turn up for 11.30am, I will go through this in more detail and deliver a group pain relief hypnotherapy session.

#pain #painrelief #hypnotherapy #scartho #hypnosis #clinicalresearch #evidencebased

Tara Foulkes MSc.

Developmental Psychologist

Clinical Hypnotherapist

Mindfulness Coach

07859 907963


BBC News. (2019, February 24). Swansea has the worst opiod death rate in England and Wales. Retrieved from BBC News:

Jensen, M. P., & Patterson, D. R. (2014). Hypnotic Approaches for Chronic Pain Management. American Psychological Association, 167-177.

MP, J., KD, M., J, B., MA, H., JM, E., JM, R., . . . DR, P. (2006). Satisfaction with, and the beneficial side effects of hypnotic analgesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 432-447.

National Institute for Health. (2019, January). Opiod Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from National Institute on Drug Abuse:


07859 907963

United Kingdom

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