Research: hypnosis and migraines

Hypnosis is highly effective in the treatment of chronic migraine headaches. All Hypnotic methods appear to be superior to standard treatment relying on pharmacological approaches alone. Patients treated with Hypnosis had a significant reduction in severity and the number of attacks compared to a control group treated with traditional medications. At the one year follow-up the number of patients in the Hypnosis group who had no headaches for over three months was significantly higher. (1)

Review of the Efficacy of Clinical Hypnosis with Headaches and Migraines

The 12-member National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Panel on Integration of Behavioral and Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Insomnia (1996) reviewed outcome studies on hypnosis with cancer pain and concluded that research evidence was strong and that other evidence suggested hypnosis may be effective with some chronic pain, including tension headaches.  This paper provides an updated review of the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of headaches and migraines, concluding that it meets the clinical psychology research criteria for being a well-established and efficacious treatment and is virtually free of the side effects, risks of adverse reactions, and ongoing expense associated  with medication treatments. (2)

 References:
(1) Anderson, J.A., Basker, M.A, Dalton, R. (1975). “Migraine and Hypnotherapy.” International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 23, 48-58.
(2) Hammond C. (2000) The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis; Volume 55, Number 2 – April 2000