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Hypnosis and Opioid Use

Hypnosis and Opioid Use

There is much discussion at the moment regarding the over prescription of opioids for pain management. Indeed, in places like the United States there is a real public health issue as a significant minority of those who have had these prescribed to them have developed an unhealthy dependency and even addictions to these medications.

Recently, the hypnosis advocate and Stanford Psychiatrist David Spiegel, MD has urged attendees at the World Economic Forum that teaching self hypnosis to patients would be a perfectly reasonable and clinically responsible way to help patients manage pain without the necessity of opioid use.

Hypnosis for pain management is quite probably the oldest use for this centuries old technique. Hypnosis can be used to assist in chronic pain relief, through things like self hypnosis and creative visualisation. However, it can also be used as a form a anaesthesia in surgical procedures which would normally require chemical anaesthetic.

It is unfortunate that the medical profession is reluctant to use hypnosis more often or to employ professional psychotherapists which a clinical speciality in hypnosis to do the actual work needed with hypnosis. I hope that the medical profession worldwide will pay heed to Dr Spiegel and begin to embrace self hypnosis as a means of pain relief more than now.

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