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May 1960

Hypnosis and Pain

Author Affiliations

Syracuse, N.Y.
From the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(5):567-568. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590110091011

In recent years the medical and dental professions have shown an increasing interest in the use of hypnosis as a technique for “relieving pain.” Especially in obstetrics and dentistry, but extending even to surgery, physicians and dentists have been attempting to relieve pain by hypnotic techniques, often without analgesics or anesthetics, local or general.1 The clinical criterion of “success” usually has been the patient’s report of relief from or absence of pain, or his submission without protest to procedures which without this hypnotic intervention would presumably be experienced and reported as painful.

It is the purpose of this paper to reconsider the criteria of success which are currently in use and to introduce experimental data which may raise some questions about the use of hypnotic techniques in attempting to relieve certain kinds of bodily pain.

Kinds of Pain  The nature of pain,

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