Stress and pain often go hand in hand. Hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation may help break the cycle.
Research shows that medical hypnosis can help with both sudden (acute) and long-term (chronic) pain from cancer, burns, and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also ease the anxiety some people feel before surgery.
When researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York analyzed 18 studies, they found moderate to large pain-relieving effects from hypnosis, supporting its use for pain management.
To find a licensed hypnotherapist, speak to your doctor or contact the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Meditation is like brain training. Anyone can do it — anytime, anywhere.
Studies suggest that making meditation a habit may help people manage their pain and self-esteem and lower their anxiety, depression, and stress.
The details vary, depending on what type of meditation you choose to do, but it comes down to spending a few minutes (or longer) focusing your attention on one thing — such as your breathing or a word or phrase that inspires or comforts you. As you meditate, other thoughts are bound to come up. That’s OK. Just direct your attention back to the thing you chose to focus on.
Meditation is safe to try in addition to (not instead of) treatments that your doctor recommends.