The mechanism of hypnosis in pain management.

The mechanism of hypnosis has been a source of controversy for years. Maybe one of the best models is “metacognition game”. What is the metacognition?

Metacognition is a cognition, insight or awareness about a cognition. You should have experienced a condition when you don’t remember the name of a famous actor whom you know very well. You know that you know him, but you don’t recall the information. The name of the actor is a “cognition” and the awareness about that knowledge or the fact that you know the actor (but for some reasons you don’t recall the information) is a “metacognition”.

Hypnosis is a game in the metacognition level and as a result of that the simple cognitions beneath is affected and modified dramatically. The classic example is pain. The simple sensory input of pain is modified a lot through our memories and emotions around the cause of pain. This affective component of pain may increase or decrease the intensity of pain dramatically or even reverse the perception of pain towards joy. limbic system in the brain has a crucial role in that regard.

Almost all people benefit from hypnosis in pain. Some perceptual changes are more sensory and some more effective. I like using hypnosis in chronic inflammatory pains rather than acute pains.