British investigators report that people with chest pain (non cardiac) may find hypnosis provides significant pain relief and improves their sense of general well-being.
The researchers are Dr. Peter J. Whorwell and colleagues at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester who have previously shown that functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, respond well to hypnotherapy.
Based on those results, the method was tested in 28 patients with non-cardiac chest pain who were randomly assigned to hypnotherapy or just supportive listening. Both interventions were administered in twelve 30-minute sessions over 17 weeks.
Eighty percent of patients in the hypnosis group had complete or moderate improvements in chest pain compared with only 23 percent of those in the non-hypnosis group. Corresponding improvements in general well-being were reported by 73 percent and 23 percent. Still, the two groups had similar anxiety and depression levels.