See how many correlations you can find with hypnosis and Tms healing? A major component of hypnotic analgesia is perceptual alteration. The specific alteration technique used should be adjusted on the basis of the degree of hypnotic ability of the subject. Less hypnotizable individuals often respond better to distraction techniques that help them focus on competing sensations in another part of the body. However, most patients can be taught to develop a comfortable floating sensation in the affected body part. Some patients can be taught to imagine that the affected body part is numb. This technique is especially useful for extremely hypnotizable individuals who can, for example, imagine a shot of Novocain in the affected area and relive an experience of dental anesthesia, which they can then transfer to the painful part of their body. They can also simply “switch off” perception of the pain with surprising effectiveness (Hargadon et al. 1995; Miller et al. 1993). Some highly hypnotizable patients prefer to imagine that the pain is a substance with dimensions that can be moved to another part of the body or can flow out of the body as if it were a viscous liquid. Other highly hypnotizable patients may prefer to dissociate the affected part from the rest of the body. As an extreme form of hypnotically induced controlled dissociation, some patients may imagine themselves floating above their own body or stepping outside of their body and going elsewhere, creating distance between themselves and the painful sensation or experience. Temperature metaphors are often useful, which is not surprising given the fact that pain and temperature sensations are part of the same sensory system, the lateral spinothalamic tract. Such metaphors may be especially effective with more moderately hypnotizable patients. They may be taught to imagine that an affected body part is cooler using an image of dipping it in ice water, a bucket of ice chips, or an ice-cold mountain stream, or they may be taught to imagine heating the affected part with the sun, in a warm bath, or by applying a heating pad. Imagining these temperature sensations can often help patients transform their perception of pain signals. The choice of images or metaphors used for pain control involves certain general principles. The first is that the hypnotically controlled image should serve to filter the hurt out of the pain. The image should also help transform the pain experience. The patient is taught to acknowledge that the pain exists, but that there is a distinction between the signal itself and the discomfort that the signal causes. The hypnotic experience, which patients create and control, helps them transform the signal into one that is less uncomfortable. Patients learn to expand their perceptual options. Initially, they experience the pain as either there or not there. They can learn to see a third option, in which the pain is there but is transformed by the presence of such competing sensations as tingling, numbness, warmth, or coolness. Finally, patients are taught not to fight the pain. Fighting pain only enhances it by focusing attention on the pain; augmenting related frustration, anxiety, and depression; and increasing physical tension. Trance and Treatment Clinical Uses of Hypnosis Second Edition Herbert Spiegel, M.D. David Spiegel, M.D.