Physicians only have partial success in helping patients with chronic pain obtain relief. Pain-relieving drugs have, for the most part, unpleasant side effects and often don't diminish the pain enough. Furthermore, the psychosocial ramifications of chronic and persistent pain are not amenable to a medical solution. Thus, the physician who must deal with such painful conditions as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, low back problems, chronic headaches, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, thalamic pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis, post-herpetic neuralgia, idiopathic pelvic pain, functional gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, and chronic dental pain, is often at a loss as to how to lessen the suffering.
It has been noted by Dabney Ewin, MD, that when anxiety and suffering are removed it appears that pure pain does not hurt as much. Pain is made worse by negative attention and preoccupation. Hypnosis involves the redirection of attention. Pain is involuntary. It comes without effort.. Likewise, an effective hypnotic state is also involuntary; that is, achieved without effort.