Hypnosis and Olfactory Stimulation
Chronic pains due to sickness or trauma persist even after medical interventions. Opiates —particularly morphines—aren’t always effective and they lead to undesirable side effects. Hypnosis has demonstrated its effectiveness which seems to be ameliorated by the simultaneous usage of an olfactory stimulation (post-hypnotic mark). This article describes a case where the patient’s pain is reduced by the junction of olfactory stimulation and hypnosis.
This research has demonstrated that hypnosis can generate a hypnotic analgesia (Jensen et al.,2008) that is measurable on all psychological settings being implied in the feelings of pain and on certain areas of the brain (Jensen, 2011). The usage of olfactory stimulation as an anchorage or mark in hypnosis is not documented; the goal of this case study is to demonstrate the potential beneficial effects of the simultaneous usage of olfactory stimulation and hypnosis for pain relief.
R.P is a 58-year-old woman with a history of obesity, thyroid cancer and an advanced degenerative disease at her intervertebral discs. She has gone through 3 surgical interventions for her vertebrates C6 and C7, and L2 as well as L3 have been assembled with titanium rods. She suffers from back pains, insomnia and migraines. She is very sensitive to odors and can not stand perfumes, deodorants and other scents that one encounters daily. However, she seems to tolerate cloves, which she finds to be comfortable with, and is also able to use it as a post-hypnotic mark. She rates her daily pain to a constant value of 4 out of 10, 10 being the highest. She claims that her pain goes up to 8 out of 10 when she has to move in order to deal with home tasks and even 10 out of 10 when her belt touches her spine.
Her current analgesic treatment consists in taking non-steroidal anti inflammatories and sometimes tramadol (according to her wish to avoid opiates). During a hypnosis session, R.P goes into a light trance while the author suggests that she loosen her muscles and to let go of her pain so that she gains more energy during daytime and gets better sleep quality during nighttime. During the trance, she is told that when she smells the clove, she immediately experiences a deep relaxation and that her pain is replaced by a sensation of relaxation and wellbeing.
After 2 sessions of 20 minutes of hypnosis at 2 weeks’ interval with the same hypnotic autosuggestion, the patient declares her pain to be reduced from 10 to 3 after inhaling clove oil. She claims to make use of the clove 4 to 5 times daily and obtains an immediate pain relief since 3 months.