Hypnosis and music may have a role to play in pain management for palliative care patients.

These are the findings of Laval University Faculty of Music lecturer Josiane Bissonnette and her colleagues, who reviewed data from four random studies, as well as seven pre- and post-intervention studies.

They found a total of 579 palliative care patients benefited from therapies using music, hypnosis or both.

"We found in the research that yes, these were methods that were effective in decreasing pain and anxiety and improving well-being," Bissonnette summarized.

Hypnosis methods include asking the patient to visualize a place that brings them happiness and calm.

The patient remained conscious and was free to make their own choices.

"It's a way of communicating that induces an alternative state of consciousness, which allows you to be more receptive to different suggestions that are positive for the person," explained Bissonnette. "There is no control over the person here. It's more gentle. It's like guided imagery."

She explains it uses "the power of imagination" to give patients an experience, such as being on the beach or in a forest, that feels good.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 4, 2022.