Written by a psychologist and a psychiatrist noted for their expertise as both practitioners and researchers, the book illustrates how hypnosis can significantly alleviate the pain of childbirth, medical or dental surgery, burns or other accidental injuries, cancer, and chronic syndromes. With over 600 references covering the field of modern research into the mechanisms of pain, the authors convey a thorough understanding of findings and limitations of available empirical studies. Yet the book remains exceptionally clear and non-technical and will appeal not only to professionals involved with pain reduction but to lay people as well. The Hilgards address a broad spectrum of topics relating to hypnosis and pain, ranging from an historical review to a consideration of future areas for investigation. They thoughtfully tackle the controversy still surrounding the nature of hypnosis - is it an altered state of consciousness or a pattern of behaviour adopted by both subject and hypnotist? The concluding section presents the Hilgards'' neo-dissociation theory of hypnosis as well as a highly useful technique for assessing susceptibility in clinical situations. Pain has been called the greatest unsolved problem in medicine.Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain, with its honest and complete appraisal of the role of hypnosis on pain reduction, will contribute significantly to the understanding and broader use of this noninvasive and natural healing phenomenon.