Children can ‘imagine away’ pain

BBC News 12 Oct 09

Children can be taught to use their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain, research shows. A relaxation-type CD, asking children to imagine themselves in scenarios like floating on a cloud led to dramatic improvements in abdominal pain. The US researchers said the technique worked particularly well in children as they have such fertile imaginations. It has been estimated that frequent stomach pain with no identifiable cause affects up to one in five children.

The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, follows on from studies showing hypnosis is an effective treatment for a range of conditions known as functional abdominal pain, which includes things like irritable bowel syndrome.