Clinical Hypnosis in Pain Therapy and Palliative Care refers to the conscious, calm awareness of cognitions, sensations, emotions, and experiences. This state can be achieved through mindfulness and meditative states, which are practices that cultivate nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness (from P-ali; sati; and Sanskrit; sm?rti; furthermore, translated as awareness) is a spiritual or psychological faculty (indriya) that is considered to be important in the path to enlightenment according to the teaching of the Buddha. It is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. “Correct” or “right” mindfulness is the seventh element of the noble eightfold path. Mindfulness meditation can also be traced back to the earlier Upanishads, part of Hindu scripture. The Abhidhammattha Sangaha, a key Abhidharma text from the Thera – vada tradition, defines sati as follows: “The word sati derives from a root meaning ‘to remember,’ but as a mental factor it signifies the presence of mind, attentiveness to the present, rather than the faculty of memory regarding the past. It has the characteristic of not wobbling, not floating away from the object. Its function is the absence of confusion or nonforgetfulness. It is manifested as guardianship, or as the state of confronting an objective field. Its proximate cause is strong perception (thirasanna) or the four foundations of mindfulness.” Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions. Scientific research into mindfulness, generally falls under the umbrella of positive psychology. Research has been ongoing over the last twenty or thirty years, with a surge of interest over the last decade in particular. In 2011, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) released the findings of a study in which magnetic resonance images of the brains of 16 participants, two weeks before and after mindfulness meditation practitioners joined the meditation program, were taken by researchers from Massa chu setts Gen – eral Hospital, Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It concluded that “these findings may represent an underlying brain mechanism associated with mindfulness- based improvements in mental health” (National Center, 2011). The high likelihood of recurrence in depression is linked to a progressive increase in emotional reactivity to stress (stress sensitization). Mindfulnessbased therapies teach mindfulness skills, designed to decrease emotional reactivity in the face of negative affect-producing stressors. Given that emotional reactivity to stress is an important psychopathological process underlying the chronic and recurrent nature of depression, mindfulness skills are important in adaptive emotion regulation when coping with stress (Britton, Shahar, Szepsenwol, & Jacobs, 2012).
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