One particular area where hypnosis has been shown to be extremely effective is before and after surgery. Hypnosis can help to relieve the intense anxiety that often strikes before undergoing a surgical procedure as well as help control pain and speed recovery after surgery.
When used before surgery, the benefits of hypnosis go beyond just allowing a patient to remain calm and reducing stress. That nervous, anxious feeling that accompanies most people into the operating room has been linked to patients experiencing more pain, a greater need for painkillers, and longer stays in the hospital after surgery. It has been proven that preoperative anxiety can have big effects on postoperative recovery.
Hypnosis for pain relief is one of the most studied areas of hypnotherapy. Various studies have shown that patients who undergo hypnosis therapy before a medical procedure experience less anxiety leading up to the procedure, require less anesthesia during the procedure, and recover faster compared to other patients.
In one study, conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 200 randomly selected patients who were about to undergo breast cancer surgery were given brief hypnosis sessions prior to their procedures. The results showed that those who underwent hypnotherapy prior to their surgery required less anesthetic and reported less pain, nausea and fatigue after their procedures. In addition, the study also found that the cost of surgery on hypnotized patients was actually lower because of the reduced amount of medication needed, with an average savings of $772.71 for each patient.
In a report published by ABC News, Guy Montgomery, director of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program and lead author of the study said, “The vast majority of patients can have some benefit from doing this. To me it’s a no-brainer: It helps patients and it saves money.”
Hypnosis allows a patient to naturally enter a state similar to that produced by the anesthetic and sedative drugs that are given to patient before most surgeries. It is not a replacement for such drugs, but a compliment to them. Dr. Michael Schmitz, director of pediatric pain medicine at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas explained that hypnosis helps patients enter a relaxed, calm state which makes discomfort more tolerable and helps patients to forget it sooner. “Hypnosis is used to assist with the other parts of anesthesia not covered by the local anesthetic,” he says.
If you have any type of surgical procedure in your future, hypnosis can help to relieve the anxiety and stress leading up to the procedure, which, in turn, will reduce the risk of complications and prepare your body for a speedier recovery with less pain, and less need for drugs. After your surgery, hypnosis will allow you to maintain a calm and relaxed state of mind that is conducive to faster and more complete healing. The well documented benefits of undergoing hypnosis before and after surgery can make a tremendous difference. I encourage you to check with your medical doctor before using hypnosis.