Can hypnotherapy help
- an act of surgery performed on a patient.
The answer is yes. In 1932 Milton H Erickson discovered that
patients under anaesthesia could recall remarks made in the
operating theatre. This lead to further experiments by Wolfe
and Millet (1960) who were able to report that out of 1,500
patients who received positive suggestions while under anaesthetic,
half of the patients required no post-operative pain medication.
Dave Elman is a renowned hypnotist in the United States and
specialised in training the medical profession. His research
along with that from others, has shown that hypnosis can be
used with surgical patients in the following ways:
• To reduce presurgical fear while, at the same time,
create feelings of calm optimism, with motivation and improved
• Giving positive suggestions during and immediately
after surgery to maintain calmness, minimise pain, improve
appetite, reduce bleeding, and enhance a speedy recovery.For
most patients undergoing minor surgery a hypnotherapy session
taken a few days or a week before surgery, and one session
after surgery, is usually effective.
In some cases where major surgery is scheduled it can be very
beneficial to have a few sessions of hypnotherapy to help
reduce the anxiety of waiting, as well as a session on the
day prior to hospitalisation to help improve the recovery.
Hypnotherapy can also be beneficial to patients who are terminally
ill. While hypnotherapy cannot be proven to 'cure' people,
it is known that some patients have seen remission from their
illness as well as an improved outlook on their condition.
For some patients this results in a changed mindset which
allows them to enjoy themselves instead of being depressed