Friday, May 4, 2012

Hypnosis and Pain Relief

Researchers at a Boston medical centre in 2000 found that hypnosis was able to reduce both surgical pain, time and improve safety.  During a trial of 241 patients the ones that used self hypnotic relaxation techniques generally needed less pain medication and left the operating theatre quicker.

These studies supported what many hypnotists have long maintained - that one of the most important benefits of hypnosis is in the control and management of pain.  Hospitals around the world are now beginning to use hypnosis to reduce pain and discomfort from surgery and other medical applications.  During the nineteenth century pioneering doctors such as James Esdaile and James Braid had used hypnosis to carry out major surgical operations.  However, the discovery of chemical anesthesia made surgical applications of hypnosis redundant and the techniques remained unused for years.

We all suffer pain in our lives at times.  When our body has a painful experience, this message travels through our nervous system to our brain, causing us to feel pain.  pain has a useful purpose, it tells us something is wrong. 

Anyone who lives with constant or recurring pain knows how uncomfortable this can be.  They may use drugs to manage the pain, which at times are effective but they can be expensive and may have some side effects. The advantage of using hypnosis to manage pain is that it has no side effects.  Pain relief through hypnosis has been used successfully especially in the case of burns.

In the treatment of pain, one technique is for the hypnotist to suggest directly to the patient's subconscious mind that the pain is getting less, melting away and ultimately disappearing.  This technique induces "analgesia" - this is when the body experiences sensations but not pain.  Another technique is where the patient dissociates from the pain.  The hypnotist asks the patient to imagine the pain as a seperate shape, object or colour and then visualise either of these gradually disappearing, perhaps by shrinking in size or floating away in a balloon.

When treating pain such as migraine headaches, a therapist may use hypnosis to eliminate the pain and then instruct the patient in self hypnosis so they can then deal with the discomfort if and when the migraine attacks reoccur.  It should be always remembered that pain is a signal that something may be wrong, so patients should always seek medical advice to treat the cause of pain as well as using hypnosis to manage it.

During deep hypnosis, it is possible for patients to experience anesthesia, this is were they feel no sensations at all.  During this state it is possible for them to undergo major surgery without experiencing any pain.  This can be extremly useful during dental work where patients are unwilling to have injections or chemicals when undergoing treatment.  The advantages of hypnosis is that there are no side effects (such as a numb mouth) or risks from general anesthetic.

Hypnosis can be used to rid a person's fear of visiting the dentist in the first place, this is a common phobia among many adults.  It can also used in reducing a patients bleeding during dental treatment such as the removal of a tooth.  research reveals that if it suggested to the subconscious mind that the patient will bleed less during treatment, then this is precisely what happens.

 Andy Bryant, a british man, in 1994 demonstrated the potential of hypnosis for pain control when he underwent a vasectomy operation without anesthesia.  Prior to the surgery, he put himself into a hypnotic trance and said he felt "great" after the four minute operation in London, Uk.

Explaining afterwards Andy said "you can feel the sensation of the knife cutting, but you switch the pain off."  he said he had known what to expect, as he previously had an operation on his toes some time earlier while under hypnosis.  Although on this occasion Andy brought along his own hypnotist, he had hypnotised himself ten minutes before the operation took place.

In the nineteenth century, a patient of James Esdaile had a tumor weighing more than one hundred pounds removed from his body while hypnotised - without feeling anything.

(Ray Ronson)

For more information on hypnotic pain control or hypnotherapy in the South Wales, UK area visit:     For training in Hypnotherapy/hypnoanalysis or hypnotic techniques visit:

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