Pre to Post Surgery With Hypnotherapy: Use of Hypnotherapy in Surgery

Posted by on 3 Feb, 2014 in Blog, In the News | 0 comments

The last decade or two has witnessed an alternate form of therapy gaining a lot of popularity in the medical fraternity. This alternate therapy is hypnotherapy, which has gained a lot of popularity in the West and is also catching up in India. One of the very important areas in the medical space where the role of hypnotherapy is growing is surgery.

Through this article, we are exploring the role of hypnotherapy in the lifecycle of surgery. But first it is important to understand what exactly is hypnotherapy. The moment someone says the word ‘hypno’ people think of magic, taking control of others’ mind against their will, and many such myths. But that is what they are: just myths.

Hypnotherapy is actually a science of mind. It is not mystic but scientific. It is basically a form of psychotherapy, which uses the power of the sub-conscious mind to go to the source of problems, challenges and issues and find a solution to them. It also accesses the inner strength of an individual through the subconscious mind, which can really accelerate healing in the physical body. This is where its role in the medical domain comes into play.

The surgery lifecycle

To understand the role and importance of hypnotherapy in surgery, it is important to first understand the lifecycle of surgery which has three key stages. These stages are: a) Pre surgery b) During surgery and c) Post surgery.

Some doctors and medical organizations focus more on using hypnotherapy during surgery to relax the client and/or as a replacement/add-on to anesthesia. However, hypnotherapy is now gaining popularity as wholesome therapy supporting all the three stages of surgery.

Hypnotherapy in pre surgery stage
Hypnotherapy plays an important role in the pre surgery stage. Researches have found that if clients go through the hypnotherapy procedure before surgery, they are less fearful, anxious and stressful and thus are able to control nausea, blood loss, pain, fatigue, unpleasantness effectively compared to those patients who did not use this modality before their surgery. This is one of the key reasons why many doctors and surgeons are keen on referring their surgery clients to hypnotherapy.

One of the researches in the area indicated that, “The hypnosis intervention not only reduced use of anesthesia and self-reported pain but also reduced institutional costs for surgery, mainly by reducing time in the operating room.”

During Surgery

One of the most popular uses of hypnotherapy is as an alternative to anesthesia. BBC News published a case titled “Pain-free alternative to anesthetics?” (as of 18 April 2008). This writes up shares the experience of Mr. Lenkei, who was a hypnotherapist. He went through a surgery for his smashed bone. The most interesting part of this operation was the fact that Lenkei used hypnotherapy instead of usual anesthesia. There was no traditional anesthetic procedure used and yet the operation was completely painless and successful.

Sharing his experience, Lenkei said, “I was aware of what was going on around me, I could hear the surgeon talking but I couldn’t feel any pain… I remember at one point the surgeon asked for a saw, and I had images of this big thing like you get at B&Q…’No not that one, the little one’, and I thought oh, that’s all right then.” Lenkei’s words stresses on how a patient is completely aware of the surrounding under the hypnotic state.

Use of hypnotherapy as anaesthesia¬†is one of the most popular (during surgery uses of hypnotherapy). Some hospitals and surgeons also use hypnotherapy to relax the client just before the surgery and put a new program of healing and faster recovery from the surgery making it successful. The results indicated that patients who used hypnotherapy had better and faster recovery, compared to those who didn’t.

The use of Hypnotherapy in surgeries is nothing new; in fact its existence goes back 100 to 200 years back. In1834 Dr John Elliotson (1791 – 1868), an English surgeon who used hypnosis to perform many painless surgical procedures. In Calcutta, India, Dr. James Esdaile (1805 – 1859) performed 345 successful major operations using hypnosis as anaesthesia.

Hypnotherapy in Post Surgery 
Hypnotherapy is found to be playing a very significant role in post surgery recovery too. One of the research paper titled, “Can medical hypnosis accelerate post-surgical wound healing?” suggests that use of a targeted hypnotic intervention can accelerate postoperative wound healing.

Another study published in the Journal of Oncology – Volume 26, No 31 in November 2008 suggests that Hypnotherapy successfully reduced perceived hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. It helped to reduce anxiety, depression and improved sleep which speeded up recovery.

Read more: Gizmodo India.

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