Another area where hypnosis offers significant positive results is in dealing with pre- and post-operative patients. Using hypnosis in preparation for surgery has been shown to reduce the experience of pain during surgery, resulting in the need for less anesthetics. Hypnosis as a pain management tool with surgical patients also has been shown to reduce nausea and greatly increase the recovery rate in most patients, thereby truncating the length of time spent in the hospital. (That creates another rarely mentioned positive result: reduced medical costs!)
But efficacy and lower medical expenses are not the only positives related to the use of hypnosis for pain management. This modality has no dangerous side effects. Unlike medications, hypnosis does not become less effective with use and does not require stronger and stronger doses to cope with pain. While patients may have to ingest costly medications several times a day for years, they have the potential for reducing or eliminating their pain in just a few hypnotic sessions for significantly less cost.
Does hypnosis always work? In the area of pain control, everyone can be helped to SOME degree. There are essentially five categories into which subjects fall:
1. Those who find total and permanent relief.
2. Those that have a decrease in the severity of pain.
3. Those who experience pain relief initially, but who need occasional reinforcement.
4. Those that experience intermittent relief.
5. Those that still have pain, but feel 10-30% less pain than before.
What accounts for these differences in relief? The answer appears to be the patient’s susceptibility to hypnosis – the level of relaxation reached during the hypnotic sessions. The deeper the relaxation, the more effective the pain reduction.
Certainly, no treatment for pain – whether chemical, physical or psychological – is effective all the time. However, hypnosis has shown over and over again that it can help people reduce or eliminate both acute and chronic pain. Best of all, it works its magic without any side effects.
As a safe, effective alternative for reducing sensitivity to pain, hypnosis is second to none.