So here is the question. What is the best mind power technique to reduce pain and discomfort? This is a slightly loaded question because it implies there are others to compare the winner against but that will be for another day.
According to this National Geographic Channel video below hypnosis is the most amazing technique at managing pain. They even show it being used as the only form of anaesthesia and pain management for dental work.
Hypnosis is also used for full operations and has the added bonus of not having side effects and the patient recovering faster than with chemical anaesthesia. It is even used to help with childbirth, known as HypnoBirthing.
Here are some quotes about hypnosis and pain relief to get us thinking:
There is solid science behind what sounds like mysticism and we need to get that message across to the bodies that influence this area. Hypnosis has no negative side-effects. It makes operations quicker, as the patient is able to talk to the surgeon as the operation proceeds, and it is cheaper than conventional pain relief. Since it does not interfere with the workings of the body, the patient recovers faster, too.
There are many cases where, for one reason or another, traditional chemical anesthesia is contraindicated. In these instances, Hypnotic Anesthesia may well be the answer.
Some of the benefits include lower patient preoperative anxiety, fewer post-surgical complications, less bleeding during surgery and faster recovery time.
Lisa Machenberg, Certified Hypnotherapist (Source: hypnosis.edu)
The midwife offered me some gas and air but it made me feel dizzy and unable to focus, so I stopped. I really felt the HypnoBirthing techniques were all I needed. By controlling my breathing I was able to concentrate on what my body was telling me to do. It felt very natural.
When her son Leo was born 14 months ago, following a relatively pain and stress-free labour, Emma is convinced hypnobirthing is most certainly ‘the other way’.
It is time for hypnosis to work its way into the mainstream of British medicine,” Spiegel will say at the joint conference of the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis and the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis.
The pain of such an operation is intolerable if you are fully awake. Only hypnosis enables you to stand it,” he was reported as saying by to French publication Le Figaro.
“She went into a trance listening to the words of the hypnotist. She went a long way away, to Africa. And she began to sing – it was amazing,”
Felicity Lamb, 27, is mum to Bernie, nine months. She practised HypnoBirthing techniques throughout her pregnancy and successfully used them to manage her pain in labour.
The best summary of what hypnosis for pain relief can be like is written by Dr Lang in her book Patient Sedation Without Medication.
You might say, “Would you like to go on a journey? You know your body has to be here, but you don’t. Is there a place you always wanted to go? You even don’t need to pack. If you want, we can go there right now.”
Source: Patient Sedation Without Medication
My favourite line from the quote above is ‘but you don’t’ that states although our body has to be in the room our mind can be elsewhere. This technique uses Distraction and Dissociation from Eimer and Freemans (1988) six D’s of pain management to take our awareness of body sensations, like pain, away.
I hope, like me, you see how powerful hypnosis is at reducing pain and discomfort. In the next post, I will share another, much rarer, but very powerful way to control pain and discomfort that is also used for operations.
Until next week take care.