Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Hypnosis for Pain Control

I have discovered that women can have painless childbirth yet whenever I mention the possibility and woman’s ability to achieve this herself without the use of drugs; so many people respond with comments along the lines of “but that’s what an epidural is for”.   I’ve been running my childbirth classes for many years and have helped countless women achieve a much easier birth experience.
In todays society its as if we have lost contact with our own capabilities, when childbirth is probably its safest; now we have scans that indicate if baby or mum needs any medical assistance with the birth.  And yet women are choosing the have a caesarean section over a virginal birth.

In Turkey for example over 50% of babies are born via C Section compared to 15% in Iceland.  In reality a very small percentage of mums require a C section for medical reasons.  Today most are elected.

A new study by Danish scientists have concluded that C Sections constitutes a greater risk factor than the mums electing for them may realize.

People born by C Section, are more likely to suffer from chronic disorders such as asthma, rheumatism, allergies, bowel disorders, and leukaemia than people born naturally.

So many women choose a C Section as they think it’s the easiest way to give birth without pain without really considering the effects of swopping something natural for an operation.
Over time we have learnt to rely on chemical anaesthesia, in the mid 1800’s when we discovered chemicals to alleviate pain in surgery it must have seemed like a miracle.  Before this discovery surgery was gruesome as doctors tried to alleviate their patients pain with alcohol, opium and even knocking them out with a blow to the jaw.

At the same time that chemical anaesthesia became available, an English doctor was exploring the use of hypnosis.  He documented thousands of successful operations with the use of hypnosis.
The idea of using hypnosis in surgery laid dormant until the 20th century when some hospitals, began to offer hypnosis plus a small dosage of a local aesthetic as a surgical option as early as 1992.
“It has taken us a century and a half to rediscover the fact that the mind has something to do with the pain and can be a powerful tool in controlling it,” wrote Stanford School of Medicine professor David Spiegel in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

From May 2011 to April 2015 a team of French surgeons worked with 37 patients who needed a craniotomy for gliomas, a specific type of brain tumour. The surgeons behind the study believe that this research proves that “hypnosedation” can be a valuable tool for patients with advanced brain cancers.

Hypnosis has the potential to be a better option than anaesthesia combinations because patients recover faster, need fewer painkillers, and retain more awareness.

Allopathic medicine is beginning to recognize the usefulness of using Hypnosis for surgery something we knew back in the 1850’s is being rediscovered.

Anxious patients heading into surgery often receive medication to ease their fears, but its been discovered that a few words from their physicians can actually be more effective than medicine.  In fact, "conversational hypnosis" as the approach is known, may do a better job than pills for relaxing patients before anaesthesia and surgery, suggests research presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2015 annual meeting.

"The anaesthesiologist uses calm, positive words to divert the patient's attention and help him or her feel more comfortable," said Emmanuel Boselli, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a physician anaesthesiologist at édouard Herriot Hospital, Lyons, France. "It reflects a change in the way the physician interacts with the patient and takes just a few minutes."

They compared the results of hypnosis to the use of a standard medication called hydroxyzine, which is taken orally to relax patients before their procedure.

In the study of 100 patients undergoing hand surgery, 50 had conversational hypnosis while being given local anaesthesia, and 50 were given 25 mg of oral hydroxyzine 30 minutes to an hour before a general aesthetic.

Their levels of relaxation were assessed prior to and also after receiving hypnosis or medication and anaesthesia.

According to Dr. Boselli, the study suggests that conversational hypnosis can  increase patient self-reported comfort during regional anaesthesia without medication, and that this effect can be objectively monitored.  "Conversational hypnosis can be used prior to surgery in conscious patients having local or regional anaesthesia," said Dr. Boselli. "It also could be beneficial before general anaesthesia to decrease patient anxiety."

Whilst studying NLP and Hypnosis one of the things that intrigued me was the way that the mind creates our thoughts, beliefs and responses to situations, and I was drawn to the minds ability to control various sensations or our perception of sensations specifically the sensation labelled pain. How is it that we have different “pain thresholds”; and that one persons pain can be another’s pleasure. This question brought my attention back to childbirth and the fact that there are women in the world today that give birth within a few hours and then return to work with their babies swaddled to them. What is it that makes birth easy for some women and difficult for others?

During my research I found Dr Grantly Dick Read also had this question; he was a doctor at Whitechapel Hospital, East London, in the early 1900’s.  One evening when he was called out to assist a woman in labour, he offered her chloroform, the only chemical pain control available at the time, which she refused.  Afterwards when he congratulated her on her bravery she replied “it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t meant to was it Doctor?”

Dr Dick Read said that women who had easy births appeared to be in a trance like state, this comment spurred me onto investigate pain in childbirth and from there hypnotic pain control for chronic conditions as well as for general anaesthesia.

Before Dr Dick Read looked at childbirth, there were many surgeons looking for ways to conduct surgery painlessly and during the 1800s many who explored the use of hypnosis or mesmerism to help their patients.

Physician Professor John Elliotson, the author of Surgical Operations in the Mesmeric State without Pain (1843), agreed with the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal [quoted in the British Medical Surgical Journal (1846)35:542] that, compared to chloroform “mesmerism could perform a thousand times greater wonders, and without any of the dangers".  Mesmerism, as hypnosis was known, was considered at this time to be useful for minor surgery.  Yet as the century wore on, most patients - and their surgeons - preferred to take their chances with anaesthetics rather than hypnosis.
Whilst John Elliotson was exploring the use of hypnosis in the UK, James Esdaile was in India conducting hundreds of operations painlessly with the use of hypnosis.  His research was published in his book Mesmerism in India in 1851.

Its believed that with the advent of chemical anaesthesia research in hypnosis began to wain.
There are many phenomena surrounding hypnosis, and its been found that when patients use hypnosis to prepare for surgery apart from needing less chemical anaesthesia (and in some cases brain and open heart surgery has been performed without any chemical anaesthesia at all); the patients were much more relaxed, healed quicker and also bleed less during surgery.

On 20th May I will be at the NLP Life Training Life Talks to speak about my experience of using hypnosis for pain control join me with the other speakers, including Paul McKenna; these Life Talks are designed to give you real, practical and usable knowledge. The speakers are all experts with extraordinary powers to help people improve, master their skills and change.


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