Hypnosis is a psychological tool
that is used to explore
the human mind but it has now been highlighted by experts that this technique
may also be employed to relieve pain.
all along, suffered a dubious reputation; mainly because the average man sees
it being employed in movies, to control the mind against the wishes of the
But according to Dr Bob Large, a Perth-based psychiatrist
and pain medicine specialist, hypnosis could be employed to control pain, even
in those who are undergoing surgery. It has been observed that some patients
can be deeply hypnotized to enable them to undergo surgeries such as thyroid or
gall bladder removal, without the use of any anesthetizing drug.
Dr Large claims that about 15 percent of people
can be easily hypnotized. The best response comes from those with an active
imagination, those who are pliable and from children in the age group of 8-12
as they are naturally blessed with vivid imagination.
It has been observed that some sort of pain
control is possible by engaging
the patient in a good 'clinical interaction' using a reliable hypnotic
technique. This indicates that anesthetists and other clinicians can interact
with the patient during the pre-operative period using a set of instructions
and suggestions that are capable of creating positive vibes in the patient rather
than alarming the patient.
Hypnosis is perfectly ethical; it involves motivating the patient to be in
control rather than controlling the patient. The technique has been used in
many fields of health care involving chronic pain including cancer care and
also in dentistry, childbirth and surgery.
Hypnosis begins by asking the patient to gaze at
a particular spot on the wall and go easy on everything else.
a promising area where hypnosis can be used effectively. Women were able to deliver
with greater comfort and required less anesthetic drugs. Some did not
require drugs at all. Another plus was that the baby thus delivered was less
another area that could potentially benefit from hypnosis. Some dentists use
hypnosis as a method to reduce anxiety among dental patients.
Dental Association president Dr Geoff Lingard
said "You get patients who are more anxious than average. In those cases hypnotherapy
can certainly be an effective aid to relaxing them and providing them with
comfortable, pain-free dentistry."
There is nothing extraordinary about the role of
hypnosis in pain relief as it just taps into our inner potential to be able to
slip into an altered state of awareness.
In some parts of the world
hypnosis has been employed on patients before a surgery. Experts believe that
in future, hypnosis will be used widely around the world as a form of analgesia
Nevertheless the health community is sceptical. Some
believe that hypnosis can never take the place of anaesthetic drugs but can be
a part of a multi-modal approach. At best it can be considered as a good
adjunct for making people feel comfortable before a surgery. It can never
replace chemical anaesthetic drugs, many believe.