What is Medical Hypnosis?

stressJuly 16, 2013, by Ben Schoeffler
Hypnosis is ideal for use in a medical setting to:

  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Speed healing of surgery
  • Increase comfort and reduce anxiety
  • Reduce side effects such as nausea, soreness, and sleeplessness
  • Increase quality of life

    Medical hypnosis is one of the specialties of Thrive Hypnotherapy. Science has now proven what many eastern philosophies have known for centuries: When it comes to health, there is a real connection between the mind and the body. If you are facing health problems of any sort, you can learn techniques to speed up your healing, manage symptoms, and feel better on a day to day basis. If you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic or other medical professional, read onward to find out how hypnosis can help your patients.

    Stress and its effects on the body

    Today's high-paced society places many mental demands on us that can increase stress and hormonal responses in our body. This is a throwback from when our bodies did this to protect us from animals and other threats that could endanger our life. This fight/flight response triggers a portion of your brain called the hypothalamus to signal a release of adrenalin and cortisol from your adrenal glands. The short term increase in these two chemicals is great for helping you to survive a life and death encounter, but when you live a life of constant stress your bodies systems can go haywire. This short circuit of can exacerbate the symptoms of a current ailment you may have or the increased stress can be the primary cause of an all new condition. The human body is a wonderful creation and you can learn to re-balance yourself after these fight/flight responses as well as enjoy increased relaxation throughout the day. By learning techniques based on mindfulness, CBT, and hypnosis you can lower stress and increase your quality of life. Lowering stress will...

  • Increase immune system response
  • Improve cognitive functioning
  • Increase sleep quality
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase digestive functioning
  • Speed healing of injuries

  • Hypnosis and surgery

    There are many ways that hypnosis can help not only the patient have a more comfortable operation and recovery, but also help the surgeon and medical staff during and after the procedure. Here is a quick overview of how it can be utilized.

    • Pre-surgery: Hypnosis is used pre-surgery for a variety of things. It can be for something as simple as helping a patient relax if they are particularly anxious about an upcoming operation, to teaching a patient pain control techniques to limit or eliminate the need for traditional drug anesthetics/analgesics. There are many different types of ways to work with a person's subconscious mind so they can have a much more enjoyable and successful stay at the hospital.
    • During surgery: A patient can be given suggestions before an operation to make things easier for the doctor during the procedure. The body can subconsciously limit bleeding as well as reduce involuntary muscle guarding.
    • Post-surgery: Surgery is often a traumatic experience for the body even if everything goes perfectly. Post-surgery hypnosis can be used to help manage the symptoms of nausea, pain, soreness, or whatever ailments arise from the procedure and subsequent recovery. It can also help in the case where there is an emotional impact from surgery in the operating room. 

    Hypnotic pain control

    The body is an amazing system, especially when it comes to sensing pain. Pain itself is a very fluid and subjective thing that can change from moment to moment. Using specific imagery, waking hypnosis techniques, NLP, and mindfulness, a person can be taught to change their perception of pain in a way to reduce it or even eliminate it entirely. There is a video in the Dental Hypnosis section of this website illustrating a tooth extraction and implant being performed without the aid of any chemical analgesics. Hypnosis has been used quite successfully as the primary pain controller in childbirth as well. 

    Thrive Hypnotherapy can also help if a person is facing chronic pain issues. These can come up due to complications in a past surgery, genetic causes, or specific diseases which can lead to life-long pain. A person can only take so many pain killers before it becomes detrimental to their health. Through the use of hypnosis a person can be taught to manage their pain in a way that allows them to reduce the amount of painkillers they are taking on a regular basis. This eases the work load on the kidneys and liver and can allow the body's systems to concentrate more fully on healing.

    Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR)

    Mindfulness based therapy has been gaining acceptance the past few years because of the various studies that demonstrate its efficacy. Originally it was researched, developed and popularized by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Unlike some of the zen teachings mindfulness is based on, there are no spiritual requirement to learn the techniques to better master your thoughts and emotions. This means that anyone can learn these skills, from the CEO of a busy corporation to the monk living in a Buddhist temple.

    "Our findings suggest the usefulness of MBSR as an intervention for a broad range of chronic disorders and problems. In fact, the consistent and relatively strong level of effect sizes across very different types of sample indicates that mindfulness training might enhance general features of coping with distress and disability in everyday life, as well as under more extraordinary conditions of serious disorder or stress. [...] Improvements were consistently seen across a spectrum of standardized mental health measures including psychological dimensions of quality of life scales, depression, anxiety, coping style and other effective dimensions of disability. Likewise, similar benefits were also found for health parameters of physical well-being, such as medical symptoms, sensory pain, physical impairment, and functional quality-of-life estimates..."

    Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis


    Benjamin Schoeffler, Medical Hypnotist


    About the Author: Ben Schoeffler is a certified medical hypnotist with the IMDHA and is based in the capital of Idaho. If you are looking for Hypnosis in Boise, please visit his private practice at Thrive Hypnotherapy. He specializes in the treatment of chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and bruxism.