Sally* worked at the physician office next door to my practice in Connecticut. She had surgery in the past, even sedation. And every experience was awful. Sally would get nauseous, she vomited and just could not take any pain medication. She had a surgery coming up. And by anesthesia standards, it was high risk for nausea vomiting, and a fairly painful surgery. She was planned to be admitted for 23* just for pain management. This was a needed surgery, but not one that Sally looked forward to.
2 weeks before her surgery, she stopped by my office and asked for my guidance. I gave Sally a relaxation CD I had made, and told her I would arrange for her to have intraoperative suggestions played via headphones in the operating room. 2 days before her surgery, she stopped by my office and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! I don’t know why I did not listen to that CD the last 2 weeks! I have not been sleeping and finally listened last night and I slept like a baby.” I told her to continue listening. During her surgery she had the intraoperative suggestions.
The result? She only needed 1 dose of pain medication. No nausea. No vomiting. Period. She wrote a glowing 1 page letter to the CEO of the hospital because it was the first time she had EVER had a positive surgical experience. Imagine being able to help hundreds of people this way EVERY YEAR!!
This is not an unreasonable goal. Right now we have an opportunity like never before. The prescribing practices for pain medications is restricted. Sometimes to the extreme. Addiction is a problem. But real people, without addictions, suffer from pain and are caught in the middle. I am not speaking of at home prescriptions only, but some hospitals are taking it to the extreme as well. Professional hypnotists are a part of the solution to this problem.
Let me share with you a story I read in a healthcare Facebook group I am a part of. The original post was quite lengthy, but I will abbreviate it here:
“I am a physician, and my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer… I went out to California to be with her when she had surgery. The surgery was for palliative (decreased pain and suffering) reasons only. After the surgery she was transferred to hospice. 48 hours after her surgery, all narcotics were taken away. Even though she just had surgery AND was on hospice. I watched in horror as my grandmother spent her last days in pain.”
Imagine if this physician had known about hypnosis. Imagine the difference in this woman’s transition at the end of life had the hospice staff been aware of hypnosis. This physician and her family could have had a completely different experience. The patient could possibly have passed peacefully.
You know the mind is powerful. Like me, you have witnessed it first-hand. You have a skill that can help people change their lives. We have a skill that benefits others, and we need to let the world know.
Pain is a unique niche for hypnotists. Some basic facts should be understood. Pain is a very personal experience. It is subjective. Thoughts and beliefs play a major part in perception. This makes hypnosis about more than just hypnotic analgesia. It is important to address these beliefs AND issues like sleep, energy and mood.
When working 1:1 with clients I use a thorough pain assessment to get a mother lode of information. This helps identify the beliefs that need to be addressed and provides information to help individualize hypnotic patter for the client. The assessment is also a part of confidently creating a hypnotic session plan.
Working with groups can be effective as well. Schedule pre-surgery workshops and allow the group to use the pain assessment to gain insight into areas they can control to have a better experience. Train them in self-hypnosis, the relaxing breath and make sure they understand the power of self-talk. Introduce yourself to local surgeons to get referrals right into this group. People who used some form of pre-surgery relaxation or suggestion, or suggestion during surgery did better than 89% of the control group in a study—taking less pain meds and having less nausea. That’s impressive. I would take those odds!
Pain management hypnosis is rewarding. Imagine becoming the local physicians’ ‘go to’ person for their patients. If pain management hypnosis interests you, join me for a free Masterclass “4 Pillars of Effective Pain Management”. It is going to be 45 minutes packed full of information. I hope to see you there. Click here to sign up.