"It must be completely understood that anytime I work with a client with a medically diagnosed condition, I will ONLY do so with their referring Physician’s complete knowledge, co-operation and approval."
"The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well." - Hippocrates
"Hypnosis can be used very effectively for pain reduction. It can also be very useful in treating anxiety in people who are anxious. Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping people to stop smoking and in controlling overeating." David Spiegel, M.D. Associate Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.
Hypnosis and Surgery: Past, Present, and Future
Albrecht H. K. Wobst, MD
Hypnosis has been defined as the induction of a subjective state in which alterations of perception or memory can be elicited by suggestion. Ever since the first public demonstrations of "animal magnetism" by Mesmer in the 18th century, the use of this psychological tool has fascinated the medical communityand public alike. The application of hypnosis to alter pain perception and memory dates back centuries. Yet little progress has been made to fully comprehend or appreciate its potential compared to the pharmacologic advances in anesthesiology.
Recently, hypnosis has aroused interest, as hypnosis seems to complement and possibly enhance conscious sedation. Contemporary clinical investigators claim that the combination of analgesia and hypnosisis superior to conventional pharmacologic anesthesia for minor surgical cases, with patients and surgeons responding favorably. Simultaneously, basic research of pain pathways involving the nociceptive flexion reflex and positron emission tomography has yielded objective data regarding the physiologic correlates of hypnosis. In this article I review the history, basic scientific and clinical studies, and modern practical considerations of one of the oldest therapeutical tools: the power of suggestion.
From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida.
Address correspondence to Albrecht H. K. Wobst, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, PO Box 100254, Gainesville, FL 32610-0254. Address e-mail to email@example.com
Discover Magazine, January 2005
"YOU WILL NOW FEEL BETTER….
As a surgeon who has used hypnotic techniques with patients, I heartily support psychiatrist David Speigel’s findings [“Hypnosis Works,” November]. I think that studies of the brain both under anesthesia and under hypnosis would show many similarities. I have been able to correct cardiac arrythmias, bleeding, rapid pulse rates, and other physiological problems by talking to anesthetized patients in a therapeutic way during surgical procedures and by using similar procedures preoperatively. Surgeons have also done major abdominal surgery on patients under hypnosis alone. Hypnotic and communication techniques can create positive results. The placebo effect is, in essence, a positive result of communication. I have had children go to sleep as they entered the operating room because I told them they would, and some have resisted hair loss from chemotherapy because we relabeled their vitamins “hair growing pills.” Just as we can heal with a scalpel, we can heal with words." Bernie Siegel, Woodbridge, Connecticut
Hypnosis can be used for pain management, emergencies, irritable bowel, pre-during-and after surgery, cancer treatment support, auto immune diseases, and simple everyday procedures and much more:
Hypnotherapeutic interventions are used for allergies, asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, ulcers, colitis, headaches, hypertension and dermatological disorders and more;
Help clients eliminate anxiety and discomfort for surgery and other medical procedures
Alleviate side effects of chemo and radiation therapy and accelerate healing
Hypnosis for Dental procedures
Of course we use medical hypnosis or hypnotherapy for weight loss and losing weight naturally, and to stop smoking, however, there are many more possibilities. You can use hypnosis for stress management, pain management, to increase your immune system, overcome insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pre-operative and intraoperative procedures, promote healing, skin conditions, phobias, anxiety and the list goes on and on.
Medical Hypnosis and the AMA
In 1958, the American Medical Association accepted Hypnosis as an adjunct to medical practice. In 1958 hypnosis was recognized by the American Medical Association as a legitimate, safe approach to medical and psychological problems. The American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the British Medical Association (BMA), has recognized hypnosis as a viable therapeutic tool as well. According to the AMA, within the decade virtually every outpatient surgery unit and clinic will be utilizing hypnosis. More than ever before, people are demanding alternatives to traditional medicine.
Alternative therapies are having an incredible impact on people's perception of health. A 1998 survey by Stanford University reported that 69% of all Americans use some form of complementary or alternative medicine. It is estimated they spend almost $28 billion a year on them - more than they spend out of pocket for conventional medicine. An American Medical Association study that same year showed U.S. adults made over 600 million visits to alternative practitioners - exceeding the number of visits made to primary care physicians. The medical community is now taking notice.
Mind over Medicine
Hypnosis as an alternative to sedation is making a comeback in the operating room. Here's how it works!
By SORA SONG
Time magazine article
Sunday, Mar. 19, 2006
Shelley Thomas, 53, was wheeled into an anteroom at London's Middlesex Hospital in preparation for pelvic surgery. A patient going into that operation is usually given a mix of painkilling narcotics and nerve-quelling tranquilizers. But not Thomas. Instead she rested on a gurney, alert and calm, taking deep breaths at her hypnotherapist's instruction. Thomas counted aloud, "One hundred, deep sleep; 99, deeper sleep; 98 ..."
"By the time I got to 95, the words and numbers had all gone," says Thomas. "It's quite peculiar. They all go."
Minutes later, thoroughly hypnotized, Thomas was rolled into the operating room. There she underwent a 30-min. procedure with no anesthetics and no discernible pain. Her hypnotherapist stayed by her side throughout, monitoring her trance state and refocusing her mind when it drifted.
Thomas' story is not as extraordinary as you might think. Since the early 1990s, thousands of patients have opted for hypnosis--either as a substitute for or (more typically) as a complement to anesthesia--in a wide variety of surgical procedures, from repairing hernias to removing tumors. At the University Hospital of Liége in Belgium, a team of doctors led by Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville has logged more than 5,100 surgeries by hypnosedation, a technique Faymonville developed that replaces general anesthesia with hypnosis, local anesthesia and a mild sedative. "Patients tell us that it is a very special experience," says Faymonville. "We now have people coming from all over the world."
Medical Hypnosis is gaining credibility! In July, 2001, Scientific American stated, "Though often denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking, hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses especially in controlling pain." The Wall Street Journal in the October 7th, 2003 issue stated, "Numerous scientifc studies have emerged in recent years showing that the hypnotized mind can exert a real and powerul effect on the body."
"I frequently refer patients to Hypnotherapists because I have seen it produce excellent results in many illnesses..." - Andrew Weil M.D. Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and Director of Integrative Medicine.
Hypnosis was first used as a surgical anesthetic in India in 1845 but was quickly abandoned with the introduction of ether the following year. The practice languished for decades, becoming, at least in the public eye, little more than a parlor trick. In 1958 it was sanctioned by the American Medical Association for use in medicine and dentistry. Since then, doctors have hypnotized patients to help ease such ills as migraines, depression, anxiety and chronic cancer pain.
But it is in Europe that surgical applications of hypnosis have flourished. The new interest stems in part from studies showing that hypnosedated patients suffer fewer side effects than fully sedated ones do. According to Faymonville, hypnotized patients can get by on less than 1% of the standard medications required for general anesthesia, thus avoiding such aftereffects as nausea, fatigue, lack of coordination and cognitive impairment. In a 1999 study of thyroid patients, Faymonville found that the typical hypnosedated patient returned to work 15 days after surgery, compared with 28 days for a fully anesthetized patient.
Meanwhile, studies using advanced scanning technology have shed new light on how hypnosis works to block pain. In a report published two years ago in the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Dr. Sebastian Schulz-Stübner of the University of Iowa reported using heat-producing thermodes to measure the pain thresholds of 12 healthy volunteers ("painful" stimuli earning a rating of 8 or higher on a 10-point scale). When the participants were hypnotized and re-exposed to the thermodes, all 12 reported feeling significantly reduced pain (with ratings of 3 or lower) or no pain at all.
The differences in the subjects' brain scans were equally striking. The typical pain signal follows a well-worn path from the brain stem through the midbrain and into the cortex, where conscious feelings of pain arise. In Schulz-Stübner's study, the hypnotized group showed subcortical brain activity similar to that of nonhypnotized volunteers, but the primary sensory cortex stayed quiet. The "ouch" message wasn't making it past the midbrain and into consciousness.
The new findings have fostered interest in the U.S., where doctors are using hypnosis for procedures in which sedation is inappropriate or for patients who are allergic to anesthetics. Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, hypnotizes Parkinson's sufferers during the implantation of deep-brain electrodes--a process that requires tremulous patients to remain conscious and calm. He has also coaxed children into imagining that a balloon tied to their wrist will fly them to their favorite places, a hypnotic technique that has lessened anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing bladder catheterizations. In Iowa, Schulz-Stübner hypnotizes patients to reduce pain and anxiety while they receive presurgery nerve blocks, such as epidurals. He finds that the calming effects of hypnosis often last through the entire operation.
Yet even the most enthusiastic proponents of hypnosedation don't suggest that it replace anesthesia entirely. For one thing, not everybody can be hypnotized. Some 60% of patients are hypnotizable to some degree, Spiegel says; an additional 15%, highly so. The rest seem to be unresponsive. Moreover, many patients are fully sedated before surgery not because the surgeon requires it but because they choose to be. "People don't want to feel or hear anything. They want to be out," says Schulz-Stübner. "That's what you hear most of the time."
**All testimonials provided are from actual clients, nobody has been paid in exchange for their stories.**
Neck, Shoulder, Back and Hip Pain with Depression
Department of Veterans Affairs
This is to let you know how I feel about my sessions with Ron Abbott. My first session with him was interesting. Nothing really happened as far as my pain levels or moods. At least I found out what to expect in these sessions.
After this, things started to happen. My pain level went down and my mood came up a little. Things went slowly of course and with the help of the CD's that Ron has given me, things continue to improve.
At this point in our sessions, I'm almost (85-90%) pain free! My mood has improved about 40% or so.
I'm actually feeling better about myself and my appearance. Things have changed in so many ways for me. The way I think about myself, the way I look and I want to improve, overall the way I feel in general.
I am now certain that with my continued sessions with Ron, that my life will change even more than it has already. I'm looking forward to my future sessions and the changes they will bring.
This is the best thing I have done for myself.
Testimonial for Hypnotherapy
By Rhonda Colia
I was in Reno for a business seminar. My husband and I drove in the night before so we'd be well rested. However, sleep wasn't my friend that night. The morning started out much like any other ordinary day, with just one exception. After I took my shower, I noticed my head was twitching to the left. I wasn't terribly alarmed, but I noted it was odd. Then when I started to apply my makeup both of my hands were shaking to the point that I had to use one hand to hold the other. I managed to get enough makeup on and continued to realize that my head was still twitching to the left.
I attended the seminar, but at break time about an hour and a half in I went to the ladies room and noticed that now my head was bobbing in a circle to the left. I was now alarmed, yet I returned to the seminar.
By the end of the conference it was 3:30 pm. I went straight to my husband and asked him to take me to the hospital because I thought I was having a stroke. We left immediately for Elko. It was a 4 hour drive.
We got something to eat thinking it might help and it did to a small extent. Then I took some ibuprofen and tried to go to sleep. Things calmed down for about an hour and I thought it was over. But we stopped about an hour outside of Elko and I couldn't move my left leg. I have a family history of strokes and all evidence was pointing to that end.
My husband had to help me walk. After we got back into the car and started driving again I suddenly went into a very violent convulsion-type episode. This lasted all the way to the hospital and then some.
I was admitted and they began running some minor tests for blood and urine, then I waited for several hours still convulsing on the left side. I remember leaning my head against the bed to relieve some of the violent jerking. Both sides of my neck looked like they might burst open at any time. I still waited for hours before I saw a physician.
She ordered some pain meds which finally put me out and gave me some relief. By about 5am I was awakened by a nurse and they did a CT scan and sent me home. I was still shaking quite obviously, but not violently. They ordered a bunch of medicines and bed rest for the next week. They would be scheduling MRI’s and other neurological tests during that time.
I don’t remember too much of the next few weeks other than taking lots and lots of blood tests and enduring several procedures. The rest was a blur due to all of the drugs they had me taking. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was terrified for myself and my family and that I was getting worse everyday. I had already witnessed the demise of four of my five core family members and was thinking this was the beginning of my end.
I was now on Federal Medical Leave Act that lasts for only 90 days. The clock was ticking for us to find a diagnosis. I went from one doctor and specialist to another repeating the same tests over and over again. Because we live in a remote area in the west, we have to drive at least 3 to 4 hours to see any of the specialists. It’s quite inconvenient, tiresome and spendy to make all of the appointments. I was told of the many things I didn’t have, but no one seemed to know what I actually did have.
I could no longer walk, so I had begun crawling to the bathroom because I wouldn’t have as far to fall. Speaking of falling, I did so all the time, bruising my entire body and collecting a couple of new scars too. I blacked out and passed out quite often. My family pretty much did everything for me in order to minimize my movement and falls. (Good thing this happened during the summer when my daughter was out of school and able to care for me all day).
My body continued to shake non-stop. I would experience periods in which I would have less shaking than others, but I still had my regular ‘attacks’ which would last 6 to 8 hours of flopping around on my bed. I looked much like a fish out of water. It was pretty clear the many kinds of meds weren’t helping me. Neither were the specialists. One neurologist did tell me that I have a ‘spot’ on the right side of my brain, but that I shouldn’t worry about it as it could be nothing. It was located in the motor sensor division of my brain. Hmmm. Sure sounded like something I thought was related to my condition, but the experts didn’t think I needed to follow up on it.
Finally, a friend and former client of mine called me and told me that if he continued to hear any more declining stories regarding my health, that he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t offer to help me. So he did. My friend is Ron Abbott. He knew I couldn’t drive so he arranged to pick me up and take me to his office for a hypnotherapy session. He had to escort me into his office as I could hardly walk.
He was very kind and interviewed me quite extensively. He explained that hypnotherapy was just really a state of deep relaxation, focused attention and hyper-suggestibility. I was ready for anything that would help me relax, let alone gain some improved health. The session lasted about two hours or so. When I left I was able to stand alone on both of my two feet for the first time since September 28th! I was no longer trembling or shaking anywhere. I felt so calm and serene inside. It was just so transforming. I was absolutely amazed! I wish I had taken a picture of my family when they came home and saw me. This took place on a Friday afternoon.
I continued to improve over the weekend and then throughout the next week. In fact, I was able to drive to my next appointment with Ron Abbott that next Wednesday afternoon. I've been seeing him regularly ever since and have completely recovered control of my entire body. I still work with Ron Abbott and my other Doctors trying to find an answer to all of this. But I can tell you that because of hypnotherapy I feel like I finally have some control over my physical body and my life. Ron works with all of my Physicians as well. But the greatest change I've received from hypnotherapy is that it's now a daily part of my life. I find myself able to go into a state of self-hypnosis and deep relaxation in times of stress, or just because I want to relax and give myself some "me" time.
I went to Ron Abbott hoping for any kind of help. I left with a new body and mindset and a power I didn't even know I had within me. I truly believe with all my heart that hypnotherapy saved my life. And it gave me more than hope; it has empowered me to help myself and others by telling them my story. I'm eternally grateful to Ron for introducing me to self- hypnosis and hypnotherapy and showing me how to unlock the power within me. I no longer have to just wait for whatever comes next. I am now pro-active with my health, my mind, body and soul.
"Change your mind,
Change your life!"