Hypnosis can change the way we feel and perceive pain and is even used today in surgery which is known as "Hypnosurgery" or “hypnoanaesthetic”.
Here’s an interesting piece of the history for you:
In 1808-1859 a Scottish doctor named Dr. James Esdaile, was experimenting with hypnosis in his operations in his practice in India. At a time where there were no truly effective anaesthetics available, he claimed to have carried out several thousand minor operations as well as 300 major operations of which 19 were amputations using hypnosis for anaesthetic!
These reports of course lead to much controversy, and upon returning to the UK from India he was unable to replicate his reported results. These claims will likely never be proven and are pretty outrageous (you don’t need to tell me!), but it’s still an interesting piece of the history of hypnosis.
We now have a much better understanding of how hypnosis actually alters the state of the brain (look up EEG reports of the brain under hypnosis) and we can also understand the relevance of the mental state to the pain networks of the brain and the central nervous system.
There are multiple benefits to using hypnosis in surgery as more modern reports have shown. With the patients in a state of trance, surgeons are able to communicate with them throughout the procedure, even asking them to move around at times. It has also been reported that patients do not bleed as heavily during surgery when using hypnosis and local anaesthetics as opposed to being sedated.
If you are interested in reaching your own conclusions on this information, there are several doctors in today’s times who are experimenting with hypnosis in surgery you can look up such as Dr Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville; Dr David Spiegel; Dr Rumi Peynovska to name a few. And please feel free to share with me any of your findings!
I do not offer “hypno-amputations” (sorry!)
But I do help my clients deal with issues of pain and chronic pain. If you want to learn more about how Hypnosis can help you with pain management please visit the Pain and
Chronic Pain page!