Can Self Hypnosis Help With Illness?

For those sick with a life threatening illness, it’s probably safe to say that you have a healthy amount of fear. Facing what could be the most challenging fight of your life, those with cancer and the like, normally experience set backs before success. That coupled with pending surgeries can leave most feeling overwhelmed to say the least.

Lesley Alderman, in this Blue Ridge Now post, explores a growing trend when it comes to treating patients with life threatening illnesses: self hypnosis. According to Alderman (who interviews a repeat brain tumor patient), using self hypnosis can cut down not only on the amount of medication required before and after surgery, but it can also lead to a speedier recover. It can also cut down on medical costs.

“It is an effective and inexpensive way to manage medical care,” said Dr. David Spiegel, director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University School of Medicine and a leading authority on hypnosis.

A study by radiologists at Harvard Medical School, published in 2000, found that patients who received hypnosis during surgery required less medication, had fewer complications and shorter procedures than patients who did not have hypnosis. In a follow-up study in 2002, the radiologists concluded that if every patient undergoing catheterization were to receive hypnosis, the cost savings would amount to $338 per patient.

“When patients are groggy from anesthesia drugs, it costs more to recover them,” said Dr. Elvira Lang, an associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and a lead author of both studies. “Hypnosis calms patients.”

Read more from Alderman on using self hypnosis to help with life threatening illnesses here.

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