Easing the Fear of Surgery through Hypnosis
There seems to be a nearly universal truth about going into surgery: no matter how calm a person appears on the outside or how resigned they are as to what is about to unfold, they are running the “what if” scenario in their mind. What if I have pain? What if it doesn’t work? What if I have complications? What if I don’t wake up? What if (you fill in the blank). The possible list of “what if’s” for some people can be nearly endless.
As I have mentioned in other posts on using hypnosis prior to surgery and breast biopsies, clients can reduce their time in the operating room through the use of hypnosis. The mind/body connection is truly a beautiful thing. By tapping into the resources of the subconscious mind, individuals preparaing for surgery are able to have improved self-control over their medical experience.
After an indepth consultation with a new client, I prepare a program tailored to the individual’s concerns about their healthcare program. The session begins with deep relaxation and training in self-hypnosis. The self-hypnosis techniques are valuable for use when stress becomes a problem and a few moments are needed to regain personal composure.
The program then moves on to instill powerful suggestions into the subconscious regarding positive imagery and techniques for accelerated healing. These range from mental rehearsals on entering the hospital to the way the body cooperates with the surgical team in the operating suite.
A very interesting aspect of the subconscious mind is that it does not discern fact from fantasy. So, when having mental rehearsals of the positive outcome of an experience, the subconscious instills these images as reality. Because they are now the reality of the subconscious mind, the messages sent to the body cause the body to respond to the rehearsed outcome.
As the session progresses, the client’s fears and concerns about the procedure are covered and old, negative thoughts are replaced with targeted posiitive suggestions that serve the client in a more beneficial manner.
When time allows, I like to work with clients for several sessions prior to their surgery. This also gives me time to prepare a custom CD they can listen to for added relaxation and stress reduction while waiting in the surgery staging area. Many surgeons today are also open to clients listening over headphones to custom DC’s during surgery.
Clients often ask that I visit them just after they are moved to their own room after the procedure. While there, we do additional work around the details of the surgery and their ongoing healing.