Hypnosis for Pain Management

Demystifying Hypnosis

Q: How do I know if hypnosis would work for me?

A: Most people are hypnotizable. In fact, people often enter similar "trance-like" states without even knowing it.

Interestingly, studies show that patients who are the most anxious also respond the best to hypnosis. As being very anxious requires a vivid mind, all the better for bringing to life a good scenario.

Q: How can I get my doctor to offer hypnosis?

A: Hypnotherapy is gaining more acceptance as a valid medical treatment. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, for example, has a membership of more than 4,000 physicians, psychologists, and dentists.

Cost savings may also be an incentive for more doctors to incorporate hypnosis into their practice, as studies show that the use of hypnosis during surgery actually reduces the cost of surgery - despite the need for a psychologist or training of the nursing staff.

Q: Would hypnotherapy affect my recovery post-surgery? What are the side effects?

A: Studies suggest a speedier recovery when hypnosis is used during surgery. It eliminates the risk of oversedation that can get the healing process off to a sluggish start. There are no risks or side effects.

Q: For what other diseases and conditions is hypnotherapy effective?

A: Hypnotherapy is used for a wide range of conditions in addition to pain control in surgery. It's used to treat mental disorders, addictions, and weight problems. It's successfully alleviated many symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, and irritable bowel syndrome.

It's even been known to help control allergies, nausea, and vomiting, reduce bleeding during surgery, steady the heartbeat, and bring down blood pressure.

If you'd like to contact Dr. Lang to inquire about hypnosis with interventional procedures at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:

E-mail: elang@caregroup.harvard.edu

Call: (617) 754-2847

Write: Elvira V. Lang, M.D., Director

Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Department of Radiology, West Campus 308 CC

330 Brookline Ave.

Boston, MA 02215

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