Thursday, December 2, 2010

Using Hypnosis for Surgery (Speech Perception)

First, for a brief background, hypnosis is a psychological state in which the subject experiences changes in perception, thinking, memory, and behavior in response to suggestions by the hypnotist. There are a few key points that is important when looking at hypnosis. The induction, which is the process of bringing a person into a hypnotic trance. The trance which is when the person is in the altered state of consciousness and the suggestion, which is the communication that is supposed to create an experience or behavior that is different than how the person would normally behave. There are also three different types of hypnosis; stage, self-hypnosis- "autosuggestion", and hypnotherapy, which I will be focusing on. Stage is used to entertainment and "autosuggestion" provides own induction. Hypnotherapy in a lot of cases is used for treatments of acute or chronic pain, anxiety or stress, insomnia, psychosomatic illnesses, or obesity.
When looking at new research for hypnotherapy, they are now finding that it can also be used in surgical cases (hypnotic amnesia). Instead of a patient going under a normal anesthetic during their procedure, people that are trained hypnotist are sitting in the surgical room putting them in a trance like state where they are completely aware, but do not focus on the pain. After the surgery is over, hypnotist say that the patients will not remember anything about the hypnosis, although responses vary from each individual. Highly hypnotizable people remember nothing, while others may have vague memories. It is reversible, the highly hypnotizable people remember some things when the hypnotist use the reversal cues, which suggests that previous recall is due to the temporary inability to retrieve memories. Overall, they are finding that patients are having better recovery experiences and experiencing less pain. This relates to speech perception by when a person focuses on another thing rather than what is going on, it can lessen pain or the person will be completely unaware of the situation going on.

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