Entries in hypnosis (3)


Hypnosis Minimizing Need for Anesthesia and Painkillers

Hemera Technologies/Photos[dot]com(NEW YORK) -- The effects of hypnosis on reducing preoperative anxiety are well-documented. But increasingly, studies also support a role for hypnosis in reducing pain during and after surgery.

The technique, which starts with relaxation, can change a willing participant's mindset though softly spoken suggestions such as "You're doing this for your health," and "You're going to be fine."
The latest research, presented at the European Anesthesiology Congress in June, found that patients who were hypnotized before breast cancer surgery done under local anesthetic fared better than patients who were put under general anesthetic without hypnosis. Those who underwent hypnosis with a local anesthetic experienced a faster recovery, a shorter hospital stay, and had need for fewer painkillers.

Similarly, a 2007 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that patients who were hypnotized briefly before breast cancer surgery needed less anesthetic and had less pain, nausea, and fatigue after the procedure. The benefits even extended to the health care system, with a cost savings of $772.71 per patient, mainly due to reduced surgical time.

Dr. Michael Schmitz, director of pediatric pain medicine at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Ark., described the state of anesthesia as consisting of four basic conditions: amnesia or loss of memory, analgesia or pain relief, sedation, and relaxation.

"Hypnosis is used to assist with the other parts of anesthesia not covered by the local anesthetic," said Schmitz, explaining that it can help patients enter a calm, relaxed state, during which discomfort is tolerable and quickly forgotten.

Not everyone is hypnotizable, however. Dr. Elliot Krane, director of pediatric pain management at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital adds that children are harder to hypnotize, and some faiths preclude followers from entering the trance-like state required for hypnotic suggestion. Even if the patient is a good candidate, the hospital may not be.

Hypnosis takes time, skill with hypnosis, and patience, as well as a quiet location," said Krane, "and these three elements are not commonly found in a busy operating room in most hospitals."
But Guy Montgemery, director of Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program and the author of the 2007 study hopes more research by him and others will encourage more hospitals to offer the service.

Even anesthesiologists like Krane and Schmidt said they'd give it a try.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Three Hypnotized Teens Die, Principal Investigated

George Kenney, North Port High principal, is under investigation after a student on whom he performed hypnosis killed himself. (, Fla.) -- A Florida high school principal lied about having hypnotized a student who committed suicide and another who died in a car crash, a school district investigation has revealed.

George Kenney, 51, former principal of North Port High School in Sarasota, admitted to hypnotizing as many as 75 people -- students, parents and staff -- at the school and to defying orders to only use hypnosis in psychology class and with parental permission.

His use of the practice, widely known at the school, came under scrutiny after Kenney acknowledged he had hypnotized Wesley McKinley, 16, the day before the teenager killed himself in April.

But he had denied using the technique on Brittany Palumbo, 16, who killed herself May 4, or Marcus Freeman, 16, a star quarterback on the high school team, who died in a car crash March 15.

"Dr. Kenney admitted that he lied…and he admitted that he did have sessions with both of the other deceased students," according to the report by Steele Investigations Agency, released this week.

In his interview with the investigators, Kenney, a popular principal at the school since 2001, said he felt terrible about "putting his school and his students through something that they didn't need or deserve to have to endure on top of all the tragedy they already have experienced" and started to cry, the report says.

Kenney is on leave and is assigned to an administrative job while a police investigation proceeds. Scott Ferguson, a spokesman for Sarasota schools, said the district would not be commenting on the internal investigation while the police probe is ongoing.

Mark Zimmerman, who is Kenney's lawyer, said no one has alleged that there is a link between the hypnosis of the three students and their deaths. "Dr. Kenney had no indications that these were students who would take their own lives," he said in reference to Wesley McKinley and Brittany Palumbo.

He had used hypnosis to help the two students with test anxiety, Zimmerman said, and had an individual session with Brittany, with a parent present. "It is a coincidence that of the many students he was working with, two had other things going on in their lives."

Kenney helped Freeman with stress and anxiety about sports performance, Zimmerman said.

Kenney, who learned hypnosis at the Omni Hypnosis Training Center in DeLand, Fla., had made podcasts on reducing test anxiety and improving sports performance through hypnosis. He told investigators that his passion for helping students overcame his good judgment.

"He was only trying to help students be more successful and overcome some of the barriers," the report states. In his view, "he may have pushed the envelope, 'but I don't think I've stepped over the line.'"

Kenney faces possible criminal charges under a rarely used Florida law that bars "therapeutic hypnosis" unless it is monitored by a medical professional.

But attorney Zimmerman said the law was "vague" and added, "Hypnosis isn't illegal. What it is is controversial."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hypnosis to Replace Anesthesia During Surgery?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- Partial mastectomy, biopsy and removal of lymph nodes, removal of the thyroid -- would you be willing to undergo these surgical procedures without general anesthesia? One Belgium hospital reportedly performs a third of their thyroid surgeries and a quarter of all breast cancer surgeries with only local anesthetic and hypnosis.

A study conducted by the Saint-Luc University Hospital has found that women who underwent the removal of their thyroids using only local anesthesia and hypnosis had lower use of opioids pain killers, shorter hospital stay, and greater satisfaction compared to women who opted for general anesthesia.

The findings were presented at a European Anaesthesiology Congress meeting, and researchers say the approach may be broadened to other surgeries including hernias, gynecological surgeries, plastic surgery procedures, and even some heart surgeries, thereby also providing benefits for healthcare systems by reducing costs involved in longer hospital stays.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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