Hypnosis in acute care setting

Hypnosis is a great personal tool of empowerment. It is the gateway to the ever powerful subconscious mind which is the control center for all bodily function and can be used to maximize the physical and emotional response to a speedy recovery.

With extensive experience in acute care facilities as a Registered Nurse and through many years in private practice as a Clinical Hypnotherapist I can clearly see the many positive applications of hypnosis in the hospital setting:

Intensive Care: Clients can block out distractions and increase their level of comfort which improves their ability to get quality rest and speed up recovery time. Hypnosis reduces stress; safely balances blood pressure and heart rate which helps minimize complications. It can also be used to reduce secretions, bleeding, optimize immune response and also make procedures more tolerable.

Oncology: Hypnosis lessens anxiety, pain, nausea, vomiting and reduces respiratory distress. It increases confidence and self-image and also eases the acceptance of physical restrictions and managing end of life transition. A study of women with metastatic breast cancer showed that those receiving hypnosis over a one year period were able to reduce their pain experience by 50% and in a 10 year follow-up the treatment group had a survival rate of 36.6 months compared to 18.9 months for those who did not receive hypnosis. (Speigel and Bloom 1983)

Pediatrics: What better gift to give a frightened child than control during a time of crisis. Children have active imaginations and respond very quickly and positively to hypnosis. It melts away fear; increases relaxation and focus making it easier for them to understand instructions, procedures and treatments.

Mental Health: Hypnosis relieves symptoms of sadness, fear, phobias and addictions. It puts the client in control. They get to play an active role in their own recovery, which adds to an increased sense of involvement and ability to establish positive change. Everyone feels better about themselves after hypnosis.

Surgical: Pre-surgical hypnosis reduces anxiety, pain, stress and bleeding. It promotes rapid healing and improved immune response. These clients can better manage post-op pain and nausea, use less medication and avoid the side effects that go with it. Those who are positive and relaxed going into anesthesia are positive and relaxed coming out of it. (more)

By: Paul Gustafson RN CH