Quite brief hypnosis (30 – 60 minutes) by the anaesthetist before an operation can notably improve recovery afterwards. Disbrow, Bennet and Owings made suggestions of early return to normal bowel movements and reduced hospital stay so much that an average saving of $1200 per patient was made.
Hypnosis for Anaesthesia
While not everyone can, or would ever need to, achieve complete anaesthesia through hypnosis, for those who are so able, the results are spectacular. In the 1840s, just before the discovery of ether as a chemical anaesthetic, the British surgeon James Esdaile was working in India.
At a time when surgery was still a terrifying torture, he carried out many dozens of major operations using no other pain relief than hypnosis.
Not only were his patients pain-free, there was an unexpected bonus. At a time when perhaps 50% of patients would die from post-operative infection, 95% of Esdaile’s patients lived. And these were major operations! – gruesome, too, you wouldn’t thank me to give the details.
Hypnosis for control of bleeding
In a controlled study of tooth extraction, Chaves, Whilden and Roller found 65% reduction in bleeding with hypnosis.