Have you ever encountered a Doctor with a great bedside manner and felt very at ease? Or perhaps you have felt that during a hospital procedure you were made to feel more scared during a time when you would be in a heightened state of anxiety anyway?
As a hypnotherapist I work with people who are worried about health issues and may even have a fear of needles or an operation that they really need. I even work with dental patients who know that if they do not overcome the problem then their teeth could suffer, or even fall out. I know how much the words that I say help people and of course this means that I am very aware of the language and what can often be called converstainal hypnosis.
Study shows that words can help patients before surgery even more than pills.
In fact conversational hypnosis may do a better job than pills for relaxing patients before surgery according to a brand new study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2015 annual meeting. Anxious patients heading into surgery often receive medication to ease their fears, you may have been in this situation yourself, but in fact a few calming words from the health professionals might actually be an even more effective medicine.
Emmanuel Boselli, is the lead author of the study and a physician anesthesiologist at édouard Herriot Hospital, Lyons, France. He said...
"The anesthesiologist uses calm, positive words to divert the patient's attention and help him or her feel more comfortable. It reflects a change in the way the physician interacts with the patient and takes just a few minutes."
It's in the way that you say it.
The way that you phrase the information that you present makes all the difference. For instance talking quietly and with a positive aspect to the patient and saying things like "Keep calm and quiet" instead of "Please don't move". Alongside this they showed that focusing the patient's attention on something other than the preparations for surgery and anesthesia procedure has a great effect.
This was compared to the use of a standard medication called hydroxyzine, which is taken orally to relax patients before their procedure.
Asked to rate the effects on a scale ranging from 0 (no comfort) to 10 (maximal comfort) the results may well surprise you.
Words vs Pills
The average comfort scale of those who had received hypnosis was 6.7 before and 9.3 after, while patients who had medication averaged 7.8 before and 8.3 after. So clearly the calming words and distraction worked better than the drugs and medication.
It’s interesting to note how just the way that you are spoken to makes a real difference, and if even more effective that drugs.
It’s something that we see in dentistry. When the dentist says to you before an injection “This is just a little scratch” then that’s what you feel. If your dentist says “I hope this doesn’t hurt too much” then you would feel more pain...and perhaps it would be time to think about changing dentists too!
If you feel anxious about a medical procedure then you really can get help and learn to be more relaxed right the way through it.