Information About Hypnosis


Linda Thomson

Hypnosis is an incredibly powerful and underutilized resource for health and healing. While hypnosis may not completely cure the disease, it can have a profound impact on the illness. Thus it is ideal for nurses to use in all the many endeavors wherever they may work.

It is nurses who truly put the care in health care. Nurses often spend more time in direct patient care than any other health professional. Therefore, it is important that nurses speak the language of healing, the language of hypnosis.

Nurses use hypnosis in many areas. First there is the Emergency Room – a nurse is often the first person the patient comes in contact with. A patient who is anxious or in pain may misinterpret responses and may, through anticipation, generate a negative outcome. Careful use of language and use of non-verbal communication that give support and positive expectancy can both soothe the patient and promote health and healing.

Nurses who work with hospitalized patients can give them a safe, gentle and effective way to reduce the stress and anxiety of being hospitalized in unfamiliar surroundings and subjected to frightening, unpleasant and sometimes painful procedures.

In surgery, nurses can help reduce medication use, pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, nausea, fatigue, discomfort and emotional upset which vastly improves surgical outcome. Nurse anesthetists may even be able to reduce the amount of anesthesia necessary when hypnosis is used as an adjunct to anesthesia.

In gynecology and obstetrics, the nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy can be reduced as can the risk of premature delivery or cesarean section.

Hypnosis may be used to help cancer patients cope with unpleasant procedures and to help them better manage the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It can also help them see into the future - healed, well and cancer free or help with death by preparing for a peaceful passing.

Hypnosis can also help with patients who suffer from irritable bowel, migraines or tension headaches. Nurses in cardiology or pulmonology can use hypnosis to work with patients who want to reduce weight or stop smoking.

Children love imagining, pretending and using their imaginations and generally are very hypnotically talented. Nurses can utilize hypnosis to help a child through a painful procedure, treat fears and anxieties and help with habit disorders. With hypnosis the nurse can offer the child skills instead of pills.

Every day in every patient encounter nurses in primary care have the opportunity to incorporate the hypnotic language of positive expectancy, hope and possibilities into their work with patients.

Clearly regardless of the practice site or specialty area, all nurses can help their patients help themselves with hypnosis.

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