Hypnosis ‘eases cancer op pain’


This is infuriating, for reasons I shall explain shortly.

200 women due to receive operations for breast cancer at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine were either given 15 minutes of hypnosis or a conversation with a psychologist before the surgery. The conclusion was that those getting hypnosis required less anaesthetic, and said they had ‘less pain, nausea, fatigue and emotional distress’ after the operation.

Of course, it’s arguable that a conversation with a psychologist just before an operation is precisely what you don’t need to reduce pain, nausea, fatigue and emotional distress, and so may have skewed the results, but let’s let that one go. The usual stuff about further study being required and ‘UK experts said more research was needed’ was of course trotted out.

So why is this infuriating? Well, you may have heard of the (world-famous) Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, (though there are now branches in Arizona and Florida as well). The Mayo Clinic became famous for a reason, namely that whereas in most hospitals and clinics 1 in 400 people died from the anaesthetic they were given, patients were sure that wouldn’t happen while they were in the hands of the Mayo brothers. They performed 17,000 operations without a single death from anaesthetic. That was because the Mayo brothers had learned to use hypnosis from a doctor called Henry Munro, who had performed numerous operations using hypnosis to reduce the amount of anaesthetic required.

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The above with respect and thanks to Hypnotherapist Jack Raymond. 

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