I came across this fascinating article which tells of a professional singer, Alama Kante from Senegal, who underwent surgery to remove a tumour from her throat. What makes this story noteworthy is the fact that the delicate procedure was carried out under hypnosis and during the operation she sang two songs so that the surgeons could make sure that they were not interfering with her vocal cords.
Read all about this amazing story by following this LINK.
Makes one wonder about the incredible power of the human mind. How in hypnosis the mind can block out the pain of a surgical procedure allowing the patient to remain calm, comfortable and aware throughout. Many people now consult a hypnotherapist to deal with a wide range of issues from stopping smoking, weight loss to removing phobias, what is not so widely understood is that hypnosis can be very effective in the management of pain. Where medicines have not been effective or where a person has a medical condition which precludes the use of pain killers, hypnosis can provide astonishing relief.
Interestingly modern medicine is rediscovering the use of hypnosis. Alama Kante’s story is a dramatic example of what was once quite commonplace. If you go back to before the 1840’s, there was no anaesthesia as we know it today. If you were unfortunate enough to require an operation then you had to bite hard on a leather strap and endure the most horrific pain. If you were lucky, extremely lucky you might have come across a surgeon who was skilled in the use of hypnotic anaesthesia. Before the discovery of nitrous oxide in 1846, it was the only option for a pain free procedure.
James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon who worked in India between 1845 and 1851 was a pioneer in the use of medical hypnosis. It has been documented that he performed over 300 major and countless minor operations using only hypnotic anaesthesia. In his book “Mesmerism In India, and its Practical Application in Surgery and Medicine”, Esdaile gives a summary of the painless surgical operations he performed during his stay there. These include amputations, dental surgery and the removal of tumours. In addition, he used hypnosis to cure nervous and medical complaints, including headaches, tics, convulsions and sciatica.
A more contemporary example was provided by an Irish Surgeon, Dr Jack Gibson who worked in South Africa in the mid 1950’s. During his time there he documented numerous successful medical procedures using only hypnosis as anesthesia. I recall watching a hypnotherapy training film which showed Dr Gibson treating a teenage girl with a skin condition which required the top layers of facial skin to be removed. In hypnosis the girl is quite comfortable and content as her skin is vigorously removed with an abrasive sheet.
Certainly these are dramatic examples of the use of hypnosis and in time it is quite possible its use in routine surgical procedures could become a cheaper, alternative to chemical anesthesia.
Hypnosis could be used in a whole host of circumstances by properly trained doctors, nurses and care staff. Its efficacy in treating stress, anxiety, low mood, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), to name but a few could save significant amounts money for cash strapped health services, which could be reallocated to other areas.
So enjoy reading about Alama and the wonderful way that hypnosis helped her.
Keep in touch.
Best wishes from Sean