Positive Statements in O.R., like Hypnosis, Can Speed Recovery For Surgery Patients
Can comments made during surgery by your doctors, nurses and other staff affect the outcome of your operation? Can you hear their conversations even while you’re anesthetized? The answer to both questions is an emphatic “yes”, according to Dr. Henry Bennett, Ph.D.
Dr. Bennett, a psychologist, has conducted several experiments on anesthetized patients. His findings convinced him that the operating room environment itself can help or hurt the patient, depending on what is said there.
According to Dr. Bennett’s findings, an anesthetized patient is not “asleep.” The patient is aware of much more that even the operating room staff believes. The anesthetized state may be more like a deep state of hypnosis that it is like the “out” state we normally think of with total non-consciousness. Because of this, comments made about the patient during the surgery can have a profound effect on the outcome of the surgery.
You should always deliver positive affirmations
The last thing that a patient should hear, even in a stupor, is “This looks bad,” or “He’s not going to make it.” Instead, Dr. Bennett suggests that operating room staff always speak positively about the surgery to the patient, “as if the patient were awake.” In addition, Dr. Bennett suggests using the anesthetized state purposefully, as a vehicle to deliver even more positive suggestions, similarly as can be done in the hypnotized state. Such suggestions could be as simple as “You are doing very well;” or they could be more elaborate and specific to the surgery, such as “When the doctor introduces the new organ, it will be easily accepted by your body and will function perfectly.”
Positive suggestions had proven effect on the patient
In two different studies where such positive suggestions were made to patients during surgery, there was a documented positive effect. In one case, a woman was instructed to have her body move the blood away from her back during her spinal surgery. She experienced a blood loss that was 50 per cent less than normal for this operation. In a different study a researcher gave the suggestion to hysterectomy patients that they would feel like getting up out of bed and walking around shortly after surgery. The patients receiving the suggestions ambulated sooner and had fewer complications that the test group who did not receive the suggestions.
This reason enough to ask your doctor and his staff to monitor their “O.P. chatter.” But what if you want to go even further? You may not be able to convince your doctor to rattle off a list of positive statements during your operation. (His mind might be, you hope, focused on the more immediate task of performing the surgery itself.)
How to find reinforcement for the positive statements after surgery
Nonetheless, you can still obtain the positive effects of positive statements made during surgery. Start by finding a qualified hypnotherapist. Ask the hypnotherapist to create an audiotape containing positive statements about your surgery (the hypnotherapist may have one or more such tapes ready-made, or they might make one up specifically for you). Check with your doctor before showing up in O.R. with your tape; but since more and more patients are listening to tapes during surgery, the doctor should not be surprises at your request.
Preemtive help with hypnotherapy is the best medicine
An even better idea would be to visit the hypnotherapist one or more times prior to the surgery to pre-program the mental suggestions for positive results even more strongly. Armed with knowledge and a positive attitude, you will be ready for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.