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Use Hypnotherapy to Treat Postoperative Pain and Anxiety

Friday, June 12, 2009 by: Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.
Tags: hypnotherapy, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46 million inpatient surgeries were performed in 2006. This statistic does not include outpatient surgeries where people are released within 24 hours after surgery. Preoperative surgery often causes anxiety because people have a fear of the unknown. People tend to fear the worst before surgery and this can cause stress and can actually have a negative effect on postoperative recovery. Hypnotherapy has been found to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain in patients recovering from surgery.

There have been numerous studies showing that adults who have a great deal of preoperative anxiety, have a harder time recovering from surgery post-operative. In 2006, a study looked at children to see if the same was true. The study involved 241 children ages 5-12 who were scheduled for outpatient surgeries. Before the surgery, all children were evaluated based on anxiety. All children remained in the hospital for 24 hours and their pain was assessed every 3 hours. They were evaluated for 14 more days and pain medication was standardized for all children.

The results of the study showed that the children who were more anxious reported significantly more pain in the 3 days of recovering from the surgery. The more anxious children consumed more pain medication and had more anxiety and sleep problems post-operative. This study shows that preoperative anxiety is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in both adults and children to help them in the surgery recovery process. Increased anxiety before surgery leads to more anxiety, pain, and slower recovery time post-operative.

Another study looked at the effects of hypnosis and stress reducing techniques in reducing pain and anxiety in surgical patients. The study consisted of 60 patients undergoing elective plastic surgery. They were randomly selected: a control group received stress reducing techniques and a group received hypnosis to reduce anxiety. Patients' pain and anxiety were measured before, during, and after the surgery.

Results showed that the hypnosis group reported significantly lower levels of pain and anxiety before and after the surgery. The hypnosis group also required less pain medication following the surgery and their vital statistics were more consistent during the surgery. The patients also reported greater satisfaction with their surgical experience.

This study shows that hypnosis is a highly effective form of reducing pain and anxiety for people undergoing surgery. This also leads to improved recovery after the surgery due to less anxiety and pain associated with the procedure.


Faymonville, M.E., Mambourgh, P.H., Joris, J., Vrijens, B., Fissette, J., Albert, A., & Lamy, M. (1997). Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus conscious stress reducing strategies: A prospective randomized study. Pain,73(3), 361-367.

"inpatient surgery." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on June 8, 2009 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/insurg.htm

Kain, Z.N., Mayes, L.C., Caldwell-Andrews, A.A., Karas, D.E., & McClain, B.C. (2006). Preoperative anxiety, postoperative pain, and behavioral recovery in young children undergoing surgery. Pediatrics, 118(2), 651-658.

About the author

Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:
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