Mind Body Hypnosis
Bleeding control is a subject of great interest to me because of my two young boys. No, not controlling their bleeding; controlling mine. You see, just over two weeks ago I discovered that my youngest son is actually a velociraptor. It’s true! He definitely has long talons. You can still see the almost 2-inch long scar on my face from where, in a fit of playful lovingness, he tried to eat my face.
And my oldest boy is definitely something not yet identified by scientists, although I bet Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) would definitely know what kind of dinosaur creature would try to scoop your eye out in order to eat your brains. Again, this ferocious, flesh eating dinosaur behavior was disguised as a game of “chase” in which two cute, loving children suddenly turned into menacing monsters that made a grown man run, screaming like a girl, into the arms of his wife.
It was a fascinating night at the urgent care unit when I tried to explain to the doctors that I was attacked by a dinosaur. Their caring response was, “ Hastings, have you been drinkingTo which I replied, “ Take me drunk, home again.” Just kidding. But I am sure that, with enough bubble wrap tied around my body, I will be safe from any more attacks. Of course, there’s the sneak surprise attack that happens when I am downstairs at my office computer at six in the morning. That’s when my oldest boy silently sneaks right up behind me and squeezes his whoopee cushion right into my ear.
When he does this, I shoot straight out of my chair with my knee forcibly connecting with the table, which causes me to turn whiter than white before falling over like a tree, while my son cries out, “Tiiimmmmberrrrr! Ha ha. Got you again Daddy!” Following is some surprising information about the power of hypnosis. Now if we can just find a way to hypnotize children to behave like goldfish ...
In 1982, there was a BBC television documentary called “Hypnosis: Can Your Mind Control Your Body?” The show featured a case where Dr. Kay Thompson* hypnotized a hemophiliac to control his bleeding. He had several teeth removed while in hypnosis without the excessive, unstoppable bleeding that one would expect a hemophiliac to normally have. (*See The Art Therapeutic Communication: The Collected Works of Kay Thompson) Then there was Wallace LaBaw, who was a researcher at the University of Colorado Medical Center. In his article, “Regular Use of Suggestibility by Pediatric Bleeders,” (Haematolgia, pp. 419-25) he stated: “The usefulness of suggestive therapy with bleeders has long been recognized.”
Incidentally, LaBaw conducted a 4-year study which documented a significant reduction in the number of units of blood products needed by 10 adult and child patients. The key point here is that they regularly practiced self-hypnosis.
Before moving on to other documented cases of hypnosis helping those with bleeding issues, it should be noted that the power of a person’s mind can be positively harnessed to reduce pain and relieve anxiety, which can make controlling bleeding much easier.
In 1972, Dr. Sheldon M. Bemick wrote an article titled “Relaxation, suggestion, and hypnosis in dentistry: What the pediatrician should know about children’s dentistry.” ( Clinical , Vol. 11, No. 2, 72-75.) In this absolutely ground breaking report, Dr. Bemick discusses 11 different uses of hypnosis for children’s dentistry. What 11 uses of hypnosis did a doctor recommend 36 years ago for pediatric dentistry?
1. Increasing a person’s pain threshold
2. Lowering someone’s resistance to local anesthesia
3. Helping a person quickly get used to orthodontic gear
4. Reducing or eliminating the gag reflex
5. Anxiety reduction
6. Eliminating thumb sucking and related problems
7. Motivation for better hygiene for children and parents
8. Relaxing facial muscles
9. Control of saliva and capillary bleeding
10. Helping a patient remain comfortable and calm during long procedures
11. Premedication for general anesthesia.
You would think that after 36 years a drug free practice of really helping dental patients would be more widespread, wouldn’t you? It’s kind of like waiting well over 30 years before deciding to make cars more gas efficient...
Let’s look at some more evidence about how the power of the mind can help. In 1975, a very interesting article was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Vol. 240). The article title might surprise you: “The use of hypnosis in hemophilia dental care.”
How many people even stop to think of how difficult it must be to perform dental services on a person who bleeds excessively? And how many people would even think to use hypnosis for a hemophiliac?
In the article, two especially important points are brought up: The influence of emotional stress on the onset and control of bleeding episodes is a well-known fact.
Dental procedures, especially surgical, are a common cause of extreme anxiety and, if severe enough, an anxiety reaction can trigger and/or complicate an existing bleeding episode in a hemophiliac.
The article goes on to state: “Hypnosis, when applicable, has been found to be an excellent adjunct for the control of anxiety.”
You see, according to article author Oscar Lewis, D.D.S., a patient’s hemorrhagic tendency during and after surgery is greatly reduced when they are feeling relaxed and tranquil.
Dr. Lewis also points out in his article that hypnotic suggestions can control fear, salivary secretions, pain and capillary bleeding during and after surgery. (Unless you’re the father of two dinosaurs ...)
“It is what we think we know already
that often prevents us from
- Claude Bernard