Hypnotic Suggestions for Surgery

My understandings are strongly influenced by my experience of many of these suggestions for my various surgeries, and by ASCH Workshops with Joe Barber,PhD, Belinda Novik, MD, PhD, and with Bertha Roger, MD, an anesthesiologist who studied extensively with Dr Erickson.

A good, personalized trance induction is assumed, and the evidence supports the patient’s unconscious mind noticing and accepting intra-op & immediately post-op suggestions, because being anesthetized is an altered state of consciousness.   These suggestions and their sequence must be individualized for the particular client, using other pronouns and sub-sets of suggestions,  and interspersing  relevant personal images.  The experienced healer will also notice important concepts and words are analogically emphasized and repeated throughout therapeutic communication.

Pre- Operative Suggestions:

1. From the moment  your medication is given until you are back in your room , you pay attention only to the voice that speaks directly to you. All other sounds seem pleasantly far away,.. a lulling, soothing sound… Like background music, or the sound of waves gently lapping on the shore… That drowsy, dreamy, sleepy feeling increases with each sound… making you more and more comfortable.

2. Your medication can be the signal to start a pleasant daydream going, of some pleasant activity, or a special place where you feel very safe, very secure and content.

3. The whole operative area remains soft, loose, and very comfortable … throughout the operation and after, until completely healed.

4. You awaken in the recovery room, as if from a restful, peaceful sleep,  refreshed and pleasantly surprised to find your operation completed, your condition relieved and healing already well underway.

5. The sensations you feel are those of healing… a little pulling that tells you the area is well put together again… slight cramping or a little heaviness or tingling reminds you that healing is already begun, and acts as a signal to let the area become soft, loose comfortable again and to keep it that way.

6. You can recover quickly, completely, comfortably.

7. You can be pleased to find how easily you can pass water, move bowels, enjoy meals, breath deeply. You can cough gently to clear your throat as needed, and go on breathing gently, easily, deeply, comfortably.

8. You have time now, to rest, to think of pleasant things – like how nice it be to feel like yourself  again, to enjoy all the TLC of the doctors, nurses and others working with you to help you get better fast.

9. You will be quite calm, comfortable and cooperative throughout, following the easy instructions given to help you.

10. You can be pleasantly surprised to find it all much easier and more pleasant than you anticipated, and be very thankful.

Intra-Operative:  As above

Intubation: We’re going to slip in a soft airway, so you can breath easily…  Take a deep breath…

3.  [for added relaxation] Make the area soft, limp and comfortable.

4.  Closing the Incision:

a.  The operation is completed,.. your condition relieved.

b.  You can look forward to getting better rapidly.

c.  The body is made to heal,.. it can do so quickly, comfortably, completely.

d. All body functions return relatively rapidly as the anesthesia wears off.

e.  You awaken smoothly,.. enjoy a rest period,.. responding only to the voice speaking directly to you.

f. You breathe easily, deeply,.. clear your throat, and go on breathing easily, rhythmically, naturally.

g. You can be glad that little, soft tube is in place in the – – –, doing the work for you, so function is rapidly restored.

Cancers:

a.  The tumor has been removed, now the immune system goes to work to complete your healing ..It can take care of any remaining cells,.. just as it knows how to take care of infection.

b.  You can look forward to feeling much better, to getting better,.. to enjoying life fully.

c. Nothing need disturb you.. nothing need bother you.. there’s nothing to bother you, and nothing to disturb you…And when I say nothing [pause], that can be a signal for you to go even deeper,  into a comfortable, healing daydream.

d.  You can live all the rest of your life, making the best of everything.

Post-Operative:

1.  You are now in the Recovery Room, your operation is completed and healing already well underway,..your condition taken care of,.. so you can get better now.

2.  Pay attention only to the voice speaking directly to you, ..all other sounds are unimportant, and may seem very far away, soothing and lulling,.. like distant TV, or the sound of the waves at the beach,..or the breeze in the trees.

3.  You can recover quickly, completely, comfortably.

4. Your body functions return rapidly as the anesthetic wears off.   You can look forward to enjoying that good food, and finding it so satisfying to drink lots of fluids.

5. The sensations you feel will be those of the healing process… setting everything to rights, ..so you need not mind them.   They remind you to keep the area soft, limp and  comfortable.

6. You can breathe deeply and slowly, down into your belly.. you can clear your throat just by swallowing comfortable.   This is a signal to your digestive system, “One way – go on down”,..   Thus you become more and more comfortable.

7. Your body knows how to bring enough blood to the area to carry the raw materials for healing…not enough to spill over,.. nor to interfere with carrying away waste products.

8. Notice with pleasure how soon your body functions all return to normal,..how easily and fully  you regain control of bladder and bowels.. how much more comfortably you function than you or others might have anticipated.

Special Needs:

1.  There may be a soft tube in your bladder(nose,mouth, etc.) to keep it drained,.. so it can function easily, as soon as the tube is removed.   It conforms to your body contours, so you’re aware only of a slight fullness.

2. You can keep your arm [w/ the IV] still and comfortable,.. so the fluid you’re getting can speed healing.

3.  Whenever dressings need to be changed,.. you can keep the area soft and limp, like a raggedy Ann/Andy doll, so it will remain comfortable.  You’ll have time then for a pleasant daydream that makes it seem like a very,. short time.

4.  It can be very pleasant to realize,..you don’t need to respond to any sounds, or words, or experiences, except when directed to you.

3 Responses to Hypnotic Suggestions for Surgery

  1. Sally says:

    Hi Dr. Dick! I am about to print out your “Hypnotic Suggestions for Surgery” page. I will be having an in-office procedure with sedation next week. I was happy to find this page…I’m going to be spending time with these suggestions over the next several days, and am grateful to have them as a resource in staying calm and comfortable!

    Thank you for your website and your good work!

    • Dr. Bob says:

      Hi Sally, I’m so glad you found the prep suggestions for surgary, and I’m sure focusing on them/repeating the ones relevant for you while in a meditative/hypnotic breathing space will be helpful in supporting what your body can do to help and heal your condition. Let me know how it goes when the time is right – it gives me personal pleasure when folks use these self-supportive possibilities. Dr Bob

  2. A.T. Lynne says:

    Hello Dr. Dick, What a pleasure to read about your surgery successes. I, too, in my hypnotherapy practice, have been helping people with hypnosis to prepare for surgery for the past 11 years.
    Then, last month, I decided, as you did, to be my own surgical patient. I underwent 2 1/2 hours of dental surgery with only hypnoanesthesia. A fellow hypnotherapist read the 15-minute script (which I’d composed the evening before), all the way through at the beginning, then phrases from it at intervals, whenever I raised a finger that indicated a request for more deepening.
    The effectiveness of the hypnosis thrilled the dentist (who, although initially disbelieving, was generous enough to agree to the experiment), and positively stunned his assistant who insisted beforehand that “we’re going to hurt you! You’re going to feel pain!”
    I am currently preparing a series of talks for patients, dentists and dental/medical hypnotherapists to share this experience. If I may, I would like to include reference to your success in these talks.
    Thank you, again, for sharing your suggestions and your story with the world. And thank you for giving time to read of mine.

    In good cheer, A.T.

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