Nowhere is the power of belief more starkly illustrated than in the use of clinical hypnotherapy in emergency trauma situations.
The unconscious mind is in control of all the essential functions of the body; breathing, heartbeat, the hormonal system, the circulatory system etc etc.
It is possible for a combat medic or paramedic, or trauma doctor or nurse, skilled in clinical hypnotherapy techniques, to create changes in the bodily functions of an accident victim, on the scene of a trauma, to reduce the impact of their injuries.
Clinical hypnotherapy techniques can prompt the restriction of blood flow to a wound or an injury, to stop an individual bleeding out; slow a person’s heartbeat to avoid hypertension; calm a panic attack; dissipate an adrenaline rush; reduce burn severity, and reduce or eliminate pain. This can be achieved simply by telling the patient that it will happen!
When a person is injured and in pain they are already in a highly-focused and absorbed trance-like state. They are totally focused on the pain or anxiety they are experiencing. It can be said that the patient is functioning totally in his or her ’emotional brain’, with the subconscious mind fully engaged already. This means that the person’s ‘critical filter’ – the separation between the conscious and subconscious mind – is unlikely to resist hypnosis, despite the difficult circumstances. Using visualization and guided imagery, the physical condition of the patient can be drastically altered to facilitate the best medical help.
It is normal to reassure a trauma victim by saying: “You are okay,” “You are going to be fine”, “It will stop hurting in a minute” etc. and the patient begins to feel calmer and more comfortable. By widening the scope of those statements, the injured person can be led to effectively take control of their own body, by instructing the subconscious mind to do their bidding while in a hypnotic trance.
In a somnambulist depth of hypnosis, a person is able to take over the automatic functions of their body, such as their heartbeat, respiration, nervous system, and the conditioned reactions of their body.
Clinical hypnotherapy can even be used to create a state of anaesthesia in an accident or disaster victim, to allow for immediate surgery or amputation at the scene, without the patient feeling any sensation during the medical intervention.
These techniques will work even if the victim is unconscious, as the subconscious mind is always awake.
The deep state of relaxation which the patient will experience, will also allow the body’s natural healing power to start acting to reduce the impact of the trauma.
“When I was a student of hypnosis at the University of California, Irving, School of Medicine, under the direction of Donald Shafer, M.D., I saw videos of hypnotic masters changing their own blood-flow patterns. One video featured an East Indian physician in a hypnotic trance who put a needle through a vein in her hand and then withdrew it. The vein was bleeding from both sides. Then, under her control, she made the bleeding stop on one side, then made it bleed again, then made the other side stop and bleed again, then made both sides stop. It was an amazing display of brain-body control.”
– Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted by Daniel G. Amen