Managing Emotional Distress Related To Medical Procedures:

This week has mainly been a bit of a write-off for me due to the dreaded 'man flu' striking me down (or 'a bit of a cold' as others might call it!!). It's hit me hard and has wiped out my exercise at bootcamp, my work and pretty much everything in-between. 

All in all it's been pretty frustrating but I know I'll get through it and get better and survive (somehow, like if I'm really brave about it!!). 

But, of course, the frustration and distress caused by a heavy cold is nothing compared to the emotional distress that can be associated with medical procedures. Only last week I heard back from a client who had originally been to see me about an intense dental phobia and fear about dental treatment. She told me how she had been and had a filling removed and replaced. She was ecstatic afterwards (as was her long-suffering dentist!) to know she can now do it without all that fear, anxiety, dread and distress.

Medical procedures can generate all sorts of distress and worry and that can impact both before the procedure and can even impact on recovery afterwards. Luckily we have a meta-analysis available that evaluates the effect of hypnosis in reducing emotional distress associated with medical procedures.

(Bless my little girl...she gave me this get well soon card last night with a picture of a penguin on the front...)

distress related to medical procedures hypnotherapy ely 

Hypnosis To Manage Distress Related To Medical Procedures

Medical procedures can often be assiociated with a great deal of stress, fear and distress. Depending on the nature of the procedure there can be fears about not waking up after surgery or actually waking up during the surgery. There may be fears about pain, anaesthesia, and about the impacts after the procedure, such as pain, limitations, recovery and the future prognosis.

All this fear, stress and worry means that anything that can potentially alleviate that distress can only be beneficial.

And the results of the meta-analysis (reference at foot of page), suggest that hypnosis may well be worth including as part of managing any distress related to medical procedures.

The findings are pretty impressive: 

"This meta-analysis represents the most extensive review of randomised trials to date on the effects of hypnosis to reduce emotional distress related to medical procedures. The results indicate that approximately 82% of patients undergoing medical procedures who receive hypnosis exhibit lower levels of emotional distress relative to patients in a control group."

Wow, that is pretty staggering isn't it?!  That's a massive evidence-based indication that hypnosis can be very beneficial in this area. Perhaps even more interestingly, hypnosis was equally effective whether compared to an attention control group or a standard care control group, so the results weren't just down to people receiving more attention. 

Overall it's a pretty nice and very positive thumbs up for using hypnosis to reduce distress in this environment. All the evidence here points to a positive and practical application of hypnosis to reduce such distress.

And as the authors concluded:

"In summary, the data strongly supports the use of hypnosis as a non-pharmacologic intervention to reduce emotional distress associated with medical procedures, and suggests that the more widespread adoption of hypnosis could improve the quality of life of millions of patients undergoing medical procedures."

To your health and happiness,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket 

There are lots more articles about similar issues if you would like to learn more about managing anxiety, distress and worry: Anxiety Articles

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Reference: Schnur JB, Kafer I, Marcus C, Montgomery GH. HYPNOSIS TO MANAGE DISTRESS RELATED TO MEDICAL PROCEDURES: A META-ANALYSIS. Contemporary hypnosis : the journal of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis. 2008;25(3-4):114-128. doi:10.1002/ch.364.