Dr. Linda Thomson describes her two-CD set, Stress Free Surgery, as a “self relaxation program to help you prepare for and recover from surgery.” The first CD is for listening prior to and during surgery. The second CD is for listening post-surgery. Each CD is approximately 40 minutes in length and they come packaged in an attractive, sturdy plastic case.
The pre-surgery CD opens by explaining the benefits of hypnosis, and describes hypnosis as a method for tapping into inner resources to create an optimum mental state for surgery. She gives reassurances to ensure that listeners understand the purpose of hypnotic suggestions. The hypnosis portion of the CD gives suggestions about accessing feelings of comfort, safety, and relaxation, with additional suggestions that the listener can:
The post-surgery CD uses guided imagery, analogy, metaphor, and progressive relaxation to promote comfort and to reduce pain during the recovery period. The CD offers suggestions that the listener can:
Dr. Thomson speaks to the listener in a soft, soothing voice, with a slow pace that is quite nurturing. She invites the listener to access imagination and positive expectations and beliefs to promote optimum results. Research validates her approach, with findings that patients who are psychologically prepared for surgery have improved outcomes, including shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain, reduced need for pain medications, and less anxiety.
- Converse with the surgical team prior to anesthesia
- Constrict the flow of blood at the surgical site
- Regulate blood pressure, as well as the supply of glucose and nutrients to the tissues during surgery
- Pay attention to any voice that speaks directly to the patient during surgery
- Allow for healing and mending after surgery
- Expect to return to normal or improved physical functioning
- Access comfort and healing
- Reduce pain and nausea
- Anticipate improvement in health and physical functioning
- Take fluids and nourishment as appropriate
- Expect that medications are working effectively
- Sleep well
- Apply the skills of pain reduction, self soothing, and self appreciation
I highly recommend this CD set for people who might be somewhat anxious about the prospect of surgery, or who are apprehensive about hospitals and medical procedures, or who are having post-operative discomfort. The CD set also provides an excellent starting point for practitioners who use hypnotic approaches to help their clients mentally prepare for hospital stays.
For clients who are highly phobic of hospitals, doctors, and medical procedures, this CD set could be used as an adjunct to in-office methods that address phobias, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety. An example of one such method is the NLP process called Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation. I can speak to the efficacy of pre- and post-surgery hypnosis on the basis of personal experience. I have used NLP and hypnotic relaxation methods with three clients who were highly phobic of hospital procedures, and in all three cases, obtained very good results. While individual case examples do not constitute scientific proof, hypnosis does seem to have a positive effect on surgical outcomes. Thompson's CDs seem to be right on target in every way. The Author
Linda Thomson is a nurse-practitioner who has 30 years of experience in family and pediatric practice. She received her training in hypnosis via the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis and the International Society of Hypnosis. She is an Approved Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis and has also published Harry the Hypno-Potamus, a delightful book of metaphorical tales for explaining clinical hypnosis to children. A major focus of her life's work is to change the attitudes of health care professionals regarding clinical hypnosis and promote wider acceptance of hypnotherapy interventions.