A University of Iowa study finds there’s promise in using hypnosis instead of drugs to relax patients undergoing minor surgery where only a local anesthetic is used. Doctor Sebastian Schulz-Stubner, a U-of-I professor of anesthesia, says hypnotizing patients can calm them down faster without the nauseating side effects of a sedating drug when they come out of it. He says medication complications are a worry in certain patients and the lack of side effects would help them.Dr. Schulz-Stubner says hypnosis has a bad reputation in the U-S due to magic acts and comedy club shows. He says it’s “nonsense” that people fear being hypnotized into committing a crime or doing something stupid or embarrassing like quacking like a duck. He says you can’t be forced to do something you don’t want to do under hypnosis.He says the patient is an active participant in the process of relaxation and in reaching a state of tranquillity. Schulz-Stubner says hypnosis could prove successful for a variety of surgeries. There would have to be a local anesthetic applied to the area of the patient’s body that is undergoing surgery and the hypnosis is only effective for about an hour to 90 minutes. He says relatively short procedures, like orthopedic surgeries, would be fine for hypnosis instead of sedating drugs.
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