How many doctors or nurses have condemned their patients to continued pain or slower healing though their use of negative language? Far too many. For while in surgery, during chemo, or in a doctor’s or other health practitioner’s office, the emotional stress that patients experience triggers a highly suggestible state that may allow a medical or health authority’s words, deliberate or casual, to imprint into their subconscious mind.
Words and statements like, “chemo will cause you to lose all your hair and feel terrible” or “you only have a short time to live”, or “you are going to have a lot of pain” may be heard as absolute facts, prophetic condemnations from a “medical shaman” who knows the absolute truth about their condition. And unfortunately, these statements often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Yet I’ve known sick or injured people who have defied a negative prognosis simply by refusing to accept being crippled or die. The healing words and images of full recovery they focused on stimulated the healing they desired.
I had a client once who lost the intractable belly pain he’d suffered for many years, during a hypnosis session. While in trance, he relived a surgery for a bleeding ulcer. Even though he’d been under anaesthesia, Dede was able to remember every detail of his surgery. He realized, while in trance with me, that his surgeon had said “he will always be in pain”. Dede thought the surgeon was talking about him, so when he awoke in his hospital room he was in agony, subconsciously imprinted with the idea that he’d always be in pain. He even had a second surgery to find out what was wrong. Yet there was no organic reason for his pain; his ulcer had been repaired perfectly.
Then during our hypnosis session, while reliving his surgery, Dede suddenly realized his doctor had been talking about another patient’s pain problem! He’d been imprinted to suffer pain when in fact, his doctor had been talking about someone else! Upon that realization, he burst into tears, sobbing and raging at his surgeon. But by the time he sat up at our session’s end, Dede was amazed and delighted to find that his gut pain was gone, never to return.
Then there’s the story of a dying man who recovered totally from metastatic cancer after his doctor told him that the experimental drug he was using, Laetrile, would heal him. And it did. He was cancer free for more than six months. Then he read in the paper that Laetrile had proved fraudulent: a useless cancer treatment. Those negative words shocked and horrified him, convincing him his remission was impossible. Within days, his cancer returned. His doctor assured him that it was his positive thoughts and beliefs, not the drug, that had inspired his remission. And it was his disappointment in Laetrile that had brought the tumors back. But the sick man wouldn’t listen. Within a week, this cancer patient had “thought” himself to death.
Positive statements read by a doctor or anesthesiologist at the start of a surgery or other medical treatment can actually prevent, or dramatically reduce, complications and negative side effects like pain, bleeding, heart dysfunction, or slow wound healing. I’ve worked with chemotherapy and radiation patients who’ve experienced no hair loss or fatigue when they focused on healing statements during their treatments. The extensive blood loss and severe pain my elderly mother was told to expect after bladder surgery never happened, after she listened to a pre-surgical hypnosis tape that focused on freedom from pain and bleeding. Her doctor was flabbergasted at her rapid, easy recovery.
What can you do to stimulate rapid recovery in time of surgery or illness? Monitor the words you say to yourself: focus on thoughts and pictures of perfect healing. Speak positive affirmations like, “I’m healing perfectly and rapidly”, or, “Chemotherapy is my friend; it’s healing my body with few, or even no side-effects”.
Ask your health practitioners, surgeons, nurses, family and friends to be careful about what they say. Ask them to use only positive, hopeful words when talking to you. Ask them to avoid negative statements like, “You may never fully recover”, or “This may hurt a lot”, or “Your recovery will be slow” or “MRI’s scare many people”.
If you get stuck in fearful ruminations about your health, it’s a good idea to get professional help to resolve your fears, so you can change your mind to expect rapid healing, inner calm and an easy recovery.
Remember: words have power. Whatever your health challenge, focus on thinking and speaking positive, healing words: and watch the magic happen!
Gail Raborn, CHT: Medical Hypnotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Interactive Imagery Therapist, Certified Psychotherapist and workshop leader. She works by phone and in her office in Santa Rosa, CA. For more info: 707-827-3615