Hypnotic anesthesia is powerful. There are several ways in which the person who is proficient in self-hypnosis may literally anesthetize a region of his body.
Painless childbirth and successful surgery without drugs are almost commonplace occurrences. Instruction in how to do it, however, is indeed skimpy.
Pain, like neuron response, normally travels through afferent and efferent paths of the complex nervous system to and from the brain. There is at all times a sensory response to pain, quite obviously evolutionized in man for survival purposes.
The purpose of paralyzing drugs is the blocking of the pathway to the brain; ostensibly hypnotic anesthesia does the same thing. For example, as Novocain numbs the nerve ends in the mouth it also prevents any agitation and transmission of pain to the brain.
To better understand how this works, imagine sensitive feeder lines designed to transmit a message to headquarters. If the lines become short-circuited or cut in two, then we might have an idea of how pain is transmitted (or not) from one’s hand (for example) to the brain. Pain is nature’s way of enabling man to prepare himself for protection, survival or repair.
In our study of the neuron, nerve cells, and properties, we examined the marvelous biologic impulse of the nerve to interchange potassium, chlorides, and sodium. We saw how an impulse is carried from one nerve cell to the synaptic area, thence to the next cell and eventually to the brain. Imagine now that the nerve cell we examined has become temporarily lifeless and unable to function.
In other words, any message being transmitted would stop right there at the “lifeless” nerve cell and go no further. And so it is that hypnotic anesthesia can stop a message, including pain or feeling of any kind, from one part of the body to its usual reporting place, the brain. (And all this by directed thought or suggestive image.) The brain then becomes insensible (not knowing) of any pain or even the possibility of pain, though a painful act may either be planned or in actual operation.
One method of hypnotic anesthesia is as follows:
First, deeply relax, of course, and imagine yourself wading into a lake in the winter. Cakes of ice are floating on the top, snow crests the mountains in the background. Your feet immediately become numb.
The hand dipped into the icy water has come out completely numbed, with no feeling whatever. You place the frozen hand against the part of your body that you wish to anesthetize – knowing, feeling and experiencing that section become numb and without a feeling of any kind.
If it is your left hand, then return it to the ice water if necessary, and retouch the place you wish to anesthetize. All the while your right hand is out in the sunshine, warm, and you can actually feel a tremendous difference. You can stay in the water or come out of it, as you see fit.
This method requires some practice and works well for the more experienced hypnotist or student proficient in self-hypnosis. As in all of life’s endeavors, and especially in hypnosis, self-confidence and a good imagination make this modality effective.
Once the need for the anesthesia is passed, the subject must be returned to the relaxed state and brought out of the “benumbed” feeling by the suggestion that “all feeling returns, you are feeling wonderful.” In the case of a pulled tooth, It is usually a good idea for the subject to remain in a state of waking hypnosis with the affected area remaining numb for some hours after the extraction.
In the case of more serious surgery, a continual and repetitive image of the ice body and beginning technique may be necessary.
“Instant” sleep may also be used in this case for postoperative therapy by directing the sleep centers to become effective and experience a terribly tired feeling – thereby sending the subject into natural sleep, the greatest therapy we have.
Another popular technique for hypnotic anesthesia is known as the “switch” method which would be as follows:
First, deeply relaxed, and imagine that within your brain is a long line of switches, with each switch affecting a specific section of your body. If, for example, you have cut your hand or there is a large splinter under the skin which has to be removed, imagine a switch leading to the affected hand with a COLORED LIGHT above the switch.
See yourself pulling the switch, THE LIGHT GOING OFF, and consequently, (realizing that this switch controlled the current lending to your hand), feeling nothing whatever.
Your suggestion would be:
My hand is becoming numb, numb, number, number, number, number… NUMB.
I am going to pinch my hand and feel NOTHING.
As I pinch the hand it becomes even numb and absolutely without the feeling of any kind.
THERE IS NO FEELING. Completely numb.
Continued practice with the switch method has allowed some practitioners to become. So proficient that they may simply stroke the face (for instance) three times and have it become instantly numb. The student should work toward such perfection of technique.
Still, another method is to imagine that the part of the body to be anesthetized has been eliminated from the body. If it is a tooth, for example, imagine that the lower jaw (for instance) has been entirely removed. Another method is to imagine yourself apart from your body and looking DOWN on your body until the pain is alleviated.
Whichever method you choose for certain circumstances, “The subconscious can close the nerve currents just as an anesthetic drug paralyzes the nerves.” Your repertoire of professional “tools” is never complete without your knowledge and practice of hypnotic anesthesia.