Healing Words, Harmful Words What doctors say during treatment impacts a patient’s recovery

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Far too many doctors or nurses have condemned their patients to continued pain or slower healing though their use of negative language. The emotional stress experienced by patients undergoing medical treatment triggers a highly suggestible state that may allow a medical or health authority’s words to imprint strongly upon their subconscious mind.

Words and statements like “chemo will cause you to lose all your hair and feel terrible” or “you probably only have a short time to live” or “you may have a lot of pain” may be heard as absolute facts, prophetic condemnations from a medical authority who is emotionally trusted to know the absolute truth about a patient’s condition. Unfortunately these statements often become self-fulfilling prophecies, creating exactly the opposite of what both the patient and their health provider desire.

As a professional licensed hypnotherapist, I once had a client who had suffered from intractable belly pain for many years. While in trance, he relived an operation he’d had for a bleeding ulcer. Even though he’d been under anesthesia, David (not his real name) was able to remember every detail of the surgery. He remembered his surgeon saying “he will always be in pain.” When he awoke in his hospital room he was in agony. He even had a second surgery to find out what was wrong. Yet no organic reason could be found for his pain; his ulcer had been repaired perfectly.

During our hypnosis session, David realized his doctor had been talking about another patient. He burst into tears, sobbing and raging at his surgeon. I guided David to scream the words of outrage and pain that filled him, and to pound the mattress he was lying on. By the time he sat up at our session’s end, David was amazed to find that his gut pain was gone, never to return.

Positive statements from a doctor or anesthesiologist at the start of a surgery or other medical treatment can actually prevent or reduce complications and negative side effects like pain, bleeding, 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.”

Words have impact...keep it kind and optimistic
Words have impact…keep it kind and optimistic

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.”

If you get stuck in fearful ruminations about your health, it’s a good idea to get professional help to resolve your fears and redirect your thoughts to rapid healing, inner calm, and an easy recovery.

Words and thoughts have power. Whatever your health challenge, focus on thinking and speaking positive, healing words, and watch the magic happen!

Gail Raborn CHT, is a Medical Hypnotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Interactive Imagery Therapist, Certified Psychotherapist and workshop leader. She offers sessions by phone, and occasionally in her office in Cotati. For more info, call 707-827-3615. To learn more about Gail’s work, visit her website at www.telehealing.com.


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