Lecturer says Pain is in the Brain Self Hypnosis
The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) Evening Lecture speaker Dr. David Spiegel, Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford School of Medicine in California, had audience members mesmerized during parts of his talk Wednesday.
Literally. Lecturer says Pain is in the Brain Self Hypnosis
In his talk “Tranceformation: Hypnosis in Brain and Body,” Spiegel, a medical doctor, discussed using hypnosis to help patients with controlling pain, relieving stress, to quit smoking, controlling motor movement in patients with Parkinson’s Disease, perform some surgeries with limited or no pain medicines and other applications.
“The strain and pain is mainly in the brain,” Spiegel said.
At one point he asked the audience if they would like to participate in a self-hypnosis test. He invited those wanting to participate to “get comfortable” in their seats and imagine they were floating like in a warm or cool bath and let tensions out. He told the participants to imagine their body discomforts were being eased by the warm or cool bath and imagine a screen with a pleasant scene.
After the test ended, about 60 audience members raised their hands indicating they had some reaction to the exercise.
Spiegel, a physician for 45 years, said he first used hypnosis while he was in medical school. He said the patient had asthma and was prepared for steroid and other treatments but he asked the patient to breather deeper and easier during a hypnosis treatment and the patient improved.
“About two-thirds of adults are (able to be) hypnotized,” Spiegel said. He said the ability or trait to self-hypnotize is usually seen in people who, for example, can “get caught up in a good movie” and “give (themselves) to their imagination.”
He said when a person is in a hypnotic state they are less likely to (use critical judgment) which might lead them to do “things they might not otherwise do” like in stage performances. He said that is why only a licensed professional should be used.
Spiegel’s research in hypnosis includes extensive studies of the reaction of parts of the brain of persons under hypnosis and clinical trials.
“The hypnotic ability to focus attention and modulate perception has clear clinical application, especially in pain and anxiety control,” states a handout describing the talk and Spiegel’s research work and writings which include 12 books and 385 scientific journal articles.
Spiegel said he has treated perhaps as many as 6,000 patients using hypnosis during his career to date, including a Parkinson’s Disease patient and bricklayer with a severe hand injury. He said he has seen the use of hypnotic pain control reduce spinal injury pain from a “7 to a 3 or 4” with low risk and reduced expense compared to pain medications.
Spiegel discussed the severe opiate addiction problem in Florida and questioned patients being on pain medications for more than three days for acute pain. He said the thinking someone in pain would not get addicted to the pain medicine is wrong.
Spiegel said about half of patients treated with hypnosis stop smoking in one session. He said the patient’s brain is reprogrammed to focus on preserving and protecting their body the same as they would their child or pet.
“You wouldn’t give your dog food out of a can that says ‘may be harmful to health,’” Spiegel said
Primary care physician Dr. Steve Fischer with Village Health said after attending the talk he “would be open to consider (hypnosis treatments)” as an alternate if his patients accepted it.
IHMC is a technical research center with offices in Ocala and Pensacola. Extensive work has been done by IHMC in the field of robotics. The Evening Lecture Series is offered free to the public.
The talk Wednesday, which was enjoyed by another full house, is the last IHMC Evening Lecture until September when Laurie Zinc, IHMC Development and Community Outreach Director, said a great lineup of talks will start.
The speaker in October, for examples, is William Shepherd, first commander of the International Space Station.
Dr. Ken Ford, CEO of IHMC, said the talk Wednesday with another capacity turnout was a wonderful way to cap the Spring season of lectures.
Hypnosis has been used for centuries to control pain. From major amputations to the resetting of broken limbs, hypnosis is excellent for producing analgesia and anesthesia. ‘Analgesia’ is the absence of pain, whereas ‘anesthesia’ means absence of any sensation. Continue reading. . .
End of Pain is in the Brain Self Hypnosis