Second Thought

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"Performing surgery without the potential side effects of conventional anesthesia is only one of an astonishing range of roles that hypnosis is playing in modern medicine. After decades of languishing in dubious repute among stage tricksters and quick-cure quacks, the venerable practice of hypnotic suggestion, first demonstrated by 18th-century Viennese physician Franz Mesmer, is surging back to respectability. Doctors are using it to treat anxiety, phobias, sexual dysfunctions, anorexia and bulimia—even to clear up warts and rashes. They are teaching burn patients to hasten healing and hemophiliacs to staunch bleeding, presumably by expanding or tightening their blood vessels at will. At Walter Reed and other hospitals, hypnosis has been used as the principal or only anesthetic for such procedures as Caesarean sections ...

" 'The success of hypnosis really depends on the degree to which the subject wants it to work,' observes Campbell Perry, of Concordia University in Montreal ...

Nothing that is nothing
June 1, 1992

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