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 hypnosis and the Mayo Clinic
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2004 :  12:46:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

From Hypnotherapy, by Dave Elman.
"The most learned man in the history of medical hypnosis was Doctor Henry Munro, who lived and practiced in Omaha, Nebraska, at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1900 there was practically no preoperative medication. There was very little to alleviate surgical shock. Even today, the average person faces surgery with great apprehension, but in 1900, the situation was much worse. One in four hundred died on the operating room table as a result of the anesthesia---
not the surgery.
The fears of the patients were much greater than they are today. One man knew something about those fears and tried to alleviate them. Doctor Munro had a good method for alleviating fears. He would get his patients into the hypnotic state, discuss their fears with them, and tell them that when they went into the operating room knowing they were going to recover, they would have a quick recovery and would feel a lot better. He was the first to give preoperative talks in hypnosis. One man came in for surgery who was filled with apprehension. The surgery had to be done, so Doctor Munro hypnotized him, removed his fears and said, "Well, you'll never be in better condition for surgery than right now, so let's go ahead." Ether was the anesthesia agent most commonly used at that time. With about ten percent of the usual amount of ether, Doctor Munro found he had perfect surgical anesthesia, and he went ahead and performed the surgery.
One month later a woman came in for surgery and she was very apprehensive. Doctor Munro hypnotized her and with about twenty-five per cent of the usual amount of ether,
again he was able to get perfect surgical anesthesia--banishing the excitement stage of ether entirely. One of his observations was that such patients recovered quickly and easily; the postoperative recovery was almost miraculous.
He drew the conclusion that he might be able to get the same excellent results with every patient using hypnosis. He had over a hundred surgical cases in succession in which he was able to do surgery with from ten to twenty-five per cent of the usual amount of chemical anesthesia. He had made a great discovery but other doctors ridiculed him. He arranged a group of lecture dates, one of which took him to Rochester, Minnesota. Before the lecture that night, he had dinner with two of the doctors who were working at St. Mary's Hospital---the Mayo Brothers. It was before the days of their clinic. Doctor Munro was telling the Mayo brothers about his discovery. They decided his discovery was worth testing. If the patient didn't get the necessary anesthesia, all they had to do was to use more ether. If it worked they would have a valuable medical aid. When they got back to St. Mary's hospital the Mayo brothers started Case Number One
of Seventeen Thousand deep abdominal surgical procedures, without a single death or injury directly traceable to the anesthetic. The eyes of the world focused on the Mayo brothers and success was theirs. This was the only place in the world where a patient didn't have a chance of dying from anesthesia. Anyone who needed surgery could be confident of living through the operation.
Alice Magaw, the anesthetist of the Mayo brothers, was very proud of her work.She wrote an article for the Obstetrical Journal of May,1906. The Journal was not widely circulated and the story remained obscure.I know about it because Doctor Munro occasionally visited my father {in Fargo, North Dakota, not far from Rochester} and I often heard the two men discussing it. But, strangely, the Mayo brothers never said they used hypnosis". (pages 51 and 52)

If you do not have Elman's book, you can find it at;
westwoodpublishingco.com With Respect, Gil Boyne

Gil Boyne Exec. Director,
American Council Hypnotist Examiners
Author, Transforming Therapy
A New Approach to Hypnotherapy

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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