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For some, hypnosis eases pain, recovery of surgery

The AP reports:

As the surgeons cut into her neck, Marianne Marquis was thinking of the beach.

As she heard the doctors' voices, she was imagining her toes in the sand, the water lapping.

Marquis had been hypnotized before surgery to have her thyroid removed. She's among a growing number of surgical patients at the Belgian hospital, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc in Brussels, who choose hypnosis and a local anesthetic to avoid the groggy knockout effect of general anesthesia.

These patients are sedated but aware, and doctors say their recovery time is faster and their need for painkillers reduced. This method is feasible for only certain types of operations.

In her case, Marquis, 53, imagined herself in a field near a beach — which her anesthetist began describing by whispering into her ear about 10 minutes before surgery. Continue reading.