At first glance, the scene unfolding around Philippa Plaisted as she lay on the operating table appeared completely in keeping with the setting. To her left stood the surgeon, masked and gowned, with his scalpel raised in the air in readiness. In front of her was the nurse, ready to swab and clean after the first incision.
And to her right, seated within touching distance, a third figure could be made out. The anaesthetist? The likely answer. But not so in this extraordinary operation.
For Charles Montagu is a hypnotherapist and Philippa his patient. For the next 40 minutes he would sit by her side. Every so often, he would talk to her in his rich, reassuring voice and use his thumb to apply pressure between her eyes.
But for the most part he is silent, leaving the talking to the medics. First comes an incision into the chest. Then an artificial valve attached to her breast implant – inserted after a mastectomy – is repositioned.
Through all this, Philippa is in a state of hypnotic anaesthesia and feels no pain.
For many, it sounds like the stuff of nightmares – an operation that would normally require a general anaesthetic, instead performed with hypnotic anaesthesia.
But, for Philippa, it was her personal choice and one that, looking back, she has no regrets about having made.
‘I was very apprehensive about that first incision,’ recalls Philippa. ‘But when the moment came, I couldn’t feel a thing. I could hear the surgeon telling me that he was about to make the first incision but I didn’t feel anything.
‘The whole experience was tranquil. Although I was aware of what was going on, I had no fear or pain.’
Philippa’s account of her operation at the Lister Hospital in London will astound many. But it shines an extraordinary light on the power of the mind and on hypno-anaesthesia – the use of medical hypnosis in place of anaesthetic drugs to beat pain.
‘It may sound like science fiction, but it is possible to literally switch the pain off,’ says Mr Montagu a clinical hypnotherapist and co-founder of The Health Partnership, an integrated holistic and medical centre in central London.
— You can read the full, brilliant hypnosis article here at the Daily Mail.
Have a wonderful weekend, if you are in the UK, have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend.