Agnès is a certified nurse anesthetist. She had worked in an operating room of neurosurgery in Lyon, France. By looking at two of her colleagues successfully using hypnosis during the reception of patients in the operating room and then while they are anesthetized, Agnes had discovered hypnosis. These patients were calmer and more relaxed than the others. Convinced by these experiences, she has decided to learn the hypnosis techniques for herself.
We asked her to give her opinion on hypnosis and to explain to us how she uses it with kids when she wants to calm them and help them during their vaccines.
The Buoy Blog : How did you discover hypnosis?
Agnès: I have discovered hypnosis in a pediatric operating room of neurosurgery. A pediatric doctor anesthetist was doing a study for comparing the efficiency of Hypnovel, a drug used to calm the children before putting them to sleep before surgery, and the Ipad. He was using games on the tablet to distract the kids and divert their attention during this stressful experience. The doctor told me about hypnosis and explained that it was often used in pediatrics, especially in an emergency room, when no drugs could be given to help the kids relax.
TBB : What motivated you to use it on your kids?
Agnès: Hypnosis is a very simple method without any drugs and side effects. We use our voice, words, tone, atmosphere and imagination. Also, if it was not efficient, it would do no harm.
I have used it mostly to calm my kids when they had trouble falling asleep or for their vaccines.
TBB : What are the benefits of hypnosis?
Agnès: It’s a non invasive method like I explained earlier. We can use it anywhere and it’s free. We can do it with objects, especially to distract the kids, but it’s not obligatory. I like that the patient is part of the success of the method. He/she has to agree with the approach for hypnosis for it to be successful. The patient is active in the management of his/her well being and for soothing the pain. Mostly the kids give us the right words to use with them. We just have to ask a few questions in a very relaxed tone and their imagination does the rest. Often, I stopped talking and the child would explain to me his/her favorite place, sport or drawing.
Hypnosis is also taught to the patients so they can use it alone when they are uncomfortable during a painful treatment in addition to medication, or to go on with their everyday life.
TBB : Are the effects immediate?
Agnès : When the techniques are mastered, they are very efficient, like the “Magic Glove” technique for example. We help kids who need a painful treatment on the hand to imagine that their hand is protected by a magic glove, this way they will feel less pain. It takes a few minutes to talk to the child and install the story, but the trreatment will be faster and easier. We lose more times when a child moves, screams, or cries, and the child will remember this bad experience for the next doctor visit.
TBB: Do you use hypnosis for other purposes?
Agnès: I use it in my everyday life, for example at the dentist. I imagine that I am in a place where I would rather like to be. Everybody does that without noticing it and calls it hypnosis. Who never sang a lullaby to a kid to put him/her to sleep or used some distraction to avoid thinking about bad things?
TBB: What would you say to those who hesitate to use hypnosis?
Agnès: Hypnosis is based on empathy. We have to listen and be very aware of the other person, because the patient gives the key as to what is going to work for him/her. We need to learn to listen, to decipher the signs that the person will show and adapt to them. We cannot choose a method and apply it at all cost.
Most importantly is to play down on hypnosis. This word creates resistance and anguish. Most of the people think that hypnotists can manipulate them during a session and make them do things against their will. It’s sad not to enjoy the benefits of hypnosis because of that.