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Saving Money With Hypnosis - San Francisco (Reuters Health) - Using hypnosis in the operating room could cut costs of some medical procedures in half, Harvard researchers reported Monday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

"Doing hypnosis on the operating room table certainly makes sense, but unless it saves money, you will not be doing it," said study author Dr. Elvira V. Lang, associate professor of radiology and medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The National Institutes of Health National Center funded the research for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study followed 241 patients undergoing various medical procedures such as clearing blocked arteries.

**All the patients were given standard medical care, including the option of self-medicating drugs for pain.
**One-third was also given empathic attention from a health professional in addition to standard care.
**Another third were given self-hypnotic relaxation techniques in addition to standard care as part of preparation for the procedure.

Lang reported that the hypnotized group reported significantly less pain during the procedure. The hypnotized group also took significantly less time to complete their procedures and used half as much pain medication. Based on these and other findings, Lang calculated that the average
cost for a procedure using standard care was $638, while the cost for a procedure using adjunct hypnosis would cost $300, cutting the cost by more than half. Even if hypnosis added nearly an hour to the preparation time, it would still save money, she said.  "Hypnosis in the operating room is feasible, it is effective and very resource-sensitive," Lang concluded.


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