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Firefighters Test Hypnosis to Save Victims From Traumatic Situations

What happens when firefighters test hypnosis to save victims of traumatic situations? Firefighters went through a training program that helped prepare them to utilise hypnosis. After the training, 120 firefighters took their new skills into some dangerous situations. 

It has been used on people buried under rubble, and others rescued from car accidents.

According to Cecile Colas-Nguyen, a nurse, firefighter, and hypnosis instructor, saying that hypnosis can “aim to ease pain and anxiety” but she also points out hypnosis should be used with ”traditional first aid,” 

David Ernenwein, the station manager, also spoke of the effectiveness of hypnosis: even something as simple as holding onto the hand of a victim can offer reassurance, even if we may not consider this traditional ‘hypnosis’.

He points out that, as in all hypnosis, the first thing to do is to calm your subject down, adding that hypnosis is a great intervention to “help people suffer less”.

Hypnotherapy Complements Traditional First-Aid Assistance

The idea is that hypnosis allows people to process difficult experiences more effectively and move on from trauma more easily. It has been proven to help victims of such incidents cope with what they’ve experienced.

Firemen all around France should use it, according to the brigade’s head physician, Yves Durrmann. But first, it must be demonstrated that the method is effective. The Haguenau brigade will monitor patients’ heart rates, pain tolerances, and emotional states for at least the next six months. These findings will be contrasted with data on victims who were treated by firefighters who hadn’t utilised hypnosis on them.

“Our first evaluation seems to show benefits,” says Colas-Nguyen. She adds that, so far, in 100% of cases where hypnosis is used, victims afterwards noticed that “time was distorted”. This is useful because the time it took for their rescue “seemed shorter than it actually was”.

“We have known for a while that hypnosis works”, says Stephane Donnadieu, a firefighter with medical training and a consultant to the French rescue operations department, “it is not a placebo,” 

“But you need properly trained people”, Donnadieu adds, “That is the challenge”, because, “crews only receive short training.” 

He claims that the techniques used are not actually pure hypnosis, as you may expect in a therapeutic setting, but rather “hypnotic techniques” which can quickly reduce the discomfort of victims. 

However, he remains very positive about the use of hypnosis to help victims of traumatic accidents, adding that it that can bring greater calmness to victims, so the firefighters can focus on providing as much support as they can without worrying about adding to a victim’s distress.

How Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis is the state of consciousness that exists between sleeping and waking. In this altered state of mind and are highly focused on the present moment. During hypnosis, people enter a deeply relaxed state and their visualization skills improve. They become more able to create mental images. This allows them to have a certain degree of control over what they see. People access memories that are unavailable through ordinary means so they can process complex thoughts and emotions more easily.

Could Hypnosis Help In Other Professions?

As demonstrated by the French firefighters, hypnosis had many interesting applications. This includes the less-known benefits of being able to reduce one’s focus on pain. This is achieved by diverting attention away from the trauma one is experiencing.

And it does raise an interesting question: if basic hypnotherapeutic techniques can help firefighters, what other similar public-facing professionals may also benefit from incorporating hypnosis into their training?

If you would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy may help you, please feel free to get in touch.

Give me a call on 0208 789 0992, or fill out my contact form to arrange a free telephone consultation.

Adrian Jackson

Specialist in Anxiety & Depression (DipHyp, CNHC (Acc), HPD) I am a Cognitive Hypnotherapist in North London, providing hypnotherapy for anxiety and depression to clients in Pinner, Northwood, Harrow, and Rickmansworth. My flexible, modern approach helps clients relieve unwanted patterns of behaviour.