Hypnotist Alex Lenkei Undergoes Ankle Surgery Without Anesthesia: How Does 66-Year-Old Englishman Not Feel Pain?

By Philip Ross on August 28, 2013 6:05 PM EDT

hypnosis
Alex Lenkei chose not to have anesthesia during an ankle operation, relying instead on his power of hypnosis to keep the pain at bay. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Alex Lenkei is a hypnotist who won't have to convince anyone that his power of suggestion really works. Lenkei's hypnosis is so powerful that the 66-year-old from Surrey, England, underwent invasive ankle surgery without anesthesia.

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In fact, Lenkei has gone without pain medication for six operations, including a hernia removal and the freeing of a trapped nerve near his elbow. He instead chooses to sedate himself with hypnosis.

"I'm not averse to anesthetic," Lenkei told The Mirror. "It's just that my pain control is a hell of a lot better than the medical profession's and I heal a lot quicker because my body doesn't have to get rid of all the chemicals."

In July, Lenkei underwent a two-hour operation for his ankle, during which his doctor had to saw through his bone. Lenkei's ankle joint was worn out and had to be removed and replaced with an implant. According to Sky News, Lenkei even talked during the surgery and asked his doctor about the noise the saw made and how the operation was going.

How did Lenkei not feel pain while his doctor sawed through his ankle bone?

"The brain is a very sophisticated computer and if your press the right buttons it will do amazing things -- if you press the right buttons it will switch certain things off," Lenkei said. 

While Lenkei's explanation for why he doesn't feel pain might seem farfetched, it's really not all that implausible. According to Psychology Today, hypnosis has a wide range of applications, from relieving chronic pain to improving poor study habits, and is even effective in acting like an anesthesia.

"A growing number of studies show that hypnotherapy can treat headaches, ease the pain of childbirth, aid in quitting smoking, improve concentration and study habits, relieve minor phobias, and serve as anesthesia--all without drugs or side effects," Psychology Today reports. 

Still, unless you're Lenkei, it's probably best to opt for the drugs. 

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