Mrs. Mary Nelson

In the summer of 1983 at the age of twenty-nine years, I developed a large unsightly cyst on the right side of my face. Initially I was prescribed antibiotics by my GP but these had no effect whatsoever. I was then referred to a skin specialist whom I attended on a fortnightly basis for approximately five or six visits. These visits were both expensive and disappointing as the specialist would look at my face, announce there was no change and tell me to make another appointment. I do not think any of these consultations lasted more than five to ten minutes. Eventually I asked if there was any treatment that could help me. The specialist's reply was that vitamin C was considered to be beneficial by some but that I would just have to wait and see. This was poor comfort as I felt ugly and ashamed and basically did not want to go outside the door although, as I was working full time, I had to.

My sister, who had moved to Naas, heard of Dr. Gibson's reputation (fully justified in my experience) as not only an excellent but also a very kind and caring doctor and it was suggested that I should see him. The first consultation took place in early summer 1984 and was held in Dr. Gibson's beautiful garden. Dr. Gibson examined my face and said I had developed a sebaceous cyst and asked what treatment I had received. He appeared incensed by the expensive skin specialist who had done nothing for me.

He then asked me if anything had recently deeply upset or distressed me. I told Dr. Gibson of the disastrous break up of my marriage the previous year. Dr. Gibson explained to me that when a person buries feelings, rather than attempting to deal with them, emotions and reason are in conflict and a physical reaction is likely to occur. He went on to explain that he could remove the cyst, using tiny instruments to limit scaring under hypnosis because by using hypnosis there would be no damaging side effects and he told me he had been performing operations under hypnosis for many years. Dr. Gibson gave me one of his self-relaxation tapes relating to skin disorders, he asked me to practice the technique and assured me the operation would be painless. Although not fully convinced at that stage that anything short of being knocked out could remove pain, I practiced the technique for the prescribed period.

Dr. Gibson removed the cyst on a Saturday morning. Just beforehand he asked me to listen to his tape once more as I relaxed on a sofa in a pleasant, sunny room. He then placed his hand on my face, told me to listen to his voice and assured me I would feel no pain whatsoever where his hand rested. During the operation, despite being apprehensive, I felt no pain at all and afterwards required no stitches, just a small plaster to cover the wound. I returned to see Dr. Gibson the following morning and was told I was healing well and urged by Dr. Gibson to continue using the self relaxation tape, as 20 minutes daily deep relaxation is beneficial to both mind and body. Dr. Gibson also said that, should the cyst re-occur which he did not expect would happen, there would no be charge for further treatment. It never has.

Dr Gibson's Comment:

This is but a simple story of how a woman with a large sebaceous cyst on her face which made her feel ugly was turned into a fully functioning member of society. Many of us when taking up medicine had a real desire to cure people but we haven't learnt that we were born with a gift. That gift is, if we relax and really relax fully, we can lose the pain or the effect of psychosomatic or psychological problems.

Joe Moran

I had a heart attack and was rushed into hospital, at the same time Mr. Gibson had vomited a large quantity of blood and was rushed into hospital and we ended up in the same ward. I was simply delighted to meet him because almost 40 years ago he saved my life and here is the story of how it happened:

I was driving a lorry in a gravel pit when it tipped over and I was trapped underneath it. Something caught my neck and pushed my face into the gavel, ripped it open and crushed it. My two collar bones were broken and were in pieces. Seven ribs were fractured and the lungs beneath were badly damaged and my pelvis was also broken. I lay in pain beneath that lorry thinking I was about to die.

It took 30 men to lift the lorry and get me free. I was brought to Naas Hospital and there I met Mr. Gibson. He told me to relax and the pain would go away. He spoke with kindness and firmness and believing that I was about to die, I trusted him and my pain disappeared. He then started to clean up the wound below my eye, unhurriedly he removed all the dirt and then stitched it. It healed perfectly. My face was so swollen and the bones were broken that was all he could do because I was nearly dead. Then when the swelling subsided, my eye dropped down because there were no bones to support it. The Mr. Gibson said to me, there was a loose bone, a part of the collarbone, which would take no part in the recovery of the fracture. He could take this bone and put it under my eye and push it up. He explained that he had never done it before nor heard of it being done but he was willing to try. I had such complete faith in him that I readily accepted it and he brought me to the theatre. He lifted my eye up and at the same time put in a pin to the clavicle. When I awakened my double vision had gone.

Now nearly 40 years later I can see normally but Mr. Gibson had only to say to me ''relax'' and there was no pain and he was able to take the pin and manipulate it and push it back. It took only a minute or two instead of a general anesthetic being given. I got over all my injuries, my collarbone united, the ribs, the pelvis and the bones in my face healed. I got back to driving a lorry again for the next 24 year or so and brought up a family.

During my time in hospital I saw many people lose their pain or their fear of having an operation.

I hope this story, which is one of many and was almost lost except by chance of being admitted to hospital at the same time as Mr. Gibson will help to show what can be done when the surgeons will, with sympathy and the knowledge that we have of the subconscious mind that can be used.

There is one thing I must mention Mr. Gibson made a full recovery and has travelled to India twice, America and Spain.

Thomas Noone

Occupation: Systems Analyst in the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.

I was eighteen years of age and it was four days before Christmas. I was setting out to walk to a dance and I had a reasonable amount of alcohol taken. Suddenly, a car appeared and knocked me down and broke my leg. I was in extreme pain. The ambulance arrived and took me hospital but I was still in agony. They x-rayed my leg and found the femur was broken. Mr. Gibson was sent for, he saw the x-rays and he knew my stomach was full of alcohol and it would have been impossible to give me an anesthetic. He then saw that I had a carbuncle on my neck and it would not be possible to follow the usual line of treatment of pinning it because of the danger of some of the germs getting in to the wound. A carbuncle is a nasty thing and the danger of the wound going septic would be too great, for a pin is about a foot and a half long going the whole length of the femur. Mr. Gibson explained the position to me and he asked me if I would relax because the pain would ease off and if I relaxed the whole body really well the pain would go completely. He then started counting and the pain disappeared and he put my leg in traction. I didn't know I was hypnotised but the other men in the ward told me that there was no other way in which the pain would disappear and then I realised what had happened. A book is being written now and it tells the stories of how people were treated. I, like others, am glad to tell the story for the hospital was a happy place.

Michael Cronley

In 1964 I was in charge of a turf-cutting machine. One wet day, I was driving into the bog and after two miles realised there was something wrong with the machine. I was trying to fix it when my sleeve got caught and my arm was pulled completely into the machine.

I heard the crack of the bone breaking and grating until my arm came off altogether. I could smell burning flesh and there was a noise in my head. I fell into the bog, struggled to my feet and staggered three hundred yards and fell again. With only one arm, bleeding profusely and in excruciating pain, it felt like my end was near. As luck would have it, two men had seen me fall and helped me to walk the longest mile, to their car.

They drove me to an ambulance, which took me to Naas Hospital. The stump of bone was sticking out of my shoulder with no muscle or skin. As soon as the nurses were able to cut away my clothes and clean the wound, Mr. Gibson took me to theatre to try and save the stump.

My arm had been recovered from the machine and brought to the hospital. Common practice would have been to take a piece of bone away and then they would have stitched the skin across, leaving the arm neat looking but useless. Mr. Gibson covered the bone with muscle and cut a skin graft from the severed arm.

The next morning, he came to see me. I was in unbearable pain. It was like a red-hot poker, it was so severe. He told me he would hypnotise me and the pain would go away. Then, under hypnosis, he explained that the nerves would carry all of these impulses to the brain because the mind was unaware that there was no arm or hand.

The subconscious mind would now be reached and would comprehend that the arm and hand were not present, therefore pain sensations were completely useless and would stop immediately. When he said “waken up”, I was aware that my arm was gone but I was completely free from pain.

If the stump were going to be useful, I would have to keep moving it, because if it got stiff, it would become useless. The collarbone was shattered and it did not show any signs of union.

Mr. Gibson explained to me, how he had, for many years, operated under hypnosis, as opposed to an ananaesthetic and deep relaxation would ensure no pain. Naturally, I agreed. The goal was to join the fragments of the clavicle together and hold them in position with a pin.

The National Television Studio sent a team to film the procedure and the theatre was set up. I was hypnotised but when the cameras started to roll, I woke up. The film crew had to drive 20 miles back without their coveted prize – the first film made in a major theatre under Hypnosis.

The next day, he asked me why I had woken up? I explained to him that when the camera was turned on it made a grating noise that was exactly the same noise I heard when my arm was being twisted off. When the camera crew left, I could relax perfectly.