A review of the impact of hypnosis, relaxation, guided
imagery and individual differences on aspects of immunity
and health. Authors Gruzelier JH.
Source Stress. 5(2):147-63, 2002 June.
Abstract This review
considers psychological interventions involving relaxation
and guided imagery targeting immune functions. The
review provides evidence of immune control accompanied
by reports of enhanced mood and well-being. Three
recent investigations of the author and his colleagues
with self-hypnosis training incorporating imagery
of the immune system are outlined. In two studies,
hypnosis buffered the effects of stress on immune
functions in medical students at exam time, and the
comparison of self-hypnosis with and without immune
imagery confirmed advantages to targeted imagery for
both immune function and mood, and importantly, fewer
winter viral infections. The implications for health
were investigated in a third study in patients with
virulent and chronic herpes simplex virus-2 HSV-2).
Six weeks of training almost halved recurrence, improved
mood and reduced levels of clinical depression and
anxiety. Immune functions were up-regulated, notably
functional natural killer cell activity to HSV-1.
Individual differences in hypnotic susceptibility
and absorption have typically been found to predict
efficacy. New replicable evidence is reviewed of the
importance of cognitive activation, a personality
difference whose neurophysiological underpinning is
consistent with left hemispheric preferential influences
over the immune system. Now that the validation of
psychological interventions includes advantages for
health, this field of enquiry, which has been characterised
by modest, small scale, largely preliminary studies,
warrants a greater investment in research.
Treatment of chronic fatigue with neurofeedback and
self-hypnosis. Authors Hammond DC.
Institution Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation,
University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City,
UT, USA. D.C.Hammond@m.cc.utah.edu Source Neurorehabilitation.
Abstract A 21 year old
patient reported a relatively rapid onset of serious
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), with her worst symptoms
being cognitive impairments. Congruent with research
on rapid onset CFS, she had no psychiatric history
and specialized testing did not suggest that somatization
was likely. Neuroimaging and EEG research has documented
brain dysfunction in cases of CFS. Therefore, a quantitative
EEG was done, comparing her to a normative data base.
This revealed excessive left frontal theta brainwave
activity in an area previously implicated in SPECT
research. Therefore, a novel treatment approach was
utilized consisting of a combination of EEG neurofeedback
and self-hypnosis training, both of which seemed very
beneficial. She experienced considerable improvement
in fatigue, vigor, and confusion as measured pre-post
with the Profile of Mood States and through collaborative
interviews with both parents. Most of the changes
were maintained at 5, 7, and 9 month follow-up testing.
Self-hypnotic relaxation during interventional radiological
procedures: effects on pain perception and intravenous
drug use. Authors Lang EV. Joyce JS. Spiegel
D. Hamilton D. Lee KK.
Institution Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
(DVAMC), Palo Alto, California, USA.
Source International Journal of Clinical & Experimental
Hypnosis. 44(2):106-19, 1996 Apr.
Abstract The authors
evaluated whether self-hypnotic relaxation can reduce
the need for intravenous conscious sedation during
interventional radiological procedures. Sixteen patients
were randomized to a test group, and 14 patients were
randomized to a control group. All had patient-controlled
analgesia. Test patients additionally had self-hypnotic
relaxation and underwent a Hypnotic Induction Profile
test. Compared to controls, test patients used less
drugs (0.28 vs. 2.01 drug units; p < .01) and reported
less pain (median pain rating 2 vs. 5 on a 0-10 scale;
p < .01). Significantly more control patients exhibited
oxygen desaturation and/or needed interruptions of
their procedures for hemodynamic instability. Benefit
did not correlate with hypnotizability. Self-hypnotic
relaxation can reduce drug use and improve procedural
Rapid self-hypnosis: a new self-hypnosis method and
its comparison with the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP).
Authors Martinez-Tendero J. Capafons A. Weber V.
Institution Universitat de Valencia.
Source American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. 44(1):3-11,
Abstract Despite its
clinical importance, there are few systematic studies
on the application of self-hypnosis. Rapid Self-Hypnosis
(RSH) was created to provide a new procedure that
is easy, comfortable, fosters alertness, and can be
done covertly in everyday life. We present it as an
alternative to the self-hypnosis version of the Hypnosis
Induction Profile (HIP). Using a crossover design,
we found in an experimental session that the RSH and
the HIP produced comparable objective and subjective
scores in the Barber Suggestibility Scale (BSS). However,
as compared with the HIP, participants rated RSH as
significantly more coherent, pleasant, faster and
easier to learn, more likely to be used in everyday
life and go unnoticed by others, less bothersome to
use, and more likely to be used in private. Additional
research should clarify whether these differences
are reliable and have clinical significance. Our results
suggest that RSH will be a valuable addition to the
The efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of pruritus
in people with HIV/AIDS: a time-series analysis. Authors
Rucklidge JJ. Saunders D.
Institution The Toronto Hospital, Canada. email@example.com
Source International Journal of Clinical & Experimental
Hypnosis. 50(2):149-69, 2002 Apr.
Abstract Pruritus, or
generalized itch, is a source of serious discomfort
and distress in a significant minority of people living
with AIDS. Anecdotal reports suggest hypnosis might
be a useful treatment, leading to reductions in distress
and improvements in the condition. But empirical examination
of the question is notably lacking. This time-series
study reports results of a 6-session self-hypnosis
treatment (relaxation, deepening, imagery, and home
practice) for 3 HIV-positive men suffering from pruritus,
related to disease progression and/or HIV medications.
Posttreatment, all 3 patients reported significant
reductions in daily itch severity and extent of sleep
disturbance due to itch. One patient also evidenced
significantly less itch distress. Another also experienced
significantly less time bothered by itch. For the
2 patients on which 4-month follow-up data were available,
treatment benefit across variables was stable or further