Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. -- Tim Brunson, PhD

You can Lower Cholesterol with the Food You Eat!!



by Robert DeMaria DC, DABCO, FASBE, NHD

Are you taken back by the Title? I know, you've heard it before, if you take this proprietary product that comes from the mountains of Asia, Africa or South America you can see improved cholesterol levels in days. All that without changing your diet! Sound to good to be true, well from my nearly thirty years of being a Natural Doctor, it really is too good to be true.

Eudo Erasmus the author and expert in the area of fat metabolism in his book, "Fats That Kill, and Fats That Heal", said "There is no other substance as widely publicized by the medical profession – and no bigger health scandal. Cholesterol can strike terror into the minds of misinformed people. The cholesterol scare is BIG business for doctors, laboratories, and drug companies". I just thought I would start this off with a BANG for all of you that are new to understanding how the body works. People do have heart attacks with normal cholesterol, while they are on drugs that trick the body in having them become low. This is a very serious issue and I thought it was time for you to know the real truth.

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The effects of hypnosis on heart rate variability.



Uslu et al. (2012 ) suggested that hypnotic status can modulate cerebral blood flow. The authors investigated the effects of hypnosis on heart rate variability (HRV). In women, HRV decreased during hypnosis. Posthypnotic values were higher compared to prehypnotic and hypnotic values. Women had highest HRV parameters in the posthypnotic condition. It appears that hypnosis can produce cardiac and cognitive activations. Hypnotherapy may be useful in some cardiac clinical conditions characterized by an autonomic imbalance or some cardiac arrhythmias.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2013 Apr;61(2):162-71. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2013.753826. Yüksel R, Ozcan O, Dane S. Fatih University, Ankara, Turkey. ryuksel38@hotmail.com

Measured outcomes with hypnosis as an experimental tool in a cardiovascular physiology laboratory.



The authors detail their multidisciplinary collaboration of cardiologists, physiologists, neurologists, psychologists, engineers, and statisticians in researching the effects of hypnosis on the cardiovascular system and their additions to that incomplete literature. The article details their results and provides guidelines for researchers interested in replicating their research on hypnosis' effect on the cardiovascular system.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2012 Apr;60(2):241-61. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2012.648078. Casiglia E, Tikhonoff V, Giordano N, Andreatta E, Regaldo G, Tosello MT, Rossi AM, Bordin D, Giacomello M, Facco E. Department of Medicine, University of Padua, Padova, Italy. edoardo.casiglia@unipd.it

Hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening with male South African...



Full Title: Hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening with male South African coronary artery bypass patients

Morbidity (i.e., elevated anxiety and depression) is a common feature of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) patients, pre- and postoperatively. Since hypnotherapy can possibly reduce morbidity in CABS patients, the aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening (HES) to facilitate patient coping with concomitant anxiety and depression. Fifty patients were randomly assigned to a non-intervention control group (n = 25) and an experimental group (n = 25) and exposed to a pre- and postoperative HES intervention. Anxiety and depression were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory and Profile of Mood States, administered preoperatively, at discharge, and at 6-week follow-up. Findings confirmed large practical reductions of anxiety and depression in the experimental group and were maintained at follow-up, while a trend towards increased depression levels occurred in the control group. Although not generalizable, results suggest broadened applications of hypnotherapy with patients in cardiac centers.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Oct;47(2):79-92. de Klerk JE, du Plessis WF, Steyn HS, Botha M. jacobaedeklerk@itsoft.mweb.co.za

Cardiac Autonomic Regulation under Hypnosis Assessed by Heart Rate Variability



Full Title: Cardiac Autonomic Regulation under Hypnosis Assessed by Heart Rate Variability: Spectral Analysis and Fractal Complexity

Objective: This study examined the effects of hypnosis on autonomic cardiac control. We hypothesized a modification of autonomic modulation of the heart rate with an enhanced vagal tone during hypnosis compared to baseline. Methods: In 12 healthy subjects (6 men and 6 women, 22.2 +/- 1.0 years of age) ECG was recorded at baseline and during hypnosis. Heart rate variability parameters were obtained in the frequency domain (LFnu: low frequency normalized units, and HFnu: high frequency normalized units) and from nonlinear analysis methods (detrended fluctuation analysis, DFA). Results: Compared to the control condition, hypnosis showed a significantly decreased LFnu, a significantly increased HFnu, and a significantly decreased LF/HF. DFA showed a significantly decreased short-range similarity. Heart rate remained unchanged. Conclusion: Autonomic cardiac tone is significantly modified during hypnosis by shifting the balance of the sympathovagal interaction toward an enhanced parasympathetic modulation, accompanied by a reduction of the sympathetic tone and a decreased short-range similarity but without a concomitant change in heart rate. Central and secondary autonomous nervous system changes induced by hypnosis are a possible explanation for our results. Another highly probable explanation is given by a variation in the depth of respiration. Hypnosis appears to prevent the autonomic responses expected during neutral stimulation. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Neuropsychobiology. 2009 Sep 21;60(2):104-112. Aubert AE, Verheyden B, Beckers F, Tack J, Vandenberghe J. Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Heart-rate variability as a quantitative measure of hypnotic depth.



The authors investigated whether heart-rate variability can serve as a device for real-time quantitative measurement of hypnotic depth. This study compared the continuous self-rated hypnotic depth (SRHD) of 10 volunteers with heart rate, amplitude, and frequency changes from a time-frequency analysis of heart-rate variability (HRV). The authors found significant linear relationships between SRHD and the high-frequency (HF) component of HRV. Specifically, SRHD was correlated negatively with the frequency of the HF component and positively with the amplitude of the HF component. Unexpectedly, the average temporal trend in SRHD fit well (R(2) = .99) to the step response of a first-order system with a 4-minute time constant. The findings suggest that the reactivity of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system reflected in HRV could become part of a real-time, quantitative measure of hypnotic depth.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2008 Jan;56(1):1-18. Diamond SG, Davis OC, Howe RD. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Solomon.G.Diamond@Dartmouth.edu

Heart-rate control during pain and suggestions of analgesia without deliberate induction of hypnosis



Heart rate and heart-rate variability (HRV) were studied through a set of different methods in high (highs) and low hypnotizable subjects (lows) not receiving any deliberate hypnotic induction in basal conditions (simple relaxation) and during nociceptive-pressor stimulation with and without suggestions of analgesia. ANOVA did not reveal any difference between highs and lows for heart rate and for the HRV indexes extracted from the series of the interbeat intervals (RR) of the ECG in the frequency (spectral analysis) and time domain (standard deviation, Poincare plot) in both basal and stimulation conditions. Factors possibly accounting for the results and likely responsible for an underestimation of group differences are discussed.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2008 Jul;56(3):255-69. Santarcangelo EL, Carli G, Migliorini S, Fontani G, Varanini M, Balocchi R. University of Pisa, Italy.

Hypnotizability-dependent modulation of the changes in heart rate control induced by upright stance.



Subjects with high (Highs) and low (Lows) susceptibility to hypnosis show differences in the sensory-motor integration for postural control and in the cardiovascular response to stress and experimental pain. Aim of the experiment was to assess whether the cardiac response to gravity-related stimulation depending on changes in the body position were different in the two groups. Thus, heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) were evaluated in sitting and upright position in Highs and Lows. Position-related HRV changes were studied in the time (statistical indexes, Poincaré Plot) and frequency (spectral analysis) domain. Results indicated that upright stance was associated with similar changes in heart rate and different modulation of HRV in the two groups. The association of time and frequency domain analyses allowed hypothesizing different control mechanisms as responsible for the cardiac response to upright stance in Highs and Lows, likely due to a different role of the Very Low Frequency (VLF) spectral component of HRV in the two groups. The results are in line with previous findings indicating a natural protection of Highs against cardiovascular events and suggest that the Highs' cardiac function might be less impaired by microgravity than the Lows' one.

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Mar 28;75(5):692-7. Santarcangelo EL, Balocchi R, Scattina E, Manzoni D, Bruschini L, Ghelarducci B, Varanini M. Department of Human Physiology, University of Pisa, Via San Zeno 31, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Hypnotic enhancement of creative drawing.



A hypnotically based intervention to enhance creativity in drawing was evaluated in a controlled study. Participants were randomly assigned to either a hypnotic treatment or a nonhypnotic (task-motivational) control treatment. Subjects drew a standard still-life tableau twice. The first drawing involved no special instructions and provided a baseline measure of creativity in drawing. The second drawing was completed after the creativity-enhancement procedure. The drawings were rated blindly on several dimensions of artistic creativity. Hypnotizability, absorption, and debriefing measures were also administered. Results indicated that the hypnotic procedure had significantly greater effects on creativity in drawing. However, there were no significant main effects or interactions involving hypnotizability or absorption. Hypnotic and task-motivational groups did not differ on debriefing measures regarding their experience.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Oct;55(4):467-85. Council JR, Bromley KA, Zabelina DL, Waters CG. North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105, USA. james.council@ndsu.edu

Hypnosis prevents the cardiovascular response to cold pressor test.



To highlight the effects of hypnotic focused analgesia (HFA), 20 healthy participants underwent a cold pressor test (CPT) in waking basal conditions (WBC) by keeping the right hand in icy water until tolerable (pain tolerance); subjective pain was quantified by visual scale immediately before extracting the hand from water. The test was then repeated while the participants were under hypnosis and underwent HFA suggestions. Cardiovascular parameters were continuously monitored. Pain tolerance was 121.5+/-96.1 sec in WBC and 411.0+/-186.7 sec during HFA (p < 0.0001), and visual rating score 7.75+/-2.29 and 2.45+/-2.98 (p < 0.0001), respectively. CPT-induced increase of total peripheral resistance was non significant during HFA and +21% (p < 0.01) in WBC. HFA therefore reduced both perception and the reflex cardiovascular consequences of pain as well. This indicates that hypnotic analgesia implies a decrease of sensitivity and/or a block of transmission of painful stimuli, with depression of the nervous reflex arc.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani No. 2, Padova, Italy. edoardo.casiglia@unipd.it

Am J Clin Hypn. 2007 Apr;49(4):255-66.

Hypnosis prevents the cardiovascular response to cold pressor test.



To highlight the effects of hypnotic focused analgesia (HFA), 20 healthy participants underwent a cold pressor test (CPT) in waking basal conditions (WBC) by keeping the right hand in icy water until tolerable (pain tolerance); subjective pain was quantified by visual scale immediately before extracting the hand from water. The test was then repeated while the participants were under hypnosis and underwent HFA suggestions. Cardiovascular parameters were continuously monitored. Pain tolerance was 121.5+/-96.1 sec in WBC and 411.0+/-186.7 sec during HFA (p < 0.0001), and visual rating score 7.75+/-2.29 and 2.45+/-2.98 (p < 0.0001), respectively. CPT-induced increase of total peripheral resistance was non significant during HFA and +21% (p < 0.01) in WBC. HFA therefore reduced both perception and the reflex cardiovascular consequences of pain as well. This indicates that hypnotic analgesia implies a decrease of sensitivity and/or a block of transmission of painful stimuli, with depression of the nervous reflex arc.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani No. 2, Padova, Italy. edoardo.casiglia@unipd.it

The effect of hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening with female spouses coronary patients



In addition to exacerbating morbidity in male coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) patients, their plight can also impose considerable strain on their female spouses' mood states, resulting in compromised quality of life. The current study was aimed at determining the impact of pre postoperative hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening (HES) on anxiety and depression in female spouses. It was conducted simultaneously with a recently published study of their CABS husbands' response to HES. Spouses whose husbands had been randomly assigned to an experimental group, were designated the experimental spouse group (n = 25) and spouses whose husbands constituted the control group, likewise comprised the control spouse group (n = 25). Assessment occurred preoperatively, on the day of discharge and at six week follow-up. Spouses in the experimental group (n = 25) were introduced to hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening (HES), pre and postoperatively. In the postoperative assessment experimental female spouses showed significantly reduced morbidity levels, which were maintained at follow-up. In contrast, females in the control group (n = 25) showed no change. The results supported the value of brief hypnotherapy as a means of psychologically empowering spouses whose husbands' were undergoing CABS.

Unitas Hospital, Pretoria, Sinoville. itsoft@mweb.co.za

State of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Research



A special report published in Circulation by the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine examines the impact of mind-body techniques, and, because it is seen as the most widely researched method, Transcendental Medititation on Heart Disease.

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Marital Stress Worsens Prognosis in Women with Coronary Heart Disease



An article in last year's Journal of the American Medical Association reports that 292 women from Stockholm, Sweden were followed for nearly 5 years from the time they experienced either a heart attack or unstable angina pectoris, to see if work stress and/or relationship stress increased their risk of heart trouble (cardiac death, acute myocardial infarction or the need for other surgical repairs). Adjusting for intervening factors such as age, estrogen status, education, smoking, diagnosis, diabetes, triglicerides, and lipoproteins, the team of Orth-Gomer, Wamala, Horsten, Schenck-Gustafsson, Schneiderman and Mittleman found that marital stress increased the women's risk by nearly three times.

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Relaxation Response and Severe Heart Failure



Researchers at the Bedford, Massachusetts V.A. Medical Center find that training patients suffering from moderate to severe heart failure to use the Relaxation Response improves quality of life but not exercise capacity.

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Integrative Noetic Therapies as Adjuncts to Percutaneous Intervention During Unstable Coronary



Well, the first round of Mitch Krucoff's and Suzanne Crater's MANTRA prayer study has been collated and published. The results, even in pilot form, are intriguing.

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Hynosis Compared to Sedation During Angioplasty



Forty-six patients were randomized to receive drug (group 1) or hypnotic sedation (group 2) during balloon angioplasty of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Patients were continuously monitored by intracoronary and standard electrocardiograms, and heart rate spectral variability was also recorded.

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Self-Hypnosis for Patients with Cystic Fibrosis and Pediatric Pulmonology



When sixty- three patients, ages 7-49, were offered to be taught self-hypnosis by their pulmonologist, forty-nine agreed to learn it. The average age was 18.1. Patients generally were taught hypnosis in one or two sessions. Outcomes were determined by patients' answers to open-ended questions regarding their subjective evaluation of the efficacy of hypnosis. Many of the patients used hypnosis for more than one purpose, including general relaxation (61% of patients), relief of pain associated with medical procedures (31%), headache relief (16%), changing the taste of medications to make the flavor more palatable (10%), and control of other symptoms associated with CF (18%).

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Guided Imagery for Cardiac ICU & Cardiac Rehab Patients



Preliminary findings are in from Traci Stein, MPH, Director of The Columbia Integrative Medicine Program and whiz statistician, Peri Nemerow, both from Mehmet Oz's group at Columbia Presbyterian. They tested out our new guided imagery for cardiac ICU & cardiac rehab on 20 patients (average age = 63) who'd undergone by-pass, valve replacement and transplant surgeries, and surveyed them for feedback on the imagery. It turned out that 90% liked listening to the tape; 79% would recommend the tape to a friend; 71% thought it made their hospital stay more pleasant; 83.3 % felt it increased their appreciation for being alive; 80% thought it helped them to better savor the things that they loved; 80% thought it gave them confidence they would regain their strength; 66.7% said it made them feel more positively about their scars; 75% felt it made them less depressed; and 80% felt it made them more relaxed. We also think it only fair to tell you that some thought it was weird. Interestingly enough, patients reported similar levels of satisfaction regardless of age or gender, or whether they'd listened to imagery before. Most patients listened to the tape just once. The team is now looking to do further research with a larger sample size, going for more objective outcome measures of things like blood pressure, heart rate, pain and length of stay.

Effect of autogenic training on cardiac autonomic nervous activity in high-risk fire service workers



We investigated the effect of autogenic training (AT) on cardiac autonomic nervous activity in fire services workers with the use of the questionnaire of the Japanese-language version of Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R-J) and indexes of heart rate variability. METHODS: We studied 22 male fire services workers who were divided into posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related stress group (n=10) and control group (n=12). They underwent AT twice or three times a week for 2 months. RESULTS: Posttraumatic stress disorder-related stress group showed a significantly higher cardiac sympathetic nervous activity and a significantly lower cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity than control group at baseline. Autogenic training significantly decreased cardiac sympathetic nervous activity and significantly increased cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity in both groups. These changes were accompanied by a significant decrease in the total points of IES-R-J. CONCLUSION: Autogenic training is effective for ameliorating the disturbance of cardiac autonomic nervous activity and psychological issues secondary to PTSD.

Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Public Health, Yoshida-Konoe cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.

The effect of hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening and coronary arteries



In addition to exacerbating morbidity in male coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) patients, their plight can also impose considerable strain on their female spouses' mood states, resulting in compromised quality of life. The current study was aimed at determining the impact of pre postoperative hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening (HES) on anxiety and depression in female spouses. It was conducted simultaneously with a recently published study of their CABS husbands' response to HES. Spouses whose husbands had been randomly assigned to an experimental group, were designated the experimental spouse group (n = 25) and spouses whose husbands constituted the control group, likewise comprised the control spouse group (n = 25). Assessment occurred preoperatively, on the day of discharge and at six week follow-up. Spouses in the experimental group (n = 25) were introduced to hypnotherapeutic ego strengthening (HES), pre and postoperatively. In the postoperative assessment experimental female spouses showed significantly reduced morbidity levels, which were maintained at follow-up. In contrast, females in the control group (n = 25) showed no change. The results supported the value of brief hypnotherapy as a means of psychologically empowering spouses whose husbands' were undergoing CABS.

Unitas Hospital, Pretoria, Sinoville. itsoft@mweb.co.za

Teamwork approach to clinical hypnosis at a pediatric pulmonary center.



The aim of this report is to demonstrate the success of a teamwork approach for providing instruction in self-hypnosis at a Pediatric Pulmonary Center. In order to add to the hypnosis service provided by a pulmonologist at the Center, the Center social worker learned how to use clinical hypnosis. During a 3-year period, she instructed 72 patients (average age 11.6 years) in self-hypnosis. Eighty-two percent of the patients reported improvement or resolution of the primary symptoms, which included anxiety, asthma, chest pain, dyspnea, habit cough, hyperventilation, sighing, and vocal cord dysfunction. The social worker and pulmonologist consulted with each other on a regular basis regarding their hypnosis work, and achieved similar successful results following their hypnosis interventions. Thus, clinical hypnosis at a Pediatric Pulmonary Center can be provided by a team of varied professionals. As a team, these professionals can support each other in their on-going development of hypnosis skills.

Department of Pediatrics, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 E Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA. anbarr@upstate.edu

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