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

EEG source imaging during two Qigong meditations.

Experienced Qigong meditators who regularly perform the exercises "Thinking of Nothing" and "Qigong" were studied with multichannel EEG source imaging during their meditations. The intracerebral localization of brain electric activity during the two meditation conditions was compared using sLORETA functional EEG tomography. Differences between conditions were assessed using t statistics (corrected for multiple testing) on the normalized and log-transformed current density values of the sLORETA images. In the EEG alpha-2 frequency, 125 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Qigong" than "Thinking of Nothing," forming a single cluster in parietal Brodmann areas 5, 7, 31, and 40, all in the right hemisphere. In the EEG beta-1 frequency, 37 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Thinking of Nothing" than "Qigong," forming a single cluster in prefrontal Brodmann areas 6, 8, and 9, all in the left hemisphere. Compared to combined initial-final no-task resting, "Qigong" showed activation in posterior areas whereas "Thinking of Nothing" showed activation in anterior areas. The stronger activity of posterior (right) parietal areas during "Qigong" and anterior (left) prefrontal areas during "Thinking of Nothing" may reflect a predominance of self-reference, attention and input-centered processing in the "Qigong" meditation, and of control-centered processing in the "Thinking of Nothing" meditation.

Cogn Process. 2012 May 5. Faber PL, Lehmann D, Tei S, Tsujiuchi T, Kumano H, Pascual-Marqui RD, Kochi K. The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research, Clinic for Affective Disorders and General Psychiatry Zurich East, University Hospital of Psychiatry, 8032, Zurich, Switzerland, pfaber@key.uzh.ch.

Spring forest qigong and chronic pain: making a difference.

Purpose: Research completed in Asia on various forms of qigong over time has repeatedly linked the practice to positive health outcomes. To demonstrate that Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ) knowledge is easily accessible, promotes self-efficacy, and has measurable health benefits, a pilot study on SFQ and chronic pain was designed. Design: This mixed-methods study oriented 122 subjects to Level 1 SFQ. Method: Participants were required to complete four symptom surveys (including the Visual Analog Scale), attend three group meetings (beginning, middle, end of study), practice SFQ for 30 minutes per day for 8 weeks, and keep a practice record. Findings: Pearson correlation coefficients were computed pairwise between the symptom surveys. Pearson's chi-square tests were used to assess the association of these variables between the four survey time points, with statistical significance assessed at a =.05. The hypothesis was statistically supported. The active exercise and the meditation aspects of SFQ are effective self-care modalities for persons with perceived chronic physical pain and/or emotional distress. Conclusions : Subjects (n = 86) demonstrated significant improvement both statistically and anecdotally during the study period. Clinical relevance : Findings indicate that health care providers could promote this promising evidenced-based modality for adults to actualize heath promotion practices.

J Holist Nurs. 2011 Jun;29(2):118-28. Epub 2010 Nov 9. Coleman JF. Gustavus Adolphus College, Professor Emerita, 14373 Woodville Court, Waseca, MN 56093, colemanj@gustavus.edu.

Tactile Acuity in Experienced Tai Chi Practitioners

The scientific discovery of novel training paradigms has yielded better understanding of basic mechanisms underlying cortical plasticity, learning and development. This study is a first step in evaluating Tai Chi (TC), the Chinese slow-motion meditative exercise, as a training paradigm that, while not engaging in direct tactile stimulus training, elicits enhanced tactile acuity in long-term practitioners. The rationale for this study comes from the fact that, unlike previously studied direct-touch tactile training paradigms, TC practitioners focus specific mental attention on the body's extremities including the fingertips and hands as they perform their slow routine. To determine whether TC is associated with enhanced tactile acuity, experienced adult TC practitioners were recruited and compared to age-gender matched controls. A blinded assessor used a validated method (Van Boven et al. in Neurology 54(12): 2230-2236, 2000) to compare TC practitioners' and controls' ability to discriminate between two different orientations (parallel and horizontal) across different grating widths at the fingertip. Study results showed that TC practitioners' tactile spatial acuity was superior to that of the matched controls (P < 0.04). There was a trend showing TC may have an enhanced effect on older practitioners (P < 0.066), suggesting that TC may slow age related decline in this measure. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate a long-term attentional practice's effects on a perceptual measure. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine whether TC initiates or is merely correlated with perceptual changes and whether it elicits long-term plasticity in primary sensory cortical maps. Further studies should also assess whether related somatosensory attentional practices (such as Yoga, mindfulness meditation and Qigong) achieve similar effects.

Kerr CE, Shaw JR, Wasserman RH, Chen VW, Kanojia A, Bayer T, Kelley JM. Harvard Osher Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. catherine_kerr@hms.harvard.edu Exp Brain Res. 2008 Jun;188(2):317-22.

Medical qigong for cancer patients.

Quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients is often diminished due to the side effects of treatment and symptoms of the disease itself. Medical Qigong (coordination of gentle exercise and relaxation through meditation and breathing exercise based on Chinese medicine theory of energy channels) may be an effective therapy for improving QOL, symptoms and side effects, and longevity of cancer patients. In this pilot study, the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of Medical Qigong (MQ) were evaluated on outcomes in cancer patients. Thirty patients diagnosed with heterogeneous cancers, were randomly assigned to two groups: a control group that received usual medical care and an intervention group who participated in a MQ program for 8 weeks in addition to receiving usual medical care. Randomization was stratified by completion of cancer treatment (n = 14) or under chemotherapy (n = 16). Patients completed measures before and after the program. Quality of life and symptoms were measured by the EORTC QLQ-C 30 and progress of disease by the inflammation biomarker (CRP: c-reactive protein) via a blood test was assessed. The MQ intervention group reported clinically significant improved global QOL scores pre- and post-intervention. The MQ intervention also reduced the symptoms of side effects of cancer treatment and inflammation biomarker (CRP) compare to the control group. Due to the small sample size, however, the results were not statistically significant between treatment and the control groups. Data from the pilot study suggest that MQ with usual medical treatment can enhance the QOL of cancer patients and reduce inflammation. This study needs a further investigation with a larger sample size.

Oh B, Butow P, Mullan B, Clarke S. School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia. bsoh@med.usyd.edu.au Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(3):459-72.

Effect of combined Taiji and Qigong training on balance mechanisms

Taiji (T'ai Chi) has been shown to have generally positive effects on functional balance. However, few studies have investigated the mechanisms by which Taiji may improve balance. The goal of this study was to evaluate changes in sensory and biomechanical balance mechanisms as a consequence of a traditional Taiji exercise program for healthy older adults that intentionally emphasized both Taiji forms and Qigong meditation. MATERIAL/METHODS: This was a randomized controlled trial with blind testers. Forty-nine healthy older adults (mean age 80.4, SD. 8.6) were randomized to participate in Taiji-Qigong (TQ) training (N=33) or a wait-list control group (WC, N=16). TQ instruction was provided 1 hour/session, 3 sessions a week for six months. Somatosensory, visual, and vestibular ratios of the Sensory Organization Test, and quiet stance Base of Support (BoS) and feet opening angle measures were collected prior to instruction (T0), at two months (T2), and six months (T6). RESULTS: TQ group vestibular ratio scores (normalized to T0) were +22% and +47% greater than WC at T2 and T6, respectively. The TQ group exhibited an increase in quiet stance BoS over time but not feet opening angle, indicating that the increase in BoS was due to the adoption of wider stances. CONCLUSIONS: Improved use of vestibular input and wider stances are two mechanisms by which Taiji-Qigong training may improve healthy older adults' balance. Further study is needed to evaluate other balance mechanisms and the individual and combined effects of different aspects of traditional Taiji practice.

Med Sci Monit. 2007 Aug;13(8):CR339-48. Yang Y, Verkuilen JV, Rosengren KS, Grubisich SA, Reed MR, Hsiao-Wecksler ET. Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. yyang5@uiuc.edu

Effect of artificial and human external qigong on electroencephalograms in rabbit.

External gigong emitted by a quartz crystal upon application of electric current was evaluated by its biological effects, such as changes in frequency-analyzed electroencephalograms (EEG) in rabbits and spontaneous electrical activity of the rat pineal gland. Physical properties of this external gigong cannot be evaluated by currently available physical means. Three types of EEG changes were produced depending on the intensity of current applied to the crystal. These changes corresponded fairly well to the dose-dependent EEG changes after intravenous administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan. A gigong-containing medal also produced similar EEG changes depending on threshold to gigong. Human gigong similarly influenced EEG. All EEG changes disappeared after pinealectomy or after application of methysergide (10 mg/kg), a serotonin antagonist. The rate of spontaneous electrical activity of the pineal gland was depressed by reorientation of the rat to the north or to the south, by gigong emitted by a quartz crystal, or by application of a gigong-containing medal. Human gigong also depressed this electrical activity. The EEG changes produced by external gigong might be caused by increased serotonin concentration in the pineal gland, since the pineal gland is responsive to gigong as well as the earth's magnetic field, which is known to inhibit N-acetyltransferase by increasing serotonin concentration in the pineal gland. Hence, the finding that current-intensity-dependent EEG changes induced by quartz crystal-emitted gigong were analogous to dose-dependent EEG changes produced by 5-hydroxytryptophan might be attributed to increased serotonin levels by current-intensity-dependent inhibition of N-acetyltransferase by external gigong.

Acupunct Electrother Res. 1994 Jun-Sep;19(2-3):89-106.

Takeshige C, Aoki T.

Dept. of Physiology, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

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