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

Allocation of attentional resources in posthypnotic suggestion.

Highly hypnotizable subjects received a nonhypnotic instruction to respond to a particular digit in a display and a posthypnotic suggestion to respond to a different digit. On some test trials, these 2 responses were tested separately; on others, they were placed in conflict. Overall, subjects were no more responsive to posthypnotic cues than to nonhypnotic cues, nor did their response latencies differ. However, response to posthypnotic cues diminished when they conflicted with the nonhypnotic cues. Analysis of response latencies showed that posthypnotic responding interfered with nonhypnotic responding (and vice versa), even on those trials where there was no procedural conflict. Posthypnotic behavior is not inevitably evoked by the presentation of the prearranged cue. Furthermore, the interference between posthypnotic and nonhypnotic responses indicates that posthypnotic responding consumes attentional resources. Both findings indicate that posthypnotic behavior is not automatic in the technical sense of that term.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Oct;58(4):367-82. Tobis IP, Kihlstrom JF. University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

Trance state effects and imagery vividness before and during a hypnotic...

FULL TITLE: Trance state effects and imagery vividness before and during a hypnotic assessment: a preliminary study.

This preliminary study explored the relationship between imagery vividness before and during a hypnotic phenomenological assessment procedure, the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory-Hypnotic Assessment Procedure (PCI-HAP), while also assessing trance (hypnoidal) state effects and several other variables. The PCI-HAP allows the assessment of trance state effects associated with hypnotism to be quantified and statistically assessed. The 102 subjects completed the PCI-HAP along with several other questionnaire items. Correlational and regression analyses suggested that imagery vividness during hypnotism (hypnotic imagoic suggestibility) was predicted by combined imagery vividness before hypnotism and trance (altered) state effects during hypnotism. When measuring several additional variables, imagery vividness during hypnotism was found to be a function of self-reported hypnotic depth and additional other variables. The usefulness of these results for better understanding imagery vividness before and during hypnotism is discussed.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Oct;58(4):383-416. Pekala RJ, Maurer R, Kumar VK, Elliott-Carter N, Mullen K. Coatesville Veterans Administration Medical Center, Coatesville, Pennsylvania 19320, USA. pekalar@voicenet.com

Polish norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A.

The Polish version of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A; Shor & Orne, 1962) was administered to 1174 participants (968 women and 206 men). Polish data were compared with other norming studies. Point-biserial item-scale correlations ranged from r = .12 (posthypnotic suggestion item) to r = .49. The Kuder-Richardson correlation of .70 was within the range of the reference samples. Test-retest reliability coefficients were obtained from one group of participants tested twice in the same session (r = .69, p < .05), and another group 8 weeks apart (r = .58, p < .05). Females scored significantly higher than males.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Oct;58(4):433-43 Siuta J. Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. upsiuta@cyf-kr.edu.pl

The effectiveness of clinical hypnosis in the digestive endoscopy....

FULL TITLE: The effectiveness of clinical hypnosis in the digestive endoscopy: a multiple case report.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and viability of hypnosis before and during a gastrointestinal endoscopy. Six Gastroscopies and 22 colonoscopies were carried out under hypnosis in a group of patients. The patients ranged in age from 20 and 67 years and have a history of previously incomplete and poorly tolerated examinations or expressed an active demand for sedation. For 6 of the patients who underwent a gastroscopy under hypnosis, the procedure was successfully completed, reaching the second part of the duodenum without difficulty for the endoscopist. Colonoscopy of the cecum was completed in 19 of 20 patients. All patients, except 1, considered their tolerance level as "good." Hypnosis facilitated an adequate endoscopy intervention without any discomfort in 85% of the cases examined. Avoidance of anaesthesia reduces risk to the patient. Hence, hypnosis for gastrointestinal endoscopy appears to provide a promising strategy.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2010 Oct;53(2):101-7. Domínguez-Ortega L, Rodríguez-Muñoz S. Internal Medicine Department, Sleep and Hypnosis Unit, Hospital 12 de Octubre. luis.dominguez@clinicaludor.com

See clearly: suggestion, hypnosis, attention, and visual acuity

Some reports claim that positive suggestion (e.g., using hypnosis) can significantly improve visual acuity (e.g., in myopes). Based on behavioral, neurocognitive, and ophthalmological findings, the authors provide a critical account to review and challenge some of these data. While acknowledging the relative merits of hypnosis for investigating visual phenomena, an array of arguments converges to propose caveats to the apparent influence suggestion can exert on visual acuity. The authors argue that neither suggestion nor hypnotic phenomena are likely to significantly improve myopic vision and contend that a responsible scientific attitude should carefully outline what hypnosis and suggestion cannot do in addition to what they can. It seems likely that the small apparent influence of suggestion on visual acuity is mediated by changes in attention. The authors outline how attention can affect visual acuity.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Apr;52(2):159-87. Raz A, Marinoff GP, Zephrani ZR, Schweizer HR, Posner MI. Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry, New York 10032, USA. ar2241@columbia.edu

Reality monitoring in hypnosis: a pilot investigation

In a pilot investigation of reality monitoring in hypnosis, 10 high and 10 low hypnotizable participants were administered a hypnotic suggestion to hallucinate a visual shape on a wall. For half the participants, an image was subtly projected onto the wall at the commencement of the suggestion and then subsequently removed. For the remaining participants, the projected image was initially absent and subsequently projected. Participants completed ratings of belief in the suggestion during hypnosis and also provided subjective reports of the suggestion during a subsequent Experiential Analysis Technique session. High hypnotizable participants who had the projected image introduced at the end of the suggestion provided comparable belief ratings when the image was present and absent. In contrast, highs who had the projected image presented first reported less belief when the image was absent than when it was present. Low hypnotizable participants rated the hallucination more strongly when the image was projected than when it was not projected. These pilot data are discussed in terms of developing a paradigm to objectively index the perceived reality of hypnotically suggested experiences.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Apr;52(2):188-97. Bryant RA, Mallard D. School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. r.bryant@unsw.edu.au

Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users

Full Title: Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users: effects on self-esteem, affect, and relapse

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a self-hypnosis protocol with chronic drug and alcohol patients in increasing self-esteem, improving affect, and preventing relapse against a control, a transtheoretical cognitive-behavioral (TCB), and a stress management (attention-placebo) group. Participants were 261 veterans admitted to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (SARRTPs). Participants were assessed pre- and postintervention, and at 7-week follow-up. Relapse rates did not significantly differ across the 4 groups at follow-up; 87% of those contacted reported abstinence. At follow-up, the participants in the 3 treatment conditions were asked how often they practiced the intervention materials provided them. Practicing and minimal-practicing participants were compared against the control group for each of the 3 interventions via MANOVAs/ANOVAs. Results revealed a significant Time by Groups interaction for the hypnosis intervention, with individuals who played the self-hypnosis audiotapes "at least 3 to 5 times a week" at 7-week follow-up reporting the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups. No significant effects were found for the transtheoretical or stress management interventions. Regression analyses predicted almost two-thirds of the variance of who relapsed and who did not in the hypnosis intervention group. Hypnotic susceptibility predicted who practiced the self-hypnosis audiotapes. The results suggest that hypnosis can be a useful adjunct in helping chronic substance abuse individuals with their reported self-esteem, serenity, and anger/impulsivity.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97. Pekala RJ, Maurer R, Kumar VK, Elliott NC, Masten E, Moon E, Salinger M. Biofeedback Clinic (116B), Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA. Ronald.Pekala@med.va.gov

Hypnosis to facilitate uncomplicated birth

Prior research by the author showed that psychosocial factors distinguished complicated from uncomplicated birth outcome. The purpose of this study was to determine if prenatal hypnosis could facilitate uncomplicated birth. Following a psychosocial assessment, 520 pregnant women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy were randomized to receiving prenatal hypnosis or attention-only groups. The author provided all of the hypnosis in a manner similar to that taught by David Cheek. The goal was to reduce fear of birth and parenthood; to reduce anxiety; to reduce stress; to identify specific fears that might complicate the labor process (addressing them whenever possible); and to prepare women for the experience of labor. The attention-only group was matched to a no-contact comparison group. Women receiving prenatal hypnosis had significantly better outcomes than women who did not. Further assessment suggested that hypnosis worked by preventing negative emotional factors from leading to an complicated birth outcome. Attention only was associated with minimal differences in outcome over the no-contact group. The routine prenatal use of hypnosis could improve obstetric outcome.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Apr;46(4):299-312. Mehl-Madrona LE. Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1249 N. Mountain St., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA. madrona@email.arizona.edu

The efficacy of hypnosis in the reduction of procedural pain and distress in pediatric oncology

Full Title: The efficacy of hypnosis in the reduction of procedural pain and distress in pediatric oncology: a systematic review

Children who suffer from cancer have to endure regular, painful medical procedures that are associated with a considerable degree of psychosocial distress. Hypnosis has been successfully employed in the management of pain and distress in the adult population, but is not well studied in pediatric populations. This review systematically evaluates the systematic research conducted in the field of procedure-related pain management in pediatric oncology within the context of a nationally agreed framework for the assessment of research evidence. It is concluded that there is not currently enough robust research evidence to recommend that hypnosis should form part of best practice guidelines for the management of procedure-related pain in pediatric oncology. However, there is sufficient evidence to justify larger-scale, appropriately controlled studies. A number of recommendations are made regarding future research.

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Jun;25(3):207-13. Wild MR, Espie CA. Section of Psychological Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. m.wild@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

The hipbone is connected to the thighbone; the thighbone is connected to…

Lessons learned from a somatic treatment session that significantly reduced severe chronic hip and leg pain

by Erik Peper, PhD, and Annette Booiman, MRT

After experiencing your guided exercises on the gym floor, I slept comfortably and without any pain for the first time in four years. This morning when I went grocery shopping, I could walk straight with a normal stride and again without pain. I feel great. --Paul Maassen

The rapid successful resolution of pain occurred as the result of a spontaneous teaching moment with a person in the gym. This success is not just a case of magical/spontaneous healing but the integration of multiple factors that promote healing and underlie somatic awareness practices and successful biofeedback training. In this clinical note, we describe how the educational treatment began, the educational/clinical coaching sequence, and factors that therapists may want to consider in their treatment.

To read the full article, click here.

An argument for a qualitative research approach to hypnotic experiencing...

Full Title: An argument for a qualitative research approach to hypnotic experiencing and perceptually oriented hypnosis

An argument for the significance of a qualitative research approach to hypnotic experiencing and a perceptually oriented view of hypnosis is presented with hypnosis framed in phenomenological, humanistic, and perceptual terms. An outline of threads of thought in Popper's writings are consistent with such a perspective. Qualitative approaches are noted and support for theoretical discussions leading to deeper understanding of issues of hypnotic experiencing, such as unconscious processes, nonlinear experiences, and researchers' countertransference are examined. Some limitations of current quantitative approaches to examining hypnotic experiencing and myths about qualitative research are discussed.

Psychol Rep. 2004 Jun;94(3 Pt 1):955-66. Woodard FJ. Woodard Hypnosis and Research, Inc., Milford, New Hampshire, USA.

Surface electromyographic biofeedback to optimize performance in daily life

by Erik Peper, Annette Booiman, Marie Tallard, and Naoki Takebayashi

Surface electromyographic biofeedback to optimize performance in daily life: Improving physical fitness and health at the worksite

Muscle pain is the primary cause of discomfort for more than 30% of patients who visit their primary physicians with severe pain. These pains are often caused by dysponesis which is unaware misdirected muscle efforts not necessary for task performances. It can consist of 1) excessively tightening muscles that are used for the task performance, 2) tightening muscles not necessary for the task performance (inappropriate co-contractions), 3) not relaxing muscles after the task has been completed, or 4) not relaxing muscles momentarily during task performance to allow for ongoing regeneration (surface electromyograhic gaps/micro-breaks).These chronic covert muscle tensions are a significant co-factor in the etiology, maintenance and progression of many disorders such as headaches, backaches, joint pain, repetitive strain injuries, myalgias, etc. Dysponesis can be identified with surface electromyographic (SEMG) feedback. The benefits of using SEMG to reduce dysponesis through awareness and training are illustrated by two clinical case examples: 1) to improve health at work when packing apples and 2) to enhance performance while working out in the gym on an elliptical exercise machine. As documented by the SEMG recorded from the upper trapezius and/or forearm flexors, the reduction of misdirected muscle efforts decreased the neck and shoulder pains at work and at home and enhanced performance on an elliptical exercise machine. SEMG is a useful clinical tool to assess, monitor, provide feedback to the therapist and client, document muscle dysponesis, and teach clients awareness and voluntary control to reduce their dysponesis and improve health.

Click here to read the full article.

Effects of hypnosis as an adjunct to intravenous sedation for third molar extraction

Full Title: Effects of hypnosis as an adjunct to intravenous sedation for third molar extraction: a randomized, blind, controlled study

The effects of hypnosis/therapeutic suggestion in connection with intravenous sedation and surgery have been described in many clinical publications; however, few randomized, controlled, and blind studies have been performed in the outpatient area. This study aimed to evaluate the use of hypnosis/therapeutic suggestion as an adjunct to intravenous (IV) sedation in patients having 3rd molar removal in an outpatient setting. The patients were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 46) or control (n = 54) group. The treatment group listened to a rapid conversational induction and therapeutic suggestions via headphones throughout the entire surgical procedure along with a standard sedation dose of intravenous anesthetic. The control group listened to only music without any hypnotic intervention. Intraoperative Propofol administration, patient postoperative pain ratings, and postoperative prescription pain reliever consumption were all significantly reduced in the treatment compared to the control group. Implications of these results are discussed.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Jan;58(1):21-38. Mackey EF. Department of Nursing, West Chester, University of Pennsylvania, 855 S. New Street, West Chester, PA 19348, USA. emackey@wcupa.edu

Hypnosis treatment for chronic low back pain

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a significant healthcare problem, and many individuals with CLBP remain unresponsive to available interventions. Previous research suggests that hypnosis is effective for many chronic pain conditions; however, data to support its efficacy for CLBP are outdated and have been limited primarily to case studies. This pilot study indicated that a brief, 4-session standardized self-hypnosis protocol, combined with psycho-education, significantly and substantially reduced pain intensity and pain interference. Significant session-to-session improvements were also noted on pain ratings and mood states; however, follow-up data suggest that these benefits may not have been maintained across time in this sample. These findings need to be replicated and confirmed in a larger clinical trial, which could also assess the long-term effects of this treatment

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Jan;58(1):53-68. Tan G, Fukui T, Jensen MP, Thornby J, Waldman KL. Anesthesiology Pain Program, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA. TAN.GABRIEL@va.gov

Hypnotizability and opinions about hypnosis in a clinical trial for the hypnotic control of...

Full Title: Hypnotizability and opinions about hypnosis in a clinical trial for the hypnotic control of pain and anxiety during pregnancy termination

This descriptive study evaluates the hypnoanalgesic experience's effect on participants' hypnotizability and opinions about hypnosis and identifies factors associated with hypnotizability. Hypnotizability was assessed using the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form A in 290 women 1 month after their participation in a randomized clinical trial evaluating hypnotic intervention for pain/anxiety versus standard care during pregnancy termination. Opinions were collected before and after the intervention. The regression model describing hypnotizability (F = 13.55; p < .0001; R(2) = 0.20) retained 5 variables but not the intervention group. The variable explaining most of total variance (62.9%) was the level of perceived automaticity/involuntariness. Opinions about hypnosis were modified by the hypnotic experience compared to standard care but were not associated with hypnotizability. Exposure to hypnoanalgesia did not influence hypnotizability but modifies significantly the opinions about hypnosis. Consistent with previous findings, perceived automaticity appears to best predict hypnotizability.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Jan;58(1):82-101. Dufresne A, Rainville P, Dodin S, Barré P, Masse B, Verreault R, Marc I. Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.

Efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV) in women:rural and urban samples

This article investigates the effect of hypnosis on immunity and whether this is the key mechanism in the hypnotic treatment of the genital infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and can lead to cervical and other cancers. Current medical treatments are aimed at tissue assault (acids, freezing, surgery). Medical wart clearance rates are only 30% to 70% and recurrence is common. Our research contrasted hypnosis-only with medical-only therapies, using both urban hospital and rural community samples. Both hypnosis and medical therapy resulted in a statistically significant (p < .04) reduction in areas and numbers of lesions. Yet, at the 12-week follow-up, complete clearance rates were 5 to 1 in favor of hypnosis.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Jan;58(1):102-21. Barabasz A, Higley L, Christensen C, Barabasz M. Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA. arreed_barabasz@wsu.edu

A dissociative episode following stage hypnosis in a combat-injured soldier

Full Title: A dissociative episode following stage hypnosis in a combat-injured soldier: implications, treatment and reflections

Significant data to suggest the need for more appropriate precautions for volunteers participating in stage hypnosis is presented. This paper is a case report of a soldier previously injured in battle who, due to participating in stage hypnosis one year after his injury, experienced a dissociative episode wherein post-traumatic stress symptoms were prominent. During this episode, which lasted over three hours, the service member assaulted an acquaintance, subsequently believed he was a prisoner of war, experienced amnesia for some of the events, and was eventually psychiatrically hospitalized. The diagnosis of acute psychotic reaction was rendered. Fortunately for this service member, upon his return to his treating hospital center, his primary medical team made an appropriate referral. Psychotherapeutic treatment allowed this individual to integrate his traumatic experiences, gain control and understanding of his behavior, and extinguish his pain and suffering, returning to his successful career.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2010 Jan;52(3):183-8. Wain HJ, Dailey J. Dept. of Psychiatry, Walter Reed Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001, USA. harold.wain@amedd.army.mil

Hypnosis and anxious troubles

This article describes how hypnosis can be used as an efficient technique in treating patients with anxious disorders. Hypnosis can be used to achieve a better control of the anxious symptoms through relaxation. It allows the patient to anticipate the anxiety triggering events. This technique also allows the patient to mentalise and integrate traumatic events, therefore helping him to prevent the post-traumatic anxious symptoms.

Rev Med Suisse. 2010 Feb 17;6(236):330-3. Smaga D, Cheseaux N, Forster A, Colombo S, Rentsch D, de Tonnac N. HUG, Département de psychiatrie, Avenue Krieg 15, 1208 Genève. smaga@infomaniak.ch

Using hypnosis to gain insights into healthy and pathological cognitive functioning

The demonstration that hypnotic suggestion can inhibit word/colour Stroop highlights one of the benefits of using hypnosis to explore cognitive psychology and in particular attentional processes. The compelling results using a rigorous design have particular relevance for the presumed automaticity of some forms of information processing. Moreover the results support the potential that hypnotic suggestion offers for creating clinically informed analogues of relevant psychological and neuropsychological conditions. As with all novel research, the results of Raz and Campbell raise further operational and theoretical questions, relating in this case to the use of hypnotic, post-hypnotic and non-hypnotic suggestion and the utility of existing measures of hypnotizability. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Conscious Cogn. 2010 Feb 24. Oakley DA, Halligan PW. Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK; School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK.

Hypnosis: exploring the benefits for the role of the hospital social worker

This article will provide an examination of Erickson's model of hypnosis and the impact hypnosis has made on the psychosocial well being of the medically ill patient. The intrinsic three stage process of a hypnotic intervention, as well as its value, practice assumptions, and its relevance to alleviating pain, distress, and anxiety with oncology patients will be discussed. We have found this approach to be particularly effective with adult oncology patients at alleviating the side effects of the arduous treatment that is often endured. Case vignettes will demonstrate the benefits of utilizing this intervention with adult patients in the hospital setting as well as provide specific insight into the creative methods in which we have woven hypnosis into our clinical work. Finally, we will explore the use and rationale of hypnosis in medical settings and the impact of using this intervention on the role of the hospital social worker.

Soc Work Health Care. 2010 Mar;49(3):245-62. Snow A, Warbet R. The Mount Sinai Medical Center, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA. Alison.Snow@mountsinai.org

Changes in mismatch negativity across pre-hypnosis, hypnosis and post-hypnosis...

Full Title: Changes in mismatch negativity across pre-hypnosis, hypnosis and post-hypnosis conditions distinguish high from low hypnotic susceptibility groups

The role of alterations in mismatch negativity (MMN) in hypnosis was examined by recording MMN of the auditory ERP at frontal (F3, Fz, and F4) and mastoid (M1 and M2) placements. Frontal MMN is believed to reflect activity in right anterior cortical generators, whereas MMN at mastoid leads reflects generators located bilaterally in the temporal auditory cortex. MMN recordings were obtained in 11 low and 12 high hypnotically susceptible participants in three successive blocks; pre-hypnosis, hypnosis and post-hypnosis. Frontal (but not temporal) MMN showed a significant quadratic trend across testing conditions. It increased during hypnosis and then dropped post-hypnosis for both susceptibility groups. Linear trends for frontal and temporal MMN showed directly opposite patterns of change in the interaction between hypnotic susceptibility and testing blocks. Frontal MMN built up linearly over the test blocks in high relative to low susceptibility participants. Temporal MMN showed the reverse pattern and increased linearly across test conditions in those with low relative to high hypnotic susceptibility.

Brain Res Bull. 2005 Oct 30;67(4):298-303. Jamieson GA, Dwivedi P, Gruzelier JH. Imperial College London, UK. gjamieso@pobox.une.edu.au

Investigating peri-traumatic dissociation using hypnosis during a traumatic film

We investigated the hypothesis that inducing a dissociative response (detachment) in healthy volunteers while they were watching a trauma film would lead to increased numbers of intrusive memories of the film during the following week. Hypnotized participants were given suggestions to dissociate during part of the film, and to watch the rest of the film normally from their own perspective. The order of these conditions, and the section of film watched under the two conditions, were counterbalanced. As predicted, watching the film under both conditions led to increases in dissociation. Explicit suggestions to dissociate were generally effective in inducing higher levels of dissociation. Contrary to prediction, there were no more intrusive memories of sections of the film for which participants had received dissociation suggestions. Implications of our results for views of the relationship between peri-traumatic dissociation and intrusive memories are discussed.

J Trauma Dissociation. 2006;7(4):91-113. Holmes EA, Oakley DA, Stuart AD, Brewin CR. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK. emily.holmes@psych.ox.ac.uk

Hypnotic susceptibility as a predictor of participation in student activities

In this study, Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility: Form A scores for 458 college students were compared with college yearbook records of their participation in student activities. Students who scored low in susceptibility showed significantly less participation in activities than others who were either moderate or high in susceptibility. Overall, females showed higher levels of participation than males, but there was no significant interaction between gender and hypnotic susceptibility. Spectral analysis showed participation scores to be somewhat more strongly related to easier HGSHS:A items than to more difficult items in the manner predicted by two-factor theory. Closer examination of the results revealed that this effect was primarily due to the fact that low susceptible subjects participated significantly less in student activities than subjects who were either moderate or high in hypnotic susceptibility. The results suggest that future research should further examine the unique contribution of low susceptibility subjects to hypnosis theory and research.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2003 Oct;46(2):139-45. Graham KR, Marra LC, Rudski JM. Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. krg6543@aol.com

Hypnotic induction decreases anterior default mode activity

The 'default mode' network refers to cortical areas that are active in the absence of goal-directed activity. In previous studies, decreased activity in the 'default mode' has always been associated with increased activation in task-relevant areas. We show that the induction of hypnosis can reduce anterior default mode activity during rest without increasing activity in other cortical regions. We assessed brain activation patterns of high and low suggestible people while resting in the fMRI scanner and while engaged in visual tasks, in and out of hypnosis. High suggestible participants in hypnosis showed decreased brain activity in the anterior parts of the default mode circuit. In low suggestible people, hypnotic induction produced no detectable changes in these regions, but instead deactivated areas involved in alertness. The findings indicate that hypnotic induction creates a distinctive and unique pattern of brain activation in highly suggestible subjects.

Conscious Cogn. 2009 Dec;18(4):848-55. Epub 2009 Sep 25. McGeown WJ, Mazzoni G, Venneri A, Kirsch I. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK.

Hypnotic suggestibility, cognitive inhibition, and dissociation

We examined two potential correlates of hypnotic suggestibility: dissociation and cognitive inhibition. Dissociation is the foundation of two of the major theories of hypnosis and other theories commonly postulate that hypnotic responding is a result of attentional abilities (including inhibition). Participants were administered the Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C. Under the guise of an unrelated study, 180 of these participants also completed: a version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale that is normally distributed in non-clinical populations; a latent inhibition task, a spatial negative priming task, and a memory task designed to measure negative priming. The data ruled out even moderate correlations between hypnotic suggestibility and all the measures of dissociation and cognitive inhibition overall, though they also indicated gender differences. The results are a challenge for existing theories of hypnosis.

Conscious Cogn. 2009 Dec;18(4):837-47. Epub 2009 Aug 25. Dienes Z, Brown E, Hutton S, Kirsch I, Mazzoni G, Wright DB. School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK. dienes@sussex.ac.uk

Are psychological treatments effective for fibromyalgia pain?

This article considers four broad classes of psychological techniques and their effects on fibromyalgia (FM) pain. A literature search identified 14 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and operant-behavioral therapy (OBT), five relaxation RCTs, five biofeedback RCTs, five hypnotherapy RCTs, and two writing intervention RCTs. For psychoanalytic therapy in FM, no RCTs have been published. The highest effect sizes (r = 0.53-2.14) for pain reduction are found after CBT and OBT group treatments. Relaxation as a single treatment has not been proven useful. Hypnotherapy and writing intervention have demonstrated mild treatment effects, whereas psychological treatment is effective in FM pain. Considering the heterogeneity of FM, the promising effects of matched interventions such as CBT and OBT with pharmacotherapy, exercise, and other treatment domains require further research.

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2009 Dec;11(6):443-50. Thieme K, Gracely RH. Center for Neurosensory Disorders, University of North Carolina, CB#7280, 3330 Thurston Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. kati_thieme@dentistry.unc.edu

Hypnosis and hemispheric asymmetry

Participants of low and high hypnotic susceptibility were tested on a temporal order judgement task, both with and without hypnosis. Judgements were made of the order of presentation of light flashes appearing in first one hemi-field then the other. There were differences in the inter-stimulus intervals required accurately to report the order, depending upon which hemi-field led. This asymmetry was most marked in hypnotically susceptible participants and reversed when they were hypnotised. This implies not only that brain activity changes in hypnosis, but also that there is a difference in brain function between people of low and high hypnotic susceptibility. The latter exhibited a faster-acting left hemisphere in the waking state, but faster right when hypnotised.

Conscious Cogn. 2009 Nov 7. Naish PL. Dept. of Psychology, The Open University, Briggs Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, United Kingdom.

Impact of a pain protocol including hypnosis in major burns

BACKGROUND: Pain is a major issue after burns even when large doses of opioids are prescribed. The study focused on the impact of a pain protocol using hypnosis on pain intensity, anxiety, clinical course, and costs. METHODS: All patients admitted to the ICU, aged >18 years, with an ICU stay >24h, accepting to try hypnosis, and treated according to standardized pain protocol were included. Pain was scaled on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) (mean of daily multiple recordings), and basal and procedural opioid doses were recorded. Clinical outcome and economical data were retrieved from hospital charts and information system, respectively. Treated patients were matched with controls for sex, age, and the burned surface area. FINDINGS: Forty patients were admitted from 2006 to 2007: 17 met exclusion criteria, leaving 23 patients, who were matched with 23 historical controls. Altogether patients were 36+/-14 years old and burned 27+/-15%BSA. The first hypnosis session was performed after a median of 9 days. The protocol resulted in the early delivery of higher opioid doses/24h (p<0.0001) followed by a later reduction with lower pain scores (p<0.0001), less procedural related anxiety, less procedures under anaesthesia, reduced total grafting requirements (p=0.014), and lower hospital costs per patient. CONCLUSION: A pain protocol including hypnosis reduced pain intensity, improved opioid efficiency, reduced anxiety, improved wound outcome while reducing costs. The protocol guided use of opioids improved patient care without side effects, while hypnosis had significant psychological benefits.

Burns. 2009 Oct 30. Berger MM, Davadant M, Marin C, Wasserfallen JB, Pinget C, Maravic P, Koch N, Raffoul W, Chiolero RL. Service of Intensive Care Medicine & Burns Centre, University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Hypnotic illusions and clinical delusions: Hypnosis as a research method

Introduction. Hypnosis is not only intrinsically interesting, but it can be used instrumentally as a powerful tool to investigate phenomena outside its immediate domain. In focusing on instrumental hypnosis research, we first sketch the many contributions of hypnosis across a range of areas in experimental psychopathology. In particular, we summarise the historical and more recent uses of hypnosis to create and explore clinically relevant, temporary delusions. Methods. We then describe in detail the steps that hypnosis researchers take in constructing a hypnotic paradigm to map the features and processes shared by clinical and hypnotic delusions, as well as their impact on information processing (including autobiographical memory). We illustrate with hypnotic versions of mirrored-self misidentification, somatoparaphrenia, alien control, and identity delusions. Results. Finding indicate that hypnotic analogues can produce compelling delusions with features that are strikingly similar to their clinical counterparts. These similarities encompass phenomenological features of delusions, delusional resistance to challenge, and autobiographical memory during delusions. Conclusion. We recognise important methodological issues and limitations of such hypnotic analogues, including: indexing response (behaviour vs. experience), alternative explanations (e.g., social compliance), the need for converging data, the need for close and continuing dialogue between the clinic and the laboratory, and generalisability of the findings.

Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2009 Oct 28:1-31. Cox RE, Barnier AJ. Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

No Change in Rectal Sensitivity After Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy

Full Title: No Change in Rectal Sensitivity After Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy in Children With Irritible Bowel Syndrome

OBJECTIVES:Gut-directed hypnotherapy (HT) has recently been shown to be highly effective in treating children with functional abdominal pain (FAP) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study was conducted to determine the extent to which this treatment success is because of an improvement in rectal sensitivity.METHODS:A total of 46 patients (aged 8-18 years) with FAP (n=28) or IBS (n=18) were randomized to either 12 weeks of standard medical therapy (SMT) or HT. To assess rectal sensitivity, a pressure-controlled intermittent distension protocol (barostat) was performed before and after the therapy.RESULTS:Rectal sensitivity scores changed in SMT patients from 15.1+/-7.3 mm Hg at baseline to 18.6+/-8.5 mm Hg after 12 weeks of treatment (P=0.09) and in HT patients from 17.0+/-9.2 mm Hg to 22.5+/-10.1 mm Hg (P=0.09). The number of patients with rectal hypersensitivity decreased from 6 of 18 to 0 of 18 in the HT group (P=0.04) vs. 6 of 20 to 4 of 20 in the SMT group (P=0.67). No relationship was established between treatment success and rectal pain thresholds. Rectal sensitivity scores at baseline were not correlated with intensity, frequency, or duration of abdominal pain.CONCLUSIONS:Clinical success achieved with HT cannot be explained by improvement in rectal sensitivity. Furthermore, no association could be found between rectal barostat findings and clinical symptoms in children with FAP or IBS. Further studies are necessary to shed more light on both the role of rectal sensitivity in pediatric FAP and IBS and the mechanisms by which hypnotherapy results in improvement of clinical symptoms.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 27 October 2009; doi:10.1038/ajg.2009.613.

Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct 27. Vlieger AM, van den Berg MM, Menko-Frankenhuis C, Bongers ME, Tromp E, Benninga MA. Department of Pediatrics, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.

Forecasting the Effects of Obesity and Smoking on U.S. Life Expectancy

Background Although increases in obesity over the past 30 years have adversely affected the health of the U.S. population, there have been concomitant improvements in health because of reductions in smoking. Having a better understanding of the joint effects of these trends on longevity and quality of life will facilitate more efficient targeting of health care resources.

Methods For each year from 2005 through 2020, we forecasted life expectancy and quality-adjusted life expectancy for a representative 18-year-old, assuming a continuation of past trends in smoking (based on data from the National Health Interview Survey for 1978 through 1979, 1990 through 1991, 1999 through 2001, and 2004 through 2006) and past trends in body-mass index (BMI) (based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1971 through 1975, 1988 through 1994, 1999 through 2002, and 2003 through 2006). The 2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey was used to examine the effects of smoking and BMI on health-related quality of life.

Results The negative effects of increasing BMI overwhelmed the positive effects of declines in smoking in multiple scenarios. In the base case, increases in the remaining life expectancy of a typical 18-year-old are held back by 0.71 years or 0.91 quality-adjusted years between 2005 and 2020. If all U.S. adults became nonsmokers of normal weight by 2020, we forecast that the life expectancy of an 18-year-old would increase by 3.76 life-years or 5.16 quality-adjusted years.

Conclusions If past obesity trends continue unchecked, the negative effects on the health of the U.S. population will increasingly outweigh the positive effects gained from declining smoking rates. Failure to address continued increases in obesity could result in an erosion of the pattern of steady gains in health observed since early in the 20th century.

Susan T. Stewart, Ph.D., David M. Cutler, Ph.D., and Allison B. Rosen, M.D., Sc.D. From the Harvard University Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement, Boston (S.T.S.); the Department of Economics, Harvard University (D.M.C.), and the National Bureau of Economic Research (S.T.S., D.M.C., A.B.R.) -- both in Cambridge, MA; and the Departments of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Ann Arbor (A.B.R.).

Diagnosis and hypnotic treatment of an unusual case of hysterical amnesia

This article reports on the use of hypnosis to facilitate the diagnostic process and the treatment of an unusual case of adult psychogenic amnesia. An Iraqi citizen living in the U.S. developed an atypical case of Dissociative Amnesia, Systematized type, post-automotive collision. The amnesia presented with features encompassing complete loss of the patient's native language. Dissociation theory as a conceptualization of hysterical reactions was employed as the basis in the formulation of this case. The differential diagnosis was facilitated by the Hypnotic Diagnostic Interview for Hysterical Disorders (HDIHD) Adult Form, an interview tool specifically designed for cases such as this. Treatment consisted exclusively of ego strengthening and time projection approaches in hypnosis. It was hypothesized that, as the coping capacities became more viable, the dissociative symptoms would remiss. After 6 weekly visits the patient regained complete command of his native language. Follow-up at 6 months indicated that the patient remained devoid of symptoms.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2009 Oct;52(2):123-31. Iglesias A, Iglesias A. phdalex@aol.com

A concurrent validity study between the HIP and the SHCS:A

Full Title: A concurrent validity study between the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) and the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale for Adults (SHCS:A) in an inpatient sample: a brief report.

The Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) is a brief, standardized assessment of hypnotizability which takes 5-10 minutes to administer. The Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale for Adults (SHCS:A) is a different clinical measure of hypnotizability that takes about 20-25 minutes to administer. Although both scales purport to measure the same thing, they were based on different theories of hypnosis and constructed using different psychometric techniques. The present investigation is a concurrent validation study comparing scores on the two instruments in a sample of 24 inpatients. The correlation between the SHCS:A and HIP Induction score was 0.41 (p < .01). However, the Eye Roll Sign (ERS) did not correlate significantly with either the SHCS:A (.04, ns) or the HIP-IND score (-.05, ns). These results indicate that while scores on the HIP and SHCS:A are significantly correlated the inter-correlations are not high enough to consider them as interchangeable measures. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2009 Oct;52(2):89-93. Gritzalis N, Oster M, Frischholz EJ. John J. Madden Mental Health Center, Hines, IL 60141-7000, USA. nina.gritzalis@illinois.gov

Effects of information type on children's interrogative suggestibility: is Theory of Mind Involved?

This research was aimed at learning more about the different psychological mechanisms underlying children's suggestibility to leading questions, on the one hand, and children's suggestibility to negative feedback, on the other, by distinguishing between interview questions concerning different types of information. Results showed that, unlike the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to leading questions, the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to negative feedback differed depending on whether the interview questions concerned external facts (physical states and events) or internal facts (mental states and events). This difference was not manifested in response to questions concerning central versus peripheral facts. Results are interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that children's suggestibility to negative feedback is differently affected by "Theory-of-Mind" abilities than children's suggestibility to leading questions. Further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis.

Cogn Process. 2009 Aug;10(3):199-207. Epub 2009 Jul 1. Hünefeldt T, Rossi-Arnaud C, Furia A. Department of Psychology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185, Rome, Italy. thomas.huenefeldt@uniroma1.it

Effects of Qigong exercises on 3 different parameters of human saliva.

To analyze the effects of a Qigong program on various parameters of unstimulated saliva, including volume, pH and secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) level.


A Randomized Controlled Trial of Guided Imagery in Bulimia Nervosa

A randomized controlled trial compared a group of bulimic patients receiving 6 weeks of individual guided imagery therapy with a control group receiving standard care. Fifty participants who met the criteria for bulimia nervosa completed the study. Measures of eating disorder symptoms, psychological functioning and the response to the guided imagery experience were used. The guided imagery treatment substantially reduced bingeing and purging episodes; the imagery group had a 74% mean reduction of bingeing and a 73% reduction of vomiting. The imagery treatment also demonstrated improvement in attitudes about eating, dieting and body weight in comparison to the control group. In addition, the guided imagery group demonstrated improvement on psychological measures of aloneness and the ability for self-comforting. The study concludes that guided imagery is an effective treatment for bulimia nervosa, at least in the short-term.

Hypnotizability and spatial attentional functions.

Many theories of hypnotic responding have proposed that differences in hypnotic trait rely on differences in frontal attentional functions. Evidence of hypnotizability-related attentional abilities are, however, very scant. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between hypnotizability and executive control components of attention in the spatial domain. We chose the Attention Network Test that enables to analyze alerting, orienting and executive control functions by measuring reaction times (RTs) to targets cued for different locations in space. According to Posner theory, alerting, orienting and executive control effects were found in both groups. No differences between highly susceptible (Highs) and low susceptible individuals (Lows) on executive control functions were found. However, in Highs alerting was significantly smaller than in Lows and Highs were significantly faster than Lows in the no and central cue conditions. These findings suggest that Highs would be endowed with a basal higher efficiency in achieving and maintaining their readiness to respond to incoming stimuli. This relation between hypnotizability and alerting, is discussed in terms of a possible more efficient noradrenergic activity driven by frontal attentional systems.

Castellani E, D'Alessandro L, Sebastiani L. Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Pisa, Via S. Zeno 31, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Stroke and the effects of hypnotherapy

by John Krukowski, C.H.

The subject a physically fit athletic male 47 suffered a stroke while jogging when he was 41. The resulting paralysis was loss of use of left side. After 4 years of conventional therapy and some holistic therapy he regained a limited 25% use of his left side. It appeared the limits of this therapy for him had been reached with little or no improvement for the next 2.8 years.

Prior to hypnotherapy:
Visual observations; Subject's left foot turned out 45 degrees, Subject's left knee not flexing during walking with compensating movement transferred to hip. Subject's Left arm and hand had only about 3% usage with little more than the ability to make fingers move as a group and not independently. Also the left arm held to his chest with hand in a claw shape typical of many stroke sufferers. Visual muscle spasms in left leg. Subject's physical limitations in mobility were inability to negotiate steps higher that 8 inches(20 cm) or walking more that 150 feet (50 meters) without severe muscle spasms.


Guided Imagery & Post Op Pain

This randomized, controlled clinical trial from Concord Hospital, New Hampshire, tests the effect of two mind-body-spirit nursing interventions - guided imagery and music therapy - on postoperative pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and length of stay, in 84 patients undergoing gynecologic laparoscopy.

During the perioperative period, patients were randomly assigned to one of 3 interventions: guided imagery audiotapes (GI), music audiotapes (MU), or standard care (C), and outcome measures were evaluated.


Interventions to Safely Help Pregnant Women with Migraines

Italian researchers at the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The University of Torino reviewed the literature to see how migraine headaches are treated during pregnancy, when hormones exacerbate the condition, while many standard drugs are contra-indicated.


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