Hypnotherapy: Various Research Notes / Sources

Research Links



  • Exit www.changingstates.co.ukHypnosis 'reduces Cancer Pain' - BBC
  • Exit www.changingstates.co.ukUS report surfaces on antidepressants in children
  • Exit www.changingstates.co.ukMeta research summaries
  • Exit www.changingstates.co.ukHypnotherapy trials 1976 - 1998 (Extensive)
  • Brain scan research and hypnosis
  • Weight Control and Sleep Loss
  • Research: Motivational consequences of environmental stress.

    Evans, G. & Stecker, R. (2004) Motivational consequences of environmental stress.Journal-of-Environmental-Psychology. Jun 2004; Vol 24 (2): 143-165

    Exposure to uncontrollable stimuli produces deficits in task performance linked to learned helplessness. It is not widely appreciated, however, that many of these stimuli are environmental stressors. Both acute and chronic exposure to noise, crowding, traffic congestion, and pollution are capable of causing learned helplessness in adults and children.

    Pre-exposure to brief, acute environmental stressors that are uncontrollable produces learned helplessness wherein participants manifest difficulties in learning a new task because of their mistaken belief that they are incapable of influencing their environment. Another index of learned helplessness, less persistence in the face of challenge also follows acute exposure to uncontrollable environmental stressors.

    Finally depressed affect may co-occur with learned helplessness under certain circumstances. Field studies of chronic environmental stressors reveal parallel trends. Chronic environmental stressors also heighten vulnerability to the induction of learned helplessness by acute, uncontrollable stimuli. The potential pathway linking chronic environmental stressor exposure to helplessness and then, in turn, to mental health is an important area for future research.


    Research: The relationship between time management disposition and mental health.

    Qin, Q. & Zhang, Z. (2002) The relationship between time management disposition and mental health. Psychological-Science-China. May; Vol 25(3): 360

    Studied the correlations between time management disposition and mental health. 75 residents (aged 19-49 yrs) (48 males and 27 females) (in various occupations) in Chongqing, China were administered the Time Management Disposition Scale (TMDS) and the Chinese revised Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-C; Z. Wang, 1984).

    Based on the subscale scores of the time value, time monitoring, and time effect of the TMDS, 20 subjects with high scores and 20 subjects with low scores were selected. Their differences in the 9 symptoms of the SCL-90-C were compared; the relations of their symptoms of the SCL-90-C and time management disposition were studied with correlation analysis and regression analysis.

    The results show that there were significant differences in the psychosomatics, anxiety, and depression between the subjects with high scores and the subjects with low scores of the TMDS; and that time management disposition and psychosomatics, anxiety, depression were negatively correlated


    Hypnotic Visual Illusion Alters Color Processing in the Brain

    Stephen M. Kosslyn, Ph.D., William L. Thompson, B.A., Maria F. Costantini-Ferrando, Ph.D., Nathaniel M. Alpert, Ph.D. and David Spiegel, M.D.

    Am J Psychiatry 2000 157: 1279-1284.

    OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine whether hypnosis can modulate color perception. Such evidence would provide insight into the nature of hypnosis and its underlying mechanisms.

    METHOD: Eight highly hypnotizable subjects were asked to see a color pattern in color, a similar gray-scale pattern in color, the color pattern as gray scale, and the gray-scale pattern as gray scale during positron emission tomography scanning by means of [15O]CO2. The classic color area in the fusiform or lingual region of the brain was first identified by analyzing the results when subjects were asked to perceive color as color versus when they were asked to perceive gray scale as gray scale.

    RESULTS: When subjects were hypnotized, color areas of the left and right hemispheres were activated when they were asked to perceive color, whether they were actually shown the color or the gray-scale stimulus. These brain regions had decreased activation when subjects were told to see gray scale, whether they were actually shown the color or gray-scale stimuli. These results were obtained only during hypnosis in the left hemisphere, whereas blood flow changes reflected instructions to perceive color versus gray scale in the right hemisphere, whether or not subjects had been hypnotized.

    CONCLUSIONS: Among highly hypnotizable subjects, observed changes in subjective experience achieved during hypnosis were reflected by changes in brain function similar to those that occur in perception. These findings support the claim that hypnosis is a psychological state with distinct neural correlates and is not just the result of adopting a role.


    Hypnosis Can Cut Stress and Boost Your Immune System

    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2001;69

    A number of studies have suggested stress can hinder the body's immune system defenses. Now researchers say people may be able to fight back with the stress-relieving techniques of self-hypnosis.

    In a study of medical students under exam-time stress, investigators found that those who received "hypnotic-relaxation training" did not show the same reduction in key immune system components that their untrained counterparts did.

    The researchers looked at 33 medical and dental students during relatively low-stress periods and around the time of the first major exam of the term. Half of the students attended sessions where they learned to relax through self-hypnosis.

    The investigators found that during exam time, the self-hypnosis students launched stronger immune responses compared with students who did not learn the technique. And the more often students practiced the relaxation strategy, the stronger their immune response.

    In previous studies, the researchers found that stressful times may impair the body's wound-healing process and response to vaccination. They and other researchers have also found that relaxation techniques may combat these effects by relieving stress and boosting the immune system.

    The data from this study provide encouraging evidence that interventions may reduce the immunological dysregulation associated with acute stressors.


    Prokinetic effect of gut-oriented hypnosis on gastric emptying

    AUTHOR(S): Chiarioni, G., Vantini, I., Iorio, F., Benini, L.

    DATE: April, 2006,

    DESIGN: Controlled clinical trial

    SUBJECTS: 11 healthy subjects and 15 patients affected by functional dyspepsia

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of a hypnosis session on gastric emptying and dyspeptic symptoms.

    INTERVENTIONS: Studying of emptying by ultrasonography and epigastric sensations in both healthy subjects and patients affected by functional dyspepsia under three conditions according to a fixed schedule: (a) basal, (b) after cisapride and (c) during a 90 min hypnotic trance. 8 healthy subjects repeated an emptying study listening to relaxing music.

    RESULTS: In dyspeptics, the postprandial increase in the antral area was significantly smaller during the hypnosis trance than under the basal and the cisapride conditions. For the patients gastric emptying was significantly shortened by cisapride, and even more by hypnosis whereas for healthy subjects it was shortened only by hypnosis. The repeated study in healthy subjects listening to relaxing music showed no significant difference compared with the basal. Epigastric sensations were improved in dyspeptics by hypnosis, but not by cisapride.

    CONCLUSIONS: Gut-oriented hypnosis is effective in shortening gastric emptying both in dyspeptic and in healthy subjects.

    SOURCE: Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 23 (8): 1241-1249


    Hypnosis reduces pre-operative anxiety in adult patients

    AUTHOR(S): Saadat, H., Drummond-Lewis, J., Maranets, I., Kaplan, D., Saadat, A., Wang, S., Kain, Z.

    DATE: May, 2006

    DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial

    SUBJECTS: 76 pre-operative patients

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of hypnosis on pre-operative anxiety

    INTERVENTIONS: 1. Hypnosis group (n = 26): suggestions of wellbeing; 2. Attention-control group (n = 26): attentive listening and support without specific hypnotic suggestions and 3. "Standard of care" control group (n = 24).

    RESULTS: Patients in the hypnosis group were significantly less anxious post-intervention as compared with patients in the attention-control group and the control group

    CONCLUSIONS: Hypnosis significantly alleviates pre-operative anxiety. Future studies are indicated to examine the effects of pre-operative hypnosis on post-operative outcomes.

    SOURCE: Anesthesia & Analgesia 102(5): 1394-6


    Research: Facilitating memory with hypnosis, focused meditation, and eye closure

    Wagstaff, G. et al (2004) Facilitating memory with hypnosis, focused meditation, and eye closure. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. Vol 52(4)

    Three experiments examined some features of hypnotic induction that might be useful in the development of brief memory-facilitation procedures. The first involved a hypnosis procedure designed to facilitate face identification; the second employed a brief, focused-meditation (FM) procedure, with and without eye closure, designed to facilitate memory for an emotional event. The third experiment was a check for simple motivation and expectancy effects. Limited facilitation effects were found for hypnosis, but these were accompanied by increased confidence in incorrect responses. However, eye closure and FM were effective in facilitating free recall of an event without an increase in errors. FM reduced phonemic fluency, suggesting that the effectiveness of FM was not due to simple changes in expectancy or motivation.





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