Hypnotic Tactile Anesthesia: Psychophysical and Signal-Detection Analyses

Two experiments that studied the effects of hypnotic suggestions on tactile sensitivity are reported. Experiment 1 found that suggestions for anesthesia, as measured by both traditional psychophysical methods and signal detection procedures, were linearly related to hypnotizability. Experiment 2 employed the same methodologies in an application of the real-simulator paradigm to examine the effects of suggestions for both anesthesia and hyperesthesia. Significant effects of hypnotic suggestion on both sensitivity and bias were found in the anesthesia condition but not for the hyperesthesia condition. A new bias parameter, C’, indicated that much of the bias found in the initial analyses was artifactual, a function of changes in sensitivity across conditions. There were no behavioral differences between reals and simulators in any of the conditions, though analyses of postexperimental interviews suggested the 2 groups had very different phenomenal experiences.

Self-Hypnosis and Local Anesthesia for Dental Pain Relief-Alternative or Adjunct Therapy? A Randomized, Clinical Crossover Study

This prospective randomized clinical crossover trial was designed to compare self-hypnosis and local anesthesia for experimental dental pain relief. Pain thresholds of the dental pulp were determined. A targeted standardized pain stimulus was applied and rated on the Visual Analogue Scale (0-10). The pain threshold was lower under self-hypnosis (58.3 ±17.3)(p < .001), maximal (80.0) under local anesthesia. The pain stimulus was scored higher under self-hypnosis (3.9 ±3.8) than with local anesthesia (0.0)(p < .001). Local anesthesia was superior to self-hypnosis and is a safe and effective method for pain relief in dentistry. Self-hypnosis seems to produce similar effects observed under sedation. It can be used in addition to local anesthesia and in individual cases as an alternative for pain control in dentistry.

Effectiveness of Self-Hypnosis on the Relief of Experimental Dental Pain: A Randomized Trial

This randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluates the effectiveness of self-hypnosis on pain perception. Pain thresholds were measured, and a targeted, standardized pain stimulus was created by electrical stimulation of the dental pulp of an upper anterior tooth. Pain stimulus was rated by a visual analogue scale (VAS). The pain threshold under self-hypnosis was higher (57.1 ± 17.1) than without hypnotic intervention (39.5 ± 11.8) (p < .001). Pain was rated lower on the VAS with self-hypnosis (4.0 ± 3.8) than in the basal condition without self-hypnosis (7.1 ± 2.7) (p < .001). Self-hypnosis can be used in clinical practice as an adjunct to the gold standard of local anesthesia for pain management, as well as an alternative in individual cases.

The Association of Hypno-Anesthesia and Conventional Anesthesia in a Patient With Multiple Allergies at Risk of Anaphylactic Shock

A male patient needed surgery for the ablation of 4 impacted maxillary molars that prevented chewing and had contributed to progressively worsening trigeminal neuralgia. Two previous anesthetic procedures led to episodes of severe anaphylactic shock with the need for a prolonged stay in the ICU. Hypnotic anesthesia was therefore selected as a safer option for this patient. After 4 preparative sessions, on the day of surgery, the hypnotist provided an induction followed by suggestions for mouth and face anesthesia. Intubation occurred following the introduction of remifentanil and sevoflurane. The surgery lasted about 90 minutes and proceeded uneventfully. This case report describes how conventional and hypnotic anesthesia may work synergistically and may be particularly advantageous in case of drug allergy.