Effects of a Hypnotic Induction and an Unpleasantness-Focused Analgesia Suggestion on Pain Catastrophizing to an Experimental Heat Stimulus: A Preliminary Study

Pain catastrophizing is associated with greater levels of pain. While many studies support the efficacy of hypnosis for pain, the effect on pain catastrophizing remains unclear. The present study evaluated the effect of hypnosis on pain catastrophizing using experimental heat stimulation. Twenty-two pain patients engaged in 3 conditions: baseline (no suggestion), hypnotic induction, and hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion. Participants with higher baseline pain showed a significant reduction in rumination following hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion and significant reductions in pain due to both the hypnotic induction alone and the hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion. The findings suggest that unpleasantness-focused hypnotic analgesia reduces pain via its effect on the rumination component of pain catastrophizing.

Creating Past-Life Identity in Hypnotic Regression

To examine the role of hypnotic suggestion in identity in past-life regression, 2 experiments were conducted at the request of Korea’s major national television companies. A real historical person and a fictional character were selected as past-life identities. After hypnotic induction, a past-life regression suggestion was given. While counting backward to past-life, the suggestion of a specific identity was interspersed 3 times. In 5 of 6 subjects, the same past-life identity that had been suggested was produced, with relatively rich content accompanied by emotional and historical facts identical to the suggested identity. This study found that it was quite simple and easy to manipulate past-life identity. The role of suggestion in the formation of past-life memories during hypnosis is crucial.

Advancing Research and Practice: The Revised APA Division 30 Definition of Hypnosis

This article describes the history, rationale, and guidelines for developing a new definition of hypnosis by the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association. The definition was developed with the aim of being concise, heuristic, and allowing for alternative theories of the mechanisms (to be determined in empirical scientific study). The definition of hypnosis is presented as well as definitions of the following related terms: hypnotic induction, hypnotizability, and hypnotherapy. The implications for advancing research and practice are discussed. The definitions are presented within the article.