Genetic factors may explain part of the interindividual variability in hypnotizability. A new avenue that may provide more comprehensive understanding of the phenotypic effects of genetic variations is the study of gene–trait interaction. In this study, the authors investigate the relationship of the dopamine-related COMT and the serotonin-related 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms to hypnotizability by taking individual differences in executive attention into account. Homozygosity for the COMT Met allele, putatively linked to the capability or proneness to dissociate from reality, was associated with high hypnotizability only if paired with high-attention ability. The finding can be integrated into hypnosis theory and represents a case of gene–trait interaction suggesting that investigating the effects of a gene in the context of relevant psychological traits may further elucidate gene-brain-behavior relationships.
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.
This case study reports on a 69-year-old African American male who presented with hot flashes following a diagnosis of prostate cancer and subsequent prostatectomy. Measures include both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flash frequency and sleep quality. The intervention involved 7 weekly sessions of hypnotic relaxation therapy directed toward alleviation of hot flashes. Posttreatment self-reported hot flashes decreased 94%; physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 100%; and sleep quality improved 87.5%. At week 12, both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 95% and sleep quality improved 37.5% over baseline, suggesting hypnotic relaxation therapy may be an effective intervention for men with hot flashes following treatment for prostate cancer.
This study compared the effectiveness of hypnobehavioral therapy (HypBe) and HypBe enhanced by elements of energetic psychotherapy (hypnoenergetic therapy, HypEn) for obese women. Sixty clients were randomized to either HypBe or HypEn. Body weight, BMI, eating behavior, and body concept were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and at a follow-up. Mixed ANOVA models and effect sizes were used for statistics. Both treatments improved weight, BMI, eating behavior, and some aspects of body concept. Improvements in eating behavior and body concept were higher for those who also lost weight (responders). Weight and BMI reductions were not significantly different for the HypEn versus HypBe groups at follow-up.
In the general population, suppression of vision modulates body sway by increasing the center of pressure (CoP) velocity, while a light fingertip touch reduces the area of the CoP displacement in blindfolded subjects. This study assessed whether imagined fixation and fingertip touch differentially stabilize posture in subjects with high (highs) and low (lows) hypnotizability. Visual and tactile imageries were ineffective in lows. In highs, the effects of visual imagery could not be evaluated because the real information was ineffective; real tactile stimulation was effective only on velocity, but the imagery effects could not be definitely assessed owing to low effect size. The highs’ larger variability could account for this and represents the most important finding.
Ninety-two high school and 8 secondary school students, aged between 15 and 19 years, were tested for intelligence and for hypnotic susceptibility. No correlations could be observed for the overall sample unselected by sex because the negative correlations for male participants canceled out the positive correlations for the female subsample. These are significant for the total value of intelligence (r = .288) and highly significant for the subcategory verbal intelligence (r = .348), yet nonsignificant for the subcategories numerical intelligence and figural intelligence. Females seem to be more able to imaginatively process semantic contents induced verbally. They also seem to have a higher task motivation than males—at least during adolescence.
Hypnosis has long been recognized as an effective tool for producing behavioral change in the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Despite many studies from the latter half of the last century suggesting that hypnosis might also be of value in managing obesity situations, the efficacy of hypnotherapy for weight reduction has received surprisingly little formal research attention since 2000. This review presents a brief history of early clinical studies using hypnosis for weight reduction and describes a hypnotherapeutic approach within which a combination of instructional/pedagogic and exploratory therapeutic sessions can work together synergistically to maximize the potential for sustained weight loss. Hypnotic modulation of appetite- and satiation-associated peptides and hormone levels may yield additional physiological benefits in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
This research compared a no-treatment control condition and 3 experimentally induced pain treatment conditions: (a) virtual reality distraction (VRD), (b) hypnotic analgesia (HA), and (c) HA + VRD in relieving finger-pressure pain. After receiving baseline pain stimulus, each participant received hypnosis or no hypnosis, followed by VRD or no VRD during another pain stimulus. The data analysis indicated that, overall, all 3 treatments were more effective compared to the control group, irrespective of whether it involved hypnotic analgesia, virtual reality distraction, or both (hypnosis and virtual reality). Nevertheless, the participants responded differently to the pain treatment, depending on the hypnotizability level. High hypnotizables reported hypnotic analgesia, but low hypnotizables did not show hypnotic analgesia. VR distraction reduced pain regardless of hypnotizability.
Myths or misconceptions concerning hypnosis are regarded among the major barriers to effective implementation of hypnosis. Contemporary hypnotherapists are expected to elicit patients’ misconceptions and to provide explanations that distinguish between mystical and scientific perceptions of hypnosis and that offer a picture of the state of the art of hypnosis. Dealing with misconceptions on a rational and cognitive level seems to have the ability to change a patient’s conscious knowledge and understanding of hypnosis. Nevertheless, deeply rooted and emotionally saturated misbeliefs with historical-cultural origins still prevail. This article focuses on the prehypnotic phase of therapy and proposes remythification to deal with the myth of hypnosis. This approach aims to promote the hypnotherapeutic process by utilizing myth-related misconceptions.
Hypnosis has had a gradual conceptual emergence from an alleged mystical experience, to sleep, to a psychological shift in concentration that activates a preexisting neuro-physiological circuitry. Data is presented to support the thesis that hypnotizability exists on a spectrum that has biological as well as psycho-social components. When there is synchrony between the bio-psycho-social components of hypnotizability as measured by the Hypnotic Induction Profile (an intact flow), psychotherapy is the primary treatment strategy, with medication secondary or not at all. When measurement reveals a lack of synchrony between biological factors as measured by the eye-roll sign and psycho-social responsivity (a nonintact flow), medication will be primary, with different degrees of psycho-social support.