Hypnotherapy and Health

To assess the influence of a hypnotic intervention on cellular immune function during a commonplace stressful event, the authors selected 33 medical and dental students on the basis of hypnotic susceptibility. Initial blood samples were obtained during a lower stress period, and a second sample was drawn 3 days before the first major exam of the term. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to hypnotic —relaxation training in the interval between samples. Participants in the hypnotic group were, on average, protected from the stress-related decrements that were observed in control participants’ proliferative responses to 2 mitogens, percentages of CD3+ and CD4± T-lymphocytes, and interleukin 1 production by peripheral blood leukocytes. More frequent hypnotic—relaxation practice was associated with higher percentages of CD3+ and CD4± T-lymphocytes. These data provide encouraging evidence that interventions may reduce the immunological dysregulation associated with acute stressors.

This is the abstract from a paper entitled “Hypnosis as a Modulator of Cellular Immune Deregulation During Acute Stress”*  by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Phillip T. Marucha, Cathie Atkinson, and Ronald Glaser, Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

What it’s telling us is that when hypnosis is used to help deal with excessively stressful situations, we can see the positive effect of the hypnosis on a number of markers for immune system efficiency.

In other words, using hypnotherapy to manage excessive levels of stress is good for our health, both emotionally and physically.

And we can measure it.

You can read the entire paper here.

* Hypnosis as a Modulator of Cellular Immune Deregulation During Acute Stress”*  by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Phillip T. Marucha, Cathie Atkinson, and Ronald Glaser, Ohio StateJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology  2001, Vol. 69, No. 4,674-682

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