The hypothesis that changes in oral temperature are associated with neutral hypnotic induction was investigated using neutral hypnosis and a high motivation condition as controls. 33 Ss were assigned to 3 experimental conditions: (1) neutral hypnotic induction, (2) high motivation control, and (3) no treatment control. Ss in all 3 conditions received pre- and post-treatment oral temperature measurements after a 20-minute temperature stabilization showed a significantly greater increase in oral temperature as compared to Ss in both the high motivation and no treatment control conditions. Ss in the latter 2 conditions did not differ from each other in this regard. The methodological considerations of future research in this area are also discussed.

Barber, Theodore Xenophon; de Moor, Wilfried (1972). A theory of hypnotic induction procedures. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 15 (2), 112-135.

The first part of the paper delineates nine variables in hypnotic induction procedures that give rise to heightened responsiveness to test-suggestions: (a) defining the situation as hypnosis; (b) removing fears and misconceptions; (c) securing cooperation; (d) asking the subject to keep his eyes closed; (e) suggesting relaxation, sleep, and hypnosis; (f) maximizing the phrasing and vocal characteristics of suggestions; (g) coupling suggestions with naturally-occurring events; (h) stimulating goal-directed imagining; and (i) preventing or reinterpreting the failure of suggestions. Data are presented to support the theory that the nine variables augment responsiveness to test-suggestions by giving rise to positive attitudes, motivations, and expectancies which, in turn, tend to produce a willingness to think with and vividly imagine those things that are suggested. The second part of the paper specifies situational variables and variables involved in induction procedures that produce a trance-like appearance, changes in body feelings, and reports of having been hypnotized.

Beahrs, J. O. (1971). The hypnotic psychotherapy of Milton H. Erickson. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 14, 73-90.

The principles of hypnosis and suggestion permeate most of Milton Erickson’s psychotherapy, although formal trance induction is used in less than ten percent. Characteristic of Erickson’s style is his indirect manner of phrasing suggestions or interpretations. They come not as outside impositions, but as subtle manipulations leading the patient to institute constructive behavior from within, often without full conscious awareness. Usually Erickson first attempts to meet the patient at the patient’s level, thereby gaining rapport. As trust is developed, he modifies the patient’s productions by covert suggestions, thereby gaining control. In this manner, he is able to convert a chaotic psychotic hallucination into an orderly hypnotic one, or the desperate cries of a terminal cancer patient into hypnotic anesthesia. As interpreted here, Erickson’s therapeutic approaches can be divided into three categories. First are techniques resembling modern behavior therapy, with frequent use of desensitization. Second, uncovering or abreactive techniques are only rarely used for rigidly resistant and severe symptom patterns. With these, extreme care is taken to protect against too rapid a disclosure to conscious awareness. Third and most important, are techniques enabling the patient to shift or displace large amounts of emotional cathexis from his original problem to some new constructive outlets, usually involving the development of trusting interpersonal relationships. These techniques are the cornerstone of Erickson’s therapeutic technique.

Donk, Leonard J.; Vingoe, Frank J.; Hall, Roger A.; Doty, Richard (1970). The comparison of three suggestion techniques for increasing reading efficiency utilizing a counter-balanced research paradigm. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 18, 126-133.

Reports an experiment in which both Barber-type and alert-trance procedures significantly increased reading speed while maintaining comprehension when compared to a control group; a traditional hypnotic procedure followed by the specific suggestions failed to obtain these results. 32 volunteer undergraduates were randomly assigned to 4 groups in terms of a counterbalanced design. 2 groups were administered trance inductions (traditional and alert) followed by specific suggestions, a 3rd simply the suggestions, while the 4th served as control. Reading suggestions were to eliminate specific problems, increase speed, and increase or maintain comprehension. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)
Barber, Theodore Xenophon (1969). An empirically-based formulation of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 12 (2), 100-130.

A formulation is presented which does not invoke a special state of consciousness (“hypnosis” or “trance”) to account for the behaviors that have been historically associated with the word hypnotism. Instead, so-called hypnotic behaviors – e.g., “analgesia,” “hallucination,” “age-regression,” and “amnesia” – are conceived to be functionally related to denotable antecedent variables which are similar to those that control performance in a variety of interpersonal test-situations. The antecedent variables which determine behavior in a “hypnotic” situation include Ss’ attitudes, expectancies, and motivations with respect to the situation, and the wording and tone of instructions- suggestions and of questions used to elicit subjective reports. The formulation is exemplified by several dozen experimental studies, and prospects for further research are delineated.

Baykushev, S. (1969). Hyperventilation as an accelerated hypnotic induction technique. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 20-24.

Describes a rationale and procedure for the use of hyperventilation as a facilitator of hypnotic trance induction. Results with 56 neurotic patients are reported. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Bartlett, K. A. (1968). A rationale of the nature of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 11, 112-118.

A rationale of the nature of hypnosis without formal trance induction is presented. Central to this viewpoint is meeting the needs of the patient in accord with his perception of them and in a manner based on patient-oriented treatment. Case material illustrates practical applications.

Chambers, Helen (1968). Oral eroticism revealed by hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 151-157.


Bartlett, Edmund E.; Faw, Terry T.; Liebert, Robert M. (1967). The effects of suggestions of alertness in hypnosis on pupillary response: Report on a single subject. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 15 (4), 189-192.

Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Evans, Frederick J. (1967). An experimental indirect technique for the induction of hypnosis without awareness. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 15, 72-85.

A procedure is described which has been used in an experimental setting as a method of indirectly inducing hypnosis without S’s awareness. Ss are not told that hypnosis is involved in the procedure, but are told they will be taught how to relax. The aim of the indirect procedure is to create different expectations and preconceptions from those normally occurring in the special hypnotic relationship. Evidence from 3 studies (samples of 63, 63, 120) indicates that the procedure successfully induces hypnosis comparable in depth to other standard hypnotic procedures. About half of the Ss tested apparently do not recognize the procedure involves hypnosis. Approximately 30% of the Ss who receive the procedure, as well as 30% of the Ss in the control group who did not receive the procedure, but were tested with the same test suggestions, recognized that an attempt had been made to induce hypnosis. The perceptions about whether hypnosis was involved were unrelated to scores on typical hypnotic phenomena. It was concluded that the indirect induction technique successfully induces hypnosis and is a useful technique for manipulating S-expectations in an experimental context.

[The Subject] is told, ‘A series of experiments are being conducted investigating the effects of relaxation on behavior. Because of confusing results in the literature, this study is designed to examine the relationship between relaxation and several other psychological phenomena, some of which might remind you of a variety of other phenomena which you may have heard or read about.’ The S was told that a technique had been devised that would assist him to relax completely. His main task was to relax as completely as possible. This would be facilitated by lying comfortably on a couch, and by allowing his mind to become completely blank. To prevent himself from falling asleep, he should concentrate his attention on some object or idea. To help exclude other thoughts from his mind, E would continue to talk in a monotonous voice saying little of importance, while the S stared at a spot on the wall. This shaping of the situation was continued with a considerable degree of apparent permissiveness.
“The S’s attention was slowly directed to the rhythm of his own breathing as suggestions were given of eye fatigue. If S closed his eyes, he might find it convenient to concentrate on the rhythm of his own breathing. Perhaps this would be easy to think about if he visualized a pendulum swinging in time with his breathing. The E continued to talk and count in rhythm with S’s breathing. Special words, such as ‘breathing in and out; the pendulum swings back and forward,’ were always spoken as S inhaled or exhaled. Counting was also timed to coincide with exhalation. Deeper relaxation was suggested as E counted slowly from 1 to 21, and later, from 1 to 31.
“Throughout the procedure, phrases and words (such as ‘hypnosis,’ ‘trance,’ ‘drowsy’) traditionally employed with hypnotic induction techniques were avoided. After approximately 30 minutes, a natural transition was made to the testing procedure. Suggestions of continued deep relaxation were intermingled between various tests administered. Termination was effected by suggesting that the relaxation would end as E counted from ‘A’ to ‘H'” (p. 75).

Kramer, E. (1966). Group induction of hypnosis with institutionalized patients. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

25 hospitalized mental patients, mainly with schizophrenic diagnoses, were tested in group sessions for hypnotic susceptibility. The hypnotic induction and the susceptibility tests were part of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, a scale which has been standardized on a nonpsychiatric population. Os scored the patients” behavior; the patients filled out self-report forms. Contrary to some reports in the literature, the average hypnotic susceptibility of these patients was similar to that of normals. Self-reports of their behavior during the hypnosis session were significantly correlated with O ratings, but less highly than has been reported for normals. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Coe, William C. (1965). A method of self-teaching for experimental hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (3), 144-149.

A student”s interest in hypnotic research may actually be discouraged because of the difficulty in obtaining a formal course or close supervision in hypnotic techniques. A method tried by 2 students to overcome this problem is presented. The “self-teaching” procedure attempts to fulfill 3 basic criteria: safeguarding the S, requiring minimal supervisory time, and learning to administer a standard hypnotic scale. Some benefits seem to have been realized. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Das, J. P. (1965). Relationship between body-sway, hand-levitation, and a questionnaire measure of hypnotic susceptibility. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (1), 26-33.

67 randomly selected college students were administered the body-sway test, a questionnaire measure of tranceability, and an induction procedure utilizing hand-levitation to determine hypnotic susceptibility. The 6 Es varied in age, sex; 5 of them had little experience as hypnotists. All reference to “hypnosis” was omitted from the induction procedure. Significant phi-coefficients between body-sway and levitation (.52), levitation and tranceability frequency (.28) and intensity (.25), and body-sway and tranceability intensity (.33) were obtained. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Field, Peter B.; Evans, Frederick J.; Orne, Martin T. (1965). Order of difficulty of suggestions during hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13, 183-192.

This study tests the hypothesis that successful response to suggestion during hypnosis predisposes to further successful response, but failure leads to subsequent failure. The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility was administered to 2 groups of 51 volunteer students. For 1 group, 8 of the 12 items were administered in the order easy-to-difficult; for the 2nd group, in the order difficult-to-easy. Total and 8-item mean scores, and frequency distributions, did not differ significantly between groups. Except for the item measuring posthypnotic amnesia, item difficulties for the 2 groups did not differ significantly. Although the difficult-to-easy group was more amnesic, the 2 groups recalled a similar number of additional items when amnesia was “lifted.” The block of 4 easier items was relatively easier when preceded by a block of 4 harder items and, similarly, the harder items were relatively less difficult if preceded by a block of easier items. The magnitude of this effect was small, and the order effect hypothesis was basically not supported. Future research should consider the S”s subjective impression of success and failure. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

McCord, Hallack (1965). Trance induction under unusual circumstances. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13, 96-102.

In order to obtain a test under naturalistic field conditions of the possible facilitory or inhibitory effects of ongoing tasks on hypnotizability and the interaction of such effects with S”s set either to oppose or not oppose entering hypnosis, a series of Ss were hypnotized either singly or in groups while they were performing a variety of tasks typical of those encountered in office or factory situations. Included were such tasks as typewriting, reading a book, engaging in creative writing, performing the Bennett Hand Tool Dexterity and the Minnesota Rate of Manipulation tests, and performing the Pennsylvania Bi-Manual Worksample. In many cases, it was found that hypnosis could be induced under these conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)
Erickson, Milton H. (1964). The confusion technique in hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 6, 183-207.

The confusion technique is “a play on words or communications of some sort that introduces progressively an element of confusion into the question of what is meant, thereby leading to an inhibition of responses called for but not allowed to be manifested and hence to an accumulating need to respond. … [Added to the play on words] are the modification of seemingly contradictory, or irrelevant unrelated concepts, non sequiturs and ideas, variously communicated, and each of which out of context is a simple reasonable assertaion, meaningful and complete in itself. In context, such communications given in a meaningfully emphatic manner become a medley of seemingly valid and somehow related ideas that leads the subject to try to combine them into a single totality of significance conducive to a response, literally compelling a response. But the rapidity of the communications inhibits any true understanding, thereby precluding responses and resulting in a state of confusion and frustration. This compels a need for some clear and understandable idea. As this state develops, one offers a clearly definite easily comprehensible idea which is seized upon immediately and serves to arouse certain associations in the subject’s mind. The medley is then continued and another comprehensible idea is offered, enhancing the associations of the previous clear understanding. And in the process, one throws in irrelevancies and non sequiturs as if of pertinent value, thereby enhancing the confusion” (p. 256 in the article as reprinted in Jay Haley).

Hammer, A. G.; Arkins, W. J. (1964). The role of photic stimulation in the induction of hypnotic trance. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12, 81-87.

The relative effectiveness of the ordinary verbal method of trance induction is compared with 2 forms of induction utilizing mechanical photic stimulation, and with methods combining the personal and mechanical features. The criterion of trance adopted was the compulsive carrying out of a difficult suggestion. Results show that mechanical procedures alone are ineffective. On the other hand, the addition of a particular sort of photic driving probably improves trance induction, which suggests that induction is a complex matter involving both social interactions and relatively nonmeaningful impacts on the brain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Hoskovec, J.; Svorad, D.; Lanc, O (1963). The comparative effectiveness of spoken and tape-recorded suggestions of body sway. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 11, 163-166.

The relative effectiveness of tape-recorded vs. spoken suggestions of body sway was measured. Both types of suggestion produced increased body sway. Spoken suggestions following recorded suggestions were the most effective. The expectation by Ss of a greater effectiveness of live presentation may have produced this result. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Giles, Eugene (1962). A cross-validation study of the Pascal technique of hypnotic induction. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 10 (2), 101-108.

A cross-validation of reported high successes of hypnotic induction and statements that success was independent of the operator when using Pascal”s technique showed that: (a) an experienced-operator group clearly excelled a training group, and (b) the experienced group almost exactly replicated percentage-wise the successes claimed by Pascal and Salzberg. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

McCartney, James L. (1961). A half century of personal experience with hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 9, 23-33.

(Author”s Summary and Conclusions). “After fifty years of experience with hypnosis, it is evident that it is not a superficial and careless technic but should be utilized only by capable, trained physicians, as are the other complex and difficult medical technics. … In order to induce hypnosis, the patient must be perfectly willing to be hypnotized, he must have confidence in the practitioner, and he must concentrate on doing exactly as he is told. In selected cases, drugs or electrical impulses may be used for the initial induction of hypnotic sleep, but if hypnotherapy is to be continued, the physician must keep in contact with the patient by repeated suggestions. The technic used should fit the individual patient, but in most cases, verbal suggestions are all that is necessary to bring about dissociation. Hypnosis may be used to facilitate the beginning of mental catharsis, the establishment of transference, and may be easily instituted following narcosynthesis, electroshock therapy, minimum stimulus, or Sedac. Suggested activity under hypnosis may be carried out at a designated time, place, and manner after awakening. This is a result of autosuggestion and may be mistaken for psychopathic behavior. Such suggestions may be instituted by television, movies, radio, telephone, or recorded or written instruction. Hypnosis may be used to plant suggestions; if misused, it may create an obsessive-compulsive neurosis, while when properly used, it may overcome many functional symptoms and may be used to supplement other forms of psychotherapy” (p. 32).

Cheek, David B. (1959). Use of rebellion against coercion as mechanism for hypnotic trance deepening. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 7 (4), 223-227.

Observation that student subjects often go into a deeper level of hypnosis after suggestions have been given for ending the session has led the writer to explore the reactions of subjects to this phenomenon and to set up a simple experiment using ideomotor responses in ten gynecological patients who needed hypnosis for therapy. In each of the ten patients there was a deepening of the trance after the suggestion to awaken had been given. It was the opinion of the subjects that they deepened the trance in rebellion against the direction for terminating a pleasant experience” (p. 227).

Kroger, William S.; Schneider, Sidney A. (1959). An electronic aid for hypnotic induction: A preliminary report. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 7, 93-98.

The BWS or brain wave synchronizer is “an instrument specifically designed to induce various levels of hypnosis by subliminal and photic stimulation of the brain waves” (p. 93). It was developed after noticing that radar operators on ships sometimes fell into deep hypnotic states while watching signals on a radar screen. It has been used with 2500 subjects, 200 of whom were receiving pre-natal training for childbirth under hypnosis.
“For the first five minutes there is a gradual increase in the number of subjects who enter deep hypnosis. At this level, a figure of 50% reach the deep state” (p. 95).
The instructions given were, “Concentrate on the center of the instrument. When your eyes become tired and heavy, as they will, just let them close and feel yourself going deeper and deeper into a relaxed state.” It is acknowledged that this procedure worked when Ss expected to experience hypnosis; the rate of deep hypnosis increased as the expectancy of hypnosis increased. “Deep hypnosis in individual inductions reached 80% under the following conditions:
A. Synchronizer on 5 minutes
B. Expectation Level of 50 [on a scale in which 100 represented having seen demonstrations of conventional hypnosis and an explanation of what the instrument would do]” (p. 97).
Pascal, G. R.; Salzberg, H. C. (1959). A systematic approach to inducing hypnotic behavior. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 7 (3), 161-167
The paper reports an experiment in inducing hypnotic behavior. Hypnotic behavior is considered as operant behavior subject to the principles of such behavior. Using a procedure based on this systematic position 52 per cent of 56 subjects were brought to the deep trance state in one session, a considerable gain over results reported in the literature. It is felt that the approach presented suggests that hypnosis may be brought into the realm of behavioral science” (p. 166).
A detailed description of the procedure is provided. It begins with providing information, establishing rapport, using demonstrations of hypnotic-like behavior (the Kohnstamm phenomenon and body sway suggestions), followed by relaxation in a stimulus-attenuated room with verbal suggestions and operant (verbal) reinforcement. It procedes with a series of frankly hypnotic suggestions for arm analgesia and lightness/floating, amnesia, etc.

Christenson, James A., Jr. (1956). An operational approach to hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 4 (2), 89-91.

The author helps subjects and patients to achieve somnambulistic trance by informing them it is akin to things like sleepwalking, dreams, amnesic alcoholic episodes, etc., then suggests that most of us have experienced this before, that we are unconsciously aware of “just what hypnosis really is,” and finally invites the subject to achieve that state using the subject’s own inner criteria. He distinguishes between hypnotic induction and hypnotic state and critiques researchers who do not make that distinction. “Unwitting hypnosis, the developing of trances by contagion, or in moments of extreme emotional stress, suggest that the achieving of hypnosis is actually a very simple and easy process. I believe that eventually all but a very small percentage of people can be easily and deeply hypnotized” (p. 89). He describes the use of motor signals (e.g. elevated arm) for depth reporting by deeply hypnotized subjects.

Dittborn, Julio (1953). Conditioning of hypnosis to different signs of the same significance. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1 (3), 1-3.

1. The difference of the periods of latency to condition a deep hypnotic trance between the different signs of the number six, is remarkable. This difference is significant between the pair (6; six,) and the pair (VI; 12:2).
2. The mean periods of latency are peculiar to each subject, but the subjects tend to gather themselves into two groups: a more rapid (subjects C and D) and a slow one (subjects A and B).
3. It is worthy of notice that one of the subjects, B, did not respond to the idea of six when this was not presented explicitly, but had to be deducted from a calculation (12:2=).
…… It is suggestive that with three somnambulists the idea was enough to produce the phenomenon, while the other always required the objectivation of the idea, even though the sign implied it in a very evident and simple way. It might be worth while to ask if this phenomenon might not be another way to measure the depth of a somnambulic trance.

Ellis, Albert (1953). Reactions of psychotherapy patients who resist hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1 (3), 12-15.

When one of my psychotherapy patients has difficulty in remembering or bringing forth salient material, I or the patient sometimes suggests the use of hypnosis. At such times, I usually find one of two major modes of reaction: either the patient comfortably accepts the idea of hypnosis, and we proceed forthwith to establish a hypnotic relationship; or else the patient, even though he has himself first suggested using hypnosis, is visibly uncomfortable about engaging in it, and in one way or another resists being hypnotized.
“In the latter case, particularly where the patient backs down completely and manages to structure the therapeutic relationships so that hypnosis is never actually attempted, I frequently find that the threat of being hypnotized is so intense that, rather than submit to it, the patient begins to surrender some of his neurotic symptoms or makes unusual psychotherapeutic progress without it.”
The author presents three case studies.


Schafer D. W. (1997). Hypnosis and the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 40 (2), 111-117.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn”s Disease can be cured if they are treated as autoimmune diseases with a special understanding of the personality conflicts in the patient. The author hypothesizes that all autoimmune diseases are characterized by a high normal amount of the aggressive instinctual drives and ambivalence about their realization. Each patient”s personality causes the ambivalence to be somaticized into specific autoimmune bodies that aggressively are overproduced and then attack specific tissues. Hypnosis helps in gaining insight, reinforcing interpretations, handling stress, visualizing normal intestinal areas, and controlling of the autoimmune antibodies to the normal level. This paper deals specifically with these 2 diseases.

Zachariae, Robert; Locke, Steven E. (1994, October). Effects of hypnotic suggestions on immune and inflammatory processes–experimental studies 1962-1994. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Francisco.

We reviewed studies of the effects of hypnotic suggestion to enhance or suppress immediate type hypersensitivity (ITH) or delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin responses (investigations between 1960-1994). In the early 60’s most of the studies occurred in England with Black and colleagues. In Black’s studies there weren’t many subjects.
In most studies the stimulus was an allergen to the patient, or histamine injections that mimic immediate type hypersensitivity response. In one study we have used ultraviolet stimulation. Most studies involve decreasing the response, but a few studies used both increasing and decreasing the response.
Measures include the wheal response (local) and erythema (mediated by the nervous system). Most studies find a reduction in both types of response, but in some of our later studies and also the study by Beahrs, Harris, & Hilgard (1970) they didn’t find a wheal response but did find erythema reduction. In the ultraviolet response we didn’t get a reduction in erythema but did in blood flow.
Studies in delayed type hypersensitivity usually measure induration and erythema; 3 used tuberculin, 3 used varicella zoster, 1 used multiple antigens, 1 used mumps. Antigen in mumps is latent in the body so the immune response will be different. Most studies tried to increase and decrease the response; two tried just to increase, one just to depress it. Some tried to increase the response in one arm and suppress it in the other arm. In ours we separated the two conditions by a week.
ITH in general can be suppressed, both the wheal and flare response. Erythema was altered in six studies, unchanged in three; wheal response was altered
in [missed number] and unchanged in four. Some studies used allergic patients or those with a psychosomatic history; others screened them out.
DTH results are inconclusive for erythema and induration. All studies using PPD as the antigen were positive; one study using DCP and DNCB was positive. Negative results are found in three studies using Varicella Zoster; 1 study using the Multitest, and 1 study using mumps as antigen.
One could think the reasons for positive vs. negative results relate to the antigens used, and also the dosages given. Some studies use very small doses; one of ours uses such a large dose it is actually felt and sensed. Health status of Ss also could make a difference: a healthy immune response would resist modification if it’s not needed. Timing between stimulus and measurement also varies. Suggestions and rapport may affect results, and also the presentation of suggestions. (Some studies taped the suggestions, some use scripts, but using tapes or scripts may lessen rapport with the Subjects.) Measurements differ, e.g. from area tested, diameter of measurement, type of measurement (ultrasound to measure skin thickness, caliper measurement of skin thickness). In measuring hypnotizability and selecting only high hypnotizables, you may eliminate people who can modify their physiological processes. Ss differ with degree of prior training (those with training are more able to effect responses than on the first time). Operator differences between hypnotists may have some effect.
Mechanisms of the process being studied are at issue: Are we dealing with immune or non-immune processes. Changes in skin temperature and blood flow suggest the latter (vaso dilation and vaso constriction), because of lack of changes seen in lymphocytes etc, although two studies found some kind of changes.
Damage to cutaneous sensory nerves has produced clearing of psoriasis.
H. Bennett: How about hypnotizability of the Subjects? Also, T. X. Barber indicated in a long review article that local vascular response accounts for all of this.
Response: Just testing for hypnotizability isn’t enough. Local response may be important; immunologists say this isn’t immunology because you are affecting nonimmune responses.

Schwarz, Shirley P.; Taylor, Ann E.; Scharff, Lisa; Blanchard, Edward B. (1990). Behaviorally treated irritable bowel syndrome patients: A four-year follow-up. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28 (4), 331-335.

A 4-yr longitudinal study evaluated 19 patients (aged 23-60 yrs) suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who had completed a multicomponent treatment involving progressive muscle relaxation, thermal biofeedback, cognitive therapy, and IBS education at baseline. 17 Ss rated themselves as more than 50% improved. Six of the 12 Ss who submitted symptom monitoring diaries met the criteria for clinical improvement, (i.e., achieving at least a 50% reduction in primary IBS symptom scores). The means on all measures at long-term follow-up were lower than those obtained prior to treatment. When follow-up symptom means were compared with pretreatment means, significant reductions were obtained on abdominal pain/tenderness, diarrhea, nausea, and flatulence.

Zachariae, Robert; Bjerring, P.; Arendt-Nielsen, L. (1989). Modulation of type I mediated and type IV delayed immunoreactivity using direct suggestion and guided imagery during hypnosis. Allergy, 44 (8), 537-542.

Cutaneous reactivity against histamine skin prick test (Type I) and purified tuberculin protein derivative (Mantoux reaction, Type IV) was studied in eight volunteers under hypnosis. Types I and IV immunoreactivity were modulated by direct suggestion (Type I) and guided imagery (Type IV). When the highly susceptible volunteers underwent hypnotic suggestion to decrease the cutaneous reaction to histamine prick test, a significant (P less than 0.02) reduction of the flare reaction (area of erythema) was observed compared with control histamine skin tests. The wheal reaction did not respond to hypnotic suggestion. Neither wheal nor flare reaction could be increased in size by hypnotic suggestion compared with control histamine skin-prick tests. A hypnotic suggestion of increasing the Type IV reaction on one arm and decreasing the reaction on the other revealed a significant difference in both erythema size (P less than 0.02) and palpable induration (P less than 0.01). In two cases the reactions were monitored by laser doppler blood flowmetry and skin thickness measurement by ultrasound. The difference between the suggested increased and decreased reaction was 19% for the laser doppler bloodflow (in favor of the augmented side), and 44% for the dermal infiltrate thickness. This study objectively supports the numerous uncontrolled case reports of modulation of immunoreactivity in allergic diseases involving both Type I and Type IV skin reactions following hypnotic suggestions.

Smith, Shirley J.; Balaban, Alvin B. (1983). A multidimensional approach to pain relief: Case report of a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 31 (2), 72-81.

A multidimensional approach to the relief of intense pain associated with a chronic, debilitating disease (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) is illustrated in this case report. Techniques associated with behavioral therapy (deep muscle relaxation, systematic desensitization); hypnosis (trance states, guided imagery, age regression, anesthetic induction and transfer and auto-hypnosis); and psychodynamic psychotehrapy (dyadic interchange, suggestion, encouragement, interpretation of resistance and the transference/countertransference relationship) were utilized in obtaining virtual freedom from disabling pain and the necessity for analgesic and tranquilizing medications. Follow-up over a 3-year period demonstrated the utility of the approach.


Raz, Amir; Shapiro, Theodore; Fan, Jin; Posner, Michael (2002). Hypnotic suggestion and the modulation of Stroop interference. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 1155-1161..

This study was designed to determine whether a hypnotic suggestion to hinder lexical processing could modulate the Stroop effect. Behavioral Stroop data were collected from highly suggestible and 16 less suggestible subjects; both naturally vigilant and under posthypnotic suggestion. Subjects were urged to only attend to the ink color and to impede reading the stimuli under posthypnotic suggestion. Whereas posthypnotic suggestion eliminated Stroop interference for highly suggestible subjects, less suggestible control subjects showed no significant reduction in the interference effect. This outcome challenges the dominant view that word recognition is obligatory for proficient readers, and may provide insight into top-down influences of suggestion on cognition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

Raz, Amir (2001). Hypnotic suggestion and the modulation of Stroop interference. [Paper] Presented at annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, Texas.

This study was designed to determine whether a hypnotic suggestion to hinder lexical processing could modulate the Stroop effect. Behavioral Stroop data were collected from highly suggestible and 16 less suggestible subjects; both naturally vigilant and under posthypnotic suggestion. Subjects were urged to only attend to the ink color and to impede reading the stimuli under posthypnotic suggestion. Whereas posthypnotic suggestion eliminated Stroop interference for highly suggestible subjects, less suggestible control subjects showed no significant reduction in the interference effect. This outcome challenges the dominant view that word recognition is obligatory for proficient readers, and may provide insight into top-down influences of suggestion on cognition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)
[Abstract taken from the Archives of General Psychiatry 2002 article by Raz, Shapiro, Fan, & Posner.]

Crawford, Helen J.; Knebel, Timothy; Kaplan, Lyla; Vendemia, Jennifer M. C.; Xie, Min; Jamison, Scott; Pribram, Karl H. (1998). Hypnotic analgesia: 1. Somatosensory event-related potential changes to noxious stimuli and 2. Transfer learning to reduce chronic low back pain. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (1), 92-132.

Fifteen adults with chronic low back pain (M = 4 years), age 18 to 43 years (M = 29 years), participated. All but one were moderately to highly hypnotizable (M = 7.87; modified 11-point Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C [Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1962]), and significantly reduced pain perception following hypnotic analgesia instructions during cold-pressor pain training. In Part 1, somatosensory event-related potential correlates of noxious electrical stimulation were evaluated during attend and hypnotic analgesia (HA) conditions at anterior frontal (Fp1, Fp2), midfrontal (Fe, F4), central (C3, C4), and parietal (P3, P4) regions. During HA, hypothesized inhibitory processing was evidenced by enhanced N140 in the anterior frontal region and by a prestimulus positive-ongoing contingent cortical potential at Fp1 only. During HA, decreased spatiotemporal perception was evidenced by reduced amplitudes of P200 (bilateral midfrontal and central, and left parietal) and P300 (right midfrontal and central). HA led to highly significant mean reductions in perceived sensory pain and distress. HA is an active process that requires inhibitory effort, dissociated from conscious awareness, where the anterior frontal cortex participates in a topographically specific inhibitory feedback circuit that cooperates in the allocation of thalamocortical activities. In Part 2, the authors document the development of self-efficacy through the successful transfer by participants of newly learned skills of experimental pain reduction to reduction of their own chronic pain. Over three experimental sessions, participants reported chronic pain reduction, increased psychological well-being, and increased sleep quality. The development of “neurosignatures of pain” can influence subsequent pain experiences (Coderre, Katz, Vaccarino, & Malzack, 1993; Melzack, 1993) and may be expanded in size and easily reactivated (Flor & Birbaumer, 1994; Melzack, 1991, 1993). Therefore, hypnosis and other psychological interventions need to be introduced early as adjuncts in medical treatments for onset pain before the development of chronic pain.

The authors suggest that “the anterior frontal region deals with the active allocation of attention and disattention, whereas spatiotemporal aspects of the somatosensory perceptions involve the posterior cortical systems” (p. 113) They acknowledge that “other inhibitory pain systems are actively interacting with the frontal attentional system, including the limbic and thalamic systems” and mention evidence that the inhibitory processing “may extend as far as spinal cord antinociceptive mechanisms as evidenced by reductions in brief latency (Hagbarth & Finer, 1963) and R-III amplitude (Kiernan, Dane, Phillips, & Price, 1995) of spinal reflexes” (p. 113). Both pain perception and strategies of pain control may involve the anterior cingulate cortex (Kropotov et al. 1997), which has many connections with anterior frontal cortex “and is thought to be an area that organizes responses to noxious stimuli” (p. 113).