The concept and measurement of hypnotic susceptibility are re-examined in their relation to hypnotizability, hypnotic depth and suggestibility. The Stanford Scales and similar instruments are found to have failed to take into account essential features defining traditional hypnosis and suggestibility and to have created confusion in the scientific inquiry into hypnotism. Other available measures have not been particularly successful, but some bear further attention. Recent claims that hypnotizability can be trained have failed to distinguish between hypnotizability proper and accessory processes, leaving some question about what is actually being trained. Possible future directions of work on susceptibility are considered. Attempts to distinguish between ‘clinical’ and ‘laboratory’ hypnotizability are examined and found to have been premature and loosely based on facts.

Dosamantes-Alperson, Erma (1979). The intrapsychic and the interpersonal in movement psychotherapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 3, 20-31.

The adaptive function of two states of consciousness and corollary movement experiences is described. Movement in which a relaxed state of attention is maintained on inner kinesthetic sensations and imagery is contrasted with movement which is characterized by conscious, active interacting with the external world of people and events. Clinical examples from individual and group psychotherapy sessions are cited to demonstrate how meaning and conflict resolution may be achieved by clients while moving in either mode.

Hilgard, Ernest R.; Crawford, Helen J.; Wert, A. (1979). The Stanford Hypnotic Arm Levitation Induction and Test (SHALIT): A six-minute hypnotic induction and measurement scale. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27 (2), 111-124.

The Stanford Hypnotic Arm Levitation Induction and Test (SHALIT) has been designed as a short (6-minute) induction and measurement method for screening Ss according to hypnotizability for either clinical or experimental purposes. In Experiment 1 conducted with college students in two institutions, SHALIT was substituted for the eye closure induction of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A (SHSS:A) of Weitzenhoffer and E. R. Hilgard (1959) and followed by the remaining SHSS:A items. The SHALIT levitation score correlated .63 (N = 64) with SHSS:A. Some Ss who participated in the study were invited back for Experiment 2. This second experiment yielded a correlation of .52 (N = 27) between SHALIT and the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (Weitzenhoffer & E. R. Hilgard, 1962). Alternative simplified scoring methods designed for maximal convenience also proved satisfactory. The limitations of short tests as adequate measures of hypnotizability are noted.

Jackson, J. Arthur; Gass, Gregory C.; Camp, Elizabeth M. (1979). The relationship between posthypnotic suggestion and endurance in physically trained subjects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27, 278-293.

55 male Ss were assigned to 5 groups: control, hypnosis alone, motivation alone, low susceptible hypnosis with motivation, or high susceptible hypnosis with motivation. Ss performed 2 runs on a treadmill to their maximum capacity, as measured by oxygen consumption, blood lactate concentration, and respiratory quotient. Groups involving hypnosis performed in the posthypnotic state. A significant increase in endurance performance was revealed in the motivation alone Ss and in high susceptible hypnosis Ss who were given motivational suggestions. Maximum ventilation was significantly increased in high susceptible hypnosis Ss when compared with control Ss and significant increases in blood lactate concentrations were revealed when the high susceptible hypnosis Ss were compared with low susceptible hypnosis and motivation alone Ss. The reasons for the changes in metabolic variables are discussed. Findings demonstrated that in achieving greater endurance performance, motivational suggestions alone are as effective as identical suggestions given to high susceptible Ss.

-hypnotic state. A significant increase in endurance performance was revealed in the motivation alone Ss and in high susceptible hypnosis Ss who were given motivational suggestions. Maximum ventilation was significantly increased in high susceptible hypnosis Ss when compared with control Ss and significant increases in blood lactate concentrations were revealed when the high susceptible hypnosis Ss were compared with low susceptible hypnosis and motivation alone Ss. The reasons for the changes in metabolic variables are discussed. Findings demonstrated that in achieving greater endurance performance, motivational suggestions alone are as effective as identical suggestions given to high susceptible Ss.

Delprato, D. J.; Holmes, P. A. (1978). Facilitation of arm levitation by responses to previous suggestions of a different type. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26 (3), 167-177.

This experiment tested the hypothesis that responses to suggestions (confirmations of them) facilitate responses to subsequent suggestions. Experimental Ss first received 5 different suggestions (e.g., falling forward, index fingers coming together) that included instructions designed to help them experience involuntary performance of the suggested response. Control Ss were given the suggestions without the instructions. A subsequent, identical, arm levitation test revealed significantly more involuntary responding in experimental Ss than in control Ss. 10 prior confirmations of suggestions were more effective in differentiating control from experimental treatment than was a smaller number of confirmations. Results were discussed in terms of the contribution of learning and social control factors to suggestion effects.

Anderson, J. W. (1977). Defensive maneuvers in two incidents involving the Chevreul pendulum: A clinical note. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 4-6.

“Hypnosis frequently facilitates increased access to the unconscious. In both of these cases, the hypnotized subject gained contact with a thought which otherwise would likely have remained out of awareness. Then the ego quickly resorted to defensive maneuvers in order to deny the thought” (p. 6).

Lazar, Billie S. (1977). Hypnotic imagery as a tool in working with a cerebral palsied child. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25 (2), 78-87.

Hypnotic imagery ws used with a moderately severe athetoid cerebral palsied 12-year-old boy who was mildly retarded and a poor hypnotic subject. Techniques included imagery, observation of the self, revivification of relaxing experiences, proprioceptive feedback about the athetoid movements, and dealing with feelings and motivation. Athetoid movements were reduced, results extended beyond the treatment situation, and improvement was made in practical skills.

Stillman, Richard C.; Wolkowitz, Owen; Weingartner, Herbert; Waldman, Ivan; DeRenzo, Emil V.; Wyatt, Richard J. (1977, Dec 15). Marijuana: Differential effects on right and left hemisphere functions in man. Life Sciences, 21 (12), 1793-1799.

Marijuana, smoked at moderate doses, produced a differential impairment of the reaction times of right-handed males to pictorial stimuli presented to the left and right cerebral hemispheres. After smoking marijuana responses to pictorial stimuli presented to the right hemisphere were slowed significantly less than to the left hemisphere. Responses to verbal stimuli (trigrams) were slowed equally in both hemispheres, preserving an initial left hemisphere superiority for this material. This suggests that marijuana may differentially change the processing speed or relative dominance of man’s two cerebral hemispheres, depending on the nature of the material being processed.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Spillane, Jeanne; McPeake, John (1976). Cognitive strategies and response to suggestion in hypnotic and task-motivated subjects. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18, 254-262.

Thirty-two male and 32 female subjects, exposed to an hypnotic induction or task-motivational instruction, were administered either three suggestions which provided a cognitive strategy (i.e., a goal-directed fantasy, GDF) for experiencing suggested effects, or three suggestions that did not provide such a strategy. Subjects provided with GDF strategies were more responsive overtly and subjectively to two out of the three suggestions. Subjects in the No GDF Strategy treatment who spontaneously devised their own goal-directed fantasies were more responsive to suggestions than subjects who failed to devise such a strategy. These results support the contention that goal-directed fantasy helps both hypnotic and non-hypnotic subjects experience suggested effects.

Bender, V. L.; Navarett, F. J.; Nuttman, D. (1975). Effects of neutral hypnosis on a conditioned physiological response. Psychological Reports, 37, 1155-1160.

The objective of the present experiment was to determine whether hypnosis without explicit suggestion of analgesia would diminish physiological responses to an operationally defined painful shock stimulus. Muscle tension (EMG) was significantly lower during hypnosis than pre- or posthypnosis. Pulse rate remained stable throughout all conditions. Also, the question of whether a tone paired with shock might acquire some unique property because of that association was investigated. It was found that EMG response to the tone alone was significantly greater than to the tone-shock combination, in prehypnosis and posthypnosis, but not during hypnosis.

Weitzenhoffer, Andre M. (1972). The postural sway test: A historical note. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17-24.

Presents historical evidence disputing that the postural or body sway test of hypnotic susceptibility was originated by C. L. Hull. Excerpts from French scientific literature between 1887 and 1914 are cited indicating that the French physician Lucien Moutin should receive credit as the originator. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Perry, Campbell (1970). A possible kinesic indicator of hypnotic susceptibility. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 18 (1), 52-60.

Reports a significant association between a kinesic variable and hypnotic susceptibility for 39 male undergraduate volunteers. Highly susceptible Ss tended to undergo hypnotic induction with their legs uncrossed; medium susceptible and insusceptible Ss crossed their legs. The phenomenon was present both in an experimental context in which Ss were being tested primarily for their ability to experience hypnotic analgesia and in a diagnostic hypnotic rating situation. There is some evidence to suggest that leg crossing in insusceptible Ss represents a reaction to their inability to meet the implicit demands of a hypnotic induction. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

Garmize, L. M.; Marcuse, F. L. (1969). Some parameters of body sway. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 189-194.

Investigated the effects of 4 variables on body sway with 160 undergraduates. A 4-dimensional analysis of variance was performed on the body sway scores obtained. None of the main effects were significant. 1 of the interactions was significant, but might have been due to chance. Results are consistent with those of past researchers. (Spanish & German summaries) (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Hunt, Sonja M. (1969). The speech of the subject under hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 209-216.

Attempts to objectify changes taking place in the speech of 12 undergraduates under hypnosis as compared with their waking speech. A series of open-ended questions was asked in the waking and hypnotized states and the responses compared. Results indicate that the latency of response may be longer, the rate of speech slower, and the number of words in the response fewer under hypnosis. The rate of speech of E, however, also differed significantly between Ss in waking and hypnotized conditions. It was therefore not possible to attribute the speech changes only to the hypnotized state. They could have arisen from E”s differential verbal treatment of hypnotized and waking Ss. The need for future research and its nature are discussed. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Dittborn, Julio M. (1968). A brief nonthreatening procedure for the evaluation of hypnotizability. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 53-60.


Lindner, Harold; Stevens, Harold (1967). Hypnotherapy and psychosomatics in the syndrome of Gilles de la Tourette. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 15, 151-155.


Anderson, Milton L.; Sarbin, T. R. (1964). Base rate expectations and motoric alterations in hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12 (3), 147-158.

Degree of responsiveness to “suggestion” in an experiment which did not utilize hypnotic induction (the Berkeley Sample) was comparable to that obtained in an experiment which did utilize hypnotic induction (the Stanford Sample). Procedural differences between the 2 experiments–self-scoring vs. objective-scoring, and group vs. individual testing–were regarded as not crucial in making a comparison of the 2 experiments. The distribution of responses in the Berkeley Sample may be taken as the base rate. The slightly higher degree of responsiveness over the base rate in the Stanford Sample (on some tests) may be attributed to the “degree of volunteering” that characterized the sample. The importance for experiments in the future to create equal levels of motivation and expectation to perform well under both the hypnotic and the nonhypnotic conditions is stressed, and brief mention is made of a new metaphor to be used in the conceptualization of the problems of hypnosis. (25 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Levitt, Eugene E.; Brady, J. P. (1964). Muscular endurance under hypnosis and in the motivated waking state. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12, 21-27.

8 female Ss scoring at least 10 on the Standford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale were required to hold a weight in the outstretched hand in 3 states: (a) under hypnosis, (b) under hypnosis with the upper arm and shoulder anesthetized hypnotically, and (c) in the waking state with motivation provided by a verbal exhortation and monetary payment. Order of performance in the 3 states was varied. No significant differences among states were found. The interaction between states and orders was significant, but it appears more likely to be the result of intersubject variability rather than of position or fatigue effects. Ss” expectancies and estimates of performance time, obtained postexperimentally, did not appear to be related to performance itself. (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)

Crasilneck, Harold B.; Hall, James A. (1962). The use of hypnosis with unconscious patients. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 10 (3), 141-144.

8 of 10 patients dying of cancer were found to continue a simple motor response to a hypnotic command, even though they revealed no other evidence of interaction with the environment and were considered unconscious by their physicians. Certain theoretical considerations are mentioned. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Das, J. P. (1961). Body-sway suggestibility and mental deficiency. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13-15.

50 mental defectives were subjected to the body-sway test of suggestibility. Contrary to expectations the defectives did not differ from each other when taken according to grades of deficiency, nor do they differ, as a group, from normal (college) controls. From Psyc Abstracts 36:02:2JI13D. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Mishchenko, M. (1961). The hypnotic condition as a process of nervous excitation. In Proc. Third World Congress of Psychiatry, Montreal, Canada, I. (pp. 704-708). (Abstract in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 1964, 7, 101.)

Subjects were selected with certain predispositions for the hypnotic state and studied in the waking, hypnotic and experimental sleep states by motor conditioned reflexes modified to a specific function of the frontal system. Excitable, active students of music and literature were found most excitable as subjects, subjects tending to be passive showed no hypnotic responses. Experimental sleep abolished the motor-conditioned reflexes, quite contrary to hypnotic findings. (M.H.E. abstract in AJCH).

Das, J. P.; O’Connor, N. (1959). Body-sway suggestibility in paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenics. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 7 (3), 121-128.

Twenty paranoid and twenty nonparanoid schizophrenics were tested for body-sway suggestibility and verbal conditioning. Paranoids showed greater sway than nonparanoids and both groups swayed more forward than backward.
Forward sway was found to be a more reliable measure than backward sway. Both static ataxia and suggested sway were found to be highly reliable over short test-retest periods. The smaller sway of the nonparanoids was explained in terms of difficulty of communication. With regard to the verbal conditioning, it was found that the difficulty of inhibiting an already acquired conditioned response was positively related to the amount of sway produced by suggestion. This was tentatively interpreted as due to the degree of weakness of the capacity to inhibit responses” (p. 128).

Schneck, Jerome M. (1955). Transference and hypnotic behavior. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3 (3), 132-135.

“Summary. This report describes an extreme posture in hypnosis, spontaneously assumed by a male patient, when the patient, seated in a chair, curved his head, neck, and upper body far forward so that his face finally was turned inward toward his body at the level of lower abdomen or pubis. This spontaneous motor phenomenon, aside from serving as an addition to spontaneous sensory and motor phenomena described previously, continued throughout a series of sessions and reflected symbolically a combination of broad rather than limited interest in treatment and its implications were accepted and used as a base in determining the direction and management of therapy. The constellation of events furnished an additional example of incorporation of hypnotic technique into psychotherapy” (p. 135).

Koster, S. (1954). Experimental investigation of the character of hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2, 42-54.

In waking, hypnosis, and sleep states 6 subjects were tested for knee-jerk height, key pressing to metronome signal, doing sums, recalling a story, etc. The Summary states:
“1. The height of the knee-jerk of all 6 subjects both in T and in “S” was much lower than in (W), the average height of all knee-jerks computed of the 6 subjects was both in T and in “S” only 39% of the average height in (W).
2. The [arm] catalepsy in T and in “S” continually existed.
3. The subjects in T and in “S” could hear well and perform active movements, though they reacted somewhat more slowly, and less forcibly than in (W) and sometimes only after some provocations.
4. The subjects both in T and in “S” could not only hear well, but could also present more or less complicated psychic impressions, reproducing them later again in “S” and also after the end of the experiment” (p. 50).
The author concluded, “Hypnosis is a sleeping-condition, but a special one. The specific difference consists of the fact that the subject’s many impressions, which he would observe in a waking-condition, he does not observe now, and does not react to, aside from impressions coming to him through the hypnotist. It can then be said that there is not an absence but a decrease of the active relation with the outer world. This is exactly the same state as the one during sleepwalking and the writer must repeat after all his investigations, what has already been stated: Essentially there is no difference between the condition of a hypnotized person and that of a sleepwalker” (p. 51).

Guze, Henry (1953). Posture, postural redintegration and hypnotherapy. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1, 76-82. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts 53: 6559)

The use of postural analysis, and directives regarding posture and their importance in hypnotherapy are discussed. Theoretically, it is indicated that a chronic postural condition may act to elicit an emotional state with which it was originally associated. Such an emotional condition may have caused the posture in the first place, and then established a feed-back relationship with it. The breaking of feed-back mechanisms of this kind depends largely upon postural change when a chronic situation is established in the absence of realistic cause for the emotion. Posture may also act redintegratively, when directly suggested, in rearousing traumatic memories. Several clinical cases are reported.


Dane, Joseph R. (1996). Hypnosis for pain and neuromuscular rehabilitation with multiple sclerosis: Case summary, literature review, and analysis of outcomes. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 44 (3), 208-231.

Videotaped treatment sessions in conjunction with 1-month, 1-year, and 8-year follow-up allow a unique level of analysis in a case study of hypnotic treatment for pain and neuromuscular rehabilitation with multiple sclerosis (MS). Preparatory psychotherapy was necessary to reduce the patient’s massive denial before she could actively participate in hypnosis. Subsequent hypnotic imagery and posthypnotic suggestion were accompanied by significantly improved control of pain, sitting balance, and diplopia (double vision), and a return to ambulatory capacity within 2 weeks of beginning treatment with hypnosis. Evidence regarding efficacy of hypnotic strategies included (a) direct temporal correlations between varying levels of pain relief and ambulatory capacity and the use versus nonuse of hypnotic strategies, (b) the absence of pharmacological explanations, and (c) the ongoing presence of other MS-related symptoms that remained unaltered. In conjunction with existing literature on hypnosis and neuromuscular conditions, results of this case study strongly suggest the need for more detailed and more physiologically based studies of the phenomena involved. – Journal Abstract

Clarke, J. H.; Reynolds, P. J. (1991). Suggestive hypnotherapy for nocturnal bruxism: A pilot study. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 33, 248-253.

Although one can find many case reports of hypnotherapy for bruxism, there is a paucity of scientific research on the subject. This study describes the use of suggestive hypnotherapy and looks at its effectiveness in treating bruxism. Eight subjects who reported bruxism with symptoms such as muscle pain and complaints of bruxing noise from sleep partners were accepted into the study. An objective baseline of the bruxing was established using a portable electromyogram (EMG) detector attached over the masseter muscle during sleep. Hypnotherapy was then employed. Both self-reports and posttreatment EMG recordings were used to evaluate the hypnotherapy. Long-term effects were evaluated by self-reports only. The bruxers showed a significant decrease in EMG activity; they also experienced less facial pain and their partners reported less bruxing noise immediately following treatment and after 4 to 36 months.

Lucic, Karen S.; Steffen, John J.; Harrigan, Jinni A.; Stuebing, Roger C. (1991). Progressive relaxation training: Muscle contraction before relaxation?. Behavior Therapy, 22 (2), 249-256.

Demonstrated support for E. Jacobson’s (1938) position that tensing muscle groups prior to relaxation is physiologically detrimental to the relaxation process. 48 undergraduates participated in 1 of 3 conditions: muscle contraction (MC) relaxation, relaxation without muscle contraction (WMC), and self-induced relaxation control. Ss participated in a single session of progressive relaxation. Ss had no previous relaxation training and had moderate trait anxiety scores. A significant main effect for group resulted for the electromyograph (EMGH) measures. The mean EMGH measures identified the WMC group as most relaxed (i.e., experiencing the least amount of muscle tension), followed by the control group and then the MC group.

EMGH measures identified the WMC group as most relaxed (i.e., experiencing the least amount of muscle tension), followed by the control group and then the MC group.

Somer, Eli (1991). Hypnotherapy in the treatment of the chronic nocturnal use of a dental splint prescribed for bruxism. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 39, 145-154.

A behavioral medicine case is described in which the patient was treated with a combined approach involving both hypnoanalytic and hypnobehavioral techniques. A 55-year-old man with bruxism was referred after 10 years of craniomandibular treatment because of his dependency on a dental splint prescribed for nocturnal use. A projective hypnoanalytic exploration helped to uncover and consequently resolve an earlier conflict that had been reactivated in the patient’s work situaation and which had become a constant source of mental and muscular tension. The hypnoanalytic exploration was followed by a cognitive-behavioral hypnotic intervention that was tape-recorded and prescribed for bedtime practice. Pre- and posttherapy psychological, physiological, and self-report measurements corroborated the patient’s sense of well being that came with his newly found ability to sleep without the dental splint. The importance of considering multiple etiological factors in the treatment of such psychosomatic disorders as bruxism is discussed.

Radil, T.; Snydrova, I.; Hacik, L.; Pfeiffer, J.; Votava, J. (1988). Attempts to influence movement disorders in hemiparetics. Scandinavian Journal of Rehab. Med. Suppl., 17, 157-161.

Step duration, measured in hemiparetic patients walking on a circular path, showed that step duration of the affected foot is usually longer. Functional electrical stimulation of the peroneal nerve in the swing phase of the step (eliminating foot drop) shortened step duration in the majority of cases. Hypnosis induced by the verbal fixation technique was used in hemiparetic patients (a) to ascertain whether the patients’ mobility would increase during hypnosis and to determine (in positive cases) whether this approach might be used to predict the effect of rehabilitation performed by classical methods; (b) to use hypnosis as a method of auxiliary treatment. The general finding was that the extent of movements of the hemiparetic upper extremity considerably improved during and immediately after hypnosis. This effect could be observed both at the level of severe impairment (at the beginning of treatment) and during the later stages when mobility greatly improved due to rehabilitation and recovery.

Rudnick, David (1986). Hypnosis in movement disorders. [Paper] Presented at UCLA Neurobehavioral Seminar/Case Conference.

This case conference involved presentation of 4 cases of torticollis movement disorders and discussion of the role of hypnosis in treatment. Author asked: What are dystonias? What is hypnosis? What is the effect of movement disorders on hypnosis? He noted that the close mind-body relationship was an interest of Mesmer, and of Charcot in study of epilepsy. In one case, hypnosis was used for: 1. movement exercises (often incorporated. into imagery) once the patient is hypnotized, to exercise muscles. 2. tactile and imagery-based suggestions for healing brain center and neck (e.g. imaging change and growth in atrophied muscles) 3. psychodynamic explorations of possible contributory factors (e.g. a patient who had no history of neurological insult, but talked about guilt over raising an illegitimate son). 4. Self-hypnosis tapes (specific motor exercises and nonspecific relaxation techniques) 5. simulating typing, taking dictation under hypnosis

-ter and neck (e.g. imaging change and growth in atrophied muscles) 3. psychodynamic explorations of possible contributory factors (e.g. a patient who had no history of neurological insult, but talked about guilt over raising an illegitimate son). 4. Self-hypnosis tapes (specific motor exercises and nonspecific relaxation techniques) 5. simulating typing, taking dictation under hypnosis
Author notes that we are beginning to get some understanding of the neuropathology and neuroanatomy of movement disorders. They are involuntary, happen without people trying to make them happen. We used to think they all disappear during sleep, but Tourette’s tics occur during sleep. Based on known syndromes (Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases), it appears that movement disorders involve extrapyramidal and basal ganglia, subthalamic nuclei, substantia nigra, red nucleus, direct connection to spinal levels and to thalamus. Neurotransmitters involved include dopamine, GABA, etc.
There is still an argument whether these movement disorders are psychogenic or neurogenic. In the past torticollis was considered psychogenic, caused by single traumatic event. Then hypnosis was used a la Freud. There were early case reports of improvement with hypnosis, but no long-term follow-up of results. The author thinks they attributed improvement with hypnosis to the wrong reasons. Hypnosis also was being applied to clearly neurogenic disorders at that time.
Various theories of hypnosis have neurological aspects: 1. Hypnosis is related to neurologic regression (exemplified by animals staying still in face of danger), involving the phylogenetically older brain. 2. Hysteria equals state of hypnosis (but hysteria itself isn’t well-defined). Most hysterics have some neurological problems. See recent articles by Bruce Miller 3. Hypnosis is a state of partial sleep (a la Pavlov), but EEG patterns during hypnosis are similar to waking EEG. There are reports of people placed into hypnosis and then given suggestions to go to sleep, and EEG changes are observed (but not sleep pattern). 4. William Kroger, M.D., theorizes that the part of brain “calling the shots” during hypnosis is an older part of the brain, with something separating out the cortex, so that memory storage is different, and reality identified is different. 5. Some evidence points to role of the reticular activating system — which integrates afferent sensory pathways; only some neocortex projects to the system. Functionally, the reticular activating system relates to motor phenomena and especially to attention. 6. Electrophysiological changes may occur in hypnosis. Roberts (1960 NCEH) says it’s a specific electrophysiological state of brain: arousal of reticular activation system, inhibition of behavioral arousal, and sensory suppression.
The author asks, How does cortical inhibition occur in hypnosis? There is a subcortical delta wave that “drives the separation of cortex (three persistent rhythmic stimuli). He asks, Is there some way to teach subcortical changes? He notes a connection between hypnosis and movement disorders. The reticular activating system and extrapyramidal connections are inhibited by hypnosis, so they are no longer responsible for decreasing the movement disorders. Finally, why do _some_ people stop movements during hypnosis while, the movements return after hypnosis termination?

Miller, Lorence S.; Cross, Herbert J. (1985). Hypnotic susceptibility, hypnosis, and EMG biofeedback in the reduction of frontalis muscle tension. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33, 258-272.

Biofeedback and hypnosis have been used in the treatment of similar disorders. While each has been useful, it is unclear whether they involve similar or conflicting processes. Bowers & Kelly (1979) have hypothesized that high hypnotizable Ss are more likely to benefit from hypnosis and similar procedures, than moderate and low hypnotizable individuals. In contrast, Qualls & Sheehan (1979, 1981 a, b, c) have argued that hypnosis and biofeedback involve antithetical abilities. In the present study, high, moderate, and low hypnotizable individuals (N = 60) were randomly assigned to either EMG biofeedback or hypnosis conditions and instructed to relax. It was found that the mean percent reduction in frontalis muscle tension over the last 5 trials was significantly greater for the high hypnotizable Ss during hypnosis than the moderate and low hypnotizable Ss. The moderate and low hypnotizable Ss demonstrated greater reductions in frontalis muscle tension during EMG biofeedback than during hypnosis. These findings are partly supportive of the predictions of Qualls and Sheehan that hypnosis and biofeedback involve antithetical processes.

Qualls and Sheehan (1979, 1981a) “have hypothesized that biofeedback and hypnosis abilities involve antithetical or antagonistic cognitive processes. Specifically, they argued that the biofeedback signal interferes with the natural ability of high absorption Ss to ‘direct their attention in an effortless manner toward subjective, imaginal experience [1981a, p. 33],’ by forcing them to attend to the external environment. In contrast, low absorption Ss, as well as moderate hypnotizable Ss, possess inadequate abilities to direct their attention in such an effortless and absorbing manner towards inner, subjective experiences, and therefore, the biofeedback signal better enables them to focus their attention. While the pattern of EMG results among the high, moderate, and low hypnotizable Ss … was somewhat consistent with these predictions, the self-report data did not reveal differences in Ss’ awareness of the biofeedback signal or hypnotic suggestions. In addition, there was only a trend for the high hypnotizable Subjects to report less effort in attempting to relax. It is, therefore, unclear whether the explanations postulated by Qualls and Sheehan (1979, 1981a) for the differences found in this study are valid” (p. 269).

Subjective relaxation response results were complex. Ss were asked how relaxed they were during the experimental session in comparison to the previous hypnosis sessions (screening tests). Biofeedback Ss rated the experimental session less favorably than hypnosis Ss. Ss were asked to what degree the feedback (or hypnotic suggestions) helped them to relax; there were significant main effects for treatment and trait, as well as a significant trait x sex interaction. Hypnosis Ss reported that this procedure was more helpful than was reported by the biofeedback Ss. Newman-Keuls comparison revealed that the main effect for trait was due to the high hypnotizable Ss reporting more help from the procedures than the low hypnotizable Ss, and moderate hypnotizable Ss. The Trait x Sex interaction was the result of the high hypnotizable female Ss indicating more help from either relaxation procedure, than was reported by the low hypnotizable male Ss and moderate hypnotizable female Ss and the high hypnotizable male Ss indicated that the procedures were significantly more helpful than was reported by the low hypnotizable male Ss

Pajntar, M.; Roskar, E.; Vodovnik, L. (1985). Some neuromuscular phenomena in hypnosis. In Waxman, D.; Misra, P.C.; Gibson, M.; Basker, M.A. (Ed.), Modern trends in hypnosis (pp. 181-206). New York: Plenum Press.

The phenomena presented here allow us to conclude that with hypnosis, the functioning of the neuromuscular system may be significantly influenced, either by increasing or decreasing the functioning of voluntary or electrically stimulated contractions, and that the function of movements may be improved. Two suggestions proved to be most efficient: 1) physical and mental relaxation, and 2) age regression. In age regression the patient recalls the ideomotor system, which is likely to result in a reconstruction of the forgotten motor contractions or in a strong intensification of these contractions under additional suggestions. With regard to relaxation, on one hand it intensifies the functioning of the voluntarily stimulated neuro-muscular systems, and on the other hand it prevents an excessive functioning of the involuntarily reflex stimulated anagonistic systems” (pp 202; 204).

Funch, Donna P.; Gale, Elliot N. (1984). Biofeedback and relaxation therapy for chronic temporomandibular joint pain: Predicting successful outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 52 (6), 928-935.

Fifty-seven patients with chronic temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain were randomly assigned to receive either relaxation or biofeedback therapy. Therapy efficacy was assessed (immediate posttreatment and 2-year follow-up), and pretherapy factors (demographic, clinical, personality) were used to predict successful outcomes for each therapy group. Although there were no significant differences in outcomes, characteristics of patients with successful outcomes were not similar for the two therapies. Successful patients in the relaxation condition tended to be younger, had experienced TMJ pain for a shorter period of time, and had reported problems with other psychophysiologic disorders. Successful patients in the biofeedback group tended to be older, married, had experienced TMJ pain for a longer period of time, and had not received prior equilibration treatment. Only two of these factors, equilibration and presence of other disorders, were related to both short- and long-term outcomes, suggesting that they may be particularly useful as predictors of outcome. These findings do suggest that knowledge of pretherapy factors, particularly clinical, may allow for more optimal assignment to therapy conditions.

Murphy, Joseph K.; Fuller, A. Kenneth (1984). Hypnosis and biofeedback as adjunctive therapy in blepharospasm: A case report. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 27, 31-37.

The efficacy of ophthalmologic, hypnotic, and biofeedback treatment procedures in a case of blepharospasm was evaluated. Manual eye rubbing and eye opening served as dependent measures which were assessed by the patient during treatment and a three month follow-up. Results indicated that ophthalmologic treatment had a limited effect. In contrast, brief hypnosis had a dramatic but short-lived effect and biofeedback had a moderate but sustained effect. Results are discussed in terms of the efficacy of psychological intervention, the limitations of the report, and the need for future research.

Stam, Henderikus J.; McGrath, Patricia A.; Brooke, Ralph I. (1984). The effects of a cognitive-behavioral treatment program on temporo-mandibular pain and dysfunction syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine, 46, 534-545.

Sixty-one patients, clearly diagnosed as suffering from temporo-mandibular pain and dysfunction syndrome (TMPDS), were randomly assigned to one of three groups, (1) hypnosis and cognitive coping skills, (2) relaxation and cognitive coping skills, or (3) a no-treatment control group. All patients were evaluated with a standard hypnotic susceptibility scale prior to treatment. The two treatment groups received four weekly sessions of their respective treatments. Patients in the hypnosis and relaxation groups reported equivalent decrements in pain, abnormal sounds in the temporomandibular joint, and limitations of jaw mobility. Hypnotic susceptibility was significantly correlated with reductions in reported pain for the treatment groups. Patients’ age and the duration of pain prior to treatment were not related to treatment outcome. Patients who dropped out of treatment had fewer limitations in jaw movement but did not differ on any other variable from patients who remained in treatment. These findings are discussed in relation to the hypothesis that TMPDS is a stress related muscular pain and dysfunction.

Schandler, Steven L.; Dana, Edward R. (1983). Cognitive imagery and physiological feedback relaxation protocols applied to clinically tense young adults: A comparison of state, trait, and physiological effects. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 672-681.

Examined changes in targeted and general tension behaviors as well as reductions in physiological tension associated with cognitive imagery and electromyographic biofeedback relaxation procedures. Three groups of 15 female college students participated. During three weekly sessions each person received either guided cognitive imagery relaxation, frontalis muscle feedback relaxation, or a self-rest control procedure. The Anxiety Differential was administered before and after each session, while frontalis EMG, heart rate, and skin temperature were monitored continuously. A second Temperament Analysis was administered after the final session. The imagery procedure was associated with moderate reductions in physiological tension and significant reductions in state anxiety and three tension-related personality dimensions. Self-rest persons displayed lesser reductions in general tension with little physiological change. While biofeedback persons showed the largest reductions in physiological tension, they displayed only small and variable changes in state anxiety and personality dimensions. The data raise continued questions about the application of physiologically based operant relaxation procedures and support the use of cognitively mediated protocols for the treatment of specific or general anxiety behaviors.

Thakur, Kripa; Thakur, Aruna (1983, November). Hypnotherapy for dysphagia. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, Dallas, TX.