Soskis, D. A.; Orne, E. C.; Orne, M. T.; Dinges, D. F. (1989). Self-hypnosis and meditation for stress management: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 285-289.

In a 6-month follow-up study, telephone interviews were conducted with 31 male executives who were taught either a self-hypnosis or meditation exercise as part of a stress-management program. Use of and problems with the 2 exercises were similar, with the percentage of Ss using the techniques falling over 6 months from 90% to 42%. The exercises were used primarily for physical relaxation, refreshing mental interludes, aiding sleep onset, and stress-reduction. Problems with the exercises chiefly involved difficulty in scheduling even brief uninterrupted practice times and discomfort with the techniques. The incorporation of these issues into the clinical teaching of self-hypnosis may be useful.

Stanton, Harry E. (1989). Hypnosis and rational-emotive therapy–a de-stressing combination: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37 (2), 95-99.

It has been suggested that teacher stress might be reduced through cognitive restructuring which is aimed at improving the rationality of their thinking. To test this hypothesis, 40 high school teachers were paired on their level of reasonable thinking, operationalized in terms of scores on the Teacher Idea Inventory (Bernard, Joyce, & Rosewarne, 1983), and allocated at random to one of 2 groups. They also completed the Face Valid Stress Test. The experimental group participated in 4 weekly treatment sessions involving a hypnotic induction and suggestions derived from key elements of Rational-Emotive Therapy. These focused on the reduction of what Ellis (Ellis & Grieger, 1977), the originator of this treatment, calls “irrational thinking.” The control group spent the same amount of time discussing stress reduction methods. Both the Face Valid Stress Test and the Teacher Idea Inventory were re-administered at the end of this period and again 12 months after conclusion of the experiment. Results indicated that both the experimental and control groups significantly reduced their levels of irrational thinking and stess, although the former’s improvement was more marked, particularly at the 12-month follow-up.

Wickramasekera, Ian (1989). Enabling the somatizing patient to exit the somatic closet: A high-risk model. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 26 (4), 530-544.

Problems in establishing a therapeutic alliance make somatizing patients poor candidates for psychotherapy. A logical analysis is presented of the conspiracy of silence between the somatizing patient, the medical doctor, and the health insurance industry regarding the psychosocial factors contributing to somatization. Alternatives are sought to repeated biomedical tests and therapies that are clinically unproductive and iatrogenic. Two psychophysiological pathways are proposed that are promising to reduce the distance between the medical doctors’ and the psychologists’ procedures. The new profile of illness has produced a paradigm shift with implications for an expansion of the definition of the word “physician”.

Tsushima, W. T. (1988). Current psychological treatments for stress-related skin disorders. Cutis, 42, 402-404.

Surveys current methods used by psychologists in the management of stress-related skin disorders, including hypnosis, relaxation training, biofeedback, operant conditioning, and cognitive behavioral therapy. These techniques offer promise in the treatment of certain dermatologic conditions, but the limited amount of well-controlled and replicated studies of their use suggests that caution be taken in their application.

Bongartz, Walter (1987, October). Influence of hypnosis on white blood cell count and urinary level of vanillyl mandelic acid. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Los Angeles.

They hypothesized that hypnosis benefits to immunology are due to alterations in white blood cell counts (WBC). Found that (1) blood samples before and after hypnosis with relaxation scenes led to significant decrease in WBCs compared to watching film of Mesmer or doing mental arithmetic, and (2) Vanillyl Mandelic Acid also was reduced.
After physical exercise, video game, or reading, within 20′, the WBCs return to pre-relaxation levels, i.e. they hadn’t left the bloodstream. Key to understanding this result: only 50% of WBCs are in circulation, and others adhere to vessel walls; the experience of hypnotic relaxation leads to less sympathetic nervous activation and less epinephrine or hormonal response. WBCs also increased over a day period with mental arithmetic, but remained the same with hypnosis.
This research is only preliminary and exploratory.

Katz, Ernest R.; Kellerman, Jonathan; Ellenberg, Leah (1987). Hypnosis in the reduction of acute pain and distress in children with cancer. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 12, 379-394.

Hypnosis has been used as a behavioral approach to help children tolerate aversive medical procedures more effectively, but empirical longitudinal research evaluating the outcome of such interventions has been limited. In the present study, 36 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age undergoing repeated bone marrow aspirations (BMAs) were randomized to hypnosis or play comparison groups. Subjects were selected on their behavioral performance on baseline procedures and received interventions prior to their next three BMA procedures. Major results indicated an improvement in self-reported distress over baseline with both interventions, with no differences between them. Girls exhibited more distress behavior than boys on three of four dependent measures used. Suggestions of an interaction effect between sex and treatment group were noted. The role of rapport between patient and therapist in therapeutic outcome was also evaluated. Results are discussed in terms of potential individual differences in responding to stress and intervention that warrant further research.

Shertzer, C. L.; Lookingbill, D. P. (1987). Effects of relaxation therapy and hypnotizability in chronic urticaria. Archives of Dermatology, 123, 913-916.

15 patients with chronic urticaria of 7.8 years’ average duration. Compared with baseline and control session values, the hypnosis session provided relief of pruritus as measured by 3 self-report parameters. There was no change in the number of hives. All Ss were given a standard test for hypnotizability. Assuming that the results were not biased by their preceding relaxation sessions, we determined that 6 Ss were hypnotizable and nine were non hypnotizable. Ss in both groups improved symptomatically, but hypnotizable Ss had fewer hives and became more symptomatic during the control (testing and history taking) session. Hypnotizable Ss also more frequently related stress as a causative factor. At a follow-up examination five to 14 months after the completion of the experimental sessions, six patients were free of hives and an additional seven reported improvement.

Cerny, M. (1986). Hypnosuggestive interventions in emotional stress and in stress disorders. Activitas Nervosa Superior, 2, 141-143.
This paper represents a review of results using the PSA technique (Posthypnotic Suggestion evoked by Autostimulation) as a means of protection against stress. The best results were obtained in Ss with high susceptibility. This fact limits the practical use of the PSA method. However, this method can serve as a model approach in another more exact study of psychophysiological self-regulatory mechanisms in relation to coping with stress.

Miller, Mary E.; Bowers, Kennneth S. (1986). Hypnotic analgesia and stress inoculation in the reduction of pain. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 6-14.

Investigated the influence of hypnotic ability on 3 methods of reducing cold-pressor pain. Following a baseline immersion, 30 high- and 30 low-hypnotizable undergraduates were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: stress inoculation training, stress inoculation training defined as hypnosis, or hypnotic analgesia. Analysis of pain reports indicated a significant hypnotic ability x treatment interaction. Among Ss receiving hypnotic analgesia, high-hypnotizables reported significantly less intense pain than lows. There was no differential response for high- and low-hypnotizable Ss receiving stress inoculation training, whether or not it was defined as hypnotic. Moreover, Ss in the stress inoculation condition (whether or not defined as hypnosis) reported using cognitive strategies to reduce pain, whereas this was not the case for Ss in the hypnotic analgesia condition. The present findings seem inconsistent with the social psychological account of hypnosis and are discussed from a dissociation perspective, which views hypnosis as involving changes in the way information is processed.

Wickramasakera, Ian (1986). A model of people at high risk to develop chronic stress-related somatic symptoms: Some predictions. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 17, 437-447.

Certain measurable high-risk factors that predispose people to develop functionally based somatic disorders are identified. These risk factors compose a multidimensional model that encompasses variables involved in the predisposition, the precipitation, and the buffering of stress-related symptoms. These high-risk factors are (a) high or low hypnotic ability, (b) habitual catastrophizing cognitions and pessimistic belief systems, (c) autonomic lability or neuroticism, (d) multiple major life changes or multiple minor hassles over a short period of time, and (e) a deficit in support systems or coping skills or both.

Eichelman, Burr (1985). Hypnotic change in combat dreams of two veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 142 (1), 112-114.

Presents the cases of 2 veterans (aged 57 and 37 yrs) whose recurrent and traumatic combat dreams were dispelled with hypnosis and the dream substitution technique. This technique was based on the hypothesis that incorporation of hypnotically rehearsed dreams into nocturnal dreams would demonstrate to Ss that they had control over nocturnal dream content. Dream substitutions were rehearsed in hypnotic trance and subsequently dreamed at night; afterward, Ss’ original traumatic dreams ceased. (8 ref).

Gottschalk, Louis A. (1985). Hope and other deterrents to illness. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 39, 515-524.

Reviews animal and human research demonstrating that events during early development influence vulnerability to physical and mental illness. In addition, effectiveness of coping methods used to deal with problems of living can affect susceptibility to illness. The intervening mechanisms between stressful life experiences and illness appear to involve physiological homeostasis and immune competence.


Holmes, David S. (1984). Meditation and somatic arousal evidence. American Psychologist, 39 (1), 1-10.

The conceptual and methodological issues associated with research on the effects of meditation are reviewed. A summary of the research in which the somatic arousal of meditating subjects was compared to the somatic arousal of resting subjects did not reveal any consistent differences between meditating and resting subjects on measures of heart rate, electrodermal activity, respiration rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, skin temperature, oxygen consumption, EMG activity, blood flow, or various biochemical factors. Similarly, a review of the research on the effects of meditation in controlling arousal in threatening situations did not reveal any consistent differences between meditating and nonmeditating (no-treatment, antimeditation, or relaxation) subjects. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.

Krenz, Eric W. (1984). Improving competitive performance with hypnotic suggestions and modified autogenic training: Case reports. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 27, 58-63.

Although traditionally trainers of athletes have emphasized physiological refinements for the optimal performance of complex motor skills, research has revealed that heightened levels of stress and anxiety may adversely affect performance. As a result, many athletic training programs, taking into consideration the complex interrelationship of the mind and the body, include “mental training” in an attempt to reduce the negative effects of excess stress. These programs have incorporated various psychological interventions such as post hypnotic suggestions, sensory conditioning, and mental imagery and rehearsal. Modified Autogenic Training, a teaching model based on Standard Autogenic Training, synthesizes the strengths of hypnotic techniques to achieve optimal athletic performance. Athletes trained in these concepts can manage unexpected incidences during competition. The concepts of Modified Autogenic Training are described and four case studies are reported.

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.

Hall, Marian D. (1982-83). Using relaxation imagery with children with malignancies: A developmental perspective. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 25 (2-3), 143-149.

Developmental theory has been the foundation for this program of relaxation-imagery therapy with its goal of increasing the efficacy of immune mechanisms, thus increasing the survival rate of children with malignancies and/or improving the comfort and quality of their lives. Three basis constructs–the impact of social stress, the positive development of attachment and the negative effects of separation and loss, and the stages of concept formation relating to the functioning of the human body, the processes of disease and death–are basic approaches to the use of imagery-relaxation as an integral part of a comprehensive care plan.

Stoyva, J. M.; Anderson, C. (1982). A coping-rest model of relaxation and stress management. In Goldberger, L.; Breznitz, S. (Ed.), Handbook of stress: Theoretical and clinical aspects (pp. 745-763). New York: The Free Press.

“Patients with psychosomatic or stress linked disorders are likely to show signs of high physiological arousal, and they are likely, under stress, to react strongly in the symptomatic system and to show evidence of being deficient in the ability to shift from the coping to the rest mode (e.g., slowness of habituation to, and recovery from, stressful stimulation). A corollary inference is that such patients … show activity in the symptomatic system for a higher percentage of the time that [sic] do normal subjects. We suggest that this defect in the capacity to shift to a rest condition is the principal reason that various relaxation procedures have so often proved successful in the alleviation of stress related symptoms” (p. 748).
The authors refer to a number of different stress management procedures. Among those associated with primary focus on the rest phase they include: Relaxation training (progressive relaxation, autogenic training, EMG feedback, meditation [Zen, TM]), Specific biofeedback (hand temperature, electrodermal response [EDR], EMG from particular muscle group), and Systematic desensitization. Among those associated with primary focus on coping phase are: Assertiveness training, Social skills retraining and motor skills retraining, Self-statements, Imagery (Guided waking imagery, autogenic abreaction, covert reinforcement and covert sensitization, behavior rehearsal). These various procedures may reflect three dimensions or aspects of the stress response, with some addressing physiology and others addressing cognition or behavior change.
“Rachman (1978) … found it useful to divide the phenomenon of fear into physiological, cognitive, and behavioral components. Similarly, Davidson and Schwartz (1976) conceptualized relaxation as consisting of somatic, cognitive, and attentional components. Phillips (1977) argued that pain, such as headache pain, can be viewed as consisting of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological aspects (and that, consequently, we should not expect high correlations between headache pain and a particular physiological measure such as forehead EMG level). …
“… In discussing contemporary studies of dreaming, they [Stoyva and Kamiya (1968)] proposed that there is no single, totally valid indicator of dreaming as a mental experience. Instead, there are several imperfect indicators of the dream experience–verbal report, rapid eye movements, and certain electroencephalographic (EEG) stages. … Discrepancies among the indicators can serve to generate hypotheses” (p. 749).
The authors discuss different ways of retraining the capacity to rest: relaxation training (including biofeedback, etc.), systematic desensitization; and of reshaping the coping response: assertiveness training, social skills and motor skills retraining, self- statements, imagery techniques; and discuss controllability. These notes cover only a very small part of their extensive review, the material most relevant to hypnosis and suggestion.
“Although imagery techniques are often employed by stress management therapists, one approaches this area with ambivalence. In part, this uneasiness springs from the unsettling awareness that imagery techniques have been embraced by a freewheeling assortment of lay psychologists such as Emil Coue, Dale Carnegie, and Norman Vincent Peale, not to mention a diverse throng of contemporary ‘mind controllers’ and self-styled healers. A more serious source of uneasiness is ignorance of the specific processes at work. What are the mechanisms by which imagery affects the stress response?” (p. 756).
“There is intriguing recent evidence that simply the illusion of control may exert beneficial effects. Stern, Miller, Ewy, and Grant (1980) noted that subjects who were led to believe by means of bogus information feedback that they were successfully lowering their heart rates showed a reduction in stress type symptoms, especially those of a cardiovascular nature. It seems possible that the feeling of control may be an important part of what we have called ‘placebo responding.’ Stoyva (1979b) suggested that this phenomenon is probably not a unitary entity but, rather, a cluster of processes, of which the feeling of developing control over factors affecting one’s disorder is an important and potentially manipulable component of therapeutic interventions” (p. 758).

Woolfolk, Robert L.; Lehrer, Paul M.; McCann, Barbara S.; Rooney, Anthony J. (1982). Effects of progressive relaxation and meditation on cognitive and somatic manifestations of daily stress. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 20 (5), 461-467.

Compared meditation and progressive relaxation with self-monitoring control as treatments for symptoms of stress. 34 Ss were assigned to either the progressive relaxation, the meditation, or the self-monitoring control group and were given 5 sessions of training. All Ss self-monitored stress symptoms throughout the study and had their behavior rated weekly by a spouse/roommate. Results show that the progressive relaxation and mediation treatments significantly reduced stress symptomatology over time.

Fling, Sheila; Thomas, Anne; Gallaher, Michael (1981). Participant characteristics and the effects of two types of meditation vs. quiet sitting. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 37 (4), 784-790.

Randomly assigned 61 undergraduate volunteers to Clinically Standardized Meditation (CSM), quiet sitting (SIT), or wait list1 and 19 others to Open Focus (OF) or wait list2. Ss were tested before training and again 8 weeks later. All groups but wait list2 decreased significantly on Spielberger’s trait anxiety. All groups became nonsignificantly more internal on Rotter’s locus of control. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, meditation volunteers were more introverted than extraverted, intuitive than sensing, feeling than thinking, and perceiving than judging. All groups became more intuitive, approaching significance for CSM only. OF became significantly more extraverted than both CSM and SIT, and CSM significantly more so than wait list1. Practice time correlated with anxiety reduction for the combined treatment groups. More evidence was found for correlations of practice time and outcome with growth motivation than with either new experience motivation or expectancy of benefit.

Worthington, Everett L.; Shumate, Michael (1981). Imagery and verbal counseling methods in stress inoculation training for pain control. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28 (1), 1-6.

Investigated 3 elements of stress inoculation training, a therapeutic package for helping clients control anxiety, anger or pain. 96 undergraduate females were tested twice for ice water tolerance. In a 3 design, the independent variables were the presence or absence of (a) pleasant imagery, (b) a conceptualization of pain as a multistage process, and (c) planned, explicit self-instructions. A multivariate analysis of covariance using the (transformed) pretest tolerance rating and 2 self-ratings of pain. Imagery users (Is) controlled their pain better than nonimagery users (NIs). There was a significant interaction of Imagery and Conceptualization. NIs had longer tolerance and less self- reported pain at withdrawal when they heard no conceptualization. The Is did not derive additional benefit from hearing the conceptualization. Self-instruction did not affect pain control. Results suggest that pleasant imagery effectively relieves pain and may account for much of the effectiveness of stress inoculation training. (23 ref)

Puente, Antonio E.; Beiman, Irving (1980). The effects of behavior therapy, self-relaxation, and transcendental meditation on cardiovascular stress response. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 26 (1), 291-295.

Compared Behavior Therapy (BT), self-relaxation (SR), transcendental meditation (TM), and a waiting-list control group (WL) on measures of cardiovascular and subjective stress response. Male and female respondents (N = 60) to an ad for therapy were evaluated in assessment sessions before and after treatment. The results indicate that BT and SR were more effective than either TM or WL in reducing cardiovascular stress response. These data were interpreted as resulting from therapeutic suggestion and positively reinforced client progress.
Reiser, Martin; Nielson, Michael (1980). Investigative hypnosis: A developing specialty. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 23, 75-84.

Author describes his involvement with the Los Angeles Police Department, using hypnosis for “enhancing the recall of key witnesses whose memories of the crime were poor” (p. 75). In 1975, the author and other experts in hypnosis trained 11 lieutenants and 2 captains to use hypnosis. The author describes the training program and a one-year demonstration project, during which volunteer witnesses and victims were interviewed by the hypnotist investigators. “In 77% of cases, important information was elicited that had not been available by routine interrogation. Approximately 16% of cases were solved with the aid of hypnosis” (p. 76). “Follow-up with the involved witnesses and victims has not revealed any instance of ill effects stemming from the hypnosis program, while 39.8% of the hypnosis subjects reported some relief or benefit resulting from the hypnosis session” (p. 77). Jean Holroyd

Parker, Jerry C.; Gilbert, Gary S.; Thoreson, Richard W. (1978). Reduction of autonomic arousal in alcoholics: A comparison of relaxation and meditation techniques. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (5), 879-886.

To investigate and compare the effects of progressive relaxation training and meditation training on autonomic arousal in alcoholics, 30 subjects were selected from a population of alcoholics in a Veterans Administration hospital substance-abuse program. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following three experimental conditions: (a) progressive relaxation training group, (b) meditation training group, or (c) quiet rest control group. All groups met for 3 weeks during which state anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, and spontaneous galvanic skin responses were measured. The measures were designed to assess the treatment effects following the first training session and at the end of the total training period. The results indicate that both progressive relaxation training and meditation training are useful for reducing blood pressure in alcoholics. In addition, significant differences between the groups in the effectiveness of the relaxation procedures were found. Meditation training induced blood pressure decreases at an earlier point in the 3-week training period and affected decreases in systolic blood pressure that progressive relaxation training did not. These results support the idea of considerable specificity of response to relaxation techniques.

Shipley, R. H.; Butt, J. H.; Horowitz, B.; Farbry, J. E. (1978). Preparation for a stressful medical procedure: Effect of amount of stimulus preexposure and coping style. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 499-507.

Anxiety during the stressful medical procedure of endoscopy was studied as a function of the number of prior viewings of an explicit preparation videotape and of repression-sensitization coping style. Sixty naive patients viewed a videotaped endoscopy either zero, one, or three times. Dependent measures included heart rate, behavioral ratings, tranquilizer required, and self-report. On each dependent measure, three viewings generally resulted in the least distress; one, more distress; and zero, the most distress. Most comparisons reached statistical significance. These results are interpreted as resulting from extinction and/or habituation of anxiety. The repression-sensitization factor interacted with heart rate change. Sensitizers showed a monotonic decrease in heart rate as a function of number of tape exposures. Repressors showed an inverted-U-shaped function, with one viewing producing the highest heart rate; this is interpreted as resulting from a disruption of repressing defenses by one tape exposure followed by extinction of fear by three exposures.

Grant, Guy (1977). The psychophysiology and hypnotherapeutic management of cancer. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 5, 35-49.

Reviews research on psychophysiology of cancer, effect of stress on host resistance, cancer prediction from personality traits, psychological theories of cancer aetiology, and psychological characteristics of patients with different types of neoplasms. The hypnotherapy of cancer patients is outlined in terms of its effect upon the malignancy, relief of discomfort, and psyche of the cancer patient. Recommends direction of hypnotherapeutic treatment of cancer patients.

Novaco, Raymond W. (1977). Stress inoculation: A cognitive therapy for anger and its application to a case of depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45 (4), 600-8.

Clinical interventions for anger disorders have been scarcely addressed in both theory and research in psychotherapy. The continued development of a cognitive behavior therapy approach to anger management is presented along with the results of its application to a hospitalized depressive with severe anger problems. The treatment approach follows a procedure called “stress inoculation,” which consists of three basic stages: cognitive preparation, skill acquisition and rehearsal, and application practice. The relationship between anger and depression is discussed.

Goleman, Daniel J.; Schwartz, Gary E. (1976). Meditation as an intervention in stress reactivity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44 (3), 456-466.

Meditation and relaxation were compared for ability to reduce stress reactions in a laboratory threat situation. Thirty experienced meditators and 30 controls either meditated or relaxed with eyes closed or with eyes open and then watched a stressor film. Stress response was assessed by phasic skin conductance, heart rate, self-report, and personality scales. Meditators and the meditation condition habituated heart rate and phasic skin conductance responses more quickly to the stressor impact and experienced less subjective anxiety. Meditation can produce a psychophysiological configuration in stress situations opposite to that seen in stress-related syndromes. Research is indicated on clinical applications and on the process whereby meditation state effects may become meditator traits.

Smith, Jonathan C. (1976). Psychotherapeutic effects of transcendental meditation with controls for expectation of relief and daily sitting. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44 (4), 630-637.

Two experiments were conducted to isolate the trait-anxiety-reducing effects of transcendental meditation (TM) from expectation of relief and the concomitant ritual of sitting twice daily. Experiment I was a double-blind study in which 49 anxious college student volunteers were assigned to TM and 51 to a control treatment, “periodic somatic inactivity” (PSI). PSI was carefully designed to match the form, complexity, and expectation-fostering aspects of TM but incorporated a daily exercise that involved sitting twice daily rather than sitting and meditating. In Experiment 2 two parallel treatments were compared, both called “cortically mediated stabilization” (CMS). Twenty-seven volunteers were taught CMS1, a treatment that incorporated a TM-like meditation exercise, and 27, CMS2, an exercise designed to be the near antithesis of meditation. Results show 6 months of TM and PSI to be equally effective and 11 weeks of CMS1 and CMS2. to be equally effective. Differences between groups did not approach significance (p > .6). The results strongly support the conclusion that the crucial therapeutic component of TM is not the TM exercise.

Bloom, Richard F. (1974). Validation of suggestion-induced stress.

Sixty college men, divided into three equal groups, each attended two induced stress sessions in which their physiological, psychological and performance reactions were measured. Their responses were compared to determine if valid stress reactions could be induced through suggestion in an altered state (in this case, hypnosis), and also to determine the validity of such reactions if the subject had never before experienced that stress situation. It was demonstrated that valid stress reactions can be induced in an individual with the aid of suggestions, especially if the real stress situation has been experienced before. If no previous experience with that real situation exists, the subject still exhibits stressful reactions; however, the closest resemblance to real stress is found in the subjective or psychological measures, less similarity is found in the physiological measures, and the least similarity is found in the performance measures.

Crystal, Thomas H.; Gish, Herbert; Bloom, Richard F. (1973, June). Psychophysiological factors affecting speaker authentication and identification. (See Notes field for additional reference information and information about ordering.)

Research and Development Technical Report ECOM-0161-F; AD-913 696L; Contract DAAB07-71-C-0161 with Signatron, Inc. (Lexington, MA). Distribution limited to U.S. Government agencies only; Other requests for this document must be referred to Commanding General, U.S. Army Electronics Command, ATTN: AMSEL-PP-CM-CR4, Fort Monmouth, NJ 07703. NOTES 2:
This document reports on a U.S. Army research project using hypnosis to collect high fidelity samples of the voice under “combat stress” conditions in the laboratory. Using hypnotic regression, combat veterans “re-experienced” their own, actual high stress combat situations. Besides subjective reports of stress levels by subjects, physiological stress measures were obtained from polygraph recordings of heart, respiration and GSR activity. The voice samples were later analyzed by spectrographic techniques to determine which factors remain invariant to identify and authenticate the speaker in a military communications situation. Hypnotic techniques were shown to be useful in establishing controlled emotional states for laboratory research purposes. (Richard Bloom)

McAmmond, D. M.; Davidson, P. O.; Kovitz, D. M. (1971). A comparison of the effects of hypnosis and relaxation training on stress reactions in a dental situation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 13, 233-242.

Compared the effectiveness of relaxation, hypnosis, and a control condition in reducing in dental phobics the reaction to pressure-algometer stimulation and the injection of anesthesia. For subjects with high baseline skin-conductance levels, relaxation was most effective in reducing stress reactions. Hypnosis did not differ from the control condition. For subjects with a medium or low skin-conductance baseline, relaxation was not effective. The hypnosis group rated their treatment as most effective, and the controls rated their treatment as least effective. Five-month follow-up indicated that all subjects in the hypnosis group returned for dental treatment and that 5 of 10 in the control group and only 1 of the relaxation group returned for care.

Bowers, Kenneth S.; Kelly, P. (1970). Stress, disease, psychotherapy, and hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 490-505.

Presents evidence for the importance of suggestion and hypnotic ability in the healing or amelioration of various somatic disorders. It is argued that even in some treatment interventions that are not explicitly hypnotic, suggestion and hypnotic ability may be hidden factors that help to promote successful healing. Consequently, hypnotic ability may be an individual difference variable that influences treatment outcome in a manner not heretofore recognized by many investigators and clinicians involved in helping the psychologically and physically ill.

Evans, Michael B.; Paul, Gordon L. (1970). Effects of hypnotically suggested analgesia on physiological and subjective responses to cold stress. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 35 (3), 362-371.

Relative effects of suggested analgesia and hypnotic induction were evaluated with regard to reduction of stress responses (self-report, heart rate, pulse volume) to the physical application of ice-water stress. Four groups (N = 16 each) of undergraduate female Ss, equated on hypnotic susceptibility, were run individually, receiving (a) hypnotic induction plus analgesic suggestion, (b) hypnotic induction alone, (c) waking self-relaxation plus analgesic suggestion, or (d) waking self-relaxation alone. The major findings were that suggestion, not hypnotic induction procedures, produced reductions in the self-report of distress, and that the degree of reduction was related to hypnotic susceptibility in both “hypnotic and “waking” conditions. Neither suggestion nor hypnotic induction procedures resulted in reduction of the physiological stress responses monitored in this study. Several methodological issues are discussed. Although findings add to the bulk of evidence supporting the “skeptical” view of hypnotic phenomena, results are related to other literature, suggesting that an adequate evaluation of hypnotic analgesia as used clinically has not yet been undertaken.

Nuland, William (1968). The use of hypnotherapy in the treatment of the postmyocardial infarction invalid. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16 (3), 139-150.


Duncan, Irma W.; Dressler, Robert L.; Lyon-James, Sara; Sears, Alden B. (1958). The search for an index of hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 6 (2), 95-108.

“Blood and urine samples were obtained from 18 university students at the beginning and end of two experimental sessions, one with and one without hypnosis. Some of the subjects relaxed during the sessions; others imagined or hallucinated a traumatic experience.
“Of a variety of measurements made, urinary volumes and 17-ketosteroids, the eosinophil count and psychogalvanometer recordings appear to give useful information about any changes due to the hypnosis. The biochemical changes caused by the experimentally produced emotions seem to depend on the individual and his past experience rather than the hypnosis. The data suggest that if the experience hallucinated is known to the subject, the biochemical changes indicate a relaxed state during the hypnosis. The psycho-galvanometer recordings may indicate an agitated state while the biochemical indices suggest a relaxed state” (pp. 106-107).

Wheeler, William M.; Little, Kenneth; Dorcus, Roy M.; Clemens, Theodore L.; Sternberg, Thomas H.; Zimmerman, Murray C. (1954). The effects of psychological stress as measured by a decrease in the number of circulating eosinophiles. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2 (2), 130-135.

“Summary and Conclusions. Eight healthy control subjects who had no history of allergic disorders were run through a series of experimental conditions which were interposed between eosinophile counts taken at 8:00 a.m. and noon. In three of the situations a few additional ‘normal’ controls were added. Six patients diagnosed as having atopic dermatitis were studied in one of the hypnotic conditions, viz., suggested ‘personal stress,’ and four other atopics were exposed to a simulated murder.
“An analysis of the results indicated that ‘normals’ had significant differences in their eosinophile counts before and after a control run and hypnosis. However, direct reference to the raw data revealed an abnormally low average count before one of the intervening stresses which then rose more than 48% on the entire group by noon. The increase, which could hardly have been due to the experimental situation, created such a difference between the means of the hypnotic conditions, that a spurious significance level of greater than .05 but less than .01 was obtained. When the effects of this rather aberrant result were cancelled, we found that hypnosis, regardless of the specific suggestions employed, had some tendency to lower the eosinophile count. The trend was not great enough to be statistically significant.
“‘Normals’ also displayed a significant drop in eosinophiles in the other experimental situations which was most directly a function of their reaction to simulated murder. The dermatitic patients did not show significant differences in the two psychological stresses where they were studied. There did seem to be a tendency for them to respond in the same direction as the normals, but with less magnitiude. Since some atopics did show an eosinophile response to external stress in this study and in another reported previously (3), it is concluded that a defect in the hypothalamus, higher brain centers, or the adrenal medulla could not be characteristic of all dermatitic patients. The behavior of the patient and control groups in the simulated murder condition was discussed” (pp. 134-135).

Conn, Jacob H. (1953). Hypnosynthesis III. Hypnotherapy of chronic war neuroses with a discussion of the value of abreaction, regression and revivication. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1, 29-43. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts, 53: 6687)

Author’s Summary – Three examples of chronic war neuroses which were successfully treated by hypnotherapy are presented. The clinical material would seem to indicate that the patient in the trance state is greatly influenced by the attitude and goal of the therapist and tends to produce the type of material which is expected of him. The protocols reveal that the hypnotized patient responds to a permissive, calm, attitude with relatively little emotional display, and by talking about harrowing war experiences in a matter-of-fact manner.
It would appear that merely to recall the traumatic experience without a personalized, constructive, emotional relation to a supporting, understanding therapist is of little therapeutic value. The crux of the therapeutic problem in every approach, whether it be narcosynthesis, narco-analysis, hypno-synthesis, or the hypnotic intensification of an emotion is to bring about the integration of unbearable experiences which previously had been dissociated and obliterated from memory or which automatically reappear and disrupt smooth ego functioning.
It is postulated that the hypnotic trance state provides a unifying, integrating inter-personal experience which is of value in the treatment of chronic war neuroses.

Kaufman, M. R.; Beaton, L. (1947). A psychiatric treatment in combat. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 11, 1-14.

Describes use of hypnosis in treating “combat fatigue” in field conditions during the Pacific campaigne of WWII. Hypnosis was utilized for sleep and rest in tent hospitals in or near combat to avoid chemical sedation as well as for reliving and mastering traumatic events. The milleau was one of expectant recovery with patients pitching tents, digging foxholes and serving as litter bearers. Psychiatric admissions were 12.8% of the total with return to duty rates varying with intensity of combat and duration of campaign with over half returned to comabt duty. Four detailed cases are reported.


Holroyd, Jean (2003). The science of meditation and the state of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 46 (2), 109-128.

Two aspects of Buddhist meditation — concentration and mindfulness — are discussed in relationship to hypnosis. Mindfulness training facilitates the investigation of subjective responses to hypnosis. Concentration practice leads to altered states similar to those in hypnosis, both phenomenologically and neurologically. The similarities and differences between hypnosis and meditation are used to shed light on perennial questions: (1) Does hypnosis involve an altered state of consciousness? (2) Does a hypnotic induction increase suggestibility? It is concluded that a model for hypnosis should include altered states as well as capacity for imaginative involvement and expectations.