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See detailImpact of a hypnotic trance on the physiological and subjective stress response to an acute stressor
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Wortmeier, Theresa; Zeyer, Reinhold et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractban (2019)

Clinical hypnosis is a valuable therapeutic tool in the treatment of phobias and acute pain. These conditions have in common that stress constitutes a crucial factor in the genesis and frightening or ... [more ▼]

Clinical hypnosis is a valuable therapeutic tool in the treatment of phobias and acute pain. These conditions have in common that stress constitutes a crucial factor in the genesis and frightening or painful situations. The present study was aimed to investigate whether hypnotic trance has a positive immediate impact on the psychological and physiological responses to an acute stressor. 48 men and women underwent the socially-evaluated cold pressor test and a warm water control procedure in two separated sessions. Beforehand, hypnotic suggestibility was tested with the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: to a hypnotic trance group, an active control group, and a natural history group. Before the stress and the control procedures, the hypnotic trance group received a hypnotic trance strengthening stress resilience and stress coping. The active control group received a non-fictional text together with a suggestion to strengthen resilience. The natural history group received no intervention. After both procedures, participants performed a working memory task. Hormonal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and subjective measures were taken throughout the sessions. Results show that the hypnotic trance affected hormonel and cardiovascular parameters differently. While cortisol and alpha amylase were generally reduced in the hypnotic trance group, cardiovascular parameters and subjective stress were specifically altered in the stress procedure and modulated by suggestibility. Our results show the potential of a short hypnotic intervention to positively influence the stress response and the restoration of the homeostasis. [less ▲]

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See detailStress Reduction via Hypnosis? Influence of Hypnosis on the physiological Stress Response
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Wortmeier, Theresa; Zeyer, Reinhold et al

Poster (2017)

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are assumed to have positive long-term effects for successful stress coping. However, so far it is unclear where hypnosis can instantly influence the physiological stress ... [more ▼]

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are assumed to have positive long-term effects for successful stress coping. However, so far it is unclear where hypnosis can instantly influence the physiological stress response. To examine this, 48 participants underwent an acute stressor and a control condition in balanced order. Beforehand, sixteen participants were hypnotized inducing enhanced stress cop- ing ability with the posthypnotic suggestion of strengthened stress resilience. Another group listened to an unrelated non-fictional text receiving the same post- hypnotic suggestion. A third group received no intervention before the stress and control procedure. Afterwards, working memory performance was measured via a 3-back tasks. During the experiment, the electrocardiogram was recorded and salivary samples were collected for cortisol- and alpha-amylase analyses. Hypnotic suggestibility was assessed a week before the experimental sessions in a group setting. Preliminary results show a positive impact of hypnosis and post- hypnotic suggestion on the endocrine and cardiovascular parameters of the stress response, with reduced cortisol- and alpha amylase levels relative to the control group. Moreover, power of frequency bands of the heart rate variability spectrum was altered by hypnosis and posthypnotic suggestion depending on the suggestibility. These results indicate a beneficial immediate modulation the physiological stress response by hypnosis, reinforcing its application for stress management as for instance in therapy, coaching and prevention. [less ▲]

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