Hypnosis as a modulator of cellular immune dysregulation during acute stress

Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Phillip T. Marucha, Cathie Atkinson, Ronald Glaser

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Abstract

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

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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