Subjective Assessment of
Following Group Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis:
A Preliminary Study
Antonio Madrid, George Rostel, Dale Pennington and David Murphy
Santa Rosa, CA
(reprinted from the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 38:2, October 1995)
Self-hypnosis was taught to 34 self-identified allergy patients who attended two training classes. They practiced on their own and were questioned two months later. Seventy-five percent of the subject reported they felt an improvement int heir symptoms; 86% of those who were medicated decreased their medicines. Practice was clearly related to reported improvement. "Feeling hypnotized" was not related to improvement.
Seasonal allergies are a continual source of discomfort to millions of people. The usual treatment for allergies is symptomatic relief through medication. Many patients are dissatisfied with this treatment because the side-effects of allergy medicines are bothersome, the medication does not cure the allergy, and being constantly medicated does not seem sensible.
Existing documentation of the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of allergies is, at best, spotty. A few articles claim success with allergic skin reactions, dog allergies, nasal constriction, and other psychosomatic reactions (Mason & Cobb, 1958; Perloff & Spiegelman, 1973; Anderson, 1983; Madrid & Barnes, 1991).
The clinical experience of the authors has been that hypnosis can be quite effective in reducing symptoms associated with allergies. this paper describes a preliminary study which was conducted to see if group hypnosis and self-hypnosis could have any perceived effect upon symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
Fifty subjects volunteered for the study in response to a notice in a local newspaper stating that aa research project on group hypnosis for allergies would be offered at the local hospital. The study was conducted in the middle of the allergy season (the last week of March and the first week of April). The subjects ranged from 10 to 63 years of age. Unexpectedly, some patients who stated asthma as their primary symptom participated in this study.
Group sessions lasted for two hours each on two consecutive Thursday evenings. Most subjects participated in both classes. the format was the same on each evening to insure that everyone had the same training.
10 min. Introduction
10 min. The nature of hypnosis