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32 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2008 :  8:21:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello all,

I was thinking today about something one of my undergraduate experimental psych. professors (who used to do hypnosis and pain research) told a class several years ago and I was hoping to hear some people's opinions on it.

According to my professor, if someone is put into a deep hypnotic state (I do not recall if he went into detail about how deep or how depth was measured) and it is suggested to them that their arm or some other part of their body is being burned, an actual physical blister will form on that part of the body. He explained this as the result of the body producing histamin which is the chemical agent which causes redness and blistering of the skin (if I recall him correctly). Aparently since the release of histamin when you are scratched or burned is an autonomic function, and hypnosis has the potential to let people regulate their autonomic functions, it is possible for someone to create a blister on themselves through hypnosis. Has anybody else heard of this or read a reference to it, or, better yet, witnessed it themselves?


724 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2008 :  11:48:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe possible... I was working with someone on a particular incident she had at a dinner many years ago. We were focused on social aspect of the incident, but in her memory she was eating some peanuts. Since the incident she had developed an allergy to peanuts and while reviewing this memory in the session, she started to have an allergic reaction, her throat began closing, etc.. Anyone trained in dealing with abreactions can deal with this quickly, and we did.

Point being... While a blister is a bit further than constricted breathing. It seems to be in the same direction. Maybe under ideal circumstances it is possible??

Patrick Glancy

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
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32 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2008 :  12:01:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's an interesting story! Hypnosis sort of allows us to test the limits of the minds ability to voluntarily impact the body, and it sort of undermines the idea of a mind/body separation. Do you have any other stories about the limits of what hypnosis can do?
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724 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2008 :  10:42:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As far as physical reactions, maybe a couple highlights:

Lady for pain mgmt for her tounge cancer - After working with her for about three weeks, she was managing it really well. Went in for surgery to remove the cancer. A few weeks later she told me that the day after the surgery, a blood clot formed in her mouth and traveled and lodged in her larynx, couldn't breathe. They had to cut in and remove it quickly, no time for anesthesia. She used her hypnosis and told me "it wasn't that bad." I would not want to attempt that intentionally.

My wife and I used hypnosis for the birth of our first child two years ago. 20 minute hard labor and no medication. Pain would build-up, and you could watch the pulse and blood pressure rise. We'd apply the pain reducing triggers and she would visibly relax and you could watch the pulse and blood pressure go back to 'normal'. A 20% - 30% difference within a few seconds.

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
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