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The Effect of Hypnotic-Guided Imagery on Psychological Well-Being and Immune Function in patients


Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University tested the effects of hypnotic-guided imagery on immune function and general psychological well-being in 25 women being treated for Stage I or II breast cancer. Subjects were given one-on-one training for 8 weekly imagery sessions, and each participant was encouraged to practice at least 3 tiems weekly, using audiotapes of their sessions.


Psychological profiles (POMS) as well as natural killer (NK) cell number and activity were measured at baseline, after the 8-week imagery training program and at the 3-month follow-up. Blood was drawn at the same time of day, 2 hours after session #7 and 24 hours after session #8. The study found significant increases in improvement in depression (P<.04) and an increase in absolute number of NK cells, but these were not maintained at the 3-month follow-up. The researchers conclude that there is a role for hypnotic-guided imagery as an adjuvant therapy, taking into account the complexities of immune system kinetics, the transient nature of any psychological effect and the insensitivity of immune assays.



Posted: 11/07/2006

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