Stephen Black

Br Med J. 1963 Apr 6; 1(5335): 925–929


Direct suggestion under hypnosis was employed as an experimental tool to investigate psychological control of the immediate-type hypersensitivity response in a series of experiments in which the normal allergic response was measured in the waking state on one arm, and again on the other arm, after giving direct suggestion under hypnosis that the subject would not react. The temperature change of the reaction was measured with thermocouples and the oedema with skin fold- thickness callipers, and a record of the colour change was kept by colour photography. The results showed evidence of very marked to moderate degrees of instant inhibition in 8 subjects out of 12.

Deep-trance subjects had the greatest ability to inhibit the response in this. It is concluded that instant inhibition of the immediate-type hypersensitivity response is possible in certain individuals by direct suggestion under hypnosis.