John Gruzelier, Jonathon Levy, John Williams,

Contemporary Hypnosis, 24 February 2006


The effects of self‐hypnosis training on immune function, mood and health at exam time in medical schools were examined, comparing instructions of enhanced immune function with relaxation, whereas instructions of increased energy, alterness, concentration and happiness were common to both procedures.

Training consisted of three weekly group sessions, with unrestricted home practice with an audiocassette. Immune assays involved CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19 lymphocytes, CD56 natural killer (NK) cells and blood cortisol.

Students receiving immune‐related imagery reported fewer viral illnesses, such as colds and influenza, during the exam period. Immune‐related imagery was also more successful than relaxation imagery in buffering decline in total lymphocytes and