Norman R . Barling, Susan J . Raine. Bond University

Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol . 33, No . 2, 2005, 160–177


Overall, psychological interventions such as hypnosis mediating the major behavioural and biological pathways of mind-body communication have been shown to be capable of modulating negative mood states and the immune system response

The use of deep trance combined with progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery with specific suggestions for the immune system is most likely to produce the greater changes . It was also found that the conditions of emotional burnout and anxiety were both seen to benefit from the simplest and lightest of trance work demonstrated as PMR .

The small number of participants involved in this study limited its power . A larger sample of at least 30 per treatment group and more equal proportion
Hypnosis, Negative Affect, and Immune System Response 175 of male and female participants would have enhanced the study’s power and increased its external validity . Also, a larger sample size, with a better gender balance, may also have facilitated an analysis of any gender differences . The study may also have needed more intervention time beyond one month to register further positive change, especially considering the varied use of audio tapes by some participants .

Future studies could also utilise an additional instrument measuring stress, as the DASS may not have been sensitive or specific enough to detect significant change.

The healthy population studied may not have been significantly stressed (compared to a population with disease or illness population) to enable affect change . The use of other measures of immune system functions beyond the samples taken, would empower the robustness of the study . Other supporting measures, such as blood tests, could have been more robust for the study, but would have added to the cost of the study.


In this study, it has been demonstrated that hypnotic interventions combining relaxation, guided imagery, and deep trance targeting mind-body communication can alter negative affect and enhance measures of immune system response in healthy clients . Healing with hypnosis holds a powerful key to the transformation of mind–body therapy .