Research: NAITO and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 99

Abstract

NAITO and co-workers, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Behaviour, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Campus, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RF, UK, akira.naito@imperial.ac.uk, have studied the impact of self-hypnosis and Johrei on lymphocyte subpopulations at exam time.

Background

In this prospective randomized controlled trial, the effects of self-hypnosis and the Japanese Johrei procedure for stress reduction were examined.

Methodology

48 students were randomly assigned to stress reduction training before exams with Johrei, self-hypnosis or a mock neurofeedback relaxation control. Lymphocyte subpopulations and self-reported stress were measured before training and 1-2 months later as exams approached.

Results

Stressed participants showed a significant decrease in both CD3(-)CD56(+) NK cell percentages and NK cell cytotoxic activity levels, while CD3(+)CD4(+) T cell percentages increased. The changes were supported by correlations with perceived stress. The effects of stress were moderated in those students who learned Johrei in terms of normalized lymphocyte subgroup values. Stress was also buffered in those who learned self-hypnosis with lymphocyte counts normalized, which did not happen in the control group. These findings were supported by beneficial effects of both techniques on mood and perceived stress levels.

Conclusion

These results are in keeping with beneficial influences of self-hypnosis and provide the first evidence for the value of the Japanese Johrei procedure in stress reduction, which clearly warrants further investigation.

References

Naito A, Laidlaw TM, Henderson DC, Farahani L, Dwivedi P, Gruzelier JH. The imp[act of self-hypnosis and Johrei on lymphocyte subpopulations at exam time: a controlled study. Brain Research Bulletin 62 (3): 241-253, Dec 2003.

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