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Mood changes after self-hypnosis and Johrei prior to exams

By Tannis M. Laidlaw, Akira Naito, Prabudha Dwivedi, Nicholas A. Enzor, Christine E. Brincat and John Gruzelier


Before course examinations, 48 university students were randomized to four weeks of training in self-hypnosis, a Japanese method for enhancing well-being, Johrei, or to a control procedure shown to produce self-reported relaxation and consisting of EEG-biofeedback with false feedback. Participants were examined with mood scales, EEG and immune parameters on three occasions: prior to training, after the month of training, and again two to three months later. The mood results are reported here. Although all participants reported an increase in negative mood with exams, especially an increase in tension, both self-hypnosis and Johrei buffered the effects of exam stress relative to the control group on depression, confusion and loss of vigour. These were extended with Johrei to include self-rated anxiety, depression and anger, while self-hypnosis evinced advantages over Johrei on diary reports of mood post-training. The advantages immediately following training for self-hypnosis and Johrei over the control relaxation procedure were to a large extent sustained at follow-up, by which time home practice had reduced. Advantages were unrelated to expectations about outcome before training although beliefs after training were related to absorption abilities. Johrei appears a promising procedure for maintaining equilibrium of mood in the face of stress, despite the scepticism of the participants

Publisher: British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis
Year: 2006
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