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No. 86: Mar-Apr 1993

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Hypnosis And Skin Temperature

The mind can affect the body in many ways. One of the most bizarre is the use of hypnosis to raise skin temperature on selected parts of the body. A recently published example of this phenomenon was observed by P. Hajek et al, at the Institute of Physiology in Prague:

"Eight patients with atopic eczema and six healthy subjects were given hypnotic suggestion to feel pain in the upper part of the back and in one case on the palm. An average local increase in skin temperature of 0.6C (detected by thermovision) occurred under this condition. For some patients, cutaneous pain threshold was increased before the experiment by means of repetitive hypnotic suggestion of analgesia. These subjects reported feeling no pain subjectively, but the local change in skin temperature was equal in both cases. The results suggest a central mechanism induced by measuring changes in pain threshold in the skin, which changes are independent of local changes in blood flow."

(Hajek, P., et al; "Increase in Cutaneous Temperature Induced by Hypnotic Suggestion of Pain," Perceptual and Motor Skills, 74:737, 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #86, MAR-APR 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987