Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1988 December; 81(12): 701–704.
PMCID: PMC1291881

Chronic asthma and improvement with relaxation induced by hypnotherapy.


Sixteen chronic asthmatic patients inadequately controlled by drugs had, after one year of hypnotherapy, a fall in admissions from 44 in the year before starting therapy to 13 in the year after. Duration of stay was reduced for 13 patients by 249 days; prednisolone was withdrawn in 6, reduced in 8 and increased in none. Side effects of drugs were reduced. Although 62% reported improvement on a visual analogue scale, observations of air flow gave variable results.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (786K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • MAHER-LOUGHNAN GP, MASON AA, MACDONALD N, FRY L. Controlled trial of hypnosis in the symptomatic treatment of asthma. Br Med J. 1962 Aug 11;2(5301):371–376. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Luparello TJ, Leist N, Lourie CH, Sweet P. The interaction of psychologic stimuli and pharmacologic agents on airway reactivity in asthmatic subjects. Psychosom Med. 1970 Sep-Oct;32(5):509–513. [PubMed]
  • Sato P, Sargur M, Schoene RB. Hypnosis effect on carbon dioxide chemosensitivity. Chest. 1986 Jun;89(6):828–831. [PubMed]
  • Dudley HA. The controlled clinical trial and the advance of reliable knowledge: an outsider looks in. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983 Oct 1;287(6397):957–960. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Yoga for bronchial asthma: a controlled study. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Oct 19;291(6502):1077–1079. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • RACKEMANN FM, EDWARDS MC. Is intrinsic asthma a reversible disease? A follow-up study. J Allergy. 1958 Nov-Dec;29(6):528–534. [PubMed]
  • Feldman GM. The effect of biofeedback training on respiratory resistance of asthmatic children. Psychosom Med. 1976 Jan-Feb;38(1):27–34. [PubMed]
  • Sterling GM. The mechanism of bronchoconstriction due to hypocapnia in man. Clin Sci. 1968 Apr;34(2):277–285. [PubMed]
  • DEKKER E, GROEN J. Reproducible psychogenic attacks of asthma; a laboratory study. J Psychosom Res. 1956 Feb;1(1):58–67. [PubMed]
  • McFadden ER, Jr, Luparello T, Lyons HA, Bleecker E. The mechanism of action of suggestion in the induction of acute asthma attacks. Psychosom Med. 1969 Mar-Apr;31(2):134–143. [PubMed]
  • Simonsson BG, Jacobs FM, Nadel JA. Role of autonomic nervous system and the cough reflex in the increased responsiveness of airways in patients with obstructive airway disease. J Clin Invest. 1967 Nov;46(11):1812–1818. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sinclair-Gieben AH. Treatment of Status Asthmaticus by Hypnosis. Br Med J. 1960 Dec 3;2(5213):1651–1652. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • WHITE HC. Hypnosis in bronchial asthma. J Psychosom Res. 1961 Oct;5:272–279. [PubMed]
  • EDWARDS G. Hypnotic treatment of asthma. Real and illusory results. Br Med J. 1960 Aug 13;2(5197):492–497. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ben-Zvi Z, Spohn WA, Young SH, Kattan M. Hypnosis for exercise-induced asthma. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1982 Apr;125(4):392–395. [PubMed]
  • Freeman LJ, Conway A, Nixon PG. Physiological responses to psychological challenge under hypnosis in patients considered to have the hyperventilation syndrome: implications for diagnosis and therapy. J R Soc Med. 1986 Feb;79(2):76–83. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tandon MK. Adjunct treatment with yoga in chronic severe airways obstruction. Thorax. 1978 Aug;33(4):514–517. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ewer TC, Stewart DE. Improvement in bronchial hyper-responsiveness in patients with moderate asthma after treatment with a hypnotic technique: a randomised controlled trial. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Nov 1;293(6555):1129–1132. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • BLACK S. Shift in dose-response curve of Prausnitz-Kustner reaction by direct suggestion under hypnosis. Br Med J. 1963 Apr 13;1(5336):990–992. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barnes PJ. The third nervous system in the lung: physiology and clinical perspectives. Thorax. 1984 Aug;39(8):561–567. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Whorwell PJ, Prior A, Colgan SM. Hypnotherapy in severe irritable bowel syndrome: further experience. Gut. 1987 Apr;28(4):423–425. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press