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Am J Clin Hypn. 1992 Jan;34(3):193-201.

Hypnotic susceptibility, cognitive dissociation, and runner's high in a sample of marathon runners.

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Department of Psychological Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.


I studied the hypnotic ability of marathon runners as it relates to cognitive dissociation while running and to runner's high. Dissociating runners use a cognitive style in which they cut themselves off from the sensory feedback they would normally receive from their body. Marathon runners demonstrated high hypnotic susceptibility scores. Additionally, use of dissociation as a running strategy during the marathon was positively related to susceptibility, and runners who dissociated in training had higher susceptibility scores than did other runners. Runner's high was not related to hypnotic susceptibility; however, it was positively related to dissociation. The most common description of runner's high was general relaxation, whereas the least used description was total euphoria. Surprisingly some runners defined runner's high in ambivalent or negative terms. These results were related to the processes of self-hypnosis and to the positive mental health benefits of running.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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