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J Abnorm Psychol. 1995 Aug;104(3):508-16.

Does counterpain imagery mediate hypnotic analgesia?

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Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Sixty-six high hypnotizable individuals received a baseline exposure to pain and 2 counterbalanced hypnotic analgesia conditions. Standard analgesia invoked counterpain imagery, whereas imageless analgesia proscribed imagery. The mean level of pain reduction in these 2 conditions was virtually identical and significantly less than the pain rated in the baseline condition. Furthermore, cognitions experienced as active efforts to cope with the pain occurred far less often and were associated with less pain reduction than cognitions experienced as passive concomitants of pain reduction. The results cast considerable doubt on the widespread assumption that imaginative involvement mediates hypnotic responding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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