ISSN: 1302-1192 / E-ISSN: 2458-9101
Hypnotic Hallucination of Body Heating Modifies Splanchnic Circulation: Haemodynamic and Ultrasonographic Pilot Study in Normal Volunteers
Valérie Tikhonoff, Marco Senzolo, Antonio M. Lapenta, Paolo Palatini, Edoardo Casiglia
Sleep and Hypnosis: A Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopathology 2017; Online Ahead of Print
In previous experience we demonstrated that in highly hypnotizable subjects (highs) it is very easy to produce through hypnotic suggestion of heat a real and measurable increase of temperature and of blood flow in body segments. Aim of the present paper is to ascertain whether this is plausible for splanchnic vessels too. In 5 healthy volunteers aged 27.4±4.0 years, cardiac output, upper limb blood flow, mesenteric diameter, flow and mean flow velocity, and portal vein diameter and flow velocity were measured by bioimpedence, ultrasonography and LASER-Doppler in usual conditions of consciousness (pre-hypnosis) and during hypnotic suggestion of body heat. Following hypnotic body heating, splanchnic vasodilation (+59% in mesenteric blood flow, p<0.01; +16% in diameter; mean flow velocity +43%) was observed, paralleling upper limb flow, while portal vein diameter decreased by 25% (p<0.001) and portal vein mean flow by 30% (p<0.001) probably to maintain a constant pressure in the hepatic district in the context of the so-called hepatic arterial buffer response. As a consequence of abdominal and peripheral vasodilation, 9% reflex rise in heart rate and 15% in stroke volume were observed, leading to increase of cardiac index in comparison to baseline (+16%). Following reflex hyperdynamic status, systolic blood pressure insignificantly tended to increase from 111.8±21.9 mmHg to 116.0±13.7 mmHg (+6%). Hypnotic heating is therefore associated to splanchnic arterial vasodilation, a condition that reminds of other physical hyperdynamic conditions. The mental image of body heating therefore produces real and measurable physical effects that can be detected with the tools of physiologists.
Keywords: Hypnosis, physiology, human, mesenteric artery, portal vein, peripheral circulation, cardiac index
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