Hypnosis is a trance state that combines a heightened inner awareness with a diminished awareness of one's surroundings. It is suggested that hypnosis may modify the cortical centers and the perception of dyspnea, however, the available studies are primarily with asthma patients. Dyspnea decreased in one patient with severe COPD who received hypnotically-induced relaxation and biofeedback in an effort to decrease his dyspnea during periods of anxiety.83 Another 16 patients with asthma had a decrease in their dyspnea from pre- to immediately post-hypnosis and the decrease was sustained 30 minutes after hypnosis.84 Seventeen children and adolescents who had chronic dyspnea with normal lung function that was not responsive to medical therapy were taught self-hypnosis in one or two sessions. Thirteen of the children reported their dyspnea and associated symptoms had resolved within one month of their final hypnosis session. Eleven believed that resolution of their dyspnea was attributable to hypnosis, because their symptoms cleared immediately after they received hypnosis or with the regular use of self-hypnosis.85
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Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately. When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis.