Date of Conferral
Raynaud's disease is a condition in which circulation to the hands becomes restricted, causing an uncomfortable sense of cold and occasionally injury. The cause of Raynaud's disease is unknown. Earlier studies have shown that hetero-hypnosis is effective in the treatment of Raynaud's disease. Cost and access to providers limit such a treatment's availability. Theories of hypnosis suggest that self-hypnosis underlies all hypnotic processes. This study examined the utility of self-hypnosis and focused attention on the volitional control of hand temperature. Forty-three adult participants ranging in age from 19 to 77 years with no hypnosis experience were randomly divided into 2 groups; 20 completed the study. Eleven participants listened to a self-hypnosis recording and 9 listened to a mostly blank recording containing periodic instructions to concentrate on controlling finger temperature. A paired samples t test showed a significant difference in means between pre- and post-treatment ability. A second t test did not show a significant difference in means between the groups' ability. Analysis of survey data did not show a significant relationship between participant demographic data and ability to control finger temperature. However, analysis of participant survey responses did show that self-hypnosis was significantly more enjoyable than conscious concentration, which suggests that self-hypnosis has greater potential for adoption if used in the treatment of Raynaud's disease. Because self-hypnosis was found to be enjoyable and effective it may be superior to other treatments that are unpleasant or have pharmacological side effects. These findings will inform sufferers of Raynaud's disease and researchers in their efforts to treat the disease. The positive social change implications of this study are to expand treatment options for a disease that affects 4% of the world's population.