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Critique of claims of improved visual acuity after hypnotic suggestion.

07 Jan
Analysts at the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit of the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and The New York State Psychiatric Institute reviewed various studies of the effectiveness of hypnosis for improving myopia, as an enticing alternative to invasive procedures and corrective lenses. The meta-analysis delineated various shortcomings in the studies, including potential methodological caveats, problems with experimental controls, and controversial data interpretation.

The authors conclude that, overall, the data do not seem to support hypnosis as a viable option for significant long-term improvement of myopia. However, they do suggest that hypnosis can increase a person’s subjective feeling of enhanced visual acuity by affecting higher cognitive functions, such as attention, memorization, and perceptual learning, which could influence performance on visual tasks.

Citation: Raz A, Zephrani ZR, Schweizer HR, Marinoff GP. Critique of claims of improved visual acuity after hypnotic suggestion. Optom Vis Sci. 2004 Nov; 81 (11): pages 872-9. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award