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September 1959

Hypnosis in the Termination of Hiccups Unresponsive to Conventional Treatment

Author Affiliations


Chief Medical Resident (Dr. Bendersky) and Intern (Dr. Baren), from the Department of Medicine, The Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia. Present address: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Dr. Baren).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(3):417-420. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270090071012

Although it is agreed that there is no satisfactory working hypothesis as to the underlying nature of hypnosis,1-3 many observations supporting the influence of hypnosis on physiological processes have been documented. These observations include the effect of hypnosis on cough,4 on electrocardiogaraphic changes,5 and on the extent of allergic cutaneous responses.6,7 The normal plantar flexion response to stimulation of the sole of the foot can be changed to a pathologic response (Babinski's sign) through hypnotic age regression.8 The effect of hypnotic suggestion in modifying gastrointestinal disturbances has been noted repeatedly.9

Previous case reports10,11 support the contention that hiccups occurring during the course of myocardial infarction is a poorly tolerated complication. In view of the serious import of this complication, the apparent success of a new therapeutic adjunct, following the failure of conventional therapy, would appear to justify the reporting of this case. Additional speculation as to the possible influence of