The ability of hypnosis to modulate the orocaecal transit time of 10 g lactulose was tested in six healthy volunteers. Orocaecal transit time was measured by the hydrogen breath test during three periods in random order. During the control period the subjects remained throughout the test in a semirecumbent position without moving. During the hypnotic relaxation period subjects were hypnotised before lactulose ingestion and were instructed to experience relaxation till the orocaecal transit time had elapsed. During the acceleration suggestion period subjects were hypnotised before lactulose ingestion and were repeatedly instructed to imagine the acceleration of lactulose through the intestine until transit time had elapsed. The mean orocaecal transit time was significantly longer during the hypnotic relaxation period (mean (SEM) 133 (8) min) than during the control period (93 (13) min). The mean orocaecal transit time during the acceleration suggestion period was 105 (26) minutes and was not significantly different from the mean transit time during the control period. The individual values during the acceleration suggestion period were scattered. We conclude that lactulose orocaecal transit time is delayed during hypnotic relaxation.
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