Solomon G. Diamond, Orin C. Davis, Judith D. Schaechter, Robert D. Howe
Diamond, S.G., Davis, O.C., Schaechter, J.D., Howe, R.D. (2006). Hypnosis for rehabilitation after stroke: Six case studies. Contemporary Hypnosis, 23(4), 173-180.
Publication year: 2006

This report presents qualitative accounts from a pilot clinical study of six chronic stroke subjects. Our hypothesis was that a hypnotic procedure would help overcome learned nonuse, which is thought to contribute to impaired motor function of the paretic upper limb in chronic stroke patients. The hypnotic procedure involved selecting motor tasks that would challenge each subject, then (1) imagined practice of the challenging motor task revivified from prior to the stroke alternated with imagined practice in the present, (2) imagined practice in the present alternated with imagined practice during active-alert hypnosis, (3) active-alert imagined practice alternated with actual physical performance. We observed qualitative improvements in motor function related to increased range of motion, increased grip strength, and reduced spasticity of the paretic upper limb. Subjects consistently reported an improved outlook, increased motivation, as well as greater awareness of and decreased effort to perform motor tasks with the paretic limb.