This study explored the effects of relaxation and imagery procedures on the voluntary self-regulation of immune responses. Immune studies of 19 adults were made before and after a 45 minute intervention consisting of relaxation with imagery aimed at enhancing immune activity. A self-report measure of psychological distress was completed before each blood sample. Results indicate that the seven blood measures of immune functioning were measured with adequate reliability and consisted of two sets of immune parameters. A statistically significant increase in one of the mitogen measures and a marginally significant increase in one of the blood count measures was found following the relaxation/imagery procedure. Age, hypnotizability, and their interaction significantly predicted change on the set of blood count measures but not on the set of mitogen measures. As expected, level of subjective psychological distress generally decreased following the intervention. The methodological limitations of this study included limited sample size and absence of a control group.
- Immune System