STRESS REDUCING REGULATIVE EFFECTS OF INTEGRATED MENTAL TRAINING WITH SELF-HYPNOSIS ON THE SECRETION OF DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE SULFATE (DHEA-S) AND CORTISOL IN PLASMA: A PILOT STUDY

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Abstract

Early observations have shown that preventive educational efforts towards experience of stress entail advantages in terms of improved well-being, health and performance. We examined the influence in healthy subjects of self-hypnosis and mental training taught in group sessions, with individual training in between according to a standard protocol, and integrated in daily life and work for six months, on the alteration in plasma concentration of the stress hormone cortisol and the ‘anti ageing’ hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). DHEA-S and cortisol were analysed in twelve healthy men and women, with six individuals randomly divided equally between experimental and control groups. In the experimental group DHEA-S was significantly increased by 16% (P < 0.05), whereas plasma DHEA-S in controls followed an expected age-related decline. Cortisol was reduced by 12.3% (P < 0.05) in the experimental group, but remained unchanged in the control group. The ratio between plasma concentrations of DHEA-S and cortisol that reflects stress-related alteration in the adrenal secretion between androgens and glucocorticoids, increased significantly by 27.8% (P < 0.05) in the experimental group with a reduction of 8,2% in controls. The increase in plasma DHEA-S under experimental conditions was equivalent to a range normally found in individuals 5 to 10 years younger.

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