Effect of hypnosis on masseter EMG recorded during the 'resting' and a slightly open jaw posture

N. Al-Enaizan, K. J. Davey, M. F. Lyons (Lead / Corresponding author), S. W. Cadden

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this experimental study was to determine whether minimal levels of electromyographic activity in the masseter muscle are altered when individuals are in a verified hypnotic state. Experiments were performed on 17 volunteer subjects (8 male, 9 female) all of whom gave informed consent. The subjects were dentate and had no symptoms of pain or masticatory dysfunction. Surface electromyograms (EMGs) were made from the masseter muscles and quantified by integration following full-wave rectification and averaging. The EMGs were obtained (i) with the mandible in 'resting' posture; (ii) with the mandible voluntarily lowered (but with the lips closed); (iii) during maximum voluntary clenching (MVC). The first two recordings were made before, during and after the subjects were in a hypnotic state. Susceptibility to hypnosis was assessed with Spiegel's eye-roll test, and the existence of the hypnotic state was verified by changes in ventilatory pattern. On average, EMG levels expressed as percentages of MVC were less: (i) when the jaw was deliberately lowered as opposed to being in the postural position: (ii) during hypnosis compared with during the pre- and post-hypnotic periods. However, analysis of variance followed by post hoc tests with multiple comparison corrections (Bonferroni) revealed that only the differences between the level during hypnosis and those before and after hypnosis were statistically significant (P < 0·05). As the level of masseter EMG when the mandible was in 'resting' posture was reduced by hypnosis, it appears that part of that EMG is of biological origin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)840-846
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
    Issue number11
    Early online date7 Jun 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


    • Electromyography
    • Hypnosis
    • Mandibular rest position
    • Masseter muscle
    • Pulmonary ventilation
    • Vertical dimension

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Dentistry


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