The hypnotist induces a trance by slowly persuading the participant to relax and lose all interest in external distractions. The participant is not under the hypnotists control but can be convinced to do things that he or she would not normally do. However, anyone can resist hypnosis by refusing to open his or her mind to the hypnotist.
The content of this essay will explore how hypnosis has been defined in both the past and the present. I will explain my understanding of hypnosis as well as exploring the history of hypnosis, its origins and how it was first practiced. I shall also detail some of the techniques used and the psychological and physical changes which occur during hypnosis. Finally I will discuss the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy and look at some of the reasons that individuals wish to undergo hypnosis and the benefits they may experience.
Moreover, hypnosis is a trancelike state of heightened suggestibility deep, relaxation, and intense focus. They experience imaginary happenings as if they were real. Some researchers use state theory to point out that hypnosis meets some parts of the definition for an altered state of consciousness. Today, in psychotherapy, hypnosis can help patients relax, remember painful memories, and reduce anxiety. In addition, it does successful job in the treatment of phobias, stop smoking, and improve study habits. On the other side, role theory states that gypnosis is not an alternate state of consciousness at all. This theory mentions that some people are more easily hypnotized than others, due to possessing a characteristic called, ¡°hypnotic suggestibility.¡± These people usually have a richer fantasy life, follow directions well, and can focus on a single task for a long time. In addition, during hypnosis, some other people are acting out the role of a hypnotized person. Then follow the hypnotist, because that is what is expected of the role.
Looking back, it is clear now that hypnosis has been around for many centuries and the use of hypnotic states can be traced back to Shamans or Witch Doctors. In the 1700’s Franz Anton Mesmer produced his theory of “animal magnetism” in which he believed healing forces could be transferred through “cosmic fluid” there is no evidence to support the transfer of the healing energies devised by Mesmer but his success rate was high which lead to his patients being described as “mesmerized” and mesmerism is an early forerunner for modern day hypnosis. Many theories
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of hypnosis is usually a magician convincing a person to act like a chicken, however, hypnosis is actually an approach that doctors can use to treat pain, depression, anxiety, phobias, and more. Hypnosis is a state in which a person appears to be under a trance and is extremely concentrated (Brandt). It is not a new concept. In fact, hypnosis has been used by the ancient Egyptians over 2,000 years ago (healing power). In the 1770s, the Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer began to study hypnosis scientifically. More recently, it was used during World War I and World War II to treat soldiers who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders (World Book).
The American Psychological Association (2014) defines hypnosis as “… a therapeutic technique in which clinicians make suggestions to individuals who have undergone a procedure designed to relax them and focus their minds.”
Hypnosis is a natural psychological state of consciousness similar to a sleep state where the subject is vaguely aware of their surroundings. In this condition, subjects enter a tranquil state that allows them to easily reach into their subconscious and readily react to suggestion. While hypnosis has been widely used for entertainment purposes, it can also be used in a clinical setting to help relax the body and promote health through decreased heart rate and slowed breathing.
Hypnosis as it is practised refers to an interaction between two people, one of whom is identified as the hypnotist, the other as the subject/client, (P2 Hypnotherapy handbook, by Heap and Dryden). Hypnosis is a process in which psychological, mental emotions, reactions and behaviour are changed to improve health and positive wellbeing. During this essay I will talk about the history and what the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis are. Further to that I will be discussing the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy, why some of us are more susceptible and how hypnosis has been used in medicine, as well as the comparisons to hypnosis today.
I feel it useful to provide a definition of hypnotherapy as well as hypnosis before moving on and answering this question of this essay. Linnenkamp Doyle writes, ‘hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to treat disease’ something that she documents in her case study. This medical idea of hypnosis needs further exploration in terms of how it has evolved and sparked debate amongst medical and dental practitioners. Four very significant hypnotherapists are arguably Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile and Elliotson, all putting emphasis on the medical aspect of hypnotherapy. Mesmer, for example, devoted his 1779 27 Propositions concerning animal magnetism.
“Hypnosis is an induced state of awareness, usually characterized by heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and highly focused attention” (Zimbardo, 2010, p. 179). Hypnosis is related to one’s state of consciousness, which may alter their feelings and actions, as we had learned in class. Researcher, Ernest Hilgard, in his theory, Dissociation Theory of Hypnosis, interprets hypnosis as a “dissociated state” in which there is a split consciousness: one part of the mind is subject to hypnotic suggestion, and the other part is a hidden observer.
People are now beginning to realize that hypnosis is not stage trickery, but a serious medical discipline with a great potential to improve people's lives. We are seeing more people than ever attending hypnotherapists, and getting good results from their treatments. We are also seeing an increase in the numbers of people who are trying to treat themselves using hypnosis. Now that we have more information resources available, through libraries and through the Internet, more people are realizing that it is realistically possible to treat psychological and behavioral conditions in your own home, provided of course that the problems have not escalated to a degree where professional help is essential.
In the twenty-first century our society has become sceptic on the controversial issue of hypnosis. Our society recognizes hypnosis as a foolish man holding a swinging stopwatch in front of people saying, "When I snap my fingers, you will feel sleepy". Our society does not recognize hypnosis as a way of therapy or treatment. Hypnosis by definition is a trancelike state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.
Hypnosis is an intense state of consciousness in which the psychologist asks several specific questions to either alleviate pain or come to a better understanding of the symptom of event that causes them distress. Although a controversial tactic, those who choose to go through with hypnosis can only be hypnotized if they are willing. If a patient requires more treatment such as medication, a psychologist can work with medical personnel to further their recovery (“What Do”). They work with a person’s motivation and energy to examine their thoughts, feelings, and behavior to develop ideas about how to move forward with their life (Cohen).
The deep relaxation techniques and focusing exercises of hypnosis work to calm and subdue the conscious mind in taking a back seat to the subconscious mind where the hypnosis process opens up a control panel inside the brain changing negatives to positives.