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Hypnotherapy is therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.[citation needed]
The word "hypnosis" (from the Greek hypnos, "sleep") is an abbreviation of James Braid 's (1841) term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system".
A person who is hypnotized displays certain unusual characteristics and propensities, compared with a non-hypnotized subject, most notably hyper-suggestibility, which some authorities have considered a sine qua non of hypnosis. For example, Clark L. Hull, probably the first major empirical researcher in the field, wrote,
If a subject after submitting to the hypnotic procedure shows no genuine increase in susceptibility to any suggestions whatever, there seems no point in calling him
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Whilst Braid differed in offering an explanation of hypnotitc effects that did not rely on supernatual forces, he credited the methods used in hypnosis to the practice of Mesmerism. Braid said of the subject:
Hypnotism might therefore not inaptly be designated, Rational Mesmerism, in contra-distinction to the Transcendental Mesmerism of the Mesmerists.[2]
In their original committee report on hypnotherapy, the British Medical Association (BMA), likewise, made a point of condemning the occult theories of Mesmerism and sharply distinguishing them from hypnotism.
The Committee, having completed such investigation of hypnotism as time permitted, have to report that they have satisfied themselves of the genuineness of the hypnotic state. No phenomena which have come under their observation, however, lend support to the theory of ‘animal magnetism’. ("Report on Hypnotism", British Medical Journal, 1892).
Whereas Mesmerism is a supernatural theory, hypnotism attempted to explain the same phenomena in terms of psychology and physiology. As Braid puts it, it is a scientific and "psycho-physiological" (mind-body) discipline.
There is no doubt that some individuals have suffered the ill effects of being involved in stage hypnotic shows. Stage hypnotists use words like 'magic ' and 'control ' in an attempt to mystify the effects of hypnosis. In addition, using various tests of hypnotic
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