TheEncarta Encyclopedia defines hypnosis as,”altered state of consciousness andheightened responsiveness to suggestion; it may be induced by normal personsby a variety of methods and has been used occasionally in medical and psychiatrictreatment.

Most frequently brought about through actions of an operator, or”hypnotist”, who engages the attention of a subject and assigns certain tasksto him or her while uttering monotonous, repetitive verbal commands; such tasksmay include muscle relaxation, eye fixation, and arm leviation. Hypnosis alsomay be self-induced, by trained relaxation, concentration on one’s own breathing,or by a variety of monotonous practices and rituals that are found in manymystical, philosophical, and religious systems.” Another generally reliablesource Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines it as,”a sleeplike condition psychically induced, usually by another person, in which thesubject loses consciousness but responds, with certain limitations, to thesuggestions of the hypnotist.” As I stated earlier, these two sources arevery reputed and the general population believes that they are correct. Yet,however often they may be correct, in this case they are not, or at least notcompletely. Not according to the scientific community at least. My sourcesfor this statement are The World Book Encyclopedia, The Wizard from Vienna:Franz Anton Mesmer, Applied Hypnosis: An Overview, American Medical Journal,and Hypnosis: Is It For You? Although they state it in different ways theyall basically agree that nobody can give a very accurate definition or descriptionof hypnosis, or hypnosis. Although some may get the definition partly correct,the chances of doing so completely are very, very low.

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So although I willprobably not be able to give a totally accurate account of hypnosis and itsworkings, I will try. Although evidence suggests that hypnosis has beenpracticed in some form or another for several thousand years, such as in coalwalking, the earliest recorded history of hypnosis begins in 1734. It beginswith a man named Franz Anton Mesmer. Although he was eventually disavowedby the scientific community because of his unorthodox methods that made himseem more of a mysticist that a scientist, he is generally known as the fatherof hypnotism. Mesmer called his methods Mesmerism, thus the word mesmerize,but the name didn’t stick, it later changed to hypnosis, its name being derivedfrom Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. He believed that hypnosis was reachedby using a person’s “animal magnetism”. He used “mesmerism” to cure illness.In1795 an English physician named James Braid, who was originally opposed toMesmer’s methods became interested.

He believed that cures were not due toanimal magnetism however, but the power of suggestion. This was the generallyaccepted opinion of the scientific community. Then in 1825 Jean Marie Charcot,a French neurologist, disagreed with “The Nancy School of Hypnotism”, whichfollowed the guidelines of James Braid’s ideas.

Charcot believed that hypnosiswas simply a “manifestation of hysteria”. He revived Mesmer’s theory of animalmagnetism and identified the three stages of the trance; lethargy, catalepsy,and somnambulism.Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) was not a scientist whoworked with hypnosis. Although he had nothing to do with the hypnotic developmentitself, his Stimulus Response Theory is a cornerstone linking and anchoringbehaviors, particularly NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).Emily Coue (1857-1926)a physician, formulated the Laws of Suggestion which are greatly used in thehypnotic community. Her first law is The Law of Concentrated Attention: “Wheneverattention is concentrated on an idea over and over again, it spontaneouslytends to realize itself”. The second law is- The Law of Reverse Action: “Theharder one tries to do something, the less chance one has of success.

” Finally,the last law is The Law of Dominant Effect: “A stronger emotion tends to replacea weaker one.”Milton Erickson (1932-1974), a psychologist and psychiatristpioneered the art of indirect suggestion in hypnosis. He is considered thefather of modern hypnosis. His methods bypassed the conscious mind throughthe use of both verbal and nonverbal pacing techniques including metaphor,confusion, and many others. He was definitely a major influence in contemporaryhypnotherapy’s acceptance by the American Medical Association.There aremany misconceptions about hypnosis that are totally without basis. Such as,”Hypnotized persons will tell secrets or will always tell the truth.” Thetruth is, hypnosis will not cause a person to tell information the do not wantto tell and a person under hypnosis can purposefully lie or remember in a distortedfashion.

Another myth about hypnotism is, “Hypnosis won’t work on highly intelligentpeople.” In reality innate characteristics such as intelligence do not atall effect hypnotism. Any person however can resist being hypnotized eitheractively or passively, if they desire.

I believe that hypnotism would be amore commonly used method in medicine if it were not for all the myths goingaround about hypnotism. They are probably the result of the very limited knowledgeof exactly how hypnosis works.Hypnosis has been used to treat a varietyof physiological and behavioral problems.

It can alleviate back pain and painthat comes from burns or cancer. It is controversial as to whether this actuallyworks or not, but it is believed that it can be used to insure normal and safechildbirth. Hypnosis sometimes is employed to treat physical problems witha psychological component, such as a circulatory disease known as Raynaud’sSyndrome. It has also been used to initiate behavioral changes, for examplecigarette smoking, overeating, insomnia, and the overcoming of phobia’s.

Althoughhypnotism has shown its uses as a fairly valuable medical tool, in this modern”technological age” there are very few physicians who use it.The major useof hypnotism in modern days, is entertainment. Performed as a sort of “MagicShow” it is used to cause some people to laugh, and some people to be amazed.Hypnotism has come a long way since 1734 and who knows what future developmentswill be made in this field? It may become a commonly used medical tool, orit may come to be thought of as a completely useless “magic trick”. Words/ Pages : 972 / 24


Albert Einstein reckoned that humans use only about 10% of their brains.According to some reports, while hypnotised, we could gain access to the other90%. Every human being who is mentally sound can be hypnotised to some degree.You can use hypnosis for a lot of things, for instance to control weight, pain,sleep, and to raise confidence. You can also use it to quit smoking, developconcentration and memory. In fact, you can use it for anything that depends onyour own efforts.

I) ORIGINS OF HYPNOSIS: The art and science of hypnosis isboth old and new. *Old because it was used in ancient time and has a pedigreethat stretches back to the beginning of mankinds conscious development *Newbecause only over the past 100 years has it been subject to the full force ofscientific scrutiny, after discovery that the unconscious mind, emotions andpersonal history directly affect a person’s state of mental, emotional andphysical health. A) Old origins _ Hypnosis has existed very early in religiousrituals. However, the earliest known description of hypnosis date back 6000years to rites performed in Egyptian sleep temples. _The Indus Vedas ,aknowledge sacred book written around 1500 BC, mentions the use of hypnotictechniques and procedures.

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_According to some specialists, accounts of what wewould now call hypnosis can be found in the Bible and in the Talmud. _In thepast, hypnosis is always associated with the occult: witchdoctors and shamans(medicine man)practised hypnosis :ritual hypnosis and dance were integralelements of shamans communication with spirits. B) New origins- modern useof hypnosis There are two leading men in the scientific study of hypnosis: _1734-1815: Franz Anton Mesmer, born in Vienna. Mesmer is considered the fatherof hypnosis. He is remembered for the term Mesmerism which means a personwho is raptly attentive, or who is temporally deprived of his normal consciousqualities. He described a process of inducing trance through a series of passeshe made with his hands . He succeed in treating a considerable variety ofailments. _ 1932-1974: Milton Erickson, a psychologist and psychiatristpioneered the art of indirect suggestions in hypnosis.

He is considered thefather of modern hypnosis. His methods bypassed the conscious mind through theuse of both verbal and non-verbal pacing techniques including metaphor ,confusion, and many others. He has immensely influenced the practice ofcontemporary hypnotherapy. II) HYPNOSIS: A) Curent examples As long as there asbeen human beings, there has been hypnosis, we use this commonly occurring stateof mind, unknowingly, all the time. It is just natural for us. _ For examples ifyou have ever watched a television program or movie and become really absorbedinto the program, you were probably in trance. This trance is what caused younot to hear your mother calling you to dinner.

_ Advertisers understand this,they use television programs to induce a hypnotic trance and then provide youhypnotic suggestions, called commercials! _ Another common instance of thisnaturally occurring state of mind is when you are driving down the road, withyour mind focused on some other task, and last thing you know: you haveforgotten to turn. That is called Highway hypnosis. B) Definition _Definition: Hypnosis is a mental state of heightened suggestibility,characterised by trance like sleep.

The basis of hypnosis is the fixation of thesubject attention upon a gradually narrowing source of stimulation, until he isattendant upon only the direction of the hypnotist. _Techniques: This isvariously achieved by repetition of instructions in a low, level voice, orhaving the subject fix his gaze upon a light in an otherwise dark room. Thesubject remembers nothing of what he did during the hypnotic period.

But certaineffects may be suggested to continue after the subject returns to consciousness,these are called post hypnotic suggestions. _major purpose: During hypnosis, theconscious mind is distracted, so that new, positive suggestions are more readilyaccepted. According to the specialists of hypnosis ,these new constructive ideassubstitute negative old ones, therefore creating permanent beneficial changes inyour life. C) Hypnotherapy: _ What is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is basicallythe use of hypnosis as a medium for psychotherapy.

People will either behypnotised by a therapist (hetero-hypnosis) or taught to hypnotise yourself(self hypnosis) as a way of achieving personal insight. _ How does hypnotherapywork? Essentially, there are two main aspects of hypnotic trance which are usedin psychotherapy: 1) The subconscious mind is more open to positive suggestions,made by yourself or the hypnotherapist. 2) The mind may express itself moredirectly and more spontaneously Through thoughts or images. _ What benefits canbe achieved through hypnotherapy? Some of main benefits of hypnotherapy can beclassed as follows: Personal development, cessation of habits, management ofanxiety and stress, and psychological and emotional well-being.

_ You couldconquer your phobia: Phobia is an anxiety about a person, place or thing whichcon not be voluntary controlled. A simple phobia, one which is focused on asingle feared object such as spiders is rarely called for treatment, but it canhave little impact on the patients quality of life. You could quit thisphobia with 3 sessions of hypnotherapy: -first session: uncover the cause ofpatients phobia. -second session: the hypnotherapist uses behaviouraltechniques to enable patient to approach spiders in his imagination. -thirdsession devotes to supportive therapy with positive imaging and post hypnoticsuggestions. The hypnotherapist encourage people to touch spiders in real life._ Hypnosis to stop smoking: It is the subconscious motivation to smoke that mustbe changed in order to quit smoking. Hypnosis made it easy and you have nowithdrawal symptoms.

It does not work the same for everyone: many people havefound quitting smoking with self hypnosis to be easy and painless, but forothers, it is difficult no matter which method is used. _ Hypnosis for paincontrol: The experience of pain is a combination of the type of pain, tension,fear and anxiety. Often tension and anxiety can intensify the pain. Byrelaxation of the body, there is a natural reduction of pain. By propersuggestion in the hypnotic state, the experience of pain can be reduced oreliminated for periods of time. It is good to teach clients self hypnosis andimagery so that the client can use it when needed. _ Hypnoanesthesia ReubenPercarve achieved the first major surgical operation of this kind to be doneanywhere without conventional anaesthetic.

He is responsible for theHypnoanesthesia in the surgical operation performed in Quebec. The patient wasoperated successfully for the appendix. His recover was excellent without anyside effects normally associated with this type of surgery. III) WRONG DANGERSOF HYPNOSIS: _ What if I can not wake up? It never happens. Getting out ofhypnosis is never a problem. You will put all of your efforts into getting intoa hypnotic state, not getting out of it.. The worst that can happen is that youdrift off into normal sleep, in which case you will wake up just as you wouldany other time.

_ Will I lose consciousness? No, you will no more loseconsciousness in the hypnotic state than you did when you were paying completeattention to your reading. To someone else you will appear to be asleep becauseyour eyes are closed and you are relaxed, but you will know that you are notasleep like at night. _ Can I be hypnotised against my will? No, no matter, howwill you have learned to go into the hypnotic state, you can always refuse to doso if you desire.

_ If I am in the hypnotic state and someone suggests me to doan immoral act, will I comply? No, it is unlikely that a person could violate aconcept of morality to which he is strongly attached. CONCLUSION: Today, thereare many legitimate university based on studies of the various phenomena ofhypnosis and it is not uncommon for dentists and physicians to use it in theirpractices. There is no magic by any of us, hypnosis will not make you stronger,good looking, irresistible to girls or boys, a world class athlete and a genius.The fact is that hypnosis eventually becomes everything anyone could reasonablyexpect. It is a great way to do anything that depends on your own efforts.Science


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