What is hypnosis? Hypnosis is described as a trance-like state where the subject is completely relaxed and is particularly vulnerable to suggestion. State theory calls this a mental state, while non-state theory calls this imaginative role-enactment. The process typically begins with hypnotic induction, which helps put the subject into a hypnotic state. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to hypnotize yourself according to http://markalexander.over-blog.com
A Brief Look at the History of Hypnosis
Although it did not gain widespread use until the 1880s, hypnosis is believed to have been practiced for thousands of years. In ancient India, Egypt and Greece, sick individuals were often taken to what they called sleep temples. It was here that the patient was put into a hypnotic trance so that the practitioner may use the power of suggestion to cure their ailment. These temples were called sleep temples because they considered this state to be a sleep-like state.
State Theory Vs. Non-State Theory
Throughout history, scientists have debated about what hypnosis really is. Is it an altered state of consciousness or just a state in which the person is actively engaged but highly vulnerable to suggestion? State theories believe that hypnosis puts subjects into an altered state of consciousness in which their brain functions in a different way. Whereas, non-state theories believe that when subjects are hypnotized, they are still very much aware of their surroundings and are actively engaging in the process. Their responses to the experience are just a result of normal psychological processes, like motivation and expectancies. Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, there is no doubting that hypnosis has a very valuable place in society.
What is Hypnosis Induction?
Hypnosis induction is often used to move the subject into a hypnotic state. James Braid used an eye-fixation technique wherein he would hold an object between the thumb, fore and middle finger; hold the object eight to fifteen inches from the subject’s eyes and above the forehead. This causes strain on the subject’s eyes but also allows them to maintain a steady fixation on the object. The idea here is to have the subject focus on this one object and nothing else.
Uses for Hypnosis
Hypnosis is often used for therapeutic purposes but has also been used for entertainment purposes as well. Hypnotherapy has helped many people overcome their phobias and kick bad habits, like smoking. In other cases, individuals have used hypnotherapy to uncover information about past lives through past life regression. Of course, there are many hypnotists who entertain audiences by hypnotizing a group of people and use the power of suggestion to make them do silly things.
Hypnosis has been used to:
- Aid in weight loss
- Ease anxiety
- Cure phobias
- Treat addiction
- Help with pain management, including pain during childbirth
- Treat IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Improve confidence
If you can think of a condition, mental or physical, hypnosis has probably been used to try and alleviate the problem. In many cases, patients find relief from whatever was ailing them. In a study conducted at the Frenchay Hospital, 33 IBS patients were given four separate sessions of hypnosis over seven weeks. Each session lasted 40 minutes. Twenty of those patients reported an improvement in their symptoms and eleven reported to be cleared of their symptoms completely.