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What Is....hypnotism

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History of Hypnosis


The word hypnotism brings about a scare in a lot of people. Thoughts about ‘losing control’ or ‘own will power’ or ‘getting involved with the unknown’ or just curiosity or something being connected to stage shows - I remember a stage show I’d seen in my college where the wierd guy made my friend dance to an entire college crowd!


But hypnotism has moved a long way from 1765 when Franz Anton Mesmer formed the first theory of ‘mesmerism’. He however believed he possessed the power to ‘magnetize’ people into his control. And that is what people believed till 1840 when Dr James Braid, a physician by profession gave hypnotism its name and said that hypnotism was a suggestible stage, resulting from ‘nervous sleep’. In fact hypnotism in Greek means sleep.


As more people started practicing hypnosis, it began to get popular and probably reached a peak after the Second World War. However, there were many people who ‘could not be hypnotized’ and these people were just classified as ‘poor cases for hypnosis’ and given up. The popularity of hypnosis therefore remained static and hypnosis was kept alive more by artists and fiction writers (remember Mandrake the Magician??) than by the serious professional hypnotherapists.


Later in the 1960’s it was discovered that as far as hypnosis is concerned there are basically two types of people – Physically suggestible and Emotionally suggestible. Physically suggestible were those who respond to suggestions affecting the body and not emotions and the emotionally suggestible were those who respond to suggestions affecting the emotional behavior and not the physical body. These two categories are at the two ends of the spectrum with a lot of people in between, that is, 70% physical and 30% emotional or 20% physical and 80% emotional and so on.


The procedure of inducing hypnosis till then was only of one type and it was most suited for the physical suggestibles. If a person was 100% physical suggestible, he responded best, and the response to induction decreased as one got more and more towards emotional suggestibility. Hence there were people who were poor cases in hypnosis.


With the recognition of the type of suggestible people came the need to evolve different procedures to induce people depending upon the type of suggestibility, hypnosis started to get more scientific and started entering the desks and clinics of therapists from the areas of showmen and stage and theatre.


Today a new breed of therapist called ‘Clinical hypnotherapists’ have evolved who approach hypnosis in a scientific way, purely for the purpose of curing, of relieving not just the emotional and psychological trauma or abnormalities, but also a lot of physical symptoms

Hypnosis And Hypnotherapy – Certain Facts


Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness. Not sleep or unconsciousness. A person under hypnotic spell is in control of his own body and mind. It’s a method by which any person may be guided into an altered state of conscious awareness ( trance ) in which psychological and physical changes beyond normal conscious capabilities may be achieved. These changes can be measured. For example, the pulse rate decreases, and this can be measured with a pulse meter.

Any one can be hypnotized if he or she remains relaxed and follows simple instructions.

What a person feels during hypnosis varies. Most feel hypnosis as a pleasant state of deep inner calm and physical relaxation. In many ways deep hypnosis is like a trance state of yoga or meditation.

Hypnotherapy is a therapy done in conjunction with hypnotic trance. It is often classed as a form of complimentary medicine and viewed as a branch of psychotherapy. Hypnosis is not an occult or esoteric art. It is a scientifically acknowledged psychological and therapeutic discipline.

It is absolutely safe. It is impossible for anyone to get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. There are no known records of anyone having been physically or mentally harmed as a direct result of hypnosis. In clinical therapy, clients are never asked to do any thing embarrassing or against their will.

Clinical therapy can help in stopping habits ( smoking, drinking, drugs, etc ) , manage anxiety and stress and overcome fears ( Public speaking, anger, insomnia, etc ) , create a psychological and emotional well being ( depression, grief, build self confidence , etc ) , improve physical condition ( pain control ) , Personal development ( increase self esteem, improve performance, etc ). It can also lead to overall spiritual growth ( past life regression and higher self communication ) .

It’s a blessing that hypnosis is coming out of its air of hocus – pocus and being accepted as an established form of alternative therapy.


Notice from rvalkass:

Even if the material is your own, you need to QUOTE it if it is available elsewhere.


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I'm not really 100% sure about the 'You are always in total control part'. I've read about a kind of hypnosis called "Covert Hypnosis". Covert hypnosis, I quote from Wikipedia, 'Is the ability to subtly communicate with another person's subconscious mind without them noticing'. Basically, you put them in a kind of trance by speaking to them and bypassing the conscious mind . The basis for this is the theory that you are almost always in a sort of trance. Have you ever gone to really boring lecture and just sort of blanked out? That's a type of trance. Or, maybe you were listening to someone tell a story, and it was just so interesting, you lost track of time. Know what that is? You guessed it- another kind of trance. Most people don't know about this, and go to their day-to-day lives being influenced by the media. So, I was wondering where you got the article about this so I could see it. Thanks.

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