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What Is Hypnosis?

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What is Hypnosis?

Throughout history there have been, and are still many different perspectives and opinions of what is hypnosis, its uses and functions. In order to clearly understand what hypnosis is, one must look firstly into the history of hypnosis and the different concepts which have emerged over the years, from as early as 50,000AD to the modern day, throughout different cultures.
After looking at the history of hypnosis, it will go on to describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis, giving reference to Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta waves, the four different brain waves, indicating an individuals mental state, which brain waves comes in to play during hypnosis and its relevance. Graham Wicks’ (1985 Toronto’s Annual International Society of Hypnosis convention) condensed concepts from previous various writers’ concepts, The multistate phenomenon, five states of hypnotic features, will be addressed, (Karle & Boys) as will Edmond Jacobson (1929) on the effects of muscle contractions between patients and the benefits of relaxation leading to the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy today and the use of progressive muscle relaxation techniques.

Hypnosis goes back thousands of years to the Greeks and Egyptians. They used to put people in a trance-like state, to bring on dreams, so they could help with peoples problems. Hypnosis was also found amongst Shaman’s, which were also known as ‘witchdoctors’. Shamans were strongly focussed with a powerful process of suggestion and visualisation and will a sick person to be healed (Hadley and Staudacher, 1996).

A more Westernised approach came around in the 1700s with an Austrian doctor called Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815), who became known as the grandfather of hypnosis. He came to develop the theory of animal magnetism. Mesmer believed that a ‘cosmic fluid’ could be stored in inanimate…...

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