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"Hypnosis"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a psychological state, superficially resembling sleep and marked by a level of awareness different to the ordinary conscious state. Another description of the phenomenon is that of an altered mental state, while another links it to imaginative role-enactment.

 

A person under hypnosis is said to have heightened focus and concentration with the ability to concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions. Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis".

 

Characteristics

A person in a state of hypnosis is relaxed, has focused attention, and has increased suggestibility.

The hypnotized individual appears to heed only the communications of the hypnotist. He seems to respond in an uncritical, automatic fashion, ignoring all aspects of the environment other than those pointed out to him by the hypnotist. He sees, feels, smells, and otherwise perceives in accordance with the hypnotist's suggestions, even though these suggestions may be in apparent contradiction to the stimuli that impinge upon him. Even the subject's memory and awareness of self may be altered by suggestion, and the effects of the suggestions may be extended (posthypnotically) into the subject's subsequent waking activity.

It could be said that hypnotic suggestion is explicitly intended to make use of the placebo effect. For example, in 1994, Irving Kirsch distinguished hypnosis as a "nondeceptive placebo," i.e., a method that openly makes use of suggestion and employs methods to amplify its effects.

 

Definitions

The earliest definition of hypnosis was given by Braid, who coined the term "hypnotism" as an abbreviation for "neuro-hypnotism", or nervous sleep, which he opposed to normal sleep, and defined as: "a peculiar condition of the nervous system, induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye, on one object, not of an exciting nature."

Braid elaborated upon this brief definition in a later work, Hypnotic Therapeutics:

the real origin and essence of the hypnotic condition, is the induction of a habit of abstraction or mental concentration, in which, as in reverie or spontaneous abstraction, the powers of the mind are so much engrossed with a single idea or train of thought, as, for the nonce, to render the individual unconscious of, or indifferently conscious to, all other ideas, impressions, or trains of thought. The hypnotic sleep, therefore, is the very antithesis or opposite mental and physical condition to that which precedes and accompanies common sleep

Therefore, Braid defined hypnotism as a state of mental concentration that often leads to a form of progressive relaxation, termed "nervous sleep". Later, in his The Physiology of Fascination (1855), Braid conceded that his original terminology was misleading, and argued that the term "hypnotism" or "nervous sleep" should be reserved for the minority (10%) of subjects who exhibit amnesia, substituting the term "monoideism", meaning concentration upon a single idea, as a description for the more alert state experienced by the others.

 

Hypnosis typically involves an introduction to the procedure during which the subject is told that suggestions for imaginative experiences will be presented. The hypnotic induction is an extended initial suggestion for using one's imagination, and may contain further elaborations of the introduction. A hypnotic procedure is used to encourage and evaluate responses to suggestions. When using hypnosis, one person (the subject) is guided by another (the hypnotist) to respond to suggestions for changes in subjective experience, alterations in perception, sensation, emotion, thought or behavior. Persons can also learn self-hypnosis, which is the act of administering hypnotic procedures on one's own. If the subject responds to hypnotic suggestions, it is generally inferred that hypnosis has been induced. Many believe that hypnotic responses and experiences are characteristic of a hypnotic state. While some think that it is not necessary to use the word "hypnosis" as part of the hypnotic induction, others view it as essential.

My name is Jason Newland, I am a 44 year old Colchester hypnotist. I am also a qualified person-centred counsellor & master practitioner of NLP. I gained my BA (hons) degree in counselling in 2010. Over the last 8 years I have provided this free hypnosis service online.

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