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'what Is Hypnosis?' Case

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'What Is Hypnosis?' Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy.

In this essay I will explore the question 'what is hypnosis?' I will describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis; and briefly look into the origins of hypnosis and also discuss the role play of relaxation in hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis is often defined as a state of mental and physical relaxation accompanied by a highly focused awareness, or an altered state of consciousness that allows one to bypass the critical factor of the conscious mind in order to reach the subconscious mind directly. Hypnosis allows us to communicate with the subconscious mind, the part of the mind that directs the way people automatically feel, think and act. Hypnosis has proven to be the most effective way to access the subconscious mind, and can be used to resolve conflicts between various parts of the mind and mobilize the mind's inner resources so that the desired change takes place. From changing long-standing habits, to changing emotional responses to situations, or designing and moving towards the life of your dreams, hypnosis can help. Hypnosis can be a relaxing and pleasant way to "tune up" ones minds and move more easily towards your goals. In truth hypnosis is a normal state of mind. When using hypnosis we are talking to your subconscious mind. This is the part that you sometimes drift off to; at times we all go into a form of hypnosis, a day dream for example this is a form of trance. The psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis are for example; drifting off into subconscious mind when you are driving and you go into auto drive and suddenly end up somewhere and you really can't remember driving there. Your conscious mind is used for storing normal day to day things like eating, sleeping, walking and even cooking. So the word hypnosis is used to describe the subconscious state of your mind. Everything you learn is stored in your mind and quiet often the subconscious mind will automatically take over. Another example is; you are cooking a meal that you have made many times before. You collect you ingredients, pots and pans. You know how long it takes to prepare and how long it will take for the meal to be served. This leaves your conscious mind free, because the knowledge required to present this meal is stored in the sub-conscious mind; allowing you conscious mind to drift off. What happens if your attention is diverted? Then the conscious mind comes back into action. If you didn't have these simple things it would take forever to do things in your every day life.

The earliest evidence of hypnosis was found among shamans who were also referred to as witch doctors, medicine man or healers. The shamans actually engaged in a powerful process of visualization and suggestions during which he willed the sick to be healed. In the 1700s, an Austrian doctor, Frank Anton Mesmer (1733-1815), recognized this ancient healing phenomenon and incorporated it into a theory of 'animal magnetism'. Frank Anton Mesmer believed a 'cosmic fluid' stored in items like magnets where able to cure patients, however there was no evidence to support that either 'animal magnetism' or 'cosmic fluid' was the remedy for curing his ill patients. The magnets for eventually ditched as one of his disciples Puysegur believed the 'cosmic fluid' was electric and stored on plants, animals and humans and by touching each other, the fluid would circulate from person to person, which was the healing power. During this activity, Puysegur noticed a strange phenomenon. Some of the patients entered a somnambulistic state (a deep trance) as a result of being mesmerized. In this state, the patients could still communicate and be lucid and responsive to the suggestions of the mesmerist. The marquis had discovered the hypnotic trance, but not identified it as such. However He had a tremendous success rate. Thousands of ill and hopeful people flocked into his treatment centre were cured. The only explanation for his successes is that his patients were literally 'mesmerized' into belief and expectation that they would be cured. Mesmerism became the forerunner of hypnotic suggestions.

In the 1800s, the hypnotic trance was used to relieve pain. Dr John Elliotson (1791-1868) report 1,834 surgical operations performed painlessly. Scottish surgeon James Esdaile (1808 - 1859) performed major operations including amputations of limbs, using hypnosis. Mesmerism continued to provoke new theories and uses. During the late 1800s Dr James Braid (1795 - 1860), gave mesmerism a scientific explanation: of being in a nervous sleep and coined the word 'hypnosis''.

Is Hypnosis, a type of therapy? Well most of the psychologist use hypnosis to conduct psychological related techniques. During the presentation of technique, the subject will learn how to obey the commands and engage in behaviour they might not normally choose to perform.

So let's discuss Hypnosis in general; it's a psychological situation wherein an individual shows signs of changes in the behaviour, thought, or attitude. On the other hand, some people may undergo an increase in suggestibility and subjective feelings of an "altered state of consciousness." The hypnosis applications varied widely. Some of the people include the use of hypnosis for entertainment and health functions.

So how can hypnosis work for you? The answer is that hypnosis can be used to improve your general functioning.

When I use the term hypnosis, I am referring to hypnotherapy - using hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. This is very different from stage hypnosis, and more like relaxation.

Relaxation can be a part of hypnosis (usually relaxation is part of the induction - that is, part of getting into a state of hypnosis).

Kinds of suggestions used in relaxation:

- relax the muscles

- feel pleasant and calm

- imagine a peaceful place

- feel safe and comfortable

The suggestions used in relaxation are also used in hypnosis. In addition, there are further suggestions used in

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