Hypnosis. Psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that can be used for many purposes, in different settings. Nowadays research in the field of hypnosis and associated areas has blossomed and there are valuable evidence that hypnosis has real and measurable affects on both body and mind. During this essay I will be describing what is hypnosis including what the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis are, further I will be discussing the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy. We experience the “hypnotic state” in everyday life and it often occurs without recognition as such. It is believed that our mind can drift from alert state into different level of consciousness whenever we do activities in automatic mode, like driving, jogging, taking a shower, walking, etc. These are hypnotic-like trances. The main differences between these sorts of trance and clinical hypnosis are specific motivation and suggestions to achieve some desired results. Therapist may use hypnosis to explore patient’s unconsciousness, to identity whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. One of the most accepted axioms of hypnotherapy that nothing can be done with hypnosis that cannot be done without. Barber (1969) offered considerable experimental evidence for “Anything you can do I can do...” At the same time, since hypnosis occurs spontaneously in therapy as well as in ordinary life it is impossible to ignore the part played by hypnosis in the service of the patient. It is important to understand that no two individuals will have identical experience as they progress from the state of alertness to a deep trance. The impact of hypnosis on a person's subsequent actions is dependent upon how suggestible that particular individual happens to be, a quality that can differ from one person to the next. Each person experiences the hypnotic phenomenon in his or her own way. However, it has been recognized that suggestions during the hypnosis could influence the physical processes in the body and in the brain. The earliest references of hypnosis date back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Both cultures had religious centres where people came for help with their problems. Hypnosis was used to induce dreams, which were then analysed to get to the root of the trouble. The man who most people associate with the beginning of hypnosis is an Austrian doctor Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815). Mesmer believed that a “cosmic fluid” could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets, and transferred to patients and cure them of illness. Eventually Mesmer discarded the magnets and regarded himself as a magnet through which a fluid life force could be conducted and transmitted to others as a healing force. He incorporated that into the theory of “animal magnetism”. Despite the fact that no evidence supports the existence of that theory, he had tremendous success. Mesmerism became the forerunner of hypnotic suggestion. Meanwhile, the marquise de Puysegur, believed that the “cosmic fluids” was not magnetic, but electric, that generated in plants and animals. Puysegur used the natural environment to fill his patients with healing electric fluid. During that activity some of the patients entered a somnambulistic state (a deep trance). The marquis had discovered the hypnotic trance, but had not identified it as such. Another forward thinker in the mid 1800 was a professor at London University, John Elliotson (1791-1868), who use the hypnotic state to relieve pain during the surgical operations. In India, a British surgeon, James Esdaile (1808-1859) recognised the enormous benefits of hypnosis for pain relief and performed hundreds of major operations using hypnosis as his only anaesthetic. This was accomplished by inducing the trance state to the patient weeks before the surgery and offering posthypnotic suggestions to numb the part of the body on which the operation was to...
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