“what is hypnosis?” describe the physical and psychological aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy. Number of Words 2,193
To start this essay I will be looking at what is hypnosis, my understanding of what it is, and a brief history of hypnosis. And then move on to describing the physical and psychological aspects of hypnosis and concluding my essay by discussing the role that relaxation has in hypnotherapy. My understanding of hypnosis is that it is a deep state of relaxation in which the conscious mind has become inactive for a short time leaving the subconscious to take over and leave an individual more susceptible to suggestion – implanting a new idea or habit in to the subconscious which will benefit them in their everyday living. No one definition can really explain what hypnosis is as it is a unique and completely individual experience and no two people can experience the same thought and feelings. The fact is that although people can perceive hypnosis as a stage trick, or something that can only be brought about by trained hypnotherapists, it is actually a very natural state of mind and people and certain animals have been in and out of every day. Whilst walking the subconscious is free to explore while the conscious mind rests until a “conscious” decision is needed, people can find they arrive without realising how they got there, this is because all the automatic thing like walking to work, is a habit that was learned and then stored in the subconscious; all learned behaviour and new experiences are stored in the subconscious, Hadley and Staudacher 1996. Day dreaming is the first level of trance. Hypnosis in one form or another of trance has been experienced and used in every culture. The Shamans were the earliest recorded users of trance work often referred to as “medicine men”, “witch doctors” and “healers”. Ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt also showed evidence of some form of hypnosis with men standing over a sleeping individual, arms stretched out. Franz Anton Mesmer born in 1734 and died in 1814 would be classed as the Grandfather of hypnosis; he studied law then went on to medicine. He received his doctorate in 1776 with a dissertation on the influence of the planets on the human body, he was heavily influence by the Renascence physician Paracelsus, and he then tried to forward his idea of invisible fluid inside humans and effected by the planets. He developed his theory of animal magnetism by watching exorcisms performed by the catholic priest Father Johann Gasner. He noticed that the priest would use techniques now known as hypnotic techniques, and a metal crucifix. He believed the crucifix was magnestied and that the effects the individual was having was caused by the magnetic forces on the body by the invisible fluid that flows through all humans. He applied this theory of animal magnetism and the hypnotic techniques on his first patient in 1774. Mesmer then went on to attempt his first healing through animal magnetism restoring the sight of a young female musician, blind since birth. On the return of her sight many physicians came to see the healing powers that he appeared to have, unfortunetly the girl lost her musical talent for the piano and he was accused of magic by the father and probably was forced to leave Austria. Whilst continuing to use Animal Magnetism in France Mesmer became very popular and Louis XVI was said to be as impressed as anyone else, he magnetised a tree that became known as the healing tree, people would flock to the tree and experience convulsions. However as the popularity of Mesmer’s work meant that Louis XVI wrote a commission saying that the fluid that Mesmer spoke of did not exist and Mesmer was forced to leave the city. Animal magnetism was practised all throughout Germany and in 1814 Abbe Faria suggested that the benefits of the therapy were down to the suggestions the practitioners used, unfortunetly due to the popularity...
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