“What Is Hypnosis?” Describe the Psychological and Physical Aspects of Hypnosis and Discuss the Role of Relaxation in Hypnotherapy.

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What is hypnosis? Hypnosis has amazing benefits and can enhance people lives in many ways. In modern times, it is unfortunate that Hypnosis is seen as a method of entertaining people instead of it being respected for its true aspects. In reality, hypnosis bears little resemblance to these stereotyped images, as it can improve focus and general well-being mentally and physically. It is a cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist. It can also be described as a sleep like trance state or better expressed as a relaxed creative mind, focused by the individual. Despite stories about people being hypnotised out of their consent hypnosis requires voluntary participation on the part of the patient. Furthermore, a hypnotist cannot make a person do actions that are against their morals or values. In the beginning as far back as Egyptian times Hypnosis was used and in theory not much has changed in that it is a phenomenon that is complex. Hypnosis was first discovered as far back as Ancient Egyptian. There are Egyptian paintings drawn on papyrus in which it is believed that people are performing Hypnosis. However, to base an historic foundation, these theories are said to be weak. (Hidden depths, Robin Waterfield pg 43). To the contrary, there are lots of helpful hypnosis formulas and techniques in Egyptian medical text. Ebers Papyrus is the first written record of hypnosis techniques. Ebers Papyrus was written in 1500 BC, however, this is said to have been copied from earlier texts dating as far back as 3400 BC (www.wickapedia.com). So, this is a much more solid foundation to believe that Hypnosis has been used in a medical sense for centuries. Moving forward to the early decades of the nineteenth century Franz Anton Mesmer was known as the “Grandfather of hypnosis” he was born in 1734 and died in 1815. Mesmer believed that he could cure people of sickness and disease without medicine or surgery, and he had a magnetic force which produced a flow of magnetic fluids and could then produce a cure. This was called animal magmatisum. “Mesmer found that he could ‘magnetize’ other substances – paper, glass water etc. – so that all these things could act just as effectively as magnets themselves as conductors of a magnetic fluid and as instruments of healing.” (Hidden Depths, Robin Waterfield. Pg 71). His belief was that illness was caused by a blockage of magnetic fluid, to cure the illness he had to free the blockage. James Braid (1795 – 1860) was known as the “Father of hypnosis” and is a major figure in the history of hypnosis, he moved it into the nature of trance, taking it from the shadows of mesmerism and coining the word hypnosis. Hypnosis itself is derived from the Greek mythology where hypno is the personification of sleep. Braid was thought to be the first “hypnotherapist” as he used hypnotism to successfully treat a wide variety of conditions. Being the first person to use the terms, hypnotism, hypnotise and hypnotist he moved hypnosis into the modern sense referring it to a psycho – physiological theory rather than the supernatural themes of magnets. In the Twenty first century we understand that hypnosis is not magical and it is highly respected for its true aspects in the medical profession. Looking at hypnosis in the physical sense we can now understand the development of electrical activity in the brain. This is due to the development of science. The method is called electroencephalography and it was first recorded in 1929. This is known as electrical activity in the brain known as brain waves. There are four types of brain waves, the highest frequency is known as Beta Waves and this would describe a person in active activity and this is around 15 - 40 cycles per second. In modern life we produce these waves in abundance. Alpha Waves are slower than beta waves to around 9 - 14 cycles per second. This is present after we have done an activity or when we are in our...
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