What is Hypnosis? Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy.
In this essay I will attempt to provide a definition and explanation of the term “Hypnosis”, in addition to describing both the psychological and physical aspects of the term, and to discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy. I will then provide a conclusion.
The term “Hypnosis” often conveys images of a strange, powerful Svengali-like character swinging a pendulum, dressed flamboyantly, getting the hypnotised subject to behave in ways they wouldn’t ordinarily behave. He is a creepy character with spirals for eyes, who exerts power and control over his subjects for his own personal gain. There is a stage full of mind-controlled individuals completely at the mercy of this character, and it is only at his will will they be released from the strange trance-like state he has put them under. We might visualise Paul McKenna or Derren Brown, modern day hypnotists, making those “victims” perform silly or embarrassing stunts on stage for the amusement of the audience. The public’s misconception that hypnotism is somehow connected to the occult has arisen due to the evil hypnotists portrayed in Hollywood movies and also watching stage hypnotists perform such acts on stage. Stage hypnosis is performed by such characters above for amusement and entertainment, hypnosis used in a therapeutic setting is purely for the benefit of the subject.
What is Hypnosis?
The term “Hypnosis” is difficult to precisely define. It comes from the Greek work “hypnos” which means sleep. However, it is helpful to provide one or two definitions to gain an understanding of its nature. According to Cambridge Dictionaries1 hypnosis is a “mental state like sleep, in which a person’s thoughts can be easily influenced by someone else”. Wikipedia, citing the Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004,2 also defines