This essay discusses hypnosis. Hypnosis is a method of communication that induces a trance or a trance-like state. Hypnosis can be conducted by one individual addressing another, or it may be conducted with the self.
Definition and Explanation
Hypnosis is a method of communication that induces a trance or a trance-like state. Hypnosis can be conducted by one individual addressing another, or it may be conducted with the self. Trance is a naturally occurring state in which one’s attention is narrowly focused and relatively free of distractions. (Knight, 2000)The attention may be focused either internally or externally. The focus of attention is so narrow that other stimuli in the environment are ignored or blocked out of conscious awareness for a time. Examples of trance states are daydreaming and some forms of meditation.
Among practitioners, the most common view of hypnosis is that it is an altered state of consciousness; your awareness differs somehow to your everyday sense of reality. This is often referred to as being in a trance. However, for many, perhaps most, people being in hypnosis does not seem much different to how they feel at other times.
Evolution of Hypnosis
When Dr Ambroise Liebeault began to practice hypnotherapy in 1860 his colleagues – despite him curing his patients, ridiculed him. Today hypnosis is widely used by all kinds of medical personnel. In the 1950s, both the British and the American Medical Associations endorsed hypnotherapy. Hypnosis has been used in one form or another for thousands of years. There may be mention of hypnosis in the Bible (Genesis 2:21, 1 Samuel 26:12, Job 4:13, 33:15, Acts 10:10), but its modern use dates from the Viennese doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, in the late 1700s. (Knight, 2000)
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