What Is Hypnosis? Essay

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Module one – ‘What is Hypnosis?’ Describe the Psychological and Physical Aspects Of Hypnosis and Discuss the Role of Relaxation in Hypnotherapy What is Hypnosis? Hypnosis is a natural phenomenon that humans and animals have been experiencing since the dawn of man. However, the term hypnosis wasn’t used until thousands of years later by an English physician, James Braid (1795-1860), who coined the word hypnosis, which is derived from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ meaning sleep. Before we answer the question, ‘What is Hypnosis’, it is beneficial to very briefly look back in the history of man and uncover the origins of the modern day natural phenomenon. Prior to the recognition of hypnosis, every culture in the world used it in one form or another and the earliest evidence goes back to the shamans or first ‘witch doctors,’ ‘medicine men’ or ‘healers’. These shamans, prior to administering their healing skills would cleanse their bodies of toxins by starving themselves, which allowed them to enter a heightened state of concentration. Constant rhythmic and monotone methods allowed the shaman to strongly focus on the subconscious mind, at which point he would seek out his patient, find the sickness and use will to make the patient well. In the 1700s, a Doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815) recognised this ancient healing phenomenon and used it in what was known as an animal magnetism theory. He believed that a ‘cosmic fluid’ could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets, which in turn could be used to heal patients. The term mesmerism, a forerunner of the term hypnosis comes from the name Mesmer. He had many successes both with the magnet theory and eventually just using himself as a source of magnetism. One of his disciples the Marquis de Puysegur believed the ‘cosmic fluid’ was not magnetic but electric, which he believed was in all living things,

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