What Is Hypnosis Essay

2296 WordsJun 3, 201310 Pages
Introduction Hypnosis is a complex concept and forms of hypnosis have been around for thousands of years. This essay explores firstly what hypnosis is by examining the historical account of hypnosis and the features of an hypnotic state. Secondly, the essay will describe the various psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and finally consider what role relaxation has in Hypnotherapy. The History of Hypnosis Every culture has used hypnosis in one form or another. The earliest evidence of its existence was found among shamans, who were also referred to as “witch doctors,” “medicine men,” or “healers.” The Australian Aborigines have used a hypnotic trance state for thousands of years. In the 1700s, an Australian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815) recognized the healing phenomenon and created his theory of animal magnetism. Mesmer used magnets and the notion of transferring ‘cosmic fluid’ in order to cure illness. By the 1780s Mesmer moved to the use of electrodes and his hands and although there was no scientific evidence to support the existence of Mesmer’s “cosmic fluids and “animal magnetism” he had a remarkable record of success. The only explanation for this is that his patients were literally “mesmerized” into the belief and expectation that they would be cured. However by 1785 King Louis XVI concluded that Mesmer’s fluid did not exist and the results were due to individual fantasy. The Marquis de Puysegur , one of Mesmer’s disciples, later decided to try out what Mesmer had taught him. When treating patients he noticed that some of them entered a deep sleep state, however he could still ask the patient questions and receive replies. De Puysegur rejected the idea of magnetic fluid in the body, believing that what he was witnessing was the result of a psychological force. De Puysegur had discovered the hypnotic trance, but did not identify it

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