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?” Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy. For many people, hypnosis is seen as a strange or mystical practice. Many believe hypnosis is a way of controlling minds, that a hypnotist, by the power of suggestion, can impose his will on the subject and make them do something they have no control over themselves. These beliefs however are unfounded. In recent years though, by having a greater understanding of the therapy, we know that hypnosis is a highly effective, therapeutic tool in positive development. The origins of hypnosis could be said to go back as far as ancient times and there is evidence that forms of hypnosis were used by shamans, healers, tribal doctors and Indian yogi. The earliest references date back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The term ‘hypnos’ being the Greek word for sleep. In Hypnosis for Change, Hadley and Staudacher (2001) describe how shamans, “In preparation for healing”... “adhered to certain practices that allowed his powers of concentration to be heightened”. This would involve visualisation techniques and would be accompanied by drumming or chanting which were rhythmic and monotonous. It was this repetitive beat that helped the shaman focus their subconscious mind. “The shaman actually engaged in a powerful process of visualisation and suggestion during which he willed the sick person to be healed”. If we look to more modern times however, the decisive moment when hypnosis became more familiar with how we see it today can be attributed to Austrian physician, Franz Anton Mesmer. Mesmer believed that a mysterious fluid ran through the body and by applying magnets to certain areas of the body, this fluid could be unblocked or allowed to flow correctly. The term ‘animal magnetism’ was created from this very practice. Whilst carrying out group
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